Sunday, 4 April 2010

...first footage...

A week with the GH1 + Coastal.

Over Easter I went to 'planet fanet' to visit the aged p's. Took the GH1 + the Coastal 4.88mm and the Zenitar 16mm. Pretty dramatic clouds, good exercise in exposing for varying contrast as the sun popped in and out. I need a way to get Neutral Density filters behind the fisheye. The Coastal Optics has a fixed aperture of f5.6 - given that the sun will pretty much always be in shot in a fisheye, I was having to shoot with a shutter speed of up to 1/1000 sec. Even with the Zenitar on f22, I was on 1/250 sec. Luckily there is room in the shift adapter for an ND filter, maybe two. I tried a 52mm ND, and a 40.5mm Skylight - they're a bit big - I reckon a 37mm.

The process of editing the footage properly has thrown up some issues. I'd planned on using Blender, like I'd been doing with H.264 from the Sanyo - but Blender doesn't seem to like the Advanced profile H.264 from the GH1. I had some success with OpenShot. It liked the footage from the camera, and allowed simple cuts and fades, and the application of a mask to clean up the fisheye. When it matures it'll be something like iMovie in complexity - which is no bad thing. I started having issues with renders honouring the timing of edits and fades - probably down to the long GOP of the video. I had another look and Kdenlive - I have a love/hate relationship with Kdenlive. It's been less than mature up until now, and it relies on QT which makes the interface feel clunky. I tried my 1080p H.264 from the GH1 (PAL) and it loved it - playback was a bit sluggish, but OK. I also discovered the amazing DNxHD - it's offered as a transcode option in Kdenlive. I started transcoding all my clips to it - and the playback in Kdenlive becomes much better.

As I added a bit of shift and fades etc, Kdenlive started getting a bit crashy - seems the version shipped with Ubuntu 9.10 is a bit old. I upgraded to 7.7.7, and it's looking good. The following is and edit of some of the clips I got...

Coastal (optic) from domejunky on Vimeo.