Slow Motion Shotgun Footage and Digital SLRs

[youtube width=”560″ height=”340″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3o6RXKEokFU[/youtube]

From the description:

shot this with a Casio EX-F1 of my shooting my Browning 12 Gauge shotgun. The clips that are at the 4:5 aspect ratio were taken at 300fps. The other clips were filmed at 600fps. All of the footage is raw, no color grading/image adjustment was added. Sadly, the sun was on the left side of the gun, so everything on the right side is in shadow. I couldn’t turn my gun around and shoot the other way though.

Some of my thoughts on Digital SLRs:

The picture on the right, is of the camera that was used to take the footage.  Pretty interesting how it is a Digital SLR and not a conventional video camera.

From some recent “behind the scenes” footage I have seen, it seems that a lot of music videos are now being filmed with digital SLRs.  They offer manual focus, a plethora of manual adjustment, and high resolution, for much cheaper then you could get a conventional video camera with comparable features.  It even comes with a beautiful lens compared to most lenses you would get with video cameras in the same price range.

Check out the Casio Exilim EX-F1 at Amazon – HERE

At about 1/2 the price of the Canon 7D I am obsessed with someday getting, the Casio EX-F1 is likely a good value.

Hat Tip: TheFirearmBlog

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Josh January 13, 2010 at 10:13 am

As an avid photographer (one who has gotten paid for it, yet chooses not to make it an occupation), and knowing you’re a stickler for proper terminology, I’m appalled that you would call this camera a digital SLR. That’s exactly like calling a semi-automatic AR-15 a “machine gun.”

The high speed video is an admittedly neat trick. But the high speed motion capture feature is only available at very low resolutions, far lower than even standard broadcast television. Good enough for the internet, but that’s it. I’m not sure what you’re referring to when you say that “a lot of music videos are now being filmed with digital SLRs,” but I suspect you’re mistaken or misunderstanding something.

This camera is a neat camera with cool features not found on your average pocket sized point and shoot camera, but it’s far from a replacement for either a full featured digital video camera, or a digital SLR.

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Admin (Mike) January 13, 2010 at 01:04 pm

Hi Josh,

What makes this camera a point and shoot and not a digital SLR? The non removable lens? I just looked on a few websites and you’re right they don’t classify it as a Digital SLR, but it is called an SLR Style camera most places I looked.

As far as music video and digital SLRs go, I’m not saying that Kanye West or any other hugely rich artist uses them, but I have seen more than one interview where different artists said they film all their videos with Digital SLRs. Until video cameras that will do the same thing drop into the $2000 price range I really don’t see that changing.

Here is one example of a Rick Ross video that was done with the Canon 7D:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4-Z-co_eOw
There was a behind the scenes video about that video, but I can’t find it now.

Also, on this Flickr page there are pictures of the setup of some Pdiddy/Rick Ross music video where it shows the 7D in use (Scroll through the pictures):
http://www.flickr.com/photos/39961373@N07/4241564989/in/photostream/

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Josh January 13, 2010 at 02:35 pm

With film cameras, it used to be that one big advantage of the SLR was that the image coming through the lens was directed into the viewfinder via a combination of mirrors and prisms, thereby allowing the photographer to see, through the viewfinder, exactly what would show up on the film. As opposed to a point and shoot camera which had an offset viewfinder that you looked directly through. With digital cameras this isn’t such a big deal because the live preview on the LCD screen shows exactly what the sensor sees, making it easy to frame your photo. So the biggest fundamental design difference now is probably the interchangeable lenses. This is important because it allows for a variety of different focal lengths, but also because each lens has its own internal mechanism. The lens has its own servo motor, aperture, image stabilizer (if equipped), and makes only electrical contact with the camera. So the lens is its own piece of work, these things are integral portions of the camera body design. The other huge design difference between point and shoot cameras and DSLR’s, and higher end digital video cameras for that matter, is the sensor size/pixel density. That Canon EOS 7D has a sensor that measures 22.3 x 14.9 mm. That’s about 60% of the width and height of a full 35mm frame of film, for a total area about 38.5% of a full film frame. That gives a pixel density of approximately 5.4 megapixels per cm³. In contrast, the Casio EX-F1 has a sensor that measures only 7.18 x 5.32 mm. That’s less than 4.5% of the size of a 35mm film frame, and a pixel density of roughly 13.8 megapixels per cm³. Now, figure that the 7D is 18 megapixel, and the Casio is only 6. That’s one tiny sensor. The larger the sensor, and less dense the pixels, the larger each pixel is to the sensor. Bottom line is it makes for a much better and much clearer picture. You can notice this if you compare pictures of the same resolution (megapixels) taken from point and shoot cameras and DSLR’s. A 10MP photo from a point and shoot comes nowhere near the clarity of a 10MP photo from a DSLR. The same sensor size difference is found in digital video cameras.

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Josh January 13, 2010 at 02:49 pm

It may be that some digital SLR’s have progressed enough to where they can be used to shoot video of a high enough clarity and quality for professional production. And even this Casio takes HD resolution video. However, to use the high frame rates required to make slow motion videos (like the one shown here) the camera drastically reduces the image size/resolution. The 300 frames per second mode is only 512 x 384 pixels, whereas as the old standard definition TV (read: outdated) is 640 x 480. Higher speeds are even lower still. To use those you might as well be watching it on a cell phone, they’re about the same resolution.

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Admin (Mike) January 13, 2010 at 04:27 pm

Thanks for the detailed replies Josh. When you put it in terms of the CMOS sensor size, that Casio camera does look pretty sad.

I’ll have to pick your brain more some more when I get closer to making a purchase of something in the realm of a 7D.

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Josh January 13, 2010 at 04:41 pm

Feel free

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