Shooting a timelapse in 10k – can it be accomplished? Joe Capra's "Rio" shows you how

by Keith Alvendia2 Comments

This is a planet5D exclusive!

Joe Capra has been on planet5D before (“A Friday Fantastic Film – “Midnight Sun | Iceland”“) – and we're very blessed to have this exclusive inside look into what it is like shooting in 10k! No, that's not a misprint – I really meant 10k!

Joe Capra was asked by a client to produce an amazing timelapse so they would be able to show off their 8k monitor – which of course meant Joe had to produce a video with resolution of at least 8k to make it all work. When he sent us “Rio” we had to know more. Since Joe sent us this a couple of weeks ago, the short has been featured on Gizmodo and hundreds of other sites and has over 360,000 views, so as you can imagine, Joe's been in a lot of demand!

We're blessed that Joe made time to share these inside tips with our planet5D readers!


Rio de Janeiro

From Joe Capra:

My new timelapse video RIO was not only shot in 4K, but also a whopping 10K. About 70% of the video was shot in 10K. Why 10K you ask? Well, there are some 8K televisions out there in the wild that need 8K footage to display. Shooting all the 4K footage was no problem, it was all shot using a couple Canon 5DIII cameras.

Shooting 10K was a bit different. The first challenge was to figure out what camera could possibly shoot 10K images. The first thing that popped into my head was medium format digital cameras, so I started researching them for this project. My research lead me to the ideal camera for this shoot, the PhaseOne IQ180, which shoots 80 megapixel stills.

Shooting the timelapse video

The next challenge was to figuring out if it was even capable of shooting timelapse sequences, how to power it for long periods of time, and what kind of storage requirements were needed, and the whole post workflow.

The PhaseOne IQ180 actually had an intervelometer built right into the camera so that was great. However, It was suggested to me that I use a PocketWizard as an intervelometer instead. I tested out both options and found that the PocketWizard was much easier to use and more reliable than the camera's built in intervelometer so I went with that.

Next up was powering the camera and battery life. I did some initial tests with the batteries that come with the camera and found that they would allow me to get around 2 or 3 timelapse shots out of them before they died. As long I had a couple extra batteries with me this wasn't an issue at all.

Initially I thought image storage was going to be an issue shooting timelapse with this camera, but It ended up not being a problem at all. The PhaseOne shoots on CF cards, which I already have plenty of, and a 64 gig card allowed me to get about 2 or 3 shots before having to swap cards or offload. Again, not ideal, but workable.

Rio_1

The PhaseOne timelapse setup worked well during my initial tests, but then one small but major malfunction started to occur. The camera would randomly shut itself off without warning. This is NOT something you want to happen when shooting timelapse.

Sometimes I would get 50 shots off before it shut off, sometimes, 200, and other times I could get 600 shots in before it shut off. This was the biggest issue I faced shooting with this setup. A lot of shots got cut short and ruined because of it. I did manage to walk away with enough decent shots, but it was a struggle.

Rio_2

The post workflow was the exact same as the 4K workflow. All 10K shots were imported into Adobe Lightroom for raw adjustments, and then the .IIQ (PhaseOne raw file) files were imported directly into Adobe After Effects for final output, and the final edit was done in Premiere.

Each 10K shot took about 1 hour on average to render, which is not that bad at all. However, my editing station is a beast. I use a custom built PC made by OriginPC, and it tears through these massive renders without any problems at all.

Rio_3

The huge advantage to shooting 10K source footage is that you have just an incredible about of flexibility in post, especially when you are finishing at smaller resolutions such as 4K, 2K, or 1080. With source footage so large you are able to pull about 3 – 4 solid 4K shots out of a single 10K shot. When finishing at 1080 you could pull more than 5 or 6 solid shots out of a single 10K shot.

Rio_4

(cover photo credit: snap from the video)


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