XA10 + Ninja2 at DVinfo.net

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

Canon XA and VIXIA Series AVCHD Camcorders
For the Canon XA25, XA20, XA10 and all VIXIA / LEGRIA Series AVCHD camcorders.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old January 8th, 2014, 10:05 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 185
XA10 + Ninja2

Hi. I have the XA10 (also 2x GoPro Silvers, D7000 and D800) with Adobe CC suite and capture road bike races so I have a bag full of issues I have to overcome. My current challenge is getting good quality output from Adobe Media Encoder.

Since the XA10 is already AVCHD and I do some slow-mo effects, color correction (usually involving pumping up the mid-tones to account for the cyclist faces in shadow and a bright blue sky background) and grading in Premiere Pro and/or After Effects, my output files usually h.264 for youtube, look really muddy. The crispness is gone. Some riders faces are barely distinguishable as human. It's just a blur.

I'm going to experiment with reflectors and portable led lights for when I'm shooting low to get back some of the detail in their face so I don't have to crank up the mids so high and I'm considering a portable recorder like the Atomos Ninja-2.

Getting info on the XA10's HDMI output specs is hard to find. My questions are:

1. Is the XA10 HDMI out uncompressed and at least 60i?

2. Will I see a video with greater color depth with the Ninja-2? I hear it will record 4:2:2 but does the XA10 support that?

3. Will I ultimately see better output to h.264 since I'll be color correcting and grading a video with more information and presumably have one less step of compression?

Any tips or advice you have is appreciated.
Kawika Ohumukini is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 9th, 2014, 07:55 AM   #2
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 4,298
Re: XA10 + Ninja2

HDMI video is normally uncompressed.
(The XA10 also has analog component outputs.)
In the USA the XA10 output should be 60i.

I believe that the XA10 (and most other comparable camcorders) sees and records 4:2:0 and 8-bit depth. However, editing in 4:2:2 and 10-bit can lead to a better final result.

Is your loss of quality most pronounced in the slo-mo segments and shots with fast motion? That could be an artifact of the AVCHD interframe compression dealing with rapid motion. The slo-mo may be making motion blur in the original footage even more apparent to the viewer.

Recording uncompressed from live camera output should eliminate these compression artifacts through the editing. If compression is applied onl;y in the final delivery stage only you should get a better product. The cost ov course is a lot more storage and editing horsepower.
__________________
dpalomaki@dspalomaki.com
Don Palomaki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 9th, 2014, 09:51 PM   #3
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 185
Re: XA10 + Ninja2

Thanks for the info Don. The quality loss is definitely worse in slow-mo but even at normal speed it looks very compressed. I ordered a Ninja-2, should be here tomorrow and I'll do some tests and post the results. Cheers
Kawika Ohumukini is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 12th, 2014, 08:12 AM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Winnipeg Canada
Posts: 532
Re: XA10 + Ninja2

This is from a blog talking about xa10, but I think it is (unfortunately) correct...

"HDMI-out is compressed, which means even if you plug it into a recorder capable of recording 4:2:2 color space, like the Atomos Ninja 2, you're not getting a better picture, so stuff like chroma keying and issues with color blocking and the possibility of floating objects are still things that might crop up. That's just an inherent weakness of 4:2:0 color space."
Brian David Melnyk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 12th, 2014, 08:20 AM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Winnipeg Canada
Posts: 532
Re: XA10 + Ninja2

It is a good comparison to the xa20, and the xa25 (which would give you 4:2:2 via SDI output).

Steve's Video Blog: Canon XA20 and XA25 Announced
Brian David Melnyk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 12th, 2014, 01:27 PM   #6
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 185
Re: XA10 + Ninja2

Thanks for the link to the review. I've been wondering how the cameras stack up with some explanation and that review did that.

I'm looking for a workflow that gives me images that don't make me cringe when someone's face looks like it has no definition by the time it gets to youtube. Lighting is definitely an issue out in the wild so I'm addressing that with artificial lights and a custom rig. I'm also tossing 1920 x 1080 in favor of 1280 x 720 so I have room to pan without zooming in post.

.I attached reference monitor images from the XA10 with Image Effects turned all the way down to -2 vs. the Ninja. It looks like the XA10 did a pretty good job expanding the contrast and keeping all the color data. I have a lot of testing to do before I decide if the Ninja is worth it or not.

Cheers
Attached Thumbnails
XA10 + Ninja2-xa10.jpg   XA10 + Ninja2-ninja2.jpg  

Kawika Ohumukini is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 12th, 2014, 10:28 PM   #7
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Vancouver Canada
Posts: 34
Re: XA10 + Ninja2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Palomaki View Post
HDMI video is normally uncompressed.
(The XA10 also has analog component outputs.)
In the USA the XA10 output should be 60i.
Is that correct? Both my old HF S10 and new HF G30 will display live view as well as playback on my monitor. I don't believe that the monitor has a decoder in it, that implies that it is uncompressed output. Also, the HDMI specification version 1.4 and lower apparently do not support 4:2:0, which implies that it is at least 4:2:2 (although camera may not actually be measuring everything).
Steven Ansell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 19th, 2014, 03:13 PM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: British Isles
Posts: 415
Re: XA10 + Ninja2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian David Melnyk View Post
It is a good comparison to the xa20, and the xa25 (which would give you 4:2:2 via SDI output).

Steve's Video Blog: Canon XA20 and XA25 Announced
So I could record from the HD/SD-SDI output an uncompressed signal at 1920x1080 resolution with 4:2:2 color sampling and embedded audio and time code to a BlackMagic Design HyperDeck Shuttle?

EDIT: Such as 1080/50p

Last edited by Paul Inglis; January 19th, 2014 at 04:00 PM.
Paul Inglis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 19th, 2014, 04:11 PM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: British Isles
Posts: 415
Re: XA10 + Ninja2

After a search I see that the SDI on the XA25 outputs 4:2:2 but is limited to 576i / 720p / 1080i but the HDMI does output 1080p so an external recorder would improve quality.
Paul Inglis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 8th, 2014, 06:32 PM   #10
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 185
Re: XA10 + Ninja2

Tried the Ninja2 and XA10 and I didn't notice a major difference. It was very subtle but not worth the price. They pretty much say the difference will be if the files are edited/saved multiple times to reduce degradation. I don't do that so I'll keep working with what I've got. Thanks for all the info and tips.
Kawika Ohumukini 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

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:54 PM.


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