1. Mini Meet Saturday 6th April, details on the events page

Filming Fireworks

Discussion in 'Video Reel' started by Krony, Oct 13, 2018.

  1. Krony

    Krony Galactic Firework Addict Competition Meet 2018 Champion

    Thought i would start a thread on filming fireworks, equipment used, settings used and so on.
    @Arnside Fireworks was asking about filming in chat box so that gave me the idea for this thread.
  2. Krony

    Krony Galactic Firework Addict Competition Meet 2018 Champion

    I'll start with what i use.

    Camera: Canon 70D
    1st Lens:Canon EF-S 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS STM
    2nd Lens: Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM
    FPS: 25
    Shutter speed: 1/50th
    ISO: 4000
    Aperture: f4.5

    Most of the time i am quite close so my go to lens is the 10-18mm zoomed out to it's widest focal length, this also lets me use an f4.5 aperture which lets a bit more light in.

    I think to get the videos any better with my current equipment i.e. brighter colours i would need to invest in some decent video editing software like Premiere Pro.

    Here is a couple of videos recorded on the above settings from about 50m away:



    Last edited: Oct 16, 2018
  3. Jinn Kyja

    Jinn Kyja Super Moderator Competition Meet 2018 Champion

    Not a camera dude but I always remember people recommending those hand-warmer sachets to stop lens fogging. Never remember them for my hands though, doh.

    And OBVIOUSLY once you've found some settings you're happy with, write them down before you forget them and have to go through the whole process again.
    *cough* @Krony
    Arnside Fireworks and Krony like this.
  4. Arnside Fireworks

    Arnside Fireworks Galactic Fireworks Forum Member

    Thanks Krony. Nice quality video.
    Krony likes this.
  5. Arnside Fireworks

    Arnside Fireworks Galactic Fireworks Forum Member

    I've only used my Go Pro in the past and although it's a decent piece of kit, the colours are not great. I'll post a vid of your Comp show in a bit fellas. See what you think. Any advice on settings? Have you filmed with Go Pro in the past?
    Krony likes this.
  6. Arnside Fireworks

    Arnside Fireworks Galactic Fireworks Forum Member

    Bit too far away too.
  7. Krony

    Krony Galactic Firework Addict Competition Meet 2018 Champion

    Don't own a Go Pro but keep meaning to get one so can't really help with settings, think @BrocadeKnight has or something similar.
  8. Arnside Fireworks

    Arnside Fireworks Galactic Fireworks Forum Member

    I do fancy a DSLR but it might be a bit of an indulgence! Not really a photographer.
    Krony likes this.
  9. Anthony

    Anthony Galactic Firework Addict

    Panasonic 4K HC-VX870 Camcorder

    No low light mode selected or any autoexposure settings selected and using the camcorder's natural ability to get a picture (does grain up as darkness moves in tho'),

    Manual focus,

    External stereo microphone used over built in 5.1 Surround Sound microphone,

    Recording in 4K 3840x2160 res mode @ 25fps,

    Manually set white balance to get good colour rendition. ;)
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2018
    Arnside Fireworks likes this.
  10. Arnside Fireworks

    Arnside Fireworks Galactic Fireworks Forum Member

  11. Krony

    Krony Galactic Firework Addict Competition Meet 2018 Champion

    Btw i didn't realize you added a video til the other day but it doesn't play?
  12. Arnside Fireworks

    Arnside Fireworks Galactic Fireworks Forum Member

    How odd. Plays for me?
  13. Krony

    Krony Galactic Firework Addict Competition Meet 2018 Champion

    Says video unavailable, is it set to private?
  14. Krony

    Krony Galactic Firework Addict Competition Meet 2018 Champion

  15. mmm-five

    mmm-five New Member of the Galactic Forum

    Is the video set to private?
  16. Arnside Fireworks

    Arnside Fireworks Galactic Fireworks Forum Member

    I'lll check.....
  17. Arnside Fireworks

    Arnside Fireworks Galactic Fireworks Forum Member

  18. Arnside Fireworks

    Arnside Fireworks Galactic Fireworks Forum Member

    It was private. Sorry clueless! Bit distant and smoky at the start but not awful in full screen at 1080...
  19. Krony

    Krony Galactic Firework Addict Competition Meet 2018 Champion

    Yea it plays now but have to watch it on YouTube rather than embedded on here, will have a look in a sec.
  20. Krony

    Krony Galactic Firework Addict Competition Meet 2018 Champion

    Yea colours a little bit washed out but the distance won't have helped, nice video tho.
  21. Arnside Fireworks

    Arnside Fireworks Galactic Fireworks Forum Member

    TBH, I'm quite pleased with the result. That was out of the box settings too. Think you can tweak the camera to perform better. Need to be half that distance too. We were probably around 200 metres away..
  22. Krony

    Krony Galactic Firework Addict Competition Meet 2018 Champion

  23. Pyrodise

    Pyrodise Galactic Firework Enthusiast

    I use my Sony FDR-AX100E (4K) together with a Zoom H4n Pro microphone. This is the result:

    Duskyfuse and Krony like this.
  24. BrocadeKnight

    BrocadeKnight Galactic Firework Addict

    Yo! Not been on for a while. God I wish I'd come to the last meet (with the circle of fire) and brought my 40th display for everyone's enjoyment. Looks like you had good weather. Never got round to firing it. Starting a new job soon, so god knows when it'll happen.
    Fired a handful of bits up north in Feb, but only half the rockets intended, and everything was too far away. Huge effort. Big disappointment.

