achieving the dslr look on digital/hd video

Sandfilms

Standard Member
im after achieving the dslr look on digital/HD video? without buying a dslr camera I have corel video studio x4 and Sony Vegas 10 editors, i will probably be rendering out in HD or up-scaled HD.

hope U can help

thanks:)
 

senu

Distinguished Member
What is the "DSLR look?"
 

senu

Distinguished Member
well its kinda like everything in the foreground is sharp and the background is blurred out smoothly Digital single-lens reflex camera - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia :)
I know what a DSLR is ( I have 3 of them):).. I wanted to be sure what you you meant

It is known as shallow depth of field ( or Bokeh)

You can most easily get it on a DSLR which does video using a lens in which the aperture is opened up, as you do with stills off a DSLR

It is often achieved in video and films with Camcorder which can take interchangeable lenses and cost a fair bit
It is more difficult with consumer camcoders because they have smaller sensors and lens tend to be wider focal lengths both of which make it harder to get shallow depth of field. Still Compacts are similar in that

You can in theory do it with a consumer camcorder and an adapter for 35mm film lenses but that is a bit of a hassle
http://vimeo.com/channels/sgblade

http://www.avforums.com/forums/13443654-post56.html
 
Last edited:

12harry

Well-known Member
Sandfilms isn't too good at explaining what he wants. It seems he's after that out-of-focus effect we got when cameras had real controls. Ho-Ho.

In a nutshell: Keep the subject close to the camera - keep the background far away (to be out of focus, with the subject sharp), then make sure the foreground is always the major part of the picture...this stops the consumer camcorder thinking the background is more interesting. Finally, don't do this in very bright light, as the lens' iris will be shut-down (which increases DoF)....ideally the background should be darker as this helps fool the autofocus. Avoid backgrounds with any striking contrast, this really invites trouble, as I know to my own cost.
. . . . If the camera has manual focus, use it. (but inexpensives ones do not).

I use an adapter for my 35mm lenses (on my NEX5) and this works reasonably well. The effect I really wanted was when two people are talking and the dialogue moves from one to the other...at which point you switch focus. Sadly camera lenses contain grease that prevents a rapid focus change....so I guess, if I get to film my "Masterpiece" it will be done using two separate Takes, one on the near subject and then again on the other. Because the "other person" is out of focus any sync-slippage won't show..... I hope. It will help to switch lighting emphasis much favoured in B&W films.
FWIW, Sandfilms -
I have these three lenses, with the equivalent 35mm focal lengths:
f/2.8 sony zoom 27-82
f/1.8 nikkor 75mm
f/3.5 hoya 300mm
of these the greatest background defocus is the 300mm, even at f/5.6

This focal-range is not as good as you get on a camcorder with super zoom, but the ability to switch lenses is the greater benefit. . . . A 300mm f/3.5 is a whacking big piece of glass, (60mm dia) - which makes consumer camcorders look almost like toys...er, IMHO. The 300mm is mounted on the tripod, with the camera mounted on the back of the lens for balance. (you shift the mount to achieve this). It is a home-made clamp, turned on a lathe. Hope that helps.
 

senu

Distinguished Member
Sandfilms isn't too good at explaining what he wants. It seems he's after that out-of-focus effect we got when cameras had real controls. Ho-Ho.

In a nutshell: Keep the subject close to the camera - keep the background far away (to be out of focus, with the subject sharp), then make sure the foreground is always the major part of the picture...this stops the consumer camcorder thinking the background is more interesting. Finally, don't do this in very bright light, as the lens' iris will be shut-down (which increases DoF)....ideally the background should be darker as this helps fool the autofocus. Avoid backgrounds with any striking contrast, this really invites trouble, as I know to my own cost.
. . . . If the camera has manual focus, use it. (but inexpensives ones do not).

I use an adapter for my 35mm lenses (on my NEX5) and this works reasonably well. The effect I really wanted was when two people are talking and the dialogue moves from one to the other...at which point you switch focus. Sadly camera lenses contain grease that prevents a rapid focus change....so I guess, if I get to film my "Masterpiece" it will be done using two separate Takes, one on the near subject and then again on the other. Because the "other person" is out of focus any sync-slippage won't show..... I hope. It will help to switch lighting emphasis much favoured in B&W films.
FWIW, Sandfilms -
I have these three lenses, with the equivalent 35mm focal lengths:
f/2.8 sony zoom 27-82
f/1.8 nikkor 75mm
f/3.5 hoya 300mm
of these the greatest background defocus is the 300mm, even at f/5.6

This focal-range is not as good as you get on a camcorder with super zoom, but the ability to switch lenses is the greater benefit. . . . A 300mm f/3.5 is a whacking big piece of glass, (60mm dia) - which makes consumer camcorders look almost like toys...er, IMHO. The 300mm is mounted on the tripod, with the camera mounted on the back of the lens for balance. (you shift the mount to achieve this). It is a home-made clamp, turned on a lathe. Hope that helps.
I did get what he was trying to say it is the shallow depth of field sometimes incorrectly called bokeh ( that refers to the quality of the OOF) but unless
  • you have a DSLR that does video or interchangeable lens Non DSLR like Nex
  • Camcorder with interchangeble lens ( of which the Nex VG 10 or NX 70 is unique for the cost) or costlier Semi pro pro kit
  • or
  • SG blade with conventional Camcorder
it is hard
 

UX50

Standard Member
im after achieving the dslr look
In my exerience, that means jerky badly exposed video !

