Since my last little slow motion test I’ve had plenty of quality time with my HVR-V1P, and while I wish it had a slightly more memorable model name – or even that it was printed somewhere on the unit, so I can tell people what it is when asked – I’m having a great time with this camera, enjoying the capabilities HD resolution gives me, and still loving Sony’s Smooth Slow Record feature.
With the last batch of slow-mo clips I had some requests to further slow down the motion in post-processing. I don’t currently have any 3rd party retiming plugins, but it turns out that the 200FPS (240 for NTSC regions) is shot interlaced, so my previous tests were only displaying 100FPS progressive. To get the full motion from 200FPS on a progressive monitor I needed to slow the footage to 50% speed and de-interlace, a trivial task in any editor.
Even this low-tech retiming gives you an idea of how powerful 200FPS can be. I actually had an ND filter in place to keep the shutter speed relatively low and keep a bit of a dreamy look for this shoot (the minimum allowed, of course, being faster than 1/200). With full sunlight you’d have no trouble getting up past 1/1000, which would result in very little motion blur and allow very accurate motion tracking, and some exciting retiming opportunities.
Keep in mind that this isn’t being captured at anything near HD resolution. The clips look fantastic scaled down to 400-500px wide, but at full size 1920px (or 1440×1.33 pixel aspect ratio, for the pedants) it shows very obvious artifacts from upscaling. It would be nice to have an option not to do this upscaling in camera and instead write the buffered pixels 1:1 in a cropped section of the video, but that could probably get confusing for end-users. I’ve attached some 1:1 crops to the end of this post, and uploaded some full resolution frames to flickr (1, 2, 3) for anyone who’s keen to look a little closer. Next step is to spend some time with a resolution chart to test the effective resolution in this mode.
More frustrating than the decreased resolution, and less forgivable: For some reason there is a pause at the end of every Smooth Slow Record clip written to tape. The motion pauses and the last 15ish frames are frozen. I’m sure there’s some technical reason for this, but it’s extremely annoying for editing, and mars an otherwise very enjoyable shooting experience.
More slowness to come. I don’t see the novelty of this wearing off too soon.