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Advanced “Light Flicker in Video” Education

Photo Moment - April 05, 2019

Avoiding flicker while shooting high speed (slow motion) video under artificial lighting, or shooting in a foreign country can be a challenge. I knew HOW, but not WHY. Now I know why, and I want to share with you.

This video was shot on the LUMIX S1 with the 50mm f/1.4 lens wide open. Because I know someone will ask ;-)

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Today's Q&A and Unedited Live Show

See what you missed in the full, unedited LIVE show (this starts with the Q&A; back up if you want to see the whole live show)


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Full Transcript

This show was fully scripted and read off a teleprompter, so this script is pretty darn accurate!

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Comments from YouTube

What do you think? Did you learn anything new? I'd love to hear what you thought of this video! This was a new approach for me.
What the... math is for nerds dude. I didn't come to your channel to make my head hurt. I just wanna be able to shoot naked ladies. :) If you weren't so beautiful, yourself, I would have turned off the video. xD
Hi Joseph, i tried to shoot some Slow Motion with my GH5 today (Color in Water etc..)
Indoor Light (LED) / FHD 180fps / 180d Shutter Angle : FLICKERING nonstop :-(((((
is there ANY chance to get indoor footage with 180fps without flickering?
Short answer: just get the RED Tools app. It's a lot smarter than I am, that's for sure.
Certainly makes it easier. I wanted to share the WHY, which I hope you found interesting.
@PhotoJoseph Yes, very much so, thanks.
Excellent video! Thank you for producing it! Could you please share how you created the onscreen written text? Very nicely done!
Thanks! Yeah, I learned that trick from Levi Allen — so cool
I have subscribed and will be following. I wish I had all of this info a while back it would’ve save me a ton of time and frustration in my work. Great Video this was very much on point.. Thank you for your work.....
Thanks Aaron, I appreciate that!
Great video, nice and clear and very useful to know, I learned a lot.
Awesome, thanks!
Greatly appreciate this video! It's probably one of the clearest explanations I've found so far!

