Flicker issues with 600d

Started Feb 19, 2014 | Discussions
Stopmo New Member • Posts: 2
Flicker issues with 600d

Can anyone help me with this annoying problem, please?

I am using a Canon 600d for stop motion animation, taking a series of RAW stills and processing them into a digital film using a clever program called Dragonframe, which is the industry standard frame grabber software, via the Live View link to my laptop.

To avoid flicker issues caused by the aperture not closing down to exactly the same place for every shot I am using manual Olympus lenses. But I am still getting a flicker. I have set all the menu options to disable or manual, as per the software instructions, but there is still a problem.

When I do a series of test shots of a static subject in constant conditions, it is clear (from the histogram readout, and visually) that the brightness of the recorded shots varies. Sometimes I can do half a dozen which are pretty much the same, then suddenly one is noticeably darker. Even with the shots that appear the same I can see a slight shifting of the histogram.

I have even returned the camera to Canon, who had a look at it, and presumably did something before returning it, but I still have the same problem. Assuming Canon think the camera is OK, it must be something to do with my set-up, but I cannot understand what it might be. Help!!!

I read on another thread that the SD card might affect things. Could this be at fault? I have a SanDisk 8gb Ultra card, which says 30MB/s 10 on it. I notice that the Live View feed to the computer does not work without the card.

I would be grateful for any suggestions. Many thanks.

Canon EOS 600D (EOS Rebel T3i / EOS Kiss X5)
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WilbaW Forum Pro • Posts: 11,642
Re: Flicker issues with 600d

Two questions - what is your light source, and how long is your exposure?

Reason - short exposures illuminated by a variable source (e.g. incandescent bulb), can give an effect like you described.

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Rob Bernhard Senior Member • Posts: 1,872
Re: Flicker issues with 600d

Yes, I think one needs to look at the light source here.  Man-made lights flicker at 60Hz or 50Hz (depending on where you are in the world) and can change color as well.  This is seen mostly in poorly-lit indoor gyms when new photographers try and shoot sports.

jerrykr Veteran Member • Posts: 6,049
Re: Flicker issues with 600d

Shoot in Manual so that the camera does not make any exposure decisions.  Also focus manually.  Just my .02.

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imqqmi Veteran Member • Posts: 8,633
Re: Flicker issues with 600d

My guess is also the lighting, either you use fluorescence or it could be the power grid has fluctuations that you can't see with the naked eye but the camera is picking them up. In which case you could test it by using battery powered lighting or a lighting setup with a regulator that is independent from the powergrid power level. Some halogen 12V light power converters might fall into that category.

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FrankieJ Senior Member • Posts: 1,685
Most Probable cause is...

Something ignored by all but the most professional animators - are you standing in different places near the set during exposure?
Reflections from clothing will have great affect when shooting in Time Lapse and if you are standing in different positions for each exposure this can account for, or contribute to, flicker.

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OP Stopmo New Member • Posts: 2
Re: Most Probable cause is...

Wow! Thank you everyone for so many helpful replies.

In response to the test situation, it was using natural light, although I did some tests with various lamps, trying to eliminate each one as a possible source of flicker.

I also used battery power to substitute for the generic mains adapter, in case that was the problem. The camera is set to Manual, and I thought I had put all the relevant disable instructions in.

I am also aware of the problems that can be caused by standing in different places and wearing light clothing (big moving reflector!!), so that is not the cause.

I have spent another half day fiddling about - why do Canon have so many confusing menu options? - and may now have the culprit. The Peripheral Illumination Correction was set to enable, and I think this was changing the brightness from one frame to another. I had assumed that the computer controls overrode this, but it seems I was wrong. It wasn't mentioned by the software people as one of the controls to disable....

Anyway, a further test seems to be stable. I have just had to rescue my 166-frame shot by going through each frame and adjusting the brightness levels. That'll teach me!

Thanks for all your help, anyway. It's good to know there are people out there to turn to.:-D

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