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Canon GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old September 10th, 2007, 04:26 PM   #1
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GL2 custom preset

What exactly does the gain, color phase, sharpness and setup level do? Do I need to play with them for every shot to get a good shot? I use the white balance, but have never really used any of these features before.
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Old September 11th, 2007, 01:16 AM   #2
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Interesting set of questions.

Please read the following as being only experience and use of this camera - others will have their own to share.

gain - amplifies each pixel - Upside: Brightens Video - Downside Producers GRAIN. I feel a small bit of grain, under certain circumstances and for parts of a/the narrative as being completely acceptable.

color phase - Swing to either towards GREEM or RED. Upside is the control on either AWAY from a tendency of the predominance of one of these colours OR a purposefully push TOWARDS a predominance of one of these colours!

sharpness - Does get used to "smooth" down low light GRAIN introduction from the use of GAIN.

setup - Raises the lowest BLACK level and lowers contrast. Not the same as GAIN. Downside it produces a "washed-out" look. So, of course, try using this for low light and add a bit of colour! Personally I would do this in POST. I would wanting to get the visual info first.

"Do I need to play with them for every shot to get a good shot?" Need? Do you "need to play"? We ALWAYS need to play?? However, what is a "good shot"? What answers are you looking for here? A "good" shot is a massive heading - yeah? My question, back at you, is exactly under what circumstances do you YOU want to shoot, and exactly what are you expecting to capture?

This is for me, and after my 4 years use of this remarkable camera:

1/- Presets are NOT reversible in post. Yes you can smooth GRAIN created from GAIN, a bit. However, WB Presets are crucial for my post work.

. .therefore I have concentrated on the following, which, apart from White Balancing, is about visual acquisition using "physical" methods . .

2/- If I need more light - I add a light!! Or "some" gain and twiddle with the presets. Or BOTH: Add light and GAIN!

3/- I use the XM2s White Balance settings MORE than anything else. However, I manually WB under very specific circumstances: Matching with another/make of camera; wanting to get a "certain/particular" look; want to make something warmer or cooler and want this digital info AVAILABLE in post. I now SHOOT with post in mind - I repeat, I now SHOOT with post in mind.

"I use the white balance, but have never really used any of these features before." - Well you should try them out. Look, do a real search on this Forum for "presets". There is much written. I have read it and re-re-read it too.

But if you are asking if you should play with these presets to get a "good look" then I would certainly say no - and no you need to read more =widely on this subject and get a better understanding just what is meant and what is achievable in using video cameras in general.

Personally, for a "good" shot ( whatever that means?) I have concentrated on, as I said , on physical items:

A) Reach: Tele adaptor

B) Breadth: Wide angles - wide angle and fish eye

C) Colour Balance: Cards and the XM2s excellent WB presets

D) Monitor: For framing and narrative value

E) Tripod/s and Supports: Controlling my more exuberant use of the camera!

F) Filters: More ND for those bright scenes; Grads for specific landscape shots and a polarizer for being gorgeous rich shots and for the reduction of reflections.

All my points, A > F, are really attempting to persuade you that outside of the Presets there is much to be explored BEFORE the Presets. Meaning, a "good" shot would/should/could be achieved in maybe not using these presets at all. But I guess you knew this? Yeah?

To try and explain and demonstrate this last statement, here is a "before" and "after" shot. The only presets used here was a white balance by me that concentrated on the getting the digital information into the camera. But in post I was able to colour correct. I'll let you decide which/what was pre and post.

Please do further reading on Presets hereabouts and do DO PLAY too!

Regards

Grazie
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Old September 11th, 2007, 08:35 AM   #3
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To add a couple thoughts to Grahams post

Gain is amplification. The signal read from each pixel of the CCD is amplified prior to being digitized. Gain is the amount of amplification. 0 dB is the "normal" gain level for the camcorder and determined by the manufacturer as the best compromise between image quality, dynamic range, noise, and light sensitivity. The combination of light level, shutter speed, aperture, and gain control the brightness of the image. You can think of increasing gain as being a bit like push processing in film, which can make grain more apparent. In terms of exposure effect, a 6 dB change in gain corresponds to a stop of aperture.

