Friday, 29 November 2013

Hyperlapse with a DSLR

If you don't know what a Hyperlapse is, it's a variation on the time-lapse method - except you move the camera in-between shots - the further you move it, the more impact the video has. It doesn't take a huge amount of expensive kit to do either, all you need is a camera, a tripod and some software to put it together.

Take a look at this great tutorial on youTube:

Another technique is called a 'Distance Lapse', again a variation on the time-lapse method but this time mount the camera to a vehicle and travel some distance to create your movie.

Put it all together and you can create something great like this:

Make sure you have enough space on your memory card:

And don't forget your timer remote:

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Excellent series on shooting cinematic style video on the DSLR

Part one is all about working with less, it's not about how much kit you have - it's how you use it.

Filmmaking Tutorial: Working With Less, Part 1 from David Kong on Vimeo.

Part 2 covers how to get the most out of your DSLR and covers codecs and compression.

Filmmaking Tutorial: Get the most out of your DSLR from David Kong on Vimeo.

Very much looking forward to seeing part 3 of this series.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Digital FilmMaker Magazine

There's a great new magazine out in the UK called 'Digital FilmMaker Magazine'. The first issue was called DSLR Filmmaker magazine, I guess they don't want to tie themselves down to a specific format too much, so they've renamed it - but looking through the magazine there is a good 90% of the content that is still DSRL Video.

You'll probably guess from the title, the magazine is aimed at people who want to shoot low-budget/indie films and as well as showing technical articles, there is also kit comparisons and movie reviews.

Take a look at their facebook page:

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Graveyard Carz

Interesting logo at the end of this program... It would be interesting to find out more about the gear used to shoot this!

Monday, 20 August 2012

Magic Lantern 2.3 now available for Canon Rebels

The folks over at Magic Lantern have released a new version of their camera software that they claim moves it along from being a 'hack' and into a reliable extension of the Canon features. There are a bunch of new sound functions as well as new video functions and built-in time lapse as well as bracketing for HDR photos and a semi-experimental method of producing HDR video, so there's a lot to get excited about.

Looking through the documentation and instructions, it's a little overwhelming and scary - with claims that the software is now 'pro' ready, as well as other claims that the software may still damage your camera - so it's a little daunting when you decide you want to install it.

First step for my camera was upgrading the Canon firmware to the latest version, that was very straight forward. Then the next job is to copy Magic Lantern to your memory card via the computer, then pop the card back in the camera and run the firmware upgrade process again. The whole thing was very quick and easy with no hitches.

The next thing you want to do it dive in and look at the menu's, but the documentation makes it seem much more complicated than it really is. On the 550D, in live view mode, simply press the delete button to bring up the ML menu. Once in the menu, use the arrow keys to navigate through the menus, and press 'set' to change values, once you get used to it, it's really easy.

Time-lapse and ramp exposure.

The ML software comes with some intervalometer software, so there's no need to buy external units to fire off your time lapses anymore! But another neat feature is the ramp exposure mode, one of the main problems with time lapse is the flicker that you get when the camera slightly adjusts the exposure for each frame. As clouds move and change the light, the camera adjusts to compensate and the result is a slight flickering. If it's a steady scene, this can be overcome by setting the exposure manually, but if you're doing a time lapse of a sun rise or a sunset then you need the exposure to change as the scene changes... thats where the ramp exposure comes in, you can configure the exposure to only get lighter with the scene, or only get darker with the scene (or auto for it to figure out itself). The result is a constantly changing exposure that only goes one way to eliminate the flicker. I'll be trying the time lapse software out soon so hopefully that will be another blog post to show how I got on.

HDR Video

HDR (High Dynamic Range) photos are hugely popular these days, if you're not aware of them then it's basically combining multiple exposures into a single photograph so that the darks are not too dark and the lights are not too light. Quite often this isn't an option in a single exposure and you can either expose for highlights or for shadows but not for both. ML includes a bracketing feature so that it will automatically shoot multiple exposures specifically for HDR images. But what about video? How could you employ this technique to create HDR video? Well, Magic Lantern's solution is to shoot a strobe effect of two exposures in the video. You then need to process this video to convert the strobe video into two separate video streams that can then be combined. It's a very interesting concept, and another that I'll be experimenting with shortly and will post another blog post with the results.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee

Jerry Seinfeld has a new web series out, he answered some questions about the series on the Facebook page for the show and one person asked:

Q:       Are these filmed with a DSLR?
A:       Interior car scenes are shot with mounted Go-Pro cameras; the rest are shot with DSLR cameras.

It's great to see DSLR's becoming a common tool to create high quality videos in the industry, rather than just low budget indie film makers. It would be interesting to find out what was used for the audio.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Opteka Slider made from Igus parts

A couple of years ago I posted about a home-made slider made from Igus parts. It now looks like a commercial slider is available that looks like it uses Igus track and carriage, it's also a very good price - to the point where it no longer makes sense to make your own (unless you want to build something a bit out of the ordinary). It's 60cm so not a bad length, long enough to get some nice slider shots but short enough that it's still portable.

It's available on Amazon for £99, I seriously doubt that you would be able to buy your own Igus track and build your own for that money... There are other cheaper track parts you can use if you're really on a tight budget, but the Igus track and carriage is a nice solid bit of kit to use, so I would think that this is a nice slider. If this was available two years ago, I would have bought this instead of making my own.