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Thread started 12 Dec 2014 (Friday) 13:01
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Flickering ( almost like a wave going continuously up ) on 5D3 LCD

 
Submariner
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Dec 12, 2014 13:01 |  #1

I put this here as I am not sure if it happened in Live View or on Movie selection or both.

I went to a kids 5th birthday Party. The chap with an amazing video camcoder failed to show, I realised all my video lights were in the boot - so I volunteered! ( anyone who has been in the Army, knows what they say about that! )

I set up my 2 of my Bowens Streamlights, pretty basic units with 5 24 watt (120 watt ) flourescent, spirsl curly, low-energy dayLight balanced bulbs. Total 600 watts each.
Being lazy instead of setting up the other 2 Bowens , I set up my 2 Rocwing cheapo lights; they have one similar but bigger bulb - it just says 135 watts = 650 watts.

I Have used these units together before, and they worked fine - apart from the difussers sucking an enourmous amount of light from them. So I normally use 4 Bowens units = 2400 watts, plus both Rocwings at 1200 watts = 3,600 watts and that works well at ISO 160.

This time as I turned them on, I noticed this flickering effect on the cameras LCD , As said above I was not sure if it was in Live View Mode or in Video mode. It was a wierd effect like horizontal flickering bars flowing constantly up the LCD on the Back of the camera . Very, very noticeable.

Scared of missing the cake cutting, I aborted and turned off the continuous lights; and boosted the ISO to about 6400 ( it was on Auto ISO.) And it took the video quite well. I also did some flash images again all perfect.

Obviously I decided I better get to the bottom of this - had my sensor given up ? - unlikely as both video and stills were perfect. Or had my lights gone haywire?

When I Set them up at home, all seemed fine no flicker! WTF!!. So I turned off the lights , and tried again, This time, I Think I Saw this effect again for a few seconds, but now I am doubting my sanity! I Tried again and all was perfect. Er er ???.
I Tried about 6 times on and off and there is no flicker!

One thing I think I did change after seeing the flickering, was the 24 fps and 1/50 sec and Auto ISO to 25fps. As I Read that flourescents can cause banding or flickering if they are not a multiple of the Herz speed of the mains ( here in the UK we have 50 Herz.)

But now testing with 24 fps on C2 and 25 fps on C3 (custom settings) both work perfectly!

In case I get a job with some video element, I need to be able to rely on this! Reliability is why I bought the 5D3!

Trying to think what was different ref the Party and at my house. All my electrics are new, earth leakage cuirciut breakers, rewired cables etc. and our friends have a delightful ancient country house, being a bit bohemian, the electrics there don't look very new. Could that effect the Herz rating? being in the middle of the countryside?

Speaking with Bowens, they said that their bulbs have electronic ballasts in them, and if one or more went faulty, there is a possibility this could have caused some flickering.

I can't rule that out completely, as my wife has gone out in my car and I do have 3 new spare bulbs - so there is a slim chance I might have used them on the day, and just by chance they could be the ones not used today!
But that doesnt account for the fact I Think ( and now I am really doubting my sanity) Imsaw thenflickering today , albeit very briefly.
Or maybe just turning them on and off might have reset a faulty ballast!
I dont know if the cheapo ROC wing bulbs have electronic ballasts, as apparently some older or cheaper continuous florescent lights use the older less efficient ballasts. The bulbs on these chesp units are made By Hausen?
The packets for the Bowens bulbs say "no flicker for photographic and video usage" but the Hausen ones do not say anything.
And of course as I Said they are now working perfectly!

Any ideas that I could look into , would be very much appreciated. Like could I have a faulty 5D3?

My other question is - as I am not really into video; I dont really understand if I Should use 25 fps or 24 fps in a PAL country.
In the past I used 24 fps. Purely because I have a gorgeous, top of the range, Sony BDP5000ES blu ray player, and that plays 1080/24p.
So my thoughts were , well I could put it on BluRay disc and know it will play 24p. Actually In reality, I have only ever just dropped the file onto my iPad Air and played any videos from that.

Any Help welcome.


Canon EOS 5DS R, Canon EF 70-200 F2.8 L Mk II IS USM, Canon EF 70-300 F4-5.6 L IS USM, EF 40mm F2.8 STM , RC6 Remote. Canon STE-3 Radio Flash Controller, Canon 600 EX RT x4 , YN 560 MkII x2 ; Bowens GM500PRO x4 , Bowens Remote Control. Bowens Pulsar TX, RX Radio Transmitter and Reciever Cards. Bowens Constant 530 Streamlights 600w x 4 Sold EOS 5D Mk III, 7D, EF 50mm F1.8, 430 EX Mk II, Bowens GM500Rs x4

  
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apersson850
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Dec 12, 2014 13:08 |  #2

Most probably it's interference between the line frequency and the LCD update frequency. Note that the latter doesn't necessarily have to be the same as the pictures per second you capture when you shoot a video. Did you check what happens if you record a video when you see this effect on the display? Does it record the flickering too?


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Submariner
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Post edited over 4 years ago by Submariner.
     
