After all the preparation, I would like to share a short and uninspired video with you. And some thoughts about post processing ...
This is a short video sequence shot at 1536 x 1024 with a Pentax K-7 during an oldtimer car meeting earlier this year near Munich.
This video is nothing special. But I will use it to illustrate
Options for post-processing
1. The form factor.
720p video is 1280x720, 1080p video is 1920x1080, both in 16:9 aspect ratio. The native video capture is in 1536x1024 or 3:2 aspect ratio.
- 1536x1024 -> 720p: magnify by 83.33%, crop 8.00% from upper and lower edge each.
- 1536x1024 -> 1080p: magnify by 125%, crop 7.81% (100px) from upper and lower edge each.
There is no benefit in recording in 720p directly, except for a better control of framing (16:9 framing on rear display) and smaller file sizes. For 720p, the camera does the same supersampling to 83% size one would do in post-processing otherwise. On the other side, keeping the 1536x1024 material provides some more options for post-processing.
1536x1024 material is not suitable for direct presentation. Here, 720p is a better option.
Most video editing software will directly open the AVI file stored on SD card. Additionally, Apple Quicktime will open the file and Quicktime Pro allows to extract individual or all frames as images. Or to recode the movie, e.g., to MP4 AVC H.264.
Photoshop CS3/CS4 can open the AVI file directly as well and you get a video layer. There, you can do many image operations like you do for still images and recode, e.g., again to MP4.
After touching up the raw material, I used Adobe Premiere Elements for more video-oriented editing. On the Apple, MacOSX has something similiar on board, called iMovie.
The K-7 captures stunning video quality. But it isn't good enough to justify the extra size coming with 1080p, compared to 720p. At least not without further touching up the quality.
Below, you'll see two frame images from the short clip above. The first is as out of the camera.
The second image is post-processed using my K-7 video IQ master (a program which I developed to defeat the "768-aliasing artifact"). The K-7 video IQ master is work in progress and yet unpublished. The basic idea is to use the insight about the submatrix as described in part I and try to correct some of the weaknesses in the original algorithm as built into the camera.
You may have to click onto the images to see the original size to study the difference. According to several opinions, the filtered footage has less fringing and less jaggy lines while still gaining (or at least maintaining) on overall detail (read: without becoming softer). It was used to create the 1080p clip in the opening of the article.
I hope that a forthcoming version of the K-7 video IQ master will be good enough to render 1080p footage to the same stunning quality we now see in 720p footage. And further improve on 720p quality. Btw, I very much welcome any comments on this topic.
As a side note. It is no problem to add motion blur to frames belonging to a panning action. Or tilt to remove the skew. Just open the corresponding video sequence in CS3.
This shall conclude my three part article about the video capabilities of the Pentax K-7.
The video mode in the Pentax K-7 looks like a very promising proposition. It can produce stunning video quality, esp. in 720p. However, Pentax made a number of trade-offs to keep the camera affordable as a still camera (and it is a high spec camera already w/o video). Therefore, to achieve maximum possible quality in movies, a number of tweaks applied during capture and in post-processing are of help.
Enjoy your moving images :)