Slow Motion Video Recording & Video Tutorial with Panasonic S1
A splash of waves, flames in the fireplace, beautifully thrown objects, getting a salary – all this unites the fleetingness in time and the desire to hold this moment a little longer. The benefit of this method is called slow motion.
What is slow-motion shooting for?
Time-lapse shooting allows you to focus the viewer’s attention on a specific episode, makes it possible to see individual elements of the frame.
In addition, in dynamic videos, slow-motion shooting is like a respite to simply have time to understand what you, in fact, saw before and connect all the fragments of the video sequence with a logical chain.
For today’s release, we deliberately went to a specialized culinary studio “Chef” in order not only to shoot two or three fragments, but to tell about the camera settings and the shooting process using the example of a full video.
We borrowed the concept of the video from the amazing blogger and various Corporate Video Production Companies In Dubai, but added a number of our own elements: Dolly zoom, turn tracking, turn sync, slide with horizon tilt and, of course, super slow motion.
Why Super Slow Motion? We just shot on a Panasonic Lumix S1 with a 24-105mm f4 lens, which is capable of 180 fps and immediately converts it to slow motion video right in the camera.
Let’s talk about some of the things to look out for in slow motion.
The first is light! Strange as it may seem, but under Ilyich’s light bulb you won’t get any high-quality slow motion – you will simply run into the frequency of the light pulse, that is, Hz. Our power grids operate at 50 Hz, in the USA and Japan at 60 Hz.
To shoot, for example, at 50 Hz, you need a shutter speed that will keep pace with this pulse.
Here are the numbers.
At 25 fps – 1/50, but here it doesn’t smell like slowing down, at 50 fps – 1/100, this is already the possibility of double slowing down in a project under 25 fps, for 100 fps – 1/200, and this is already a fourfold slowdown.
For 60 Hz, the numbers are logical – different.
For 30 fps – 1/60, for 60 fps – 1/120 or 1/125, for 120 fps – 1/240 or 1/250.
Do you feel it? – Numbers are no longer for every camera.
The more slowdown we need, the darker the picture becomes due to the faster shutter speed. And with the correct settings, the strobe can still break through with a bad light.
Therefore, the best way would be not to dance with tambourines around the world not intended for such manipulations, but to use a professional one. Better powerful to flood the entire jobsite with light. They are both expensive and budget.
For this shooting, I had the opportunity to use the Akurat D8 diffusion panel as the main light, which with its appearance, functionality, power and price simply shouts in the face: “Ilya, you don’t have to worry about the light.” In addition, even the manufacturer’s website clearly states the possibility of using this source in the “Slow Motion” mode without restrictions. So one less problem!
Akurat D8 specifications
- Maximum luminous flux power: 9000 lm
- Beam angle: 90 °
- Color rendering index CRI Ra: 95+
- Maximum power consumption: 100W
- No flicker effect, unlimited use in “Slow Motion” mode
- Smooth color temperature change and switching between standard daylight / tungsten color temperatures
- Brightness adjustment in the range 0-100%
After the next firmware update Panasonic S1 got the ability to manually adjust the exposure in the Slow motion mode – a very nice innovation.
Unfortunately, at the time of shooting this video, I was using an old firmware. There was no new one yet. Otherwise, everything remained in the classics. From 150 fps, the camera itself converts video in a carcass slowed down six times with a final frequency of 25 fps. Or, for example, 180 fps, which will also slow down six times to a final video of 30 fps.
But if you are creating a project at 25 or 24 fps, then a 30-frame slow motion can be slowed down even more.
Simple math: divide 30/25 = 1.2 or 30/24 = 1.25. This is how many times you can still slow down the video.
I shot at 180 fps, and the project was created at 25 fps, i.e. slowdown by 7.2 times, and if the project was under 24 fps, that is, 180/24 = 7.5.
Not bad, right?
For a long time, we have posted on Instagram both the video and the first impressions of shooting slow-motion video on Panasonic, and if you are not subscribed, it’s time to do it, because many stories appear there much earlier.
There was a question: how much does 120 fps lose 180 fps? That is, how visible is the difference? Exactly 1.5 times. This is math. And you will certainly see this for sure when comparing head-to-head.
Since I personally cannot, looking at a falling drop or other element, say that it is slowed down by a factor of six or four. But definitely, if I see both options, I would prefer the slower one.
Any filming process involves important stages
• Selection of equipment, location and model
• Arrangement of props, lights and equipment
• Directing (there should be at least an image of the final video in your head)
Again, the concept of filming our video was borrowed, so the task was simplified, although usually for such filming I write a frame-by-frame script so that I know what we are doing and in what location.
Every step, every movement, every toss was filmed several times to get a good result, taking into account, of course, the time allotted for shooting. So explain to the participants what to do.
The camera has a manual focus. Such scenes are not filmed automatically: this is not a wedding or a vlog, the scene is complex, the dynamics are complex, the light is complex (from dark to light). And you know much better what to focus on.
And this is where our slow motion comes into play. There are only a few clear snippets of slowdown in the video, and notice that it is at this moment that you relax and record what is happening. Since slow-motion shots are our accent lobes.
I also used the dolly zoom to immerse the person in the scene. Considering that everything was shot handheld, you can estimate how well it came out.
By the way, absolutely all takes, except for shaking the bottle with oil, were shot at 180 fps, but the picture looks like absolutely normal and pure FHD. Panasonic, you are “5-plus”!
This slowdown gave me a lot of flexibility in editing. Here the pepper rolls, here it flies up, and I slowed it down for a moment during the jump, then they threw a cucumber and again you can fix such a moment. And the moment when the salad is poured with oil is short-lived, but with slow-motion shooting this moment can be enjoyed for much longer and all my movements at the same time look smooth, and the oil covers the tomatoes and olives much tastier. And so it is possible ad infinitum.
And, by the way, a small life hack, slow motion looks even more interesting if you speed up the picture right in front of it. Due to the fleeting perception of the primary speed of the video fragment, the brain adjusts to it and the subsequent deceleration looks much more spectacularly slower than if the takes began immediately with deceleration. This is how our brain works.
What if I want to slow down the frame even more? Well, I miss the 7x slowdown! There is an alternative – this is an artificial drawing of frames. There are plugins, for example Twixtor, and even standard editing software often allows you to do this.
For example, I use Final Cut and there is an option for optical completion of missing frames.
But you need to understand that the program does not work miracles always and everywhere, and in some scenes it simply will not cope with it to the extent that you wanted. But it all depends on your level of deceleration quality.
As a result, I would like to say that no matter how sophisticated a camera or professional light you have, you will most likely not be able to shoot anything without the necessary knowledge base. Creativity is creativity, and no one cancelled the material.
I hope that on the example of this video tutorial and the release as a whole, you received the necessary knowledge base or simply repeated the information. And, armed with this knowledge, you will shoot no more, no fewer masterpieces.