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11-02-2015, 09:03 AM   #1
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Short film shot (mostly) on Pentax K3ii

Hi everyone,

This is going to be a several part post!

The short film: "Time"
I've recently been getting into shooting video and also recently got a K3ii - my first video-capable DSLR (I've moved to Pentax from an old Canon 30D). A competition from Sony to create a video with the theme "No Limits" seems like the perfect time to put something together and hone my skills a bit - given that the majority of the footage in this film was shot on the K3ii I thought you guys might be interested in seeing it. Disclaimer - there are some shots that were taken with an LG Nexus 4 (smartphone)
I'd love to hear your feedback on it, too. It's my first creative film project and I'm really proud of what I've produced. Any pointers, tips or feedback would be greatly welcomed.



Full-on disclaimer time - this is obviously for a competition, and stage one relies on getting "Likes" on the YouTube video...if you do enjoy it (or even if you don't) I'd really appreciate it if you'd hit the "Like" button! Thank you! Please excuse my moment of shameless self-promotion!

Technical details and thoughts on Pentax DSLR video - "Time"
So, I'm not at all well-versed with video - this is all pretty new to me.
The shots that aren't from my Nexus 4 (it'll be obvious - the shots from the K3ii have a really nice clarity that the mobile footage lacks) are all from my K3ii using a variety of vintage lenses - I haven't yet got any modern glass. They are:
Cimko 28mm f2.8 (M42 adapted)
Pentax-M 35mm f2.8
Pentax-M 50mm f2
49mm lens reversal mount (although I forget which lens I ended up using out of the 35 and 50 in the end)

Aah, video on Pentax. I've used professional video cameras and briefly used a Canon 5Dmk3 so I had high hopes for the K3ii when I got it. I feel like Pentax are off to a great start with video - but they've got a way to go. What follows are a few of my thoughts from using the K3ii for this project.

+ It's so nice to have headphone and mic jack sockets! That said, the microphone input seems to suffer from being low-gain and if you push it too high you can hear electrical interference from the camera itself. Not the best, but usable if you turn it down a few notches (and boost in post). The internal mic is good enough for audio sync and nothing more - it's very quiet, and very muffled - presumably due to the weather sealing. If you're shooting video seriously you'll have an external mic anyway so this isn't a huge deal.
+ Focus peaking is lovely! Why does it go away when you start recording? Sadface. Also missing in action: Zebra stripes.
+ The software image stabilisation is a bag of hurt - turn it off, way off. When you're shooting video, if you put your ear to the camera you can still hear the soft whirring noises of the sensor gyros, so it does seem to use some kind of stabilisation, but it's by no means on "full-whack" - stick it on a tripod. Or, do what I did and shoot handheld and use carefully adjusted Warp Stabiliser after the fact. I suspect the full-on in body stabilisation is turned off because of the noise from the gyros, but if you're recording from an external mic it wouldn't matter. It'd be nice to have the option, anyway.
+ The video codec is pretty good, really. The reviews led me to believe it was terrible, but it's OK. It's got a fair amount of latitude and is very workable if you get the exposure right first time.
+ Shooting experience is really nice insofar as all the controls are easy to use - I did have one bug whereby defocussing was stopping it recording but I never worked out why. It's not done it since.
+ I love that the shutter button starts and stops recording. On Canon, that's not the case, which is just annoying when you forget.
+ But gosh, my biggest bugbear is the exposure. Why doesn't the LCD show the actual exposure level? Why don't I get any kind of "EV Exposure" meter anywhere in live view? In fact, if you shoot anything other than wide open on the aperture, the LCD is meaningless until you start recording and then you'll have to re-adjust. This is one of those strong "it needs work" kind of things to make it nicer to shoot with. It's do-able, but gosh it's a few extra steps that you just don't need if you're trying to grab a decisive moment. You can hold the RAW/FX button down to do stop-down metering, but it's fiddly and this bit could be made better, I feel.

