Panasonic HC-V750 for Sports

dosdan

Active Member
The display info stays on screen.

As Terfyn metioned, check your firmware version: MENU | SETUP | FIRMWARE VERSION INFO.

Although a long shot, you try a reinitialise: MENU | SETUP | INITIAL SET.

You can remove the guidelines: MENU | RECORD SETUP | GUIDELINES | OFF.



This the minimum display you can get when recording:
K3_61876.jpg


(I'm photographing the screens with a Pentax-K3, and I forgot to switch on its AA-filter simulator, so you can see moiré in this shot.)


And this is the temporary increase in display info when you touch the screen:
K3_61877.jpg


Dan.
 
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dosdan

Active Member
Another example, this time under good sunshine. However, the sun was at the back of the runners so their fronts are shadowed.

Shots from my V750 generally need some contrast boost. For this, I use the NewBlue ST Video Tuneup plugin that came with Sony Vegas Pro 12. In the shot below, taken in the camera's Action AE mode, the RHS of the image, from a screen-grab in Vegas, is showing the effect of a contrast boost of 2.04. Alternatively, if it's a night-time race shot under lights, I get more aggressive with Contrast=12.93, Brightness=-11.56.

Contrast%20Boost%20comparison.jpg


The difference in contrast levels is also shown in a comparison of the Luminance histograms, with the contrast-boosted version the 2nd histogram.

Histogram%20Comparison.jpg


Also, here is a 100% crop from this contrasted-boosted frame showing the level of sharpness achieved. (Note: boosting the contrast should make the edge transitions appear a bit sharper than they were originally.) Edge-sharpening artifacts and some image noise are apparent at this level of inspection. I wouldn't expect much better quality from a frame-grab from other consumer-level Full HD videocams, (although 4K models will hopefully raise this bar), but a DSLR-based camera, with it's bigger sensor, and potentially better-quality lens, should perform better if it's in-focus.

100%20Percent%20Sharpness.jpg


Dan.
 
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dosdan

Active Member
I'm interested in the sound side. While on principle I prefer close-up, remote micing into a ext. sound recorder, rather than using on-camera mics, this is not possible with sporting events. Here are some configurations I'm trying:

1. Inbuilt camera mics. The Panasonic HC-V750 has a 4-mic array. In MP4 this is a stereo setup (don't know if this is synthesised to emulate crossed cardioids or whether it's more directional e.g. cross super-cardioids at 60 degrees.

When using AVCHD you also have a zoom-mic option. This becomes more directional as you zoom in. Here's an MP3 of the effect in a room going from 1x -> 50x -> 1x.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/c3rbriis23f750l/Zoom Mic test.mp3

This is up to 20x optical + digital zoom, but the sensor has a lot more area than is used (Hybrid OIS uses EIS as well as OIS, so extra sensor area is required to allow for this), so up to 50x is possible without pixellation in Full HD. However, with soccer, a lot less zoom is used. The problem with AVCHD is that it tops out at 1080p60 28Mpbs. With MP4, you can shoot 1080p60 50Mbps, and I prefer to use this for action, so no zoom mic for me.

The camera also has a Wind Noise Canceller option. Like most consumer products, this is poorly explained in the manual and no specifications concerning its action are provided. I think this is a variable strength High-Pass Filter (HPF). As the wind increases, the HPF becomes more effective/intrusive. However the camera's preamp still get overloaded when the wind become moderately strong and some thumping occurs. I wish I could build a small wind muff and sticky-tape it on top during windy days, but I've not found a source for artificial long-hair fur yet.

Also, the inbuilt mics pick up my breathing (in the quieter moments)/giggling/groaning.

2. Rode VideoMic (VM) on-camera. The rubber suspension o-rings have failed again on both my VM & Stereo VM. The forecast for at a weekly match 2 Sundays ago (24/04/2016) was very windy. So I wanted to use a VM with a DeadCat wind-muff. So I used a rubber band on the rear suspension. This is less than ideal as the tension is too high and the less complaint suspension lets through more handling noise. Here's the mic:

Rode%20VM%20with%20Dead%20Cat.jpg


In this shot you can see that the hot-shoe mount is centrally placed on the suspension carrier. However there is an alternate attachment point further forward and I found I needed to move the attachment to this point so that the zoom control on the top of the camera wasn't obstructed. Here's the mic on the camera. This camera has tongue with hot-shoe slot that you push into the back of the camera. (I'd prefer a more traditional hot-shoe-on-top layout.) You can see in this shot how the mic mount position is different. This moves the balance rearwards, but at least I can now use the zoom control.

Rode%20VM%20on%20camera.jpg


You can also see a cheap 49mm lens hood. Normally, the front of the camera is flush and the lens is recessed somewhat. But I found in my first windy rain shoot this season (13/03/2016) that this recessing was insufficient to prevent rain getting blown onto the lens, and I had to keep wiping it with a micro-fibre cloth during the match. So hopefully this lens hood will provide a little more protection.

