Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Still Motion

Andrew Kornylak embraces the multimedia possibilities of modern digital cameras

This Article Features Photo Zoom

After everything is captured and ready to be edited, Kornylak organizes sequences into individual clips. He does a quick edit to determine which are the best and then corrects the stills individually in Adobe Camera Raw. He notes that usually color correction of motion sequences (grading) is performed directly in nonlinear video-editing systems like Final Cut or Avid, but he prefers to keep file sizes as minimal as possible by downsizing into JPEGs before bringing them into Final Cut Pro. “Otherwise,” he says, “I would be dealing with a massive amount of information to try to squeeze into a 24 or 30 fps timeline.”

Kornylak has found that HD DSLRs do have limitations for shooting video, and it affects his Stillmotion clips somewhat, as well. HD DSLRs lack many of the basic controls that you’d find on pro video cameras, for example, like multichannel XLR audio inputs, flexible recording modes and frame rates, efficient recording codecs (file formats), good autofocus capabilities and extended recording times. He also finds the form factor difficult for shooting steady footage. When he’s shooting Stillmotion, the noise from the shutter also makes it impossible to capture live audio on the camera, so Kornylak uses a Marantz PMD660 digital field recorder for capturing ambient noise and dialogue. The PMD660 records uncompressed WAV audio to CF cards, and it has two balanced XLR inputs that give him compatibility with a wide variety of professional mics.
While Kornylak was still getting his start, he freelanced as a software developer to supplement his income. Because he was so comfortable around computers, he also was experimenting by putting together promotional slideshows from his stills, adding music soundtracks and burning them to DVD in order to send them out to possible clients.
“You’ll learn very little about shooting video if you’re using an HD DSLR,” Kornylak concludes. “I’d tell anyone who’s interested in getting into video to shoot a video camera, learn the workflow and break out from there. That said, I’ve shot plenty of multimedia pieces using a single DSLR, even for audio, and there are advantages to the low-light and depth-of-field footage you can get from a DSLR. It’s just a different tool right now and is very much evolving.”


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