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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 June 17th, 2013, 11:59 PM   #1
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XF100 and G10/20 or XA10 CP suggestions?

Hello everyone,
I'm a new XF100 owner here. Still wrapping my mind around the CP settings and figuring out how to best use them to get the image I'd like. I also have an XA10 and will be purchasing a G20, and was wondering if anyone has any advice or suggestions on how to tweak the CPs to get images that will cut together well from these three cameras? Does anyone else have CPs they like to use with an XA10 or G20? I would appreciate any suggestions or thoughts on how to use these cams together, as I'm stumbling a bit in knowing how to best match the footage, and which settings to focus on tweaking to change the look.
Thanks!
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Old June 18th, 2013, 05:46 AM   #2
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Re: XF100 and G10/20 or XA10 CP suggestions?

For wedding work I've been using the XF100 as my main camera and the XA10 as the cover shot.

On the XF100 I've been using this J Cine CP:

http://www.movieingmemories.com/Cano...0-Settings.zip

I've also tweaked the Noise Reduction setting in this CP from Automatic to 2. The XF100 always seems noiser than the XA10 esp. in low light, so I'm still searching for a CP setting that I like.
XF100 Gain Settings are set to:
L = -3
M = 0
H = +6
Auto Gain is set to a max of 12


On the XA10 under Image Effects I have it set to:
Color Depth -1
Sharpness - 0
Contrast -2
Brightness +2


So far with these settings seem to cut together ok. But if anyone else would care to share their settings, I'm interested to see those as well. Ideally I'd like have matching (or close) settings for the XF100/XA10/ 7D/5dmkII


You might also want to check out this thread for other XF100 CPs to try:

https://vimeo.com/groups/canonxf/forum/topic:230636
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Old June 18th, 2013, 10:29 AM   #3
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Re: XF100 and G10/20 or XA10 CP suggestions?

Hi Todd, Thanks so much for this info. I'll try your settings and see how that works. I wasn't able to open your J Cine CP however, it said there was a file error - but I think that I may already have this CP and the Brian Weed CPs from another user (Thanks, Shaf). Those definitely helped but I'll try your tweaks too.

You're right about the noise, I have been so surprised by how noisy the images are on the XF100 compared to my XA10! I had expected the XF100 to look cleaner than the XA10, so I was pretty shocked to see this amount of noise on the images with indoor lighting. But I'm hoping as I get used to fine-tuning the XF settings I"ll be able to ameliorate the noise issue, at least somewhat.
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Old June 18th, 2013, 12:42 PM   #4
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Re: XF100 and G10/20 or XA10 CP suggestions?

Sorry about that.

I found the link to the J Cine CP from David Dixon on page 2 of this thread:
Beginner badly needs help: Setting up XF100 for low light

So maybe see if the link works through there.

Try playing with the noise reduction parameter and see how it works. I've heard adjusting the Coring parameter also helps.

If you ever get them dialed in, please share your settings as well. Still tweaking it as I'm still not satisfied with the amount of noise of my XF100. Might think about replacing it with the XA20.


... or a C100 ;-)
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Old June 18th, 2013, 10:20 PM   #5
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Re: XF100 and G10/20 or XA10 CP suggestions?

Yes, with the XF100 keep the (exposure) Gain at +6 or lower or you will see noise. If your content/subject matter allows, shooting at 30p or better yet, 24p will gain you a stop or more of exposure. And of course always manually color balance.

After two years with my XF100 and studying picture file adjustments, there are really just a few basics to know. What kind of look do you want, and do you want it immediately out-of-camera or do you want the control (or hassle :-) of making some adjustments in post? Note: below when I say higher/lower I mean the numerical settings in the CP settings menus.

Black Gamma and Master Pedestal - lower these settings to get bolder, blacker blacks, raise to get a flatter more pastel look. A flatter look allows more shadow detail capture, and you can always lower the blacks in post.

Gamma - Cine is a more subtle look; Video is bolder and more realistic. Cine requires a little more exposure and light.

Sharpness - refers to overall sharpness - higher = sharper. If you take this too far you will see sharpening artifacts.
Coring - controls the sharpness of fine detail, like textures - higher = softer (note this is the opposite of Sharpness settings). If you take this too low (sharp) you will get moire patterns and other artifacts; too high and your fancy expensive camera will look as soft as a $200 handy cam.

Color Matrix - If the Cine/Video choice here doesn't match the Gamma setting above, you'll get weird color shifts in certain lighting, so I recommend matching them.
Color Matrix - Gain - sets color saturation - higher = more saturated. This is also easy to adjust in post.

The G and XA series Canons, unlike the XF series, have default settings with pretty bold blacks, fairly high sharpness, and fairly vivid color, so for matching I'd adjust the XF100 in that direction and then test a lot.

