View Full Version : Color Bars Trick for GL1 Owners

Chris Hurd
January 16th, 2002, 12:15 AM
Howdy from Texas,

Back in 1998, I brought you the Canon XL1 color bars trick,
which became the very first tip on my then-fledgling website,
The XL1 Watchdog at -- well, four years
later, I never thought I'd be doing the same thing all over
again, this time with the Canon GL1.

Be advised, however, that like the original XL1, these color
bars are for test purposes only. You would not want to use them
to calibrate a monitor as the colors are set up all wrong. So
now that you've been warned about that, here's the trick.

Turn the GL1 on in Green Box (easy recording) mode, press and
hold the D.E. button and the Exposure wheel simultaneously for
about five seconds. There you go. They stay on when you switch
back to Green Box from other program modes.

Special thanks to Brooks Collins of Stanford, California for
discovering this undocumented feature (it's not in the service
manual). Brooks showed it to me in person -- and you know what?
You learn something new every day. Enjoy,

Currently wrangling Son of Watchdog GL1 Pages

Don Palomaki
January 16th, 2002, 05:34 PM

Has anyone put a 'scope on the bars to see how far they are from standard?


Chris Hurd
January 16th, 2002, 05:58 PM
Don, they should be *exactly* like the fake bars on the original XL1.

Jeff Kramer
January 16th, 2002, 10:45 PM
Hey, it's my GL1! It's everywhere!

Chris Hurd
January 17th, 2002, 11:53 AM
That's what you get for bringing it over to my house the other night.


Thanks for picking up the pizza,

Don Palomaki
January 17th, 2002, 07:24 PM
Hmmm. A posted on the GL1-411 site states that his measurements indicate that the bars are right on (phase and saturation included) except that the white is 95 IRE rather than 100. Anyone else check them?

Chris Hurd
January 18th, 2002, 12:09 AM
I saw that post today as well. Are *you* in a position to check this out, Don? I thought you had a mad scientist lab in your basement.

Don Palomaki
January 18th, 2002, 08:00 PM
Ok Chris. I opened the "lab" this evening. (Took a break from upgrading to W2K Pro on my edit station.) I used the Waveform monitor and vector scope in Video Finesse 2.0.3. Capture via firewire and S-video input to my capture card ( AV) and Premiere 6.01. I also used a Gecko analog color bar signal generator as a reference.

A note: Analog NTSC IRE bars are based on a black level of 7.5 IRE, and consumer NTSC DV is based on a black level of 0 IRE, so standard levels will be different between analog and digital systems (by a factor of 8% plus a offset of 7.5 IRE. But do not sweat the math.

What I find is that doing a linear compensation for the DV vs. Analog black level, the Gecko and Video finesse are in agreement, both levels and phase.

The bars in my XL1 and Gl1 are off by substantial amount. However, the XL1 and GL1 bars levels are close to each other (within a few precent).

From (left to right, white to blue) I expect DV (0 IRE black-based)bars to be:
100/66/52/43/31/22/8 IRE
The XL1 and GL1 bars are actually around:
95/86/69/60/41/30/15 IRE

And the saturation (in the vector scope) is rather far out as well.

In summary - do not count on the color bars being anywhere near industry strandard values. Test using reliable gear before you depend on them.

The XL1 nd GL1 bars may be consistent from unit to unit, and could be of use in an exclusively XL1 or GL1 shop, but that is a bit of a stretch.

But then, as you recall they are undocumented features (dropped in the late stages of XL1 beta test), so Canon has no obligation to make them standard.

I suspect documentd bars inthe XL1s are Canon's response to XL1 owner requests and Sony's VX2000.

Chris Hurd
January 18th, 2002, 11:26 PM
Wow. You always come through, Don. Hats off, and many thanks.

DV Optura
March 12th, 2002, 02:59 PM
I have an original Optura. Does this work on it?
What is the D.E. Button?

Chris Hurd
March 15th, 2002, 11:52 AM
The D.E. button activates the Digital Effects on the GL1.

I doubt this feature is on the original Optura, but you never know.