September 16, 2015 at 3:10AM

0

Why My Videos Look Ugly?

Hi,
I'm working on a small video composed of interviews and meanwhile shooting some general views/GV/B-roll from the city.

My camera is Canon 6D, I usually use 35mm f/2 IS, which is a sharp lens.

The problem is, when subjects are close, such as interviews or shooting objects in short range, videos are nice and sharp, event at night. But when I use the camera for shooting streets and for large areas, it looks blurry, soft and less detail. I shoot overexposed (+1 stop) to retain shadow details later during the post process, but doesn't work well.

Here are the screenshots:
http://imgur.com/a/rPFGY

And Magic Lantern logs for configuration I use:

# Magic Lantern Nightly.2015Aug18.6D116
Start : 2015/09/12 07:21:15
Lens name : EF35mm f/2 IS USM
ISO : 100
Shutter : 1/50.000s
Aperture : f/4.9
Focal length : 35 mm
Focus distance : 655350 mm
White Balance : 5200K, Magenta 0, Blue 0
Picture Style : UserDef1 (0,4,-2,0)
FPS : 25.000
CSV data:
Time,ISO,Shutter,Aperture,Focal_Len,Focus_Dist
07:21:15,100,50,4.9,35,65535
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
# Magic Lantern Nightly.2015Aug18.6D116
Start : 2015/09/12 06:43:23
Lens name : EF35mm f/2 IS USM
ISO : 400
Shutter : 1/50.000s
Aperture : f/2.0
Focal length : 35 mm
Focus distance : 655350 mm
White Balance : 0 - Auto, Magenta 0, Blue 0
Picture Style : UserDef1 (0,4,-2,0)
FPS : 25.000
CSV data:
Time,ISO,Shutter,Aperture,Focal_Len,Focus_Dist
06:43:23,400,50,2.0,35,65535
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
# Magic Lantern Nightly.2015May03.6D113
Start : 2015/09/07 16:31:46
Lens name : EF35mm f/2 IS USM
ISO : 100
Shutter : 1/50.000s
Aperture : f/11.3
Focal length : 35 mm
Focus distance : 655350 mm
White Balance : 5100K, Magenta 0, Blue 0
Picture Style : Auto (0,0,0,0)
FPS : 25.000
CSV data:
Time,ISO,Shutter,Aperture,Focal_Len,Focus_Dist
16:31:46,100,50,11.3,35,65535

18 Comments

>>>I shoot overexposed (+1 stop) to retain shadow details later during the post process, but doesn't work well.

I'm not sure if this is part of your problem, but normally you ALWAYS expose for the hilights that you want to keep and then raise the shadow detail when you edit.

I edit with Sony Vegas Pro, so I use the Gamma control to raise the blacks and reduce contrast when I edit.

Also, have you tried experimenting with picture styles to reduce the contrast of your videos ?

September 16, 2015 at 9:26AM

5
Reply
Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
32727

Yes, I use flat settings.

Guzel Marmara

September 16, 2015 at 3:19PM

Yes just think about it logically. When shooting in the day, there's much more highlights you want to see than there are shadows, opposite when it comes to the dark. So you want to underexpose to keep as much of the highlight detail as possible then increase in post to bring out the shadows. Or just use a camera with baller DR and that would solve a lot of your problems too.

Clark McCauley

September 21, 2015 at 11:45AM

Guzel, is there any way you can upload some unprocessed footage that you've shot with your Canon 6D so that we can take a look at it ? ( This would be footage you've shot using what you feel are your best camera settings )

You could use the free Google Drive app ( which gives you 15 GB of space for free ) or one of the "Drop Box" type of apps.

I'm asking because I would like to look at your footage in my editor to see what is going on, and if I can find a simple way to improve the look of your footage. If I can fix this, I'll post instructions as to what I did to fix it, and I will post a download link for you to check-out the footage I've processed.

I haven't shot with a Canon 6D before, so I want to see what the actual camera footage is like so I can give you a better opinion on it.

Cheers.

- Guy

September 16, 2015 at 3:42PM, Edited September 16, 3:42PM

1
Reply
Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
32727

Thanks for your generous offer. I uploaded videos with log files:

https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B7-i66VsEyM5NDZpNl9yRkZwVU0&usp=...

Guzel Marmara

September 16, 2015 at 8:00PM

Here's a download link to a 75 MB ZIP file that contains processed versions of your videos...

https://goo.gl/ZzRdBB

I have included JPEG files of the control panels from Sony Vegas Pro that shows which of the controls I used and what settings I used.

