HF S1000 Cine Mode Shutter Speeds? at DVinfo.net

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Old August 31st, 2009, 07:27 PM   #1
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HF S1000 Cine Mode Shutter Speeds?

I'm shooting a fair amount on a HF S100, primarily using Cine Mode with custom effect settings of sharpness +1 and colour depth -1. Without wishing to reopen another can of worms (I also have an HV20) I arrived at these settings having spent a lot of time evaluating all the various modes and parameters when viewed on a calibrated monitor, but in my case more importantly, also on an ISF calibrated Pioneer Kuro screen.

One thing I'm not clear on, and hopefully someone can detail, is what happens to the shutter speed when using Cine Mode. I have a UK HF S100, so it shoots at 50i (or 25p) and I'd like, wherever possible, to keep the shutter speed at 1/50. I don't like smear but really don't like high shutter speeds, there's nothing that screams video at me more.

I have read that the camera tries to keep the shutter speed at 1/48 (presumably 1/50 for PAL versions), but under what circumstances could that change? The AGC limit control is disabled in Cine Mode and there's nothing to indicate whether it is being applied, whether a scene is going to be under-exposed, or whether a higher shutter speed is needed.

Thanks - and please be gentle on a humble new member. ;)

PS, before you all get excited, the title of the thread should be HF S100.

Last edited by Stuart Robinson; August 31st, 2009 at 07:29 PM. Reason: Postscript added.
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Old September 1st, 2009, 01:43 AM   #2
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Hi Stuart,
We share the same camera as well as the same quest for an answer to this conundrum.
When I play back footage in the camera shot in Cinema mode and cycle through the on-screen data info, I can see that shots shot in 'good' exterior light show up at 1/50th. Whereas an interior shot under 'gloomy' conditions will show as 1/25th.
I tend to keep the zebras at 100% switched on at all times to get some idea of how the camera is coping, but I wish that Canon had given us the option of dealing with exposure a bit more comprehensively in Cinema Mode.
I've found that Tv mode at 1/50th with contrast at -1 gives good results for me.
I guess that you find details slightly lost in CM, hence turning sharpness to +1?
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Old September 1st, 2009, 10:59 AM   #3
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Robin - have you had it go above 1/50th? If so, did you have this happen frequently?
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Old September 1st, 2009, 11:43 AM   #4
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Graham -
No I haven't. Whatever is going on in the processing, it seems to limit at 1/50th, probably because there's no gain switched in.
I'd love to know what's really happening though - it's all very arcane!
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Old September 1st, 2009, 11:50 AM   #5
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HF S100 Cine Mode Shutter Speeds?

Robin, thank you for your reply.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Davies-Rollinson View Post
When I play back footage in the camera shot in Cinema mode and cycle through the on-screen data info, I can see that shots shot in 'good' exterior light show up at 1/50th. Whereas an interior shot under 'gloomy' conditions will show as 1/25th.
I hadn't looked at that display, thank you for bringing it to my attention. Watching a few clips back, I'm actually seeing some strange behaviour. For example, a clip with strong back-lighting at f2.4 with 1/60s shutter, which when I zoom in slightly, changes to f2.0 1/50s. In the first instance, one would expect the camera to stick with 1/50s and open the lens more. Looking at the clips I have in the camera at the moment, including some shot in a room under normal incandescent light, I haven't found any that go down to 1/25.

Do you think the camera is adding gain in Cine Mode? There doesn't seem to be enough variation in aperture vs. shutter speed between some shots without it.

Either way, it would've been good to have this display when recording, not just on playback. It's possible that by fiddling with the exposure setting, one could have some indirect control over shutter speed too. I don't shoot a lot of low-light scenes and many of them don't really matter from a critical standpoint, so TV is fine in those instances.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Davies-Rollinson View Post
I tend to keep the zebras at 100% switched on at all times to get some idea of how the camera is coping, but I wish that Canon had given us the option of dealing with exposure a bit more comprehensively in Cinema Mode.
Me too. I learnt very early on with the HV20 not to rely on its metering - especially in TV mode - because highlights were so often blown out, so I always have the 100% zebra switched on. This, incidentally, is another advantage of Cine Mode, the camera is far less likely to over-expose highlights even if you're not paying attention.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Davies-Rollinson View Post
I've found that Tv mode at 1/50th with contrast at -1 gives good results for me.
I guess that you find details slightly lost in CM, hence turning sharpness to +1?
When I experimented, I found that the sharpness and contrast controls had subtle effects in isolation, but a significant effect when combined. In TV mode, reducing sharpness also reduced contrast to a larger degree than I expected, and I decided that was preferable to reducing contrast, which left more halos.

Just an aside here; when I first got the HF S100 I was quite disappointed by the video quality. Sure, I was using the default settings, but what stuck me was that the image looked horribly over-sharpened. I could see black halos everywhere on the Kuro, and they were really apparent on a PC too. There's a spot where I can sit that enables me to look out of the window and down the road and with the camera on the windowsill, I can see the same thing at the same size on my Kuro via the Canon. The two are very similar in Cine Mode, but TV mode looks artificial in comparison.

