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  1. I’d really appreciate some advice.
    I make “talking head” style videos, and I want to make a small upgrade to my gear.
    Right now I’m shooting with my smartphone (LG G6) and I use Dedolight 150 spotlights for lighting – these are very high quality (I only have them because my dad used them for work), but not really suitable for these kinds of videos (more for stills and for lighting installations).
    In outdoor lighting, the G6 makes great looking vids, but indoors (which is my only setting), it really doesn’t.

    So, I have two options for this upgrade:
    1. a used Samsung NX3000 camera (and keep current lighting set-up)
    2. more suitable lighting – something like the GVM 480LS, for example (and keep shooting with the phone).

    Which do you think will make a more substantial difference in the quality of my videos and ease of making them?
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  2. If you like the form factor of the Samsung camera, look into the Sony 6000 series which are more highly rated. With the savings you can afford the light too.
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  3. I suppose you mean something like the A6000?
    Anyway, the reason I mentioned specifically the Samsung, is because I found it, used, for a good price (around 130 USD) near me. Looking at things like the A6000 - they are MUCH more expensive (like at least 4 times the price).
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  4. Yes. I was comparing new prices.
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  5. But what do you think then? A piece of lighting or the Samsung camera?
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  6. You said your LG phone is not so good indoors, but haven't said exactly how it fails you, and you haven't mentioned what you think of its performance when using your current lights. Is the phone poor overall, even with lights, or just poor indoors without proper lights? If you feel it works reasonably well with your current lights, but you just don't think the lights are a good match for your talking heads setup, replacing the lights should be your priority. If you feel the phone is disappointing even with lights, then you need another phone or separate camera.

    The used Samsung NX3000 is a decent buy for $130 USD: the large APS-C sensor should offer greatly improved indoor color and noise control when set to ISO 1600 or below. The 16-50 lens is reputed to be excellent, the 20-50 is OK but not as nice (a little tight for indoors, no stabilization, somewhat inferior optical quality vs 16-50). If used mostly for talking heads, it would be hard to see a difference with either lens- both are fine.

    Just be aware using a separate camera can be more work if you're accustomed to the instant posting features of a phone. Samsung is notorious for over-promising and under-delivering on the wifi features (same as all other camera mfrs: it is virtually impossible to use a separate camera for social media as seamlessly as a phone). The Samsung camera>phone connection app is better than most, but support varies in different countries and recent reports indicate it doesn't work nearly as well today as it did when the NX3000 was introduced in 2014.

    Some people live and die by the integration of phone with built-in camera, others enjoy using a more capable separate camera. If you lean toward the former, it may be best to save money until you can afford a phone with a camera more suited to your projects. If you don't at all mind the separate camera workflow, try that Samsung NX3000.
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  7. Wait!!!
    You've got $$ high quality lights and CAN'T GET good video indoors!??

    Did you turn them on?? ,)

    ....

    Seriously... Turn them on and use them!

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=cwjbwcUH37E
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=LbAo8NTI3hQ
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-C0bHgkRGw8

    No idea the exact model you have or number of lights, but even with one and some bounce, you should be able to get nice lighting for a still video.

    ...

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=NVIbirzZn0M

    See how lights make boring, great?
    Even with 1 powerful light, bounce it from different angles to simulate multiple lights.
    Last edited by babygdav; 29th Jan 2020 at 20:00.
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  8. Originally Posted by orsetto View Post
    You said your LG phone is not so good indoors, but haven't said exactly how it fails you, and you haven't mentioned what you think of its performance when using your current lights. Is the phone poor overall, even with lights, or just poor indoors without proper lights? If you feel it works reasonably well with your current lights, but you just don't think the lights are a good match for your talking heads setup, replacing the lights should be your priority. If you feel the phone is disappointing even with lights, then you need another phone or separate camera.
    I'm not exactly sure how to answer that. My very unprofessional mind would say that it seems like lower resolution (?), which obviously isn't really the case, it's 1080p, but somehow it seems like less. Also, colors are ify and as the day progresses (some light gets in from the windows -behind me, mostly), the colors shift.
    It does work OK, but not great.
    I'm also thinking maybe I should try it with higher ISO. I always use it with very low ISO settings, to avoid any noise/grain.

    The used Samsung NX3000 is a decent buy for $130 USD: the large APS-C sensor should offer greatly improved indoor color and noise control when set to ISO 1600 or below. The 16-50 lens is reputed to be excellent, the 20-50 is OK but not as nice (a little tight for indoors, no stabilization, somewhat inferior optical quality vs 16-50). If used mostly for talking heads, it would be hard to see a difference with either lens- both are fine.

