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Thread: Another test shoot with the Zi8

  1. #1
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    Default Another test shoot with the Zi8

    I took the Zi8 for another outing at the weekend. The good news: it fitted in my back pocket and was really no more obtrusive than an iPhone. I didn't look too touristy and people thought I was taking pictures rather than video. The bad news: some of the pans ain't the smoothest! Anyway, here was the result (once again in poor light). There's a few pans and zooms which the camera really doesn't like

    [ame=http://www.vimeo.com/12243889]Windsor Castle May 2010 HD on Vimeo[/ame]

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    I think it really captures the colours, the problem with these little cameras is that they don't have much or any motion stabilization.

    I noticed a slight vignette, not sure if you added it but it makes the video feel slightly vintage - very good.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Peters View Post
    The good news: it fitted in my back pocket ...
    I think that says it all. It's a camcorder you can take with you without getting the "Oh do we have to take THAT" look. It captures footage which you otherwise wouldn't have because you wouldn't have humped a camcorder (possibly with a wide angle lens, couple of spare batteries, filters and cards) for a half-day trip.

    Okay the pans were occasionally a bit un-smooth but better than not having them at all.

  4. #4
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    I agree with The Gaffer. I have a Flip HD camera that I willl take on such trips and I don't think it produces pictures as good as your Zi8 seems to have done.

    You're right though, it doesn't like the pans, so maybe a series of shots with the camera kept still can be made to work in the edit? Sort of working tot he cameras strengths if you will.

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    I present : 'The hobo pan' !

    Place your compact-cam on a large book. (You can even stick it down with double sided sticky or some blue-tac)
    Place the book upon a flat surface that fulfills your shooting needs. (I can always find a bin, small wall, bench, pole or some other object to get some kind of good shot from)
    Slowly rotate the book, your pan should be very stable.
    You can also use the 'deshaker' plugin for virtualdub to smooth things out even more.



    Some other tips :
    lose the video-audio, no need for it as it doesn't really add anything imo and only distracts. Also you could use color corrector and brightness/contrast to spice up the colors a bit.

    Pretty neat little video besides those things, nice Images, especially the guard marching.

  6. #6
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    Its quite remarkable what these little cameras can do. Apart from a couple of shaky pans it was great.
    I didn't think the live sound and music mix well.

  7. #7
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    Some interesting tips on smooth pans. However, although my pans weren't rock steady, it demonstrated the cameras ability to record and process moving images - the pans were juddery rather than erratic. . Over the years, I've developed my own methods of creating steady shots, and i must admit that the camera design lends itself well to creating stable shots. However, one key point is that you can't rely on a flat surface to rest the camera on...

    Re the ambient sounds, this was a deliberate descision, particularly for the foot steps at the end. It felt too sterile otherwise, and added to the 'rough' nature of the video.
    Posted via Mobile Device

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    I agree totally with Marc about the sound. in my opinion there's nothing worse, on this sort of video, than 100% music. It's too "sterile" for me. You need some ambient sound, even if it's just wind and traffic noise, otherwise it doesn't seem "real".

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by h4x0rninja View Post
    I present : 'The hobo pan' !

    Place your compact-cam on a large book. (You can even stick it down with double sided sticky or some blue-tac)
    Place the book upon a flat surface that fulfills your shooting needs. (I can always find a bin, small wall, bench, pole or some other object to get some kind of good shot from)
    Slowly rotate the book, your pan should be very stable.
    You can also use the 'deshaker' plugin for virtualdub to smooth things out even more.



    Some other tips :
    lose the video-audio, no need for it as it doesn't really add anything imo and only distracts. Also you could use color corrector and brightness/contrast to spice up the colors a bit.

    Pretty neat little video besides those things, nice Images, especially the guard marching.
    That sounds like a really cool tip, but with my REALLY limited knowledge of video it leads me to believe that the pan issues were due to the camera, and not the camera "driver" ...

    In my (very limited) experience, the smaller cameras don't perform well with panning. I'd love to be proved wrong though

  10. #10

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    Kodak's site refers to the Zi8's "built-in image stabilization". Is this what we can see happening, for example at 0:26; we can see 2 different frames? Or is it the result of shooting at a higher FPS?
    I think that in a similar situation with my Flip (which has no image stabilisation) I would expect to get a horrible picure, very blurry; with nothing sharp.

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