Sony 4K Handycam FDR-AX100 thread - Page 37 - AVS Forum
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post #1081 of 2224 Old 04-01-2014, 08:46 PM
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Comments from others have nailed it. Just a few tweaks and you're on your way!

 

I'll add just a few other tips as it relates to editing that were not mentioned.

 

- Stabilize in FCP is horrible. I have never found a clip where the native stabilizer did not create a jello mess of things. Even tweaking the settings to tame the stomach churning effects do little to improve anything over the original shaky footage. Do your best to get a FIRM place to mount your tripod when turning off stabilization (I noticed you may have had a tripod on the wood dock filming, wood docks shake like mad when people walk on them) OR use stabilization. The camera will do a far superior job managing stabilization than FCP's stabilizer. Stabilizing in After Effects is really the only way I have found to convincingly stabilize footage outside of camera.

 

- No need for Broadcast Safe clamping of color or luma for YouTube. Unless you're sending your footage out for broadcast (and even if you are, most will clamp it automatically) there is no reason to apply a clamp to luma or saturation. If you manage exposure properly in camera, those areas above 100 IRE are just super whites. Believe it or not, they are technically NOT necessarily overblown areas, but just very hot highlights approaching 255,255,255 RGB. Most YouTube viewers have LCD monitors, more sophisticated LCD monitors can correctly render those subtle super white tones very well. When you apply a Broadcast Safe filter, you are applying a clamp actually lower than 100 IRE to the highlights and potentially robbing luminosity from those delicious highlights and turning them into mud. I saw this on the swan. It was obviously over-exposed, but the clamp made it look over-exposed and muddy. In short, best to stay away from that filter, use the exposure adjustments instead to tame highlights if needed.

 

- I've watched nearly every AX100 video sample posted since the camera was announced. There are videos that do the camera justice and some that do not. There are parts of yours that do it justice. Some of the flower shots you took were beautiful! In cases where workflow was mentioned, I have found that the best "playing" YouTube files were uploaded as ProRes LT. Yes, it's still a big file and can be a bummer for long sequences, but the result seems to be worthy of showing. It seems at least for now, YouTube's compression algorithms play nice with it. If you go to the Red forums, you will read thread talking about uploading ProRes 444 to get optimal results. OUCH! ProRes LT seems reasonable compared to that.

 

- Since you handle critique well, I thought I would let my editor side out of its cage... Feel free to shorten the length of each clip in your final sequence. Unless your subject is talking or demonstrating something in need of constant attention, 5 seconds is usually enough for your viewer to get a sense of what you are trying to convey in terms of imagery. This does not mean that you cannot create a 30 second clip of swans, just move around and get multiple angles of the swans to keep the viewer's attention. Show each angle for several seconds. Establish the environment, Wide, medium, close-up, slow zoom in, very slow pan, etc. 

 

Hope some of this helped. Can't wait to see more of your work!

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by TomWheeler View Post
....
The easy part is getting good "raw" footage with this camera. That just takes getting to know the features on the camera, how to use them, and thinking before you shoot. The hard part is editing this footage, and the hardest part is getting the result up on the web while still preserving as much quality as possible. Clearly I still have some learning on that score. I also need to get a 4K monitor so I can really see the results of what I am doing both with the "raw" camera footage and even more importantly in editing and outputting the footage.

Again, thanks for the constructive and useful criticism.

Tom
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post #1082 of 2224 Old 04-02-2014, 08:42 AM
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Got a chance to use the AX100 at a track meet and the results were about what I thought they would be.
I'm impressed by the cam, and am keeping it. Hopefully next generation will support 4k60.
Here is a short clip and yes I played with the footage big time for "artistic" reasons, and am very aware of "issues"
for video quality it shows.wink.gif There is one shot that is not from the AX100 and is clearly obvious...can you spot it?smile.gif
https://vimeo.com/90725100
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The Mod Squad: New vs. Classic TV Series Opening https://vimeo.com/63119329
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post #1083 of 2224 Old 04-02-2014, 08:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDeano View Post
...
I have found that the best "playing" YouTube files were uploaded as ProRes LT. Yes, it's still a big file and can be a bummer for long sequences, but the result seems to be worthy of showing. It seems at least for now, YouTube's compression algorithms play nice with it. Yes, it's still a big file and can be a bummer for long sequences, but the result seems to be worthy of showing. It seems at least for now, YouTube's compression algorithms play nice with it. If you go to the Red forums, you will read thread talking about uploading ProRes 444 to get optimal results. OUCH! ProRes LT seems reasonable compared to that. 

