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Video adds to the interest through camera moves such as pan, zoom that tell a story or follow the motion of a subject (as in Activetrack). Changes in Point Of View in tracked shots produce a sense of depth from  motion parallax. Use foreground features to create reveals and transitions. 


Targets  include the wildlife videos, astro grand tour and archeology sites. 


In video there can be additional distractions from extraneous motion so composition guides include:    

       Clear target that fills frame

       Rule of 1/3's for target or horizon, with lead room in direction of motion.

       Depth from fore ground such as frames and separating target from background. 

       Use lines to draw eye to subject and give scene a sense of direction.

       Do not chop edit less than 4 secs a view unless trying to create energy and dynamism in scene. 

       Uniform levels of detail and color creates balance and avoids distraction. 

10-15 sec as the benchmark for shots - pick best 3-5 secs

Create motion in static subjects, best if there is also a moving subject.

      Front/Back track

      Side track 

      Panorama horizontal and vertical

      Turntable  around fixed object 


      Wiggle - 10% of frame.

To avoid people use camera overhead.


Noticeable motion parallax requires a roughly 5 degrees change. For statues 2m high 3m away, each step produces a 20deg change. 10 steps gets a full 180 degree swing. Gimbal tracking limited to a 20mm focal length.  


Close up parallax effect on distant features by taking single stride telephoto pictures, align, link into a clip, slow to 10% speed and fill in the missing frames. Best with clear sky background. A single stride at 100m produces a just noticeable 0.6deg change, 20 strides = 10deg change. For a 20m distant object, 0.3m (heel to toe steps) with a long lens. 


For foregrounds to distant objects  use small f, a 400mm f22 gives 132m -inf DOF, a 100mm f32 gives a 6m - inf DOF.


Wipes between scenes is the key to a visually interesting narrative when the subject is not captivating. 

       Side track / turntable track / vertical track / - transition in/out of  a block maintaining the same direction.

       Front to back through black / zoom     

       Pan rotate between views / rotate motion blur

Busy locations, hold above head (tall mans view). 


Building template:



      Front track entry 

      Survey - panorama from high spot. 

      Structures or ruins - Side/Up or Down track  to "discover" the feature

For buildings, use foreground features as blocks for tracks or zooms, otherwise use motion blur.  Square up images in post process if needed. 


Interesting rooms, walls, views

       Turntable or pan 

Interesting statues 

      Turntable / zoom with Active track

Interesting "tunnels" or corridor 

      Front or Back track with Lock or Activtrack.

Interesting distant features such as Sphinx  and pyramids which are around 500m apart.  Side track to reveal pyramids behind

Interesting features in big scene.

      Zoom in -  such as Abu Simbel, clearly shows context for  point of interest. Limited to 23- 200mm for cell phone, 25-3000mm for Nikon. For Nikon need to start with telephoto to get MANUAL focus, zoom out  and then video in. 

      Dynamic Zoom - counterintuitive Hitchcock trick where the picture zooms in as you move away keeping target the same size but making more background less visible. - to create emphasis.  

Interesting views 

      Panorama using joystick with for smooth results. Pan by pointing tends to wobble. 


Astro Milky Way - All lock and long exposure (night feature in camera)

Boat trip - Activetrack for moving subject or Fast follow to aim, Axes Lock for fixed subject. Use maximum update rate, position camera on boat centerline so most motion is rotation rather than displacement. 

Car trip - 

Cycle trip - 


Camera stabilizers

There are 4 stabilizing strategies; in-lens stabilizers with an element connected to gyros, in-camera with chip position controlled by gyros, camera stabilizers with a gimbal controlled by gyros, software using variable image crop. The Nikon P1000 has in-lens which is best for telephoto lenses.


The iPhone cameras can be easily mounted on gimbal because they are small and low weight. Third party software real time stabilization is available in "ProCamera". iPhone 13 has in-camera chip position control. 

Software post process stabilization is available in "Deshake" on iPad, and "Premier Pro" on Windows. GoPro 10 cameras have both in-lens and software real time stabilization. 

For gimbal stabilizers, Ronin hand held stabilizers are leaders.