I don't believe there's any loss of detail in Cine Mode. I've done quite a few side-by-side comparisons with near-field and distant objects (road signs, names on vans, tiles on roofs) and the only real difference is that TV mode is over-sharpened (or, with a custom setting, sharpened). Cine Mode reminds me very much of my Canon D30, one of the early digital SLRs, which everyone thought looked "soft" but was simply not applying any sharpening.

Subjectively though, shots from Cine Mode do look a little more lively with some sharpening applied - just like the D30 in fact - but if I do that in post, in my case in Vegas, I'm also sharpening any artefacts that are introduced by the AVCHD compression (or for that matter, the transfer to Cineform). I believe that the in-camera sharpening happens before compression, so it avoids that issue and although extremely subtle, adds just a little more to the image.
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Old September 1st, 2009, 07:57 PM   #6
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The camera will definitely use gain in Cine Mode
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 01:35 AM   #7
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I don't see how. If I try to shoot in a poorly lit area in Cinema mode, the camera will just underexpose and show no signs of noise, Switching to other modes will see the exposure - as well as noise levels - shooting up.
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 11:11 AM   #8
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If you're using other modes, set the AGC to 0 so it won't add any gain.
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 11:33 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Davies-Rollinson View Post
I don't see how. If I try to shoot in a poorly lit area in Cinema mode, the camera will just underexpose and show no signs of noise, Switching to other modes will see the exposure - as well as noise levels - shooting up.
This is on the Hf s100? Mine is about opposite with Agc set to 0, in TV or Aperture mode the scene will be dark, but Cinema Mode will light it up with artifacts flickering around (somewhat well disguised as "film grain").. in my experience it seems that Cinema Mode is overriding the gain control setting where as these other modes don't
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 12:35 PM   #10
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Cris,
You're quite right. I've just tried comparing the settings in a poorly lit area.
In Tv mode at 1/50th,with no gain, the image was really dark. Cinema mode lifted it, but not as much as Tv with all the gain in - but CM will alter the shutter to 1/25th, so that was gaining one stop of light.
The CM images, even with gain, were much cleaner though.
Anyway, it's academic, since I wouldn't have chosen to shoot a scene under those conditions without lights...

Last edited by Robin Davies-Rollinson; September 2nd, 2009 at 04:57 PM.
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 01:38 PM   #11
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I shot a scene this afternoon outdoors - admittedly it's a miserable day - and Cine Mode added some gain so it might be worth keeping an eye on that, which is easy to do by flicking between it and TV mode with gain off and a 1/50s. The camera will indicate if that's under-exposed, and if it is, then Cine Mode will have gain.

I'm not sure I understand the logic of disabling the gain control when Cine Mode is employed, certainly it's all part of trying to keep the shutter speed constant, but if we have the ability to mess up and under-expose in TV mode, we should have that same ability in Cine Mode.
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 03:23 PM   #12
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AGC is ignored in cinema mode. It will add gain as necessary. That's why I shoot 24p in TV mode and lock the shutter at 1/48 You might want to drop the sharpness and contrast in TV mode, though, to look more like Cinemode.
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Old September 5th, 2009, 12:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xian Messerschmidt View Post
AGC is ignored in cinema mode. It will add gain as necessary. That's why I shoot 24p in TV mode and lock the shutter at 1/48 You might want to drop the sharpness and contrast in TV mode, though, to look more like Cinemode.
I'm not much of a fan of 24p (25p on the PAL variants) due to the lack of temporal information, and I don't have the shooting skill to get my pans and zooms at perfect speeds. I don't film anything important in low light so TV mode is good enough there, but if you don't mind spending time in post, in my view nothing comes close to Cine Mode in good light.
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Old September 5th, 2009, 01:08 PM   #14
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My solution for low light was to supplement my HF100s with a Canon T1i. Originally I ordered a Nikon to EOS adapter and found a mint 50mm F1.8 Nikkor for manual aperture control (video mode on the T1i is normally full auto only), initial tests in night settings generally had me stopping down to f2.8 and low light performance showed no gain.

There is a method of accessing manual aperture control on the T1i with Canon EF/EF-S lenses, I have a 50mm F1.8 lens left over from the EOS 650 film cameras I used to have and can do essentially the same things as with the Nikkor, the difference being aperture on the Nikkor can be changed instantly with the aperture ring on the lens, the camera immediately adjusts ISO and shutter.

I have sample videos on manual aperture control for shallow DOF in the DSLR with video forum on this site, my night video test video is here:

YouTube - T1i Night Test Short Ver

This camera will not replace the HF100 or HFS100, there are some downsides. Audio will have to be double system as it has only mono and no mic input so I use a ZoomH2 either by itself or with the same mics I use with the HF100 (Rode SVM, Rode VM, and a Nady stereo mic). But the T1i with 50mm F1.8 lenses does great shallow DOF and absolutely great low light.

And edits in with HF100 footage shot in Cine Mode with + tweaks on sharpness, contrast, and color depth.
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Old September 7th, 2009, 12:42 AM   #15
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Most folks may know this already, but I didn't. On the HF10 and HF100, it's possible to get a readout of the aperture and shutter being used in any mode (Tv, Av, CINE) by half-pressing the PHOTO button. (You need to have the 'Still I REC" option activated for this to work).

Maybe this works for the HF S100 also? - worth a try.....
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