 

All my videos have been posted using XAVC-S which is H-264 with 4:2:0 8 bit long-GOP.  I figure that since the original material was created in this format I doubt that you can do much better with 4:4:4.  It seems at least for my video's Youtube doesn't seem to mangle them.

 

I created a playlist of all my AX-100 videos:

 

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLfSnkc1zjLgj_vxuahGgEW-fB3H9g4D-m

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post #1084 of 2224 Old 04-02-2014, 09:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blasst View Post

Got a chance to use the AX100 at a track meet and the results were about what I thought they would be.
I'm impressed by the cam, and am keeping it. Hopefully next generation will support 4k60.
Here is a short clip and yes I played with the footage big time for "artistic" reasons, and am very aware of "issues"
for video quality it shows.wink.gif There is one shot that is not from the AX100 and is clearly obvious...can you spot it?smile.gif
https://vimeo.com/90725100

This was really great. I assume you did some coloring (nice). The long-distance slo-mo shot of female runners was not AX100? How did you do the female jumper's slo-mo?
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post #1085 of 2224 Old 04-02-2014, 09:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Jimmy View Post
 

 

All my videos have been posted using XAVC-S which is H-264 with 4:2:0 8 bit long-GOP.  I figure that since the original material was created in this format I doubt that you can do much better with 4:4:4.  It seems at least for my video's Youtube doesn't seem to mangle them.

 

I created a playlist of all my AX-100 videos:

 

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLfSnkc1zjLgj_vxuahGgEW-fB3H9g4D-m

 

Your videos play very smooth and retain all the amazing details.

 

I read that you use the NLE that comes with the camera, is it safe to assume XAVC-S is an output option you have from there?

 

Would love to find out an output workflow from FCPX that would encode with this wrapper for YouTube delivery.

 

Pardon my ignorance on the subject, I have not installed or used the Sony software yet. I have access to Compressor and Handbrake.

 

Any suggestions would be welcome as you seem to have nailed the quality everyone strives for on YouTube.

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post #1086 of 2224 Old 04-02-2014, 09:12 AM
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DrDeano,

Your post was very helpful indeed and I much appreciate the time you took to put together such a constructive post.

I believe that I have found a good solution for encoding the output to YouTube at high bit rates. Handbrake makes maximum use of the 12 processors (24 virtual with hyperthreading) in my new Mac Pro and allowed me to re-encode this 12 minute video to H.264 at an average bitrate of 60 Mbps for a 5.15 GB file size that I can upload in about two hours to YouTube. I want to compare closely this encoding in Handbrake to that done in Compressor at the much lower bitrate. I do plan to also explore H.264 encoding in Adobe Media Encoder CC.

I don't find stabilization in FCP X (10.1) to be always horrible although I have certainly seen it do a terrible job on some clips. In fact, I can never predict when FCP X's stabilization will do a good job removing the camera motion from a clip. I just try it and remove it if it makes a mess. I have discovered that on some clips when I select the Inertial stabilization mode I get an option called "tripod" which results in complete removal of the movement to give the look of a locked down shot with excellent results. Unfortunately I have no idea why I get this tripod option only occasionally when I use FCP X stabilization.

All of your other comments were excellent and much appreciated.

This afternoon I am going to explore manual exposure controls and the use of zebras to retain detail in the white areas of the Bradford pear blossoms I have set my zebras (after some online research on using zebras) at 90%. When I see blown out detail with zebras present, I plan to stop down the aperture to bring these areas into proper exposure. I also want to explore the combined use of shutter speed and aperture to bring the zebra areas into proper exposure. I prefer to keep gain set at 0 for outdoor shots.

