• Welcome to ScubaBoard


  1. Welcome to ScubaBoard, the world's largest scuba diving community. Registration is not required to read the forums, but we encourage you to join. Joining has its benefits and enables you to participate in the discussions.

    Benefits of registering include

    • Ability to post and comment on topics and discussions.
    • A Free photo gallery to share your dive photos with the world.
    • You can make this box go away

    Joining is quick and easy. Login or Register now by clicking on the button

S100 - white balance for video

Discussion in 'The Canon Corner' started by Madacub, May 22, 2012.

  1. Madacub

    Madacub Contributor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location:
    216
    29
    Hi, I'm considering buying an S100, but one of the things giving me pause is that it looks like one cannot white balance for video. I've tried to search this problem on SB and Google but did not get a specific/definitive answer.

    I'm very used to using a white card to white balance repeatedly during a dive. With my Panasonic (which I no longer have) the same setting was honored for stills and for video. Meaning that I would set my white balance for a particular shot, then take some stills and some video without needing to make any adjustments. The white balance setting was applied to the stills and to the video - this is clearly evident from viewing the results taken separately with and without white balance adjusting. (Meaning that it does not merely 'appear' that the setting is applied (placebo), it does actually apply)

    Same for exposure compensation, by the way (the 1/3rd increments).

    But I've downloaded the S100 manual and it says on page 134 "white balance compensation is not available".

    Could someone confirm that I'm reading this correctly? Video is pretty important to me, and I suppose to many others - why is this not available?

    Many thanks!
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2012
  2. Mark Derail

    Mark Derail Photographer

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Montreal, Quebec CA
    1,090
    185
    I remember a similar post not too long ago.

    Video is done by using a smaller portion of the CMOS sensor, and is basically a stream of JPGs, a certain number per second.

    WB is for raw CMOS data being converted to a JPG. If you store your pictures in raw, the WB setting doesn't matter, you can set it manually later when converting to JPG using your computer.

    For video, the camera makes a "best guess" based on lighting and may/may not keep it, depending on how the light changes. Video is not raw. Not even on 3k$ high end video cameras.

    However demand for raw mode Video is coming, as movie studios / indy film makers move away from film into pure digital.

    With an S100 - best way to get the best video is to stop often. Take multiple smaller clips, and use a software to assemble the clips into a longer video after.
    This gives the electronics a way to re-measure the ambient light at that time.
    Keep in mind the "boot time" and depress early for video.

    ---------- Post added May 22nd, 2012 at 04:17 PM ----------

    For more info, see this successful Kickstarter project.

    The Digital Bolex: The 1st Affordable Digital Cinema Camera by Joe Rubinstein — Kickstarter

    Their video explains the problem, and their solution is to make a new camera type, that shoots in RAW.

    Now you know why Hollywood still uses film for major productions.
     
    Jun Lao likes this.
  3. Madacub

    Madacub Contributor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location:
    216
    29
    Hi Mark, thank you for your quick response. Could I ask a follow up?

    "WB is for raw CMOS data being converted to a JPG." (Of course white balance works with CCD also, but I don't think you meant to get into that)

    But, to the point, I know that some cameras apply WB to video also. (Eg Panasonic GX1 and the ZS series) What are they doing that other manufacturers aren't? And why not?

    Thanks
     
  4. Mark Derail

    Mark Derail Photographer

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Montreal, Quebec CA
    1,090
    185
    Yeah, CMOS/CCD, I wonder which will win in the next few years.

    It's software based in the camera. The setting decided in the beginning of the video "sticks" for the entire time that video is taken. Some better cameras re-sample every now & then.

    An example is being outside and turning 360 during the day, eventually you are facing the Sun, and the Sun fully at your back. The camera needs to adjust for this.

    Better example is being outside during a sunny day, and walking inside a well lit store with hundreds of neons. Looking at how the camera reacts.

    Most cameras below the 500$ range, or older than 2007-8, will take better video by stopping and starting again.

    Are you sure the Pannies can allow WB change for video? I'm not so sure. If it does allow it, it can only be changed when not filming.

    IOW, the equivalent of Auto WB, let the camera decide. Stop & Start manually to "reset" it when you know it should be changed. Just providing better lighting will make a world of difference.

    I'd like to see someone with a GoPro HD do a comparison, where the camera is Recording on the surface non-stop to 100' in ideal conditions, then another similar dive, but the diver stopping recording at intervals.
    Would a video started at 100' look better?

    It all depends on the quality of the software. Personally I'm not impressed with the GoPro for UW usage below 20-30 feet, I find the videos horrible compared to a dedicated modern video camera in a housing.
     
    Jun Lao likes this.
  5. Madacub

    Madacub Contributor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location:
    216
    29
    Hi Mark:

    "An example is being outside and turning 360 during the day, eventually you are facing the Sun, and the Sun fully at your back. The camera needs to adjust for this." I get your point. For video, manual WB is going to be "not right" in many places if you start chasing a fish all over the reef. (Guilty! Heheh) For stills, manual WB does not have this problem. But I'd still like manual WB for video. I've never ever been satisfied with auto WB.

    "Are you sure the Pannies can allow WB change for video?" Absolutely sure.

    "If it does allow it, it can only be changed when not filming.". True. You can't change it after pressing the shoot trigger.

    "I'd like to see someone with a GoPro HD do a comparison, where the camera is Recording on the surface non-stop to 100' in ideal conditions, then another similar dive, but the diver stopping recording at intervals." Yes, this would be interesting, agreed. Of course, at 100 feet, WB is of very limited use anyway, manual or auto. But why a GoPro specifically? Why not any HD camera with auto WB?
     
