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Author Topic: Note about the Understanding Video Article  (Read 7852 times)
davide
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« on: September 02, 2008, 12:45:49 PM »
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I enjoyed the Understanding Video article. But I take issue with the claim Michael R. makes in this paragraph:

"Be aware though that all will not be roses when we get our combocams. As we've seen, there are few things worse than shaky video. Yes, stabilization exists in camcorders, and usually does a good job of eliminating the worst of hand-held shakiness. But 35mm still camera lenses are bulkier and heavier, and along with their reduced DOF will likely lead to us seeing more shakycam shots than ever. Use a tripod!!"

This gives the impression that the heavier one's camera rig is, the more likely it is that one's handheld footage will be shaky. But this is not the case. Heavy rigs are better for handheld because it takes more force to move them. A slight hand tremor that would show up in a video shot on a 1lb. camera would hardly register on something shot on a 15lb. camera rig replete with 35mm adaptor, lesn and rails.

Unless you mean to say that when using a 35mm adapter one can't make use of in-camera stabilization on camcorders. That is true. But I read the paragraph as saying that using bulky lenses will make one's camera shake more.

davide
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michael
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« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2008, 01:01:24 PM »
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You're right about heavier video cameras producing less shake than light ones (up to a certain point of course).

But I'm concerned that with their longer focal lengths and poor ergonomics for video shooting that DSLRs will prove to be less amenable to hand held shooting than current 1/3rd and 1/2inch camcorders.

Michael
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John Camp
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« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2008, 01:20:29 PM »
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Are there Steadycams for 35mm-like cameras?
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davide
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« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2008, 01:24:25 PM »
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Michael,

Thanks for the reply. I agree, 35mm adapter rigs can be quite hard to handhold.

John, yes there are steadi-cam style devices of varying cost and quality. Tiffen, the maker's of steadicam, make lower cost versions of their top-of-the line steadicam. These are said to be very high quality. The main difference between these and the more expensive versions is that they don't support as much weight. Manufacturers such as Varizoom and Glidecam also make steadicam style devices. This isn't to mention the number of shoulder rigs that different companies produce for camcorders.

davide
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Graeme Nattress
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« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2008, 01:24:37 PM »
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Yes you can get Steadycams for practically all sized cameras.

Weight does bring a certain stability, but really, all you're doing is reducing the frequency of the shake into more of a wobble.... Proper camera technique and use of tripod or other support is pretty much mandatory for all cameras. Unless you like the shakycam look.

Graeme
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Digiteyesed
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« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2008, 12:03:26 AM »
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I'm just getting annoyed with the continuing assumptions that I want video capabilities in my dSLR. I don't. I can live with it being present on my camera so long as the design of the still camera that I rely on is not compromised to prop up the unwanted video side of it.

Of course, I'm one of those freaks who only uses my whizz-bang cell phone as a cell phone and nothing else. Guess that makes me an old curmugeon, and I'm not even 40 yet.
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smthopr
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« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2008, 01:35:13 AM »
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Quote
Are there Steadycams for 35mm-like cameras?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=218978\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Do you mean 35mm style DSLR cameras?

There are little Steadicams that work with cameras of that size and weight but...

Auto focus is a poor choice for Steadicam as it will focus on the wrong subject and hunt for focus during the shot. This doesn't much matter on little videocams as they have enough depth of focus to keep everything in focus.  A 50mm lens on a FF DSLR might have 1 inch or less depth of focus when wide open!  Focusing in this case requires a human to continually set the lens to the subject distance.  To keep a Steadicam shot smooth, the camera/lens cannot be touched and this needs to be done by remote control.

I think it takes a specialize movie camera to make movies in general.  But for photojournalists, a combo camera makes a lot of sense if the news is delivered over the internet and there may be strong demand for video as well as still photographs.

And with digital picture frames, maybe there will be demand for landscapes that change with the time of day or the year.  Though I'm just trying to imagine a 21st century Ansel Adams camping out for all four seasons taking one shot of Yosemite:)

As I think about the reactions to Michael's article, I think I hear some concern that still photography will become kind of an old time craft, and that there is some fear that still photographers will have to learn to make motion pictures. This might be true for the news guys, but I kind of doubt it for landscape photographers.

I think a still photograph can be worth at least a thousand words, and a million frames of a movie.

Sorry, I don't know why a went off on this tangent.
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michael
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« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2008, 02:46:05 AM »
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I'm really not sure why some photographers feel threatened by video convergence. Just because a capability is there doesn't mean that it must be used. I own a macro lens, but don't feel I need to photographer the world from 3 inches away for every shot.

I disagree though that it's only news photographers and photojournalists who will benefit. I know a great many stock photographers, including nature and wildlife, who also currently shoot film or video on location and would be happy to have a combocam to lighten their load.

Creative photographers and film makers will each find new ways to use these tools, and as I wrote in an earlier article, will develop new ways of expressing themselves and creating art that aren't yet foreseen.

Michael
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Jim Pascoe
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« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2008, 04:11:00 AM »
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I certainly agree about the new possibilities.  Up to now I have almost zero experience with video, but have always hankered after having a go.  A technique that I have enjoyed seeing over the years is a short film clip of a scene or event which then ends with a superb still image.

My business is primarily photographing weddings, and I would love to shoot lots of short film clips
of scenes and then pick out just the right moment to make a still picture.  This could work well I think for many types of photography.  Of course we are then talking about presenting the images  on a screen, rather than as prints in the first instance.

Do I remember correctly that this technique was used in some of the Antarctica stuff Michael has used recently?  Of course, this could have been done by filming with video and then shooting the stills with a dedicated still camera, but to be able to shoot it all with one device appeals to me.

The point Digiteysed made about not wanting all this extra stuff is valid.  However I guess we may see, as Michael has suggested, that all DSLR's in the future will have the basic capability.  It may be that some models will be optimised one way or the other towards stills or video.
Some very experienced photographers have DSLR's with scene modes, but probably never use them.  To some, autofocus, matrix metering etc may be unnecessary, but all cameras have them.

Exciting times indeed.

Jim
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Kenneth Sky
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« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2008, 07:16:33 AM »
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I think it's time I dusted off my Bolex 8mm movie camera and started practicing my techniques.
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smthopr
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« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2008, 09:38:34 AM »
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I disagree though that it's only news photographers and photojournalists who will benefit. I know a great many stock photographers, including nature and wildlife, who also currently shoot film or video on location and would be happy to have a combocam to lighten their load.

Michael
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=219114\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

A very good point Michael.

I think though that it's really hard to shoot both stills and video at the same time.

On each individual frame of a movie, motion blur is a big part of the illusion of motion during playback. Shutter speed of a movie is only about 1/50th sec.

Motion pictures shot at shutter speeds of over 1/60th sec look pretty jerky, but at 1/50th sec one would have a hard time to find a frame in focus (without motion blur) to create still images from.

My point being, that even a combo-cam will need to shoot motion pictures and still pictures at different times and with different techniques.
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Bruce Alan Greene
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