The VM is monophonic and the plug is wired to feed the same signal the L/R channels. All the 3.5mm mic sockets on videocamera's I've owned (7 so far) have been a bit crackly when you rotate the plug in the socket. I got a little crackle/muting in the R channel at one point of the match, but in Sony Vegas Pro I easily fixed this by making the L channel the sole source for both channels in this part of the timeline.

3. It struck me that I could use the VM on-camera, but plugged into an ext. sound recorder. This way the directional mic still follows the pointing direction of the camera, but you get the stereo sound from the camera's mics too. (The internal mics are muted if an ext. mic is plugged into the mic input socket.) I like to mount things on the stand, so if an ext. sound recorder is used I'd need to use a 3.5mm-3.5mm stereo extension cable. I plan to try out this configuration soon.

4. An ext. sound recorder. I've got a Tascam DR-2d and a Zoom H4. I prefer the Tascam as it exhibits less handling noise.

Tascam_DR_2DW_DR_2d_Portable_Digital_Recorder_837283.jpg

Also, I can fit the DeadKitten muff (original used with the Rode Stereo VM) over it. I use this on a table-top tripod, which I place on the far side, (I shoot from the middle side-line), facing back at me.

Tascam%20Dr-2d%20with%20Dead%20Kitty.jpg


This way, I can capture the players and ball sounds from the far side (and the coaches yelling) more clearly. If set up this way you need to reverse the sound channels of the recording in the editor so the direction from that side matches the camera's portrayal. I've been doing this a bit now, combined in the mix with the in-camera mics, if it's not too windy. One limitation is that the stereo sound-scape is fixed and doesn't change with the camera direction as you pan. Still, it seems an improvement and can help if you have obnoxious spectators or an unwanted sound-source (e.g. a club-house's A/C compressor) near the camera.

If using the the monophonic VM on the camera, the Tascam setup can be used to add in stereophonic ambience and some directionality.

At one match, fearful of a soccer ball hitting this stand, I placed it behind a chain-link fence. However on that side of the fence, another team came along during our match and began warming up, and either a kicked ball from that side or one of their team knocked it over! So I only got output from this recorder for the first half.

Manual syncing of the different soundtracks is done using the ref's whistle at the start of each half. If you press the pause/stop button on the camera inadvertently this can cause a problem, but you can then sync the affected portion from a whistle blow at the end of the half.

Dan.
 
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Terfyn

Well-known Member
I wish I could build a small wind muff and sticky-tape it on top during windy days, but I've not found a source for artificial long-hair fur yet.
Go to a hobby shop and ask for "teddy bear" fur. It works perfectly.
 

12harry

Distinguished Member
Hobby Shops can be pricey . . .

Better ( If you can), find a fabric shop and look at Faux Fur . . . you can get it in Black, White and bright Neon-colours . . . I think the Pro-material is Grey with black bits - so I suspect it's specially made.
The construction must allow an airspace between the mic and the Faux-Fur, where the air is still, whilst allowing audio to get through. Some rubber-band suspension for the mic will help reduce any handling noise and allows mics to be removed to change batteries, etc.

For practical use your Tascam recorder needs to be operable during the match; so the mic +dead-cat will need separate construction..... including a tripod bush.
Pro versions use a plastic meshed blimp( ~ 4" Dia ), which is covered by a zippered Faux-Fur and will cost £250, - so there's money to be saved.

Good luck with the Audio.
 
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Terfyn

Well-known Member
Better ( If you can), find a fabric shop and look at Faux Fur . . . you can get it in Black, White and bright Neon-colours . . . I think the Pro-material is Grey with black bits - so I suspect it's specially made.
The construction must allow an airspace between the mic and the Faux-Fur, where the air is still, whilst allowing audio to get through. Some rubber-band suspension for the mic will help reduce any handling noise and allows mics to be removed to change batteries, etc.
The problem I found with fabric shops is that they will only sell by the metre.
The air space can easily be fabricated with aquarium filter foam. This is a firm open mesh material that will allow sound to pass through and is easy to cut and stick. I have made a number of "deadcat" filters using this method.
 

dosdan

Active Member
Got around to getting replacement suspension O-rings for my Rode VM & SVM. My VM is the early model (no attenuator inside the battery compartment). Rode was not happy with the suspension system on this model. They gave me a free upgrade kit that replaces the original suspension with a Rycote Lyre (flexible red plastic) suspension. I thought this method might be less compliant than O-rings, but it seems to do a good job.

