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Rolling Shutter and Flashbanding on HMC40

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Stephen Pickering
Rolling Shutter and Flashbanding on HMC40
on Jan 2, 2011 at 1:04:07 am

Hi there,
I recently shot some reception dance footage using the HMC40. Unfortunately, the DJ used strobe lights for many of the dances which the rolling shutter on these cameras HATES. I know I can't shoot directly at the lights but even after moving as far away from the lights as possible I inevitably have some shots with banding. Is there anything I can do to clean this up in post?

I'm currently using PPro CS5 (but can use AE as well). I've had a little success with having two layers- the top layer offset 1 frame and blending mode set to "darken." I know Sonicfoundy makes a software to fix the jello effect but I don't think it does anything with flash banding... and costs an arm and a leg.

Again, I KNOW flash banding occurs, but as I said, sometimes it cannot be avoided- in this case it was on a riverboat, so logistically moving people/cameras was very difficult at best.

First and foremost I need to know if there are any post tricks I can try for this particular project. Then, is there anything I can do in the future to minimize the banding if I find myself with no other option but to shoot it?

Thanks!
-Stephen



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Dave LaRonde
Re: Rolling Shutter and Flashbanding on HMC40
on Jan 3, 2011 at 8:46:39 pm

[Stephen Pickering] "Again, I KNOW flash banding occurs, but as I said, sometimes it cannot be avoided"

It can if one chooses the proper camera.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Stephen Pickering
Re: Rolling Shutter and Flashbanding on HMC40
on Jan 4, 2011 at 2:42:12 am

Non to get off topic, but which camera would you recommend? We purchased two of the HMC40s because of their price and good reviews but never really noticed the flash band as an issue until this reception.



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Noah Kadner
Re: Rolling Shutter and Flashbanding on HMC40
on Jan 4, 2011 at 3:59:42 pm

honestly in 2011 rolling shutter and flash banding are pretty much here to stay with all the CMOS chip cameras out there. And truth be told, 99.999% of audiences/clients don't notice it or care. It's only us weirdos watching frame by frame in our editing bays who think it's an issue. I remember seeing it all over the place in the theater on 2012 (not a great movie but anyways) and nobody stood up and booed (about the rolling shutter/flash banding). It's a total non-issue unless you decide to make it one.

Noah

Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Canon 5D Mark II and 7D.


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Stephen Pickering
Re: Rolling Shutter and Flashbanding on HMC40
on Jan 4, 2011 at 11:50:08 pm

Hey Noah, thank you for the input! I know I notice a lot more "technical" issues that most audiences don't notice, but this particular client asked about it. It's not that they are upset but simply asked what it was. I explained to my best ability but I did notice that this particular case was much more noticeable, or maybe I'm just imagining it because the client asked about it. But I can't put my finger on why it's different- maybe it was the frequency of the strobe or maybe I was just too close because of the tight-space we had to work with.

This is why I was curious if there were post work-arounds, but also advice to help minimize it for future shoots.

Thank you again,

-Stephen



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Noah Kadner
Re: Rolling Shutter and Flashbanding on HMC40
on Jan 5, 2011 at 4:14:15 pm

Skew is fixable to a certain degree in post you can google for some plug ins. As for strobe banding- that's pretty much baked in. You can sorta fake fix it by covering the whole frame up with white or just cut out a frame or two. Other than that it's baked in.

Noah

Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Canon 5D Mark II and 7D.


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Dave Haynie
Re: Rolling Shutter and Flashbanding on HMC40
on Mar 8, 2011 at 6:13:24 am

I have dealt with flash banding with the following kludge.. works ok if you're fighting only one flash, lots of work if you have crazy flashes going on all the time.

First, find your banded frame. Cut it out, then duplicate the previous or next frame... if there's heavy motion, you might blend the two, whatever looks best. If it still looks weird, you can apply a flash effect to the blended frame.

There are plug-ins that can reduce the "jello" effect, but with the HMC40 I've never seen it pronounced enough to be an issue. Maybe a different story with DSLRs and other large-sensor cameras. You can, in theory, narrow the flash band by going to a higher shutter speed, but chances are, if people are using flash, you're in the dark, so that's probably not an option. An on-camera light will help, too, just by reducing the contrast change between flash and no flash, but you'll still see the banding.

Bottom line is that you want it look natural... no bonus points for making it look exactly like it would have without the flash, since no one knows what that was.

-Dave


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