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melissa boyajian
Avoiding Flicker w/Canon 5D Mark II in 50Hz 220V country
on Mar 16, 2013 at 1:47:42 pm

Hello,

I am shooting a production soon in Yerevan, Armenia. They have the standard European voltage 220V/50Hz. I shot some footage with my camera leaving it in NTSC and some of it looked great and some of it had a horrible flicker field. I am assuming that is because of the different voltage and I have read that it becomes apparent underneath flourescent lighting in particular.

I wanted to shoot my video mostly in 24P, but a couple of shots in 1 scene I wanted to shoot in 30P and conform to 24 to slightly slow it down in post. I don't have that option available with PAL frame rates for my Canon 5D Mark II. I can only shoot in 25P.

I read somewhere that I can shoot using NTSC 30P provided I put my camera shutter speed on 1/50th instead of 1/60th. 1/50th is not a shutter speed option on my camera. I can choose 1/45th.

Does anyone have any advice on whether I should just shoot in PAL or ways that I can avoid flicker?

Thank you for your help,

M Boyajian


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Steve Crow
Re: Avoiding Flicker w/Canon 5D Mark II in 50Hz 220V country
on Mar 16, 2013 at 4:16:35 pm

I think this thread answers your questions:

http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/280/7346#7361

Steve Crow
Crow Digital Media
http://www.CrowDigitalMedia.com


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melissa boyajian
Re: Avoiding Flicker w/Canon 5D Mark II in 50Hz 220V country
on Mar 16, 2013 at 4:57:08 pm

Hi Steve,

Thanks a lot for the thread. As my camera doesn't have a shutter speed of 1/50th I will have to test out the theory of using a multiple of the speed and see if it is flicker free.

Best,

M Boyajian


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Steve Crow
Re: Avoiding Flicker w/Canon 5D Mark II in 50Hz 220V country
on Mar 16, 2013 at 8:24:31 pm

It's interesting that we are talking about two DSLR filmmaking "rules" which turn out to be quite close to each other in some respects:

RULE 1 ON THE FILM LOOK: To get the film look set your shutter speed to 2x the frame rate (frames per second) This is expressed as a fraction like 1/48th for 24p footage. Now my camera here in the US doesn't offer a 1/48th option so I select the closest speed to it which is 1/50th and that works just fine.

RULE 2 ON POWER CYCLES AND FILMING UNDER FLUORESCENT LIGHTING: To avoid the rolling bars look on your video, set your shutter speed to 2x the cycle rate (expressed in hz) of your local electricity supply. So if you are in a country with a 220v/50hz power system then you want to try to for 1/100th of a second or if that doesn't work then multiples of 1/100 like 1/50th, 1/200. Keep in mind that as you get into the higher shutter speeds you may not like the look of the video - some people call it "jittery" or "hyper realistic" or "video like" or "lacking motion blur."

Steve Crow
Crow Digital Media
http://www.CrowDigitalMedia.com


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Steve Crow
Re: Avoiding Flicker w/Canon 5D Mark II in 50Hz 220V country
on Mar 16, 2013 at 9:04:18 pm

So I have been doing some further research on this issue reading online - particularly these two pages:

http://www.red.com/learn/red-101/flicker-free-video-tutorial
http://ezinearticles.com/?All-About-Fluorescent-Light-Flicker-in-Cameras!&i...

By merging what I think I've learned from both of these sources it appears that you can fix fluorescent lighting flickering by

1) Knowing the power cycle of your local electricity (60hz US, 50hz in a variety of other countries)

2) and then setting EITHER the shutter speed or frame rate of your video to some multiple or division of that power cycle number, like this:


UPDATE: AFTER VIEWING THIS VIDEO



IT SEEMS YOU MIGHT HAVE TO ADJUST BOTH THE FRAME RATE AND SHUTTER SPEED, JUST DOING ONE MAY NOT WORK!




* To use frame rate to eliminate flickering choose a frame rate this is the result of dividing the power cycle rate by some number like 1, 2 or 3

* To use shutter speed to eliminate flickering choose a multiple of the power cycle rate, like multiplying the power cycle by 1, 2, 3 etc and turning the resulting number to a 1 over fraction


So, in the United States ( a 60hz country) you could:

* Set the frame rate to 60fps, 30fps or 15fps (60/1 = 60, 60/2=30, 60/4=15)

* Set the shutter speed to a 1/60th, 1/120th (60X1=60, 60x2=120)


Then in a 50hz country you could:

* Set the frame rate to 50fps, 25fps or 12.5fps (50/1 = 50, 50/2=25, 50/4=12.5)

* Set the shutter speed to a 1/50th, 1/100th (50X1=50, 50x2=100)



Some of these setting don't seem too practical (shooting at 12.5fps for example) and you may not be able to match the numbers exactly (1/48th shutter speed for example) but close is probably close enough.

I am not 100% sure of these calculations as math is not my strong point so please everyone correct me where I've goofed!

Steve Crow
Crow Digital Media
http://www.CrowDigitalMedia.com


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melissa boyajian
Re: Avoiding Flicker w/Canon 5D Mark II in 50Hz 220V country
on Mar 18, 2013 at 11:15:37 am

Hi Steve,

Thanks, this has been very helpful. Since I prefer the final output of my video to be NTSC I will do some tests shooting with NTSC with setting the shutter speed to multiples of the 50Hz electrical current. During the actual shooting of the piece I will avoid flourescent lighting altogether and hopefully won't have any issues. If things still do not look right I will just shoot in PAL 25P. Thanks a lot for your research!

M Boyajian


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Samuel Richards
Re: Avoiding Flicker w/Canon 5D Mark II in 50Hz 220V country
on May 29, 2013 at 6:32:50 am

Hi there,
I had the same problem. Your 5DIII is not broken or different. You just have to go to the "first dot in the Orange menu section" The first option is to change the EXPOSURE LEVEL INCREMENTS. Change this from 1/2 to 1/3. Voila! You now have 1/50 shutter speed to work with. :-)
Samuel
samuelrichards.com.au


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Brent Dunn
Re: Avoiding Flicker w/Canon 5D Mark II in 50Hz 220V country
on Mar 19, 2013 at 3:47:19 pm

Good information Steve. Thanks for sharing.

Brent Dunn
Owner / Director / Editor
DunnRight Films
DunnRight Video.com
Video Marketing Toolbox.net

Sony EX-1,
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 7D
Mac Pro
with Final Cut Studio Adobe CS6 Production






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Brent Dunn
Re: Avoiding Flicker w/Canon 5D Mark II in 50Hz 220V country
on Mar 19, 2013 at 3:56:24 pm

[Steve Crow] "oesn't work then multiples of 1/100 like 1/50th, 1/200. Keep in mind that as you get into the higher shutter speeds you may not like the look of the video - some people call it "jittery" or "hyper realistic" or "video like" or "lacking motion blur.""


A good example of this is "Saving Private Ryan" They used 1/1000 shutter speed to get that look when they first landed on the beach.

Brent Dunn
Owner / Director / Editor
DunnRight Films
DunnRight Video.com
Video Marketing Toolbox.net

Sony EX-1,
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 7D
Mac Pro
with Final Cut Studio Adobe CS6 Production






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charles meadows
Re: Avoiding Flicker w/Canon 5D Mark II in 50Hz 220V country
on Mar 19, 2013 at 7:45:06 pm

Great response Steve!

"There's no point in filming if you don't have fun"
Charles Meadows
Creative Director
Incubate Productions South Africa
http://www.incubatevideo.co.za


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