ReelSolidTV International

So we got to Uptown Lounge, and decided on Calamari as the fun-food while we “got our martini on”. We tried out the camera in low-light, but it didn’t work out at all, which was to be expected since I hadn’t read the manual. I had no idea of what I might have been able to change to produce the best setting.

Anyway… X hours later, we headed for a pizza shop, where I shot an extremely mellow (for ME) video with my new, fresh-out-of-the-box Samsung NV3. 😀

When I got home, I plugged the camera in via USB and uploaded the videos really quickly. They open up in AVI format, 640×480, as advertised:

Format: XVID Decoder, 640 x 480, Millions
Audio: Microsoft ADPCM, Mono, 22.050 kHz
FPS: 30
Data Rate: 1615.81 kbits/sec

Here’s where things got tricky. 😀 Originally, I loaded the clips to my iMac. As soon as they uploaded, I double-clicked one of them and it appeared in Quicktime Player. I played it immediately, and it had these black clipping blotches where the camera was aimed directly at bright lights, like the menu signs in the pizza shop. I figured this had to do with the camera and that I didn’t read the manual before just pointing and shooting. So then, I went to transfer the videos to my MacBook, and they didn’t run at all. Quicktime Player would open the first frame of the cips, but it would “quit unexpectedly” when I pressed play. I tried restarting and rebooting. No difference. I looked in the manual on the disk, which is way more extensive than the hardcopy they give you, and it said to install the XviD codec.

To install the XviD codec, you have to install DivX. I installed both and rebooted. I opened the clip in Mpeg Streamclip, and the “blowout blotches” were gone, except there was a large section that glitched at the bottom of the pizza shop counter, where there were no lights at all. I figured the problem had something to do with interlacing. I could be wrong, but the programs were looking for interlaced video, and the NV3 shoots 30 frames per second. That’s different from 29.97 frames per second, and that’s certainly different from 60 interlaced fields per second like NTSC television has. I decided to render the video that had this one large glitch in it out to DV codec, using Mpeg Streamclip. I could have exported to Mpeg-4, but I wanted to see if it would look good in DV, since most of the time, I’ll want to bring the clips into FCP for editing.

I rendered to DV and resampled the 22 kHz audio to 48 kHz for the same FCP compatibility reasons. The DV file opened up in quicktime player, looked good and ran flawlessly. I imported that file into Compressor and used my iPod settings to make the m4v to send to blip and iTunes. I cropped the end of the video in Compressor.

After that test, I changed the flow. I made it so that all AVI files open in Mpeg Streamclip. I selected in and out points by pressing “I” and “O” where I wanted my in and out to be for the clip. I selected “export to mpeg-4” with the settings of 50% quality, 1100 kbps data rate, sound AAC 44.1 kHz stereo (even though the NV3 records in 22 kHz mono) @ 96 kbps, 640×480, upper field and everything else deselected. I got the same results, except the file was named mp4 instead of m4v.

I was very happy with the results. The colors are a little oversaturated, but like I said, I never read the manual, and the video’s straight out of the box. Insert battery, insert 2gig memory card, spin the dial, point & shoot. I barely knew how to play the videos back on the camera at the time. 😀

Anyway… A good time was had by all… as you can probably tell from the video! 😀 I’m definitely looking forward to ReelSolid.TV expanding past the borders of the U.S.A.! We’ll get to find out what’s going on in Japan from Masami, and what’s going on in France from Laetitia. Cheers to both of the ladies for helping me to NOT waste my day! 😀

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