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View Full Version : Filming a club scene with strobe lights.. Alexa, Epic, F55, or BMPC??



RyGuy
02-27-2014, 05:30 AM
Disclaimer: I'm not RyGuy, this is his brother, David. I couldn't remember my password/username.

I'm directing a music video soon and I need to film a scene in a club that has crazy flashing lights. I might be DPing as well and I'm looking at my camera options. One of my huge pet peeves with these digital cameras is the rolling shutter, especially with flashing lights.
We are going to be shooting over a weekend and I was originally planning on shooting with the Alexa, but I am concerned about the strobe lights at this show.


This is the look I'm trying to emulate, unfortunately we don't have the budget for film: (club scene 1:50)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cl3b7dDBLpo&feature=kp

So I have some basic camera tech questions maybe you guys can help me out with.

Is the 4K BMPC out yet? Anyone know where I could rent one in the LA area? Or Las Vegas area? I might bring it on as a B-CAM to the Alexa.
How is it in lowlight?

I wanted to shoot some of it at 48FPS. Will this help with the strobing effect? If thats the case I could shoot everything on the Alexa at 48FPS and just speed up the shots to 24fps.

The other option is to shoot with the global shutter F55 or F65, but I'm not crazy about anything I've seen from that camera. It is way to crisp and video looking, especially for the daylight scenes I want to get. Win some you lose some i guess...

Any advice?

Much appreciation,
David

Simon Shasha
02-27-2014, 06:08 AM
To emulate that effect, you're definitely going to need a global shutter.

Sometimes the rolling-shutter (in regards to strobing/flashing lights) can kind of have a cool look - depending of in you like the "light bleed" or not. If you go to the 00:28-second mark in my video here (the shot that has Boys Noize DJ'ing from behind), you'll see what I mean: https://vimeo.com/70929158

RyGuy
02-27-2014, 07:58 AM
Thanks for showing me that! Great shots and I loved the editing.
It's a different look than what I was going for but it's definitely cool.
What frame rate/shutter speed were you shooting at?

John Brawley
02-27-2014, 03:56 PM
Sony F55 or 4K BMD are your options.

If you HATE that affect.

The Alexa also has a rolling shutter so you'll still get the same effect.

If you're using practical strobes that is.

Otherwise you can create strobe effects using the Unilux or Lightning strikes "papperazzi" (=$$$) or a cream source lamp with the video syncroniser which WILL work with any rolling shutter camera.

JB

Andrew Allsbury
02-27-2014, 04:32 PM
Ummmmm....for sure I would go Red Scarlet or Epic rental w/Motion Mount, should do the trick, however you will loose 0.5-1 stop of light, but the plus side is you will have awesome built in NDs and essentially a global shutter on a proven pro camera.

Andrew Allsbury
02-27-2014, 04:35 PM
BTW I say proven pro camera because I currently own an Epic and used to own a Scarlet, where as very few people have fully ran the 4k BMCC through its paces yet, I would be a bit afraid of renting one for a shoot like this right now just because BM is known to have issues out of the gate like black holes, orbs, etc. All of which could be a problem in a scene like this.

RyGuy
02-27-2014, 07:41 PM
Sony F55 or 4K BMD are your options.

If you HATE that affect.

The Alexa also has a rolling shutter so you'll still get the same effect.

If you're using practical strobes that is.

Otherwise you can create strobe effects using the Unilux or Lightning strikes "papperazzi" (=$$$) or a cream source lamp with the video syncroniser which WILL work with any rolling shutter camera.

JB

Thanks John!

I wish I had control of the strobes but we are going to be shooting a live event to take advantage of the DJ's performing in front of the massive audience.
Have you had any experience the the Alexa studio? I've shot the Alexa handheld is this even possible with the Alexa studio?

Right now I'm leaning towards what Andrew Allsbury said, using the Red Motion mount on our epic with some super speeds.
Or I might just suck it up and use an alexa and deal with the strobing.

Thanks guys!

J.F.R.
02-27-2014, 08:29 PM
Ummmmm....for sure I would go Red Scarlet or Epic rental w/Motion Mount, should do the trick, however you will loose 0.5-1 stop of light, but the plus side is you will have awesome built in NDs and essentially a global shutter on a proven pro camera.

He's shooting in a club, normally there wouldn't be any ND Filter in front of the lens unless going for a specific effect. Also RED Camera from my experience with them are not very good in low light. I would shoot on the Sony F55 no questions.....

John Brawley
02-27-2014, 09:11 PM
Have you had any experience the the Alexa studio? I've shot the Alexa handheld is this even possible with the Alexa studio?

Right now I'm leaning towards what Andrew Allsbury said, using the Red Motion mount on our epic with some super speeds.
Or I might just suck it up and use an alexa and deal with the strobing.



You could easily hand hold an Alexa studio.

I'd go F55 rather than an EPIC with a motion mount. It's got better DR and is better in low light too.

jb

HPG
02-27-2014, 09:26 PM
You could easily hand hold an Alexa studio.

I'd go F55 rather than an EPIC with a motion mount. It's got better DR and is better in low light too.

jb


F55 all the way.