Color phase is like the tint control on a TV, and can be use to make adjustment to the color in the image.

Sharpness is a type of image processing that can be used to increase the apparent sharpness of the image. It does this by accentuating the differences between pixels at edges or places where the image changes brightness. It amounts to a localized increase in contract. Adding too much can make the image look sort of wormy/squirmy and decreasing it can make the image look softer.

Technically speaking setup and pedestal are often considered to be the same; i.e., the difference between the blackest level displayed on the receiver and the blanking level. Typically used with NTSC, but not with PAL, and often not with DV format recordings. It is an artifact of early TV designs, and establishes the level below which the signal is considered to be black and displayed as such. I've not tested to determine the relationship between those presets on the A1.

And you need to adjust them for every shot only if you want to based on your artistic intent and if shooting conditions (e.g., lighting) change enough to make the adjustment worth the effort. It is your call based on your circumstances.
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Old September 11th, 2007, 01:05 PM   #4
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Thanks guys. I am just trying to make my video look more professional. I have a couple filters and have been using the white balance. I have found that this makes a huge difference and was wondering if there were any other real easy fixes.
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Old September 30th, 2007, 10:45 AM   #5
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I have never used white balance yet. I get such good footage I hate to mess with it. I think reading and playing is one of the best ways for me to learn. Now I need to get a white card or what ever the norm is and start the white balance thing myself.
Steve
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Old November 27th, 2007, 01:39 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Olds View Post
I have never used white balance yet. I get such good footage I hate to mess with it.
Well, Steve, I thought I'd come back and build on your comment. Guess what? I believe I'm correct in saying that you ARE using WB, even if you don't/didn't know it. The "non-manual" or non-WB template option is the AUTO WB! Think about that for a second or two? Mostly I use the Canon presets: Outside or Artificial. If I have a need to manually WB I do.

How have you got on, then?

Cheers,

Grazie
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Old November 27th, 2007, 09:17 AM   #7
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I use the WB and did not even know it. I have never went in and set WB with a white card. I should get an index card and try to use WB. Or is that the wrong type of white card to use? I do a lot of outdoor work with low light so I guess the auto will work best for my shooting in low light.

Thanks for all the help.
Steve
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Old December 10th, 2007, 08:58 PM   #8
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white Balance

good evening to all.

Been sometime sense i have been on the gl2 list, definitely one of my favorite places to collect information!!


Grazie's info is great.

Steve, you learn by trying stuff out and tinkering with settings!!! Worthy of doing.

sometime back I manually set my white balance and did not like the look. I went back to the out door setting (I was shooting indoors) and much preferrred it and shot the entire indoor shoot (a baptism) at that preset.

The gl2 presets are really quite good as a rule.

When i do a two camera shoot (use an xl2 and the gl2) I often set the gl2 on auto and then manually adjust the xl2 to match it best I can and then color correct in post as grazie suggests.

By the way Grazie, what software are you color correcting with??
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Old December 11th, 2007, 01:35 AM   #9
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Hi Dale!

I edit and colour grade and correct in Sony VegasPro8.

Regs!

Grazie
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Old December 12th, 2007, 04:49 PM   #10
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Grazie,

I just recently downloaded vegas pro 8 trial and boy is it going to be a bigger learning curve than i thought.

I tried out their interpolation slo motion and find it substantially better than my adobe stuff. Look forward to learning it.
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Old December 13th, 2007, 02:16 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale Guthormsen View Post
I just recently downloaded vegas pro 8 trial and boy is it going to be a bigger learning curve than i thought.
This is a Preset thread, so I don't wish to hijack this towards a "Vegas" thread. BUT, Dale, if you wish to contact me about Vegas, you'd be more than welcome.

At the moment I am colour grading a waterfall that I used my XM2 presets on, AND polas and NDs. I feel this whole combo gives me an immense creative opportunity to explore, that I would not be aware of the the things I am currently stumbling over had it not been on my Vegas timeline. PLUS the slowing of the motion of the waterfall using Vegas, is a pure delight and bringing out a further "narrative" within the video.

Colour Grading, with the output from my XM2 within Vegas is a pure delight. The Day<>Artificial<>ManWB just come alive within Vegas.

Cheers

Grazie
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