March 27, 2015 at 8:26AM

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DSLR footage jumpy when panning

I recorded some footage which involved panning. When I view the footage, the shot during panning is very jumpy and not smooth at all.

I had set my camera up at 24fps and used a shutter speed setting of 1/50s.

If anyone can advise why my pans are not smooth and what I can do about it that would be really helpful.

Thanks.

6 Comments

The standard rule of thumb for panning is that it should take 7 seconds for an object in your frame to cross from one side to the other side. If you are panning faster than this you will not record smooth pans.

March 27, 2015 at 9:53AM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30530

Thanks Guy. I've done six tests so far, all with choppy movement. I tried two pans at ultra slow panning, took about 15 seconds to pan one side of the view to the other. And two pans at "normal" panning speed (as you've described), still slow-ish, and two at slightly faster. All were chppy/ jerky.

Tried with 24fps and 1/50 shutter speed, 24fps and 1/100. Also tried 60fps at 1/60, 1/125 and 1/250. All were choppy.

Upshot is, it doesn't seem to matter what frame rate I use, what shutter speed I choose (even at the rule of fps=1/double for shutter speed) or how slowly I pan.

I must be doing something very wrong somewhere!?

March 27, 2015 at 11:10AM

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Kyri Saphiris
Filmmaker
395

How are you viewing your footage ?

Some computer systems aren't powerful enough to provide smooth playback of raw footage, so you have to render your footage to a lower bit-rate MPEG-4 file ( say a 6 Megabit 1080 MPEG-4 file ), and then try playing this back on your computer system or on a blu-ray player.

March 27, 2015 at 3:54PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30530

Thanks for that advice. I will render some of the samples of footage to a more compressed format at some point tomorrow and report back with my findings!

I think the raw files (which I think are AVCHD/ H.264 .mov files, out of the Nikon D5200) have a bit rate of about 24MBps. I think if I stick them through Lightworks (my editing software) and then export them, they come out as H.264 MP4 MPEG-4s with a bit rate of 8Mbps, so a third of the bit rate compared to the original footage.

It'll be interesting to see what comes out and how it looks.

March 27, 2015 at 7:22PM

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Kyri Saphiris
Filmmaker
395

ps. Not sure how powerful or otherwise my computer is. I've had it for three years so not that new. The spec. is:
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit SP1
AMD Phenom II X6 1055T 2.80GHz
RAM 6GB
Nvidia GeForce GT 430
so it may indeed not be all that capable anymore. We'll have a better idea tomorrow after the post-render viewing tests!

March 27, 2015 at 7:26PM

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Kyri Saphiris
Filmmaker
395

I've now done the further bit of testing. I rendered the footage into a lower bit rate version MP4 through the editing software and then I played and compared the exported file to the original camera file.

You were right! The rendered footage is smoother than the raw footage. It's still a bit choppy, but not as bad. Based on what you've said, I am guessing that, if I had an even better pc spec., then the footage would be completely smooth.

So the jist of all this is that there's no need to worry if footage is choppy - it's just a reflection of the power of the pc rather than a fault with the footage itself.

Thanks for your help.

March 29, 2015 at 11:59AM

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Kyri Saphiris
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