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Re: The manual may say that, but.....

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ICExpoRe: The manual may say that, but.....
by on Dec 1, 2003 at 2:49:02 am

"We both know that no movie we have ever watched strictly follows this guideline."

If there is no foreground subject to divert the viewer's eye, then these are the rates you need to adhere to in order to get smooth motion. You simply cannot capture at a rate as slow as 24fps and expect the motion to be smooth if you move the camera too quickly. Pans at 24fps will never look like 60i, for the simple reason that 60i is capturing information two and a half times as quickly. You can get smoother motion by shooting at 30P, which retains a filmlike look as well, but not as much. We double-shot the "matrix" dolly/pan shot on the JVC HD1 and the DVX/mini35/24P, and even though the difference is only 30P to 24P, the JVC looks significantly more "video-ish" than the DVX footage does.


"To my eye, the DP's seem pretty free to pan as fast or slow as they wish. "

Once you start looking for it, you'll see dramatic strobing, to the point of offensiveness, in major motion pictures. But it's usually masked by having a subject character as the central point of focus. If you're following a character and you keep the character basically centered in the frame, and the viewer's eye is kept focused on that character, then yes, you can move the camera as fast as you want and most viewers won't notice any strobing, because they're not watching the background. But the background will be strobing -- it has to, at 24fps.

"I guess my point is that it seems very difficult to NOT get strobing with the DVX100. I'm sorry to disagree but I have not been able to get this camera to behave anything like a 35mm in terms of perceptable strobing"

We may indeed end up disagreeing, in which case I don't know how to advise you further. It is my experience that the DVX performs exactly like a film camera. That "matrix" dolly shot that I showed you earlier, we double-shot on 35mm, and I'm planning on having both shots put on the same reel so I can project them in the theater and see each back-to-back. I'm willing to be proven wrong if I am wrong, but so far the DVX has delivered film-style motion, identical to what my film cameras deliver. I've compared 16mm vs. DVX100 (I have some other shots that feature panning across someone as they're getting a massage, etc) and the motion is simply identical. It just is.

Now, one other thing you have to be aware of is the "telecine pan". I'm sure you're not falling victim to this, but I've had this discussion with others (usually video shooters) who have insisted that film pans are glass-smooth, and we were finally able to narrow it down to that they were watching pan 'n' scan versions of movies, and they'd see pans between characters and scream "look at that! That's smooth! I want that!" The difference is, of course, that that pan doesn't exist in the actual movie, it's created in the telecine suite by reframing the shot and then using the telecine to pan between the characters. That type of pan can be glass-smooth because it's generated at 60i.

"Now, I should point out that I have had no post experience with the carmera yet. Perhaps you're saying that this massive storbbing will go away when going through Cinema Tools or when I do a film out and throw this on a projector? "

The LCD screen/viewfinder appear to greatly accentuate the impression of strobing, because the LCD appears to only show a field at a time (speculation here). I believe the LCD has a resolution of something like 1440 x 200, so it can only show a half-frame, and instead of scaling the picture down I think it shows just one field. If that's the case, then it's showing strobing twice as hard as actually exists. View it on an external CRT monitor to see what the images ACTUALLY look like, maybe it will be les noticeable and more in line with what you're expecting?

"(As a side note, thank you again for your help on this. I'll also pick up that handbook - it seems it might help for video applications as well as film) "

Of course! Definitely get the ACM, it's the "bible" of cinematography articles, published by the American Society of Cinematographers. You can order it off their website (http://www.theasc.com, I think the current edition is 8th) or you can occasionally find it on ebay as well. It's a treasure trove of film and cinematography articles from the best pros.


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