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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 8:15 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2007 11:52 pm
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Location: Sydney, Australia
Great to have a section for DLSR movies! Shooting high-definition movies with the 5DII is fun, but a different ball game to stills. I have just posted a short film on Iceland, which I visited last year (http://www.vimeo.com/8771163). A Rode Stereo external microphone was used. Much of the footage was shot with the camera on a tripod using a fluid head. Other clips were shot hand-held but sometimes with the camera braced against something to steady the camera. The film was edited in Adobe Premiere Elements 7 on a Windows 7 PC and exported as a MOV file. This was then converted to a 720p (1280x720) mpeg4 file using Handbrake (http://handbrake.fr). The resulting 280 MB file was then uploaded to Vimeo. Of course I also took a lot of stills with the 5DII (http://www.peterelliston.com/Webpage_Iceland/index.htm)


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 8:25 pm 
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Great video Strabo / Peter!

DSLRs can be frustrating to use for video when you've been used to a camcorder, but beyond the low light and shallow DOF benefits, I just love the different perspective. This is thanks to the combination of a big sensor and longer focal lengths as oppose to a tiny sensor with tiny focal lengths. It makes the footage look much more professional like a higher-end TV show or documentary film.

I'm sure you also appreciated having a wider angle lens at your disposal. Looking at your stills, I'm guessing you're using the 24-105mm zoom. Having 24mm coverage for your video is fantastic after the approx 35-40mm widest angle of most camcorders!

The part in the lagoon had me concerned though - was that a different underwater camera, or a housing of some description? Tell us more!

Also when you say you exported your edited project as a MOV file, was that still using H.264 compression and the native 1920x1080 / 30fps format?

PS - I noticed vimeo stuttered a little with the pans, a common problem when you feed it 30fps footage. Was your MPEG4 file smooth in this respect? If so, is it any smoother on panning when uploaded to Youtube?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 6:08 am 
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Hi Gordon, you are right about the lens - I use the 24-105mm zoom on my 5DII and it is great for nearly all situations. For the lagoon clips in the water I used a DiCAPac WP-S10 Waterproof Case (http://www.digitalcamerawarehouse.com.au/prod4820.htm). Re the exporting - the compression was H.264 and at the native 1920x1080, 30fps. I don't see any difference in smoothness from the MPEG4 file to the Vimeo conversion - there are some jerky parts due to the difficulty in moving the camera smoothly when it is being braced against something rather than on a fluid-head tripod. I haven't tried it with YouTube - when I uploaded 720x480 video shot with a camcorder I found Vimeo to be much better (sharper) than YouTube, so I gave up on the latter.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:12 pm 
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That's a neat underwater housing, although I bet you were a bit nervous the first time you tried it!

Jerkiness when panning can be frustrating to diagnose. If you're shooting handheld, the natural temptation is to enable stabilisation to iron-out any wobbles, but unless the stabilisation has a specific panning option, it can jerk the image back and forth as you sweep the camera. The solution is to disable stabilisation, but then you have camera shake to worry about!

The only real solution is to disable stabilisation AND use a tripod with a smooth fluid head, but of course that's not always convenient.

Then even when your video is perfect, some hosting sites aren't compatible with all frame rates and the footage becomes jerky again! It can be pretty frustrating...

As for Youtube, I find it looks better than vimeo when fed my NTSC camcorder footage. You have to wait a few minutes (or hours!) for the HD version to come online after the low res one, but when it does, it looks great. It's all about experimenting and finding a workflow which works for you.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 9:40 pm 
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It's a bit awkward getting the camera into the housing and definitely a fingers-crossed exercise going underwater with it. Still, the housing is relatively cheap and adds something different view to a video clip.
Re my comment about YouTube and Vimeo - my camcorder footage was PAL, with the lower frame rate. My camcorder is now gathering dust, as making HD movies with a DSLR is an exciting new challenge.


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