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


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Old August 25th, 2002, 06:37 AM   #1
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Just got my XM2 need help!

Ok first of all I'd just like to say a big thanks to everyone on this forum for helping me decide on the XM2. I've been in a bit of a mess deciding on which camera would be best for me and managed to narrow it down to the 950 VX2000 and the XM1. Then I heard about the XM2 and research brought me to this site. Since reading a lot of the threads I finally decided on the XM2 and so far haven't regretted it but I've only had it a day so maybe I'm speaking too soon. I've read through most of the manual but have got stuck on two things so far. Firstly the clear scan function doesn't seem to work. In the manual (pg 84 UK manual) it says that you can use clear scan in TV or Manual mode by first pulling the EXP dial down in till CS is diplayed, then go to CAM.set up and select Clear scan. I've tried this but CS doesn't appear in the display and then going to the cam menu clear scans still purple and can't be selected. What am I doing wrong? My second problem is that I'm a bit confused about balancing between aperture, shutter speed and gain in manual mode. On my old camcorder you could change the aperture or change the shutter speed but not both, and gain didn't even come into it let alone exposure lock. For exampe what's the diffrence between changing the aperture and using the AE shift apart from the fact that AE shift is limted to only a few notches. Can someone give me a simple explanation on how to go about setting these up in harmony with each other and what exacly the camera's doing.
Someone please help!

Congrats on a great site which I may add that I'm going to continue using well into the future.


Peter B
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Old August 25th, 2002, 07:06 AM   #2
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Peter, re: clear scan -- make sure you're not in Card mode... the Card/Tape switch on the back must be set to Tape. There is a thread on the XL1 forum here which talks about clear scan and how to bring it up... the manual is confusing, so check it out... do a search for "Clear scan" and that should bring it up.

Changing aperture & shutter speed, use the appropriate program mode i.e. Tv, Av, or M and use the exposure wheel toward the front left to cycle through the settings. In M mode, push the wheel in to cycle between aperture, shutter, or gain and turn the wheel to select settings for each... hope this helps,
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Old August 25th, 2002, 11:13 AM   #3
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Cheers for that Chris. I found the thread you were talking about and now have Clear Scan sorted. The problem was because the instructiions don't actually tell you to select the shutter speed they just say to move the EXP dial. As for the Aperture and shutter I was more referring to how they all correspond to each other. I used to think that aperture was what you used to control the brightness of a picture by letting in certain amounts of light and shutter was to be used with fast moving subjects. I'm now guessing that it's a mixture of both,. As for Exposure lock I guess that's just a way of controlling both at the same time? But then there's AE shift isn't that just the same as exposure lock just more liminted?
Thanks for the fast response by the way.


Peter B
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Old August 25th, 2002, 11:54 PM   #4
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hey Peter.

