19 Replies Latest reply on Oct 8, 2008 9:50 AM by Dan Isaacs

    Camera Choice for Slow Motion

      I have a choice of two cameras to do the type of work I want to do. This work would involve slowing down a fly fishing rod and adding graphics. (or golf club)

      The two cameras are the Cannon XHA1 and the Sony HUR-VIU

      I intend to shoot at 30p and use Adobe to slow the image down. I have been told to be careful about which camera I should use, but I am unclear as to the reasons one camera would be more suitable than the other is.

      Could someone help me?
        • 1. Re: Camera Choice for Slow Motion
          akribie Level 2
          There are some prosumer Sony camcorders on the market which can shoot for short periods of around 3 seconds at a much higher frame rate a
          than 30fps. When slowed down to normal rates in post, this will give very much more pleasing results than footage taken at normal speed and then slowed down.

          You might want to widen your candidate camera list to include such a device.
          • 2. Re: Camera Choice for Slow Motion
            Level 1
            I imagine you are correct. I will look into a seperate camera as well. However right now I could use some help on choosing between the two cameras above. Cannon XHA1 and the Sony HUR-VIU is there a difference for this type of shot between the two camera's.

            Would someone recommend a better camera in the same price range? Is this allowable within the forum?

            Dan
            • 3. Re: Camera Choice for Slow Motion
              Dan Isaacs Level 2
              Hi Dan --

              What about cameras that can do 60p? That will at least get you a perfect 50% speed. There's Panasonic's HVX-200a ... and some of the JVC HDV cameras can do 720/60p.

              -- Dan
              • 4. Re: Camera Choice for Slow Motion
                Level 1
                Hi Dan

                I will have a look at these. Still trying to get info on the choice between the Cannon model and the Sony though. I got an e-mail saying that the Cannon would not be as clean an image because it is not a "true" progressive at 30p... what the heck does that mean?

                Dan
                • 5. Re: Camera Choice for Slow Motion
                  Dan Isaacs Level 2
                  > not a "true" progressive at 30p... what the heck does that mean?

                  Perhaps it means that it does the so-called "30p over 60i" -- meaning there's an interlaced frame structure.

                  I think the relevance here is that Premiere will see it as "interlaced" and therefore it will deinterlace it when the speed change is applied. That sucks. I've seen similar issues in other tests I've done.

                  What percentage of your work are you looking to do slow-mo on? Assuming that it's something you'll only need a little bit of and only from time to time, you want want to look at processing it outside of Premiere (After Effects, for example, where you can turn off field separation via Interpret Footage, unlike in Premiere).
                  • 6. Re: Camera Choice for Slow Motion
                    Jim_Simon Level 8
                    What is meant is that the Canon camera actually uses interlaced CCDs. I believe the Sony does as well, but am less certain. I know the Panasonic uses true progressive CCDs, and can record variable frame rates in 720 mode for true slow motion.
                    • 7. Re: Camera Choice for Slow Motion
                      Level 1
                      Hi Dan

                      I was thinking Adobe After Effects for this. Might work well.

                      On a slight related tangent, there is software available that does a _very_ good job of generating slow motion from normal speed footage. In fact, the current video effect flavor of the day, suddenly shifting from normal to severe slow in the middle of a shot (and back to normal again), is often carried out with this software. I have seen demos of it where a credible motion scene has been derived from only two stills, one used as the start keyframe and the other as the stop/end keyframe. Made in France, it's called RealVIZ Re-Timer. About $1500 USD.
                      • 8. Re: Camera Choice for Slow Motion
                        Level 1
                        I am looking at that too.
                        • 9. Re: Camera Choice for Slow Motion
                          shooternz Level 6
                          Twixtor is still the best Slo Mo I have seen from any software "simulation of true camera type slo mo".
                          • 10. Re: Camera Choice for Slow Motion
                            Level 1
                            "What percentage of your work are you looking to do slow-mo on?"

                            Hi Dan

                            Probably I will need about 30 minutes (clean) over a 1.5 hour production.

                            Dan
                            • 11. Re: Camera Choice for Slow Motion
                              Dan Isaacs Level 2
                              > RealVIZ Re-Timer. About $1500 USD.

