The European Broadcasting union are providing live coverage of the Vancouver Olympic games to Eurovision member states. There are 6 live channels in Standard definition as well as a channel for certain events in high definition. Also available are the live broadcasts that members of the European broadcasting Union are making available to their home audiences. As a result you have a wealth of streams in a number of languages.
Vancouver live is where you will find this content. I am mentioning this because a lot of blog space and articles are dedicated to covering how the United States are providing streamed content to that part of the world but without demonstrating that streaming also has a place in the European market.
Asimo is the famous robot created by Honda that looks like a young child. He was at the motorshow yesterday demonstrating his ability to run and I was there to capture the moment in HD, as were several hundred others.
Press the HD tab to get it in full quality :-). The normal version is soft.
Today I went to the Geneva Motor Show and filmed lot’s of cars, from the Koenigsegg to Asimo the robot via a few girls giving information about cars and even crowds of people. I spent some time reviewing the footage and yet again I’m happy with the results. I’m going to work on a few compilation videos within the next few days but if you’d like an overview of the result then I have a sample on blip (select the mov), and on Youtube (Select HD).
It’s no secret that I now own an HDR SR 12. It’s a small light weight video camera that shoots in high definition at 1920x1080i but I’ve been shooting at 1440×900 most of the time. Recently I went through the streets of Nyon filming people as they enjoyed the first real day of spring.
I filmed a diversity of things. The White Castle, couples sitting by a wall drinking cans of some fluid and people walking around. There’s even footage of a guy filming a girl presenting products for something. I have no idea of their goal.
As I watched the video back on a 40″ monitor I was really happy with the results. The picture was sharp, the colours were great and you really could look around the image to see every little detail.
Recently I lent my camera to a very knowledgable friend of mine, when it comes to broadcasting and he was happy with the results too. He was telling me about watching images with XV colour, which I hadn’t paid much attention. He told me that for certain natural colours, green for example when the light was just right the saturation was really nice. He was using a Samsung screen whilst I was experimenting with Sony.
What I feel is particularly gratifying is that this, by broadcast standards, is a really cheap camera and already it delivers top rate results. Of course with progressive imaging it would be better and it does lack when subjects are back lit. I wrote about some of the drawbacks in a recent post but it’s still an excellent camera.
I have a few documentary ideas I will need to get round to filming as summer approaches. I do want to take advantage of having such a light camera.
Today I went down to the Nyon Lakeside to play with the camera to try it out. I watched the video playback and it looked fine. I saw some pixelation between a girl’s face and her hair when she was walking and some artefacts just around the people’s bodies as they move. That’s at 1440*1020, not full resolution. I’ll have to find time to do test at full HD quality during my days off.
Please note that for monitoring I was using a 40″ Sony Bravia and standing a few centimeters away. From a few meters back it looked fine.
I love high definition because it reminds me of those massive paintings you see in art galleries. You know the ones. It’s those that have things happening in different parts. Look to the top right and you see one set of people, look at the centre of the image and you notice something slightly different. Look to the right of there and yet another story is told.
That’s because high definition is a large canvas where everyone that appears in the shot tells a story. Look at that shot. You see Obama in the foreground and you see the faces behind. You see the family, you see the faces of those that are having a good time, those that are there because they have to be and more.
It’s also about eavesdropping in the visual sense of the word. You look at the action in the foreground but you can also look at the book shelf, you can see which titles are present. You can see the marks on the walls. You can see that person sitting, and from the facial features see whether they are tired or full of energy.
I just love high definition. I’ve been watching high definition content and I must admit that documentary is the type of content that may be the most fascinating. You see reconstructions of historical battles, background actions and it’s just a full image. If it was audio it would be high fidelity. It’s just complete.
It doesn’t require fast cutting, it doesn’t require close ups. What it does require is a process of thinking of how to provide a frame, an image, a canvas that’s interesting to look at. It’s getting closer to photography in a sense.
After talking to a friend about possible collaborations in the near future I decided not to invest too much money on a new camera so I bought the Sony HDR-SR12. It’s a small easy to carry video camera that records in AVCHD at a resolution of 1920 by 1080i.
The hard drive is 120 gigs for a total recording time of over 30hrs depending on what you want to shoot. I chose the highest quality setting and I still get 1780 minutes of recording time, more than enough for a day’s shooting. It’s a small camera, much easier to travel with and there are no moving parts and no need for tapes. I love that, it means I can start editing as soon as I get home. I’m tapeless at last, I’ve been waiting years for this moment.
It’s charging so I can’t play with it quite yet but I’ll keep you informed as to developments on this topic.
As a side note video capture is easy, just use log and transfer rather than log and capture in Finalcut Pro. It’s shift option 8.