Your comments and those of Ken and Mark have been most helpful, and I appreciate the spirit in which they were given. The real fun of a camera like this is learning to use it properly under a variety of conditions and the spots on this forum are very helpful in doing so.

Tom
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post #1087 of 2224 Old 04-02-2014, 09:18 AM
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The best practice is to set (fix) the shutter at 1/60th. For outdoors, set the gain to 0. Then you can set the iris AND/OR use the built-in ND filters. The latter is a key feature of the camera - it enables you to use the proper shutter speed (1/60th for good motion), avoid hot spots, and avoid diffraction artifacts from closing down the lens too much (and you also can get good shallow dof if you want).
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post #1088 of 2224 Old 04-02-2014, 09:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blasst View Post

Got a chance to use the AX100 at a track meet and the results were about what I thought they would be.
I'm impressed by the cam, and am keeping it. Hopefully next generation will support 4k60.
Here is a short clip and yes I played with the footage big time for "artistic" reasons, and am very aware of "issues"
for video quality it shows.wink.gif There is one shot that is not from the AX100 and is clearly obvious...can you spot it?smile.gif
https://vimeo.com/90725100

Really very very nice Blasst! You're good! You obviously raised the saturation quite a bit, but it looks nice if not a bit over the top! I like the shot that starts at about 7 seconds. It almost looks like it was green screened. How did you do that one?

As for the shot not taken by the AX100, at the risk of being wrong I'll say "Easy, it was the shot at 1:13 as the runners are coming around the turn".
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post #1089 of 2224 Old 04-02-2014, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDeano View Post
 

 

Your videos play very smooth and retain all the amazing details.

 

I read that you use the NLE that comes with the camera, is it safe to assume XAVC-S is an output option you have from there?

 

Would love to find out an output workflow from FCPX that would encode with this wrapper for YouTube delivery.

 

Pardon my ignorance on the subject, I have not installed or used the Sony software yet. I have access to Compressor and Handbrake.

 

Any suggestions would be welcome as you seem to have nailed the quality everyone strives for on YouTube.

 

I'll try remember to list my exact workflow when I get home tonight.

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post #1090 of 2224 Old 04-02-2014, 09:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blasst View Post

Got a chance to use the AX100 at a track meet and the results were about what I thought they would be.
I'm impressed by the cam, and am keeping it. Hopefully next generation will support 4k60.
Here is a short clip and yes I played with the footage big time for "artistic" reasons, and am very aware of "issues"
for video quality it shows.wink.gif There is one shot that is not from the AX100 and is clearly obvious...can you spot it?smile.gif
https://vimeo.com/90725100

That was nice. I really liked the 2nd shot that looked like it was on a super long dolly.

I decided to keep mine too. It has the most beautiful PQ of any of the other cams out for the price. I have fallen in love the 720 120p I just wish it was a touch sharper.
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post #1091 of 2224 Old 04-02-2014, 10:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markr041 View Post

This was really great. I assume you did some coloring (nice). The long-distance slo-mo shot of female runners was not AX100? How did you do the female jumper's slo-mo?

Mark, Yes I did do coloring using some presets for Vegas Pro 12 and messing around with them.
http://neumannfilms.net/product/cinematic-presets-vegas-pro/
I clearly blew out a couple of spots trying to get the look I wanted.
For the pole vault jump I used Twixtor with so so success.
It has been tough with only 30p for 4k for some reason in Twixtor.
And you are correct the long distance shot was not with the AX100, but I needed to get a couple of runners in the video, and I haven't filmed them yet in 4k.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Ross View Post

Really very very nice Blasst! You're good! You obviously raised the saturation quite a bit, but it looks nice if not a bit over the top! I like the shot that starts at about 7 seconds. It almost looks like it was green screened. How did you do that one?

