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Canon XF Series HD Camcorders
Canon XF305, XF205 and XF105 (with SDI), Canon XF300, XF200 and XF100 (without SDI).


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Old April 3rd, 2011, 05:48 AM   #1
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Pedestal Levels

I'm trying to set up my XF300 with a safe all-round custom profile for use in most conditions without the need for colour correction other than styling for specific jobs. Starting with Alan Roberts' BBC settings, I have tweaked the colour settings with more warmth and saturation but I am finding that the pedestal seems a little high, with blacks looking not black enough. Has anybody thought the same and found the need to reduce the pedestal to, say, -3?
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Old April 3rd, 2011, 06:06 AM   #2
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Re: Pedestal Levels

Yes, the blacks are way too high for nice looking images. Like you, my goal is to shoot video that requires no color grading or post-processing. So I have the master pedestal set for -3 on the Custom Picture settings I recommend in my XF305/300 training DVD. You are exactly right.

Mastering the Canon XF305/300 Camcorders training DVD

This video was shot with the Custom Picture settings I recommend, and it has had no gradiing. I'm happy with it.

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Old April 3rd, 2011, 07:10 AM   #3
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Re: Pedestal Levels

Every time I see that video I feel the wow factor.
You should be very proud, Doug...
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Old April 3rd, 2011, 08:28 AM   #4
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Re: Pedestal Levels

Robin, thank you for the compliment, but I honestly don't think it is anything special. It just shows what the camera is capable of with a few basic changes to the settings. Anyone with a few hours on their hands could do the same thing.
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Old April 3rd, 2011, 08:56 AM   #5
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Re: Pedestal Levels

Doug, do you think the custom picture settings for an XF300 or XF305 are a good starting point for an XF100?

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Old April 3rd, 2011, 01:13 PM   #6
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Re: Pedestal Levels

Hi Pat,

I don't know because I have no experience with the XF100.
If it was me, I'd start with the same settings and see where that got me.
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Old April 3rd, 2011, 03:51 PM   #7
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Re: Pedestal Levels

HI Doug,
Lovely video very nice indeed. Would you be happy to share your other settings with the rest of us? It would be greatly appreciated.
I find there is to much Magenta in the image so have wound down the R-G value to -8. This is one of the things which Alan Roberts recommends. I'll do the same with the Ped as I always used to shoot my Digi Beta with Ped at -3.
All the best
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Old April 3rd, 2011, 04:28 PM   #8
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Re: Pedestal Levels

Mark,
I prefer not to just give my settings out without adequate explanation and other information that goes along with them. Just dialing in some numbers isn't the right way to master your camera, and the paint settings have ramifications with zebra levels, overall exposure, and other other camera controls.

It's all spelled out in my 3.5 hour training DVD that took over 400 man-hours to research, write, shoot, edit, and create . . . all yours for a lousy 75 bucks. :-)

Mastering the Canon XF305/300 Camcorders training DVD
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Old April 4th, 2011, 01:22 PM   #9
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Re: Pedestal Levels

Nice work. What frame rate did you shoot at, Doug?
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Old April 4th, 2011, 02:23 PM   #10
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Re: Pedestal Levels

Fair enough Doug.
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Old April 4th, 2011, 07:08 PM   #11
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Re: Pedestal Levels

The files on my XF-300 will not transfer to the XF-100. However, I manually added the settings and they seem good enough for me. I will state one thing: The XF-100 is NOT a XF-300. The XF-300 is super crisp.
I do not like the automatic ND filter of the XF-100. I would rather use an ND filter.
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Old April 4th, 2011, 08:06 PM   #12
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Re: Pedestal Levels

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Weaver View Post
Nice work. What frame rate did you shoot at, Doug?
Thanks.
I think all of that video is 30P. I rarely shoot 24 and never shoot interlaced.
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Old April 4th, 2011, 11:33 PM   #13
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Re: Pedestal Levels

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Jensen View Post

It's all spelled out in my 3.5 hour training DVD that took over 400 man-hours to research, write, shoot, edit, and create . . . all yours for a lousy 75 bucks. :-)

Mastering the Canon XF305/300 Camcorders training DVD
It is a great video (Doug's training DVD on the XF300/5) and I HIGHLY recommend it. He doesn't waste a second of time (in fact, even though I took notes, I need several more viewings to absorb all the great info).

Doug: I do really like your recommend custom set recipe. Do you feel it may be inadvisable in darker conditions (like it loses a half stop or so)? I *want* to use it full-time, but I do so much indoor/darker stuff (wedding receptions, ballets) that I've been nervous about losing a stop as it does appear darker.
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Old April 5th, 2011, 05:28 AM   #14
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Re: Pedestal Levels

Tim, thank you for the nice comments.

I agree that my scene file is not intended for dark locations. I rarely ever need to shoot in those types of situatios, so it's not something that is at the forefront of my mind. That is probably something I should correct in future DVDs for other cameras. I have written that down as a suggestion.

I don't have an XF305 anymore to test, but I'd try raising the pedestal back to 0, raising the gain to +3, and maybe choosing a non-Cine gamma. The Cine gammas look great but chew up a lot of light. If there wasn't a whole of of motion in whatever I was going to be shooting, I'd also turn the shutter off and trade a little motion blur for 1-stop more light. Anyway, that's some of things I'd start with.
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Old April 5th, 2011, 12:55 PM   #15
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Re: Pedestal Levels

Thanks, Doug -- I look forward to trying that.
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