    Just be aware using a separate camera can be more work if you're accustomed to the instant posting features of a phone. Samsung is notorious for over-promising and under-delivering on the wifi features (same as all other camera mfrs: it is virtually impossible to use a separate camera for social media as seamlessly as a phone). The Samsung camera>phone connection app is better than most, but support varies in different countries and recent reports indicate it doesn't work nearly as well today as it did when the NX3000 was introduced in 2014.

    Some people live and die by the integration of phone with built-in camera, others enjoy using a more capable separate camera. If you lean toward the former, it may be best to save money until you can afford a phone with a camera more suited to your projects. If you don't at all mind the separate camera workflow, try that Samsung NX3000.
    I definitely don't post immediately. I edit things before.
    The only thing in my workflow that I feel might be affected (but maybe it can also be done on a dedicated camera?) is that I shoot my videos pretty much one paragraph at a time (I'm still pretty scripted, and not natural in the way I talk to the camera). So I shoot each one, check to see if it's OK (both my performance and the phone's - sometimes it offsets audio a bit), and keep or delete it accordingly. The phone is always connected to the computer, so I check and manage my individual videos on the PC.
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  9. "My very unprofessional mind would say that it seems like lower resolution (?), which obviously isn't really the case, it's 1080p, but somehow it seems like less. Also, colors are ify and as the day progresses (some light gets in from the windows -behind me, mostly), the colors shift."

    1. Bayer filter and nyquest limit
    Without going scientific, filming at 4K and resizing to 2K 1080 on the PC after any editing, effects, etc will give you even better detail.

    2. Set the camera to MANUAL VIDEO mode
    A. Set the COLOR TEMPERATURE / White Balance (WB)to the main lights on your face.
    If the bulbs in your Dedolight are 5000K (color temperature of bright white), set your camera to 5000K.
    B. Set and lock focus.
    You can set focus on your eyes - best target.
    C. Set ISO low (50/100/200). Lower ISO = less noise = better image, but you need bright lights.
    You have bright lights, so use them.
    D. Good lighting at iso 100 means you should be able to set your shutter speed to 1/125~ or higher.
    If you're at 1/60th, it's ok, but a touch more light better.
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  10. Originally Posted by babygdav View Post
    "My very unprofessional mind would say that it seems like lower resolution (?), which obviously isn't really the case, it's 1080p, but somehow it seems like less. Also, colors are ify and as the day progresses (some light gets in from the windows -behind me, mostly), the colors shift."

    1. Bayer filter and nyquest limit
    Without going scientific, filming at 4K and resizing to 2K 1080 on the PC after any editing, effects, etc will give you even better detail.

    2. Set the camera to MANUAL VIDEO mode
    A. Set the COLOR TEMPERATURE / White Balance (WB)to the main lights on your face.
    If the bulbs in your Dedolight are 5000K (color temperature of bright white), set your camera to 5000K.
    B. Set and lock focus.
    You can set focus on your eyes - best target.
    C. Set ISO low (50/100/200). Lower ISO = less noise = better image, but you need bright lights.
    You have bright lights, so use them.
    D. Good lighting at iso 100 means you should be able to set your shutter speed to 1/125~ or higher.
    If you're at 1/60th, it's ok, but a touch more light better.
    Thanks for the suggestions. I'll definitely give it a try. Will post back once I have.
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  11. Image
    [Attachment 51722 - Click to enlarge]


    Here's a quick test.
    Bedroom, single 40watt bulb on a table lamp facing downward about 5 feet away, so you're getting whatever light is bouncing off the desk on the cat.

    Cat at 3200 ISO looks terrible because there's NOT ENOUGH LIGHT.

    ...

    Turn on a single 200 lumen headlamp, point it at the cat from slightly above and toward my left.
    Cat now only needs ISO 200 (lower is better quality), and voila!

    Same room, same cat, far better image.
    Image Attached Files
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  12. Image
    [Attachment 51726 - Click to enlarge]
    Here's 3 sample videos in manual mode, 200 ISO.

    1. 2k
    a. TURN OFF THE STEADY RECORDING feature if you are NOT moving around the room with the phone!!
    If you turn on stabilization, the video quality drops slightly to compensate for you walking/running around with the phone.
    If you are sitting at the desk, turn it OFF!! to improve quality.

