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Shooting 720p HD producing Bad Results?

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Ravi Kanda
Shooting 720p HD producing Bad Results?
on Jan 16, 2011 at 12:54:58 am

Hi Guys

I've been trying to work this out for while. Hopefully you could help.

I've shot 720p HD footage a few times now, connected my Nikon D5000 to my mac and transferred the AVIs across. However, the videos never seem good quality! They appear to have been shot on a much lower pixel rate.

Is the problem in the transferring? I have Final Cut Pro if that helps.

Thanks in advance.


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Ravi Kanda
Re: Shooting 720p HD producing Bad Results?
on Jan 16, 2011 at 1:09:29 pm

I used a tripod and there was enough lighting for the video.

Any help would be great guys


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Peter Burger
Re: Shooting 720p HD producing Bad Results?
on Jan 16, 2011 at 1:43:18 pm

How did you transfer the files? If there wasn't any transcoding involved in transferring, the clips must be the same quality.


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Ravi Kanda
Re: Shooting 720p HD producing Bad Results?
on Jan 16, 2011 at 1:49:52 pm

I'm transferring files straight from my DSLR without any transcoding.

It's such a strange issue. I'm sure I'm doing something wrong.


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Peter Burger
Re: Shooting 720p HD producing Bad Results?
on Jan 16, 2011 at 1:56:25 pm

So the quality loss (if there is any loss at all), can't be produced by transferring.
Do you watch your clips in your NLE or in a player like Quicktime or VLC?
If watched in your NLE, it can be a NLE issue (wrong settings).


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Ravi Kanda
Re: Shooting 720p HD producing Bad Results?
on Jan 16, 2011 at 8:42:34 pm

This is a sample video I took to show you what I'm saying:







Look how grainy the video is at 720p.


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Peter Burger
Re: Shooting 720p HD producing Bad Results?
on Jan 16, 2011 at 11:26:32 pm

What were you're settings?


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Ravi Kanda
Re: Shooting 720p HD producing Bad Results?
on Jan 17, 2011 at 9:54:17 am

On my camera, they were 1280x720.

Would I need to change the settings on my player too?


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Peter Burger
Re: Shooting 720p HD producing Bad Results?
on Jan 17, 2011 at 1:13:47 pm

No, I mean, what were your recording settings, like aperture, ISO, shutterspeed etc...


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Ravi Kanda
Re: Shooting 720p HD producing Bad Results?
on Jan 17, 2011 at 1:26:10 pm

Ah sorry.

Even if I change my ISO to any setting, I still get the same results. Should video be as grainy as mine in HD?

My shutter speed was 1/50 and aperture at 5.4

I am using the standard 18-55 kit lens. I have a 50mm too.

Is there anything I could film or send you any settings that might help?


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Ravi Kanda
Re: Shooting 720p HD producing Bad Results?
on Jan 17, 2011 at 1:30:46 pm

Is there any way I can test if my ISO settings are actually working?

I mean, how can I find meta data like ISO, Aperture etc in FCP?

Or if you know of any software that does this?


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Peter Burger
Re: Shooting 720p HD producing Bad Results?
on Jan 17, 2011 at 2:37:56 pm

I have a Canon cam myself, so I can just guess...
The Canon cameras save a thumbnail file for each clip, that contains all of the meta-data (EXIF) of the clip and can be read with an exif-viewer. Don't know, if the Nikon does something similar. Watched your Youtube-clip and it is indeed grainy. I'm not sure if it's the Youtube compression, but I would suggest there is something wrong with your ISO settings. Are you sure you were shooting manual with low ISO?


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Ravi Kanda
Re: Shooting 720p HD producing Bad Results?
on Jan 17, 2011 at 2:53:47 pm

Yeh I always shoot manual. My ISO setting was 200.

The video appears like this even before I upload it to youtube.

I don't get this.


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Mark Petereit
Re: Shooting 720p HD producing Bad Results?
on Jan 17, 2011 at 10:57:15 pm

Wow, you're getting that shallow DOF at 5.4? The footage you posted looks more like it was shot wide open in low light, which would account for the noise.


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Ravi Kanda
Re: Shooting 720p HD producing Bad Results?
on Jan 17, 2011 at 11:13:13 pm

Yeh thats f/5.4.

The lighting was ok. It wasn't really low.

Is this common to get this much grain?


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Peter Burger
Re: Shooting 720p HD producing Bad Results?
on Jan 18, 2011 at 9:17:36 am

Is there a way to change compression settings with your Nikon? Everything that is in focus seems to be ok, but all the parts that are out of focus, have a lot of chroma noise and are very blocky... So to me it looks like heavy compression artifacts...
Did you switch all image enhancing methods to off (supposing there are any - the canons have "auto lightnig optimizer" and "highlight tone priority", which sometimes create weird artifacts)?


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Ravi Kanda
Re: Shooting 720p HD producing Bad Results?
on Jan 18, 2011 at 9:31:37 am

The only thing I have on auto is White Balance.


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Mark Petereit
Re: Shooting 720p HD producing Bad Results?
on Jan 18, 2011 at 12:55:06 pm

"The only thing I have on auto is White Balance."

Turn that off. Get a white card (and perhaps a set of warm cards), set your white balance before you shoot then leave it alone. I doubt that that's what's causing your issues, but it's just generally good practice.


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