Ronin DJI SC, 2 Kg load, works with Nikon P1000 and Sony 7As with 20mm lens. Stability +- 0.02deg = 100 arc secs, compatible with 20mm lens. The real issue is that cannot use with P1000 because the zoom changes the balance.  Ronin OM 5 with iphone will do video with auto focus and zoom for $170 and is most compact and lightest.

Best approach: iphone 4k camera on OM5 for wide angle video. Nikon P1000 on tripod for telephoto.

3 axis gimbal - Pan, tilt and roll when held vertical.  Gimbal will either "follow" damped handle motions, or "lock" camera orientation after centering by correcting for handle motions, or keep camera pointed at a target in the image.

The performance of gimbals are limited by motor speed, sensor feedback, and sensor stability. There are 2 types of sensors; gyroscopes that measure handle motions, and the camera itself that provides feedback on position of a target feature in the image. Semiconductor or MEMS gyroscopes support video frame rates and  work well for close ups shots  but have stability that is limited to video clips around 15 sec. Cell phone cameras have an update time around 0.2sec or 10x slower than the frame rate. As a result, cameras are best for accelerated long video clips, and more distant targets greater than 5 m.



      Activetrack by  single click trigger or drag on touchscreen to produce green target box on screen. Must be Medium follow speed, if fast then moves are faster than camera updates and the tracking is unstable. 

      Center all axes by double click on trigger. 

      Fast follow for sports or wildlife from boat, by  click and click hold on trigger, or change follow speed  to "Fast" in menu, click to hold axes angle stable performance because accelerometer update faster then motion. 

      Select handle movement tracking menu by single click on  M or bottom left of display.  

      Wake/sleep by click hold on M button.

      Back camera  by single click on O button.

      Landscape orientation by double click on O button.


Used in;

       Activetrack on a feature, best at 24mm (1x) limited to < 50mm focal length(2x).  Applications include; wildlife or on a boat with fast response,  tracking landscapes.  

       Damped follow of handle movements 

                in all 3 axes  = FPV or "flying"  fast response used for immersive content.

                roll held constant after centering =  "Follow"  - speed up in "Sport" (trigger pulse and hold)

                roll  & tilt  held constant after centering = "Tilt locked" - for walking tracked shots using 1x lens.

                Use slow speed handle response when dampening undesired motions during handle tracking such as  walking,

                Use fast speed handle response when  handle used for pan or tilt.

                Deshake any residual movement using Premier Pro - Effects/ Video Effects/ Distort/ Wave Stabilizer.

       Lock  all axes after centering,  useful for walking track with close features.             


Time modes selected from list on right of phone;

         Slow motion,

         Standard video  (FPS in icon on left).

         Hyperlapse 1x lens only  - best with Activetrack for distant objects with 5x Hyperlapse and slow walking front or side walked tracking               shots. 

         Time lapse on a tripod sunset 3 sec interval  (type and rate in menu on top).

         Dynamic zoom - dolly in or out with counter zoom -good for focus on a targets.

Controls;  for realism use fast follow , slow speed joystick for  pan transition between views. Zoom at slow speed  - cell must must be 60fps for smooth results.  

Activetrack limited to 2x (50mm) without Hyperlapse, but needs to be Wave stabilized . Can be post process zoomed and sharpened to 200mm. Beyond 200mm, need  Nikon P1000 with stepped out frames. 

System Dynamics 

Motor speed max. = 120 deg/sec

Gyroscope update < 0.02sec

Gyroscope stability = 70 deg/hr

Camera update = 0.2 sec

Critical distance to subject is 5m and  clip length 15 sec; less than you should rely on dead reconning using  gyros, more then you need to use image feedback. Landscapes  with 1km distance need Hyperlapse 5x / Activetrack  and 20 secs or more walking to create parallax. 

Gimbal follow or orientation hold rely on feedback from 3 axis gyro in joystick to motors. Maximum motor slew is 120 deg/sec, at 60 fps (0.02 secs per frame) = 2 deg per frame. Field size at 1x (24mm fl) is  100 deg so 2% of frame is max correctable hand jitter. Good frame rate response, but  gyros are susceptible to drift so longer shots (0.5 degree drift in 30 sec) require target lock in image (Activetrack).  Detectable motion parallax is seen in a 5 degree POV change.  The required camera moves are shown below. 


