HF10/100 Color Accuracy - Is it adjustable/fixable? at DVinfo.net

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Old April 19th, 2008, 07:09 AM   #1
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HF10/100 Color Accuracy - Is it adjustable/fixable?

I just ordered the Canon HF100 a couple days ago and now I'm reading posts here and there about how it's "color accuracy" is so out-of-whack - posts which usually are comparing it to the "perfect" color of the Sony cams, such as the SR11/12.

Is there any way to adjust/tweak this color problem on the HF10/100? Could this be fixed by a firmware update from Canon? Is this just a problem with the canon's CMOS?

Is this really noticeable? I have an HV20 which has always got such great reviews so I figured the HF10 would be just as good in terms of PQ. Or, does the HV20 also have this color problem when compared to the Sony cams?

Is this a real problem with the canons or is it just a "preference" thing between the users???

My real reason for this post is to ask if there is any way to adjust the color on the HF10/100 to match the "perfectness" of the Sony SR11/12. If not, how fix-able is this issue in post?

I'm fairly new to video production.
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Old April 19th, 2008, 07:16 AM   #2
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Zack, I had both the HF10 and the SR12 and found no way to get the HF10 to match the color acccuracy of the SR12. It was one of the two reasons I sold my HF10.

Now before you panic, it doesn't happen on every clip and in every lighting situation, but it happened often enough for me that it was a deal break. I tried both presets (outdoor white balance etc.) as well as manual white balance. When the color was whacky, these didn't help, they only changed the nature of the 'error'. I also felt that since this was going to be used essentially as a 'point and shoot' camera, I didn't want to have to screw around with controls all the time to get things looking right. In the end it didn't help anyway.

However, this is not a characteristic of Canon in my experience. I had the HV10 and still have the HV20. Both of those cams exhibited fine color, although still not quite as consistently good as the Sony, but nothing that would make you say 'wow, that looks kind of weird'.
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Old April 19th, 2008, 10:05 AM   #3
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Ken Ross, thanks for the info. Does anyone know of some sample side by side video or still shots that would demonstrate to me the color issue with the HF10/100?

Why are all these cam so close, yet so far - if you know what I mean? Even the Sony cams have drawbacks, IMO, such as no SDHC, etc.
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Old April 19th, 2008, 10:44 AM   #4
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I just got the HF100 and maybe I'm just not that finicky, or it may be that I never had one of those "perfect color" Sony's. Just finished most of the shooting on my UWOL #8 challenge entry with the new Canon and the color looks reasonably accurate for me.

I don't use the 24fps mode because I don't want to have to mess with pulldown issues but I do use the Cine mode for the muted colors, reduced contrast, and all that and just as with this mode on two other cams I find it often turns out too flat for my tastes. So in post I "tune" each clip that needs it until I like what I'm seeing.

With this Canon, as with a previous Panasonic and with my HV20, the look I wind up with is somewhere between the brilliance and crispness of video and the muted, flat look of Cine mode.

My only complaint about the HF100 is the lack of a real viewfinder, outdoors in daylight you absolutely have to use a good hood on the LCD. IMO the Hoodman product is inadequate and I use the Cinetactics Screen Hoodie and still wish for something longer.

This cam is so small I'm almost ashamed to put it on a tripod (ever have your tripod snicker at you?).
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Old April 19th, 2008, 02:54 PM   #5
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Just curious... is there any way in post to adjust the color balance of the HF10/100 footage to be like what you get from a Sony SR12?
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Old April 19th, 2008, 04:06 PM   #6
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Zack, a couple of points on your question:

* First, you will find that when some clips are off due to poor white balance, you may be able to get them to look 'better', but they will never look as good as if the white balance was accurate in the first place.

* Second, doing this kind of correction in HD is very very time consuming. It's not nearly like taking a .jpeg and color correcting that. Video is dynamic and ever changing...even in the same clip! You may actually see the white balance changing within just one clip. How do you correct for that? Whatever change you made at the beginning of the clip no longer applies later in that same clip. That means you may have to split the clip and apply two different color corrections to the same clip.

* Third, you'll find the error isn't always the same. This means you will be apllying a different color correction to many, if not all clips that require it. Again, a time consuming task that will not turn out as well as if the cam had done it properly in the first place.

* Renders...hope you have lots of time for those. HD editing is just not like editing in SD.

Last edited by Ken Ross; April 19th, 2008 at 05:01 PM.
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Old April 19th, 2008, 04:50 PM   #7
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Ack, I am sorry to report that the colors of the HF100 are awful. If I could I would get out of that sale. I am even considering spending 40% more for the sony sr11 or getting an HV20 somewhere. It was a real bummer.

