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Andrew Reid

A camera test with a difference - multicam shoot for "Bunny Suit" with the Sony A7S, Nikon D750 and 5 more

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Bunny Suit - Weird Ballad live at Tempelton Studio, Berlin. Directed by Andrew Reid. Watch on YouTube.

Berlin based band Bunny Suit (follow here on Facebook / SoundCloud) recently went into Temeplton Studio to lay down some tracks.

We decided to shoot a live video of the recording which would then be synced up perfectly with the final mix of the tracks in post.

The Sony A7S in this shoot is graded using the lovely "Manchester" LUT from James Miller's Deluts pack. But there were 6 other cameras backing it up. Can you tell which is which!?

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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

This is so good! The composition on each shot is just right! Refreshing to see this in a live music video as opposed to the norm - tons of shakeycam, super shallow dof close ups. This suites the music much better. 

 

Personally i I love the fs100 shot, though I think partially it has to do with the framing. I'm falling in love with the image from the D750 and D810 the more I use them. 

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Andrew, try Final Cut Pro X, it has awesome multicam editing feature. Easy sync, easy cut. 

Anyway, nice footage, A7s and GM1 has the favorite looks for me in this footage, 

Will you upload this to Vimeo too? i would like to see the "uncompressed" version

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We synced this in Premiere by moving the master track by audio-time code for precision less than a frame, whilst syncing the video clips based on the waveforms from the inbuilt mics. It worked and wasn't too time consuming. So how does FCPX do it automatically and is it straight forward & reliable or do you end up fiddling with it afterwards to fix it?

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We synced this in Premiere by moving the master track by audio-time code for precision less than a frame, whilst syncing the video clips based on the waveforms from the inbuilt mics. It worked and wasn't too time consuming. So how does FCPX do it automatically and is it straight forward & reliable or do you end up fiddling with it afterwards to fix it?

 I edit about 2 music videos a week on FCPX and it's absolutely awesome. It syncs all the clips together, then you get a very fluid and intuitive multi-cam to choose the best angles. 

I've always thought they should rename FCPX "Final Cut Pro Music Video Editor", that program is made for it. It's easily the best tool for the job. 

The he only downside to the fantastic performance of the auto-sync is that it doesn't like non-native files imported straight from the camera card, like .MTS and .MXF files. It totally fucks up. Better transcoding first and importing the clips after if not shooting ProRes or H264. 

There is still this bitter image of FCPX in the minds of many people. It's been out for nearly 4 years. It's great now. Time to wake up!!!

 

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Interesting test. I couldn't really notice any difference between the different cameras. But that said, I wasn't really looking. It was more a case of 'This shot looks good', 'this one could have been framed better', 'this one looks nice', 'editing here could have been tighter', and so on. The shot of the vocalist for example. Personally, I would have found a way to frame him on his own, instead of including the keyboard player at the back. So in my eyes, the fact that it was shot on the A7S is irrelevant.

If anything, I guess it proves that the choice of camera is not really important. As long as whatever camera being used has decent enough image quality and can handle whatever type of lighting is being used, whether it's the sun, tungsten, street lights or whatever, you should be good to go. Of course having a large sensor and decent lenses will help too if you're after a shallow DOF. But still, at the end of the day the content will always be most important.

Oh, and a tip for Youtube. You may not spot it, but Youtube delays the audio by at least one frame. When I make a music video for an artist, I always do two versions, one for Youtube with the audio moved forward one frame, and another for Vimeo or normal playback with no adjustments. You can check that Youtube sync error by downloading a video you've uploaded there and comparing it with the original by looking at the audio waveform in relation to the frames on a timeline.
to go.

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

Lovely, just lovely! What an easy way to shoot a music video, never thought ot would work so well!! 

And I even loved the music as a 62 year-old middle eastren man, that tells you something! 

My only criticism, the main vocalist shot, which included the keyboard guy, it was fine on it's own, but at the end, the music was screaming for a closeup on the vocalist face, Look at how enthusiastic hey is, you must emphasize that with even a crop of the same shot near the end. 

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

The weird thing is, I couldn't identify any cameras except for one, the D750! It's my favourite shot too, the colours have something that just doean't exiat in all the other shots, it sings all by itself! 

 

My least favourite shot was the a7s, looks dead colour wise, and the framing of cut keyboard and not getting closeups of the vocalist were why I hated it most, 

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Andrew, try Final Cut Pro X, it has awesome multicam editing feature. Easy sync, easy cut. 