As for the shot not taken by the AX100, at the risk of being wrong I'll say "Easy, it was the shot at 1:13 as the runners are coming around the turn".

Ken, You are spot on with your comments my friend. And you got the correct shot that was not taken by the AX100.
I used a dolly on about 30 ft of dolly track for the shot that starts around 5 secs or so. Took about 10 attempts to get what I was looking for. I then slowed down the footage to 20% in Twixtor and let it do its magic. Really worked well since there was little movement by the athletes.
If the entire team would have been there I would have needed a lot more dolly track.

The Mod Squad: New vs. Classic TV Series Opening https://vimeo.com/63119329
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post #1092 of 2224 Old 04-02-2014, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucasberg View Post

That was nice. I really liked the 2nd shot that looked like it was on a super long dolly.

I decided to keep mine too. It has the most beautiful PQ of any of the other cams out for the price. I have fallen in love the 720 120p I just wish it was a touch sharper.

You nailed it, as I mentioned to Ken, had it on around 30 ft of dolly track, and it worked out pretty good.
I hear you on the 720/120p, as I did a couple of tests and really like it when slowed down in post, but it needs more resolution.

The Mod Squad: New vs. Classic TV Series Opening https://vimeo.com/63119329
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post #1093 of 2224 Old 04-02-2014, 10:25 AM
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Blasst that was quite a show, You say all was shot with the ax100, did you use a stabilizer for the opening shot?

Eugene
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post #1094 of 2224 Old 04-02-2014, 10:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eugene157 View Post

Blasst that was quite a show, You say all was shot with the ax100, did you use a stabilizer for the opening shot?

Eugene

Eugene,

Glad you enjoyed it.
Only one short shot was not shot by the AX100, which occurs around 1:13 into the video.
I had the AX100 on a tripod which was on a tripod dolly for the opening shots.
All other shots the cam was just on a tripod only. The ending shot is just a reverse shot of the opening dolly shot sped up.

The Mod Squad: New vs. Classic TV Series Opening https://vimeo.com/63119329
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post #1095 of 2224 Old 04-02-2014, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Got a chance to use the AX100 at a track meet and the results were about what I thought they would be.
I'm impressed by the cam, and am keeping it. Hopefully next generation will support 4k60.
Here is a short clip and yes I played with the footage big time for "artistic" reasons, and am very aware of "issues"
for video quality it shows.wink.gif There is one shot that is not from the AX100 and is clearly obvious...can you spot it?smile.gif
https://vimeo.com/90725100

Very nice indeed! I didn't get to see it on a bigger screen so I couldn't see which shot didn't fit. Are you going to share which cam was used for the non 4K shot? :-)

Now that's how you supposed to drive!

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post #1096 of 2224 Old 04-02-2014, 02:01 PM
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Blasst, Ken all you guys I need some help.

I had gotten so used to the 5 axis stabilizer of the Pana X900M, getting tripod like stability in the vast majority of shots.

Today I went out for a little shooting and I was horrified when I saw the results, even in the active mode.

Using one of my tripods with only 1 leg extended made a drastic difference.

A mono pod ( we travel) is the only answer I see, B+H has some reasonably priced carbon pods, some will handle 20lbs.

What kind of head should I use, must have quick release like my other tripods?

Do I need a head?

I appreciate all inputs.


Eugene
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post #1097 of 2224 Old 04-02-2014, 02:18 PM
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Eugene, when I go out with any of these small cameras, I don't use tripods or monopods. So I'll let the other guys address that who use them.

Let me ask you this, are you holding the camera with 2 hands or just one as most people do? I always brace the underside of the camera with my left hand for added stability, with arms tucked to my side and my feet apart. This gives better stability.

You may be doing this, I don't know. You also might try cutting back on caffeine consumption. Just kidding. smile.gif
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post #1098 of 2224 Old 04-02-2014, 02:43 PM
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You will also get more stabilization by holding the camera with two hands with the EVF pressed against your eye to frame your shots (ie instead of the flip-out LCD).
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post #1099 of 2224 Old 04-02-2014, 03:38 PM
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Thanks for the reply.

