Jun 12, 2010 at 3:43 pm #1260074
First of all, I have to state that I am a still photographer, and wildlife takes a lot of my time. My first still+video camera is due for delivery within a couple of days, so I expect to be up to the mountains soon for trailside testing.
With UL motives in mind, the audio can be recorded right in with the video, assuming that the camera has a built-in microphone. Or, if there is no built-in, a small shotgun microphone can be plugged in.
However, I am told that the audio front end on a camera like this is pretty poor, and that better audio can be had with an external audio recorder and external microphone. Assuming that I am smart enough to stay away from a "voice" recorder because of limited bandwidth, and assuming that I have a decent-enough recorder with good bandwidth, what other problems am I likely to run into? I already know how to synchronize the video to the audio, and I am already warned to avoid making any movements that will be caught on the microphone.
My favorite subjects are mammals, so as the mammals walk through forest litter, I guess there will be lots of leaf noise, so I'll have to filter that out. Wind noise can be minimized with a dead cat.
–B.G.–Jun 12, 2010 at 8:25 pm #1619472
Note: This is not a dead cat.
–B.G.–Jun 14, 2010 at 11:04 am #1619899
check out this section of a popular video forum, there are many topics about synchronizing audio and different microphone recorder options. But for outdoor stuff it is probably best to use a stereo mic unless you are trying to pick up sounds at a distance where a mono shotgun mic would be more useful. Or you could have both for different situations.Jun 21, 2010 at 12:37 am #1621831
I discovered that the recorded video file size is 330MB per minute.
I guess I won't be emailing those around, will I?
–B.G.–Jun 21, 2010 at 6:29 am #1621853
you can post on youtube or vimeo and send a link, youtube now has HDJun 22, 2010 at 6:55 pm #1622549
I've have limited experience with recording HD video on a still camera, but I am getting better each time I do it. The raw files from the camera will be huge, but if you edit them on your computer you can shrink/compress them. My 10 minute "On The Trail" videos in HD are about 250 MB and I think they look pretty good.
Here's my latest one from my Zion trip.Jun 22, 2010 at 7:59 pm #1622566
The raw video file coming out of the camera is .MOV format.
For 1920×1080@30fps, it is filling up about 330MB per minute.
Zipped, it still takes up 330MB per minute.
–B.G.–Jun 23, 2010 at 4:57 am #1622631
Zipping them won't do you any good. You'll need to use a video editing program (I use Adobe Premiere Pro) and go from there. I'm not experienced enough to give any type of advice other then it is possible to reduce the size of your files by editing either the quantity/quality.
I usually reduce my bitrate to get the file down in size. My research lead me to believe that there would be a noticeable quality difference but I really can't tell from the original files….works well for me.
Franco is very knowledgeable in this field. Maybe he'll join in, or you could PM him and he could give you some tips.Jun 23, 2010 at 8:58 am #1622673
You aren't going to get much compression by zipping a raw video file.
If you have video editing software, like what comes with most modern operating systems, you should have very little trouble converting it to a format that's more portable (i.e. smaller).
The software will in most cases allow you to choose from a pretty wide variety of codes, depending on what you have installed on your machine (the codecs are like plugins, both when you create the file and when you read it).
There are a lot of codecs to choose from. H.264 has excellent compression rates but it might not be available without commercial software like a full version of an application like Adobe Premiere (I can't think of the name of Apple's at the moment, but it will have similar options).
There are usually some good codecs available in the free applications, so you don't have to buy an expensive video editing application in order to share videos. I just don't know which ones to recommend, but hopefully someone who's been doing web video can chime in on that part :)Jun 23, 2010 at 10:06 am #1622699
Sony Vegas Platinum is less than $100 and has great HD functionality. You can render in various formats and even burn Blu-Ray DVDs on standard DVDs, without a Blu-Ray burner.
http://www.vimeo.com has great tutorials on how to optimize and render your videos for internet broadcast.Jun 23, 2010 at 3:06 pm #1622783
If you are a Mac user see this :
for Windows and general tips , see this :
FrancoJul 1, 2010 at 8:45 am #1625262
What camera did you get? 330MB/min roughly translates to 40-44 mbps. That's a nice bitrate if true. The .MOV format is just a variation of the MPEG4 format and h.264 falls in the same family of reduction codecs.
Keep in mind that all MPEGx formats are reduction formats (lossy) verses compression (losless).
