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Can EX-1 or EX-3 shoot fast moving objects with the "rolling shutter" issues

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Bill Giglio
Can EX-1 or EX-3 shoot fast moving objects with the "rolling shutter" issues
on Aug 21, 2010 at 4:57:15 pm

I want to buy the EX-1 for my boating lifestlye videos because my client wants better quality images than HDV. Like everyone else, I'm a nanosecond away from purchasing a camera when I find something out that puts me right back on the fence. And the blog that put me there: CMOS sensor wobble and skew.


1. I do shoot helicopter footage of the boats as the zip along. Then I saw horrible, wobbling footage shot with a cmos sensor camera. (albeit of a consumer camera)
2. I do shoot many fast moving boats and jet-ski's. I then read that, though the moving image should be okay, the background may exhibit skew!


Should be okay? How can this be? Why make a VIDEO camera that has the inclination problems? Does that mean: do not use the EX-1 or the EX-3 for any sport?? Are these flaws exaggerated? I 'd use a Canon 5D if all I shot were architecture and interviews.'d use a Canon 5D if all I shot were architecture and interviews. But I shoot action-styled video, where things move. Someone please tell me that they've shot quick-moving objects successfully?


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Michael Slowe
Re: Can EX-1 or EX-3 shoot fast moving objects with the "rolling shutter" issues
on Aug 21, 2010 at 5:57:50 pm

The issues to which you refer I believe are only encountered when there are flashes occurring in your scenes. I don't think you have that problem with fast movement and to make the best of this there are various shutter set ups to assist you which doubtless will be explained by better men than me as soon as they return to work.

Michael Slowe


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Craig Seeman
Re: Can EX-1 or EX-3 shoot fast moving objects with the "rolling shutter" issues
on Aug 21, 2010 at 6:23:36 pm

Generally if you're following the subject it's not going to skew. Yes it is possible for the background to skew.

If the camera is wobbling a lot you can certainly get the jello effect. Generally if the camera is wobbling quickly enough to cause that, the non jello shot coming from a CCD camera isn't going to be very usable either. The one difference is that stabilizer plugin in post production might salvage the CCD camera shot. I believe there are plugins coming to market to handle this with CMOS skew as well.

There are much more expensive cameras using CMOS chips these days. It comes down to cost/benefit. The popular RED cameras have this. All the HDSLR cameras have this. The reason why CMOS has gained popularity is the ability to producer larger chips (greater Depth of Field control as well as greater light sensitive) at lower cost and better heat handling and more efficient power use (allowing them to be placed in smaller bodies).

In short, you can't put 1/2" 3 CCD chips into a body as small as or a price as low as an EX1r or EX3.

To many people the skewing is not really an aesthetic problem. It's simply an characteristic commensurate with the means of acquisition just as film has grain and tends to be shot at the low temporal motion of 24fps.

I often shoot Tennis. I have to follow people running up and down a court. The EX1 looks far better than the DVCAM I used to shoot with with a comparably priced camera. There's no obvious skewing. The client hasn't noticed it since I switched over 2 and half years ago. I see others using it for soccer/football without problems. I've seen the skewing in those shots and, if anything, it seems to add to the dynamism. Someone has to be moving really fast relative to the background in order to see it. Sony's original demo videos were of an air show and I suspect the plans were moving reasonably fast to stay airborne and there's no skewing there either.

In short, many people have no problem shooting action sports with the EX1.

If you 1/2" CCD chips instead you can always get a Sony F355 at about $28,000 although it's not quite as small and portable as the EX1. Of course for that price you can get 3 EX3 or 4 EX1 and do an excellent multicam shoot.



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Bill Giglio
Re: Can EX-1 or EX-3 shoot fast moving objects with the
on Aug 21, 2010 at 7:39:47 pm

Thank-You for your replies, Gentlemen.

I do understand the cost to quality ratio. Something has to give.

As for the Sony aerial footage you mentioned, I wonder if the sky was a constant blue background where no aberration would be detected? Or flip-side: a plane whizzing by a something fast in the background wouldn't leave enough time to even see skew. In my boating videos, my background is rippled, splashing, roiling water. Perhaps that will "hide" these artifacts, or as Craig mentioned, enhance the motion. .

..I best not pan across a dock piling in the background though.. or I'll be skewed!

I wonder if the EX-1R iteration fixed some CMOS sensor problems? Is it even possible to tweek a sensor?? I've read it's tough to fix skew, and just about impossible to fix wobble and partial exposure, in post.

What's a shooter to do? I do appreciate all input.

Thanks!


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Craig Seeman
Re: Can EX-1 or EX-3 shoot fast moving objects with the
on Aug 21, 2010 at 8:15:26 pm

[Bill Giglio] "As for the Sony aerial footage you mentioned, I wonder if the sky was a constant blue background where no aberration would be detected?"

I think the foreground to background distance may be a factor. Clouds thousands of feet away might not show much skew. On the other hand if the plane whipped past a series of polls a few dozen feet away and the polls my skew.

