Hi guys! My first post here. I'm a designer from Poland with a passion for filming and photography. Got into filming 15 years ago and it's always been a great adventure. I went from fisheyes to fast lenses over those years and this time I wanted to share something really peculiar that happened to me lately. I hope I can share some useful knowledge here and perhaps you can give me some advice.
Straight to the point:
What video camera should I use to avoid concert stage light flickering & horizontal stripes/bands situations in the future? EF mount preferably. I have described my whole story below.
I got invited to a rock concert (audience of around 2000, amps, electric guitars, all the good stuff) and was allowed to film a couple songs. I'm a film look addict so I took my fastest lens for some cool shots. I wanted to achieve a nice live/music video feel.
Canon 6D mk1
Canon 85mm f/1.2 L
Zhiyun Crane 2 (follow focused by cord)
Issues I encountered:
I was aware that flickering might appear, and I know how to handle shutter speeds in such situations, but the stage lights were pure crazy. I tried PAL, NTSC, 24p,25p,30p,50p, 1/30, 1/50, 1/100, etc. I think I tried every possible combination and there was always flickering or stripes on my footage. I got really frustrated because some lights caused that and some didn't. And many of those weren't even strobes, just regular dim lights.
The Zhiyun Crane 2 appeared to be sound sensitive OR electromagnetic field sensitive because when the drummer hit the drums really hard, the whole gimbal shook. Motors went crazy!
In the end I tried to look for those difficult lights and avoid them and film the drummer when he didn't kill it so hard.
I got my buddy's point & shoot - the Sony RX100 - no flickering at 50p 1/50 (I didn't have time to mess with settings). No flickering at whatever light I pointed. I felt really confused by that.
Lesson learned. I came home stupider than ever but with enough B-roll to figure something out.
2 days later this happened:
Started filming some manufacturing with the same setup. One of my workers started welding and grinding steel.
The zhiyun crane 2 appeared to be sensitive to the electro magnetic field. It shook every time the welder started his thing-when the arc wasn't covered by his hand or his body. When he started grinding metal with an angle grinder, the gimbal started shaking again - noise sensitivity perhaps?
We made a test hammering an anvil and I noticed some minor shakes but not as large as those when grinding or welding.
Here are my conclusions:
1. For filming welding, grinding, and significant noise (close to the source) - use a regular steadycam. Do not use an electronic gimbal. It's gonna ruin your footage (warp stabilize might help, haven't tried that yet).
2. Concert footage might come out really wrong, but from what I read it really depends on the gear the stage tech uses. Horizontal stripes/bands and flickering can/will appear. I heard they sometimes don't.
1. Why did the point & shoot Sony RX100 record without any flickering, without any stripes/bands ?
2. What camera should I use to avoid the stage light flickering & horizontal stripes/bands situations in the future? EF mount preferably.
Thanks in advance guys. I hope my observations will help someone.
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All lights flicker. Your eyes and brain do not perceive it. In Europe, you are on a 50-cycle electrical current, so the lights will go on and off 50 times per second. (This is a simplistic explanation for the sake of brevity and easier comprehension.) Your friend's camcorder was synchronized to the lighting because its shutter was 1/50 per second. Your flicker issue is essentially a camera shutter issue, though frame rate may play a secondary role. You should be shooting PAL in Europe with the shutter open to 1/25 -- or no faster than 1/50, though there is no guarantee that the 1/50 shutter will be absolutely in synch with the lighting.
For the drum issue, you have a vibration problem. Your camera mount will need better shock absorption.
High school gyms are the most fun.
Kelvin of the lights rarely match, so it often goes from green to blue to red to orange.
Flicker + color, it looks like a Christmas tree.