I've been reading a lot of threads in a lot of forums, and I'm still flabbergasted about how complicated this topic is to fully understand. I'm hoping someone with experience can help clarify the "digital lense flicker" epidemic for me. I'm looking to buy a camera, but I'm frozen with too much panic and confusion to make that move just yet.
#1. Is it really true that all DSLR cameras simply don't allow full manual control over focus, aperture, ISO, and shutter speed? There are absolutely no settings that could be changed to allow full manual control over these things?
#2. OR - is it the digital lenses that cause "flicker"? Same as above: is there absolutely no way to just flick a switch that would tell the lens to stop messing about and just surrender control to the photographer? This seems crazy to me.
#3. Shouldn't the settings of the camera (body) be able to force the lens to stop auto adjusting, and just keep the manual settings that the photographer chooses?
#4. I'm looking to get a Cannon Rebel T3i or a Cannon 60D soon. (I need the full HD resolution, otherwise I'd be looking at a T1 or T2, etc...). I'm nervous to buy anything, because I'm unsure exactly what else I need to even be able to use it. lol... Apparently the lens socket is EF-S, which I've read is backward-compatible with SLR lenses, and still compatible with EF lenses. I read here that SLR lenses don't have the flicker problem, so does anyone know for sure if I could use an SLR lense on this camera, and if it's also true that SLR lenses don't create flicker?
In general, I'm simply overwhelmed with confusion about why the only solution to avoid flicker caused by digital lenses seems to be to get a Cannon body, a fotodiox lens adapter, and a Nikkor lens... Why is this the case? Are the big studios that film animations like Box Trolls and Coraline and Corpse Bride needing to do this as well, or is this just a problem with consumer-grade DSLR cameras? It just seems so silly to me that this is even something to worry about. In my mind, I'm finding it hard to accept that there isn't a way to turn all these auto-features off, and - bing - problem solved.
I'm just having trouble understanding how to get around the issue in the least complicated and least expensive way, despite reading an overwhelming amount of information on this "DSLR Flicker" topic for weeks. Any clarification would be greatly appreciated.
This page from the Dragonframe website might be of interest to anyone mulling over the Canon vs Nikon for stop motion question. It would seem that newer Nikons "may not" have the overheating problem that earlier models do. Also, the newer models have smoother live view shooting mechanics. Apparently, the mirror doesn't need to drop to take a picture. Affordability might be a problem, however.
Nikon has apparently developed, and patented, a rather novel (too me, anyhow) approach to the overheating problem with a removable heat-sink kind of thingy. Can't find any information on when it might be put into production. Maybe never, but here's the link.
Also, these comments on a Nikon d3200s overheating problems are pretty interesting. Perhaps Nick's use of Nikon d70 (no live view) with a spy camera type of setup is way to go. Can't remember him saying he had any sort of overheating problems with it. I have a d70 that I got on eBay (because Nick had one) and might have a go with it using a webcam.
Thanks Dennis. I had seen the Dragonframe FAQ, but that forum post seems like it may confirm that newer Nikons (at least the same line as the D5200) may not be as improved as would be ideal for stop-motion. 1 and a 1/2 hours is not a very long time. I remember just for a quick test run I was set up animating for 4 hours, with a short break in the middle.
That's a shame, because the D5300 (basically the same as the 5200) is a camera I've been looking at for quite a while. Better to learn about that overheating issue before running into it myself though.
Well... shucks... My top contender in the affordability category just dropped out of the race. Back to researching again, or selling stuff to save up for a comparable Canon.
It's the live view that causes the heating. I read about the early RED cameras having the same issue, with some cameramen using ice packs on the camera to keep them cool in hot conditions.
A simple solution is used by Miles and Julie for their Wombok Forest film, they have a cooling fan aimed at their Nikon D90 to keep it cool. They are in Queensland, in Australia's tropical/subtropical north, so if it works for them it should be fine in cooler conditions.
Here's the page from their journal showing the fan: http://www.wombokforest.com.au/Untitled-2.html
That's a clever solution! I was just digging through a drawer full of random parts and electronics today and found an old computer fan. If I do go for the Nikon, I might look for a how-to for wiring it into a standard plug.
Thanks for sharing that link. Their project looks fantastic, and there's a lot of useful info on their site as well. Are they still working on it? It looks like it hasn't been updated in a while.
Well, Mike, perhaps one of the Nikons from the d5*** range, with their flip-out LCD screens, would still be a viable option for stop motion animation. I was checking out a d5000 (affordable) yesterday and wondered if, with the screen flipped out and cooled by some sort of fan, the overheating problem might be eliminated. The screen on the d5000, however, is hinged at the bottom and can interfere with tripod mounting. The newer models have the hinge on the side so that wouldn't be problem. Never thought of a computer fan, though, more along the lines of something battery operated.
Justin has the T2i to film with but I've become something of a Nikon junkie since I got the d70. The d5*** range ticks most of the boxes for me, it's just a question of cost (and convincing my wife I need another camera).
You would need a transformer to run the computer fan off mains power - I think they may be 5 volt? Or, if there is a spare place to plug in an extra cooling fan on the motherboard, you could run it from the PC - you would be using that anyway while animating. Just put a long lead on it so it's not inside the computer case. Some computers have several fans, so it may be possible. But a small room fan on mains power should work too.
Don't know, but it does sound logical that a flip-out screen might let it cool in the air. I didn't go for one, seeing no benefit for animation since we are viewing it on the computer monitor... oh, just realised, when I see the live view in Dragonframe/Stopmotion Pro on the computer monitor, the lcd screen on the back of the camera is dark. The image goes to the computer instead of to the screen while it is hooked up. So it probably wouldn't add to the heat.