Canon HF G10 - Max useable gain? at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Canon EOS / MXF / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Canon XA and VIXIA Series AVCHD Camcorders > Canon VIXIA Series AVCHD and HDV Camcorders

Canon VIXIA Series AVCHD and HDV Camcorders
For VIXIA / LEGRIA Series (HF G, HF S, HF and HV) consumer camcorders.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old September 23rd, 2011, 04:53 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Central NJ
Posts: 106
Canon HF G10 - Max useable gain?

Hello,

I just purchased a G10 to use as a B camera alongside a Sony NX5. I did my first shoot with it, in the back of a theater, with concert lighting on the stage. I know this camera is supposed to be good in low light, but I was not too impressed. Maybe I didn't use enough gain?

I had 4db of gain turned on, but since it was the first time using the camera - I didn't want to risk grainy video, so I kept it low. I now wish I had turned the gain up higher, because now I need to add more exposure with my color corrector (Red Giant Looks), and that introduces grain as well.

So I ask - what is the max useable gain setting - without it getting terribly grainy? Is 6, 9, 12 pushing it too much? (in contrast, my stage cameras were at 3db gain, but they were of course much closer to the light source - and $2500 more!)

Here is the footage if you want to see: Quimby Mountain Band - Number One - Historic Blairstown Theater - YouTube
The rear camera is the G10, and is the brightest i can get it in post without it looking crappy. I shot in cinema mode - at 1/48, 24p, wide open iris, 4db gain. And what you are seeing is several stops brighter that what it was originally.

Of course, the dim stage lighting didn't help! But I had no control over that. Thoughts?

Thanks,
Angelo
Angelo Ucciferri is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 23rd, 2011, 04:58 PM   #2
Go Cycle
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Huntington, NY
Posts: 795
Re: Canon HF G10 - Max useable gain?

Go into the cinema filter mode. "CLICK" on the WRENCH ICON. Tell us your setting. Low Med High....this setting makes a difference via crushing the dark areas but requires more light.

BTW: I can get away with 9db.
__________________
Lou Bruno
Lou Bruno is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 23rd, 2011, 06:19 PM   #3
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 8,421
Re: Canon HF G10 - Max useable gain?

Angelo, 9db would have been much better at the beginning, but after the band go lit up it was fine as it was.

At the beginning your subject (the band) was in near total darkness, which is their fault, not yours. They might be a great band, I don't know, but for some reason local bands seem to love to play in the dark, as if it's dramatic, I don't know. They can't afford light shows, so I guess that is part of it.

Anyway, your video looked very good to me, well done. Considering what you had to work with. I wouldn't worry about it. But I would at least try Lou's 9db. I'm new to the camera and haven't recorded one minute of footage with it, but I can't imagine 9db or possibly higher would be bad, but hey, I need to find out for myself.

Lou, what is the wrench hi-med-lo thingy you referred to?
__________________
http://JeffHarperVideo.com
The horror of what I saw on the timeline cannot be described.
Jeff Harper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 23rd, 2011, 07:05 PM   #4
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Central NJ
Posts: 106
Re: Canon HF G10 - Max useable gain?

Thanks Jeff & Lou,

I appreciate the quick response. I am going to check the Hi-Med-Low setting when I get home, and I'll reply back. According the pg 101 of the manual, this sets the effect level of the selected cinema-look filter. In hindsight, maybe manual mode (no cinema filter is the best way to shoot).

I got this camera the day before the gig, so I didn't have time to learn everything about it.

I appreciate the feedback about the video. Not having any control of the lights, and considering the camera was unmanned - I did the best I could. But I will have more confidence pushing the gain now that I know you've had success at 9db.

Thanks again!
Angelo
Angelo Ucciferri is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 23rd, 2011, 07:15 PM   #5
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 8,421
Re: Canon HF G10 - Max useable gain?

Yes, I think you did very well, clean looking video for sure, especially after boosting it in post.