We synced this in Premiere by moving the master track by audio-time code for precision less than a frame, whilst syncing the video clips based on the waveforms from the inbuilt mics.

​Premiere has mutli camera too that does a good job of syncing tracks and is easy to edit with.  I've used it with continuous takes on multi cameras plus dropping in shorter takes for closeups and movement.  I used to move things manually by waveform but after testing the multicam I realised it does a much better (and quicker) job.

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My least favourite shot was the a7s, looks dead colour wise, and the framing of cut keyboard and not getting closeups of the vocalist were why I hated it most, 

​Yep agreed... I cant say why, but I have never warmed to the A7s look.... I was gonna buy one a while back to use with my GH4, but the image just doesnt do anything for me at all.

Obviously others love it, but hey we all have different tastes

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

​Yep agreed... I cant say why, but I have never warmed to the A7s look.... I was gonna buy one a while back to use with my GH4, but the image just doesnt do anything for me at all.

Obviously others love it, but hey we all have different tastes

​Yes me too. WHY? 

what is it that makes the a7s look so.... life-less, so dead? there must be something we can put our hands on, techinal element, there IS something! I'll start a new thread about it trying to find it, but lets try it here for example, is it skin?

Something I noticed in all a7s images and mine, the skin does not contain the colour red. It's flat out yellow + green shift.

lets take a technical look:

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Get what I am trying to point out? all the other cameras pick up red in their skin (even the gh4 shooting the same a7s person) yet the a7s doesn't pick any reddish tone, any blood vessel appearance, any LIFE. This is what 90% of a7s skin samples look 

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Yellow, desaturated colour with slight greenish shift. 

That's one of the main elements I am trying to gather why a7s footage looks dead in colour, will get into more samples and tests in another topic
 

On the other side, here's why d750 image was my instant favourite, it showed new colours in the video not visible in all the other shots. Here trying to emphasize it: it shows the blue colour from the light at the bottom (other cameras didn't even shooting the same area), it picked redness in the guitar with fine variation to yellow (all the others picked it straight yellow), and is picked blood and life in the talents skin more than all the others with fine variation from the vessel-rich areas to yellow/beige areas of his skin

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and it's not a matter of grading because even when you de saturate the d750 image the colours are still there, and when you saturate a7s colours the colours don't come up, to get it to d750 colours one would need to paint every specific area with a secondary colour corrector tool. 

This might be all the ''colour science" thing we're always raving about...

The a7s is sharpest though, and gets all the other elements of high image quality right, just not this one. D750 is softish (imagine Nikon colours + sharpness) and em1 looked flat-out terrible quality wise, normal good colour however.

Now that's what I call pixel peeping :rolleyes:
 

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I find there can be an advantage on certain shoots to have less red in the skin tones, particularly when the talent looks flushed/has skin issues/looks rashy. You should always use a make-up artist to help of course, yet less red still helps regardless. 

Another reason some people mention the skin tones/colour is dead on the A7S is because they think they don't need to light the scene, due to the great lowlight function. A complete load of nonsense really. ALL cameras perform best under careful lighting - if you are simply exposing the image with random colours of available light then of course it's going to look very off. Every single person who even thinks of operating any camera needs to know that lighting is key!!!

I've been shooting with the FS7 a lot - the images are pretty horrible if you are depending on your f-stops and ISO as your "light source". Blotchy, noisey, soft, awful colour. Stick a few lights around and the image is absolutely outstanding in every codec, mode and resolution. Terrific!

The EM-1 doesn't have good internal quality at all, however I think the shot used in Andrew's video is so soft and blotchy because the key light source is far too dim. The camera is struggling. A much brighter light would of made the EM-1 look much, much better.

It's cool what Andrew has done here - but I think it would be an unfair camera test as the lighting conditions in the location differ greatly from shot to shot. Also more angles and cuts would of been cool with some B-roll chopped in. Increased lighting for added clarity and style. :) 

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So basically what you are saying is A7S = perfect camera to shoot The Simpsons with?

Not sure who you're replying to but...

I think the best camera to shoot The Simpsons with would be the GH4. Switch on Synchro Scan, put it on a tripod, point at a TV and there you go! 4k Simpsons!! Although skin tones will be a bit off. ;) 

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

So basically what you are saying is A7S = perfect camera to shoot The Simpsons with?

​Hahahahahaha! I LOVE this!! 

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