Also by squeezing your video down to lower HD h.264 bitrates like 12,17, or 24 mbps, you make the video increasingly more difficult to edit later as it takes a tremendous ammount of processing power to edit. I shoot a lot of AVCHD (Canon's h.264) and my Quad Core PC with 4GB RAM can't handle editing heavily reduced HD footage.
Everytime you re-render in a lossy format you loose data, keep this in mind.
Also, if this is a still camera with HD video, you may want to consider a tripod. Still cameras, point-n-shoot and DSLRs, do not have the type of gyroscopic image stabilization that most video cameras benefit from.
I have a Canon HF100 HD camcorder which has a gyro. I also have a Pentax W80 point-n-shoot which does HD video. The Pentax is highly subject to jitter and jumpy video as it lacks a stabalizing mechanism where I can shoot without a tripod and get relatively smooth video using the Canon.Jul 1, 2010 at 9:18 am #1625274
You can use a lens with image stabilization on stills cameras and get great results.
There is also a program called Neoscene to convert your compressed files so that can be played and edited easily.
The Panasonic GH1 was recently hacked and the mbps has been increased substantially, up to 100 mbps in MJPEG.
This makes the GH1 the best stills camera for shooting video, it also has the continuous autofocus that is missing on all other DSLRs.Jul 1, 2010 at 9:36 am #1625278
Good point about gyro stable lenses. But as in my case, my little Pentax is pocket sized camera and has no removable lense. The Pentax W80 is, however, waterproof whish is really fun.
The new generation of Nikon DSLRs are getting more HD Video features. I am holding out for a Nikon that does at least 1080p 30fps with image stabilization and continuous autofocus. The GH1 is nice but I already have a good collection of Nikon lenses.
I can't wait to get a good DSLR/HD camcorder combo. It will beat lugging both my Nikon and Canon camcorder.Jul 1, 2010 at 10:09 am #1625290
Yea its only a matter of time before Nikon and Canon have these features.Jul 1, 2010 at 10:13 am #1625292
Canon 7D. You have re-stated some of the Canon specifications accurately. If I had to, I would edit the AVCHD first and then attempt to crunch it second. I would never try to crunch it and then edit it. I've attended multimedia industry standards meetings since the early 1990's so I understand one or two things about compression.
"Consider a tripod." Yes, I thought that was pretty funny. There is IS in the lens, but not in the body, so of course I use a substantial tripod, especially for the massive weight of the lenses.
I need to make a decision soon about which video editing software I really need, so that is what I am still researching. AVCHD is a bear.
–B.G.–Jul 1, 2010 at 10:31 am #1625304
Cineform Neoscene is known to be visually lossless and much easier to edit. I would try that and compare the results from editing AVCHD directly.
or you can use the Lagarith codec which is lossless but is a huge file, and still much easier to edit that compressed files.Jul 1, 2010 at 10:37 am #1625310
I've seen that mentioned in a few places so far, but I haven't figured out yet exactly whether I need it. It bears investigation.
I guess I really have to decide what kind of format I want to end up with for the time of video distribution. I mean, I doubt that it will be playing in 500 theatres across the country.
–B.G.–Jul 1, 2010 at 12:23 pm #1625370
"understand one or two things about compression"
Good to know you are not one of the 95% of people who don't understand why their video looks bad or music sounds bad after encodeing it 3 times:)
I don't claim to be an expert on image stabilization but I know that mechanical is better than digital. Digital just smears your pixels around to remove jitter. My little Pentax has nither digital nor mechanical IS so it is super shakey looking, hence my vote for a tripod. You know more on the subject than I assumed though.
As for editing AVCHD, it is a complete PIA. I tried Power Director but this application is highly unstable and I don't recomend it.
As for PC hardware, I am running Win7 64, 2.3Ghz Core2 Quad, 4GB 800Mhz RAM, with a WD Black 500GB SATA HDD. Not state of th eart hardware but well beyond recomended specs for amature video editing. My machine choaks on AVCHD.
What OS are you using?
I am currently archiving a bunch of miniDV, S-VHSC, and VHS tapes to digital. I have been working with the HuffyUV codec, which is a lossless AVI format. It produces file sizes of about 30GB an hour but seems to be very easy to edit and works well with other applications.
I haven't tried to convert AVCHD to a lossless AVI format for editing but it may be worth a go.Jul 1, 2010 at 12:59 pm #1625385
"… convert AVCHD to a lossless AVI format for editing…" and then what?