Unfortunately, while you can still change the mount attachment point on the cradle, the variation in position is much less than was possible with the original model. I need to do this to get access to the zoom control on the top of the camera. And the mount is lower. Now I can just get my finger to the top of the zoom control, but it's close to the mount. I'll see during a match how well I can control the zoom, hopefully without any extra handling noise.

K3_60143.jpg



Here's the camera with my homemade windshield for the camera's mics. You can also see the filing I did of the step inside the accessory hood to stop the vignetting that was visible wide-open at the 4' o'clock & 8 o'clock positions.

K3_60145.jpg



My next trial will be to run both mic systems (VM & camera) at the same time by using a short mic extension cable to feed the VM to the Tascam DR-2d, in recorder-only mode, attached to the tripod's leg.

The reason I want to try using 2 mic systems on-camera (as well as a separate far-side static stereo pair), is that the stereo image from the internal mics will follow the camera's direction as I pan. I can then vary the directivity of the stereo pickup by changing the ratio of the mono (VM) mic to the stereo (internal) mics during the mix-down. This will be like Mid-Side micing, except that classic M-S micing uses a sideways-aligned figure-8 mic with some extra fiddling.

Mid-Side (MS) Mic Recording Basics - Blog - Universal Audio

Instead of using the DR-2d with its mics at the central far-side of the field, opposite the camera, as I've normally been doing, I'll instead use a Zoom H4 in that role. I like a set of far-side mics to clearly pick up the instructions from both coaches as well as player & ball sounds over that side. The L/R channels are reversed during the mix-down to match what the camera on the near-side sees but, being statically situated, this stereo image does not change as the camera pans.

So, when I try this I'll be mixing 3 soundtracks:

1. Rode VM - mono, highly directional, on-camera, panning, recorded by a Tascam DR-2d.
2. Internal mics - stereo-pair, on-camera, panning.
3. Zoom H4 - stereo-pair, far-side, static, reversed channels.

Dan.
 
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Terfyn

Well-known Member
Why do you not use a L bracket. I use the Hama bracket for either lighting or a mic.
The frame on my Boya mic obstructs both the photo button and the zoom toggle but the L bracket both gives me access to the camera controls and an extra handhold to steady the camera.
 

Terfyn

Well-known Member
The Hama nut is flat, i.e. it has no rim, and has a diameter of 1", it gives a steady grip on a tripod. The L bracket, you show, has a rim but should become steady when screwed hard on to a tripod plate.
 

dosdan

Active Member
The Hama nut is flat, i.e. it has no rim, and has a diameter of 1", it gives a steady grip on a tripod.

Terfyn, thanks for the suggestion. I used the mic with the new suspension last Sunday. I had issues with the low hanging hairs from the DeatCat windmuff appearing in the top of frame in WA shots:

K3_60143.jpg

I was thinking of mounting a piece of flexible thin black curved plastic on top of the hood to keep the hairs out. (I may still try that.)

After reading your post I ordered a cheapie L-bracket on eBay. It arrived today. It has a 25mm locking-nut. The bracket is designed for LHS mounting on a DSLR. I did not like either RHS or LHS positioning on the V750:

LHS: partially obscures the 3.5" LCD touchscreen. This also makes menu selection on the touch-screen more difficult.

RHS: interferes with my RH gripping of the camera and slightly interferes with the use of the zoom control.

So I mounted it at the rear:

K3_60147.JPG




Even though I usually use an ext. power-pack, I like to keep a VW-VBT190 battery attached as well. I've have the tripod hit by a soccer ball during a match - the ext. battery pack, being heavy, un-velcroed away from the head and hang, dangling from the camera, still connected by its battery lead, and still recording. But if the lead had detached, without the original battery on the camera to take over, the recording would have ceased. So I like to keep the VBT190 attached, even though it increases the weight at the back a bit.

Having the VBT190 on the camera means that the L-bracket has to go a bit further back to clear it. The base of the L-bracket is slotted, so this position is feasible. I'll see how it works in use at this Sunday's match.

I did not like mounting the L-bracket, via it's threaded locking-nut, to the tripod's QR plate with only a 25mm-diameter contact area. So I looked around for a large spacer to improve the stability of the connection. Two clothes pegs, side-on, were about the right size, (10mm height when turned on their side), but looked crappy. So I went to a rubber store and got a 10mm medium-hardness block of rubber (normally used for draft exclusion - a 8mm thickness might be better depending on the height of the L-bracket locking-nut). This is the same width as the QR plate (approx. 50mm), so I got an 80mm length of it to match the length of the QR plate. So the rubber spacer is 80x50x10mm. I then cut out a central 25mm hole so that rubber spacer fits snugly over the head of the L-bracket's locking-nut (with redundant clothes pegs also shown):

K3_60149.JPG



The hot-shoe attachment lug on the mic is asymmetrical: it's longer than it's wider. This means the mic will not face forward when fitted into the rails of the rear-mounted L-bracket, as the rails on the bracket are designed to attach a forward-facing device (flash, light, mic) when the L-bracket is mounted sideways. However with the Rode VideoMic, I was able to unscrew the mounting post, turn it 90-degrees and reattach it into the base of the Rycote Lyre suspension housing. So now the mic faces forwards, but it means I've got to re-orient the mounting post if I use the mic on a normal camera mount.

