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Video Advice for X-H1

Discussion in 'X-H1' started by Fujiphotog, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. Fujiphotog

    Fujiphotog Amateur photographer.

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    I have never shot video before. But my new X-H1 has such highly praised video features that I want to try. I will be travelling to Nebraska on March 22 for a week to photograph the Sandhill Crane migration with the X-H1 and 16-55 and 100-400 lenses. It would be exciting to video these huge flocks of birds landing at dusk and taking off at dawn, even if only some short 20 second clips, to show the amazing density of these large bird flocks, and their intense sounds. I may post them on Youtube and Facebook, or here as a link to Flickr.

    I will have a tripod with ball head, but would prefer to hand hold and rely on the IBIS and, with the 100-400, the lens' IS.

    Would some of you with video experience please suggest what camera settings (Shutter speed, frames per second, f-log, film simulation, AF, etc.) to use for video capture, and then what easy to learn software to use to process the videos taken at these settings?

    My laptop is the latest MacBook with touch bar, SSD and maxed out RAM using High Sierra. Daily backup is with two 2TB external hard drives. I will be taking several of the latest 64 GB UHS-II SD memory cards, so for a few short video clips file size should not be an issue.
     
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  2. Stephen_B

    Stephen_B Premium Member

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    I'm glad to see you recognize the importance of sound.

    One reason I like Apple's Final Cut Pro X is how easily you can synchronize a soundtrack from an external audio recorder with the "scratch" audio track recorded within the camera.
    That said, I would think recording the confusing voices of a million geese wouldn't necessitate a perfectly synchronized soundtrack.
    My first choice of microphones for that shot, (depending on how close you were to the birds and on what other anthropophony, (man-made), sounds were around), might be spaced omnis. If there were some boisterous loud beer drinkers behind me I'd select a stereo cardioid or an ORTF cardioid pair. Sound Devices has recently released some new audio recorders which are focused on the video market. They're priced very attractively, while preserving the outstanding audio quality they're known for. The MixPre-3 comes to mind. The Zoom products are much less expensive and produce some nice results depending on the situation. I personally prefer to use off-camera microphones to reduce the possibility of operational noise.

    I'm sure the other experts will chime in on the video side, but if it were me on a budget, I'd simply shoot in Provia with shadows and highlights at -2. 24 frames/second and the camera's shutter speed at 1/50 second. Manual focus. FCPX has some pretty effective stabalizing tools that could help if you're hand-holding, but I'd do my best to steady the camera rig while shooting the scene.
     
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  3. pszilard

    pszilard RemektekMedia.com

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    I am an engineer by background, which means I try to get cost effective solutions, rather than state of the art. I would say that the H1 built in mics are actually not bad, but if you want to add external then I would be satisfied with the RØDE Stereo Video Mic Pro.



    May I respectfully suggest that you do a little research? Go to youtube and search introduction to video. You can also search this forum as this question has come up many times before.

    Regarding editing on a MacBook Pro, you can't go past iMovie for 90% of your needs and if you want Hollywood capability then get FCPX (aka Final Cut Pro X), which will require considerable learning, but is one of the best.
     
  4. Stephen_B

    Stephen_B Premium Member

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    Hi Paul. I've been meaning to ask you .... I've heard that the X-H1 produces some audible IBIS noise. Would a camera-mounted microphone with high sensitivity such as that Rode pick up that noise when you turn the gain up for nature soundscapes?
     
  5. pszilard

    pszilard RemektekMedia.com

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    It comes down to the level of quality and associated hassle, someone is after. If I was doing a "proper" nature recording, I would use 2 large diaphragm cardioid mics (with phantom power) on a soundbar feeding through a Sound Devices recorder or preamp to a stand alone recorder. (I can't afford a Sound Devices recorder, so I use a Sound Devices MixPre-D feeding into a Zoom F8), but I was under the impression that the OP is just starting out and is not after that level of complexity. You wouldn't really want any camera mounted mic as you are going to pick handling noise, which is probable a few orders of magnitude greater than the IBIS anyway. You would then use the camera mics (or RØDE) to sync the external recording.

    The best thing is to experiment with what is available.
     
  6. Fujiphotog

    Fujiphotog Amateur photographer.

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    RODE says on its website that the new mic you mentioned does not pick up noise from the camera because it is directional and insulated. Is that just advertising hype?
     
  7. Fujiphotog

    Fujiphotog Amateur photographer.

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    I spent many hours on Youtube and Google, found lots of info on the X-T2 but very little on the X-H1. What there was on the X-H1 is a review of all its features, but no advice on settings.
     
  8. Fujiphotog

    Fujiphotog Amateur photographer.