My own CP files have evolved over time. I also prefer a saturated, sharp, contrasty look, but currently don't try to fully get that in-camera. I shoot now with less contrast and less color, then adjust the blacks and saturation in post. I've found that the camera does a pretty good job with sharpness so I dial that up in the CP setting. I almost always use Cine gammas.

So, I have...
- a flat blacks/flat color/high sharpness CP file that I use whenever possible (Cine gamma)
- a dark blacks/saturated color/high sharpness look that I use if for some reason I won't have much time to adjust in post (Cine gamma)
- a flat blacks/flat color/low sharpness/high coring look to minimize noise if I have to use high gain (Video gamma)

I don't use any of the CP files posted online - they just didn't suit me. I did however borrow a few minor settings (Knee, Black Gamma) from a couple of them.

Hope this is helpful

Last edited by David Dixon; June 19th, 2013 at 09:19 AM.
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Old June 18th, 2013, 10:26 PM   #6
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Re: XF100 and G10/20 or XA10 CP suggestions?

Yes, using manual at higher settings instead of Automatic on the Noise Reduction setting can help, but go easy unless you want a really soft look.

And, on the XF100, to avoid noise, just don't use high Gain. Keep it on manual and limit it. Add light, lower shutter speed, etc. to keep the Gain at +6 or lower. I try to keep it to +3 or less.

And I didn't create that J Cine CP file, just linked to it - although I did steal a couple of settings from it for my personal CPs. I also got some Black Gamma settings from older postings from Pavel on this forum.

Last edited by David Dixon; June 19th, 2013 at 09:22 AM.
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Old June 19th, 2013, 11:15 AM   #7
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Re: XF100 and G10/20 or XA10 CP suggestions?

Thanks, David for this great information. This is extremely helpful in understanding exactly what to tweak in the CP settings. I'll experiment with this and come back with my results. I also have tried Pavel's settings and those are some of my favorite so far.

About the noise, in one test I had the gain manually set to +6 and that was where I was shocked by the noise, because my XA10 handled the same lighting with no problem. But I guess this is just one of the limitations of the XF100 that I"ll have to remember when shooting indoors. I usually try to use existing lights, but may have to invest in some lights too...
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Old June 19th, 2013, 12:27 PM   #8
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Re: XF100 and G10/20 or XA10 CP suggestions?

Glad to be of help! Of course, the XF100 has the same sensor as the XA10, but with a better lens and codec. But as you will find the CP has a great effect on noise as well. And the XA was probably using a more video-like gamma which lets in more light.

As I told Pavel in an earlier thread, his settings had this lovely "creamy" (that was the best word I could come up with) quality. He told me that was partly due to some unusual Black Gamma settings he used: Level 23, Range 4, Point 29. He said those made the falloff to black in the shadows very soft and gradual, so I use those.

Then the creator of the J cine CP said he had adjusted the Knee settings to make a very soft transition to white in the upper exposure levels to control blown out highlights better, so I use his settings there: Enable is On, Auto is Off, Slope 12, Point 70, Saturation 0.

So, those are my final tricks :-) Again, this gives a flat look with lots of shadow and highlight detail. In post I use scopes to adjust the shadow and highlight levels, then boost the saturation.

So you may want to experiment with those tweaks - I like them.

Oh, one more thing - although you should not use the LED display to judge color, exposure, etc., it's recommended to turn up the brightness some on the display to get a more accurate sense of what's going on.
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Old June 19th, 2013, 07:10 PM   #9
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Re: XF100 and G10/20 or XA10 CP suggestions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aya Okawa View Post
may have to invest in some lights too...
And Neat Video. With that you can go to 24dB. I've posted some trial shots:
Agree with everything David has said. I don't think you can find a single CP that will match with the XA 10 in all light conditions. You could spend many happy hours experimenting with CPs, but don't let it stop you using the camera because whatever CP it gives you so much latitude in post. I now mainly shoot with a setting I call "normal A", which is everything default except NR 2. The other thing to watch with this camera is the white balance - it's worth getting a white balance card.
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Old June 19th, 2013, 07:41 PM   #10
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Re: XF100 and G10/20 or XA10 CP suggestions?

Thanks for the tip about Neat Video - I hadn't heard of that program and its amazing what it did with that Venus shot! And yes about white balancing. I notice that even when I white balance the XF100 and XA10 together, that the XA100 has a slightly more yellow tone. So I'm experimenting with all this now. Thanks so much for the feedback!
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Old June 20th, 2013, 04:34 PM   #11
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Re: XF100 and G10/20 or XA10 CP suggestions?

+1 for Neat Video - Great tool to have in your arsenal.

I use an x-rite Colorchecker Passport for white balance. Has an 18% gray card & color reference target in a compact protective case. Mainly use it for photography, but find that it also helps when white balancing and trying to match two video cameras. I white balance both the XA10 and XF100, then shoot a quick closeup of the color reference target with both cameras. Makes it easier in post when I try to match them up.
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