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


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Old August 17th, 2002, 08:08 PM   #76
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Barry, Steve:

Thanks, Steve. I had a Canon A-1, too and really liked it. Until it broke...
As for the green white balance, why green over blue?

Barry, did you do equal amounts of cyan and magenta to get blue?

-Heidi
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Old August 17th, 2002, 08:14 PM   #77
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Experimentation can yield many different and sometimes unexpected results. This can be fine when you're just playing and trying to better understand the camera. However, I would caution against your method of random pattern WB. When you're shooting on the job, the goal is to have each shot look just like the next. This will require that you white balance the camera the same way each time the lighting changes. This will produce the most consistent results in my experience. The random pattern of colored portions could produce varying WB and require color correcting in post.

I also feel that a printer will produce a more even and consistent color then a marking pen. While everyone will get different results, my printer is extremely accurate and I use it for color proofing.

Jeff
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Old August 17th, 2002, 10:36 PM   #78
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I wasn't suggesting random pattern color in a white-balance sheet. I would mark out very even and repeatable sectors with colored ink. The sheet could be re-used if light values changed or reproduced, if you kept a record of its color sectors. This seems to be a discussion of experimentation and a lot of different variations in color
might lead to a desired result. Not everyone has the printer setup to produce such exact WB color sheets.

Heidi, I suggested trying some green sectors, because it's warmer than blue, but cooler than red. Using it might warm up the picture just a little. Or, it might mess it up?? It's just one more thing to try, since you're having little luck so far in pleasing yourself. As I was implying before, show your recorded footage to a number of other people (smart, sensitive ones) and get their takes on how warm or cool your GL2 picture appears. By the way, how did your Canon A-1 picture look to you in white-balance? My original A-1 and A-1 Digital, as well as my L-1, always seem too red, unless I take special efforts to trick the WB, as I described.

Steve McDonald
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Old August 18th, 2002, 06:16 AM   #79
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Hi Steve,

Experimentation is great and I am suggesting that Heidi experiment to obtain the desired warmth in her images. However, once the desired effect is obtained it must be repeatable, in order to consistently achieve the same result. The use of a pattern (random or ordered) makes consistent WB more difficult to obtain. If the exact pattern doesn't fill the viewfinder in the exact same way, each WB will be slightly different. If your zoomed differently or framed differently more of one color can predominate. Sometimes the difference will be very slight, others more noticeable. But the results can and will be inconsistent.

Heidi is also looking for a method to very quickly WB her camera to the desired warmth. The use of a patterned WB card will be slower because of the more precise method needed to insure exact placement of the card in the viewfinder. A solid color WB card allows for much quicker placement and checking in the viewfinder.

WB to green will add Magenta, WB to Cyan will add Red and WB to Blue will add Yellow.

Jeff
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Old August 18th, 2002, 10:48 AM   #80
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Question

So here is the latest, as I test these blue and cyan white balances.

Much to my dismay, I still can not set the cyan (and/or blue) white balances. I keep trying but the icon won't stick, it keeps flashing!

The ONLY way I can get it to stick is to place the card in the very darkest area of the room. Granted, the room is well-lite but it's only indirect light. Has anyone had this problem?

I tried it in a darker room and it worked fine.

Why would a white blance OK in a bright room, but not a 3% blue (or cyan)?

-H
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Old August 18th, 2002, 11:00 AM   #81
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Can you give me some more details on the mode your in (aperature preferred, manual etc.) are you using the ND Filter, what is the gain set to? That may help me give you a better answer.

Jeff
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Old August 18th, 2002, 12:36 PM   #82
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Sure...

I'm in Auto, no ND filter (didn't ask for one), and no gain (according to Canon, you can only access gain in maual).

Does this help?

Thanks,
H
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Old August 18th, 2002, 12:44 PM   #83
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Heidi, look at the bottom of Page 80 in your manual. It refers to the flashing icon. It seems to indicate that there is not a problem and that even with the icon flashing it is better than the auto WB mode. For those of you without a manual follow this link http://www.canondv.com/downloads/manuals.html and view the GL-2 language manual of your choice. You can also just go to the Canon.com web site and go to products/downloads etc to find the manual.