  6. rob1967

    rob1967 Divemaster

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
    457
    116
    Madacub, I also am familiar with having to do manual WB with my previous rig (SeaLife), otherwise the videos would turn out terrible. I've had the S100 for a little while now, and shoot mostly stills, and love the camera so far. I am just now starting to shoot a bit of video with it, and so far have been very impressed. One button and booom, switch to video, accurate colors, no need for white balance. This works out very well when you are shooting mostly stills but want to quickly switch to video because you see some sort of action unfolding.

    Here is an example of an octopus I shot yesterday. I was pleasantly surprised by how well it turned out, considering this is really the first time I have ever shot video with this camera. There is a fair amount of back scatter, because I am using my focus light as a video light, and it's mounted close to the camera. Other than that, I am quite happy with the quality. check it out:

    Giant Pacific Octopus - YouTube
     
  7. mozaik

    mozaik Registered

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Vancouver, BC
    55
    9
    Hello Madacub,

    I've read your questions and the responses and am holding the S100 in my hands as I am writing this. The S100 support WB control and manual WB for video just as it does for stills , no difference here and if I understand your question correctly, its exactly the same as your Panasonic.

    I just took 2 videos with 2 different WB settings and viewed them in the camera to verify they look different in terms of White Balance.

    By the way , the speed of which the Canon S100 evaluated the custom white balance is quite impressive.

    I highly recommend this camera , if you can afford the Fix or Recsea housing , they also support the back dial which allow you to shoot manual almost like a DSLR.
     
    Madacub and ivakdiver like this.
  8. Interceptor121

    Interceptor121 PADI Pro

    4,315
    637
    The s100 has custom wide balance canon has provided this on most of their cameras for years
    Not sure about the raw blurb but the camera stores video as x264 and white balance helps

    I also would recommend having a filter
     
  9. Mark Derail

    Mark Derail Photographer

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Montreal, Quebec CA
    1,090
    185
    The raw/jpg for video - that's just the "how" a video is constructed, the Codec compression is like ZIP - comparing Frame #31 to Frame #32, keeping in the file only what changed.

    It has to be JPG, the processor on tiny cams like these P&S cannot do full-frame video. At best, in still mode, it can take 3-5 shots per second. Video requires at least 20-30 per second.

    It can only do that by using 1/4 or 1/8 th of the sensor, do a jpg for each frame (thus applying WB) and saving it to a stream. Audio is a separate "track" in the "stream".
    This is basic AVI - the "codec" is just a way to improve file size - and extract $$$ in royalties.
    (Think Apple MOV codec - superior IMHO to X264 - that Kodak used on their cameras - but a PITA to use MOV / share)

    It's also the reason why videos come out "clearer" than a still - in conditions where a still requires a Flash/Strobe, the video is clear.

    On a 8MP sensor, only 1MP is used for video, the "extra" pixels unused are used, to "boost", the ambient light.

    To get HD video, say 1280x720p, the "still mode" has to be at least a 12mp sensor, and 16mp sensors can do 1080p - if the processor & cache memory of the camera can do the "work" in real time. Thus more expensive cameras.

    A GoPro HD "cheats" by having the appropriate hardware electronics-wise, then uses a "pinhole style" most likely smaller than F22, cheap-O lens.
    No need to focus.
    "Keep it simple" for the non-tech surfer dudes, one button push.

    However it struggles with video over 720p, the framerate drops. It's all about the framerate. 480p (640x480 @ 60 frames per second) will be outstanding video to look at, clarity and focus, than 720p @ 24 fps.

    I prefer a S100 w/housing over a GoPro-style toy anytime.

    My future UW videos will be with newly acquired Sony Nex5n for the 1080p @ 60 fps. "Capturing" 9 stills of a "fish" into Photoshop, I can Enhance, Enhance (like for HDR), decent looking 4x6 print, if I want a print. Videos are more fun to watch & share.
     
  10. Interceptor121

    Interceptor121 PADI Pro

    4,315
    637
    First MOV is just a container and X264 is a codec.
    Second the frames are not captured as JPEG video is a totally different story and the frames as captures are saved using sophisticated techniques that the X264 supports. The camera has most likely an hardware encoder that uses different logic
    For what concerns your idea of part of a sensor I am not sure where you took that from in the case of Canon S series the video only crops to 16:9 instead of the usual 4:3 aspect ratio, the same sensor size is used for capturing it is the processing and saving that is different.

    The difference between self shoot in camera mode that takes full frames and x264 is obvious
    On self shoot you are capturing full frames and the shutter has to close constantly this means between 1 and 4 full frames per second
    In video mode there is real time encoding and interpolation and there is one full frame each 25-30 frames which corresponds to 1 full frame per second

    For what concerns using a device like the S100 for video the following considerations apply:
    1. The S100 is not capable of re focusing hence a wide angle lens is pretty much mandatory in order to avoid blurs
    2. You need a class 10 memory card for video
    3. You are better off with a filter instead of adding LED ligths that are expensive
    4. Shooting video especially with a filter has different rules than taking stills
    5. The S100 does not allow manual selection of aperture this means you need to find a way to operate exposure lock properly
    6. Stability is paramount

    Many people do not make those considerations and their videos look shaky, blurred, over exposed and green...

    For what concerns the Go PRO it is a fun toy it does not focus closer than one foot so really just good for your diving classes and for fun
     
    Mark Derail likes this.

Share This Page