[Bill Giglio] "n my boating videos, my background is rippled, splashing, roiling water. "

In this case the background subject matter make a difference. I'm not sure if skewed water would be too obvious to most people.

[Bill Giglio] "..I best not pan across a dock piling in the background though.. or I'll be skewed!"

That certainly could happen but most people might be focused on the subsequent crash (wink, sorry for the poor taste).

[Bill Giglio] "I wonder if the EX-1R iteration fixed some CMOS sensor problems? Is it even possible to tweek a sensor??"

Believe me, engineers are working on this. Faster scan times will decrease this for example. It reminds me of the early days of Tube vs CCD cameras. Eventually CCD got better. Eventually CMOS will get better.


[Bill Giglio] " I've read it's tough to fix skew, and just about impossible to fix wobble and partial exposure, in post."

Sony has flash band fix built into ClipBrowser but it seems to work best on interlaced video. There are third party plugins that can handle flash and skew as well. It does take a bit of work though.

[Bill Giglio] "What's a shooter to do? I do appreciate all input."

I guess most everyone in this forum decided on the EX. Some of us do shoot sports with it. Your alternative would be to go with 1/3" CCD (unless you really can afford 1/2" CCD but then you may not have asked the question if that was the case). I think some people chose the JVC HM700 series for just such reason . . . but 1/3" CCDs certainly have downsides and I think those of us that are here in this forum decided that the EX wins for us at least.

It might be best if some of the sports shooters posted. I mentioned that I've had no problem with my Tennis shoots and some of these are local cable tv spots.



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olof ekbergh
Re: Can EX-1 or EX-3 shoot fast moving objects with the "rolling shutter" issues
on Aug 21, 2010 at 8:01:27 pm

To be sure I would rent the EXcam and do a test shoot.

There definitely is a skew effect in fast pans, but only on the background, if you are following an object.

I do a lot of shooting of boats and jet-skis. And I have never had a problem with a shot, that a client pointed out, even though I can see the effect, because I know of it.

If you want to see a good demonstration of the effect do rapid swish-pans continually changing direction, with vertical lines like doors and windows or distant houses or flagpoles. The effect is like a funhouse mirror. But how often do you shoot like that? I have never actually used a shot like that.

I do know some shooters that do car races with long lenses that find CMOS chips unusable. But I also know several who shoot Nascar and short track, for broadcast, with EXcams and never even commented on the effect.

Olof Ekbergh


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Rafael Amador
Re: Can EX-1 or EX-3 shoot fast moving objects with the "rolling shutter" issues
on Aug 22, 2010 at 2:38:28 am

I second Olof,rent an EX-1 and try.
My self in two and half years haven't had any rolling-shutter issue.
I think that you must be showing something really boring for the people to spot any skew.
rafel

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Bill Giglio
Re: Can EX-1 or EX-3 shoot fast moving objects with the "rolling shutter" issues
on Aug 22, 2010 at 3:04:31 am

Thanks for all posts. I haven't purchased the camera yet, and you're helping me with my due diligence.

Some great engineers I know have recently told me that the EX-1 (and EX-3) is better suited for more controlled environments than sports. But the Panavision PD-170, the other camera I'm comparing to, needs much more light. And I'm not a fan of the pana's glass. Some people say the image looks moody. I say it looks kind of muddy.

I need them both, in one..at a decent price-point! Seriously, make a global shutter and I'd guess the problem goes away.

Still love to hear from more EX-1 or EX-3 shooters who, like Olef, have shot quick-moving, action-oriented content.


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Rafael Amador
Re: Can EX-1 or EX-3 shoot fast moving objects with the "rolling shutter" issues
on Aug 22, 2010 at 5:37:55 am

[Bill Giglio] "the Panavision PD-170,"
I guess you mean the PANASONIC AG-HPX170
That could be a great camera if some brainless wouldn't had decided to put 1/3" CCDs.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Craig Seeman
Re: Can EX-1 or EX-3 shoot fast moving objects with the "rolling shutter" issues
on Aug 22, 2010 at 3:00:42 pm

Rafael hits the key point head on. BTW I feel the same way about Canon's new camera as well.

To me, 1/3" chips is a far more serious aesthetic hindrance than skew. Having a long DOF that doesn't allow the DP to focus attention on the subject is a non starter for me.

When you evaluate aesthetics, some "unsaid" things by the viewer have psychological impact. You may be able to see and "name" skew but generally viewers won't notice it as a "problem" IMHO. On the other hand people aren't like to see and "name" deep DOF but they'll often get the general sense that the shot is "videoy" or "cheap." Deep DOF is often a serious distraction, much more so than skew, especially in sports.

I want to control the viewer's focus on the subject, not the background. This is actually why the skew is often NOT a bother in sports but deep DOF is a bother.

People who make video are pushing for MORE DOF control and anything being made with 1/3" chips is a big FAIL in my aesthetic book.



