Saturday, June 16, 2012

Video With OM-D E-M5

I have not touch my video cameras for years! They just sat there, somewhere in the closet quietly and slowly died! I saw it coming when they incorporate video capability in digital still cameras years ago. Another example of disruptive innovation, my young PhD friend Christian Sandström will tell me ;)

 Not that I shoot a lot of video, for the last couple of years; most of the clips were of Le General's line dancing and my camera of choice was the Canon G12.

Why my G12? It is easy breezy, the G12 auto white balance is accurate and the HD quality is more than good enough for Youtube upload!

What about the OM-D E-M5?

According to Olympus, you can...

"Shoot movies at full 1080 HD resolution with available manual control over aperture and shutter speed. This level of control allows you to express your vision exactly how you want in your HD videos.

When shooting a movie you have the choice of Standard or HD Movie with or without the 11 Art Filters, total movie creativity is in your control. Record movies in the .avi or .mov formats."

What really impressed me is Olympus claim of "World's Fastest Auto Focus" and the all new “5 axis” In-body Image Stabilization system that for the first time can compensate for not only vertical and horizontal camera movement, but as well for rotational camera shake that previous systems (like the Canon G12) could not handle.

Four days ago my work colleague was playing with my OM-D at our Samoa Independence Day lunch, he actually shot a short casual video clip; I was impressed how lack of shake and smooth the panning was. I can't achieve that with my G12!

 My chances came two days ago when Le general asked me to shoot a couple of dances at her line dance, Johnsonville.

Since some of the dancers do not like to appear in my masterpiece, I decided to shoot portrait mode and rotate the clip around in my iMac; I will tell you how later.

Do view the video in full screen mode.

The video was shot hand held, with the 14-42mm kit lens that came with my E-P2. Setting were: Full HD, IS=1; S-AF; ISO=AUTO; WB=AUTO; Face Detect=OFF.

A word of warning about the so call "Tracking Auto Focus", DO NOT even try to use it! I did initially and it was a disaster! It cannot track at all!  I setter for single AF, lock-in and leave the focus alone during the filming. If I think my subject is getting away from my focus area, I can quickly touch the shutter button to reset the focus; this I cannot do with my G12.

Looking at the result, I can see the video is smoother and far steadier than those shot with the G12.  I also "grab" some still frames from the video.

Video grab of still frames in QuickTime player... the OM-D grab show much more detail and better dynamic range than my default video camera, the Canon G12.

Oh.. how do I rotate my "vertical" video?

Since I am using Mac, it is simple; provided you still have the "old" QuickTime 7 Pro, I do.

Open your video with the QT 7 Pro player and type Control-J which will launch the "Movie Properties" window. Select "Video Track" and you will see the "Transformation" window (see below).

Rotating the video to its correct orientation is a no brainer. Make sure the "Preserve Aspect Ratio" is ticked.

Happy vertical video shooting!

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