    2. 4K
    Notice the immediately improvement in detail.
    (You can use MPHC Media Player Home Classic etc to play these videos at 1:1 mode so you can see each pixel.
    In MPHC, play the video, press the pause button/spacebar to pause the video, right click on it, VIDEO FRAME menu, NORMAL size.)

    Text is much more detailed.

    3. 4k resized to 2K using Handbrake
    (Using custom resize of 0,0,0,0, 2-pass, quality 12, same framerate, constant frame rate, high, 5.2 settings.)

    Notice how the text of this 4K to 2K conversion is much sharper than the 2K video straight from the G6 (sharper, less haloing around the text, etc)!

    This is due to the power of RESAMPLING.
    Filming at a higher resolution then resizing to a lower resolution is almost always better than filming at the lower resolution.
    (Exception are cameras like the Sony A6600, A7III, etc. which use a 6K image to create a 4K video in-camera. No need to do this on a PC.)
    Image Attached Files
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  13. The difference is very apparent.
    My issue is that I don't just have a 40 watt bulb, I have two spotlights and then a few LED lamps, and still I feel like the image isn't good enough.
    Since the main lights are spotlights, I can't exactly have them on my face directly (maybe if I could place them further away, but I can't), so I use a makeshift diffuser from an old computer screen, but that's still not ideal lighting conditions - so on the one hand, maybe switching to lights that are more appropriate for this use case would make the whole thing good enough.
    On the other hand, I'm using a cell phone camera which doesn't really have a very big sensor, so maybe something with a better sensor will make much more of a difference, and allow me to utilize the lights that I do have far better.
    The camera does cost a bit more than the lighting, but which will get me further?
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  14. Finally, when it doubt, ask the professional filmmakers.
    Almost all top smartphones made today can film videos that are FAR better than what filmmakers had half a century ago.

    But, how you set settings, light, and use it can greatly affect the quality you get.
    LIGHT is one of the BIGGEST factors that you can easily add cheaply (sun in day - bounce, shade; 60watt light bulbs at night).

    https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=youtube+rodriguez+film+school&&view=detail&mid=FC...5&&FORM=VDRVRV
    11:44 for example - how Rodriguez got his filmmaking start by thinking cheap, but using lights right to get the $$$$.
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  15. Regarding the second thing - about resolution: my phone isn't capable of 4k, and neither is the camera I'm currently considering.
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  16. "Right now I’m shooting with my smartphone (LG G6)"

    HUH?!?

    I'm using a LG G6, too, and it has 4K.
    Image
    [Attachment 51727 - Click to enlarge]

    Image
    [Attachment 51728 - Click to enlarge]

    Image
    [Attachment 51729 - Click to enlarge]


    2K = 1920x1080
    4K = 3840x2160
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  17. OMG. You're right!!! I didn't notice. I'll definitely try that next time!
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  18. So, which is better - UHD @ 30fps or FHD @ 60fps?
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  19. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=iMY5PucDzfc

    Without knowing exact room dimensions and equipment model make, hard to say what will work best.
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=GWr3dsxMXhQ
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0wqUWYx3UrY

    That said, people can easily get decent to very good results with spots and leds. It's mostly about controlling the direction and diffusion of light.
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  20. Uhd = 4k.
    Much better image quality with sufficient lighting than fhd.

    30 vs 60 fps means nothing if you're just vlogging at a desk.
    Faster/higher fps is great for sports and action (skateboarding, tennis, etc) because you can slow down the video when editing to get smooth slow motion shots.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=r_aPcaJSDP8

    But for talking heads, useless.
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  21. Also, make sure the lens is clean on your phone - microfiber cloth, gently remove any dust and fingerprints.

    All that debris on any lens will make for a terrible picture.
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  22. Great. Thanks for the tips.
    I'll look at the videos you sent me a bit later on today.
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  23. Originally Posted by babygdav View Post
    Wait!!!
    You've got $$ high quality lights and CAN'T GET good video indoors!??

    Did you turn them on?? ,)

    ....

    Seriously... Turn them on and use them!

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=cwjbwcUH37E
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=LbAo8NTI3hQ
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-C0bHgkRGw8

    No idea the exact model you have or number of lights, but even with one and some bounce, you should be able to get nice lighting for a still video.

    ...