Activetrack is limited by image analysis time, the measured time for  peak to peak correction = 0.2 secs, and is 10x slower than handle feedback. A 100mm move 3 meters away produces a 2 deg change, so if the target is less than  5 meters away use Lock axes, if over 5 meters use Activetrack.    

Vertical active track. Alternate POV, high or drone view, low or ant view - at ground level, hold grip horizontal with camera to left then move to vertical. A total of 3 meters of vertical travel,  1.5 meters away = 90 degrees,  10 meters away  = 10 degrees. With tripod, 5 meters of vertical, up to 10 meters away. Look for a tower view point and rotate  down.  


Hyperlapse limited to 1x (25mm fl) best with Activetrack. For subjects 100m away, 3m (2 sec) of POV creates 5 degrees of detectable parallax.  Walking at 1.6 m s-for 20 secs capture covers 30m = 50degrees.  For subjects 1km away, 30m creates detectable parallax with 5x Hyperlapse. A walk of 200 secs  (300 paces) of capture for 50 degree needs 30x acceleration. In general, underdo acceleration as it can be further accelerated in edit. On Sphinx,  pyramid 20 meters high - 100 meters away so if I move 100 meters should get sense of motion. With 60 secs (3mph) to travel 100 meters (30 paces) , at 5x multiple delivers 10 secs of video.  

Damped walking stabilizer


iPhone 14 has excellent stabilization of distant features using chip stabilizer and crop. The only thing left is motion of close in features due to vertical change in viewpoint "bounce" during walking.  A vertical damper will be used to reduce bounce in close in features. The base is a bicycle pump that includes a spring and a controlled leak in the pump output produces damping. Need a screw mount for the top of the pump.

Mass of OM5 = 10 oz   + iPhone14 = 6 oz total 0.5 Kg 

Frequency = 1.8Hz

Motion cycle = 0.04m = 4cm (2"). Velocity =  4" 0.5 s = 8" per sec.

Vertical acceleration = 14 m s-2.  Gravity 9 m s-2 so around  1G.,status%20from%20which%20the%20step%20length%20is%20calculated.

Use a bike pump with controlled air pass as damping. 

Need a spring 4" travel with accelerated load 1lb so 0.2 lb per inch - very soft.

Will compress 4" under base load.  = Need 6" total travel. 

Need to pass air in 0.5 sec to damp.


Long focal length hand held. 

One option is the stabilization harness. 

Mount long lens vertically so it acts as its own pendulum. Use a turning mirror to aim in the vertical plane. Place motors on the rotation axes to offset motion. Use programmable dampers to damp mount oscillations. Frequency resonance of small boats around 0.3 Hz, walking around  1Hz.


A tuned mass damper (TMD), also known as a harmonic absorber or seismic damper, is a device mounted in structures to reduce mechanical vibrations, consisting of a mass mounted on one or more damped springs. Its oscillation frequency is tuned to be similar to the resonant frequency of the object it is mounted to, and reduces the object's maximum amplitude while weighing much less than it.



Cell phone camera performance

Iphone 14 cameras 

  • 48MP Main  8kx6k pixels 1.2 um, 1/1.65 = 15mm diagonal: 24 mm  60 deg FOV, ƒ/1.78 aperture, second-generation sensor-shift optical image stabilization, seven‑element lens, 100% Focus Pixels  - 1x camera best for stabilization and resolution. Video 26mm, 30mm for Action mode. 

  • 12MP Ultra Wide: 13 mm, ƒ/2.2 aperture and 120° field of view, six‑element lens, 100% Focus Pixels

  • 12MP 3x Telephoto: 77 mm,  20 deg FOV, ƒ/2.8 aperture, optical image stabilization, six-element lens

  • 3x optical zoom in, 2x optical zoom out; 6x optical zoom range; digital zoom up to 15

Turn on PRO RAW, stores 10 bit image.

2 sec max time lapse exposure time. 

Video - 

  • Second‑generation sensor‑shift optical image stabilization for video (Main)

  • Dual optical image stabilization for video (Main and Telephoto)

  • 3x optical zoom in, 2x optical zoom out; 6x optical zoom range

Video runs at 80% FOV.  Careful as it automatically doubles down as you change from photo to video to keep FOV. 

Sensor shift allows hand held stills - short time frame stabilization. 

