Intro by Skip Cohen
I can't think of a better way to kick off a new year in Luminary Corner than with a post like this from Daniel J. Cox. What I really love about it is the diversity of the topic...you're used to seeing Daniel's work in the wild. Well, he's almost stayed true to his primary passion in photography, only we've moved from the outdoors and onto the "wild" of the ice with a little lesson in hockey and some fun family history.
However, regardless of whether or not you're interested in sports photography, that's really not what this post is about. Daniel's point is - still images from 4K video. His short tutorial at the very end is well worth watching.
Make sure Daniel is on your radar along with all of the LUMIX Luminaries. You'll find everybody hanging out at the NEW LUMIX Lounge, just a click away.
by Daniel J. Cox
This past two weeks of the Christmas season has been a whirlwind of family activity. The gift of being together is better than anything I could ever imagine under the Christmas tree. Along with family comes the opportunity for lots of pictures, but more on that in a later post. Today it’s all about taking still images out of video clips.
A few nights ago I had the chance to try the 4K Photo Mode on the new Lumix LX100, my new favorite, carry it everywhere Micro Four Thirds camera. For those not familiar with 4K Photo Mode, you can read more at Lumix GH4’s 4K Photo Mode – Publishable Stills From Video is Finally Here. That Blog post was about the 4K Photo Mode with the GH4, but we also have the same capability with the Lumix LX100 and that’s what this post is all about.
My dear wife Tanya has a bit of a celebrity on her side of the clan, Nathan MacKinnon, who plays for the Colorado Avalanche hockey team. A “bit of a celebrity” might be understating it since he was voted Rookie of the Year in 2013 (video below) and broke one of Wayne Gretzky’s records by scoring a point in 13 consecutive games in his rookie season. Nate is the nephew of Tanya’s Uncle Ian and as hard as we’ve tried, we still can’t quite figure out the exact title of the relationship, but I like to refer to Nate as Tanya’s cousin-in-law Nate’s not only amazingly gifted handling the puck, but he’s considered one of the fastest skaters in the NHL. See his speed for yourself in the video below where hockey skate company CCM Tacks pits Nathan MacKinnon against three time Olympic gold medal winner, Charles Hamelin, in a speed skating challenge. Keep in mind how much gear Nathan is wearing. This young nineteen-year-old is a rocket on ice.
Back to the photography part of this post. Tanya planned our night with the Avalanche many months out and she scored fabulous seats just three rows behind the plexiglass, a few feet left of the Avalanche team box. I would have loved to be right on the glass, since shooting ten feet back or so picked up marks on the plexiglass. Any time you have to shoot through plexiglass or glass, you should always put the lens as close to the surface as possible to eliminate reflections and other imperfections in the transparent surface.
I shot most of the game capturing normal stills but eventually I thought about the 4K Photo Mode and realized this might be an excellent opportunity to see what it could do. Setting it up is easy by going to the Video tab on the Main Menu and selecting the 4K Photo on the first page.
Select this option and and push the menu button. Up pops another screen that says, “Change the video quality settings used for 4K still images?” with a Yes box and a No box. Select the Yes box by pushing the menu button again. You’re now in 4K Photo Mode. The next item is to set your exposure properly. I set the LX100 to manual exposure and selected 1/1000th of a second with a corresponding aperture for a proper exposure based on my histogram. In 4K Photo Mode you can shoot as fast of shutter speed as needed to stop the action thus the 1/100oth of a second. That’s one of the main benefits of 4K Photo Mode. Typically, video is shot at 1/30th or 1/60th. of a second. A shutter speed that slow, for a rocket man like Nate MacKinnon, would certainly capture nothing but a blur so you have to shoot a fast shutter speed to get more than a vapor trail so to speak.
That’s the capture part. The next step is to pull those individual 8 Megapixel stills from that video. To explain that I produced a semi-short “how to” that gives the details. You can see it below. Let me know if you have any further questions and once you’ve given it a try, stop by and let us know how it went, what you shot, and your thoughts on this new technology. I think it has phenomenal potential for the world of capturing pictures.
Welcome to Luminary Corner. Besides being a recognized member of the professional photographic community, each post author is a member of Panasonic's LUMIX Luminary team.