Yes two hands always. For wide shots I use the led display, for telephoto the EVF with both hands again pressed against the head. And if I can lean against something I do that too.

Perhaps I am too sensitive to shaky videos.

Found some monopods made by OBEN that have a good rating and are light enough for travel.

Actually I had expected steadier video from the AX100 due to its higher weight compared to the X900.

Walking with the 100 is pretty much out, by comparison walking video from the 900 looks like the camera is floating in air.

Looks like I need some practice. Using a light weight tripod with only one leg extended certainly made a big difference.

Well thank you both for the reply


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post #1100 of 2224 Old 04-02-2014, 04:20 PM
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Panasonic's OIS was always excellent. I don't think I've found one better. But it's tough to say if your videos are shakier than normal or your tolerance for shaky videos is less than normal.

You must hate (as do I) the very typical shooting style you see in so many TV series and movies...the constant moving of the camera up, down, left and right. It's become so over used, that to me it looks ridiculous.
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post #1101 of 2224 Old 04-02-2014, 04:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eugene157 View Post

Thanks for the reply.



Found some monopods made by OBEN that have a good rating and are light enough for travel.



Eugene


try the sony monopod (plus tripod)... plus pouch to make shooting steadier

http://www.amazon.com/Sony-VCTMP1-Multipod-Monopod/dp/B007M8SH4E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1396480427&sr=8-1&keywords=sony+monopod

cheaper at b and h photo

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=VCTMP1&N=0&InitialSearch=yes&sts=ma&Top+Nav-Search=

you can also checkout mogopod ii... I have one but I have not use it yet cause I use the sony monopod most of the time

there are 2 size of mogopod... m and s... the m comes with tripod
http://www.amazon.com/Authentic-MogoPod-Tripod-Attachment-Stabilizer/dp/B00H2A13I4/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1396480696&sr=8-2&keywords=mogopod

note: mogopod's design is different from regular tripod. so can not use the tripod stand of mogopod on sony monopod.. btw, I don't have the sony ax100
yet
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post #1102 of 2224 Old 04-02-2014, 06:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markr041 View Post

The best practice is to set (fix) the shutter at 1/60th. For outdoors, set the gain to 0. Then you can set the iris AND/OR use the built-in ND filters. The latter is a key feature of the camera - it enables you to use the proper shutter speed (1/60th for good motion), avoid hot spots, and avoid diffraction artifacts from closing down the lens too much (and you also can get good shallow dof if you want).

Mark,

That is exactly what I did today. Took my AX100 on a tripod out in the back yard before all the white Bradford pears blossoms disappeared and experimented with different combinations of shutter speed, gain, and aperture as well as using ND1 and ND2. By using ND1 or ND2, I was able to set the shutter speed at 1/60th second, the gain at 0, and keep the aperture at about f6-f8. I was certainly able to retain the detail in these white blossoms with these settings using zebras set at 90. I then took these clips into Final Cut pro X and found that I could manipulate the mid-tone exposure to restore some of darkened background without giving up detail in the highlights.

I am continuing to explore various means of outputting my 4K edited videos to determine the optimum file size/quality. So far I have a Pro Res HQ of my 12 minute video, the XAVC S output in Vegas Pro 12 running under Windows 8.1 on my Mac, a Handbrake H.264 with an average bitrate of 60 Mbps, and of course the 20 Mbps H. 264 from Compressor. I am working now to compare those carefully using a split screen with all four of these codecs in FCP X.

Tom
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post #1103 of 2224 Old 04-02-2014, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDeano View Post
 

 

Your videos play very smooth and retain all the amazing details.

 

I read that you use the NLE that comes with the camera, is it safe to assume XAVC-S is an output option you have from there?

 

Would love to find out an output workflow from FCPX that would encode with this wrapper for YouTube delivery.

 

Pardon my ignorance on the subject, I have not installed or used the Sony software yet. I have access to Compressor and Handbrake.

 

Any suggestions would be welcome as you seem to have nailed the quality everyone strives for on YouTube.