I think the the idea posted a few replys back was a great one, have some other eyes review your settings.

I have a friend who thinks that every food is better with some cilantro in it----- no one goes to her house much for dinner anymore :-).

I feel for you because I've finally ground thru my entire GL-2 manual after a week of reading and experimenting. Now that I've stopped obsessing on the controls I've started having a great time shooting, the GL-2 really is a joy to use.

Regards, John V
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Old August 18th, 2002, 01:11 PM   #84
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John,

Thanks -- I did see page 80.

The thing is, I'm wondering why the icon is flashing when I WB to blue/cyan when, IF in that same location of the room I can successfully "set" the wb on a white card.

Oh yes, I definately am having other eyes look at it. My best friend is a TV editor and my hubby, a former graphic designer, look at all these tests. They are excellant judges because they can see the "real" color of the things I shoot, and they both have an excellant eye for color...

(My editor friend owns a VX2000)

-H
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Old August 18th, 2002, 01:42 PM   #85
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Heidi

Sorry, I was gone for a few hours...there's been a lot of posting overnite!

I think the light room/Dark room issue is probably more of an issue with the color of the light in each of those rooms, versus a comparison of a light levels...photographing a color patch under different light levels is a completely different thing than shooting different percentages of blue, cyan etc..as it is the saturation and hue of the color that is critical in adjusting white balance. You've described your room as bright, but with indirect lighting...without seeing it, that sounds a lot like a very blue light source...(which may be the source of your color problem altogether). My readings were done under diffused sunlight, which has proved to be very close to calibrated daylight. Also my color patches are printed out on a very accurate postscript printer, so it still could be your printer causing the problem...are you printing on plain paper, or a photo paper..a plain paper can cause significant color gain. And while I agree with jeff about the reproduce-ability of the using an incomplete color field, it maybe worth a try to print a pattern of squares in 3% cyan and white to see if you can get it in range of the camera.

Regardless, you need to do your white balancing in the lighting where you are shooting...If this technique doesn't work...It maybe because the camera is borderline out-of-spec, or it could be that your lighting situation is beyond the reach of your camera...typically video cameras have more range to move in the opposite direction of where you are trying to go...ie. for correction of incandescant and flourescent sources.

When I suggest "that's all there is", I mean that you've reached the end of the correction range of the camera...and as the previous poster mentioned the flashing icon just means it was not able to fully correct the light...it has, however probably warmed the light considerably...You should shoot some stuff with the flashing icon on, and see how you like it. Also try doing the blue card white balance in direct or diffused sunlight to see if it's your camera thats causing the problem, or if it's the color balance in your room.

If none of this works.. I think the next avenue is to try the custom preset adjustments, and then a warming filter like an 81a, b or c as per my earlier post. Or it maybe that you camera is just out of spec, and it needs to be returned to Canon for service.

good luck

Barry
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Old August 18th, 2002, 02:28 PM   #86
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Thanks, Barry.

Especially after an all-nighter...

So I've been playing with this (and still am) and I've found that

1. The custom presets still look a little blue-ish, not-warm, too neutral (not sure how to describe it) to me

2. The blue (100% of cyan and 50% of magenta) looks pretty good.

The fact that I can't get the wb to "set" notwithstanding...

I'm really bummed though because I'd way rather use a custom preset then white balance each and everytime I shoot in sunlight.

Hm.

-Heidi
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Old August 18th, 2002, 05:38 PM   #87
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Heidi

a couple of questions...

When using the custom preset, Did you adjust the color PHASE to the red, as far as it would go, and it's still looking blue?

What are you viewing the image on?

You see a difference when white balancing on 5 or 10% blue, versus 100% blue (100c 59m) even though both are giving you the blinking box?

Barry
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Old August 18th, 2002, 10:48 PM   #88
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GL2 color tests (questions)

Hi Barry (et al.!)