                              Crazy... I wrote something to do this for free :)

                              http://invertedhorn.axspace.com/timelapse.zip

                              OK, I didn't write the engine that does the actual motion estimation or anything -- and I certainly wouldn't try to compete with a high-end package like this, but it may be worth checking out. The motion-building is probably as good as Adobe's and the deinterlacing (if you're using interlaced material) is much better.

                              It simply a function I wrote for AviSynth 2.5.7. You'll also need VirtualDub or another program that can read .avs scripts.

                              Here's a thread about it: http://www.adobeforums.com/webx/.59b5eacc
                              • 12. Re: Camera Choice for Slow Motion
                                Level 1
                                Wow Dan

                                This is good stuff but a little over my head. Will have to sit down and go ovr this and study it.

                                thank you so very much.

                                Dan
                                • 13. Re: Camera Choice for Slow Motion
                                  Ann Bens Adobe Community Professional & MVP
                                  Graig: does Twixtor handle HDV?
                                  • 14. Re: Camera Choice for Slow Motion
                                    Level 1
                                    Good question Ann
                                    • 15. Re: Camera Choice for Slow Motion
                                      shooternz Level 6
                                      >Graig: does Twixtor handle HDV?

                                      Sorry ...do not know the answer to that and I can not test it (I have no HDV footage).
                                      • 16. Re: Camera Choice for Slow Motion
                                        Level 1
                                        Okay, let's cut to the chase.

                                        Neither Canon A1 nor Sony V1 do slow motion. Period. In their pricerange nobody does slow motion. Period. If you're going to use either of these cameras you will have to shoot regular speed and use the slow motion function in Premiere. Period.

                                        Now if you ask me which one I would use: Canon A1 hands down. Why? Simply because the V1 is a first generation CMOS while the A1 is a last generation 3CCD. The V1 will crush the dark greys into blacks which means the A1 has a better picture quality. The A1 will give you the best bang for the buck.

                                        The next step up would be to get a Z1 or a JVC 101 and if you go on Ebay, you may get a great deal.

                                        The next step up is flash card type cameras. This is where the slow motion may be possible. But here you're two notches up in pricetag.

                                        If budget is an issue, get the A1.

                                        If budget is not an issue get the EX1.

                                        If you want to sit somewhere in between... get the Z1 which is way better than the V1 and much less expensive than the EX1.
                                        • 17. Re: Camera Choice for Slow Motion
                                          TradeWind Level 3
                                          Between the Canon and Sony, I would go with the Canon.

                                          Panasonic's HVX200a would be the superior choice, but is about $1,000 to $1,500 more. Plus, your options are MiniDV tape for DV25 or P2 card for all the myriad HD options plus MiniDV. But...there's no tape option for HD (like HDV does) so that may affect your purchasing decision if you're going the HD route. It comes with a 16 GB P2 card, but you may need more than one card if you're shooting a lot of footage and won't have time to offload the files to a computer.

                                          The next option you may want to consider is the Panny HPX170. Similar in many ways to the HVX200a, but the main difference is no tape drive, only P2 slots.

                                          Then there's the HMC150, which shoots AVCHD onto the little SD (or SDHC) cards. There's also no tape drive here, but the SD cards are relatively cheap and from what I'm reading so far, the quality of the HD is comparable to the HVX200a when shooting 720p at the highest quality setting (PH I believe...?). That camera is available for about $3,500, so that should definitely fit your budget, and give you a little extra cash to buy more SD cards.
                                          • 18. Re: Camera Choice for Slow Motion
                                            Level 1
                                            Thanks Christian and JuJuFactory.

                                            Christian

                                            Unfortunatley I am limited to either the Cannon or the Sony, (it is complicated).

                                            Given that I have my shooting schedule worked out right, it might be better to just rent a high speed camera for the few days I might need it. Might be the best solution. There is of course the question of matching formats etc. This will probably be the next question.

                                            Dan
                                            • 19. Re: Camera Choice for Slow Motion
                                              Dan Isaacs Level 2
                                              > Unfortunatley I am limited to either the Cannon or the Sony

                                              Well, then you should consider using 60i instead of 30p. Assuming you use a good double-rate deinterlacer (like my earlier AviSynth script recommedation) you will have greater temporal resolution to work with for building your slomo.

                                              What kind of speed reductions are you looking to do? (50%, 25%, less??)