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Why is video blurry in post-editing?

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Joe Bee
Why is video blurry in post-editing?
on Feb 17, 2015 at 7:54:29 am
Last Edited By Joe Bee on Feb 17, 2015 at 7:56:51 am

98% of my shooting is video. I use a camcorder (Sony PJ760) and most of the time I leave it on auto (1920 HD 60i, i believe it's 17 Mbps to save memory space).

What I like to do in post-editing is grab stills from my video footage instead of just taking dedicate photos from the camcorder (which it is capable of doing).

So for example, from a short 30 second video clip, I may extract say 40 or 50 pictures, frame by frame. But the problem that I'm encountering a lot is that the video in frame by frame mode seems to be blurry 75% of the time. For every 4 or 5 frames, 1 will turn out very clear, while the rest are blurry (either because the camera or subject was in motion or auto focus wasn't working).

I'm not sure if this is because the actual footage is blurry or maybe the software program I am using to playback the video is making it look blurry.
I used deinterlace mode "blend" and it helps a bit but still I can only get 1 clear frame for every 4 or 5 frames.

Something that helped a lot was to manually adjust my shutter speed from the auto setting of 60 to about 180 or 250. I didn't want to go up to 400 as footage seemed to get darker. But at 180 or 250 shutter speed, the frame by frame was much clearer. Probably 2 or 3 out of every 4 frames was now clearer.

Is this the only way to ensure how to get clear frame by frame stills from my video footage? I basically want to record video footage but in the post-editing, I want to play it frame by frame and extract the clear and focused stills as much as I can, especially when the subject or the camera is in motion. In the auto setting, it's practically useless as all the frame by frame stills are blurry unless I'm absolutely still as a statue and the subject also.


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Rob White
Re: Why is video blurry in post-editing?
on Feb 17, 2015 at 9:04:46 am
Last Edited By Rob White on Feb 17, 2015 at 9:09:50 am

You already have the answer my friend. The higher your shutter, the better still motion you are going to capture. Here is a great video to explain why this is the case. So if you are going to extract stills, definitely light well, use shallow DOF and sharp focus points, with a low ISO.

It's the same as shooting with a still camera. To capture any motion you want to be at least around 1/200 shutter. I shoot sports around 1/1000 depending.

ALSO (EDIT) - You should generally shoot your video at a frame rate that matches your shutter by doubles. So if you're at 24fps Shoot at 1/50, 1/100. 1/200. - for 60fps shoot at 1/120 or 1/240.
This may also help sharpen your stills.



Hope this helps.

-r


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Joe Bee
Re: Why is video blurry in post-editing?
on Feb 17, 2015 at 10:50:55 am

Thanks! Really helpful response.

Ok, I'll continue trying the shutter speed adjustments. One other thing. It seems that my camcorder often likes to focus on the background more than the subject directly infront of it. It takes a few seconds sometimes for the auto focus to focus on the subject. Is there a way to adjust settings on focus and make sure my camcorder focuses on the closest or largest subject and not the background? It's quite annoying. I often have to "tap" the touch screen on the subject to get it to focus because the auto focus for some reason is more inclined to lock onto the background or a subject in the background instead lol.


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Nigel O'Neill
Re: Why is video blurry in post-editing?
on Feb 17, 2015 at 12:45:55 pm

[Joe Bee] " It seems that my camcorder often likes to focus on the background more than the subject directly infront of it"

Yup, Sony cameras tend to do that, especially if there is movement in the background. It does not just affect my PJ760. It does it too on the prosumer cameras I have: FX1 and Z1P.

Manual focussing or touch focussing on the PJ760 is the way to go

My system specs: Intel i7 970, 12GB RAM, ASUS P6T, Vegas Pro 12 (x64), Windows 7 x64 Ultimate, Vegas Production Assistant 1.0, VASST Ultimate S Pro 4.1, Neat Video Pro 2.6


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Joe Bee
Re: Why is video blurry in post-editing?
on Feb 17, 2015 at 1:55:21 pm

Thanks for sharing your experience. I didn't know that about Sony's. That's kind of a bummer since I'm usually on auto-focus (when I need to just point and shoot without looking at the LCD or viewfinder).


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Rob White
Re: Why is video blurry in post-editing?
on Feb 18, 2015 at 1:29:46 am

I find auto-focus to never be the answer for good cinematography. Even the pros with the best autofocus cameras/lenses out there will give you that advice. Some cameras have a nice "refocus" button built toward the focus ring so if you do have semi-manual or auto on, you can press that button and it will auto focus on what you want. I don't know how much your camera is, but if you want good auto focus you're probably looking at a $5,000+ camera. I think this is the best pro-sumer option right now coming in around $3500.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=1077993&gclid=Cj0KEQ...


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Bob Peterson
Re: Why is video blurry in post-editing?
on Feb 18, 2015 at 6:13:40 pm

If you have the time and opportunity, I suggest you take a few courses in photography. In my area, they are offered at the local community college. They will teach you many of the basics like focus, shutter speed, aperture, lighting, and all of the things that you need to know to get consistently good images.


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