This setup using the L-bracket may only be temporary. I've got a 4-piece U-bracket assembly coming to see if I can mount the 7" Lilliput monitor.

Dan.
 
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Terfyn

Well-known Member
I guess it will depend on the design of the bracket. The LCD screen can be opened and is clear of the upright on the Hama bracket so that is not a problem. The Hama bracket has a strap to hold the hand onto the handle and, along with the camera hand strap makes two handed support very easy.
By the look of the slot on your L bracket, I think the Hama bracket has 1" more movement giving that extra clearance for the screen.

My BOYA mic has a slightly higher mount than the Rode so the double wind muffs clear the lens. I still cannot reach the zoom and photo buttons on the camera as the bottom of the mic frame covers them, hence the L bracket.
 

12harry

Distinguished Member
dosdan - you could try trimming the fur - starting with a light-trim. OR you could give it a cover to provide some "Set" in the hairs; so even with the cover off those hairs stay away from the picture-area.
The pic-2 arrangement, where the mic is well-above is the real fix although this makes the whole somewhat larger when being put away.

Hope that helps.

FWIW. My own fluffy arrangement (Sony CX410), is barely larger than the rubber lens-hood - and appears to work well - but this is for the internal mic - as I really don't believe an external ( Plug-in) mic is worth the greater hassle..........and I have three electret shotguns, and two m/c with 5m leads....plus a load of electret capsules for Audio-Projects well into the future.
 

dosdan

Active Member
as I really don't believe an external ( Plug-in) mic is worth the greater hassle....

Originally I was using the internal mics. The suspension rubbers on the Rode VM & SVM were perished. Now I have both mics re-shod, and in the case of the VM with the free upgrade to the Rycote Lyre suspension, it seems superior in isolation and very durable.

Also the internal mics have a dynamic HPF option, that varies the cut-off freq and maybe its slope with the strength of the wind. This variable HPF is good, but it can't work miracles on a very windy day. This HPF isn't available when using ext. mics.

There is a "low-cut" option available on the menu that becomes accessible when an ext. mic is plugged in, but it's quite intrusive so I only use it under very gusty conditions.

However, I was quite surprised by the visceral thunk I'm getting from the sound of kicking the ball as captured by the VM compared to the internal mics. It's been windy or close to traffic in most of the matches and I've found even with the DeadCat wind-muff I still use the VM's switchable 80Hz, 12dB/octave HPF. So the deepest bass will be missing. But still I'm get this nice thunk that I'm not getting with the internal mics (always used outdoors with the variable HPF set to "Strong"). The sound, to me, seems to intensify the "being there" experience of watching soccer, so I prefer it.

I made a simple wind-muff for the internal mics. Whether or not this will be sufficient in strong wind, I don't know. I do plan to run both the VM, recording to the Tascam DR-2d, and the internal mics, recording to camera, in a quasi-M/S setup so that I can experiment with varying the width of the stereo image during post production. That should be within a few weeks. Then I should be able to present some comparisons of the sound from the two near-side panned micing systems, with/without the contribution of a 3rd micing setup: the far-side static stereo mics in the Zoom H2 with a DeadKitty wind-muff.

Dan.
 
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dosdan

Active Member
Monitor%20U%20Bracket.jpg
The 2 (not 4) multi-purpose L_brackets arrived. They're steel, rather than aluminium alloy, and probably too heavy to use on top of a camera. Also the bottom mount point is off-centre and the two vertical arms are different lengths. I could drill and tap a 1/4" thread in the bottom centre of the bracket to fix the first point, but I'm not sure if it would be worth it. But the bracket is sturdy so I think I'll use it as way of mounting the 7" Lilliput monitor securely on a stand, (another tripod adjacent to the camcorder), for on-site slo-mo review purposes. This will work as long as I get a longer (2m-5m) HDMI cable.
 
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12harry

Distinguished Member
Dunno dosdan, but maybe that "Thunk" you get ( Post No39, Para 4), from the football is caused by the way shotgun mics work.
Since internal mics are real-microphones, they record more-or-less what we hear ( apart from air movements! ).....Good luck with the dead-cat / fluffy . . . my own appears to work in modest breezes - if it's Really bad I try to stand in the way of the wind - to reduce its impact on the camcorder.
Re Bracket
Maybe you already know this, but FWIW, I'd put a short 1/4" screw into the position showing the tripod bush, ( off tripod, without monitor ). Then araldite/Epoxy the two brackets, now they are "as one" - Clamp & drill/tap new 1/4" thread and you should have a sturdy bracket assembly that doesn't want to fall apart.
The short 1/4" screw can be kept in-place to help hold it together.

