GL-2 red push - pink skin tones! at DVinfo.net

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


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Old March 30th, 2003, 07:24 PM   #1
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GL-2 red push - pink skin tones!

In his review of the GL-2, Matthew Washam wrote: "I cannot recommend the GL2 for the professional, or prosumer videographer, unless you like pink skin tones." Unfortunately I did not see this review before purchasing a GL-2 several days ago. But, when I tried recording a high school choir indoors under tungsten light the skin tones came out pink - under auto, indoor, or manual color balance settings. I sent my unit back as defective! I'm waiting on a replacement. Could it be that I got a poorly adjusted camera or is this a problem with all GL-2s? Should I switch to a Sony VX2000 instead?

Matthew's review: http://www.hometheaterspot.com/html/reviews/techreview.php?rev=8
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Old March 30th, 2003, 09:43 PM   #2
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I'm not sure that I agree with Mr. Washam on this. In the testing that I've done with this camera, I feel the gl2 produces a very neutral skintone, at least with european skintones. Most camcorders I've used produce a skintone that is unnaturally yellow, giving everyone a tan whether they have one or not...the gl2 doesn't do this, so in this sense the result could be "pinker" than other cams...but in my opinion this result is more accurate and thus more desirable. If you prefer the yellower look, it is easy to adjust the gl2's color phase a hair to the green. I've also balanced the gl2 in post to PD150's, gl1's and xl1s's with very little effort on my part.

The real weakness of the gl2 is not pink skin tones, but in a lower sensitivity to yellow in general. It doesn't reproduce yellows well at all, thus it may not reproduce olive or asian skin very accurately. On the other hand, as Bill Hardy has noted before, it produces purples that many other cameras turn to mush. I guess you can't have everything.

Barry
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Old March 30th, 2003, 10:55 PM   #3
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Will,
That "review" has been discussed here earlier this year, so I won't drive over that ground again.

I've owned 8 Canon video cameras (and still have 5) at each level of their product range. All of them, to varying degrees, have had a warm image. I think it's just characteristic of Canon's signal processing firmware, just as Sony's consumer and prosumer cameras tend to have a cool balance. Fortunately, the GL2's image is relatively adjustable.

I share Barry's observation that the GL2 tends to show neutral skin tones, certainly more so than its predecessor. But if it picks up a large field of red it has a tendency to bloom that field just a bit. For that reason I tend to keep my color gain turned down 1 click at all times.
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Old March 31st, 2003, 04:57 AM   #4
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Hi Wil,

I also think the XM-2 is a bit pushy on the red. But if you do as Ken recommends and turn down the color gain 1 or 2 steps, and maybe shifts the color phase 1-2 step towards green I think you'll be satisfied.

One other thing to think about is, don't check the result on the Camera LCD or the EVF since their colorprofiles are _way_ of. Only check the result on a good TV-set.

I'm also planning to get a 82B filter that will reduce red input(Hoya 82B 58mm HMC).

Good luck!

// Lazze
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Old March 31st, 2003, 12:19 PM   #5
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a bit hasty

yeah, I'd say you were a bit hasty in returninng it but maybe they'll calibrate it. as with just about any dv cam in this price range, there are always some tradeoffs, but skin tones really aren't one of them. a little playing with gain and such as described will allow you to tweak your skin tones to a desired level. either that or get out your wallet for a much higher end camcorder, or be prepared to live with the trade-off on another similarly priced unit.
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Old April 11th, 2003, 02:31 PM   #6
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GL2 Red Push - Continued

This topic has dropped off the first page but I don't think it has been totally addressed.

Short of running over my GL2 and collecting on the insurance or having Canon buy it back, I have to get around the problem of red push, bleeding, smearing or whatever...I do a lot of amateur sports highlite video - and unfortunately a lot of our home team uniforms are mostly red, which has caused a lot of grief to date.

The solutions I've read about in other posts/forums include adjusting color gain and color phase, using either an 82/85B filter to 'tone down' the reds, or possibly post color correction in editing software.

So far I'vre made five 1-2 hour movies - all on tape but I'm moving to DVD shortly. Before we head into the next football season (red uniforms on snow - this is Canada), I would like to have the best advice.

Has anyone successfully solved the red smearing issue with the GL2???? Any advise would be appreciated - other than that the GL2 has been great....so far I've recoreded ~ 50 full tapes with no problems at all - except the one above.....
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Old April 11th, 2003, 04:17 PM   #7
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My new GL2 is only slightly better

As explained, I did return my GL2. B&H was wonderfull. My new unit was back to me in a day or so! Although I agonized about switching to a Sony VX2000, I finally decided to stay with the GL2 for four reasons:
(1) I plan to do video for consumers. I believe they will be impressed more by the 20X zoom (compared with only 12X on the VX2000) than the difference in picture quality that won't be visible on the average TV (after I tweak it with the preset and in postproduction).
(2) There is no comparison in the quality of the stills (1488X1128 on the GL2 Vs 640X480 on the VX2000).
(3) The Clear Scan will be valuable when I need to shoot computer screens.
(4) The GL2 is closer to the beginning of its model life so I may have longer to enjoy it before the new model comes out. Sony may upgrade the VX2000 soon to go the next step beyond the new features of the GL2. (NO I DON'T KNOW WHAT THEIR PLANS ARE!)

However, I am still uncomfortable with the corrections needed to overcome the red blooming. The high school chorus I was shooting that first night wore red robes - as many many groups do. I have been able to get a much better picture by decreasing color gain and shifting color phase but I am concerned that I may need to push these values beyond the adjustable range at some future time. Also, large changes to the presets will impact the entire picture (all colors).

Thanks to everyone for your input.

Wil
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Old April 11th, 2003, 04:46 PM   #8
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Hmmm ......

I maybe way out of play here, but wouldn't colour correction in post-prod assist in getting the "reds" to behave themselves - What do others think?

I like your analysis/reasons for staying with the XM2.
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Old April 12th, 2003, 06:15 AM   #9
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Hi,

To my surpise, increasing SHARPENING decreased the red-bleading quite a lot.

To see for yourself, hook up the camera to the computer. Set it to show something red with an edge. Start your NLE/Capture - maximize the capture window, play with the sharpening control on the camera while watching the edge of the red.

I increased sharpness to +2 and got a much better result than before.

Hope this helps!

// Lazze
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