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Bruno

Sony RX100: Getting the best video out of it...

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Bruno, thanks for this advice. My main gripe with the RX100 is trying to do 24p with the NTSC version.  Neither 30p nor 60p cleanly converts to 24p (at regular speed, not slow-mo).  It always has that weird, skipped-frame look.  

 

I've used Optical Flow rate conforming in FCP X to some success, but it's never been perfect.

 

I understand you're in a PAL region and are shooting 25p, but if anyone has any advice on getting non-jerky 24p out of this cam I'd appreciate the help.

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

I'm actually not in a PAL region at the moment, but I ordered the PAL version of the camera exactly because of that.

It's a shame Sony won't make these cameras world cameras.

 

Anyway, when shooting 60i (30p in fact), have you tried playing around with the shutter speeds and see what looks better?

Have you used 1/50? (the closest to 1/48, which would be the same as an 180 degrees shutter in a film camera)

Some people here defend that 1/40 looks more cinematic than 1/50, maybe you could try that as well?

 

I think that might get you closer than using optical flow retimes. At least for handheld or locked camera footage it should look pretty good.

Smooth pans or dolly shots could still look a bit jittery though...

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Question to OP (and everybody else).

 

How are you finding the RX100, especially coming from the canon 7D - are you satisfied with the quality, the fixed lens, and with it as a filmmaking tool - is it everything you expected it to be? Are you able to do the same kind of projects as before, or are the limitations of this kind of camera a bit to much. Basically, knowing what you know today - would you still have bought the RX100 as a filmmaking tool? 

 

Reason I'm asking it that I'm thinking about getting one myself - as a sole camera for minor personal projects until im more aware of my needs and then ready to buy into a system (camera and lenses).

 

Thx

Michael

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I've tried pretty much everything - different shutter speeds, different conform tools - and the results are hit-and-miss depending on what kind of motion is happening in the frame.  It's got to be possible to get good results though; I read that Act of Valor was shot in 30p.  Maybe it's just a bit of a painstaking process.

 

I've also thought about ordering a PAL RX100 off Ebay just for the 25p.  

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I don't find that 24p with dropped frames looks too bad (not amazing, but not bad), but it would be so much easier to just have true 24p. The biggest problem is trying to add the footage to other sources that are 24p. Otherwise I would just leave the projects as 30p, which in my opinion looks fine with a slow shutter speed.

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Have you read this? Might be worth a try if you have FCP...

 

http://philipbloom.net/2009/05/30/how-to-convert-canon-5dmk2-footage-from-30p-to-24p/

I think the Philip Bloom method is obsolete now that FCP X has Optical Flow built into its rate conforming.  Bloom is essentially tweaking the old FCP to do the same thing, only in a much more labor-intensive way.

 

I think FCP Optical Flow (essentially the same as Twixtor) is the way to go. It's just damn slow rendering and not always 100% perfect, especially if the footage was shot at the wrong shutter angle.  ReelSmart Motion Blur can help fix the shutter angle issue though. That plugin works wonders for restoring motion blur.  I blogged about that recently at rungunshoot.com.

 

And I shy away from 60p for non-slow motion because of the compression artifacts. If you have a lot of camera and/or subject movement in the frame, the compression shows up in a really obvious and ugly way.  And in my tests 60p/24p isn't any smoother than 30p/24p.

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That's strange, I did a bunch of tests and 60p always looked cleaner and had less compression artifacts than 30p. I know this doesn't sound right, but my tests showed otherwise. I also tried twixtor, but to me it still looked better dropping frames.

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Are you using 24mbps FX mode in 30p? The default is 17mbps, which will definitely show more compression.

 

And I also assume you're looking at  de-interlaced footage...

 

I've stepped through the 60p footage frame-by-frame to see just how it handles motion, and it looks like every other frame gets short-changed on the bitrate.  So there will be one clean frame followed by one blocky, highly-compressed frame, followed by another clean frame, etc.  30p seems to give each frame equal bitrate.

