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Trailside video photography
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Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Trailside video photography on 06/12/2010 16:43:28 MDT Print View

First of all, I have to state that I am a still photographer, and wildlife takes a lot of my time. My first still+video camera is due for delivery within a couple of days, so I expect to be up to the mountains soon for trailside testing.

With UL motives in mind, the audio can be recorded right in with the video, assuming that the camera has a built-in microphone. Or, if there is no built-in, a small shotgun microphone can be plugged in.

However, I am told that the audio front end on a camera like this is pretty poor, and that better audio can be had with an external audio recorder and external microphone. Assuming that I am smart enough to stay away from a "voice" recorder because of limited bandwidth, and assuming that I have a decent-enough recorder with good bandwidth, what other problems am I likely to run into? I already know how to synchronize the video to the audio, and I am already warned to avoid making any movements that will be caught on the microphone.

My favorite subjects are mammals, so as the mammals walk through forest litter, I guess there will be lots of leaf noise, so I'll have to filter that out. Wind noise can be minimized with a dead cat.

--B.G.--

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Trailside video photography on 06/12/2010 21:25:33 MDT Print View

Note: This is not a dead cat.

Canadian Lynx

--B.G.--

Michael Neal
(michaeltn2) - F

Locale: Northern Virginia
forum on 06/14/2010 12:04:04 MDT Print View

check out this section of a popular video forum, there are many topics about synchronizing audio and different microphone recorder options. But for outdoor stuff it is probably best to use a stereo mic unless you are trying to pick up sounds at a distance where a mono shotgun mic would be more useful. Or you could have both for different situations.

http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/forumdisplay.php?f=29

Edited by michaeltn2 on 06/14/2010 12:05:44 MDT.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Good Grief! on 06/21/2010 01:37:16 MDT Print View

I discovered that the recorded video file size is 330MB per minute.

I guess I won't be emailing those around, will I?

--B.G.--

Michael Neal
(michaeltn2) - F

Locale: Northern Virginia
youtube on 06/21/2010 07:29:45 MDT Print View

you can post on youtube or vimeo and send a link, youtube now has HD

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Good Grief! on 06/22/2010 19:55:55 MDT Print View

Hey Bob,
I've have limited experience with recording HD video on a still camera, but I am getting better each time I do it. The raw files from the camera will be huge, but if you edit them on your computer you can shrink/compress them. My 10 minute "On The Trail" videos in HD are about 250 MB and I think they look pretty good.

Here's my latest one from my Zion trip.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95BDQyw2kpg

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
raw files on 06/22/2010 20:59:26 MDT Print View

The raw video file coming out of the camera is .MOV format.

For 1920x1080@30fps, it is filling up about 330MB per minute.

Zipped, it still takes up 330MB per minute.

--B.G.--

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: raw files on 06/23/2010 05:57:26 MDT Print View

Zipping them won't do you any good. You'll need to use a video editing program (I use Adobe Premiere Pro) and go from there. I'm not experienced enough to give any type of advice other then it is possible to reduce the size of your files by editing either the quantity/quality.

I usually reduce my bitrate to get the file down in size. My research lead me to believe that there would be a noticeable quality difference but I really can't tell from the original files....works well for me.

Franco is very knowledgeable in this field. Maybe he'll join in, or you could PM him and he could give you some tips.

Rakesh Malik
(Tamerlin)

Locale: Cascadia
Re: raw files on 06/23/2010 09:58:08 MDT Print View

You aren't going to get much compression by zipping a raw video file.

If you have video editing software, like what comes with most modern operating systems, you should have very little trouble converting it to a format that's more portable (i.e. smaller).

The software will in most cases allow you to choose from a pretty wide variety of codes, depending on what you have installed on your machine (the codecs are like plugins, both when you create the file and when you read it).

There are a lot of codecs to choose from. H.264 has excellent compression rates but it might not be available without commercial software like a full version of an application like Adobe Premiere (I can't think of the name of Apple's at the moment, but it will have similar options).

There are usually some good codecs available in the free applications, so you don't have to buy an expensive video editing application in order to share videos. I just don't know which ones to recommend, but hopefully someone who's been doing web video can chime in on that part :)

Michael Neal
(michaeltn2) - F

Locale: Northern Virginia
Vegas on 06/23/2010 11:06:23 MDT Print View

Sony Vegas Platinum is less than $100 and has great HD functionality. You can render in various formats and even burn Blu-Ray DVDs on standard DVDs, without a Blu-Ray burner.

www.vimeo.com has great tutorials on how to optimize and render your videos for internet broadcast.

Edited by michaeltn2 on 06/23/2010 11:07:21 MDT.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Trailside video photography on 06/23/2010 16:06:03 MDT Print View

Bob
If you are a Mac user see this :
http://www.usa.canon.com/dlc/controller?act=GetArticleAct&articleID=3249
for Windows and general tips , see this :
http://www.jonathanbourke.com/blog/2010/05/21/editing-canon-eos-7d-video-with-premiere-pro/

Franco

Daniel Fosse
(magillagorilla) - F

Locale: Southwest Ohio
HD Video on 07/01/2010 09:45:09 MDT Print View

Bob,
What camera did you get? 330MB/min roughly translates to 40-44 mbps. That's a nice bitrate if true. The .MOV format is just a variation of the MPEG4 format and h.264 falls in the same family of reduction codecs.

Keep in mind that all MPEGx formats are reduction formats (lossy) verses compression (losless).

Also by squeezing your video down to lower HD h.264 bitrates like 12,17, or 24 mbps, you make the video increasingly more difficult to edit later as it takes a tremendous ammount of processing power to edit. I shoot a lot of AVCHD (Canon's h.264) and my Quad Core PC with 4GB RAM can't handle editing heavily reduced HD footage.