    As for filming, I'm personally of the opinion it's best to be as close and wide angle as possible, for detail and colour. Especially if you can find a wide angle lens without much barrel distortion.
    I've only ever used 4x SJ4000, and Samsung S4, S7 (with a Samsung wide lens) and S9. With the SJ4000 at 40-70m and the S7+lens within that range. The old S4 probably needed to be 150m away to fit in a big cat3 display. I've only tried tried the S9 once and it needed 100m and I was seriously disappointed with it's quality on multiple fronts.

    I'll stick a video here and put some explanation in after.
    1st, SJ4000 at 100m, I surely cropped in a bit at begining but definitely subtly zooms in further.
    2nd, SJ4000 at about 40m, not the best angle.
    3rd, S7 at 100m with wide angle lens, I must have cropped it.
    4th S9 at 100m, worryingly bad focus.
    Video has colours boosted and attempt to correct red/green balance for SJ4000s.
    Watch in 1080.



    Yes the footage is just cut when the Lush ends.

    Mostly general comments of equipment...
    I'm not sure I'll ever buy an expensive camera. There are reasons I'm not happy with the quality of my footage, and yet I've often preferred it to other people's examples of the same displays captured on way more expensive equipment. Knowing my luck, if I bought a serious piece of kit, it'd rain every pyro attempt thereafter. But my biggest reluctance would be gamble that lens flares / internal reflections might be present regardless of the gear, due to the specific natute of filming pyro.

    My £60 SJ4000 cameras have been great fun. Are cheap enough to have a handful for the same cost of a GoPro. Can be set up from different angles and distances for a nice multi-perspective end result. I wouldn't even be bothered if one got damaged at that price.
    They're very simple to use, very wide angle (and yet rarely, against a black sky, have I thought they looked excessively fish-eye), always nicely in focus at any distance (no wandering autofocus), and surprisingly good at capturing sound including the boom of big shells.
    On the downside they are skewed towards exaggerating reds, whilst greens get washed out (although large star / cat4 greens come out OK). They can exhibit bizarre reflections/images of circuit board in ocassional frames during busy scenes (perhaps I only ever noticed whilst editing). They can exhibit a very high-pitched whine in recordings, which I now notch out with a very narrow EQ plug-in setting, during editing. The batteries seriously messed me about on one occasion, failing to hold charge, and yet have gone on to work fine since, allowing a solid 70/80min recording, in cold temperatures. So a couple of charges-and-left-recording cycles will be done before use from now on.

    My old Samsung S4 had beautiful colours and detail... when in focus... but there was no control over it that, so it was a liability. The quality of the footage though was vastly superior to my eye than the S7 and S9.
    The S7 has a wider field of view and can do sharp 4k footage, but has so much better detail with the wide lens used and positioned closer to the pyro. So it did very well above, considering it was miles too far away.
    But quality of end video is just getting worse, with what I assume are compression algorithms or codecs or perhaps how certain standards interact with other manufacturers devices. I notice terrible blockiness in the dark sky areas, and banding where dark approaches pyro in S7 footage played back on various other screens/TVs (not so much on above).
    But the S9 footage above is awful... it's blocky and BLUE to the sides of the pyro!! On a night that was definitely completely dark.
    I think some of the pyro flashes cause horizontal flashes or illumination at the left/right extremes.
    And the S9 manual focus, set to infinity, was so blurred at 100m, on pyro that filled the field of view. I need to take some daylight footage at 100m and verify if I can even get a sharp image or whether my S9 is just shite!
    But that S9 final view above looks awful on our 2yo Panasonic TV. I noticed the blocky blue left and right edges on my S9 screen and prayed it was a duff screen.
    Next time I'm might try a H.265 HEVC setting on the S9. Wonder if it might help... or make matters even worse. Need to read up on it.
    Which reminds me, the S4 and S7 both stuttered occasionally in recording very busy pyro sections.
    Like removing graphic equalizers from HIFIs years ago, all this modern technology is a wonderful thing... until you actually have a specific and worthy use for it!
    All in all, a handful of SJ4000s for £300 would be a no-brainer for me.
    Last edited: May 25, 2019
  25. BrocadeKnight

    BrocadeKnight Galactic Firework Addict

    But that was a lot of waffle and no settings.

    SJ4000s
    40-70m
    Exposure -4/3
    ISO 100
    Colour balance Auto/Daylight (anything else goes yellow)

    S7/S9
    100m (better with wide angle lens at 50m)
    Pro Mode
    Manual Focus - Infinity
    But I've left Colour Balance, Exposure, ISO and Aperture on Auto. Should probably play with this to see if it reduces crappy blocky artifacts. Problem is, when does one have enough fireworks in front of them to do equipment tests, and not a greater inclination to look at the pyro?!!!
    And further to that, to do tests properly, you'd need a very long spell of the same effect whilst trying different settings... then repeated for different effects!
    Agghhh!!
    4k 30fps. I think fireworks in particular look peculiarly 'silent movie' at 60fps, but i suppose it's handy for smooth 1/2-speeed slow motion.
    I wonder if 1080HD might actually record better quality pyro video than 4k, for potential dark-sky around bright-pyro compression issues.
    Last edited: May 25, 2019

Share This Page