Sadly it would have been easier to buy some steel and make the whole thing; as you have access to 1/4Whit taps.
For finishing I use Grey car-undercoat spray, but I'd provide* a bush for the tripod screw as I like to have maybe ten threads engaged; this is not possible with bracket-material being too thin - That's probably why they chose steel over ali - and Ali is also more expensive to paint.
However the double-bracket Post40, isn't "quite" right - but then, who's looking?

* hard-soldered to the bracket


Good luck.
 
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dosdan

Active Member
The first friendly pre-season soccer match is 10 days away. Last year I became uphappy with the PH-368 fluid-effect head on the Velbon DV-7000 tripod. To pan fast you have to back the adjustable damping way off and when you do this there is too much slop horizontally and vertically.

Recently, I read an interesting comparision of 10 fluid video heads:

Smooth operators: 10 top video tripod heads for any budget.

The Manfrotto 502HD seemed good for the price, so I ordered one. ($225.75 AUD from an Aussie dealer.) I may get a half-ball adapter (Manfrotto 520 ball) so I can also use this flat-base head in a bowl-mount base and then use this head on with another tripod (Nest NT-777).

It's a large, heavy head, seems to have no slop, can pan very fast when the horiz. drag is backed right off and seems very smooth. Here it is on the DV7000 with a Rode VM on top and a Tascam DR-2d and an external 5/9/12V power pack mounted on the legs

K3_61464.jpg


The 502 HD is designed for a heavier camera. It does't fully balance with my rig. The 500 HD would have been better in this regard as it seems better suited to lighter cameras, but users in the BHPhoto user reviews preferred the panning smoothness of the 502 HD, so I went for it. I've tried hanging some extra weight under the front of the camera and this allowed me to fully balance the rig.

Dan.
 
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dosdan

Active Member
My V750 appears to be losing focus more often for short periods of time. So I've bought a V770, and delegated the V750 to less demanding 2nd-camera duties.

I usually shoot soccer from the mid-sideline. Last Sunday (26 Mar 2017), I set up the V750 as a static, unattended camera near one end of the field to cover the near goal area from the side. Any zooming in or panning you see in these 2nd-camera shots has been done in PP in Sony Vegas Pro 12 using digital Pan&Crop.

A YouTube playlist of 4 short incidents:


You'll also see instances of variable slo-mo. My normal slo-mo is 1/4x, but I've slowed down 2 critical portions to 1/16x.

The syncing is done using a Tascam DR-2d sound recorder as the timing master, situated on the mid-sideline opposite the V770. This is in stereo, but the channels are reversed in PP to match what the V770 sees. This recorder picks up the team coaches clearly and also some far-side action sounds. I started the Tascam recording before the match and also started a stopwatch at the same time. The Tascam is only stopped at the end of the match.

Next I started the V750 and noted the timing offset from Time Zero. Since I only have 2xVBT-190 batteries, I had to change them at half-time. This was a pain, and I have to resync for the start of the 2nd half. I'll get an USB ext. 5V battery pack soon. I only used the V750's soundtrack for syncing - it was not audible in the final mix.

Just before the start of the match I started the V770 and noted its offset from Time Zero. This has a Rode VideoMic, so the sound is mono. I get an excellent ball-hit sound from it, while the pickup from the Tascam reversed-stereo recorder adds some spaciousness and directivity to the mix. The V770 is left running for the whole match as I use an USB ext. 5V battery pack to power it. I find it easier to leave it running during the half-time break - makes syncing a bit easier. I also note how far into the start of the V770's recording before the Ref blows the start-off whistle.

Here is a simplified sync timing diagram of the two cameras and the external audio recorder. I find, due to slight differences in the audio time-base frequencies, I need to check the syncing of the tracks at the beginning of the 2nd half, and sometimes at the end of halves too. Shown in orange are the 5 timing offsets I jotted down when recording the match to reduce the syncing and editing workload afterwards:

SyncTiming%20Diagram.jpg


I then use the Split function of the stopwatch to record the offset from Time Zero of any interesting incidents which I usually want to later slo-mo. Unfortunately, my stopwatch was purchased for Athletics and I only needed a 9-split model. For soccer, a 99-split model would have been better. Later on, in PP, I set markers on these split timings, before starting to edit out stuff like the delays between a foul and taking the free kick or penalty kick, substitutions, injuries down-time, setting up corners or retrieving the ball when it's kicked out. With the editing I'm finishing up with about 80% of the initial game time. In this particular 80-min U15 match, I ended up with 62.5 mins (78%), and that includes 12 slo-moed incidents. I suspect though that the ref may not not compensated for the 2 x 2mins drinks breaks included due to the hot, humid conditions.