I've been led to believe that some editing apps can get some good out of 64-bit OS, and others cannot. I'm still trying to sort that out from Franco's earlier advice.
Image Stabilization in the lens has little gyroscopes that spin up when you half-press the shutter button, so I can hear a faint noise in there. If it feels movement one way or the other way, it jiggles one lens element the opposite way to fudge it out, and it gets me about two stops of speed improvement if the conditions are right. For a camera with interchangeable lenses, that seems like the only way to go. I suppose that something could be done inside the body, but I don't think that would work properly over a broad family of lens focal lengths.
I try to do wildlife photography, so for wildlife stills, I just let IS do the best from handheld. For a video clip, I would get it on a tripod and that requires a lot of anticipation of what wildlife will be where and when.
–B.G.–Jul 1, 2010 at 1:23 pm #1625393
This monopod with legs is probably the best solution on the goJul 1, 2010 at 1:26 pm #1625394
I think I would manage to get one or more of those little feet bent or broken. A friend of mine has one of these, and he weights the feet down with rocks for each time he moves it. That doesn't seem practical.
–B.G.–Jul 1, 2010 at 1:38 pm #1625399
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
I use a Komperdell Guide Staff which just happens to be on sale at REI for $50 http://www.rei.com/product/749463. It does everything a regular trekking pole does, including holding up my one pole shelter. 12oz.
The cork knob unscrews to expose a 1/4-20 screw. You could add a little ball head for more extreme angles.
A monopod will help with videos and may improve your stills, but a tripod is a much better option for serious still and video work. It's just a matter of how much stuff you want to haul.
Sound on the still cameras with video is marginal. You will pick up ambient noise from the camera and handling, etc. I have customers who use high end DSLR's for video at conventions and trade shows. They carry a backpack with a digital recorder and a pro mic for sound. Synch is done with a clap board just like the old days. A couple rocks will let you synch your video in the field– smack them together in view of the lens and synch your tracks to that.
There are many digital recorders with mics available now. This is just the first example I landed on: http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/product/Yamaha-POCKETRAK-2G-Pocket-Recorder?sku=241828Jul 1, 2010 at 1:39 pm #1625400
The problem with editing AVCHD, in my experience, is the processing power required to render the frames. For example, when editing the footage in your non-linear editing software of choice you may move the time slider around to place cuts. The computer has to try and render those frames as you slide through and depending on the bitrate of the file it can hit the ceiling of your processor power. Followed by lag times and crashes. This improves with video at higher bitrates because they take less processor power to render. There is also the matter of key and intermediate frames which mucks up the whole editing process.
Lossless AVI formats like HuffyUV are close to raw video. This format can be frame served as every frame is a key frame. This is similar to Motion JPEG (not to be confused with MPEGx) where every frame is a key frame. The processor does not have to do much work in the way of rendering the frames and you are offloading the work to the HDD and RAM as the file sizes are substantially larger. This is a non-issue of you are using an internal 7,200 RPM drive and have 2GB or more RAM.
So, I suspect AVCHD converted to MJPEG or HuffyUV would be substantially easier to edit and introduce less artifacts in your final product. This is otherwise known as using an intermediate editing codec.
Your final codec will depend on your intended playback needs. MPEG2 for DVD or AVC for Blu-Ray etc.
There are people that know way more about this then me. I frequent videohelp.com. There are some very helpfull folks on that forum.Jul 1, 2010 at 2:18 pm #1625415
I guess what I am trying to figure out is whether certain software video editors are more likely to crash or halt the machine, and if so, under what conditions? If one package is slow but reliable, that would be my choice. So far, I hear of Sony Vegas, Adobe Premier, Pinnacle Studio HD, and a few others. All I know so far is that Microsoft DVD Maker will not import my .MOV format. I think I will want to end up with MPEG2 on DVD, but I will probably want to output something else that is smaller that I can distribute from my web site (but there is a 50MB max file size that it can handle).
Everybody said that the internal microphone on a Canon 7D will pick up every hand brush on every control knob, so I went with an external shotgun microphone with a Dead Cat over it, and that plugs into a 2-oz external audio recorder with headphones. I have a clapper to sync things. The only problem I seem to have there is getting enough gain on the audio. I can't go with a parabolic since it would be far too large to get the low frequency response (100-150 Hz) that I need. This is not a birdie that I am going after.
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