All in all, I had a really great time shooting video with the K3ii. It's no video powerhouse, but it's very good for what it is and you can get some lovely footage out of it; especially from the old manual lenses. I'll let you know how I get on when my new HD Limited 35mm turns up and if shooting with a more automatic lens is any different.

So those are my thoughts! I've got some stuff about the K3ii I'm going to be feeding back to Ricoh/Pentax in the hope of encouraging some positive change, but nonetheless it's good in the meantime.

I hope the above was interesting, and if you do get a moment and enjoy my video, I'd really appreciate the likes!

11-02-2015, 09:14 AM   #2
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I like it, the voiceovers voice fits and is likeable. But I miss some kind of music. Would have made it more interesting I think and also would have made the noise and cutoffs of the voiceover less noticeable. And I think I would not have had the wind noise at 0:38 remain in the video. Besides that, good job, keep going!
11-02-2015, 09:23 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by CarlosK3 Quote
I like it, the voiceovers voice fits and is likeable. But I miss some kind of music. Would have made it more interesting I think and also would have made the noise and cutoffs of the voiceover less noticeable. And I think I would not have had the wind noise at 0:38 remain in the video. Besides that, good job, keep going!
Thanks, CarlosK3 - I considered music but actually it was distracting in the end.
Thanks for the feedback, though!
11-02-2015, 10:04 AM   #4
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I would've given the video a Like for the voice alone Great work, well done.

11-02-2015, 11:39 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frogonastring Quote
But gosh, my biggest bugbear is the exposure. Why doesn't the LCD show the actual exposure level? Why don't I get any kind of "EV Exposure" meter anywhere in live view? In fact, if you shoot anything other than wide open on the aperture, the LCD is meaningless until you start recording and then you'll have to re-adjust. This is one of those strong "it needs work" kind of things to make it nicer to shoot with. It's do-able, but gosh it's a few extra steps that you just don't need if you're trying to grab a decisive moment. You can hold the RAW/FX button down to do stop-down metering, but it's fiddly and this bit could be made better, I feel.
haven't looked at the video yet, but as i read this..:
when you push the on/off wheel to the 'preview' wheel (not sure how to call it, but it is the other option than off or on:-), you will see what it will look like when recording with M lenses.

---------- Post added 11-02-15 at 07:49 PM ----------

creative. nice timing.
one thing i noticed: the vertical pan at 1.04 Its going nowhere because it is cut off to early.
nice voice also, definitely!
11-03-2015, 02:26 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by FantasticMrFox Quote
I would've given the video a Like for the voice alone Great work, well done.
Thanks for the kind comments, guys! I'll be sure to pass the praise about the voiceover to my wife, who is enjoying all the positive responses!

Grispie - ah yes, the preview wheel does the same thing as the RAW/FX button in video manual mode (possibly be default? I forget if I've adjusted it) - I guess I'm whinging because it's an extra button press that we could probably do without. But you're right - that does work too!
Thanks for the other feedback too!
You're right about the vertical pan - it does continue but unfortunately I hadn't quite shot it how I'd wanted...it was a bit too slow. That said, for the shot of the grave - "and give our lives to" - I wanted the grave to feature strongly, but the other shot I had where I didn't move the camera felt really flat and dead as there's no moving element. The pan revealed the people walking past so added the life that was needed, but I do agree that it doesn't really go anywhere.

Thanks, guys! I really appreciate your thoughts.
11-29-2015, 07:24 PM   #7
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Nicely done, and I have to agree completely with your experience list.


It's super frustrating that Pentax haven't addressed some of the items on your list, as most are firmware related and potentially could be addressed quite easily.
Can understand if it was a hardware limitation, but several points seem to be how Pentax expects we want it to behave, and don't give the option in the menu to change it.


I'd like to think they'll listen one day, but I expect plod on like they have for quite some time.
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