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Canon flickering issues (C100 and 5Ds)

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Sean Caughey
Canon flickering issues (C100 and 5Ds)
on Oct 20, 2015 at 4:25:01 pm

Hey everyone-

Been dealing with this issue for years now and still can’t find a solution so I’m coming to this wonderful community for help. I mainly shoot weddings and events with some corporate work as well. I shoot with the Canon C100 M2 and the 5DM3. There are some venues that I film in that have lighting that gives my camera horrible flickering. In most forums, they say it is a conflict with my shutter speed. But when I try to make changes to my shutter speed or frame rate or anything, the flicker does not go away at all. in most cases, it just gets worse. I have tried with 4 different cameras (including a Panasonic HMC 150) and they all have the same issues. I film at 24p generally with a shutter of 48. I have no clue how to deal with this. Please help!


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Todd Terry
Re: Canon flickering issues (C100 and 5Ds)
on Oct 20, 2015 at 5:23:40 pm
Last Edited By Todd Terry on Oct 20, 2015 at 9:03:24 pm

If your flicking is due to shutter speed issues caused by non-continuous lighting (such as flo, LED, HMI, neon, basically anything except tungsten lighting), then yes... tweaking the shutter speed is what you need.

Instead of shooting in seconds' increments (i.e. 1/48th) or shutter degrees (i.e., 180°) you need to be shooting in "clear scan" mode. I don't know about the 5D, but the C100 will almost most definitely have a clearscan mode (I shoot with the C300 and it does, so I'm just assuming the C100 does). You'll find that in the menu under "shutter." When you are in clearscan mode, you don't dial in the shutter speed represented in fractions of a second, you dial in in tiny minuscule increments expressed in hertz (such as 60.146) or 59.244) so that you can set it at the very exact same rate at which the lights are phasing. Run the dial up and down and you can very easily and quickly see at what point the flickering starts and stops. Easy breezy.

The only problem I ever have with clearscan mode is simply forgetting that I'm in it, and forgetting to change back to the normal fractional mode when I am finished with it. That's not really a problem, of course, but it does give me a shutter speed that is just a tiny bit higher than I would normally like, which slightly affects both motion blur and exposure levels. So... remember to switch it back off when you are no longer in those lighting conditions.

T2

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



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Sean Caughey
Re: Canon flickering issues (C100 and 5Ds)
on Oct 20, 2015 at 8:48:51 pm

Ok, great, I'll have to check it out. I really hope that works! It's been driving me crazy for years! And there doesn't seem to be a way to fix it in post either. But you're right, most of the venues seem to have lighting that is not Tungsten.


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Todd Terry
Re: Canon flickering issues (C100 and 5Ds)
on Oct 20, 2015 at 9:02:27 pm

That should fix you up, if that's what your problem is you'll find it easy to solve and be kicking yourself as you said you have been struggling with this for years.

Note that clearscan mode is good for all kinds of things, not just lights. It's actually probably most commonly used when you need to shoot monitors, television screens, and things like that. But with the prevalence of LED lighting now it's being used a lot more for flicker issues (note that is the case with AC-powered LED lights... with DC-powered ones like the ones we use, there is no flicker).

Also note that clearscan may not solve all of your problems, but only some of them. It is conceivable that you are in a situation where all of the lighting sources themselves are not in sync. You will see this a lot in rooms that have multiple monitors in them...the monitors might not all have the same refresh rate so that when you have your camera set to eliminate the flicker in one of them, it doesn't fix the others (or even makes them worse), and vice versa. With lighting that is usually not an issue if you are all self-contained in a single building or room where the power is all the same... but it does happen. I was shooting at an event last December with hundreds of Christmas trees in a park downtown, and almost all of them had LED lighting. However, generators were used throughout the park so there were multiple power sources all operating independently. I had several shots where I could adjust some of the trees to be flicker-free, yet others remained. And if I adjusted for those flickering ones, then the original ones went back to flickering. It forced me to adjust my framing and to find the best balance for some of the setups.

Happy shooting....

T2

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



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