Saturday, December 10, 2011

Another weekend

We finally made it to the end of the week. I've been occupied all week working on a stubborn video which refused to render. I was getting lots of error messages: "low resources", "dropped frames . . . ". I didn't really understand about the low resources as I have 4 GIGs of RAM in my laptop but my computer keep freezing up, and when I tried to insert a title, it crashed again. Then I was off to google to figure out what "dropped" frame(s) meant.

HHT MODE: Handheld Twight Mode, Sony NEX-5n 16mm pancake lens

HHT mode: where you push the shutter button ONCE, and the camera rapid fires 6 shots and merges all the photos into one image and throws away all parts of any or all images which are blurred or not in focus

I started to edit my video on Monday night and by Friday night I was no further ahead except that a week had gone by and I was getting very frustrated. I spent some of the time trying to figure out whether I needed a new computer, or whether my OLD, ancient Core2 duo was up to the task, or whether I could just add more RAM.

That's the problem when you purchase a laptop during Christmas week of 2009 and the new i3, i5 & i7 models came into stock a month later. While I had Windows 7 installed I had the 32 bit version and the max usuable memory is around 3.5 Gig regardless if you had more RAM or not. I cannot upgrade to Windows 7 64 bit because my hardware won't support it, and I cannot add more memory as it wouldn't make a difference.

same photo as above but: aperature priority mode, single shot: handheld

I try to limit my videos to 5 minutes, more or less as most viewers have a short attention span but recently two friends have passed away unexpectedly and in both instances I asked the remaining spouse whether they wanted a photographic record of their Celebrations of Life. So here I was "filming" the sad occassion. My regular workflow is to reduce the native "clips" down to a manageable 8 Mbps bitrate and on my first production which ran 45 minutes I had no problems at all. This was recorded on my Lumix Camcorder which uses AVCHD 1.0 and I can only use the clips after conversion to AVI. On my second production my Canon uses Mpeg4 (MOV) and the files are not efficient (ie they are very large files). My computer choked on all this data . . .

I had a lot of help behind the scenes from RichardM and Gordon/682202/GAW They are both audiovisual GURU's who know everything about producing videos and I value their opinions and recommendations. Incidently GAW has recently just built a super fast computer designed for fast editing. Richard, has recently installed a video system at the University in Fairbanks capable of broadcast quality video production. I am just a hobbyist with a small budget so I will just stuggle along with what I have and make do for now.

On Friday evening I decided to tackle my video problem by converting all the Canon MOV files to smaller AVI files. On Saturday morning I edited the video and finally finished it. So my 18 minute video only took 5 nights and one morning and the file ended up being 1.1 Gigs in size.

Christmas window display: Granville Street, Vancouver, BC


  1. Bob, I like your header picture...its outside Saint Mary's isn't it, heading towards east entrance to Glacier National Park?


    Redleg's Rides

    Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner

  2. Dom:

    Right you are ! This was the last downhill towards St Mary where we regrouped at the Gas Station. Everytime I look at my photos I get a good feeling and wished we could get together again

    Riding the Wet Coast

  3. Bob:

    Your new camera takes beautifully crisp pictures. I haven't ventured into the world of video editing, it's challenging enough just getting pictures loaded on the blog sometimes.

    So are you getting another computer?

  4. Dar:

    thank you. The new Camera is Great ! good for High ISO, low light photos, but I have to reduce them to 2 mp for posting so some of the vibrance can be lost. It has some neat modes: like HHT, MDR, DRO, antiShake and Sweep Panorama, and can also shoot RAW.

    I'm still tossed on the computer. I don't need the i7-2670QM, but I would be interested in the new Ultrabooks just coming out.

  5. Bob - your technical photo discussions scare me - I thought digital photography was supposed to be easy????

    Re: the short Santa suits for females in the store window. I suppose it's a bit late for the store to mail one to our home??? Someone near and dear wouldn't thank me though!

  6. i was just thinking same. this sort of mrs clause outfit would be fabulous over leggins and knee high boots on the bike. hmmm, maybe next yr :)

    and im with geoff, this digital file editing stuff sounds way too complex for me... enjoy bob!

  7. Bob

    I just gave up the thought of producing videos after processing your blog,

    I'll stick to millimetric analysis of scanty santa suits instead.

  8. Bob, Thank you for the vote of confidence. I tend to think of my self as less gifted and occasionally lucky ;)

    I'm glad to here you were able to get the video put together. I have had many such projects that all I wanted to do was delete the files and forget it all to gether, but they were for other people, so I kept at it.