 

Here's my flow:

 

I shoot in XAVC-S 30p and set the shutter speed to 1/60th and use the ND if necessary.  I also try to have the gain as low as possible.  I've been using cheap SDXC cards, with no problems so far.

 

I use the Sony [Vegas] Movie Studio Platinum 13.0 which is included with the AX100.  I've been using Sony Movie Studio for years so I'm pretty comfortable with the work flow.

 

To export:
  [Project] -> [Make Movie ...] ->

    [Save it to my hard drive] ->

      [MP4] -> [Advanced options...] ->

        [Format: Sony XAVC S] & [Template: XAVC S 4K 3840x2160 Long-GOP 29.97p] -> [Render]

 

It looks like it renders at about 115 Mbps.

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post #1104 of 2224 Old 04-02-2014, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troy LaMont View Post

Very nice indeed! I didn't get to see it on a bigger screen so I couldn't see which shot didn't fit. Are you going to share which cam was used for the non 4K shot? :-)

Troy,

The other cam was a Canon HF-M41.

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post #1105 of 2224 Old 04-02-2014, 08:14 PM
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Blasst, it's funny how bad it looked by comparison.
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post #1106 of 2224 Old 04-02-2014, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by TomWheeler View Post

I believe that I have found a good solution for encoding the output to YouTube at high bit rates. Handbrake makes maximum use of the 12 processors (24 virtual with hyperthreading) in my new Mac Pro and allowed me to re-encode this 12 minute video to H.264 at an average bitrate of 60 Mbps for a 5.15 GB file size that I can upload in about two hours to YouTube. I want to compare closely this encoding in Handbrake to that done in Compressor at the much lower bitrate. I do plan to also explore H.264 encoding in Adobe Media Encoder CC.

 

 

I can't wait to hear how this test pans out. I'm hoping FCPX/Compressor will have a XAVC-S output soon. In the meantime, finding an alternative that preserves quality in a small file size would be great! The few tests I have done with Handbrake seem to render extremely detailed scenes with compression artifacts, the highest bitrate I tested was 80 Mbps. Have not had too much time to keep tweaking to find the perfect recipe though. Please keep us posted!

 

Someone mentioned Sony Movie Studio and I got excited at the prospect of possibly importing a ProRes and outputting a XAVC-S... Foolish me for thinking they had a Mac version available. PC only :(

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post #1107 of 2224 Old 04-02-2014, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by markr041 View Post

The best practice is to set (fix) the shutter at 1/60th. For outdoors, set the gain to 0. Then you can set the iris AND/OR use the built-in ND filters. The latter is a key feature of the camera - it enables you to use the proper shutter speed (1/60th for good motion), avoid hot spots, and avoid diffraction artifacts from closing down the lens too much (and you also can get good shallow dof if you want).

 

Has anyone tested this camera to see if there is dynamic range loss by using -3 gain vs. 0 gain? I shot a few test clips in very bright light and needed to use -3 gain to keep shutter speed; footage looked fine but I didn't think to record a comparison at 0 gain.

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post #1108 of 2224 Old 04-02-2014, 11:10 PM
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I dug out my Velbon faux fluid head today and I plan on using it this weekend for my desert trip. I have been messing around with the different bit rates for rendering too. I have just been using a custom template in Vegas Media Studio that came with it with 60mbps as the high and 45mbps as the average. Be careful because after I installed Media Studio my Vegas Pro 11 will not even load now. I tried re installing it and its still not working.
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post #1109 of 2224 Old 04-03-2014, 01:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Ross View Post

Blasst, it's funny how bad it looked by comparison.
Ken it was a very cheap tiny sensor cam http://www.canon.co.uk/For_Home/Product_Finder/Camcorders/High_Definition_HD/LEGRIA_HF_M41/
Still better colour though biggrin.gif
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post #1110 of 2224 Old 04-03-2014, 03:30 AM
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How bad is the rolling shutter if I use the AX100 on a tripod and filming fast moving scenes?
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