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post #1 of 9 Old 09-24-2017, 09:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Europe in 4K

I was in Europe most of August. I came home with about 70 GB of footage and stills. My plan over the next weeks is to create a series of separate videos of about 60 to 90 seconds for each city on the trip.

By the standard on this forum, my equipment is old, out of date and boring. I still like it!

This is the first of what should be about a dozen. But, progress will be interrupted by a road trip to Kentucky and back!

Compliments/suggestions are welcome. Be gentle with the harsh criticism. I'm old and sensitive and I know the competition for quality here is fierce!

One fun part of this first video is that the sound track was recorded live on site with a surprise organ concert. I pointed the camera at the floor and tried to aim the camera mics to the source. The organist could not be seen from where I was sitting.

(The thumbnail that Vimeo randomly picked is my wife of 49 years holding her brand new ZS100 that she bought for the trip. She sets it on iA and shoots JPEGS.)

98 seconds in Latvia:

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post #2 of 9 Old 09-24-2017, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by bsprague View Post
I was in Europe most of August. I came home with about 70 GB of footage and stills. My plan over the next weeks is to create a series of separate videos of about 60 to 90 seconds for each city on the trip.

By the standard on this forum, my equipment is old, out of date and boring. I still like it!

This is the first of what should be about a dozen. But, progress will be interrupted by a road trip to Kentucky and back!

Compliments/suggestions are welcome. Be gentle with the harsh criticism. I'm old and sensitive and I know the competition for quality here is fierce!

One fun part of this first video is that the sound track was recorded live on site with a surprise organ concert. I pointed the camera at the floor and tried to aim the camera mics to the source. The organist could not be seen from where I was sitting.

(The thumbnail that Vimeo randomly picked is my wife of 49 years holding her brand new ZS100 that she bought for the trip. She sets it on iA and shoots JPEGS.)

98 seconds in Latvia:
I liked this. I really liked the quickness of the sequencing of clips, and the real organ sound track. I didn't like so much the mixing of stills with video - suddenly the crowd is frozen: what's the point? Freeze frame is a technique, but it is an effect; here it just seems random. I know you like to do this, but I don't see the point.

The zoom onto the stained glass was unnecessary and hesitant - too bad, as the color and exposure were spot on. The low light shots inside were very good. The ending of the music was somewhat abrupt. I know it is a problem when the music ending occurs after you have run out of video. But it is important to have the ending of the music at the end (I know, fade out helps). You can artfully cut out music middle parts to get the end at the end and lengthen and shorten clips to conform. And, maybe more mix up of points of view - close ups of details and long shots.

You can upload to Vimeo (in 'settings') your own still or still from a 4K frame to be the thumbnail. Vimeo for me always seems to select the worst shot of my videos, so I always upload. In your case it is probably not a good idea to tell the wife you replaced her with a flower shot. In any case, it is actually a nice thumbnail. Your wife looks younger than 49 years...

I look forward to more cities.
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post #3 of 9 Old 09-24-2017, 05:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply and comments. And, thanks for not being too harsh!

The point is that I really do this only for fun. I've not completely progressed beyond my love of stills, Lightroom, Photoshop, HDR, etc. I like to have "old school" prints on the wall. So, selfishly, in a travel video, I put in stills I like because I have them. I do agree that it would be better video if it was all video. But until something changes, my video does not have the detail or dynamic range of RAW stills.

The stained glass shots are crappy. I agree. In the moments I was there, I failed at getting it right. The attempt was to demonstrate how enormous the windows were and still be detailed. The zoom idea might have worked if I had had a "real camcorder" with smooth zoom. The Panasonic 14-140 won't zoom smoothly, no matter what I try.

You are right about the music. That Bach piece has been a favorite since I first heard it (yes, fifty years ago). You can't believe how exited I was to hear it live being played on one of the worlds largest and best organs. The tears in my eyes made it a big success to find the record button with no warning whatsoever. I heard the first couple of notes, recognized it and panicked. I would have given anything for a proper Zoom recorder. For the video, the best I could think of was to use my favorite part of the much larger piece. Unfortunately, I will be struggling hard at finding location/culture appropriate sound for the next cities. Actual sound track is terrible because I'm always shooting in a group of tourists saying stupid things. I'll work at that "artful cut out of music middle parts".