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    Do you man 24 frames per second or the 23.97? Is that better for a beginner than say 59.94?

    My standard shutter speed on the dial is not 1/50 but 1/60. Is that OK instead of 1/50? (I think I could set to 1/50 if essential, using the front or rear command dials, but I have disabled them because I kept bumping them by accident.)
     
  9. Stephen_B

    Stephen_B Premium Member

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    I mentioned 24 fps as that's is probably the more common choice you'll see. For example, my X-T1 offers frame rates of 24 fps, and 30 fps, etc., while my X-T2 expands on that by offering frame rates of 24 fps, 23.98 fps, and 29.97 fps. This is a confusing subject and it has to do with film vs NTSC broadcast. Google the subject and you'll find loads of explanations.

    The general rule of thumb for shutterspeed is to use a shutter speed that is twice the frame rate. So in the case of a 24 fps project, a shutter speed of 48 would be ideal. 50 is the best compromise available with our cameras. To set your shutter to 50, (at least with my X-T2), select 60 on your shutter speed dial and then use your rear command dial to tweak it down to 50.

    So in conclusion, you'll probably be using either 23.98 fps with a shutter speed of 50, or maybe 29.97 fps with a shutter speed of 60. Of course you could use 59.94 fps with a shutter speed of 120 too. You may notice that if it's a bright day, the slower shutter speeds might necessitate an ND filter, and in that case maybe a faster frame rate and faster shutter speed is more appropriate. Of course, your faster frame rates might eat up storage on your memory card much faster and if you have no interest in slowing down the motion, then I'd probably exect to go with a slower frame rate.

    It might be fun for you to do a little experimenting with these parameters and shooting some test video before your trip. Try it on a bright day and a cloudy day and see which frame rate and associated shutter speed works best for you. Maybe you'll find a 3-stop ND filter would be a good accessory to take along just in case. If your means of sharing your work is via Youtube or Vimeo, you might want to try exporting your test projects to those sites as well before your trip.

    The video side can be a bit frustrating at times, but can be loads of fun too.
     
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  10. Fujiphotog

    Fujiphotog Amateur photographer.

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    My concern is also blurring from these birds flapping their wings and taking off or landing. No way to test that until I get there, but it suggests 1/120 at 59.94 might even be too slow.
     
  11. Stephen_B

    Stephen_B Premium Member

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    I'm still not so sure that you'd need a frame rate that fast for the flapping wings of a Sandhill Crane. Our persistence of vision might not be able to distinguish the difference in frame rates (24 vs 60) at normal playback. It would be a great experiment to try each configuration with a cooperative subject, ie; Big Bird.

    Paul and other members on this forum are a wealth of information regarding that subject and I'd be interested to hear what they say.
     
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  12. Peter H

    Peter H Premium Member

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    Is Final Cut Pro appropriate for a complete beginner?

    I’d like to get into video but it sounds a little bit daunting at the moment.
     
  13. pszilard

    pszilard RemektekMedia.com

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    As I mentioned earlier, I recommend iMovie to start with. It is very capable and low cost. FCPX is an upgrade path that is seamless and is for people aspiring to pro level.

    The RØDE Video mics do a very good job of reducing vibrational noise transmission, but it is just physics that some handling noise is likely to be heard. This thread is oscillating between questions/people that are aspiring to the highest possible level of technical excellence vs cost effective practical approach. Both are totally valid, but will lead the user down different paths, and it makes no sense to ask "cross" questions. I.e. if a user has an open chequebook, and years of experience and wants to make National Geographic type films, then he (or she) needs MK Cine zooms, external video recorders (e.g. Atomos), Sound Devices audio recorders, target mics costing easily up to $1k (and more) and use a film crew with lighting and sound guy and then edit using a pro grade editing suite. It is all good fun, but it is not where anyone is going to start, and is not for a 1 man shooter who is shooting both stills and trying video for the first time.

    On the other hand, if I picture myself going alone on a wild life trip, I would aim to travel with the minimum gear that will meet my needs. If the main reason was for stills photo, then just pack a shoe mountable mic. either the stereo or the mono RØDE, and plenty of batteries and storage cards.

    Regarding shutter speed for video of flapping birds, etc. - this is completely different to stills photography. As Stephen_B mentioned, you should shoot at 2x the frame rate if possible and control exposure with ISO, aperture and ND filters, "if possible". Shooting at 1/2000sec at 60fps will give an unpleasant stroboscopic effect to flapping wings! If you can't help it, then so be it and increase your shutter speed, but it is not desirable.

