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How to get this smooth/crisp look with a DSLR?

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Marco Falcone
How to get this smooth/crisp look with a DSLR?
on Oct 23, 2011 at 11:07:08 pm

I came across a brilliant video on Youtube,







It was shot on a F3, but the main thing I noticed about this video, which is RARE to find in most (awful) DSLR films on Youtube, is that smooth- CRISP movie look. How could I get the FPS to look so crisp like it does in the video above? What f-stop would I need to use? I'm planning on purchasing a DSLR, so I can't experiment yet, I just want to know for future reference. Thank you in advance.

"Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life." -Confucius


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Colin McQuillan
Re: How to get this smooth/crisp look with a DSLR?
on Oct 24, 2011 at 2:54:34 am

[Marco Falcone] "It was shot on a F3, but the main thing I noticed about this video, which is RARE to find in most (awful) DSLR films on Youtube"...

The F3 shouldn't be confused with a DSLR. Not sure if that is what you have done here, but your sentence could be read that way. The F3 is a large sensor video camera. It's chip is designed for video capture and doesn't suffer from the same shortcomings of a DSLR, like moire and aliasing, It records to a better codec, has HD-SDI outputs for even better recording options, and better handles rolling shutter effects.

[Marco Falcone] "How could I get the FPS to look so crisp "

FPS = frames per second.. not sure if that is the right word/acronym you are after.

The video looks to be shot mostly on fast lens' near wide open. On a full frame sensor you would want to shoot f5.6 or lower, or on an APS-C sensor somewhere around the f2.8 or lower range. The lower the number the softer you can throw out the background. Cheap lens' fall short in this regard. the better the glass the wider you can get the iris, and the sharper it will be at the wider f-stops.

To get you iris nice and wide you will want to invest in some ND filters for your lens'. ND Fader filters can be nice, but I find they muddy the footage, and if zoomed in on them they can really soften your shots in a bad way.

DSLR's can yield some amazing footage when shot right. I find they fall short on the wider landscape shots (like the long look of the lighthouse.) If there is too much going on in the frame the recording codec can fall apart a bit leaving a 'video' feel to the footage.
Do some research on "DSLR profiles for video" Most suggest the 'neutral' profile on Canon's as a good starting point. I prefer the faithful profile in many situations.

The video above looks to be shot around the golden hour (magic hour). Look that one up as well to help with planing your outdoor location shoots!

Colin McQuillan
Vancouver, B.C.


"Live, love, laugh and be happy."


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Owen Wexler
Re: How to get this smooth/crisp look with a DSLR?
on Oct 24, 2011 at 7:16:21 am

Good glass... I can tell right away that he is using really good glass, probably better than is used by most DSLR shooters on Youtube.

If this comment in their comments section is in fact from the filmmaker:
I was using good old Zeiss G.O. series 35mm, 50mm & 85mm T1.4...

Then that confirms it.

Also it was shot by someone who in general has complete mastery over focus, framing, exposure, etc... still the most important "component" of any camera.

Cinematographer - Editor - Motion Graphics Artist - Colorist

http://www.owenbwexler.com


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Rafael Amador
Re: How to get this smooth/crisp look with a DSLR?
on Oct 24, 2011 at 12:04:57 pm

The F3 has 10b Unc YUV output and even an optional 10b/444/RGB out put (something that you will only find in cameras of the kind of the ALEXA and so).
I guess those picture haven't been recorded in camera, but with a Ki-Pro, or even with a Geminis.
If the DSLRs would have a decent video out you could get the same, but..
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Colin McQuillan
Re: How to get this smooth/crisp look with a DSLR?
on Oct 25, 2011 at 7:24:11 pm

[Rafael Amador] "I guess those picture haven't been recorded in camera, but with a Ki-Pro"...

Of course shooting on something like a KiPro gives you more leverage in post - But I think this would be hard to say if this was shot in-camera or to an external recorder without knowing.. The F3 has good onboard control and if you knew the look you were after you could bake it into the footage and capture in camera.

Colin McQuillan
Vancouver, B.C.


"Live, love, laugh and be happy."


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Peter J. DeCrescenzo
Re: How to get this smooth/crisp look with a DSLR?
on Oct 29, 2011 at 7:01:23 pm

Hi Marco:

The other folks who've previously posted to this thread have given you good information, but just to add:

You literally can't get DSLR 1080p video which looks "as good" as properly-shot F3 1080p footage. In certain cases you can get close, but "close" often isn't good enough. All else being equal -- with the DSLR & F3 using identical high-quality lenses, identical competent lighting technique, and so forth -- the F3 footage will look _much_ better than the DSLR when viewed at 1080p HD resolution (and often even at lower res & compressed for the web).

Because of their design limitations (and thus their relatively low cost) DSLRs record "1080" HD video at less than 1000 lines of resolution, typically 750 lines or less. And if you crank up a DSLR's "sharpness" setting, the resolution doesn't improve, you just increase the fake sharpness artifacts in the video. Yuck.

And of course, professional-quality video is more than just maximum resolution. There's also color accuracy, dynamic range, motion artifacts, sound quality -- not to mention pro techniques such as timecode, built-in ND filters, etc. -- and so much more.

There are many things you can do to wring out the best from a DSLR -- generally these are the same techniques one uses with _all_ cameras -- but it's not possible to make a <$2K camera perform as well as a >$15K cam operated at its full capability.

None of the above changes the fact that DSLRs can be fantastic tools for certain projects & budgets (including having a role in some big-budget productions). But generally speaking, with modern video camera gear, performance is approximately proportional to cost. With rare exceptions, you get what you pay for. Whatever you're working with, the fun part is learning how to make the most of it. That's what these forums are all about. Cheers.

---

http://www.peterdv.com


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