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Clint Fleckenstein
Re: Can EX-1 or EX-3 shoot fast moving objects with the "rolling shutter" issues
on Aug 23, 2010 at 2:27:08 pm

I haven't had any jello-cam issues on a variety of footage, although I know they're possible to come by. As far as skewing, isn't that mostly noticeable by putting a vertical line in your shot and panning back and forth? Otherwise I doubt it's a problem for the viewer.

If one's going to get hyper-critical about movement, you can always get into the idea that MPEG footage may go soft during motion, too. That may not seem like a big deal until you try to stabilize it.

I have the Sony air stunt footage (they sent out demo DVDs to interested customers) and it looks amazing. I looked for those artifacts, albeit not frame-by-frame, and was sold on the EX cameras after viewing. I was already spooked by all the people crying from the mountaintops about long-GOP issues, jello-cam issues, skewing issues, and whatever else you can throw at them. The footage on the DVD and from our initial tests with the camera put my fears to rest. Bottom line is, I'm happy with the footage and the price point.

One other thing I could point out is that these cameras are reasonably forgiving. I'm primarily an editor and resident workflow guy, but when I do get to go out on a second unit shoot or something I'm easily able to get what I want from these cameras even if I'm a bit rusty. I'm no ace cinematographer, but I'm able to get clear, properly exposed footage with great detail and it makes my superiors and clients happy.

Cf


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Brent Dunn
Re: Can EX-1 or EX-3 shoot fast moving objects with the "rolling shutter" issues
on Aug 27, 2010 at 7:41:28 pm

I shoot sports shots.(say that 3 times really fast) I've shot boats also with no problems. Not from a helicopter. I shoot a lot of soccer games which require a lot of whip pans since the action is constantly switching directions.

Since you are not sure, I would recommend renting a camera and going out on a shoot. You'll be happy with the results, but if it doesn't quite live up to your expectations, your only out a few hundred bucks. If you like it, you'll feel better about your purchase.

The Canon 5D / 7D would not be a good choice. They do suffer a lot of rolling shutter issues and they are hard to focus / zoom on moving targets.

Brent Dunn
Owner / Director / Editor
DunnRight Video.com

Sony EX-1, V1U
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 7D
Mac Pro Tower, Quad Core,
with Final Cut Studio

HP i7 Quad laptop
w/ Adobe CS-4 Production Suite, After Effects
& CS-5 Production Suite. Window's 7

Manfrotto Tripod's & Heads



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Craig Seeman
Re: Can EX-1 or EX-3 shoot fast moving objects with the "rolling shutter" issues
on Aug 27, 2010 at 8:00:38 pm

Tangentially I ran into this website today. It seems their stabilizer plugin and stand alone utility can fix rolling shutter issues.
http://www.prodad.com/home/products/videostabilizing/300391667,l-us.xhtml

I believe CoreMelt has a stabilizer plugin (Lock & Load) that can do this as well but it's specific to Final Cut.

Keep in mind that these are "compromises" because, as software stabilizers, they may need to blow up the image a bit as part of the fix. I'd just thought I'd point them out for those who really really really need to fix the odd skewed shot.



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Ronnie Martin
Re: Can EX-1 or EX-3 shoot fast moving objects with the "rolling shutter" issues
on Aug 27, 2010 at 5:39:35 pm

I have shot over 300 hours of high speed car racing over the past two years at night with both the ex-1 and ex-3. The cars are moving at over 100 mph and the light (which is very low) changes every 10 or 15 feet or so. Because of the fast moving cars and the changing light we operate auto iris and the ex cameras keep up without a problem. The footage is aired on 4 TV stations in my state. We shoot 1920x1080i and the end result for the TV stations is SD 4x3 DVCAM tape. The show is 1 hour long and we are in our 20th show for this season. There are times when I am running as much as 9db of gain and the iris is at 1.9 and I still get amazing results under the most extreme circumstances. As of this date the Ex cameras have never let me down and we are considering buying two more. One more EX-1R and a EX320. The rolling shutter has not been a problem when the still camera guys are shooting the post race interview. Once or twice in the past two seasons I have seen the banding on a frame when the still camera went off right next to me. I just inserted a white frame over this frame the effect was not a problem.

When Sony came out with the EX series the hit a home run in my estimation.

My only complaint is the off on switch on both cameras and the fact that there is not a station in my state that can originate HD programing. I was so disappointed when I visited some of the stations and saw their infrastructure. I hate to see my HD footage down converted to SD.

Ronnie Martin

Ronnie Martin
Kato Video Productions
http://www.dirtracingvideo.com
http://www.ramtv.tv


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Bill Giglio
Re: Can EX-1 or EX-3 shoot fast moving objects with the "rolling shutter" issues
on Aug 30, 2010 at 3:31:07 am

Hey All, thanks for taking the time to post. I appreciate the input.

I bought the EX-1R and I'm stoked. I only got three days with it before it left today on a job, but the footage I test shot is fine. No overtly observable artifacts. I'll post once this shoot wraps with more definite findings.

..Now, if I could only get comfortable with tapeless workflow. Not too confident in Clip Browser; have heard Shotput is the way to go. Hope all those BPAV file opens in post!


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