Best Camera Apps for Smartphone Hand-Wave Pursuit Camera

Many sites including LinusTechTips, RTINGS, TomsHardware, and others use the free Blur Busters pursuit camera invention. Now also avaialble as a rail-less smartphone wave, too!
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Best Camera Apps for Smartphone Hand-Wave Pursuit Camera

Post by Chief Blur Buster » 19 Apr 2020, 18:35

Hello all,

iPhone Hand-Wave Pursuit Camera
I've found that "ProCam" and "DSLRCamera" are suitable camera applications that makes pursuit camera easier with smartphones.

Rules of thumb for hand-waved iPhone pursuit camera.
  1. Video mode is easier because it behaves as a high-framerate burst-shoot mode.
  2. Configure FIXED color temp of "6500K" or "Daylight".
  3. Configure FIXED camera exposure to about 4x refresh cycle.
    1/30sec for 120Hz. Refresh cycles must be stacked for accurate pursuit camera.
    For lower refresh rates, it might be easier to use 2x or 3x refresh cycle, it is acceptable.
  4. Point at www.testufo.com/ghosting. Adjust ISO until things aren't too bright or too dark (all 3 bars).
  5. Configure FIXED focus at about arm's length away from screen, with your arm outstretched in front of you.
    Can use closer distance, but might amplify viewing angle issues (especially on TN). Best to put camera lens same distance as normal viewing.
    If close distance creates problems, back up a bit and use a small bit of zoom instead too see the UFOs better
  6. Start video recording.
  7. Keep your chest & arms stiff while you spin your computer chair following the UFOs
    This minmizes shaky hands and arms. You can even hold the phone landscape (better!) with both hands for better stability
  8. Repeat a few times (3 to 5 times) in the same clip.
  9. Stop video recording.
  10. Now you can use a video player to single-step through the video and find clearest freeze frames.
    Or just upload the video verbatim to YouTube and use the YouTube "." and "," keys to find clearest freezeframe. Video is also partially self-explanatory on how a pursuit camera is done
You'll notice that the sync track will tilt and distort with your shakiness, but you will occasionally see it converge to a near-perfect ladder on some frames that are better tracked. That's when you handwaved darn nearly exactly the same speed as the UFOs.

The sheer number of burst-shooting provided by video (1000 "photos" in a single video) compensates for the lack of a rail for hobbyist pursuit camera photography -- and becomes scientifically viable $0 free pursuit camera (no $100 rail needed) with accuracies occasionally reaching a $30,000 lab piece once in a while (after repeated attempts). So the only investment is...time (repeating until error margins are good enough)

If you have other camera app recommendations (for iPhone or Android), post them here!

For more info, see New Easy Free Pursuit Camera: Smartphone. No rail needed..
Head of Blur Busters - BlurBusters.com | TestUFO.com | Follow @BlurBusters on Twitter

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Re: Best Camera Apps for Smartphone Hand-Wave Pursuit Camera

Post by Chief Blur Buster » 11 May 2020, 12:08

Also,

A related must-read thread:

Are Hand-Wave Pursuit Camera Silly/Stupid?
(Long post, with useful analysis information and caveats about smartphone limitations such as compression artifacts)

TL;DR: No. Hand-waves are still scientifically usable!

Amazingly, some expert handwaves actually exceeded some low-end camera rails. The sheer number of scientific samples (thousands of "photos" in a single video file) creates random chance moments of 1-frame near-perfect tracking accuracy within error margins of rail vibrations/stiffness. So the scientific accuracy venn diagram overlaps. And we've had successful analysis executed on hand-wave pursuits, thanks to improving hand-wave techniques (since it's a zero-cost pursuit camera for low-budget research). The sync track is pratically almost a certificate of tracking accuracy.
Head of Blur Busters - BlurBusters.com | TestUFO.com | Follow @BlurBusters on Twitter

       To support Blur Busters:
       • Official List of Best Gaming Monitors
       • List of G-SYNC Monitors
       • List of FreeSync Monitors
       • List of Ultrawide Monitors

User avatar
Chief Blur Buster
Site Admin
Posts: 9182
Joined: 05 Dec 2013, 15:44
Location: Toronto / Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Contact:

Re: Best Camera Apps for Smartphone Hand-Wave Pursuit Camera

Post by Chief Blur Buster » 27 May 2020, 17:27

The easiest way to find clearest freezeframes is a video player that has frame step forward/backwards.

For the PC, that's the Media Player Classic Home Cinema -- https://mpc-hc.org/ -- though now obsolete since 2017, it's been faster than VLC for drilling quickly to appropriate good freezeframes. Other players such as VLC doesn't let me single-frame-step forward/backwards to find clear freezeframes.

1. Slide the slider until you're near good video frames
2. Use Ctrl left/right to frame step for the best pursuit freezeframe
3. Save that freezeframe as a PNG file (or low-compression JPG -- at least 95%+ quality).

YouTube has a frame step forward/back feature via the "." and "," keys during pause, but uploading to YouTube recompresses the video (although educational for showing how a pursuit camera works).

You can quickly drill down thousands of freezeframes to the near-perfectly tracked frames this way -- far faster than leafing through hundreds of burst-shoot camera JPG files.

Feel free to mention video players you've found that has good single frame step forward/backwards.
Head of Blur Busters - BlurBusters.com | TestUFO.com | Follow @BlurBusters on Twitter

       To support Blur Busters:
       • Official List of Best Gaming Monitors
       • List of G-SYNC Monitors
       • List of FreeSync Monitors
       • List of Ultrawide Monitors

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