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Canon GL Series DV Camcorders
Canon GL2, GL1 and PAL versions XM2, XM1.


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Old May 24th, 2003, 02:24 AM   #1
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How to properly whitebalance

Hi everybody,

I have my XM2 for a couple of months, and most of the times I used the indoor/outdoor setting instead of manual whitebalance.

A couple of times I tried to use the whitebalance using a white piece of paper, but my pictures with manual whitebalance seems to be a little blue. When using the outdoor setting I got good results.

I never have done whitebalance before, and I don't know how you must do it. For example: I want to film a nature scene, how do I white balance? Do I have to glue a piece of paper on a tree, and then zoom in on piece of paper? If so, how do I white balance in a city, I can not just glue my paper on anything.

Or do I have to hold my piece of paper in front of the lens, at some sort of on angle or distance!?

I hope someone can help me, some pictures how to properly whitebalance are even better, because I now get very bad results using the manual whitebalance

Gabriel Knight
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Old May 24th, 2003, 02:47 AM   #2
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Hello Gabriel,
When shooting under daylight, the GL2/XM2's daylight pre-set should produce good results.

When shooting indoors under incandescent light you may also get good results using the indoor (lightbulb) pre-set.

But when shooting in flourescent or mixed light it's best to manually white balance. To do so, place a white card in front of the lens making sure that it fills the frame and that it's completely and evenly lit by the predominant light source you'll be using. Press the white balance Select button until a symbol that looks like a bow tie appears in the viewfinder or lcd display. Then press the white balance Set button (labeled with that bow tie symbol) next to the Select button. Hold the camera still with the white card framed until the bow tie stops flashing. You're done. White areas in your frame should now look white. If they don't, repeat the process making adjustment to the location and/or lighting on the card.
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Old May 24th, 2003, 02:59 AM   #3
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Ah HA! - Again! Thanks Ken and Gabriel for asking your primary questions - outdoors / indoors - white card on a tree . . .

Ken - "When shooting under daylight, the GL2/XM2's daylight pre-set should produce good results."

1 - Is this anyway affected by any previous MANUAL WB setting?

2 - Is this auto Daylight being auto WB as it goes along? Or does it stay "fixed" at the point I switch on the camera?

3 - When I got my Greeny-Yellows this was on Daylight too - this is the preset to give best auto WB - yes?

This must be such a simple thing that I don't know why I'm making such heavy weather of it.

I'm sorta getting there!

Off to do more test. Be back in 20mins.

Grazie
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Old May 24th, 2003, 03:10 AM   #4
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Do you know any URL where I can buy some sort of white card?
My local photostore does not sell them.
Using a normal piece of paper is not that handy, specialy in windy conditions.
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Old May 24th, 2003, 03:15 AM   #5
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Just about to go to bed here...zzz <g>

1. The presets are not affected by a manual wb setting. Just use the Select button to return to a preset if appropriate.

2. The presets are fixed at a particular color temperature. "Auto" wb, denoted by no symbol whatsoever being displayed in the viewfinder, will float with the predominant conditions in the frame (probably center-weighted). I really would advise NOT using Auto wb at all. Its drift can present you with nearly un-fixable color correction headaches in post.

3. I don't really know with certainty what happened to you here, Grazie. Certainly, I suspect it was a wb problem but it's hard to say remotely what exactly caused it.

Over time and with some discipline you'll develop a pre-flight checklist that your brain will automatically exercise each time you turn the camera on. Frame/normal mode, white balance, shutter speed, aperture, battery status, etc. will just become natural and nearly instinctive checks you always make before pressing Big Red.

G'Night!
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Old May 24th, 2003, 03:18 AM   #6
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Thanks Ken - Sleep tight! Zzzzzz.......
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Old May 24th, 2003, 03:18 AM   #7
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Gabriel,
Instead of using a flimsy piece of paper for white balance, just pack a piece of stiff white poster board in your kit. It really does not need to be more exotic than that. (When you buy a Porta-Brace case, P-B includes a free plastic white balance card free in the bag.)
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Old May 24th, 2003, 08:45 AM   #8
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I find that I use regular Inkjet High Brightness paper with a Brightness level over 103+ and just make a tent of it and set the white balance to that works great about 99% of the time. Usually if anything the final may have a slight cool or red tone to it, although many have said this is a Canon Red Puch issue. Overall this method works great and I get what I feel are extremely accurate and realistic renditions.
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Old May 24th, 2003, 01:54 PM   #9
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and then there are warm cards

I don't own a set of warm cards but I am thinking about printing a set for myself. I had directions with specific color settings in photoshop but I can't seem to find them. Anybody?
check out www.warmcards.com if you are unfamiliar with warmcards. (don't work for them in any way.) Idon't see any reason for anyone with a decent color printer to pay for them. I just have to find that file...
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Old May 24th, 2003, 02:50 PM   #10
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The settings have been posted on DV Info several times. Do a search and you'll find several threads on the topic.
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Old May 26th, 2003, 03:29 PM   #11
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You might want to check out http://www.studio1productions.com for white balance cards. I have never ordered or bought from them, but their product seem very useful.
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