I played with my camera today, and I had it on 18db in a dark room, and I thought it looked acceptable, but as we all know the noise doesn't show up fully until you see it on the PC, as I've experienced many times before with all other cameras. The smaller screen of the camera hides a multitude of sins.

I gotta say I'm loving the cam initially, I hope it lives up to my expectations, I've almost no time with it, but for a consumer camera it seems remarkably flexible.
__________________
http://JeffHarperVideo.com
The horror of what I saw on the timeline cannot be described.
Jeff Harper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 23rd, 2011, 07:26 PM   #6
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Central NJ
Posts: 106
Re: Canon HF G10 - Max useable gain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
but as we all know the noise doesn't show up fully until you see it on the PC, as I've experienced many times before with all other cameras. The smaller screen of the camera hides a multitude of sins.
That is exactly why I didn't want to boost too much during the first concert shoot. I could only imagine my horror if I got home and saw that it grained out at 6db or something crazy like that. But I am happy to hear that I have some more latitude. I have a few more shoots coming up, all dimly lit stages. I'll also reply in this thread with some examples once they are online.
Angelo Ucciferri is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 23rd, 2011, 10:01 PM   #7
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 8,421
Re: Canon HF G10 - Max useable gain?

Angelo, your sample/clips will be most welcome I look forward to seeing them. Keep us posted.
__________________
http://JeffHarperVideo.com
The horror of what I saw on the timeline cannot be described.
Jeff Harper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 24th, 2011, 10:17 AM   #8
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 8,421
Re: Canon HF G10 - Max useable gain?

I just viewed the first footage from my camera shot in the basement, moderate to low light, and 13db looked very good to me, excellent in fact.

It was a quick test, but I'm am very pleased with the camera, it exceeds my expectations by miles. The manual controls options, etc are unbelievable for it's price point, and the fact I can turn off the auto power off thing is a hallmark of a pro camera. small thing, but those little things add up to a better experience.

I am absolutely glad I didn't go through with the larger XF100 with it's large video files and MXF codec, this cam is absolutely as close to perfect for $2k as I could ask for. I do of course wish I had switches on the side, naturally, but I can live with it as is.
__________________
http://JeffHarperVideo.com
The horror of what I saw on the timeline cannot be described.
Jeff Harper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 25th, 2011, 07:05 AM   #9
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 8,421
Re: Canon HF G10 - Max useable gain?

I shot a speech last night at a country club at 13db, looked great to me, but it was an informal test, I was only testing the xa10, not using it as part of the gig.

At 13db the footage was not noisy, and brightened up in post very well. This camera is a keeper. It is the best $2K I've spent.
__________________
http://JeffHarperVideo.com
The horror of what I saw on the timeline cannot be described.
Jeff Harper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 25th, 2011, 08:46 AM   #10
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 8,421
Re: Canon HF G10 - Max useable gain?

Here's a video that demonstrates various gain settings: XA10 Movie #3 - YouTube
__________________
http://JeffHarperVideo.com
The horror of what I saw on the timeline cannot be described.
Jeff Harper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 28th, 2011, 03:25 PM   #11
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Central NJ
Posts: 106
Re: Canon HF G10 - Max useable gain?

I've been doing some testing, and have been seeing completely useable low-light footage shot at 10db - 18db. If you want the absolutely cleanest footage, I would probably not exceed 10db. But I am remarkably surprised how clean the high gain footage looks!
__________________
Ironbird Studios - www.IronbirdStudios.com
New Jersey / New York City - Music / Audio / Video Production
Angelo Ucciferri is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 28th, 2011, 04:58 PM   #12
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 8,421
Re: Canon HF G10 - Max useable gain?

I know, it's very good at high gain settings, IMO. I have yet to use it for run and gun, but pretty thrilled with it so far.
__________________
http://JeffHarperVideo.com
The horror of what I saw on the timeline cannot be described.
Jeff Harper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 9th, 2011, 10:04 PM   #13
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Central NJ
Posts: 106
Re: Canon HF G10 - Max useable gain?