For those who report that there are not any weird colors:
Try shooting anything bright red in sunlight and then report back.
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Old April 20th, 2008, 01:13 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mario Salazar View Post
For those who report that there are not any weird colors:
Try shooting anything bright red in sunlight and then report back.
I just looked at the first few scenes of a just completed project where I caught a variety of bright, medium, and deep reds on the street.

Color looks pretty normal. You may have a bad camera so I'd take it back and see if they will exchange it or allow you to pay the diff on the Sony.

But I'm pretty happy with mine. Maybe I got a good one.
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Old April 20th, 2008, 09:13 AM   #9
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Bruce, if you're not seeing color issues then maybe you did get a good one. Many people report the same issues with funky colors that just can't be corrected. It was the main reason I returned mine aside from a too hyped contrast.
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Old April 20th, 2008, 12:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Ross View Post
* Second, doing this kind of correction in HD is very very time consuming. It's not nearly like taking a .jpeg and color correcting that. Video is dynamic and ever changing...even in the same clip! You may actually see the white balance changing within just one clip. How do you correct for that? Whatever change you made at the beginning of the clip no longer applies later in that same clip. That means you may have to split the clip and apply two different color corrections to the same clip.
Zack, Ken, I also saw the white balance shift when I was using a friend's HG10 to film a local theater production. It would change just by moving the camera even when the stage lights were static. I also saw some white balance shifts when doing some test shooting in the store with the Panasonic SD9, though they were smaller and more gradual. On the other hand, my Panasonic AG-50 does not do this (at least I've never seen it in 5 years). I suspect the difference is whether the camera determines white balance from the scene, as to the SD9, HG10, and HF10, or by using an external white balance sensor, as the AG-50 does. If the SR11 doesn't show any white balance shifts and it determines white balance from the scene, then perhaps Sony has done a better job of this than Canon.

One thing that could help is to use a WB preset, or manual WB. You may not get a perfect WB, as Ken has noticed, but at least it won't shift and will be easier to correct in the NLE.

Also, when correcting white balance in the NLE, some (most?) NLE's will let you keyframe effects on the timeline, so you can shift the correction as the WB shifts without having to break the clip up, or break up the effect into sections.
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Old April 22nd, 2008, 04:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zack Andrews View Post
I just ordered the Canon HF100 a couple days ago and now I'm reading posts here and there about how it's "color accuracy" is so out-of-whack - posts which usually are comparing it to the "perfect" color of the Sony cams, such as the SR11/12.
If your like me your probably going to be using your camcorder casually, that is you're not shooting a documentary, small film, wedding etc... If you were you'd probably be getting a different camera.

With that in mind you have to ask yourself how important is color accuracy? I find "out of whack" to be pretty extreme in this case. Have I noticed some differences in color on the fold out screen as I shoot something, yeah maybe but nothing that screamed "her red shirt looks orange or why is his blue shirt black?". Did video look a little closer to accurate on the Sony SR11 when I had it, perhaps. The screen is better than that of the Canon's so maybe it does a better job re-displaying the colors captured.

Here is what I do know. When I display footage from either camera on my television they both look great and unless you've had your television professionally calibrated there is good reason to think it isn't 100% accurate anyway. I've tried to look for signs of colors being "out of whack" and frankly I can't find anything that is offensive but maybe I'm color blind.

A friend was over the other day who was trying to decide between the two cameras. He liked the Canon picture better so go figure.

Paul
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Old April 22nd, 2008, 04:25 PM   #12
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You do have some custom adjustments on the Canon HF100.

I mentioned that I use the "Cine" mode (but not the 24fps) for the muted lower contrast less vivid look that some feel is closer to the way film often portrays what it records. Sometimes this looks just right to me (sunny bright outdoors), sometimes a tad flat.

When I switch over to one of the other modes I notice a sudden jump in vivid color and contrast. This may be what some are complaining about, but you can go to the custom settings on the menu and tone down color depth, vivid, contrast, brightness and sharpness a notch.

But here is what I did with my first project with the HF100 in "Cine" mode, but with some "tampering" with some clips in post.

http://www.uwolchallenge.com/challen...gthelegacy.mp4
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 04:09 AM   #13
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Hello,

the only difference between hf10 and hf100 is that hf10 has also an internal 16gb memory? that's all? qualiy is the same?
thanks!

PS i'm not able to download your clip Bruce...
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 04:34 AM   #14
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Hi Bruce.

I guess the correct D/L URL should be this:

http://www.uwolchallenge.com/challen...gthelegacy.mp4

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Foreman View Post
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 05:15 AM   #15
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yes it works, thanks Joe!
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