I didn't do these as a multi-cam edit, switching between takes. Instead I muted the 2nd camera's video and sound tracks. Then, when an incident occurred near the goal area, I unmuted and soloed the 2nd cam video track to see how much was usable. Then I copied this portion up to my main video track. I move everything to the right to add extra space when I'm processing these incidents, because I'm going to be inserting 1/4x slo-mos.

I process an incident by copying it & the 2nd-camera version, if suitable, (video-only, as I'll be slo-moing), and then applying both some sharpening (sometimes variably if the focus changes during an incident) and also Pan&Cropping to both copies. Once I'm happy with the copies (I try to correct for jerkiness in my panning), I render them as HQX intermediate .AVI files, and then delete the copies and import the HQX AVIs. Then I disable Smart Resampling and apply 1/4x slo-mo stretching. (I've explained before why I do a HQX render, then import the clip I'm going to slo-mo: it's the only way I can ensure Vegas does the Pan&Crop before the 1/4x slo-mo. Otherwise, if I apply the slow-down directly to the Pan&Crop copy, it does the 1/4x slo-mo first, which can cause slight jittery motion jump-backs every few frames due to the incorrect order of processing operations.)

Here is an incident part of the original clips and arrows showing where the imported versions were placed and then slo-moed to 1/4x (through frame replication). The 2nd slo-mo clip has a light green Event Velocity curve visible with a dip where it performs a further slow-down from 100% to 25% to produce a 1/16x slo-mo in this part:

2-clips%20slo-mo.jpg



I've seen a used V500 for 1/3rd the price I paid for my new V770. While only a 1/5.8" sensor and lacking in features and flexibility, I don't need much if I use it as reasonable-daylight-only static 3rd camera for the goal area at the other end. It will do 1080p50 AVCHD. So I'm tempted...

Dan.
 
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dosdan

Active Member
For a couple of months now I've been following a more complex setup than was described in the last message. This means I'm now typically using 6 tracks in Vegas:

  1. Tascam DR-2d - Master timing source - Swapped/Reversed channels in PP because it it usually situated opposite the master camera. Used to pick up coaches' comments from both teams and field sounds from the far-side of the field. Provides some directionality.
  2. Zoom H4 near one goal end. About 9 yards out from the goal sideline. Stereo, but usually only one channel is used in PP: the channel facing towards the mid-field. Previously, I was combining both channels from its X-Y pickup, but too much off-field/traffic/adjacent field's play sounds were being pick up. The sole channel used is panned fully L or R in the mix.
  3. Main Camera (V770) video.
  4. Main Camera sound. Rode VM, a mono mic, provides the same single to both channels. So only 1 channel is used in the mix, panned Centre.
  5. Goal Camera (V750) video. Unattended, fixed direction and zoom. Usually situated 9 yards out from the goal and zoomed in and framed to include both the goal front and the 18-yard line. Panning and further zooming is done digitally in PP: Vegas' "Pan&Crop", with the PP sharpening applied also varying temporally in line with the amount of digital zoom-in used.
  6. Goal Camera sound (V750 internal mics). Stereo, but usually only one channel is used in PP: the channel facing towards the mid-field. Panned fully L or R in the mix, to provide the other channel to compliment the H4's pickup.

The layout varies depending on where the sun is, how close and noisy the crowd is, and whether access is available on that side of the field. (Recently, one field had a tall chain-link fence along one side - I didn't want to shoot video through that.) Here is an idealised setup:

Mic%20and%20Camera%20Layout.jpg



I used to have the Goal Cam and H4 both on the opposite side of the field from the Main Cam, particularly if there was little or no crowd on that side, but this means that the Goal Cam may be shooting towards the sun. Even if it is too high to be in-frame, and flare is not an issue, there is still the problem of the players' near-side being shadowed. So I'm now tending to keep the Goal Cam on the same side as the Main Cam, with the H4 being on the least populated side.

Here is the timing offset and audio channel assignment I'll be using this week:

Timing%20Delays%202.jpg


The orange lines are the timing offsets I jot down when I start a device recording. Up until this week, it was more complex than is shown, as I use 2 x VW-VBT190 (1940mAh) batteries for the Goal Cam (V750). 1940mAh is not enough capacity to fully record the 100-110mins of a junior soccer match including both the half-time break and some extra time to cover starting the recording before the match, walking away, and turning it off afterwards. So I was having to change batteries for this camera during half-time and thus having to sync it again in PP. Now I've bought a cheap 10,000mAh 5V power bank which will power the V750 unattended for the full match. (I've tested it as powering the V750 for 376mins if I close the LCD screen. Don't need a LCD screen for fixed usage once it's set up.)

