This is just a simple test examining the rolling shutter artifacts that occur when using strobe lighting with a RED camera. I used a RED Scarlet at 2k resolution and RedCode 8:1, 144 degree shutter, 800asa, and a 25mm Zeiss super speed on the front of the camera set to a T2.5. I tweaked the look in a minor way when rendering out to Quicktime ProRes LT, and then from Final Cut Pro to 720p. So, the clips have been stepped on quite a bit, and shouldn't be used to judge the picture quality beyond the rolling shutter artifacts.

In terms of lighting, I used a single soft tungsten source as a key. The first clip I used an Martin Atomic 3000 strobe light and the Detonator controller. The rolling shutter artifacts are noticeable, especially near the end of the clip where the strobe has heated up. Nearly every time the strobe fires, the first frame recorded shows only a partial exposure, and the last frame where the strobe decays also shows a partial exposure. To me, this is notably choppy and unnatural.

In the second part of the clip, I used an 8K Paparazzi unit from Lightning Strikes/Luminys Corp and their undulating controller. Here, the partial frame exposures are minimized in comparison to the Atomic 3000 strobe unit. The undulation of the light, while exhibiting some partial frame exposure due to the rolling shutter, feels much more natural as there is more of the frame exposed throughout the sequence, lending a more natural feeling to the scene.

Stepping through the video frame by frame will allow you to really see how the shutter reacts to each lighting unit.

Thanks to Digital Film Studios for the camera and lighting, and to Zac for allowing his countenance to be recorded for a noble cause.

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