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Can someone explain why my footage quality isn't so good?

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Scott Clifford
Can someone explain why my footage quality isn't so good?
on Aug 6, 2017 at 12:42:55 pm

Hello everybody,

I'm currently using a Canon 700D to film my video projects and whilst some of the footage is satisfactory, often times it is producing results such as this. I've attached a screen capture of a shot I'm not particularly pleased with. It clearly contains unwanted video artefacts and the footage isn't close to being sharp. I'm using flat and then colour grading within Final Cut Pro. 1920x1070p 24p. Keep in mind that the footage itself is 1080 but I edit in 4k and scale it down. That seems to produce better results on YT.

Is this issue inherent to the technology I am using or do I need to change my workflow in some way? Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks guys.



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Steve Crow
Re: Can someone explain why my footage quality isn't so good?
on Aug 6, 2017 at 3:51:01 pm

Maybe you can explain what you don't like about the shot first because some of this comes down to taste vs purely technical issues.

Steve Crow


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Scott Clifford
Re: Can someone explain why my footage quality isn't so good?
on Aug 6, 2017 at 4:12:56 pm

Thanks for replying Steve.

Well, do you think that shot looks as good as it should? I can see digital artefacts all over it and the sharpness isn't there. If you could share your own observations then that would be great.


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Steve Crow
Re: Can someone explain why my footage quality isn't so good?
on Aug 6, 2017 at 9:51:25 pm

Scott, when I view the image in photoshop at 1080p the things I notice are:

1. The vignetting is waaaaaaay over done

2. yes, the image could be sharper - I'd like to be able to read the model number in the upper right (for a commercial this would be important)

3. The calculator has a weird purple blue discoloration which you can see most clearly just above and between the bottom row of buttons

4. There's also a an "extra" shadow at the bottom of the calculator that I don't know where that is coming from - the bottom of the calculator needs some more diffused light on it, in my opinion to get rid of that overly harsh shadow

5. The calculator, since it's the "hero" of this shot is about 100% under exposed to me - when I upped the brightness in Photoshop by that amount the image much improved, in my opinion

6. I'd also make the calculator larger as a percentage of the overall frame, why devote so much space to the desk?

7. Overall I'd describe the "tone" as mushy - I think the calculator, for a commercial application, should appear, bright, shiny, " technological"

I don't do product photography but I'd research that as a topic if I were to get some more detailed answers. This is not my area of expertise, I am more interested in story than I am in "pixel peeping" but I hope I've given you some things to think about for your next "shot" at this "shot" :-)

Steve Crow


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Scott Clifford
Re: Can someone explain why my footage quality isn't so good?
on Aug 6, 2017 at 10:02:52 pm

I appreciate the input, Steve.

I think it's primarily the purple discolouration that you touched upon that is most concerning to me. Could you offer any explanation as for why that is occurring in my footage?

And the reason for the composition is that it's a POV shot. A man is standing in front of the wooden table, staring down at the calculator.

Again, thanks for taking the time to address my concerns Steve.


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Steve Crow
Re: Can someone explain why my footage quality isn't so good?
on Aug 6, 2017 at 10:31:32 pm

I'm not 100 percent sure but it could be "Chromatic Aberration" which is a well known cause for purple fringing in high contrast videos like yours








Solution is to shoot with a less wide open aperture apparently

Steve Crow


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Scott Clifford
Re: Can someone explain why my footage quality isn't so good?
on Aug 7, 2017 at 9:42:37 am

I think you might be right. Chromatic Aberration does seem to be the issue. Fortunately there seems to a number of ways to deal with this phenomenon in post. I will try these methods when I have some time later.

Thanks for your help, Steve.


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Robert Olding
Re: Can someone explain why my footage quality isn't so good?
on Aug 7, 2017 at 7:06:27 pm
Last Edited By Robert Olding on Aug 7, 2017 at 7:08:48 pm

Hi Scott ... I'm not sure if I'm reading your post correctly but it looks like you say your frame size is 4K. If that's correct, then FCPX is increasing the size of your image 2 times. If you're capturing the footage from your Canon directly to a card and not through the HDMI port to a recorder, the footage is compressed using the H.264 compression scheme. The H.264 compression is very lossy. The artifacts you mention will become very apparent once you start to grade, resize, crop, trim, etc., your footage.

So, if you're shooting to a card, and you are sizing your footage up to 4K, grading it, then resizing it back down to 1080 for output, you're definitely going to see artifacts. The chromatic aberration you see would also be much more apparent.

Steve Crow is correct in stating the one of the best ways to eliminate chromatic aberration is to reduce the aperture on the lens. It's best to use something in the middle, typically between f5.6 and f11. I'm not sure what kind of lens you're using but most still photography lenses are designed to work best in the middle aperture range.

Robert Olding
http://www.8streetstudio.com
Minneapolis, MN


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