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Example of Interior Video that Can Be Shot with a DJI OSMO

Published: 13/04/2018

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Alan in NZ says:

I'm looking at buying some LED lights to help with real estate interior video while using an X5 and DJI Osmo. All suggestions welcome. How many do I need to illuminate an average room?

I would encourage you to hold off on buying LED lights for shooting interior video because the top interior videographers do not use LED lights to shoot interiors.

As an example, this is an interior video done by Zoltan Prepszent with a DJI OSMO. Here is a post I did on the PFRE blog a couple of years ago where Zoltan explains why he was forced to shoot with the DJI OSMO. This is one of my all-time favorite property videos!

Also, I recommend Grant Johnston's video series on "Using the DJI Osmo to Shoot Professional Real Estate Video".

Larry Lohrman

7 comments on “Example of Interior Video that Can Be Shot with a DJI OSMO”

  1. I still disagree, and I'd like to see other examples of good work only using existing lighting on the property. The example you posted is good-well exposed and the interior spaces are well lit; but that property is less common. Most of the rooms had floor to ceiling windows, or nearly to the floor in some rooms, for entire walls of the room! The floors were all white and quite reflective tile to extend the bounce of light in the room and fill in too dark shadows from furniture. At night it showed is was a modern higher end property with plenty of light fixtures in each room to make it look bright-and that reflective floor helps a lot here too.

    That property was uniquely designed to be so well lit. Most interior spaces need help to look their best for video. I couldn't produce video I'd be happy with without that LED lights I use. I recommend the Aputure Lightstorm 1/2. It very bright and rather light and small, the 120° beam angle is great to light up a whole room, and it is daylight balanced to help with rooms with good window light. Most often I use the light bounced off the ceiling or a wall behind the camera to raise the exposure I can get in the room.

    Maybe the issue is I'm not a top rate real estate videographer, so I don't get booked for top rate properties, which often look really great just because they were designed well. Also I do most of my work for commercial and corporate video, not architectural, so just using existing lighting isn't in my wheelhouse-I always gotta monkey with the light and make it "better".

  2. I second Larry's advise to hold off on the the LED's, but I would suggest holding off on the Osmo too, maybe... The example that Larry put up of the luxury penthouse is perhaps the "perfect" scenario if the Osmo was being used, a nice bright penthouse with tons of natural light. In reality, most of the properties we shoot don't have anywhere near that kind of natural light, and instead are dark with multicolored artificial light sources - and an Osmo isn't set up to handle that kind of situation very well.

    Secondly, when your camera is shooting roughly 160 degrees, there isn't really anywhere great to put the LED's, that will allow you to shoot with dynamic movement. If you watch any clips of cinematographers at work, you will see that in order to accomplish well lit camera motion, some of the lighting is in motion too when following an actor, but the real key is that the sets are built for lighting, and they also have a crew of gaffers that are constantly configuring and even building lights to suit the shot. We don't have that luxury in RE cinematography. Bringing your own light will greatly increase setup and shoot time, and probably constrain you to static shooing. Most of us feel that a video should have lighting and color continuity, which sort of negates combining lit static shots, with ambient dynamic shots.

    The best advice is to get an interchange lens camera that is capable of shooting in LOG, mounted to a gimbal, and then learn as much as you can about Adobe Premiere, Davinci Resolve, or Apple Final Cut. These editing programs can take the flat log video and deal with the myriad of variables these properties present to us.

    That said, there are some people who are shooting D-Log on the Osmo, and making a reasonable finished product - I find myself wondering if this guy went through the entire apartment and put in matching bulbs?

    This one is more what I'd expect, the house has irregular lighting, and the Osmo struggles to keep up with it.

  3. Here is a video that used existing lighting, exclusively. It's not exactly a real estate listing video. But you change the narration and it could be. Using only existing, available light can become problematic in rooms that are naturally dark or only have one light source. Most cameras really struggle with 1) dark areas, and 2) areas of high light exposure contrast like a bright window. If you choose your shots wisely, you can get away with existing ambient light. If you bring a 650W fresnel to bounce to the ceiling, you can get away with a lot more. If you bring in a 2K light, you actually might be able to expose a room that has a view of the exterior and exposure for detail in both the room AND the exterior.