Looking at your videos I can see why the Canon 6D camera is not recommended for video work.

- The image is soft ( low resolution )
- The image is very contrasty ( not much detail in the shadows )
- The image shows a lot of aliasing ( the jaggy looking slanted lines )

To try and fix your videos I did the following...

1- Lowered the contrast of your videos
2- Increased the saturation of your videos
( lowering contrast will reduce color saturation, so you have to increase saturation to compensate )
3- Adjusted the color balance on one shot that looked too blue to me
4- Used the Sony "Sharpen" tool to sharpen the image of your video

When I was finished I exported your videos as MPEG-4 files with a 15 Mbps data-rate.

I honestly don't think you can get a much better video image from your Canon 6D. It's not a great camera for video.

If you want to try the same settings that I used, you can download a free trial of the Sony Vegas Pro video editor from the link below...

http://goo.gl/H6mAl2

I hope this helps.

- Guy

September 16, 2015 at 10:00PM, Edited September 16, 10:00PM

3
Reply
Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
32727

I'm really appreciated, thanks!

I'll follow the same steps with similar values in Premiere and After Effects since I'm better in their interfaces.

1) What can I do to have a better footage with 6D until I buy a new camera?

2) Which camera I should buy to have better footage? (max budget is $3,500)

Guzel Marmara

September 17, 2015 at 1:39AM

I would go for the A7s with shogun or wait for the A7sII. Lowlight and sharpness are astounding. And pretty cheap.

Clark McCauley

September 21, 2015 at 11:47AM

>>>1) What can I do to have a better footage with 6D until I buy a new camera?

- Use Technicolor's Cinestyle Color Profile on your Canon 6D camera when shooting video

How To Install Technicolor's Cinestyle Color Profile on Canon 6D
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Wvya3nZr7w

- Stop over exposing your image, and use the "levels" or "gamma" controls in your video editor to raise the shadows in your image. Always expose for the hilights in your image, and add fill light when you can to lower the contrast of your image.

- Shoot with the lowest possible ISO you can which will reduce noise and help a little with the dynamic range your camera can record.

- Use sharpening when editing your Canon 6D video to try and bring out more image detail

>>>2) Which camera I should buy to have better footage? (max budget is $3,500)

I would look at one of the following cameras...

Canon 7D Mk2 or Canon 5D Mk3 cameras
- Records a good video image with very little aliasing or moire
- Image is soft but cleans up very well with a little bit of sharpening
- Has a fairly high bit-rate when recording video

Panasonic GH4 camera
- Shoots both 1080 HD and 4K video formats
- Full cine image controls
- Records at very high bit-rates ( up to 200 Mbps )
- Has no moire and very little aliasing in 4K mode
- Has no time limit when recording ( same for GH4R camera in Europe )
- Records 3+ hours with one battery ( 6+ hours with battery grip )
- Can mount almost any lens ever made with the right adapter
- Is weather-proof, so you can shoot in the rain
- Lots of high speed prime lenses available in Micro 4/3 lens mount
- Low price for what you get ( good value )

Sony A7S Mk1 and A7S Mk2 camera
- Shoots both 1080 HD and 4K video formats
- Full Frame image sensor ( like the Canon 6D )
- Best camera in the world for low-light shooting
- Full cine image controls
- Records at very high bit-rates
- Has no moire and very little aliasing in 4K mode
- 30 minute time limit when recording
- Records for 1 hour with one battery
- Can mount many lenses including Canon lenses with the right adapter
- Used A7S Mk1 cameras should be easier to find now that Mk2 camera is here

My preference would be to buy either the Panasonic GH4 ( this is what I shoot with now ) or the Sony A7S, as these cameras have full cine controls and can produce a good looking and very sharp video image. ( much better than Canon 6D camera )

If you want to see the kind of detail that you can record with a GH4 camera, here is a download link to a 5MB ZIP file containing a few frame grabs from past projects I have shot with my GH4 camera. Just click on the link to get to the Google Drive page, then click the download arrow in the center near the top of the web page to download the ZIP file.

https://goo.gl/LH4DCq

Make sure you read the PDF document I've included that explains a little bit more about the images, and also make sure you view these images in 1:1 pixel mode to see the difference between a non-sharpened and sharpened GH4 image.