As the thread starter, I thought this would be a good place to share some updated results from the 2nd concert shoot I did with the G10.

Since my first shoot with it, I've learned that it performs quite well at high gain settings, and I didn't hesitate to set it at +10db for this video. I also ran in to an issue where the front lights on the stage were all LED par cans - which can create camera flicker if they are not high-end, video-safe LED fixtures. When this happens, I find that 1/24 shutter speed produces much less of a flicker than 1/48, which is what I normally use when shooting at 24p.

So this video showcases the G10 at +10db, 1/24 shutter, 24p, 3200k. The G10 is the locked off wide shot, the other camera is a shoulder-mounted Sony NX5 at identical settings. There is no color correction on either camera.

__________________
Ironbird Studios - www.IronbirdStudios.com
New Jersey / New York City - Music / Audio / Video Production
Angelo Ucciferri is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 9th, 2011, 11:26 PM   #14
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 8,421
Re: Canon HF G10 - Max useable gain?

Nice work Angelo, nice camera work. Considering you only used two cameras it was enjoyable to watch.

I ran my XA10 at max 20db for a wedding yesterday, and yes, there's some noise, but it's so slight I was shocked. Great camera, I want another one.

I am about to shoot a band here in the next few weeks. Can you tell me how you acquired your audio? I've never shot a band before.

Also, for your shoot in the above video, if you had a third camera with a wide lens as a second locked off camera, where would you put it?
__________________
http://JeffHarperVideo.com
The horror of what I saw on the timeline cannot be described.
Jeff Harper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 10th, 2011, 02:16 AM   #15
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Central NJ
Posts: 106
Re: Canon HF G10 - Max useable gain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
I am about to shoot a band here in the next few weeks. Can you tell me how you acquired your audio? I've never shot a band before.

Thanks Jeff,

My basic audio setup is a Zoom H4n in 4 channel mode. I'll record the 2 channel mix from the soundboard through the 1/4" inputs (the XLRs are mic level only) + 2 channels from the built in mics for room sound. Then I mix them during the edit, usually about 50/50, or whatever sounds best.

Depending on the size of the room and the location of the recorder - you might need to delay the soundboard feed 20-50ms to get it in sync with the room mics. And for video syncing purposes, its obviously important to not stop any recording during the set (audio or video).

If the club offers multitrack recording as an option (which a few NYC clubs do) - I also offer an audio mixing package - and this of course sounds the best. The mix is done in Pro Tools, then synced with the video in Premiere.

I also run a backup Zoom H1 recorder for redundancy, as well as the on-camera mic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
Also, for your shoot in the above video, if you had a third camera with a wide lens as a second locked off camera, where would you put it?
If I had a 2nd locked off camera for that shoot - I'd either put it on the opposite side of the stage (a similar shot to the G10, but from the opposite angle) - or I'd put it up on the stage with the band, maybe angled back towards the audience. A locked off drummer shot from the stage can be really handy as well - especially since they are seated and won't move around on you - are often in the dark, requiring a difference exposure from the other members - and it saves you the trouble of having to get shots of the drummer from your main cam during the set.

A wide shot from the back of the room would have also been nice - but there was very little audience at this particular show, so we didn't want to emphasize how empty the room was - especially since you'd see me running around getting shots up by the stage. But if it was crowded with audience and you wouldn't see me, it would look great.

The tough thing about placing locked off wide-shot cams in a small room is trying to find a location that won't pick you up while you are operating your main cam.
__________________
Ironbird Studios - www.IronbirdStudios.com
New Jersey / New York City - Music / Audio / Video Production
Angelo Ucciferri is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Canon EOS / MXF / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Canon XA and VIXIA Series AVCHD Camcorders > Canon VIXIA Series AVCHD and HDV Camcorders

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:11 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network