You've not said which camcorder you've got. If you have a decent one with manual focus and iris controls you can get near to what you want.

My camcorder has an SLR equivalent focal length lens of 35mm (at fully wide) and I can manually open the iris to f1.6

My DSLR by coincidence has an similar focal length prime lens that can open to f1.8

I can achieve similar 'soft-blurred background / sharp close-up' video footage with each.

However, the camcorder is far superior in every area, so I hardly ever use the DSLR for video.
 
Last edited:

senu

Distinguished Member
In my exerience, that means jerky badly exposed video !
Not quite
well its kinda like everything in the foreground is sharp and the background is blurred out smoothly ....
You've not said which camcorder you've got. If you have a decent one with manual focus and iris controls you can get near to what you want.
Sadly some more pocket friendly camcorders are decent but dont have manual focus

My camcorder has an SLR equivalent focal length lens of 35mm (at fully wide) and I can manually open the iris to f1.6

M DSLR by coincidence has an similar focal length prime lens that can open to f1.8

I can achieve similar 'soft-blurred background / sharp close-up' video footage with each.
What do you have? for a Camcorder to show decent " bokeh" it would need to have a fast lens, larger sensor and ability to adjust aperture and decent optical Zoom

However, the camcorder is far superior in every area, so I hardly ever use it for video.
Nice camcorder .. which is it?
 

axiomprime

Novice Member
Open the aperture as far as it'll go and zoom in. It's not always easy with equipment that wants to do everything automatically.
 

senu

Distinguished Member
Open the aperture as far as it'll go and zoom in. It's not always easy with equipment that wants to do everything automatically.
How many consumer camcorders have aperture control?
Also because of small sensor size and mainly Wide focal lengths on the lenses unless(optically) zoomed maximally .. it is near impossible to get a shallow DOF " look"
 

UX50

Standard Member
Nice camcorder .. which is it?
Camcorder is Panasonic HDC-SD900 and SLR is Nikon D90.

The main problem with the D90 is that you can only video in LiveView mode, which isn't nice to use. More recent DSLRs are now better. I know a few people with Canon D5 MkIIs which they love for video work.

I meant to say, my SD900 has manual focus and iris controls so I can achieve a shallow depth of field, similar to an SLR. However, even though the iris control displays a range from f1.6 up to about f18, I think this is an 'SLR equivalent' f value, in terms of how much light gets through, and may not actually have as much physical properties as the large irises found on SLR lenses. In other words, it probably doesn't control the depth of field like an SLR can - and for other reasons you already mentioned.

Another thing to comment on is that the nicest 'bokeh' is often obtained by having a large number of iris 'petals'. My SLR's lens has a 9 leaf iris which gives very smooth bokeh, whereas the cheapest lenses have 5 or 6 leaf irises which give a more hexagonal bokeh. I've got no idea what a camcorder achieves, but it would be interesting to know.

I've tried looking at my camcorder's iris while adjusting the aperture ring and the iris appears to be two crescent shaped leaves that move towards each other.
 

12harry

Well-known Member
FWIW I think few consumer camcorders compete with DSLR lenses which have wide apertures and can be expensive (and heavy)
Camcorders have small apertures when zoomed because there isn't enough glass to go round, so the aperture becomes smaller.
That Zoom might be f/1.6 at wide (useful indoors at party-time but when zoomed 14x it needs bright sunlight, so the camcorder increases the gain. so you can reduce the iris to achieve greater DoF - this "protects" consumers that zoom-about and will lose Focus.

On a DSLR , like my midSLR I csn fit a 300mm f/3.5 lens which I've owned for years. It's a fine optic and the OOF is amazingly good. Of course the relative cheapness shows in the "Live-View only" and no sound-input sockets/headphone output, but I'll use my PalmTrack recorder for serious sound....when I get round Sony Vegas Production suite.
I don't think Nikon really have it for Video, although I still have many Nikon-fit lenses. All full-frame DSLR were out of the money and increased weight, which is critical for me as I use a pole-mounting. This creates viewpoints just not possible from a tripod.
It's a great shame, for me (and Nikon) as I went Sony NEX5 which includes "defocus" software for use with their own (v.limited) lenses. Whilst consumers have pushed up the price of DSLRs, results from the "entry-level" are not as good as you'd hope-for. Canon has the edge (in full-frame) I guess, because they are in the PRO-video market, as is Sony.
My NEX5 is full of faults, but picture-quality is first-class at the price.
Most "films" are made in the Edit........I hope.

The Pana 900 is a fine piece of kit, a tad expensive and still you can't attach new lenses. I just don't believe it could touch my f/3.5 300mm, although it can go nearly 500mm. The 3x Pana sensor is tiny, which should show up in noise somewhere. You don't get 'owt for nowt, as they say.
 
Last edited:

The latest video from AVForums

The Best Movies and TV Shows Coming to Netflix in November 2020: Tom's Thumbs.
Top Bottom