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Author Topic: Canon 60D Video Images look SOFT!  (Read 4788 times)

jasonmillard81

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Canon 60D Video Images look SOFT!
« on: August 09, 2012, 09:08:02 AM »
Later this evening or tomorrow I will post footage showing that my video footage looks soft on my Canon 60D.  Even compared to the same model the video looks soft relative to video clips on Vimeo & YouTube of other users.

I use:

Tokina 17-55 (2.8)
Canon 50 (1.8)
Sigma 85 (1.4)

Regardless of the lens i use my images seem "soft" and not "sharp/clear"  I could try correcting it in post production but doubt that would be the issue.

thoughts/experiences/comments?

Best,

Jason!  ;D

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Canon 60D Video Images look SOFT!
« on: August 09, 2012, 09:08:02 AM »

paul13walnut5

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Re: Canon 60D Video Images look SOFT!
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2012, 10:23:33 AM »
You need to tell us what happens to the footage between the cam and vimeo?
Do you edit etc? If so using what platform and software..

General points:

In camera processing:
For video the camera colour profile should be sRGB not AdobeRGB

Check your picture profile settings - standard or a flat style is better if you are going to be doing any post work such as grading

Post-production:

Does your edit suite handle straight movs from camera or do you have to encode?  In FCP7 I need to transcode first, via MPEGDstreamclip to one of the Apple Pro Res codecs (for me this is APR HQ, 1920x1080, 25p)

You need to make sure that your editing app is handling the footage as progressive, that the sequences / timelines are also progressive, and that any output or encoding for disc or web is also kept as progressive.

Camera Skills:
Out of focus is not the same thing as unsharp or soft.  Different causes, different solutions.

Keep your cam stable via a tripod, monopod or rig.  Keep the shutter at the 180 rule (so 1/50th for 25fps video, 1/60th for 30fps)

Precheck focus with 10x live view.  Wider lenses have greater depth of field and so easier to keep in focus, longer lenses have shallower depth of field and so more critical to have accurate focus.

Looking forward to seeing footage, see if we can work out whats going on.

Axilrod

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Re: Canon 60D Video Images look SOFT!
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2012, 10:09:48 AM »
Everything Paulie said is very true, but I'd be willing to bet you're shooting at fairly wide open apertures with that 85mm and 50mm huh?  At f/1.4 if you move forwards or backwards even a few inches it will throw everything out of focus, it's critical that you have some type of stability gear.  Shoot a video on a tripod and make absolutely sure the focus is on, then pull that into your NLE and see what it looks like.  Is the video still soft?
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marekjoz

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Re: Canon 60D Video Images look SOFT!
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2012, 10:45:43 AM »
Yes, what was said before: what settings did you use? What apperture? How focused? What ISO (high ISO makes even still images look flat), etc.
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c3hammer

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Re: Canon 60D Video Images look SOFT!
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2012, 11:43:43 AM »
Make sure you're in one of the 1080p modes and not 720p.  720 is horribly soft on the Canon's and completely unusable IMHO.

Make sure you haven't got a screwed up picture style.  I have changed the settings of the standard style by accident a number of times.  They should be 3, 0, 0, 0 as the default.  Same for Nuetral and Portrait which I like better than standard for editing later.

That 85 f/1.4 is a pretty sharp lens at f/2.8 and should give great results.  Make sure you're getting perfect focus via the 10x zoom before you start recording.  Also just in case.....the Canon's with the exception of the new T4i aren't autofocus when recording, so you have to pull focus perfectly.  It's virtually impossible at f/1.4.

Cheers,
Pete

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syder

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Re: Canon 60D Video Images look SOFT!
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2012, 11:56:02 AM »
Impossible to have real idea as to what the issue is without more detail. In all honesty its probably some form of user error. Failing that it's hard to say, if we were talking stills it might be a lens/camera calibration issue, but manually focussing for video rules that out. Perhaps you have bad copies of each lens, but that is incredibly unlikely.

What are you using to assist your focussing (follow-focus/z-finder/evf/hdmi monitor/just judging it by eye)? If its the last one on that list that's likely to be your issue, especially at 85mm 1.4. Also accurately focussing with the Canon 50 1.8 is incredibly hard as the focus wheel has so little travel and no tension - it's really not a very usable lens for video/mf work.

jasonmillard81

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Re: Canon 60D Video Images look SOFT!
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2012, 08:54:22 PM »
<object width="400" height="224" ><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><param name="movie" value="http://www.facebook.com/v/10150973926442131" /><embed src="http://www.facebook.com/v/10150973926442131" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="400" height="224"></embed></object>

Not sure if that will work, but I posted the video on Facebook.  If it doesn't work maybe someone can PM me and I can show you the video.

Thanks for advice/comments, I probably was out of Focus (user error).

Let me know,

Jason

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Re: Canon 60D Video Images look SOFT!
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2012, 08:54:22 PM »

paul13walnut5

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Re: Canon 60D Video Images look SOFT!
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2012, 09:33:41 PM »
Didn't work for me. 

Did get stil of asian girl with in focus hair behind  ears but out of focus face.


Axilrod

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Re: Canon 60D Video Images look SOFT!
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2012, 09:42:03 PM »
<object width="400" height="224" ><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><param name="movie" value="http://www.facebook.com/v/10150973926442131" /><embed src="http://www.facebook.com/v/10150973926442131" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="400" height="224"></embed></object>

Not sure if that will work, but I posted the video on Facebook.  If it doesn't work maybe someone can PM me and I can show you the video.

Thanks for advice/comments, I probably was out of Focus (user error).