Everytime you re-render in a lossy format you loose data, keep this in mind.

Also, if this is a still camera with HD video, you may want to consider a tripod. Still cameras, point-n-shoot and DSLRs, do not have the type of gyroscopic image stabilization that most video cameras benefit from.

I have a Canon HF100 HD camcorder which has a gyro. I also have a Pentax W80 point-n-shoot which does HD video. The Pentax is highly subject to jitter and jumpy video as it lacks a stabalizing mechanism where I can shoot without a tripod and get relatively smooth video using the Canon.

Michael Neal
(michaeltn2) - F

Locale: Northern Virginia
lens stabilization on 07/01/2010 10:18:20 MDT Print View

You can use a lens with image stabilization on stills cameras and get great results.

There is also a program called Neoscene to convert your compressed files so that can be played and edited easily.

The Panasonic GH1 was recently hacked and the mbps has been increased substantially, up to 100 mbps in MJPEG.

http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/forumdisplay.php?f=206

This makes the GH1 the best stills camera for shooting video, it also has the continuous autofocus that is missing on all other DSLRs.

Edited by michaeltn2 on 07/01/2010 10:23:51 MDT.

Daniel Fosse
(magillagorilla) - F

Locale: Southwest Ohio
Re: lens stabilization on 07/01/2010 10:36:39 MDT Print View

Good point about gyro stable lenses. But as in my case, my little Pentax is pocket sized camera and has no removable lense. The Pentax W80 is, however, waterproof whish is really fun.

The new generation of Nikon DSLRs are getting more HD Video features. I am holding out for a Nikon that does at least 1080p 30fps with image stabilization and continuous autofocus. The GH1 is nice but I already have a good collection of Nikon lenses.

I can't wait to get a good DSLR/HD camcorder combo. It will beat lugging both my Nikon and Canon camcorder.

Michael Neal
(michaeltn2) - F

Locale: Northern Virginia
nikon on 07/01/2010 11:09:20 MDT Print View

Yea its only a matter of time before Nikon and Canon have these features.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: HD Video on 07/01/2010 11:13:04 MDT Print View

Canon 7D. You have re-stated some of the Canon specifications accurately. If I had to, I would edit the AVCHD first and then attempt to crunch it second. I would never try to crunch it and then edit it. I've attended multimedia industry standards meetings since the early 1990's so I understand one or two things about compression.

"Consider a tripod." Yes, I thought that was pretty funny. There is IS in the lens, but not in the body, so of course I use a substantial tripod, especially for the massive weight of the lenses.

I need to make a decision soon about which video editing software I really need, so that is what I am still researching. AVCHD is a bear.

--B.G.--

Michael Neal
(michaeltn2) - F

Locale: Northern Virginia
Neoscene on 07/01/2010 11:31:15 MDT Print View

Cineform Neoscene is known to be visually lossless and much easier to edit. I would try that and compare the results from editing AVCHD directly.

or you can use the Lagarith codec which is lossless but is a huge file, and still much easier to edit that compressed files.

Edited by michaeltn2 on 07/01/2010 11:36:16 MDT.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Neoscene on 07/01/2010 11:37:40 MDT Print View

I've seen that mentioned in a few places so far, but I haven't figured out yet exactly whether I need it. It bears investigation.

I guess I really have to decide what kind of format I want to end up with for the time of video distribution. I mean, I doubt that it will be playing in 500 theatres across the country.

--B.G.--

Daniel Fosse
(magillagorilla) - F

Locale: Southwest Ohio
Re: Re: HD Video on 07/01/2010 13:23:03 MDT Print View

"understand one or two things about compression"

Good to know you are not one of the 95% of people who don't understand why their video looks bad or music sounds bad after encodeing it 3 times:)

I don't claim to be an expert on image stabilization but I know that mechanical is better than digital. Digital just smears your pixels around to remove jitter. My little Pentax has nither digital nor mechanical IS so it is super shakey looking, hence my vote for a tripod. You know more on the subject than I assumed though.

As for editing AVCHD, it is a complete PIA. I tried Power Director but this application is highly unstable and I don't recomend it.

As for PC hardware, I am running Win7 64, 2.3Ghz Core2 Quad, 4GB 800Mhz RAM, with a WD Black 500GB SATA HDD. Not state of th eart hardware but well beyond recomended specs for amature video editing. My machine choaks on AVCHD.

What OS are you using?

I am currently archiving a bunch of miniDV, S-VHSC, and VHS tapes to digital. I have been working with the HuffyUV codec, which is a lossless AVI format. It produces file sizes of about 30GB an hour but seems to be very easy to edit and works well with other applications.

I haven't tried to convert AVCHD to a lossless AVI format for editing but it may be worth a go.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: HD Video on 07/01/2010 13:59:25 MDT Print View

Vista 64-bit.

"... convert AVCHD to a lossless AVI format for editing..." and then what?

I've been led to believe that some editing apps can get some good out of 64-bit OS, and others cannot. I'm still trying to sort that out from Franco's earlier advice.

Image Stabilization in the lens has little gyroscopes that spin up when you half-press the shutter button, so I can hear a faint noise in there. If it feels movement one way or the other way, it jiggles one lens element the opposite way to fudge it out, and it gets me about two stops of speed improvement if the conditions are right. For a camera with interchangeable lenses, that seems like the only way to go. I suppose that something could be done inside the body, but I don't think that would work properly over a broad family of lens focal lengths.

I try to do wildlife photography, so for wildlife stills, I just let IS do the best from handheld. For a video clip, I would get it on a tripod and that requires a lot of anticipation of what wildlife will be where and when.

--B.G.--