However I do have a question. What about shooting 120fps in PAL 50 Hz? According to REDs calculator, there is no way to resolve this. Is this truly the case? The trouble I see is that of conforming different framerates onto a timeline. If I have screencaptures that are recorded at 30 or 60FPS, and want to include 30 FPS talking head shots, but potentially also 120fps b-roll, the 120fps shot would flicker in a 50hz region unless I have a shutter speed to match somehow. And if I switch to 25fps and 100fps, we now have values that don't line up nicely with the 30fps or 60fps content and thereby something would stutter and be not smooth. Any ideas here?
You can't, in general. Towards the end of the video I outline why you can't exceed certain frame rates, and then how to overcome that. But unless you have control of the lighting, you can't do it.
@PhotoJoseph ah! I must've missed that last part then. Was at work while watching. Apologies! Thanks anyway for taking the time for the response! Alright. Watched it again. I get it now. I guess this is more of a shoot with intention, invest in better movement gear to have slow movements without higher framerates, and also maybe look into reducing flicker in camera as much as possible and maybe allow software in Davinci Resolve work on the rest? I'll have to look into it. Thanks again for all this information!
No worries, it's complicated. I actually watched the whole video again last night. I wrote and recorded it, but I still go back to watch this sometimes (truth is half the videos I make are so that I can re-learn how to do something later on hahah)
@PhotoJoseph hahaha that's awesome! And I can see why! I've personally bookmarked this video for the same reason. I gotta say, this is the first video of yours I've come across and you get an instant sub from me. I've decided that I want to begin making YT videos properly this month so as I work on them I hope to be able to make great content like this going forward. Once again, thanks!
Very nice to hear, thanks Stefan!
hey man! thank you for this wonderful video. I just knew about your channel, now I'm subscribed because of this amazing explanation. I've been giving my studio setup (with a computer monitor as side light) a trial and error to avoid flickers... yeah, my monitor flickers now... adjusted to 30fps = 1/60th shutter speed (minimal flicker) but it's natural. Now, I will just have to compensate a little more with LED lights to upgrade my small room into a mini studio (like yours, except with the RGB background - can't afford RGB LEDs for now haha) CHEERS! Looking forward to more videos from you. I'll try to make my own video about my experience for my future studio setup. thanks to you man!
Right on, that’s awesome to hear. Definitely come back here and post a comment with a link to your video when you get that up!
Nice video! I own a Panasonic s1. Do you know if synchro scan is supported? Is shutter angle available in this camera?
It is not. Shutter angle is only on GH5, GH5S and S1H. You can get close by adjusting shutter speed, but synchro scan gives you the ultimate precision.
@PhotoJoseph thanks for the fast answer. I hope they include it in a future update.
Holy Slivovitz
I think you meant, “holy walnut slivovitz!” 😁
PhotoJoseph you’re getting a headache either way
Good to know. Thanks!
Awesome Video! Production was spot on!
Very good information... You broke it down very well...
Thank you!
Fantastic channel! This is such good and detailed information! Really helpful - thank you so much!!
Thank you!
Thanks for the explanation! And indeed this is great to use, it has saved me a couple of times:
FLICKER - choose your font carefully when using this word, I remember a children's comic which gave away some FLICK cards as a cover mounted gift, the ink from the L bled into the I making a U. Just seeing your YouTube poster image reminded me of this story.
You must be a graphic designer? Ive notice it to! ;)
You should explain also why you can't use the G9 in LED lights too! It's would be great to know this before photographer buy this equipment (you inserted the link to the G9 in the description).
@PhotoJoseph OK I See...was my fault to buy a G9 and I will inform the hole world to use only flicker free Lights 🤣
Jog S if you’re shooting in your home region then it should not be a problem. Tell me what you’re trying to do and what’s happening and I’ll try to help, but leave the sarcasm out of it.
@PhotoJoseph I try to explain that you have not always a choice when you are outside and can't change the lightning conditions and I explained the problem first sarcasm free. G9 has no possibility to change anything in 180fps or 150fps mode. Evtl. it is a NTSC Model and here is PAL (50Hz) but I am not sure and can't change it. At the end I avoid to film higher frame rates under lightning conditions because I had film some slomotions and can't use it. Thx for responses...
OK… when you’re in lighting you can’t control, then yes if you are in a PAL region with an NTSC camera, then you are screwed. Of course if you live in Europe and you bought an NTSC version, I can’t help you there. You should have bought the European version of the camera (which I’ve learned is actually multi region, how nice for the Europeans!). The G9 only does high frame rate in full auto, yes. Those specs are not hidden. It’s one of the differentiators between the G9 and GH5/GH5S. And to your point about LED lighting; again as I said in this video, good LED lighting doesn’t flicker. Cheap LEDs may flicker when dimmed.
@PhotoJoseph thx for Sharing your deep know how. Helps a lot.
Good explanation but the the Panasonic G9 high speed video is worthless by LED lightning, because you can't chane SS or angle. We have 50Hz power, so the light will pulse with 100Hz and no frame rate will fit. I test it.
Thank you Panasonic again for this miss conception! 😠
This video is about understanding why flicker happens and the science behind avoiding it, not about specific camera models.
I was curious what camera and lens you shot this with. Thanks for putting it in the description. Looks great and super informative and clearly explained content as well
My pleasure! I knew people would be curious. It’s a nice look for sure.
🤯 brain exploded
Great explanation. I really like the graphics very educational. Keep up the good work!
Great video on he math of lights and video. Another great subject would be to talk about fluorescent tube style bulb lights like in an office environment. Some older style fluorescent bulbs shift color temperature so while you're shooting in that environment, your video's color balance is shifting from green to blue and back to green. Newer bulbs don't do this but take it from experience, the older bulbs are still out there and will make you pull your hair out.
@PhotoJoseph Thanks
@PhotoJoseph is absolutely correct but this happened to me in 2005 with a Canon XL1 camera. This went totally against everything we were taught in tv video production. You were to white balance the camera using a white card and you went with that as your white balance. Most tv cameras then didn’t have auto white balance so you got screwed when this happened. At that point, you’d color correct your video and dissolve between them to achieve a close to correct white balance.
Ugh, what a hassle. Ultimately it depends on the environment. No single answer is there.
Exactly! It’s called a learning experience. Luckily, I do have a background in tv production engineering. Sadly, at that time, the XL1 had a viewfinder that was b&w and we had no idea until we started edited the footage. Thank God for positive changes in technology like a better, more controlled white balance and better fluorescent bulbs. This is why I enjoy your videos, @PhotoJoseph. They remind me of my tv production days that I sorely miss.
Oh crap, black and white viewfinder! And now we have 7”HDR ones. Crazy, huh? Glad you enjoy the show, thank you.
I really like the shutter angle option on the GH5s. I have Phillips Hue bulbs and everything below 100% produces flicker for me. Even 95% brightness. I'll often have to change the shutter angle to 173 degrees in order to completely remove flicker, and even then I still notice it a bit in post. Luckily DaVinci Resolve has a built-in de-flicker tool that does a great job, especially when there is just minimal flicker. I've heard of people having issues with the Godox SL60W light, but I haven't noticed anything in my testing. This helps though! I haven't tested anything high speed yet, hoping I can get something working at 120fps.
Outstanding editing...
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