I do know about and use the Vimeo settings. Since most of my audience is close family and close friends, the thumbnail is appropriate. For many of them, she is the only important part of anything I shoot.

For the record, she is not 49 years old. We found each other at a college drinking party when she was 18. It was a "hell of a party". A few years later we were still to young, but got married anyway. We have been married for 49 years. You do the math. It continues to be a lovely adventure!!

Back to technology, cameras and video..... Tallinn, Estonia is in the can and coming. St. Petersburg, Iceland and the others are still not past the first accept/reject stage. I have about 70 GB of stuff to work on.
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post #4 of 9 Old 10-02-2017, 06:22 AM - Thread Starter
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This is video #2 of a planned dozen. I've put some Ken Burns style pan and zoom in the stills for this one. I'm on a road trip and can't view with a 4K screen. If you can, do the stills hold up with the added effect?

Estonia, a country in Northern Europe, borders the Baltic Sea and Gulf of Finland. Including more than 1,500 islands, its diverse terrain spans rocky beaches, old-growth forest and many lakes. Formerly part of the Soviet Union, it's dotted with castles, churches and hilltop fortresses. The territory of Estonia has been inhabited since at least 6500 BC.

Tallinn's Old Town is one of the best preserved medieval cities in Europe.

67 seconds in Estonia:
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post #5 of 9 Old 10-05-2017, 01:34 PM
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Dump the stills

I "still" don't like the Burns effect in videos. If you need to make a TV program on the Civil War, then you don't have videos, you just have stills. The attraction of moving around the still pictures is the general one - camera movement makes for a good video. Burns knew this - he needed to make an interesting video, not a slide show. But you have video, and good stuff.

So, likely your (good) instinct is to make a video with movement, and you can do that with stills - you can control it. But, this is due to the lack of ability (not yours) of the camera equipment you use to be moved - you can't zoom without losing focus, and it creates instability. You can't move with the camera - the stabilization system is not up to it (not even close). And panning gets boring fast. So, you do it with stills.

Here is what I suggest: shoot in 4K, as now, but make a FullHD video from the 4K clips. Then you can take advantage of 4K video clips to zoom and pan perfectly within the frame (lots of room to do this) without any loss in resolution in the end. Just like you are doing with stills, but now with no loss of movement - so you can have camera movement within video and avoid the awkward complete stop accompanying the insertion of a still, which I find just annoying. And FullHD from 4K looks really good, unlike "FullHD" shot from almost any camera.

I have invested in equipment to enable movement (real electronic zooms, gimbals, etc.) But it is hard to get movement and be handheld and casual. Better in post (and fun).
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post #6 of 9 Old 10-06-2017, 04:38 AM - Thread Starter
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As always, thanks for the creative criticism. And, I think you are right. Yesterday, I shot while on a tour of the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, KY. I forced myself to stay away from the stills button! Except once! I bracket five shots to do an HDR looking through a window. The idea is to blend to get detail in a scene with dynamic range well beyond "normal". It is not yet in my computer, so don't know if it worked.

I accept the challenge and will follow your recipe for putting the Bourbon video together. Some of the shots did have some very slow panning so they may not work well. The road trip will continue for a couple more weeks, so the editing may get delayed.

One personal problem is that I have not, and probably won't get over the joy I get from stills. I have a dedicated wall with matched frames and rotate pictures through the frames. It is in my office where few see them but me. (It is not really and office because I gave up work about 10 years ago!) More of those prints are frame grabs than they used to be.

My goal for my Europe 2017 series is really for me to watch on my (almost) brand new 4K TV. I have tendency to blend a trip's parts into one in my "mind's eye" so doing a series with my stills will aid my memory of the long trip. And, I have a very short list of relatives that want to see the stills. In other words, for the Europe series I will be ignoring your advice, even though I think you are right that the stills should be dumped.

One day I will have a camera that shoots video with 20 megapixels in each frame, records 60 frames every second, is rock stable, will zoom while staying focused and is light as a feather. It will be compact and have tremendous telephoto capabilities too.

Bill
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post #7 of 9 Old 10-06-2017, 07:41 AM
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As always, thanks for the creative criticism. And, I think you are right. Yesterday, I shot while on a tour of the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, KY. I forced myself to stay away from the stills button! Except once! I bracket five shots to do an HDR looking through a window. The idea is to blend to get detail in a scene with dynamic range well beyond "normal". It is not yet in my computer, so don't know if it worked.