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Yes I was looking at 24 mbps in 30p deinterlaced. I recorded a tree with high detail and compared 60p vs 30p and the 60p looked better and less artifacts. That's interesting that you say that every other frame looks more compressed. I'll have to do some more tests!

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60p at 28Mbps will give you almost half the bitrate of 30p at 24Mbps, per frame.

I don't know exactly how Sony is compressing the footage though, how many keyframes it uses, their frequency, etc. which would also have an important effect on the final results.

 

60p however will give you twice as much information if you're planning on retiming using optical flow, so that could make up for the lower bit rate, helping the optical flow make a better job.

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I believe the way the avchd compression works means the difference in data between frames when shooting at higher frame rates (50p or 60p) is less than the difference in data between frames when shooting at 24p, 25p or 30p.  Because of the way the data is compressed, the codec records the difference between the next frame and its previous frame, rather than storing the specific data from each.  In all but the fastest camera movements or footage of organic from such as animal fur the fact that higher frame rates only have a little more bitrate allowance doesnt have much of an effect on actual data retained per frame.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udADA8IhKfo

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Atleast with the Sony nex-5n, the compression is significantly worse when doing 50p instead of 25p. It will also alias more. So I will stick with 25p usually. Same thing with the FS700. When doing 50p, it is significantly worse compression, unless you use s&p. If you use smooth motion, it will use the buffer to record 24mbps AVCHD as a 25p stream so the compression is better.

 

I have no idea how someone can see it differently, but there it is.

 

28mbps at 50p = sucks. Just a little bit of motion and half the frames break up. Macroblocking and smoothing.

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Question to OP (and everybody else).

 

How are you finding the RX100, especially coming from the canon 7D - are you satisfied with the quality, the fixed lens, and with it as a filmmaking tool - is it everything you expected it to be? Are you able to do the same kind of projects as before, or are the limitations of this kind of camera a bit to much. Basically, knowing what you know today - would you still have bought the RX100 as a filmmaking tool? 

 

Reason I'm asking it that I'm thinking about getting one myself - as a sole camera for minor personal projects until im more aware of my needs and then ready to buy into a system (camera and lenses).

 

Thx

Michael

 

My post got somewhat hidden away due to the "first-post-are-moderated" rule.

So i'm just bringing it to the attention of the tread (one time only).

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Thx

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How are you finding the RX100, especially coming from the canon 7D - are you satisfied with the quality, the fixed lens, and with it as a filmmaking tool

 

I'm very satisfied with image quality for the camera it is. Make no mistakes though, this is not a 7D, this is a fragile little camera, if the lens decides to get stuck there's probably not much I'll be able to do about it on the spot, It'd be risky to use it even on a small production if have a team depending on it. The built in lens is great, especially at 28mm since it goes to 1.8, but more limited in longer focal lengths.

 

The dealing with menus also feels more fiddly than dealing with Canon menus, there are more confirmation screens, consumer level alerts, it's not as "mechanical" and direct as with a Canon, and the buttons are tiny, and pressing a button will most likely cause the camera to move...

 

Also, I never felt the sturdiness of a Canon 7D. I had no problem shooting under rain or snow with the 7D, I wouldn't even risk it with the RX100. There's also something about the Canon image quality that you just don't get, even if you get slightly more resolution with the RX100. 

 

But then again, these are all points that seemed obvious to me when I first got it, so no disappointment at all, it's an amazing pocket camera, and I'm thinking about shooting a small short with it, even considering all the risks.

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You can switch off most of the hand-holding in camera then customise the shortcuts, and it's really fast. I have the left button swp between auto and manual focus with peaking for example, and right to change ISO.

 

I've used it on two shoots so far, it's done extremely well! I even attached a filter thread to the front so I could add a UV for protection and a fader ND.

 

I wish it were a faster lens when zoomed in, but you can't have it all eh? The RAW stills are quite brilliant.

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