Let me know,

Jason

Dude I'm 100% sure that you were simply out of focus.  You were probably shooting at a larger aperture, handheld, using the back of the screen as your monitor right?  All that is ok, but you have to have really good eyes and pay lots of attention to that little screen.  I think it's pretty difficult to tell when you're in focus using the back screen, a lot of times it will look good on the screen but as soon as you get it on the computer it's obviously out of focus.  If it's on a tripod it's doable, but if you're trying to focus on keeping the camera still with your hands and focusing it can get pretty difficult.  But don't feel bad, I think this happens to everyone at some point in their early experiences with DSLR's. 

I'm guessing you were shooting at a lower aperture to get a blurrier background?  The problem is the more you drop your aperture the shorter the hyperfocal distance gets.  I know on my 85mm at f/1.2 it's really low, like less than a few inches at certain distances, but it varies based on the subject distance/aperture.  So if I'm shooting wide open and pretty close to my subject, their nose may be in focus and their eyes slightly out of focus, even though the eyes are less than an inch behind the nose in terms of depth.  This distance that the subject is in focus will increase as you stop the lens down, so to get the nose and eyes in focus you'd probably have to stop down to maybe f/2 or so from f/1.2 (depends on lens, subject distance though). 

So when you're shooting video at a larger aperture if you or the subject moves back and forth even a few inches it can throw the subject out of focus.  In this case it would be better to stop down to maybe f/4 or f/5.6 and raise the ISO and/or add lighting, so you'll know that the depth of their head/body is much less than the hyper focal distance.

Stabilization is critical if you want to capture moving subjects at large apertures (but can be difficult even with it).  With my 50mm and 85mm I try to stay around f/2-f/4, I rarely shoot wide open with video, I do with the Zeiss lenses, but not the Canons.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2012, 09:45:07 PM by Axilrod »
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c3hammer

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Re: Canon 60D Video Images look SOFT!
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2012, 10:59:28 PM »
I'm sure that file is SD 720x480 resolution.  Not even 720p (1280x720) on facebook.  Don't know what the original is, but after the edit and upload to facebook, it's being rendered as an SD file at very low bitrate.

Either facebook isn't recognizing it as HD or your editing software is defaulting to SD.  Make sure the output file is 1920x1080 24p or 30p.

How do the raw files look on your computer before editing?

Cheers,
Pete

marekjoz

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Re: Canon 60D Video Images look SOFT!
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2012, 02:40:37 AM »
I find the movie is quite interesting and nice edited. There are many interesting takes.
What is disturbing for me is simply camera shaking and too much material out of focus. As mentioned before tripod or at least stabilisation are crucial. I'd also avoid too much panning.
Is it not a bit overexposed so lower the contrast?
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NormanBates

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Re: Canon 60D Video Images look SOFT!
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2012, 04:28:18 AM »
the three most common reasons:

* the glass in front of your glass - which ND filters are you using? some resin filters and ND faders can cause this

* if you're not using ND filters, and are cranking up the aperture to f/22 or f/32 or something like that, this could be diffraction (yes, even in video mode)

* if you're shooting with sharpness=0 (as you should do to minimize aliasing/moire), you have to add sharpness back in post!

sweetcancer

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Re: Canon 60D Video Images look SOFT!
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2012, 07:38:28 AM »
First of all, great video, loved watching it. Sharpness issue to me seems to be due to pixel amount on the video being much lower than 1920x1080, or even 720p. looked like 480p, possibly 360p.

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Re: Canon 60D Video Images look SOFT!
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2012, 07:38:28 AM »

DB

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Re: Canon 60D Video Images look SOFT!
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2012, 08:26:42 AM »
The composition of the video is quite good, as is the editing, but focus-pulling handheld is unheard of. Pro's use tripods and rigs with dedicated focus-pulling gears attached to the lens which they put markings on with a pen and rehearse before they shoot - you're attempting to to this on the fly!

Just set your maximum aperture to f/2.8 (shooting indoors or outdoors, never wider than this for video), your shutter speed to twice the frame rate and let ISO do the rest.

Another really important factor when shooting videos of human faces is to change the AF Mode (top option on 4th menu) from 'Live Mode' to ':-) Live Mode', it is the one that will allow you to AF on a human before you begin recording or at least get your initial focus correct before you start manually changing. For example, you could have gotten the skateboarder to perform a dry run and had him stop when he jumped off the board - focus on him then - then re-run the shot and he'll spring into focus.

Finally, horizontal panning in a DSLR should be done at a Snail's Pace (really slowly), only about one-tenth of the speed that you did in your video.

I think if you just get your key subjects in focus, you can add a lot of sharpening in post production (I do this all the time in Adobe Premiere Pro - you can even create unsharpen masks in PPro) and really tailor the look and feel of how you would like the final result to look.

Oh...buy a monopod, because it gives you all the benefits of a tripod, is quick to move around, better for panning (with a fluid video head) + it can be used like a boom for overhead shots, and you can run n' gun with it shortened

paul13walnut5

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Re: Canon 60D Video Images look SOFT!
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2012, 02:58:13 PM »
Make sure the monopod is a video version (manfrotto 561?) as this has small footprint a ball and socket foot.  Can pan nice even without video head.

I disagree about iso.  Iso should be kept consistent and if possible, low.

Control exposure via aperture, light and filtration.  Shutter is generally best fixed as per the 180 rule.

F2.8 issue is important on video cameras which have lenses with varying apertures that open up beyond f2.8, the only dslr lens I can think if that does this is the tokina 28-70 f2.6-f2.8.

You should however concentrate on fast primes and or constant f2.8 zooms.  This gives you maximum options, and if you zoom between shots they should stilll be evenly matched.

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Re: Canon 60D Video Images look SOFT!
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2012, 02:58:13 PM »