Dec 12, 2014 13:27 as a reply to  @ apersson850's post |  #3

Thanks
No , sadly under duress I instantly aborted and used natural light. So I dont have a video taken , when it was flickering.

Under natursl light the video taken was fine (but then there was no flickering going on ).

I will keep testimg and if I See a flickering I Will video it. To Check if it comes out on the video.

Re your possible cause, will this interference go away? Or do,I have to change my settings.?


Canon EOS 5DS R, Canon EF 70-200 F2.8 L Mk II IS USM, Canon EF 70-300 F4-5.6 L IS USM, EF 40mm F2.8 STM , RC6 Remote. Canon STE-3 Radio Flash Controller, Canon 600 EX RT x4 , YN 560 MkII x2 ; Bowens GM500PRO x4 , Bowens Remote Control. Bowens Pulsar TX, RX Radio Transmitter and Reciever Cards. Bowens Constant 530 Streamlights 600w x 4 Sold EOS 5D Mk III, 7D, EF 50mm F1.8, 430 EX Mk II, Bowens GM500Rs x4

  
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John ­ from ­ PA
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Post edited over 4 years ago by John from PA.
     
Dec 12, 2014 15:21 |  #4

Flickering is a result of using a less than optimum shutter speed in the presence of fluorescent lighting. Although the human eye can't quite see it these lights are going on and off at the line frequency of the power source, 50 cycle or 60 cycle. This causes flickering and in still images can cause strange colors, etc. A good resource on the problem can be found at http://www.red.com …icker-free-video-tutorial (external link) or http://www.the-digital-picture.com …ps/flickering-lights.aspx (external link).




  
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apersson850
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Dec 12, 2014 16:10 |  #5

If it goes away or not depends on if it's the LCD refresh rate or actual video recording frame rate that causes the interference. The LCD refresh you can't do anything about. The frame rate you can select.


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Dec 12, 2014 17:58 as a reply to  @ John from PA's post |  #6

Thanks I Will research this


Canon EOS 5DS R, Canon EF 70-200 F2.8 L Mk II IS USM, Canon EF 70-300 F4-5.6 L IS USM, EF 40mm F2.8 STM , RC6 Remote. Canon STE-3 Radio Flash Controller, Canon 600 EX RT x4 , YN 560 MkII x2 ; Bowens GM500PRO x4 , Bowens Remote Control. Bowens Pulsar TX, RX Radio Transmitter and Reciever Cards. Bowens Constant 530 Streamlights 600w x 4 Sold EOS 5D Mk III, 7D, EF 50mm F1.8, 430 EX Mk II, Bowens GM500Rs x4

  
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Dec 12, 2014 18:01 as a reply to  @ apersson850's post |  #7

This what I suspected but cant understand why its gone with both original 24 fps setting and the new 25fps rate.
Maybe it was a fluke occurance - but I hate inconsistencies.
With cars its generally a sign something will fail permenantly along the line.


Canon EOS 5DS R, Canon EF 70-200 F2.8 L Mk II IS USM, Canon EF 70-300 F4-5.6 L IS USM, EF 40mm F2.8 STM , RC6 Remote. Canon STE-3 Radio Flash Controller, Canon 600 EX RT x4 , YN 560 MkII x2 ; Bowens GM500PRO x4 , Bowens Remote Control. Bowens Pulsar TX, RX Radio Transmitter and Reciever Cards. Bowens Constant 530 Streamlights 600w x 4 Sold EOS 5D Mk III, 7D, EF 50mm F1.8, 430 EX Mk II, Bowens GM500Rs x4

  
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Submariner
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Post edited over 4 years ago by Submariner. (2 edits in all)
     
Dec 12, 2014 18:13 as a reply to  @ John from PA's post |  #8

Maybe not too scientific, but reading the second link it talks about still images picking the exact wrong timing.
I just wonder if by chance by turning on the lights at exactly the wrong moment gets them out of sync. And thus when I turned them on and off they re-synched to the right synch - and thus no flickering. I.e. The flickering was now in sequence with the fps - so it seems stable.

I Think I Will test further, and any time they seem out of sync , just turn them on and off - and if that corrects it , see if it lasts.

Plus I will also test all the other unused ( in this test ) spare bulbs to see if one or more of them is the culprit.
Somehow I don't think it is this latter possibility , as that doesnt explain how I saw the fault albeit for a short time, with this set of bulbs that now seem to work perfectly.


Canon EOS 5DS R, Canon EF 70-200 F2.8 L Mk II IS USM, Canon EF 70-300 F4-5.6 L IS USM, EF 40mm F2.8 STM , RC6 Remote. Canon STE-3 Radio Flash Controller, Canon 600 EX RT x4 , YN 560 MkII x2 ; Bowens GM500PRO x4 , Bowens Remote Control. Bowens Pulsar TX, RX Radio Transmitter and Reciever Cards. Bowens Constant 530 Streamlights 600w x 4 Sold EOS 5D Mk III, 7D, EF 50mm F1.8, 430 EX Mk II, Bowens GM500Rs x4

  
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Post edited over 4 years ago by Submariner.
     
