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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 August 31st, 2012, 05:19 PM   #1
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beginner needing help xf100

Hi I am a rookie and before this camera used a xha1, decided to go tapeless.
I mainly shoot action with dogs doing sheep heeding.
On my last canon I downloaded some presets for the xha1 and got some great
footage.
This camera I haven't been that impressed. Image doesn't seem as sharp? I have tried both
24p and 30p at max 50mb and everything 1080p?

Where do you recommend I start?
I know a lot about 35mm photography but very little about video.
I have searched this forum looking for preset setting have found some printed out
here Custom Picture Profiles for XF-300/305 but no actual files? Any specific place to find downloadable files? Have any third party
made instructional videos on how to use this camera?

I went with the xf100 because I wanted a lighter camera, would I be better off with a 3 sensor?
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Old August 31st, 2012, 07:10 PM   #2
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Re: beginner needing help xf100

Hi Richard, don't give on the XF100

upC_PICT.zip fx 100 cp files

Found these on the Vimeo group: https://vimeo.com/groups/canonxf/forum

This will get you going too: Canon XF 100

Also this commercial tutorial video is really helpful even though it's about the xf300 and xf305: MASTERING THE XF300 AND XF305
this is a video preview:



mike@lightcurve.com
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Old August 31st, 2012, 07:40 PM   #3
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Re: beginner needing help xf100

Richard, I wasn't really certain from your post if you're having trouble with color/gamma or if the main problem is really that your images don't have sharp enough edges to suit your needs.

Although I never owned an XH but did have a couple XL H1 cameras and now own three XF105 cameras and also work with the 305 so feel very comfortable saying that in both custom picture settings and in image sharpness, the XF cameras are heads and shoulders above the previous HDV cameras. The camera can produce very detailed images.

Custom picture settings in the XF may just take a little experimentation to get the look you want, but you can certainly get almost any look you may want.

For the frame rates, shooting fast action at 24p and perhaps even at 30p can be very challenging and takes a lot of technique and practice. What shutter speed are you using? I hope this isn't offensive to ask, but since "buttonology" is very much different in the XF100/105 than the XH, I wonder if you have inadverantly got an unsuitably slow shutter speed for the action? Could it simply be excessive motion blur? All of these cameras default to a shutter speed that's the same as the frame rate, eg a 360 degree shutter -- not good for action.
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Old August 31st, 2012, 10:06 PM   #4
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Re: beginner needing help xf100

Thanks for the help. So far I have been shooting in total auto mode read the bbc article and stated the camera defaults to 1/25 at 24p and to set the angle at 180 why would you choose to set the angle instead of the actual speed? (i know probably a rookie question) also reset the gain ranges as per the article and will try shooting in manual mode.
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Old September 1st, 2012, 05:55 AM   #5
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Re: beginner needing help xf100

I have a XHA1 and the picture quality in default mode of the xf100 is far more beter than the A1. Even in auto mode (which you should avoid).
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Old September 3rd, 2012, 08:44 PM   #6
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Re: beginner needing help xf100

Here's a quick overview of stuff I've learned in the year I've had my XF100...

I've studied a bunch of online Custom Picture files that have been posted and didn't like any of them.. so I've learned to make my own. Please excuse the terminology - this is geared for non-experts (like me)...

Do you want a flatter look or a bolder, more vivid look? Assuming you know what you want, you can get most of the way there with just a few settings...just read the manual for how to access the CP files to customize them. These are in menu order (although I'm skipping a lot of the menus).

Gamma - This controls the overall image. I don't have a good explanation of the Normal choices - they just seem punchy and more video-like. Cine 1 and 2 give a richer, more film-like look. Many users seem to like the Cine settings, especially Cine 1.

Black/Master Pedestal - controls the darker portions of your image. The default is 0, but a negative number gives darker shadows for a contrastier, bolder look. Many users set this to a negative number - I've seen 0 down to -8 used.

Sharpness/Level - a higher number here sharpens the overall image, edges of things, lines - don't overdo it to the point of seeing sharpening noise in your video.
Sharpness/Coring - this controls the sharpness of tiny details - this one is tricky - a higher number softens the tiny details, a low (as in negative) number sharpens them.

These two Sharpness settings show the most variation in the online CP files - I've seen both settings everywhere from +10 to 0 to -8. I find that advanced users don't usually sharpen heavily.

Color Matrix/Select - again you have Normal and Cine settings - just try them and see what you like. Just because you use a Cine setting for Gamma (above) doesn't mean you have to use Cine here. Sounds weird, but I use Cine 1 Gamma but Normal 3 Color Matrix - Cine Color Matrix seemed too flat when used with Cine Gamma.

Color Matrix/Gain - here's where you set color saturation - higher numbers are more vivid - I like it high, many don't - up to you. I've seen numbers from 0 to 25 used.

Other general stuff...
I've been leaving Noise Reduction on Auto (per the BBC settings) but am about to experiment with a manual setting of 1 or 2 (see earlier post in this thread) and see if it seems to soften the image too much.
Be sure to limit Gain - most users seem to keep it at 6 or lower except when absolutely necessary to save a shot. Remember that there are minus values available.
If it works for your subject matter, 24p is noticeably better in low light.
Lens quality is considered to be better at wider apertures, so adjust gain, etc. to keep it pretty wide open. I don't shoot in bright sunlight much, but have an add on ND filter for when I do.
Many users use just two CP files - a bolder one for general use and a flatter one for low light.
Of course, do manual white balance as with any camera and don't use Full Auto - that will up the Gain too much leading to noisy video.
Don't scrimp on compact flash cards - stick with Canon's approved list.

Hope this helps others get started, and I also hope someone truly knowledgeable doesn't come back and tell me I have this all wrong :-)
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Old September 4th, 2012, 01:55 AM   #7
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Re: beginner needing help xf100

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Kane View Post
So far I have been shooting in total auto mode read the bbc article and stated the camera defaults to 1/25 at 24p and to set the angle at 180
I think here is your problem, like Peter said slow shutters can lead to excessive motion blur in fast action scenes which you could perceive as "unsharp" images.

Quote:
If it works for your subject matter, 24p is noticeably better in low light.
I don't know the camera but if it defaults to 1/25 shutter, like Richard said in 24p, that explains why it has a better low light performance but it also will cause other effects that wil affect the image, especially in faster action scenes. In this case I wouldn't reccomend filming in 24p but to use 50I with a shutter of 1/50 (in pal land)
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Old September 6th, 2012, 07:37 PM   #8
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Re: beginner needing help xf100

For me, i had some clips where the image is really soft, almost out of focus (especially when shooting outside in bright light, while I've most that are extremely sharp and awesome looking. The best tip to fix that in my situation was to keep the Aperture as wide as possible, the camera's ND filters allows me to use a wide enough aperture in bright outdoor light.
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Old September 7th, 2012, 07:50 AM   #9
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Re: beginner needing help xf100

Didn't think about this before but soft images can be a result of diffraction meaning when the camera's iris closes almost completely in order to handle imcoming stroing light like the sun, this will give you an softer image as well.
the sweet spot for some camera's is around f4.0 for the sharpest image and usually you use the nd filter to keep it around that value outside in bright sun, or if there is no ND filter you can use a higher shutter. Having you iris wide open will cause a slightly softer image as well, only not that clearly visible then when closed almost.
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