All posts by Megan Miln

Hybrid Video from Canon IXUS 265 HS

My new camera, (a Canon IXUS 265 HS) has a hybrid video mode, which I really like. This mode records a few seconds of video every time you take a photo. At the end of each day, you have a movie digest of all the photos you’ve taken and their video clips.

As you might imagine, the video clips on their own are not always great. Some sections are out of focus, some move around a lot as you zoom in or try to frame the photo. And sometimes, the final photo isn’t great, but the video clip captures the moment the photo missed. Somehow, this combination of video and photo works, even if neither are great on their own.

Here is a video of the zoo in the Lyon’s Parc de la Tête d’Or using the hybrid mode on the camera. I added the titles and music in iMovie.

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My New Camera: Canon IXUS 265 HS

I have a new camera. It has taken me a long time to get around to buying a new one, and I settled on the Canon IXUS 265 HS.

I’ve been considering replacing my little point-and-shoot  (a Nikon Coolpix S3100) for a while, but I had trouble justifying it. There was nothing wrong with the Nikon. It worked; it was a small, easy-to-use camera that I carried in my handbag; I got photos I liked from it. Most of the photos you see my previous posts were taken with it, and it’s what I used in my recent filming experiments. But it also had its foibles, which were becoming increasingly irritating. Photos with the zoom (5x) were almost never clear, and the autofocus could take a while, meaning the moment had often passed before I could take the photo.

Choosing a New Camera

I had already decided that when I replaced my camera, I wanted one of the Canon IXUS range. Everyone we know with a Canon point-and-shoot likes their camera. Graham has been particularly happy with his PowerShot.

Once I had decided to buy a new camera, choosing one wasn’t difficult. I initially looked at the Canon IXUS 150, but it didn’t have full HD video, which I wanted. So, I went with the Canon IXUS 265 HS. It also has the advantage of larger zoom.

Tulip macro

Tulip

First Impressions

I’ve had the Canon for about a week and half, and so far, I love it. It feels responsive, and fast to take photos (no more missed moments waiting for the autofocus), and the photos look clean.

It has 12x zoom, which I appreciated at the zoo last weekend. And unlike my previous camera, the zoomed in shots are still clear.

Giraffe zoomed out

Giraffe (zoomed out)

Giraffe 12x zoom

Giraffe (12x zoom)

I think my favourite feature is the hybrid mode. It takes a few seconds of video with each photo, and creates a movie for you at the end of the day. I’m looking forward to trying it out at parties and events; I imagine it will be great for really capturing the moment.

The only problem I’ve had is with the WiFi photo transfer. Setting it up on my iPod Touch was easy, but setting it up on my laptop was impossibly complicated.

After hesitating for so long about buying a new camera, I couldn’t be happier with it.

Pelicans 12x zoom

Pelicans (12x zoom)

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Spring Flowers in Parc de la Tête d’Or

The daffodils seemed to come out early this year. Since late February, our nearby Parc de la Tête d’Or has seen a succession of colourful flowers. Some in carefully managed flower beds, and others emerging through the grass.

Cherry blossom tree

This cherry blossom tree is a favourite spot for picnickers.

Daffodils by the pond

Daffodils by the pond

A fuzzy poppy bud

A fuzzy poppy bud

Bright poppies

Bright poppies

I put together a short video to capture the flowers while they are still in bloom. Each only seems to last a couple of weeks. Already the daffodils and magnolias are fading, replaced by tulips and poppies.

Learning to Edit

I think the process of editing my first video has taught me more about filming than editing.

When I started my filming experiment, I didn’t set out with a story to tell. We walked around the park, I filmed things that caught my attention, and I said whatever came to mind. I made it up as I went along. When the time came to edit all those film snippets into a video, this was the biggest hurdle. I had a disparate collection of film snippets from around the park, and no idea what I wanted to do with them.

My biggest lesson from this process? Know where you are going before you begin.

Once I had figured out what I was going to do with my film snippets, the actual process of putting them together wasn’t too bad. Graham gave me a crash course in using iMovie before I got started, which sped things up.

It took me an afternoon to edit the video together. It was fiddly and time-consuming, rather than difficult. I felt I could have spent forever tweaking and adjusting things.

The result

The result of my filming and editing experiment is a very short video of Lyon’s Parc Feyssine.

You won’t see me in it. The majority my snippets either had me in them, or me speaking over them, but in the end, I couldn’t get past the cringe factor. So, the final video is shots of the park with the background noise of other visitors and some energetic song birds.

I don’t think the video is particularly interesting, but it is nice to come away with something. And, it is a point to improve from.