congrats on your purchase. although i highly doubt that aperture works the way it works in a film camera, the number represents the size of the iris that light gets through, the larger the number, the smaller the hole and the less light light allowed through the iris. the shutter sits behind the iris, and shutter speed refers to the amount of time in fractions of a second that the shutter is open. the smaller the fraction of course the less light gets through the shutter. so an ap setting of f11 and a shutter speed of 1/420 will require more light to expose the image. if you are in low light, your ap will be f2.6 and your ss will be 1/30. i think i got that right. . .
any less light and then your gain will kick in, but its a digital way to brighten the image and produces grain, so open your iris and use a long shutter speed before you engage your gain.
f stop and shutter speed do kind of the same thing, but if you shoot outside with a lot of action and you alternate turning your f stop down and then your ss down you will see the difference in what they do.
also, a larger iris (or smaller f-stop #) exposes more of the lens to the iris, so the image is actually passing through a larger part of the lens and the more lens you use, the more curved or convex that area will be. if you have a small iris, the point on the lens will be very small and therefore less convex or closer to perfectly flat.
if the picture produced was taken thru a perfectly flat lens, everything would be in focus, regardless of if it was near or far.
but the larger the iris (or smaller the f-stop #) then the more shallow your range of in-focus fields would be, because the light bends when it hits the lens at an angle. get it?
to demonstrate, shoot a close object and focus first on the object, then the background, if the iris is large, there will be a larger difference between the two planes when one is in focus.
if you decrease the iris size, the back and foreground will be more clear at the same time, but you'd have to turn your shutter speed down or your gain up to compensate for the amount of light getting thru the iris!
clear as mud, right?
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Old August 26th, 2002, 10:40 AM   #5
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Excellent thanks for that, I've always known what depth of field is and how to do it but thinking about the shape of the lens it becomes totally logical. That's one thing I'm still trying to figure out is the difference in shutter and aperture, as in how each effects the light coming though the lens. I know that a faster shutter will give a crisper fast moving picture but both seem to darken the picture in the same way. So I'm guessing you just use both to balance the image you want? For example if you want a good depth of field then bring the Aperture right up to the smallest Fstop and increase the shutter speed to darken the image, am I right in thinking this. As for gain I noticed how it got grainy and have been experimenting with what Barry said in changing the sharpness in custom. This works although you do get a slight weird affect in the very slight grain remaining seems to move with the picture. It's hard to explain it's like having a pane of glass in front of the lens and on the glass a small grain material. So the fuzz isn't within in the scene more fixed on the lens, still it's not that noticable so I'm not complaining. In fact so far I haven't really got any complaints the only ones are that the picture is slightly wider then what it should be and the zoom control on the handle is very stiff and sometimes doesn't react when you press it, you end up using your nail to push it, although this may lossen up.
Cheers for the reply Jason it's really helped me out.

Peter B
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Old August 27th, 2002, 08:43 PM   #6
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cheers

Peter, i hope i wasn't too redundant, and ap size still confuses me, so i'd look for an affirmation that what i'm saying is correct about f2 being big and f11 being small. you know americans, its so hard to keep inches and feet and miles and ounces and gallons straight, that the f stop thing was just the last straw for me.
i played with the sharpness, but decided i didn't want to alter the native picture, but then i decided i like the colour bumped up, so i can't really say anything. what i don't like is that the viewfinder constantly says "cp" to indicate that its engaged, and there already so much info on the viewfinder. .
see ya.
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Old August 28th, 2002, 04:05 AM   #7
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No what you said was just what I needed I've managed to get my head round it all now. Agree with the CP thing it really does get crowded with all that info on screen.
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Old August 28th, 2002, 05:03 AM   #8
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Agree wholeheartedly. Toggle the display info off; no need to see what you already know. Fortunately we can turn that stuff off if we want to.
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Old August 28th, 2002, 08:40 AM   #9
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Peter

I was just reading through your posts and noticed a question that didn't get answered. The ae shift is a completely different thing than the exposure lock. The lock holds the auto exposure at whatever point you are currently at, allowing you to adjust exposure up or down as well. It's like manual mode except you don't know what you are adjusting, as there is no readout, but its great when you are shooting in auto and the light is changing but you don't want the exposure to be bouncing around.

The ae shift is similar to exposure compensation on a still film camera. By applying an adjustment here, you are allowing the meter to still control exposure, except that it will be adjusted by the amount you've selected.

On the shutter/ aperture thing. I like to keep the fstop in the lower end of the scale, 5.6 or lower. At the higher fstops you start to lose a little sharpness, and in most situations at 5.6 your DoF is pretty much maxed out. Typically to keep things looking smooth and normal, you don't want your shutter speed to veer too far above "default"...1/50 on the xm2. As jason suggested, keeping the two of these approaches going in bright sunlight can be impossible, so the addition of a neutral density or polarizing filter could be of some help.

Barry
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Old August 28th, 2002, 09:08 AM   #10
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Cheers Barry I'll have a go of that tonight now I know what it does.
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