"When using the custom preset, Did you adjust the color PHASE to the red, as far as it would go, and it's still looking blue?"

Nope, I didn't try it all the way... I went 3 bumps up...


"What are you viewing the image on?"

A TV monitor with lots of color, etc. controls... The same one I watch lots of video footage (for work) on...So I'm kinda familiar with it's "look."

Any thoughts???


"You see a difference when white balancing on 5 or 10% blue, versus 100% blue (100c 59m) even though both are giving you the blinking box?"

Hm, I haven't tried 100% blue, wouldn't that be too much blue?

Incidentally, along these lines, I did try balancing at the sky, but the same thing happened -- the icon kept blinking.

I also tried 5% and 10% blue outside (in all areas of our yard -- ranging from sunlit to sort-of shadow) but to no avail. I only got blinking.


So, after my tests today, I've discovered a few things:

1. My taste preference is approx. 10% blue (100% of cyan and 50% of magenta) but I can't get it to work (can get the icon to stop blinking) much of the time...

Oh, and by the way everyone, it appears to me that if the icon is blinking slowly, a new white balance has NOT BEEN set. Not even sort-of, as the manual suggests.


2. My second taste preference is white balancing to white.

3. I can't get the custom presets to look good (so far).

Oh, here's a question, do/can the custom presets work at the same time as adding a manual white balance?


4. And, in general, the GL2 really tends to have much less saturation then the VX2000, and in general, runs cooler -- IN NATURAL LIGHT.

Now, having said this, I think the auto white balance on the GL2 (out of the box, so to speak) works great in indoor, incandescent light.

I guess the GL2 was made with this, rather then natural light, in mind.

Now, just to add a little credibility here, my hubby, who prefers a cooler look and knows his colors..., also thinks the Canon runs cool.

Also, let me say at this point, lest you think I have no taste... I really don't care for over-the-top warm footage. And, am really not trying to emulate (in anyway) Speilberg. I just like to err on the warm side and the GL2 seems to like to err on the coolr side...

For whatever it's worth -- at this point, I'm feeling really bummed that I may buy this camera and never be able to get it to really look the way I like. And, to get as close as possible to my preferred look, I'll need to white balance to blue, but am not be able to (so I'll have to white balance to white, by default).

I have been testing the VX2000 -- and while I kinda prefer the color and picture quality over the GL2, there are other reasons why I may default to the GL2 (i.e., my husband wants me to buy a smaller, lighter camera, the white balance on the VX2000 is really poor -- everything looks overly yellow/pink).

Two other questions on the GL2 though, if I may:

1. Is there a way to get a running timecode to appear on the outside of the camera? In the viewfinder?

2. When in TV or AV mode, is there a way to see what the dafualt setting is? For example, if you are in TV and adjust the shutter spped, can you read, somewhere, what the f. stop is that has been set?

I'm pooped...

Thank you again, everyone for your help.

I"ll keep reading!

-H
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Old August 19th, 2002, 02:01 AM   #89
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Dear Heidi,

As I mentioned before, I suggested your cam was busted. Now I know it for a fact.

Proof: You say that when you press the WB button and it goes to continuous flashing, you get NO adjustment. This is wrong. You will get immediate and even dramatic adjustment (depending on what you're aiming at) when you press that button and it continues flashing slowly thereafter, just as the manual implies.

Your unit is defective. It is a lemmon. These things happen. Take it back.

Best,

Blake
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Old August 19th, 2002, 06:05 AM   #90
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Follow up

Ok, so when I wrote that last post, I was half asleep...

First, as for the TV monitor, I didn't mean to imply I use it for work, just when I bring things home to screen...

Next, I'm really wondering about my trouble wb'ing on blue. I'm not sure why I can "set" the wb on white (which I think of as lighter/brighter then blue) but not on blue.

Any thoughts?

Over the nxt few days I'm going to try wb'ing on white and blue for every shot and see if I'm relatively happy.

-H
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