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Canon XA and VIXIA Series AVCHD Camcorders
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Old January 18th, 2012, 09:33 PM   #1
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XA10 - No Exposure Compensation (shift)?

I just received my XA10 and have been testing it. I sadly discovered that what I *thought* was exposure compensation is really exposure *lock*.

I need to allow the camera to auto adjust exposure (P, Tv or Av modes) with an exposure bias. What the XA10 has really is an exposure lock with a +/- adjustment.

Am I correct, or am I missing something?

If I'm right, then it's not the camera for me and I'll have to sell it or return it. :(
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Old January 19th, 2012, 06:47 AM   #2
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Re: XA10 - No Exposure Compensation (shift)?

I think you're right. DSLRs have the feature your want, but I've not had a video camera that does what you want. I might be mistaken, but I think most camcorders operate the same way.
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Old January 19th, 2012, 08:10 AM   #3
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Re: XA10 - No Exposure Compensation (shift)?

My old GL2 had EC (or bias) like a DSLR, and my old XL2 even had a dedicated knob.

I know the XF100/105 also has EC (and I assume the 300/305 does as well).

I think that it's a feature not generally found in the consumer line of camcorders, and after all the XA10 is mostly a HF G10 with some added functionality.

It's my fault... I mis-read the online manual when doing my research.
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Old January 19th, 2012, 08:27 AM   #4
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Re: XA10 - No Exposure Compensation (shift)?

David, as we have found here in the forum, the XA10 sensor and lens are both different than the G10, and the g10, while an excellent camera, isn't the same, but I know what you mean.

Low light performance of the XA10 is more on par with the XF100 than the G10, from the anecdotal evidence I've seen, but I can't provide you with proof of that.
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Old January 19th, 2012, 08:39 AM   #5
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Re: XA10 - No Exposure Compensation (shift)?

I'm not sure about current Sony consumer camcorders, but the HDR-HC3 offered exposure compensation. I've missed it on my Canon HF-S100.
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Old January 19th, 2012, 08:50 AM   #6
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Re: XA10 - No Exposure Compensation (shift)?

Although I haven't done this, I think you may be able to assign the exposure to one of the external buttons and control it manually during your shoot. I have used the exposure feature on both the XA-10 and the HF-G10 and can confirm that I have it does appear to only be a lock based on the setting that you input. I've got mine here with me now, I take a look at it to see if there is something that I'm missing; which, by the way wouldn't be a stretch.
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Old January 19th, 2012, 09:54 AM   #7
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Re: XA10 - No Exposure Compensation (shift)?

You can. By default the back button is set to EV. Press it and the exposure will lock. You can then roll the wheel to adjust it up and down. Press again to release the exposure lock. Works great.

But it doesn't work for me because the performances I shoot typically have dark backgrounds. The dancers are evenly lit downstage, but since the camera sees mostly a dark background it ends up blowing out the dancers without -0.5 to -1.0 EC.

And sometimes I just have the camera locked down while I shoot stills, so I'm not able to baby sit the exposure on the video camera.

BTW, I'm not trying to argue... there just isn't much on the forums about this topic, so I'm providing a little more information for someone who might search on the subject in the future.

Last edited by David Trayers; January 19th, 2012 at 10:03 AM. Reason: Clarification
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Old January 19th, 2012, 10:01 AM   #8
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Re: XA10 - No Exposure Compensation (shift)?

Yes Maurice, he wants exposure compensation, which is different than manually setting exposure. I might have had this feature and not known it in the past on previous cameras.

It would be nice to have, for sure.
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Old January 19th, 2012, 10:02 AM   #9
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Re: XA10 - No Exposure Compensation (shift)?

I can't speak for others but, this is good information and confirmation for me.

Thanks!!!
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Old January 19th, 2012, 11:16 AM   #10
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Re: XA10 - No Exposure Compensation (shift)?

See pages 65-66 of the manual.

It is not traditional exposure compensation where in you dial in a fixed amount of compensation to the nominally metered exposure.

Have not had reason to try/use it but it appears that you can use it to select a specific area of the image to be used to judge the amount of compensation to be added (i.e., to "properly" expose the area of interest). It also appears to have a highlight and backlight option of sorts.

I suppose Canon thought that it was more in line with the price point of the XA10 and its target users (entry level prosumers) looking for a step up from strictly consumer gear. And it sound like it might be benificial in some circumstances, espcially rapidly changing lighting conditions on scenes with a specific point of interest that you want to keep properly exposed.
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Old January 19th, 2012, 11:58 AM   #11
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Re: XA10 - No Exposure Compensation (shift)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitch Chapman View Post
I'm not sure about current Sony consumer camcorders, but the HDR-HC3 offered exposure compensation. I've missed it on my Canon HF-S100.
Yes the Sony's do have AE shift and I use a lot 1.0EV + and -. All the Sony's I own have this feature, SR11, XR500, CX700 and NX5U. It is very useful in stage shows for the full stage camera. One thing the Sony's consumer cameras do not have that I would like is a gain limit. The NX70 does have these features I just find the cost a little too much for differences from the CX700. Of course the NX5U does have these features too and they can be used in combination as well.

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Old March 7th, 2012, 08:56 AM   #12
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Re: XA10 - No Exposure Compensation (shift)?

Kind of a late reply, but thought the info might be useful to others.

The XA10 does have a feature that can accomplish the exposure bias functionality. In the function menu, there is an area for image enhancements/customizations. My camera is in my car, so I don't have the exact wordings in front of me, but it's the menu with color depth, sharpness, etc. I think there are 4 parameters you can change, and one of them is brightness. If you set an offset in that menu, then leave the exposure floating, and it will act like the bias the OP is looking for. I use this when I need to compensate for a white or black shirt (during depositions) and still let the exposure float so the camera can adapt to room brightness changes caused by the sun going in and out from behind clouds (the windows lighting up the room more).

I believe the enhancements in that section are done digitally after capture, like a photo touchup, rather than in hardware. So brightening there is probably somehow photographically inferior to actually changing the exposure itself and keeping the picture "pure", but I never tried any frame by frame analysis of the effect. I need the offset, so I use it. I'm not a pixel peeper, and my clients are probably even less likely to be.

I have wondered if face detection works in conjunction with the exposure system to keep faces exposed properly, despite white or black clothing that might normally require an exposure offset on cameras without face detection. The 70% zebra really isn't definitive enough for me to determine, so I use the offset, but very sparingly. Once I see a few slashes of zebra on the foreheads, I stop, and I don't believe it's ever taken more than one notch of change to get where I thought it needed to be. It's close enough that the couple of times I've used it, I wondered if I was redoing something that was already done in the firmware. After all, if it were me writing the firmware, I'd figure that detected faces might as well be the reference point for exposure. Keeping faces exposed would be more automatic for the user, since they wouldn't have to lock the exposure as often.

Hope that helps.

-Kelly

Last edited by Kelly Hughes; March 7th, 2012 at 02:23 PM.
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