Andrew Allsbury
02-27-2014, 10:05 PM
F55 in 4k with the RAW recorder would be a great option. But believe me Epic with super speeds, motion mount and a little bit of neat video in post would do awesome also. I am also fully aware he would not be using NDs in a dark night club (lol), but I'm sure there are other scenes in the video.

J.F.R.
02-27-2014, 11:07 PM
F55 in 4k with the RAW recorder would be a great option. But believe me Epic with super speeds, motion mount and a little bit of neat video in post would do awesome also. I am also fully aware he would not be using NDs in a dark night club (lol), but I'm sure there are other scenes in the video.

I've used RED ONE, Scarlet, Epic and just recently reading and seeing everything Sony has to offer with the Sony F55. The Compressed codec from Sony to my eyes looks much better than even Red Raw code. Also there is some kind of Legal war happening between these companies as well http://www.engadget.com/2013/04/08/sony-responds-to-red-lawsuit-with-its-own-patent-claims/ .

Sony F55 with Global Shutter, better dynamic range and much higher iso 1250 (better in low light) without no question of a doubt I would say is a much better camera than RED. I mean look at these compressed Proxy Files from the camera



http://vimeo.com/60927476


Many people may not be using Sony F55, but I feel things will be changing soon once more Producers/Companies allow them on there projects.

Simon Shasha
02-28-2014, 08:38 AM
Thanks for showing me that! Great shots and I loved the editing.
It's a different look than what I was going for but it's definitely cool.
What frame rate/shutter speed were you shooting at?

Hi David, thanks for the kind words and compliments, much appreciated! :)

Also, sorry for the late reply!

I also find it a pretty cool look - I guess it's a way of using rolling-shutter to our advantage :)

However, if I had to choose, I'd much rather the natural look that global-shutter delivers - especially in regards to lighting.

To answer your questions - the slow-motion shots are all at 60FPS, with a varying shutter of 60 and 100.

Also, I say go with the F55 - you get the global-shutter, high frame-rate, and good dynamic-range.

Andrew Allsbury
02-28-2014, 11:17 AM
I would have to disagree with the F55's compressed codec being anywhere near as "good" (very subjective I know) as 5k Redcode RAW (@ any compression 6:1 or below) out of an Epic. The main issue with Red cameras in general is many people don't understand how to properly process/grade/denoise in post production and this ends up with a lot of very poor looking footage. Another thought...I know there are a few Dragon Epics roaming around for rent, this would give you the best of both worlds, a base ISO of 2000, almost 17 stops of DR and 6K RAW with the Motion Mount.

Don't get me wrong, I love the F55. However I never use 8bit/10bit compressed codecs unless I absolutely have to, so I would go F55 with the RAW recorder.

Simon Shasha
02-28-2014, 03:00 PM
I would have to disagree with the F55's compressed codec being anywhere near as "good" (very subjective I know) as 5k Redcode RAW (@ any compression 6:1 or below) out of an Epic. The main issue with Red cameras in general is many people don't understand how to properly process/grade/denoise in post production and this ends up with a lot of very poor looking footage. Another thought...I know there are a few Dragon Epics roaming around for rent, this would give you the best of both worlds, a base ISO of 2000, almost 17 stops of DR and 6K RAW with the Motion Mount.

Don't get me wrong, I love the F55. However I never use 8bit/10bit compressed codecs unless I absolutely have to, so I would go F55 with the RAW recorder.

The main point of recommending the F55 was the global-shutter.

J.F.R.
02-28-2014, 10:30 PM
I would have to disagree with the F55's compressed codec being anywhere near as "good" (very subjective I know) as 5k Redcode RAW (@ any compression 6:1 or below) out of an Epic. The main issue with Red cameras in general is many people don't understand how to properly process/grade/denoise in post production and this ends up with a lot of very poor looking footage. Another thought...I know there are a few Dragon Epics roaming around for rent, this would give you the best of both worlds, a base ISO of 2000, almost 17 stops of DR and 6K RAW with the Motion Mount.

Don't get me wrong, I love the F55. However I never use 8bit/10bit compressed codecs unless I absolutely have to, so I would go F55 with the RAW recorder.


I know how to process RED footage and I can tell you for 100% fact it's not a low light/ high iso camera...... I would take Sony F55 over RED Scarlet/Epic any day. Sony F55 has better Dynamic Range, native iso + Global Shutter.

John Brawley
02-28-2014, 10:33 PM
EPIC is a 320 ISO native sensor and you're talking about adding a motion mount to that which takes...another stop ?

I'll take the 1250 native ISO global shutter higher DR of the F55 thanks....

jb

RyGuy
03-01-2014, 04:25 PM
Thanks everyone!

Looks like I'm going to be shooting on the F55 for the club scene and an Alexa for everything else.

I'll post the final video here when it's released!

Srgtfury
03-01-2014, 08:34 PM
You might consider the RED Dragon, with motion mount and say the new Schneider Xenons or Tokina 11-16. The "native" Iso for this Dragon seems to be 800, BTW. There is a hard and soft shutter, with the motion mount, as well. The Dragon just had released, for snapshots of motion footage, an Advanced Dragon Debayering, which has incredible improvement in still images, with straight out of the box, so to say, one button click processing. The ADD, for motion footage is on the way soon...

I, BTW, happen to rent the above kit, but so do others. Won't be hard to find the info on this on line, as I am sure you know.

thank you very much

Fury