I could have bought a high-capacity VW-VBT380 battery, but that battery is quite expensive. The 10,000mAh 5V powerbank was dirt cheap and sufficient for tripod-only usage.

With my focus issues I'm getting on the V750 I've had focus problems even for fixed usage: It will look in-focus when I start it, but later the whole half from this camera is recorded OOF, but the 2nd half, after the restarting of recording, may turn out OK. So, last match I starting using it in MF mode, attaching a Lilliput 7" ext. monitor and then 4x zooming in on the monitor to confirm that the MF is set as sharply as possible. The camera prefers to use an iris of f/3.6 which, for the small effective image area used on this sensor, seems to provide sufficient DOF when operating in MF mode. But DOF will probably become an issue in dusk or overcast situations, when the iris is fully open (f/1.8). I'll cross that bridge when I next come to it.

The Main Camera has been running from a large 5V/9V/12V powerbank for about 18 months now and it is usually left running for the full match to make syncing a bit easier. (Unless I need to stop the camera to adjust some setting.)

The timing diagram shows blue crosses where I adjust/check the syncing. I've found with the slight difference in time-base frequencies, it's best to sync/time-stretch on both the starting & ending whistles. The temporal offsets due to the distance between the H4 & Goal Cam compared to the Tascam needs to be accounted for. This can be more of an issue at the end of a half when the ref is not usually near a central position on the field.
 
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12harry

Distinguished Member
Thanks for the Tech-details . . it's something I will need time to digest as I don't follow Sports.

Yet, I wonder that your CAMERA-3 money might be better spent on a GoPro ( or Lookalike), which would be waterproof, should it rain suddenly . . . and be more robust if hit by the ball, or knocked accidently.
The WA-lens probably means you don't need to frame it too well and in Edit you can Pan-Crop to follow the ball as required. The only downer is the Battery-life, which has never impressed me . . . perfectly OK for the main purpose ( Downhill runs, etc.), but not for serious venues where access will be tricky.
(( Of course you could make a battery-insert that has a lead to a larger battery . . and it's possible there is a power-input I'm unaware of...).
A new 4K model would provide even more facility to Pan/Crop to provide Cutaways of "Golie" when the action is otherwise static, etc. etc.
Also, in a "Practice" session you can film the player POV making their run towards the Goal . . . giving you a whole new load of possibilities . . . and should you get / borrow a Drone, the camera-operation is already up and running, so only the flying is "new" to you.

Good luck.
 

Terfyn

Well-known Member
I'm still wondering if the opposing team scores all the goals and the "GoalCam" is at the wrong end of the pitch, how do you video that?
A "drone" flying over the pitch - I don't think so. The battery life is limited and the drone could fall and hit a player. I believe most overhead cams are strung from wires.
 

dosdan

Active Member
I'm still wondering if the opposing team scores all the goals and the "GoalCam" is at the wrong end of the pitch, how do you video that?

I don't move the goal cam between halves. So it usually records successful and unsuccessful saves from direct attacks, corners and crosses in one half, and serious attacks and successful goals in the 2nd half. Our team is usually dominant. After 9 matches (half-way though the season), their tally is 36 goals for and 9 against.

I usually get a good shot of goals scored and defended from the main camera, but the goal cam sometimes has a much better shot if say a player is blocking the main camera's view of the goalie hands when he saves a goal attempt from a corner kick, and the goal cam often clarifies the depth position of the players from the goal area which can be misleading from the main camera's viewpoint. It's nice to have the goal cam footage available, but not essential.

A 2nd fixed goal cam up the other end would be ideal. But I'm under self-imposed time pressure to get Sunday's match processed and uploaded to YouTube by late Tuesday afternoon (I'm retired), to assist with the match review process at training. Another cam in the mix would slow things down.

Things get quite demanding when my son, a goalie, plays up in another team as well as his own, as I video that too and send their coach & team the YouTube link to the match. This has happened twice so far this year, and he'll be playing up in the club's premier U15 team for at least the next 3 matches due to both their goalies being injured (busted finger; ACL). When I video two matches on a weekend, I try and get the 2nd match up by Thursday afternoon, but it's a lot of work and the uploading of each match is taking 9-10 hours due to to my slow ADSL2 upload speed.

Dan.
 

dosdan

Active Member
Here are the two goal sequences from last Sunday's match. Since they occurred down the goal-cam end of the field, there is an alternate camera view for each. You can see the loss of resolution as I digitally zoom in closer in PP. I've partially compensated for this by altering the sharpening as I zoom further. By the end of the slo-moed clip the digital zoom is about 3x (the source is only 1/9th the number of pixels as in the original frame, as captured) and the degradation is large, but acceptable for this usage.