    I must say your images from the Nex are very good. I was impressed with the HHT photo. I have been eyeing the Panasonic mirror-less cameras ever since you put me onto the ZS-7 (great pocket camera), but have yet to pull the trigger.


  9. Looks like Granville Street Truly has the Christmas Spirit...

  10. Bob have you considered switching to Apple? I think that Macs have traditionally been better at graphics assignments than PCs. I use a PC for work but we have a Mac at home. The Mac O/S is way more efficient than Windows. Apple essentially built their new O/S on Unix I believe and it makes much more efficient use of critical resources like the processor, hard disk space and RAM making the computer much more capable, pound for pound, than a PC. It also means that they handle upgrades better and last way longer than a comparable PC.

  11. Yeah...I'm having a difficult time with the time and resources required for video editing too. But where you persever...I walk away. Hehehe. Keep up the good work.

  12. This post is why I don't do videos. Your patience is commendable. I'd be in the psych ward by the end of night two trying to edit.

    Nice pictures, although, you always post great photos. But you knew that didn't you?

    Thanks for explaining the HHT mode.

  13. Bob,

    The Sony shots are really nice. I had an NEX3 briefly and it wasn't that sharp, but then I didn't have 17mm prime lens. Nicely done.

    Video stuff is a fun way to lose days at a time, even weeks. Makes drinking too much look sensible. When I was piecing together my old 8mm mx footage in the computer I lost about 6 weeks of my life somewhere.

    And I call dibs on photographing MQ when she gets her Santa outfit next year.

  14. Geoff:

    Video editing is fun but this was the first time I made a longer video using the large files from my Canon T2i. I took nearly 5 gigs of video and my computer chocked. On smaller 5 minute productions, RAM is not a problem so to get my project finished I had to convert the video to lower bitrates & then it worked flawlessly. Just one more step. I was trying to take a shortcut to save time . . . and instead it wasted 4 evenings.

    I was somehow drawn to this window display like a deer staring at headlights.

    Ms M:

    I can bring down an outfit next year, and I would be honoured to snap a few photos for my private collection. Pehaps we should start taking orders now . . .


    If you stick to 720p30 HD you won't have a problem editing with a core2 duo laptop. I was thinking of editing in FULL HD 1080p30 AVCHD, or even AVCHD 2.0 which is a newly created standard but this means I have to purchase a new i7 4 core computer system, with dedicated video card with on board memory, 7,200 rpm drives, USB 3.0, etc. For now, to save funds I have to stay with 720p for a bit


    I had been thinking of upgrading to more portable camera with a larger sensor for a while now. I wanted APS-C and the ability to use Alternative lenses /with adapters. Of course I also wanted RAW and 1080p30 HD video for which the NEX is widely acclaimed. Thank you again for your help. I will probably get a new computer as soon as PREL can support AVCHD 2.0, which is 1080p60


    I know what you are saying but I know nothing about MACs. We had one in our office for about a year and no one knew how to use it. For something so simple as deleting a file, all of us just gave up. We eventually sent it back to our head office just to get rid of it.

    Steel Cupcake:

    You will not have any problems editing footage from your GoProHD, or even your TS3 but the MOV files from my Canon T2i are huge and my 32 bit computer cannot handle them. 5 min videos are okay, but evidently not 18 minute ones


    let's rephrase . . . the problem is not so much the editing and arranging your clips on the timeline, but rather when you are finished your computer has to "render" your move to finalize its production. This is where my computer does not have enough resources. I need a 64 bit system and faster CPU. GAW can render his at 1:1 . This means that an 18 minute video can be rendered in 18 minutes using his new supercomputer system. for a comparison, my 18 minute video takes 1 hour and 10 minutes to do the same job. It failed 3 times due to low resouces so I wasted 3-1/2 hours to accomplish Nothing.


    There was a software upgrade for both the NEX 3 & 5 recently where they added lens correction for the 16mm and other lenses. The UI was also improved. With an adapter you could use your Nikon Ai/AiS lenses on your NEX. I have shot with my Nikkor 105/2.5 AiS and it is very sharp on my 5n. I also have Leica Lenses and my 90 elmar 2.8 wide open is very good. I also have a 35mm sumilux, and other summicrons like 35mm and even a 90 summicron but not yet tested.

    PS: I can't wait to photograph Ms M either. We have a tentative date for next year . . .

  15. :) lol...
    hey now, yes bob we have a date to ride with jack. but that doesnt include a santa suit, does it?... lol! thanks for the flattery gentlemen!

  16. btw, what the heck is the date? do we know when jack has decided to christen the pacific with his presence? i need to schd with my office...