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=NVIbirzZn0M

    See how lights make boring, great?
    Even with 1 powerful light, bounce it from different angles to simulate multiple lights.
    Part of the problem is that I only have about 1.5 meters depth (i.e. the distance between the wall in front of me and the stairs behind me). This means everything is really close to me.
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  24. Originally Posted by tal.orbach View Post
    Part of the problem is that I only have about 1.5 meters depth (i.e. the distance between the wall in front of me and the stairs behind me). This means everything is really close to me.
    Bounce the light off a wall or white card. It will reduce your need for space and give a more pleasing look.
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  25. Originally Posted by smrpix View Post
    Originally Posted by tal.orbach View Post
    Part of the problem is that I only have about 1.5 meters depth (i.e. the distance between the wall in front of me and the stairs behind me). This means everything is really close to me.
    Bounce the light off a wall or white card. It will reduce your need for space and give a more pleasing look.
    Yeah... I've been trying to do that. It doesn't seem to really work very well for me. I think I'm doing something wrong, but I don't know what.
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  26. Originally Posted by babygdav View Post
    "Right now I’m shooting with my smartphone (LG G6)"

    HUH?!?

    I'm using a LG G6, too, and it has 4K.
    Image
    [Attachment 51727 - Click to enlarge]

    Image
    [Attachment 51728 - Click to enlarge]

    Image
    [Attachment 51729 - Click to enlarge]


    2K = 1920x1080
    4K = 3840x2160
    So I just did that, and while it does have 4K, it made the video really stutter. I also tried installing Camera MX (which doesn't have the exact same resolution, but it does offer something quite high - bot that also had similar problems (not as laggy, but definitely not good.
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  27. Stutter.
    Did you use manual video mode?
    Set the shutter speed to 1/125 or higher (e.g. 1/200 etc).
    You'll need enough light for this.
    Set the iso as low as possible for a good image (e.g. Iso 100 target than iso 1000).

    Indoors, if you don't use manual video mode with a manual shutter speed, the camera can use a very slow shutter speed to compensate for the lack of enough light - stuttering looking video.

    Also, are you recording to internal memory or sd card.
    If sd card, their microsd card must be fast enough to handle the 4k write speeds. Typically it'll say UHS-1 OR U1 or better (U3, V10, etc). If the card is too slow, capture problems.
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  28. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WeGfc5mAefc
    3:08 with a powerful spot light, you'll either need a dimmer on the light to cut the brightness, or try bouncing off the ceiling (add a white card to one side of your face to help fill in from the side).

    ...

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=nXjmoRDHueQ

    You can use led lights or light bulbs in cheap aluminum clip on reflectors if the spot is just too bright. Preferably with adjustable dimmers to control the brightness.

    She's got a basic main light (front) - gives the eyes a glow.
    The bounce on the table acts as a fill light so the under chin isn't too dark.

    and background light - makes the image look 3D/depth.

    If she had the time, she could also hang one overhead to give the hair and shoulders a touch of light (helps separate the person more from the background).

    ...

    If you try to use the spot as the main light from the front and it's too bright, you might need to point it at the wall in front of you and bounce the light.
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  29. Image
    [Attachment 51739 - Click to enlarge]

    Image
    [Attachment 51740 - Click to enlarge]


    Depth measured from back of desk at wall to back of chair = 1.5 meters.

    Two lights.
    Fill light. 40 watt incandescent (or 40 watt equivalent led) bulb in gooseneck lamp. Importantly, about 500 lumens of light output.
    Placed to the left of center when you're looking forward.

    Main light. 15" fluorescent bulb in desk lamp. F15T8 bulb.
    About 700 lumens of light.
    Placed right of center when looking forward.

    Image
    [Attachment 51741 - Click to enlarge]

    Example of just one light - notice harsh shadows by nose.

    Image
    [Attachment 51742 - Click to enlarge]

    Example of main and fill lights.
    Soft shadows by nose.
    And, notice catch lights (sparkle in eye) in both eyes - more appealing.
    Iso 200 1/30

    That's just how little lighting you need to get a decent image with low iso. Adding lights overhead for a rim light (shoulders, top of grass), background (assuming you've got something nice behind you - hang a textured paper, wallpaper, etc) - can create even more depth and 3D feel.
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  30. Originally Posted by babygdav View Post
    Stutter.
    Did you use manual video mode?
    Set the shutter speed to 1/125 or higher (e.g. 1/200 etc).
    You'll need enough light for this.
    Set the iso as low as possible for a good image (e.g. Iso 100 target than iso 1000).
    I did, but I'll try it again later today. Maybe I accidentally used shutter speed that was too low (I'm pretty sure I didn't, but I'll check)

    Also, are you recording to internal memory or sd card.
    If sd card, their microsd card must be fast enough to handle the 4k write speeds. Typically it'll say UHS-1 OR U1 or better (U3, V10, etc). If the card is too slow, capture problems.
    Internal.
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