The goal cam is a V750, 1080p60 50Mbps MP4, operating in MF mode. The first goal has no panning & scanning applied to the goal cam. This shows the fixed framing. When using MF at this distance and iris (there is sufficient DOF to give a sharp-looking image.

In the 2nd goal I've applied pan & scan to the goal cam. I've also applied an Event Velocity curve as the ball comes near the goalie's hands. The slo-mo here drops from 1/4x to 1/16x.

The "Sports" AE settings used by the goal cam in this section of the clip:
Goal 1 - 1/1500s changing to 1/2000s, f/3.6
Goal 2 - 1/500s, f/2.8

The goal cam clip info (via the service menu setting) shows the FL as 74mm. Since the front of the lens mentions a FL range of 4.08-81.6mm, I had to check what the actual camera zoom used. I shot a sequence using 1x-20x optical zoom on the camera and then looked at the clip info: 1x = 30mm and 20x = 612mm. So 74mm/30mm = 2.5x zoomed in.

Each goal sequence: as shot (with some contrast changes); 1/4x panned-&-scanned version; 1/4x fixed goal-cam version.

720p60, 5m52s, 200MB, download first before viewing:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/0yw9n6dktl47zcj/Two goals.mp4

When 1080p120 becames available in consumer camcorders, (I think it's available now in a few expensive DSLRs), it should be possible to apply 1/4x slo-mo without obvious stiltedness.

By mistake, in a match in April, I left the goal cam in slo-mo mode for the 1st half. (The icons for Sports AE and Slo-Mo mode look somewhat similar.) This means it was natively shooting 120p and outputting it as 1/2x moderately upsized 1080p60. While this turned out to be better for slo-mo quality, it was very difficult to work with, as it was over twice as long as the main-cam track, (starting well before the main cam), there was no soundtrack to sync on, and visual syncing was only possible when action was close to the goal (I was using tighter framing). Since it contained over 2x the number of frames as the main video track, it couldn't be placed under the main video track in the editor, but had to placed after it, and the location of segments to be used had to be done computationally. It would have been better to switch the timeline display to frame numbers, set up up a spreadsheet, with the various timing offsets in it, and then used its computed values to convert my stopwatch-timed incidents to the relative frame-number locations in the goal-cam track.

Dan.
 
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12harry

Distinguished Member
Camera/camcorder screens are frequently too cluttered to be easy on the eye.... it's a pity you can't set a "Regular-settings" into Memory and then use this to warn you when the camera is set differently - this would at least warn you - but there would have to be an additional button / scheme that allowed this to show/hide ( which might negate the whole purpose).
I have a Stills camera with "Self-timer" but the flashing light in the viewfinder is about 1mm diameter and doesn't flash. That's fine if you notice the thing, but woeful if you blink! Then without warning it takes the picture!
I do wonder why with all the computing power available few camcorders offer a self-timer - and if it's there is it's usually 2s or 10s . . . . what's wrong with any delay 1-99 sec?
I've seem time-lapse options which max out at 5 seconds ( DYOR) . . . . how about 5 hours as a sensible upper limit . . . if you are watching seaside tides 5 seconds really is just too short an interval . . . but then I'm often wrong.
To save the battery the camcorder would shut-down, retaining only the Timer?WB/focus/zoom settings and then wake-up with enough time to Set, before Taking..... can't be that difficult, really.
 

dosdan

Active Member
I do wonder why with all the computing power available few camcorders offer a self-timer - and if it's there is it's usually 2s or 10s . . . . what's wrong with any delay 1-99 sec?
I've seem time-lapse options which max out at 5 seconds ( DYOR) . . . . how about 5 hours as a sensible upper limit . . . if you are watching seaside tides 5 seconds really is just too short an interval . . . but then I'm often wrong.
To save the battery the camcorder would shut-down, retaining only the Timer?WB/focus/zoom settings and then wake-up with enough time to Set, before Taking..... can't be that difficult, really.


The Pentax K-01 MILC (should be cheap 2nd hand and you can use a cheap old MF/AE or MF/ME prime lens on it - the camera is designed to help you with MF - 1-button-10x-zoom-in/out-to-check-focus and a "green" button to assist setting the exposure in ME) has a in-built intervalometer. It goes to sleep between shots, wakes up to take them, and soon sleeps again. You can disable the LCD display to reduce the power consumption further and run it from an ext. battery pack. Raw (DNG) or JPEG, up to 4928x3264 pixels. Intervals of 1s-24hrs and 2-999 shots. If you tell your video editor to assign each still a duration of say 5 frames @50p that's a max. of 99.9s playback for a single shooting sequence, although you could manually start another 999 shot sequence. (The clip below has 2048 shots.) With the slow rate-of-change of this type of video, 25/30p might be sufficient.

Pentax K-01 Time Lapse: Sea vs Sky - PentaxForums.com
 
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