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Old Oct 8, 2010, 12:00 AM   #1
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Default Some notes about video with E-PL1

Dial to "P" or "A", use manual focus and MF assist to get a good focus. Turn (IB)IS off, turn noise reduction off and set noise filter to low. Then press record button to start video recording. During recording, no need to adjust focus, even if subjects are moving around. If you need to record in A or M mode, you have to dial to movie position (then MF assist is not available).

If you play the video from the camera via USB, it may be very jerky and battery is drained (this sucks); instead, use a fast card reader or transfer the AVI file(s) to computer, then play. Cut off and combine them with VirtualDub. After done editing, select "Video" menu, "Direct stream copy", then "File", "Save as AVI". This way, no re-compress, IQ is untouched and the process takes no time. Yes, the final file size may exceed the 2GB limit and no problem.

If you need to reduce the file size, download "x264vfw_16_1115bm_17572.exe" from SourceForge.net. They say the newer versions no longer offer the same IQ. Then select "x264vfw" as compression and make sure you check "VirtualDub Hack" or audio and video might not sync. It takes about 2 hours for an dual-core Atom CPU to compress a 10 minutes clip and the end file size is only 250MB (vs. 2.6GB, 1:10 or more compression). Almost no visible IQ loss and ready for uploading to youtube or Vimeo.

Handheld is limited to 70mm focal length; above that video become too shaky. IBIS is useless for video, because it is not optical but digital for video. There is a plugin for VirtualDub, DeShaker, which works very well. But if you enabled IBIS, then it cannot correct IBIS's jelly effect; so never enable IBIS for video. Furthermore, once IBIS is enabled for video, image is digitally zoomed (sucks). EPL1's rolling shutter amount is 58%, based on my measurement.

Because MF is favorable for videoing with E-PL1, old MF lenses are very cheap and very good for video, image is much more pleasing than the kit lens. Some old lenses such as Tokina SZ-X 270 is as small and light as a M4/3 zoom lens. It is possible to get satisfactory video via AF, but success rate has been low with me for the kit lens.

This is the rule about the red record button: as long as the dial is not at the movie position, once you press the red button, it becomes as if the dial is at movie position and P mode is selected. I.e., if you dial to A and press the red button, video will still be recorded under P mode, not A. For full control on video, such as forcing A mode, you MUST DIAL to movie position but some limits still apply: iEnhance is never available for video, ISO is limited between 200 and 1600 and cannot be auto in M mode, shutter speed is limited to 1/30 and faster, MF assist is not available. Strange, when you dial to M position, you do can use auto for ISO for stills.

With the kit lens and auto WB, output tends to be cold. So unless it is a sunny day and the scene is not dominated with the same color (e.g. all green trees and/or grass), chose a proper WB profile such as "cloudy". Also, faces can be easily washed out under strong light; so it is better to reduce exposure by -0.3 or -0.7.

Last edited by sdcs; Oct 25, 2010 at 4:33 PM.
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Old Oct 10, 2010, 1:37 PM   #2
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Default Olympus E-PL1 video samples

The two segments of people wandering in market used a Vivitar 70-210mm lens, the rest used the 14-42mm kit lens. As you can see in the kids playground segment, the kit lens is not able to render faces well. From the Panny 14-140 HD video posted by Simon, that lens shares the same character - pale faces. Or put it this way: it is an EPL1 character, a good old lens like the Vivitar helps.


Last edited by sdcs; Oct 10, 2010 at 1:52 PM.
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