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Re: Where the magic happens

Thu Apr 17, 2014 12:29 am


Re: Where the magic happens

Wed Jun 04, 2014 5:49 am

Steve I just saw this, that is pretty impressive, very professional.
I'm not making anymore videos now after seeing this......thanks Steve :)

Re: Where the magic happens

Wed Jun 04, 2014 6:21 am

Somehow I'm not surprised. :) Except for one thing:

I had no idea the camera was so far up. I always wondered why you occasionally had trouble with field/zoom control on the spine and profile (particularly because it seems to frustrate you, so I know you're on top of it), and now it makes sense. I always wanted to try to offer a suggestion on this front, but without knowing the setup, it was impossible. Now that I see how far your camera is from the table, it makes a lot more sense: I imagine it is very difficult to predictably set the focus field given the distance and lens that you are using.

For some reason, I thought that you might be using a Canon D5 or something similar—I know these are considered "legit" in the industry now for light-weight HD jobs. I imagine one of those is pretty easy to control the focus field, etc, especially depending on the lens (my little S95 has surprisingly accurate field-adjustment for tight or wide focus range separate from aperture/focal length, and I imagine the D5 is even better). I don't know hardly anything about "real" cameras, though, so I don't know if tightening the field focus range would really help at all in this situation (the reasoning is that tightening the focus field as much as possible might give you a faster or more predictable or accurate re-focus when you use your hand or finger to shift from the table to the elevated blade/choil shots, but without sacrificing a sharp focus on the table if your hands are clearly out of the way).

Anyways, I mention this only to share some thoughts. In the link you provide directly above, there are obviously no frustrations on your end of this sort...so maybe your set up has changed or something else, anyway! I think you know how much I enjoy your videos and how polished and wonderful I think they are (I'm especially pleased that your audio and print-outs are so clear and consistent), so take this a me trying to make a little conversation rather than pretending to offer a suggestion that you haven't already thought of! Keep it up. :)

Re: Where the magic happens

Wed Jun 04, 2014 10:08 am

Thanks guys :-).

Joe, for these videos I use a 1/3" tri-sensor traditional video camera with an integral lens. I use auto focus because of the constant shifting of my position up and down within the frame as I get close to show details. I move to various heights as I see what's showing in my external monitor. This particular camera is just a bit finicky on picking up focus, depending on where I'm placing my hands/knife within the frame. I put the camera at that height because I want to hit the middle of the zoom range to avoid wide angle curve distortions. I also need the camera out of the lighting path so it doesn't cast shadows. A newer camera might have better auto focus, but I'm hard pressed to spend $7-8K at this point for the next step up. The majority of the video production I do is done using Nikon DSLR's with all manual everything, including focus.

I've thought about trying to use the DSLR for these, but I'd have to manually change the focus and using more than two focus points - near and far, would be next to impossible w/o another person pulling focus. I have a nice follow focus device, but I'd need to get an external flexible focus knob whip and I don't know if that would upset the camera, making the video wobble a bit when I changed the focus. I might try it. I like being able to "zoom" in however close I need when holding knives and showing closeups of the spine, Kanji and the like and you just can't do that effectively w/manual focus w/o another person as I mentioned.

Que sera, sera ;-).

Re: Where the magic happens

Thu Jun 05, 2014 8:08 am

Thanks for the write-up, Steve. This makes perfect sense and, like I said, I only brought up the point because I know it is something you're already attuned to. Everything you say makes perfect sense, of course—the only thing I didn't really inquire about in my post was answered by you, too, which was where you are in the depth-of-field relative to the zoom/focus on your camera. I assumed that you had chosen the height for a particular reason, and that it was related to the type of depth of focus you wanted above all else (it didn't occur to me that you would have issues with lens distortion with a larger, built-for-video camera, but that just shows how little I know!) Whereas I always want a very shallow depth of field for maximal focal contrast with my little S95, you probably want the opposite.

One of the glories of HD video is that you can actual see focus issues better...at least on a decent TV with a decent feed. I'm always astounded how many productions use the wrong combination of distance and lens angle—I'm sure there's a reason for this, but it seems so obvious to use a strong lens from a greater distance when using cue-cards, for example, or to avoid using too wide an angle to avoid obvious lens distortions, especially since so much is over-lit these days. I don't know much about cameras at all, but I always appreciate when someone like you comes along and focuses on the basics to get things looking great and consistent, almost as if the camera isn't even there. Kudos!

Re: Where the magic happens

Thu Jun 05, 2014 4:48 pm

I'd show you a picture of my bedroom but most of the magic has up and left from there. That's why I'm on this damn forum so much. :roll:

Re: Where the magic happens

Sun Jun 08, 2014 6:53 pm

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