  4. Also, when considering making real estate videos, you have to understand your market. This video is an unrealistic expectation for the average home. It's two trips to the house, not counting two trips to the beach and the trip out to the mountains. Add in the cost of the bikini model, music licensing and edit time, you're looking at a $1000 video.

  5. I agree with most of the comments above. This is a great video you posted Larry and we can all drool over having the opportunity to shoot a pristine apartment that clearly not only has those above mentioned floor to ceiling windows, a shoot on a filtered light day but has also had an architect or interior architect spec the lighting most of which is balanced to daylight. Other lighting with magenta and cyan for effect that plays well at night. The videographer is clearly a master of his craft, something to aspire to. But the reality is that most of the work I get, just speaking for myself, is of houses that have not been architecturally interior designed, that have been well lived in with a mixture of lighting and bulbs and their different colors which when mixed with shadow side sky light or warm sun shining in are a nightmare of different color balances. So while I don't use additional lighting for my still coverage I do use LED lighting when shooting video if there is just not enough ambient light to do the job. You can do a lot in Final Cut ProX and Premiere, but you can't do what you can do with stills using HDR and layers. So you do need some help.

    I use a very inexpensive head that holds 5 standard LED bulbs. I use 5 5000k bulbs and whenever I can I use another couple packs of the same bulbs in all the lamps and fixtures I can reach. That way my LED array has a color balance that matches the lighting of the room. And any lighting, like ceiling lights can be sort of drowned out with the rest of my LED bulbs. At least while it is not a perfect solution it is a hell of a lot better than no lighting at all. And it puts light into the dark areas of beds, rugs, night stands etc. I either bounce it off a white wall or use my silver umbrella (many walls have colored paint and that changes the color or the light, naturally).

    But so many bathrooms are both small and have wall mounted mirrors and those damn'd things reflect both the light stand as well as the glow of the wall I am bouncing off of. And if you don't bump up the exposure, you end up having to use an ISO that is too high and gets a lot of "noise" although there is a plug in for FCPX that helps with that, sort of like a "Noiseless CK" for stills. Otherwise you can get the visual "crawling ant" syndrome or large "grain" moving around on your screen. I find this in doing twilight drone video where the light exposure is low as is the lighting itself.

    So from my limited experience in RE video, I too am planning to get a couple LED light panels. I think I would prefer battery operated just to get away from more cables, but prices being what they are, I might just have to settle for some cables that have a way of lassoing your lighting stand or my tripod.

  6. In my experience, the Osmo is similar to a GoPro in terms of sensor capability; It's great in GOOD light but not in low light or low contrast scenes. It tends to fall apart in post if you try to make up for poor light / exposure and push it around much. I have used one in my kit for a few years but only for quick exterior shots in great weather. For interiors, I still felt the need to put my GH4 and now GH5 on a proper gimbal to deal with the low light. If I use a gimbal at all. I have not tried to use lighting other than a small LED to illuminate the interior of an elevator or to backlight a wine glass. For the volume of light you actually need to fill a room to match the view (assuming that's the goal) it is impractical for now. Even so, reflections and shadows would also be problematic just like when using flash in stills. Add to that, you will likely be moving the camera too (an ever changing angle of incidence). They do it in Hollywood all the time....Of course, with the right budget most things are possible but not likely for the majority of RE videos.
    For video, I work with the light rather than trying mimic the typical photo angles of the rooms with views. You can use a short sequence of 3-4 clips to "tell the story of a room" and its view, without having to have the whole interior with the view in a single shot. No lights required. Just simple storytelling.

  7. I have spent some time learning the various techniques on YouTube and even the best of the best will use Amiant lighting when the situation fits. Just make sure you are never locking yourself into one particular method for every shot because that's not going to help you become a better photographer in the long run, whatever you use.

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