    Actual recommendations:
    1. Take spare batteries (battery grip preferable) and large and fast storage cards. Consider external power source for camera (camera can use a dummy battery insert and 9Vdc supply)
    2. Use a tripod as much as possible. IS (IBIS and OIS) can compensate for vibration, but not for jerky panning!
    3. If you have experience with handling LUTS and have enough storage, then shoot f-LOG 4k internally, because you never know how much DR you need in nature, otherwise use Eterna film simulation
    4. If you want the best AF then do not use DR in camera
    5. I would use manual everything except AF. If you must, then Auto ISO
    6. Pack a variable ND filter for your main zooms
    7. PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE before the trip!
    8. You can always learn the editing after the trip so concentrate on the shooting at the moment
    9. X-H1 settings I recommend
      1. DR100
      2. AF for cine, choose from menu, set to continuous
      3. Performance mode ON - needs battery grip
      4. Shutter 2x frame rate
      5. Frame rate for US: 60 or 30 (don't use 29.97, we no longer have CRT TVs)
    10. If you want separate sound recording, probably the best cost/performance would be a Zoom H6 and purchase the optional stereo shotgun mic and then mount it on a separate tripod from the camera. Take Eneloop rechargeables (don't forget the charger) and don't forget a decent set of headphones! Best to get over the ear, isolating type, otherwise if you have to go for in-ear buds then get ones that give best isolation. Avoid wireless headphones, as they introduce latency.
    11. For the H1, bring a 2A phone charger and USB3 cable for in camera charging (+ your mains charger for charging 2nd battery). If you got the Battery Grip, it comes with 9Vdc power pack, which can be used to charge both grip batteries simultaneously
    Most important: Send me return airfare to accompany you on the trip and to assist. Prefer business class, but what the heck, I'll take economy! (from Sydney, Australia) ;)
     
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  14. Stephen_B

    Stephen_B Premium Member

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    @Fujiphotog your event is coming up quick and you've obviously got a lot to digest here with our responses regarding video. As Paul states in item 8 above, concentrate on capturing the material for now.

    I very much look forward to seeing (and hearing) the results of your mission. Having seen similar events with snow geese, I know the sound experience alone will be extraordinary. Heck ... if it were me I would consider a slide show with your audio recording as your background sound. Less distractions for you while you're there might mean less chance of missing the experience itself. A compilation of stills with that 100 - 400 would be incredible!

    What ever you decide to do, enjoy the trip and be sure to send us the results.
     
  15. Greybeard Photography

    Greybeard Photography Premium Member

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    Is this right? I'm pretty sure on the X-T2 the frame rate doesn't affect the storage used but I know very little about video.
     
  16. Stephen_B

    Stephen_B Premium Member

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    Well .. I'd read that somewhere but didn't do an actual test. Until your question this morning. So let's see ....

    Plopped my X-T2 on a tripod.
    I shot one minute of 1080p video with my at 24 fps and the file size was 489.1 Mb.
    The same scene/lighting of 1080p video at 59.94 fps resulted in a file size of 789.5 Mb.

    It would appear that the file size relationship to frame rate is almost in exact proportion. I say almost.
    ie; 24/59.94 x 789.5 = 316. Close to 489.1 but not exactly. I was using my stopwatch to determine when to start and stop the video which was probably not as precise as a lab setting either, so that may explain the slight discrepancy.

    So unless I'm performing the test wrong, that's what I'm seeing.
    YMMV
     
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  17. Greybeard Photography

    Greybeard Photography Premium Member

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    OK - I did the same test as you (29.97 vs 59.94) and got roughly similar results - so I wondered why I was getting different results before.

    It seems that the issue revolves around the maximum bitrate for the X-T2 (around 100 Mbps).

    After shooting a number of tests at both frame rates I noticed that the average bitrate for all of the 60fps clips was just over 100Mbps whereas the 30 fps clips were all over the place.

    My theory is that when you shoot at 60fps it is much easier to hit the maximum bitrate than when you are shooting at 30fps.

    If you shoot complex, fast moving subjects you get much closer to the maximum at 30fps and the file sizes get closer.

    So you were completely correct in saying that the faster bitrate might eat up storage much faster.
     
  18. eurotrash

    eurotrash Premium Member

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    I mean, I can't even figure out how to get the camera to focus on a subject that isn't my initial one while shooting a video so you are doing better than I.. lol.

    But seriously, anyone know what's up with that?
     
  19. isaacinsoll

    isaacinsoll Member

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    Use AF-C not AF-S [emoji3]
     
  20. eurotrash

    eurotrash Premium Member

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    Yep, no stranger to trying that.. I've had zone tracking enabled, AF-C selected, all the usual suspects..
    Incidentally, I just saw that the AF speed was set super slowly so speeding that up resolved it. ;)
     

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