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


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Old September 20th, 2004, 10:10 AM   #1
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steps for great video quality with gl2

I would like to know the absolute most important things to remember to do with my GL2 in order to take quality video that will eventually be distributed on a DVD. I have come up with a list but being new, thought I'd post it to get some feedback. Audio is very important but I want to just consider the imaging aspect of video.

1. Shoot with correct exposure f-stop and shutter speed for the given situation and effect.

2. Do not move the gain up if not absolutely necessary.

3. Lock all automatic functions to ensure that the exposure doesn't jump or the focus doesn't go crazy if a white sheet of paper is waved in front of the camera.

4. Ensure that the camera is well stabilized, lighting is well controlled, and that the shot is well composed.

5. I turn the custom presents of sharpness down and the color gain slightly up.

After this in Adobe premiere 6.0, which I use, adjust levels, saturation, and contrast in order to bring out the wonderful colors that to me sees to be one of the great advantages of the dv medium. I export from adobe premiere 6.0 as movie and wave file, use TMPGEnc to make the MPEG and use NERO to author MPEG file to DVD.


Am I missing something that is very important?
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Old September 20th, 2004, 10:23 AM   #2
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You basically have it, Bradley. Just a few modifications I'd recommend.

#1: Keep your shutter speed at, or very near 1/60 (for an NTSC camera such as yours). If you go much higher or lower you'll begin to encounter some side effects that you may not want. Manage your exposure through your iris and ND filter (if needed).

#2: Try to keep gain at 0.

#3: Yes. Run the camera in Manual mode when possible.

#4: Absolutely, whenever possible. When you can't control lighting be careful about shooting into extremes of brightness and darkness, such as midday sun which throws extremely strong shadows. It will leave you with the choice of exposing for the highlights or the shadows. That's always a bad choice for video.

#5: Set your sharpness to taste but note that the GL2 tends toward a sharp-ish image. Setting it a click or two lower might be more pleasing. Color gain is also a taste/subject matter.

Most important: just have fun with your GL2!
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Old September 20th, 2004, 10:46 AM   #3
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. . In the last 3 months I've been creeping towards more and more manual on all things . . and I really can't believe the footage I'm getting from this camcorder . . really is remarkable. I've had to cut my teeth on event shooting where the "boss" kinda banned me from manual - understandable . . but now on my time I'm getting more and more confident . . Yes, I try and keep to all the defaults for PAL: 50fps; Gain on Zero where I can and use the ND to bring the light levels down.

Grazie
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Old September 20th, 2004, 10:53 AM   #4
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I'm curious, why use TMPGEnc instead of Premiere 6.0 to create your mpeg? Would you do the same if you were using Premiere Pro?
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Old September 20th, 2004, 12:32 PM   #5
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Thanks for the feedback. I especially appreciated the advice to shoot in 1/60 shutter speed. I had noticed that I seem to get the best results when doing so. Is that related to the 60i nature of DV? Is their any reason to not turn up the color gain a little bit on the custom presets. I really like pulling out as much color as I can.

Ming Dong, I don't have MPEG capabilities on premiere 6.0. I think that is a plug-in that costs extra. I have never looked into purchasing it. I don't know which is better. I bought TmpgEnc because I started using it and liked the results.

Take care,
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Old September 20th, 2004, 01:10 PM   #6
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<<<-- Originally posted by Bradley Dehaan : Thanks for the feedback. I especially appreciated the advice to shoot in 1/60 shutter speed. I had noticed that I seem to get the best results when doing so. Is that related to the 60i nature of DV? -->>>

Yes, it is indeed related to the natural scan rate of (NTSC) televisions.


<<<-- Is their any reason to not turn up the color gain a little bit on the custom presets. I really like pulling out as much color as I can. -->>>

Again, this is a matter of taste. But you will want to be careful that you do not crank it so high that you begin to see noise in colors. This is one area where a television display is essential as you will probably not detect it on the camera's lcd and may not even see it on your computer.
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Old September 21st, 2004, 06:00 AM   #7
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I guess evryone here is trying to get the best out of his GL2/XM2. I've been tempted to (and I did) push the colour gain a bit, but I'm not sure I appreciated the results. I don't know much about editing and color correction but after reading this (http://www.marlathemovie.com/ go to bonus and download justfacts.pdf) I'm tempted to do the opposite:

"Most 3ccd cameras have a setting panel where you can modify the sharpness, color phase,... Push everything a couple of steps down, especially the color settings. Basicaly, every DV camera tends to push the colors and sharpen the image. By pushing the settings down, you will reduce the compression artefacts and get a nicer, softer image. Try different settigs while watching the picture on a TV. For Marla, the color settings where all down to minimum and the sharpness to at least -4."

Then they spent a long time in correcting the colors after shooting.
As I said, I don't know much about color correction, but what I've read makes sense to me.. and the movie has great colours!
I'm curious to know from others what they think.
...Ken?
ciao
pietro
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Old September 21st, 2004, 06:22 AM   #8
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TMPGEnc is a better encoder, but Canopus ProCoder seems to be
the current king of (in-expensive) MPEG-2 encoding on the
Windows platform.

Don't forget about the script and audio (microphones etc.) either
Bradley!
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Old September 21st, 2004, 10:24 AM   #9
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Grazie,

Go for it!!

Nice to see you are getting more practice with the Manual controls, interesting that you were stopped by the "boss" from using manual. I had the same thing at a wedding (2nd Cam) where I was instructed to use auto exposure. I did not like the result but hey I was not paying but receiving....
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Old September 26th, 2004, 05:35 PM   #10
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I personally find the color saturation on the GL1 and GL2 to be too rich, and in some cases I've had to adjust it downward significantly during editing to make it look pleasant.
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Old September 27th, 2004, 10:22 AM   #11
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I have the saturation pushed UP and love it! :)
Yes, it's a matter of taste!
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Old March 15th, 2005, 03:12 PM   #12
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Eh! Steve!

Bump
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Old March 15th, 2005, 06:27 PM   #13
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It's funny how some prefer the color saturation bumped up or decreased. It's all subjective but I found the GL2 just fine with the default color setting with a bias towards the warm side. I always found skin tones to have a nice warmth. However, my PD-170s are noticeably cooler.

I don't agree with turning down the sharpness but again that's subjective.

If not already mentioned, always white balance and shoot manual as much as possible. Never go over 12dB with gain.

Composition, clean audio and the rule of thirds rule.
Good luck,
Bob
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Old March 16th, 2005, 06:56 PM   #14
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It's not correct that Premiere 6.5 and newer versions comes with built in TMPGEnc MPEG-Encoding.

The technology used by Adobe is based on the Main Concept MPEG Encoder, in facts it's a basic version of Main Concept's MPEG Pro, which gives great results and is highly recommended.

Chris
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Old March 18th, 2005, 02:03 PM   #15
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Now I have the saturation almost all the way DOWN! :) I can't belive it but I like it more... It must be related to the mood or something...
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