Monthly Archives: August 2016

Time-Lapse Video & Deflicker

Last night, while the rest of Canada watched the live feed from the Tragically Hip’s farewell concert, I perched myself atop Nose Hill Park to work on a Time-Lapse video project I’ve been planning.

Shoot-PlanAs you can see, I wanted to capture the sunset, including approximately 7 seconds prior to sunset, then the entire Golden Hour, plus a little extra. As you can see, I had worked out needing 720 captures, at 7 second intervals to make a 30 second video. I also worked out that I would need roughly 14Gb on my camera’s memory card in order to hold all of those RAW photos.

 

SetupHere, we see the setup of my main shooting rig. The “Beast” (as I refer to my Canon 60D) is set up on the tripod with its legs splayed wide for stability. I run Magic Lantern, which gives me the software capabilities not found on Canon bodies of this vintage. Finally, I have my Canon 17-40mm f4L lens mounted, with the (almost useless) hood on it.

I set up a little early, as I wanted time to wander around the site & try to find a good viewing angle. I knew that as the evening wore on, my shutter speed would drop dramatically, giving me longer & longer exposures.

While the Beast was capturing frames for the video, I took some other pictures on my Canon M3 to pass the time.

I ran into some technical difficulties, as I hadn’t considered the fact that the intervalometer restarts once the shutter opens. As the exposures get longer, there isn’t enough time for the processor to “write” the file. As the evening wore on, I had to keep resetting the intervalometer. Note to self: when the time taken to capture the photo is equal to the time between captures, the buffer fills & the camera simply stops ! Hence, I only captured 527 of my planned 720 frames.

first_cut-thumbnailThe first cut of the video used a straightforward process. I imported to Lightroom, edited the first frame & applied those changes to all the remaining frames. Then import it into Photoshop to render the time-lapse video. Frankly, I was underwhelmed ! The first thing I realized was that locking the ISO in at 160 was a bad (very bad) idea ! As the evening grew on, the shutter needed to be open SOOOO much longer to capture the scene. I have since started exploring “ISO Ramping”; more on that in another post. The video is flickery and the light just seems to drop.

final_cut_thumbnailThe second and final cut of the video followed a completely different workflow. In researching how to “deflicker” a video, I stumbled across a tool called LRTimelapse. It is a tool that is designed to work out the differences between the images – say when the ISO or aperture changes, and smooth those effects over. As you can see, the differences are night & day !

Note: I don’t know why I can’t create links to the videos on the thumbnails. Please click the links to the right. Thanks ! 😄

 

Canon EOS M3 Review

Bow River Falls
Bow River Falls, Banff AB

This weekend was the first chance I’d gotten a chance to take my new Canon EOS M3 out for a “test drive”. Between really lousy weather in Calgary, and pressing family commitments, I really hadn’t been able to get out. Yesterday, we drove out to Banff & took my spiffy new camera with us.

 

 

The camera itself is light & easy to manage. I put an old Crumpler neck strap on it, wanting to save my Blackrapid Sport rig for my DSLR. Mistake #1: the darn straps seem to always be in the way. I guess I’ll just go get another “button” and use the strap interchangeably.

 

Bow River at Banff
Bow River at Banff, AB

As you can see, the pictures are bright & sharp. It was a nice sunny day, about 5400K on the histogram. Since the camera rig is new to me, I really haven’t messed around with much. These photos were taken with the EF-M 18-55mm IS lens. the kit I bought came with the EF-M adapter, but I wanted to get a sense of what this rig would do, and I wasn’t disappointed !

The rig seems to work well in bright sunlight, so I decided to take a look & see how it performed in a “mixed lighting” situation. Note again that the ONLY default setting I have changed is for back button focus.

Brindge Over Bow River
Bridge Over the Bow River at Banff, AB

Here is a view of the bridge spanning the Bow River at Banff, AB. We have three lighting scenarios: the bright sun to the left, the slight shade provided by the bridge deck, and the darker shade underneath. Through it all, the EOS M3 handled it like a champ ! The colours are bright and the details in the bridge are crisp. All in all, I am quite pleased.

Whether you are just starting out & want a good camera to begin with, or you are a seasoned pro. This camera will make you very happy. I especially appreciate the adapter that will allow me to protect my investment in high-quality Canon L-Series lenses. We’ll look at photos with that combination in a future entry.

 

Canon EOS M3 WiFi RAW not Transferring…

Wont somebody PLEASE fill the bird-feeder ?!?

So I bought my new camera (a Canon EOS M3) yesterday, and so far it’s been great ! Staying in the Canon Eco-system means my learning curve for the camera is much shallower, and the controls do what I expect and are where I expect to find them. I purposely bought the bundle that includes the camera body, the kit lens (18-55mm EF-M f3.5-5.6 STM), and the EF-M adapter. This way I can keep using my L-Series lenses from my (much) bigger Canon 60D DSLR.Having used the venerable EyeFi Pro X2 in my 60D, I was excited to use the M3’s built in wifi. And I wasn’t disappointed ! I installed the Camera Connect app on my iPad & had full control of the camera, over wifi. I took the above picture with the M3 on a tripod while I sat in the family room, 45′ away ! The birds were not disturbed, and I had full control to shoot, including changing all of the settings on the camera, including focus, aperture, ISO & shutter speed.
I shoot RAW, as it gives me the most options in post-processing. The files are big (really big) off this 24 megapixel monster. They averaged 30Mb per photo ! But, my memory cards are decent sized, and I have a 128Gb iPad. I am prepared ! Until I realize that when I use the wifi to transfer the files, it “automatically” downsizes them to JPEG format. 😕

I search the web, I scour the forums. Seems this is a “feature” of the Canon Camera Connect software, as there were concerns about the time taken to transfer really large files impact the “customer experience”. Phoo ! It appears that the ONLY way to get RAW photos off my new camera is via a physical connection. Worse, if I try to transfer the RAW files to my iPad using the Apple Camera Connection kit – it doesn’t transfer the files ! 

Remember, I’m used to using the EyeFi Pro X2 card to transfer my RAW photos via wifi. This isn’t a deal-breaker, I’m not returnin the camera, but it is certainly an annoyance. And sadly, the M3 doesn’t support the EyeFi card, so no workaround there, either !

Apparently, when Apple decided to divest themselves of Aperture, they stopped caring about the photographic community altogether. The new “Photos” app says it will transfer the files, and appears to, but nothing shows up in the Camera Roll. So despite the fact that my camera supports RAW, and Adobe Lightroom Mobile supports RAW, nothing in between does ! 

It is my HOPE that Canon reverses this decision, and that they allow RAW transfers Ina future firmware update, or in the Camera Connect software. Until then, I am just going to have to modify my entire workflow to accommodate !