How to Create Videos That Look Like They Were Shot with Kodak Tri-X With Your Olympus Micro Four Thirds Camera

Andrew Reed over at EOSHD loves the Panasonic GH2; he well should due to the fact that he is a professional videographer. He also has used the camera at super high ISOs in black and white while still achieving a film-like quality to the video. Because I dabble in street photography and have a video background, I have a love for Kodak Tri-X and the smaller Micro Four Thirds bodies like the venerable Olympus EP2: still considered by me to have some of the best image quality of all the models made. But even though the old camera doesn’t have the video capabilities of the newer GH2, it can still look quite nice providing that you use it correctly.

Here’s how to make your videos look like they were shot with Kodak Tri-X video film.

Gear

Olympus EP2

SLRMagic 12mm f1.6

Light Craft Workshop Fader ND Mk II

Kinotehnik LCDVF

Process and Theory

First thing you’ll need to do is to set your EP2 to manual mode. Next, you’ll need to go to the color settings. Though many Olympus photogs will tell you that Vivid is the best, for this video you’ll need to switch the camera up to monotone. Next, choose your white balance and notice how the tonalities change a bit. This is because of the fact that different colors are rendering in a different way now that you’re in black and white.

At low ISOs, it will look wonderful. But now set the camera’s dial to video mode and then crank the ISO up to 1600. Additionally, set the Image Stabilization to 40mm. In practice, I’ve felt that this gives the best aid for hand-holding the EP2 while shooting video.

Now set the shutter speed to 60 and keep it that way. Next, screw on the ND filter and pop on the Kinotehnik and adjust your aperture and filter accordingly to achieve the exposures and depth of field that you want.

See all that noise in your video? It looks like Tri-X movie film and Tri-X actual film with its grittiness. The reason for this is because it is eliminating all of the blue, purple, and orange colors that otherwise look like terrible chromatic noise.

Results

The problem with the pixels at the start of the video is due to iMovie’s rendering problems. I’m working on fixing that with new software. I no longer have Sony Vegas due to that computer totally dying.

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