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Canon XH-A1 getting comprable slow motion to tapeless cameras

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Geoff Bowman
Canon XH-A1 getting comprable slow motion to tapeless cameras
on Dec 10, 2009 at 11:02:41 pm

I have a Canon XH-A1 at my disposal for a low-budget film I have coming up. I want to shoot in 24p (or 24f I guess by canon's name for it) but I also perceive doing lots of shots that will require time remapping and slow motion. I've seen people achieve good, ghostless slow motion with the 60i setting on the canon XH-A1 but my question is this... what achieves the best film-like (24p/f) slow motion:

1). Canon XH-A1 with some setting I've yet to discover that can then be manipulated in AE/FCP

2). Dropping the money to rent or buy a panasonic or sony camera with overcrank/undercrank capabilities shooting to the cards.

I like the way Panasonic's 24pn settings come out looking, and I feel more comfortable with them at this point, but if there's a way for me to use what I have I'd be much obliged to the COW.

Help me Creative Cow! you're my only hope!


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Todd Terry
Re: Canon XH-A1 getting comprable slow motion to tapeless cameras
on Dec 11, 2009 at 4:39:11 am

You should be able to achieve some acceptable slow-mo with the gear you have. Not super-great-absolutely-flawless... but pretty decent and depending on your needs, it might be more than sufficient. I have done it with your camera's big brother, the XLH1 (which is electronically basically the same camera).

For a project that is shot in 24p (Canon's 24f), yes, shoot all the slow-mo sequences at 60i. The 60i footage can be slow-mo'ed to 40% and it looks quite good and intercuts very well with regular motion 24p footage. (60 x 40% = 24)

In that scenario, each field of your 60i footage becomes one frame of your 24p movie. Obviously, you have a bit of resolution loss since each frame is only made up of one field. It's not too bad, though... as I said results can be quite decent. Especially if your finished product happens to be for NTSC release (say, DVD), and you shoot natively at 1080, you will have zero perceptible resolution loss.

The biggest mistake people make when shooting for slow-mo is shutter speed. Shooting at 24p, the normal or default shutter speed is 1/48th of a second. Shooting at 60i, the normal or default shutter speed is 1/60th of a second. But think about shooting real film slow-mo, which is overcranking... ergo the shutter speed is much higher. So... when shooting video for slow-mo, crank up the shutter speed. Usually something in the 1/120th to 1/180th neighborhood looks about right. If you don't do that, each frame will have way too much motion blur in it, and when you slow the footage down in editing it definitely won't look right.

If you need to slow-mo even more than 40%, you will need to use one of the frame interpolation plug-ins to create the missing frames. In those cases, crank up the shutter speed even more when shooting.

If you have just a bit of slow-mo work to do, that should be fine. If you have a substantial amount to do, then you might consider a camera that will legitimately overcrank. My vote is the Panavision Phantom 35HD :)





T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Geoff Bowman
Re: Canon XH-A1 getting comprable slow motion to tapeless cameras
on Dec 15, 2009 at 5:58:33 am

thanks so much! that was incredibly helpful and informative!


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Martin Vincent
Re: Canon XH-A1 getting comprable slow motion to tapeless cameras
on Mar 3, 2010 at 11:55:47 pm

I got a tip for Slow motion on Canon camcorders. As Todd says shoot 60i. In FCP reduce your speed to the 60i footage, then apply de-interlace filter even field.

Xtreme Productions


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