Cropping allows stabilization. Action mode increases cropping at the expense of resolution - 1x lens gives best resolution. 

For building front  tracks, Gimbal + iPhone 14 Action mode gives noticeably better stabilization. 

For landscape side  tracks, Gimbal has added benefit of stable pointing with Active Track - struggles with front tracks die to scaling of target.

For sculpture rotation tracks, Gimbal + Active track.  

Transfer to PC using  Dropbox/CameraUploads on ipad without any loss of pixel resolution. Move to Camera Roll on PS for adding to Premiere Pro.

MEMS gyro stability 70 degrees/hr in 2007, or 1 degree/min.


Night mode

Exposure 30s at ISO2000 with 25mm equivalent, so should get Milky Way, collect multiples for image averaging.   Night mode available in  Apple app,  not in Mimo app.  Once the gimbal is activated in Mimo it stays operational when Apple photo app is  opened and photos taken. Night photography on boat, use gimbal lock and night mode where, gimbal provides enough stability for 10 sec exposure. Store as JPEG with 50% compression. Use Topaz standard noise deblur to clean up image.  Noise test - ISO12500 sec 30x; noise FWHM = 3 (8b).


Use ProCamera in LUX+ to collect RAW image - 10 sec exposure 4 (8bit) noise. 


HEIF loss less compression 8.1MB for a 12Mpixel cell phone image. so information content is 0.7B per physical pixel per color.

Sony  7a ARW 12.9MB for a  12Mpixel image, 1B per pixel, 12 bits  per pixel. 

Sony 7III (Boris)  ARW 46MB for a  24Mpixel image, 2B per pixel, 14 bits per pixel, 5.8um pixel size. 

Nikon P1000  video

The Nikon P1000’s lens features Dual Detect Optical Vibration Reduction that, Nikon claims, provides five stops (30x shutter speed) of optical image stabilization and is available in four modes, plus off. "Nikon VR lenses use two angular velocity sensors, one that detects vertical movement (pitch), the other, horizontal movement (yaw), with diagonal motion handled by both sensors working together. The sensors send angular velocity data to a microcomputer in the lens, which determines how much compensation is needed to offset the camera's shake and sends that information to a duo of voice coil motors that move selected lens elements to compensate for the detected motion." Some Nikon VR-enabled lenses offer an "active" mode for shooting from a moving vehicle, such as a car or boat, which is supposed to correct for larger shakes than the "normal" mode.[17] However, active mode used for normal shooting can produce poorer results than normal mode.[18]This is because active mode is optimized for reducing higher angular velocity movements (typically when shooting from a heavily moving platform using faster shutter speeds), where normal mode tries to reduce lower angular velocity movements over a larger amplitude and timeframe (typically body and hand movement when standing on a stationary or slowly moving platform while using slower shutter speeds).

Maintenance / Vibration reduction


       Active for more camera shake  - probably best for extreme zoom. 

       (framing first) use when panning, as in wildlife and tracking. 


Motorized (only) zoom control is accessed with a T/W button on the side of the lens that’s clearly designed for video shooters because it seems intentionally slow, I’m guessing, to prevent jerky zooming.

       Moving target -  manual focus at max zoom - out and then video during zoom in.

       Fixed target - autofocus at max zoom - video as zoom out, reverse post production. 


Super lapse allows acceleration of camera moves. 


Telephoto parallax track.  For statues 100 m high 100 m away (texas capitol) with a 45deg look up.  1m steps = 0.6 deg, so 10m (strides) gets 5 degrees and some parallax.  At 10% speed  = 2.5 sec clip, need to add 10 frames between. 

In Lightroom, Export a folder full of files, choose names with sequential numbers-no blanks.

In PS, import files as a select in Open dialog, set workspace to motion creates movie, render to a video. 

In Premiere, use Optical Flow or Frame Blend to fill in missing frames.

Test run 1000mm focal length  5 frames 0.16s - expands to 1 sec with acceptable smooth and noticeable parallax. Camera point is crucial, or there is noticeable roll that can be removed by Warp stabilization. Doing a full automated align might help. At 10% speed Optical Flow gives smoother results with artifacts, Blend needs more frames.  Capitol test at 400mm cropped to 800mm  with distance 250m, 5m (5 strides) = 1deg was just noticeable, Optical Flow worked well at 10% based on 0.2deg per source frame - really need 50 strides at 250m. 

