XH-A1, Ghosting and motion blur with indoor sports
I need some advise with Ghosting/ Motion Blur pertaining to my xh-a1's. First of all a little history, I do this part time, and for this particular job that I'm having trouble with I donate my time. My son and I normally do theatrical plays or music concerts with little fast motion and decent lighting supplied by the event. That said for the last ten years we have been filming, a ( 3) camera shoot, a High School boxing tournament. For the most part everything went well using my VX2100s. The problem started when we went to the canons, all 3 with identical settings recorded the video the same way and it was not apparent in the on camera monitors at the job. I'm using Ikan 8000's and maybe they don't refresh fast enough? When I got the footage from all three cams at home to edit thats when it was very noticable. All the cameras are recording to Firestore FS5's no tape. I've read post where guys are saying that the camera may have imaging sensor problems but not all three at once. When the fighters are swinging their arms really pummeling each other is when it's at it's worse. The ring announcer walks around the ring while doing his thing and you can see a little fuzz around him too. We are shooting from a balcony about 6 feet above the ring so we see the ring floor really good. Problem 2 the ring mat is bright red.....yuck! The canons really don't like that at all! Even to the natural eye the ref's white shirt has a pink glow to it. We don't get any gym lighting artifacts. This will be the third attempt with the canons, the second year we made a preset to compensate for the red blow outs. We don't get a lot of time to experiment at the shoot, by the time we get set up with the big screens and full PA and and remote location displays, it's pretty much point and shoot. The light changes during the event, it starts during sundown till 10pm and the gym windows face west, so were riding the f stop thru the event. Everything is manual, tripod mounted, no image stabilization, 60i 1080, shutter 1/60, f-stop 3.4 to 2.4 later, last year I brought a generic light meter and it read @ 6:30pm a 1.6 and at 7pm a 3.2 So is the red ring really messing the whole thing up, or do I crank the shutter speed, or are the Canons a poor choice for sports. When everyone is considerably still the picture is awesome. I did look up my old VX2100 settings and they were the same except the speed used was 100 to 160. Ideas?
Hi. I use my two XH's quite a bit shooting sports. First of all, you are describing very tough shooting conditions. I don't know if you can (are allowed to) physically move the cameras so that the sun coming through the windows is behind you.
Don't expect to get good results shooting into the sun with ANY camera.
Shooting into the sun is problematic with ALL cameras, not just your three. When I'm sent to shoot football and soccer games, it's usually from the press box or roof of the press box on the home team side of the field. But if that side is facing into the sun, I shoot from the bleachers on the visitors side.
To minimize the motion blur, you will need a faster shutter speed. However, it's a catch 22. Fast shutter speeds lower the amount of light striking the sensors in the camera. If the room isn't extremely bright, that's a real problem. You cannot compensate by opening the iris because that lower f-stop diminishes the depth of field, and the fighters will move out of focus.
The two things that will help most with your present gear are to move to the west side if you can so you aren't shooting into the sun. The second thing is to turn on more lights in the room. Again, if that's possible. You can also add gain in the camera, but at the expense of more grain.
There are other things you can do with motion blur in other sports, such as when I pan the camera at the same speed as a moving horse or moving athlete etc., but that won't help with the fighter's hand motion.
Bright red has historically been a problem throughout the history of television. Just do the best you can with the exposure settings and presets.
Hope this helps. Good luck.
Also remembered that I often need to do another manual white balance with the XH-A1, and sometimes a second time even later as the light temperature changing from the sun going down during athletic events and the stadium lights taking over.
The wash from the red mat on the ref's shirt, that's pretty bad.
You can trick the white balance to correct by using a pale orange card instead of a white or gray card to cool off the colors. But shooting bright red floor sounds really rough.
(Conversely, you can warm up your footage by using a pale blue card for white balance).
Have you thought of just using one of the black and white presets? Fight footage might look pretty good in black and white. Just a thought.
Thanks I would never have thought of using a colored white balance card to subdue the harshness of the red. I am getting right on that with some experiments. Yes and double yes, the red is super awful and I believe that this maybe the real root of my problems. As far as balancing after the sun is down, that would take an act of congress to do at the event. I would have a better chance of begging to be let in the night before and re creating the shoot with actors running around the ring which may not be a bad idea. I did the promo for the fight in B&W and I heard about that. When I first got these cams research dictated a 1/60th speed, I think that may have been for the indoor lighting not to pulse the video. Some links I visited said the 1/120 would look really bad, so I never went there. I'm going to try 100 and go up. I think at this point I would settle for a little noise than motion blur.