Dec 13, 2014 07:18 |  #9

After hours of testing no real conclusions:-

1. I tested all three spare bulbs in case, one had a problem at the original bithday Party ( where the flickering was at its worst ) 2 worked perfectly and one was dead! So did this one cause the problem and then by coincidence died?
Interestingly I noticed I had previously written on the bulb holder "noisy but works".

2. Repeated testing failed to produce the flickering until right at the end. I then remebered that at the beginning of the testing session , the battery had died, so I put in a fresh one. So that meant at the Party the battery was probably quite low.

3. At the end of the testing session, the flickering came back 3 times , but in a very minor form. I checked the battery and it was at 20%. OK not its best, but it had sufficient charge, that I would have hoped was enough to not to cause the problem.

4. I did notice on the last 3 Occaisions wheen the flickering came back, it was really only noticeable, when I was actually pressing the "AF ON" button to focus. Once the focus box went green and focus locked; the flickering reduced significantly.
On all occaisions, the flickering went away if I turned the movie switch Off and then On.

5. Its almost as though, if one very occaisionally just happened to turn on the lights, or the movie mode at precisely the wrong moment , then the mains Herz cycle didn't match the FPS rate, and thus caused the problem. Effectively, restarting it invariably re- synched the Two components and one has not got a problem. This happened both at 25 and 24 fps Ali I settings.

6. There is a slight chance that checking the "info" with the Q button could cause it , but not its conclusive.

7. There Seems to be solution - namely to turn off the Movie mode and restart it. Or turn off the lights and restart them.
My gut feel is its probably a sort of synching issue, of getting the frame rate and the fps rate to avoid the odd time they are out of synch.

In Summary I don't really know what is causing it, but have a sort of quick fix - that so far seems to last for the video session. Whether this problem could happen in mid shooting - on a long video sessio - I dont know - would need to do sustained testing.
Overall I am concerned that :-
a) I dont really know what causes it and
b) I am not 100% sure my "Fix" will work every time, but it seems to, so far.

If I get to the bottom of it I will post results.
In the meantime if anyone has this problem, when using Flourescent , continuous lights; please let me know :(


Canon EOS 5DS R, Canon EF 70-200 F2.8 L Mk II IS USM, Canon EF 70-300 F4-5.6 L IS USM, EF 40mm F2.8 STM , RC6 Remote. Canon STE-3 Radio Flash Controller, Canon 600 EX RT x4 , YN 560 MkII x2 ; Bowens GM500PRO x4 , Bowens Remote Control. Bowens Pulsar TX, RX Radio Transmitter and Reciever Cards. Bowens Constant 530 Streamlights 600w x 4 Sold EOS 5D Mk III, 7D, EF 50mm F1.8, 430 EX Mk II, Bowens GM500Rs x4

  
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Jiggo0109
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Dec 16, 2014 07:08 |  #10

I have encountered this with my 70d too. It was when I tried my new 50 1.4 (sigma) in video mode. I opened up the lens at 1.4 and toggled the shutter speed up. The thing I noticed was, the flickering was visible on higher ss and disappears when I set it slower. At smaller openings, it doesn't show up. I checked the recording, no flickering has been recorded. Can't explain it actually. -?




  
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Submariner
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Post edited over 4 years ago by Submariner.
     
Dec 16, 2014 14:41 as a reply to  @ Jiggo0109's post |  #11

I shot for an hour on Monday with no flickering about 10 small videos - worked perfectly every time. I spoke with Bowens, they think maybe the very bad example VIDEO, was when I might have been using the bulbs that died. They think on its last legs although illuminated the ballast wasn't doing its job. As for the other less noticeable incidents they agree that there is a possibility that from time to time the fluorescent pulse happens to be out of synch with the FPS. And thus the pulsing wave is visible on the LCD.

So the answer seems to be if it ever happens turn the camera and at a worst case the lights as well, off and then on. This will re-synch the ballast pulse to the camera's fps and you will not have a problem. I know it sounds rather un-scientific but it seems to work and is the only explanation I can find. And the cure seems relatively simple takes 30 seconds.

So I guess its a choice 6 x £220 = £1320 and maybe from time to time to time; have to reset the camera. or Spend 6 x £800 = £4,800, for lighting units with an expensive external electronic ballast and never?? have a problem.

No Brainer for me - as I don't do a lot of video [Hell I could buy a Nikon D810 and their 70-200 F2.8! for that]


Canon EOS 5DS R, Canon EF 70-200 F2.8 L Mk II IS USM, Canon EF 70-300 F4-5.6 L IS USM, EF 40mm F2.8 STM , RC6 Remote. Canon STE-3 Radio Flash Controller, Canon 600 EX RT x4 , YN 560 MkII x2 ; Bowens GM500PRO x4 , Bowens Remote Control. Bowens Pulsar TX, RX Radio Transmitter and Reciever Cards. Bowens Constant 530 Streamlights 600w x 4 Sold EOS 5D Mk III, 7D, EF 50mm F1.8, 430 EX Mk II, Bowens GM500Rs x4

  
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Flickering ( almost like a wave going continuously up ) on 5D3 LCD
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