Seeing control at extreme telephoto. 

1) Need to collect video at 10ms exposure or 100th sec - 100fps.  Sample 2160 video @30fps.  Nikon Video manual - adjust ISO to get short exposure time.  Try sample averaging.

2) Test using QHY camera on C6 SCT and the tower target. 


Hero 10 with in-lens stabilization, 23MB camera 19mm diagonal - single lens.

Likely chip. - much larger than cellphone, which allows aggressive crop stabilization. Does not work with OM5.

Model Name IMX530  Oct 2019 released. 

Number of effective pixels 5328 (H) x 4608 (V)

Image size Diagonal 19.3 mm (1.2 type) 

Unit cell size 2.74µm(H)×2.74µm(V) 

Rayleigh scattering is the scattering of a plane wave from a single small particle well-separated from other particles. If a second small particle is somewhat nearby, it will scatter coherently with the first and create interference. The far-field will not be Rayleigh anymore; you cannot just add the intensity, the phases also matter. 45 degree is the transition between scattering intensity, so 12" focus with 12" arms would be best, or use full side baffles to restrict forward scattering. 

Gopro wide angle has 130 degree field - so a 3 ft turtle occupying 20% of field subtends 30 degrees needs to be 6 ft away.  Seeing as the light with arms is 15" on a side, the lights need to be angled at 15 degrees each with baffles. Adjusted for overall visibility. LBL in Austin is 5-10 ft visibility. 

SOONSUN 4in1 Floating Selfie Stick (9-27") for GoPro Hero 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3 Session, Fusion, DJI OSMO, Insta360 - Use as Floating Tripod, Waterproof Selfie Stick, Hand Grip, Tripod Stand

Use Movo DiveRig5 Underwater Video. 

Wrist mount 

Hand mount

Color Balance underwater

1) Auto Tone

2) Adjust color temperature 

3) Reduce green gamma to get clear whites

4) If deep underwater reduce blue gamma

5) Denoise & Sharpen

6) Adjust for best look, increase vibrance 

Stereo parallax

Stereo parallax  is an alternate way to create depth.

A $499 stereo image camera.

FUJIFILM 3D Digital Camera FinePix REAL 3D W3 F FX-3D W3  $350 for a stereo camera - wide angle only.

Stereo Viewing

Creating a depth map from Stereo pair using Stereo Photo Maker. and than a FB stereo image.

Stereo pair 

     Red/Blue pair

     Still viewer 

     Phone viewer

Stereo rocking - cycles of small displacement 

      18 frame GIF

      Video reverse and repeat


Virtual reality model - VR glasses.


Camera summary 

The camera in the iphone 14, has a lens equivalent to a  20mm full frame lens with corrections at 400ppm. The Nikon P1000 has similar corrections over a uniquely large  zoom range (20-3000mm). The Sony mount 20mm lens has the best level of correction in a wide angle lens. 

For telephoto work, the largest usable field (5 deg) comes from the OrionED80 with Sony 7as, but the resolution is pixel limited (4 asecs).

The RASA 300mm f2 configuration with QHY or Svbony (1.2 deg) cameras is lens limited (2 asecs) and very fast.


The highest resolution (0.7 asecs) is achieved with Celestron C6 SCT and 5x with Svbony camera. 

SHO imaging is available at 8, 100, and 300mm. 

Night time f2 capability available at 8, 20, 100, and 300mm. 


Moonlight  8-100mm Sony 7as ...  1/3 moon ISO51K with gamma adjust.

Milky Way 8mm  SHO with QHY,  time lapse  Sony 7as.  Fornax scanning stage

Nebula SHO  RASA  & 100mm with QHY. AVX scanning stage

Galaxies  RASA  QHY SHO or Svbony RGB

Planets    SCT with 5x and Svbony RGB

Tracked video -  cell/gimbal and zoom Nikon P1000.

Wildlife  Nikon P1000

Night wildlife RASA with Svbony.

Solar - Eclipse plan.  corona . promenence

Annular eclipse of Oct 14 2023 midday.

Western grebe mating dance in spring... north west US - into CO. 

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