I accept the challenge and will follow your recipe for putting the Bourbon video together. Some of the shots did have some very slow panning so they may not work well. The road trip will continue for a couple more weeks, so the editing may get delayed.

One personal problem is that I have not, and probably won't get over the joy I get from stills. I have a dedicated wall with matched frames and rotate pictures through the frames. It is in my office where few see them but me. (It is not really and office because I gave up work about 10 years ago!) More of those prints are frame grabs than they used to be.

My goal for my Europe 2017 series is really for me to watch on my (almost) brand new 4K TV. I have tendency to blend a trip's parts into one in my "mind's eye" so doing a series with my stills will aid my memory of the long trip. And, I have a very short list of relatives that want to see the stills. In other words, for the Europe series I will be ignoring your advice, even though I think you are right that the stills should be dumped.

One day I will have a camera that shoots video with 20 megapixels in each frame, records 60 frames every second, is rock stable, will zoom while staying focused and is light as a feather. It will be compact and have tremendous telephoto capabilities too.

Bill
Wait - you were at a still, and took no stills!

I also find it true that relatives want stills. and I have family stills I took in my office (8.5 x 11).

I agree with your wish list, except adding 120 fps. I think slow motion is really interesting (and it is used a lot by pros for that reason). Like everything, it can be overused. With 60P, you can also do slow motion if you render at 30P, which is perfectly fine. Might be interesting for your wildlife videos.

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post #8 of 9 Old 10-06-2017, 09:31 AM
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Generally speaking I agree with Mark's point on the importance of camera movement while recording. Aside from the definitive difference between video and stills photography, what sets video apart from stills from the shooter's perspective is the movement of the camera. It creates a sense of the dynamics of the transitional space that the viewers may or may not be aware but if done properly can make them feel immersive and enhance the overall viewing experience. Watching any good theatrical feature length movie you'd notice the camera(s) rarely stops moving. Most of the time it moves even if sometimes almost imperceptably.

The hard part for us one man shooters is also as Mark says, good movement requires capable equipment and skills that are up to it. Sliding shots are not the same as panning shots. Sometimes a good cameraman can incorporate sliding, panning and even tilting or zooming into a single shot if the equipment and resources allow him to do that. For most of us cspable equipment usually means perfectly smooth zoom that holds focus, camera and lens that can reliably track focus and at least some form of support such as a mechanical steadycam, electronic gimbal or certain types of monopods that would allow you to stably tilt, pan and make some limited fore and aft or side to side movement while the foot is set firmly on the ground etc.

Post production crop to 1080p from 4K sure helps but unless you don't mind sacrificing 3/4th of the resolution or you have an 8K portable handheld camera you definitely need some help for your camera and lens while you shoot.
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post #9 of 9 Old 10-07-2017, 04:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by P&Struefan View Post
Generally speaking I agree with Mark's point on the importance of camera movement while recording. Aside from the definitive difference between video and stills photography, what sets video apart from stills from the shooter's perspective is the movement of the camera. It creates a sense of the dynamics of the transitional space that the viewers may or may not be aware but if done properly can make them feel immersive and enhance the overall viewing experience. Watching any good theatrical feature length movie you'd notice the camera(s) rarely stops moving. Most of the time it moves even if sometimes almost imperceptably.

The hard part for us one man shooters is also as Mark says, good movement requires capable equipment and skills that are up to it. Sliding shots are not the same as panning shots. Sometimes a good cameraman can incorporate sliding, panning and even tilting or zooming into a single shot if the equipment and resources allow him to do that. For most of us cspable equipment usually means perfectly smooth zoom that holds focus, camera and lens that can reliably track focus and at least some form of support such as a mechanical steadycam, electronic gimbal or certain types of monopods that would allow you to stably tilt, pan and make some limited fore and aft or side to side movement while the foot is set firmly on the ground etc.

Post production crop to 1080p from 4K sure helps but unless you don't mind sacrificing 3/4th of the resolution or you have an 8K portable handheld camera you definitely need some help for your camera and lens while you shoot.
Thank you for your well written summary of the challenges in amateur video shooting. The thrill for us with good, but limited, tools is to find ways to get closer to self defined goals. As amateurs we don't need to measure ourselves on what viewers are willing to pay! The good and bad news is that I will never reach perfection. But the road to getting there can be satisfying.

Bill
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