With the GH4 you get the same type of detail when shooting cityscapes or landscapes, which is a very detailed and very sharp video image. ( which is a HUGE difference from Canon 6D video )

Good-luck.

- Guy

September 17, 2015 at 1:33PM, Edited September 17, 1:43PM

0
Reply
Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
32727

When dealing with highly compressed codecs such as the h264 in the 6D, the more detail your shots have the less detail the codec will be able to retain as it tries to balance image quality and file size. That said, I would also have a look at the lens itself. Problems with the lens (or any glass in front of it, filters etc) can lead to softening of the image.

September 17, 2015 at 5:55PM, Edited September 17, 5:55PM

8
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avatar
Tobias N
1097

I have 35mm f/2 (sharpest lens Canon ever made AFAIK) and 50mm 1.8 for video and I'm just using these.

But Guy is right, the problem is 6D's itself. Since I bought the camera I was just shooting photos and thought 6D is good as 5DM3 but it was a delusion as I see.

Guzel Marmara

September 20, 2015 at 4:02PM

Guy, you are a seriously helpful dude - it's great to read your comments.

September 19, 2015 at 6:06PM, Edited September 19, 6:59PM

2
Reply
Saied M.
888

Ha! ...I get bored when rendering out editing masters ( which often takes a long time ), so posting here keeps my mind occupied while I'm waiting for my footage to be done.

Guy McLoughlin

September 19, 2015 at 9:14PM

This is a problem that I went through with my Canon 550d as well. I tried to figure out why my footage looked so blurry and didn't have much detail on wides, and then I realised that I kept comparing my camera which cost me $400 (AUD) to higher end cameras which costs 10-30 times more.
What I realised is just to take it for what it is and make the most out of it. As mentioned by other people, the Canon cameras doesn't give a super sharp video image, comparing to other cameras like the Sony A7s or the GH4, but you learn to work with what you have and do what you can to improve where you can improve.
With that being said, something that always encourages me is to have a look at other people that have shot videos with the same camera that you have, to see what they have done to make it look better. What I usually find in these instances is that it doesn't necessarily look better, but their story is captivating me, so I don't really pay to much attention to the video quality.

Last thought: I also shoot with a flat profile, and I always sharpen it with "Unsharp Mask" in Premiere Pro. Found that it helps a lot. Here is a video I found describing that process: https://youtu.be/dJfwdwUcHaU

Just a thought :)

September 21, 2015 at 7:14PM, Edited September 21, 7:21PM

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avatar
Morten Furre
Director, Editor, Screenwriter
171

Honestly I think its your f-stop. You have a wide open aperture so you depth of field is going to be shorter which will cause for out of focus backgrounds. In your last video clip you had an f11.3 which showed much more detail. Based on your description of your problem, its basically a depth of field issue. Try using this depth of field site to calulate your focal range. You need to do a little pre game planning prior to your shoot.

I had the same issue but read up on the hyperfocal distance and you'll understand what I am talking about: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperfocal_distance

Also, where are you focusing your camera? Infinity??

IMO, your camera is fine you just need to refine your use of it.

September 22, 2015 at 12:40AM, Edited September 22, 12:43AM

1
Reply
AJ
81

I agree, 6D is not a great video camera but I watched great videos on Youtube shot with that camera. Some people know how to calculate the hyperfocal distance and also balancing the highlights & shadows while exposing.

I think I need more practice and more suggestions :)

Guzel Marmara

September 23, 2015 at 1:24PM

>>>IMO, your camera is fine you just need to refine your use of it.

This is a common problem with many Canon DSLR cameras which show a lot of moire and heavy aliasing in their video image. It's so common that there's a company selling Optical Low Pass filters that will fix the moire and aliasing on these Canon cameras.

Mosaic Engineering Optical Low Pas Filter for Canon 6D Camera
http://www.mosaicengineering.com/products/vaf/6d.html

These filters are not cheap ( $365 ) and I'm not sure how sharp the video image is once the filter is applied to your camera sensor, but it will produce a better looking video image.

September 22, 2015 at 10:16AM, Edited September 22, 10:21AM

0
Reply
Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
32727

When I recommended you have a look at the lens itself I wasn't implying it wasn't of high quality. Fungus, scratches, fingerprints and other problems with the lens or glass elements can contribute to the less sharp image; Something that would be more visible in video than in high resolution stills.

September 24, 2015 at 7:06AM

7
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avatar
Tobias N
1097

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