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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).


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Old October 2nd, 2007, 12:45 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Pelley View Post
Everyone,

I meant to say that I'm & was directly comparing the following:

a)A1 in HDV 1080 60i mode (which was reccomended to me by Canon)

versus the

b)GL-2 in SD4:3 mode.

Sorry for that major faux pas and hope it didn't confuse anybody.

Bruce
Bruce,
Try comparing them in SD4:3 mode as well. My experience with the A1 is that it is a terrific SD pwrformer. I have used the GL2 before though not much, and lots of mileage with a Sony VX2100 and Panny. The A1 doesn't give much away to them in SD.
You should get tyhe same excellent quality SD from the A1 that you do with the GL2, with no apollogies necessary. I base that on about 9 months' worth of shooting the A1 mostly in SD mode.

Can you post a sample from each of what you are getting? I think doing that would really, really help evaluate the possible source of the problem.

Do these stark diferences in performance exist outdoors as well, or is it limited to indoor shooting?

I am now seeing occasions in my A1 where I get an odd orange cast over an entire clip. Occurrs randomly. Only occurrs indoors. Seems likely a lighting issue is throwing the auto white balance, even though I use a Lowell light setup with color-balanced bulbs.

So I must ask, are you using awb, or manually doing it? If manually, do you use warm cards, or...???
SW
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Old October 2nd, 2007, 03:57 AM   #17
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I don't get it. You use 12-18 db of gain on the a1? Ofcourse it will look bad.
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Old October 2nd, 2007, 08:44 AM   #18
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If you are only shooting indoors with domestic lamps, HDV is probably not the right choice. Try a Sony VX2100/PD170 or just stick with the GL2.

My experience, working outdoors with available light, is that the XH-A1 colours are very realistic and cut together with footage from an "un-tweaked" Sony FX1 very easily. AWB will give slightly cooler, duller results, especially on a dull day or at evening, than setting a manual white balance, and the dullness becomes more noticable if you are under-exposing. However, doing a manual white-balance in really dull conditions can over-do the warming, as I found recently!

I haven't played with the custom presets yet, except to try black stretch and low-knee gamma, to pull more detail from shadow areas and stop the sky from dominating the exposure on cloudy days, so all the above is based on using the default colour settings.

Down-converting from HDV to DV in-camera can perhaps take the shine off the images, ever so slightly. I have yet to try down-converting on a computer.

That's my tuppence...
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Old October 2nd, 2007, 10:00 AM   #19
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This thread is no good without pictures.

Post some screengrabs :D
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Old October 2nd, 2007, 10:16 AM   #20
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Anyone thought about a bad LCD screen on the A1?

Perhaps you could indulge my lateral thinking and try some tests to see if the issue is really in the A1's camera.

Using both the GL2 and A1:
1 - turn on color bars on each camera and compare the two LCD screens
2 - feed the same external video source (SD DV tape; analog video; or firewire from PC; etc.) and compare the LCD displays.

Are the results similar? BTW I missed whether the footage from both cameras look reasonably similar on the computer.

Good luck!
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Old October 2nd, 2007, 09:41 PM   #21
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Thanks for keeping the suggestions rolling

Sorry Gentlemen!

It will have to be tommorrow before I can catch-up,field test your latest reccomendations and acknowledge all of the contributors to date as I've run out of time for this day.It's really appreciated all of the interest you've taken in my plight and for the feedback to date.

To be continued soon.

Thanks for your patience & eagerness to solve the problem.

Bruce
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Old October 3rd, 2007, 08:35 PM   #22
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The thread continued....A1 issues....

A little background to hopefully help you all to see where I'm coming from,what my experience has been with the GL-2 in a particular setting and why its so crucial to have enough light to shoot in.

For about 1.5 years, I've had a program on one of the public access channels on local cable TV.It's content is religious with most of it consisting of a church service which I shoot live every 2-3 weeks on average.I do 99% of the whole thing myself from start to finish.Until last month,I used a couple of GL-2's with reasonably good results before taking delivery of the A1.There is plenty of light in the sanctuary with nice coloration resulting.Anything above TV 60 (which is my preferred shooting mode & level) was too bright and started to look washed out.Canon told me its better to shoot in 1/60th...TV60 mode for best results.Nothing brighter.

Last weekend,for the 2nd time at that location, I tried using the A1 instead of the GL-2 for the shoot.At the highest light level I could get from the lens while in the customary TV 60 mode (with no gain and using the factory settings with the exposure at a +0 setting),the pulpit and general area looked grey,drab and dark!I NEVER had that problem with the GL-2 ever.As a bonus when I looked at the material latter on at home, the footage had a distinct bluish tint even though I whitebalanced and it looked fine in the LCD when playing the tape back.Needless to say I wasted that whole effort.If I had the GL-2 like normal I would have had something to show.

My chief frustration is that it should definitely not perform like this.
That's said under the basic assumption that the A1 is at least a good and in thoery it should blow the GL-2 away when used in HDV mode.The lens is supposively better.Also,there should not be a great light disparity at roughly the same settings on both cameras.I should not have to boost the gain significantly to "match" the GL-2.

I took screen grabs,tried to upload them and don't know if they were sucessfull so you can see for yourselves what a dramatic difference there is,too much so.If they failed, please drop me a line and I'll do my best to e-mail them to you.

Another frustrating discovery (which is new to this thread) is the great loss of light (on top of it being on the dark side to begin with as described above) as I zoomed in towards the pulpit.It flew through the stops which only served to compound the situation by making things even worse.

End of this particular post.
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Old October 3rd, 2007, 08:53 PM   #23
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Here are the GL-2 screengrab as requested

This is not a great picture I'm just using it to demonstrate the light variance coming in to both camera.

Settings are TV 60/exposure lock on/scroll wheel steady and neutral at a +0 setting.

Now,I'll try to get the A1 to upload.
Attached Thumbnails
The A1 colors out of the box from....HELP!-gl-2-tv60.tif  
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Old October 3rd, 2007, 09:08 PM   #24
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Bruce- Here's a few caps from last week. HDV to SD and 24 p/f on the A1 and HV20.

HV20 and GL2 ( in Ewa -Marine Bag) are just on semi auto with a warm white balance.

The A1 on the turtle is manual, no preset with a very warm color balance (on the top of the cam)

The sunset is my own really saturated preset.

You can compare.
Attached Thumbnails
The A1 colors out of the box from....HELP!-gl2.jpg   The A1 colors out of the box from....HELP!-hv20.jpg  

The A1 colors out of the box from....HELP!-a1-1.jpg   The A1 colors out of the box from....HELP!-a1-2.jpg  

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Old October 3rd, 2007, 09:14 PM   #25
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Here is the A1 frame taken at the same time

close by with the 2 units lens side by side approx 6-9 inches apart on pods.

Shooting mode was HDV1080 60i/TV 60 mode with the iris cranked on "wide open"!!

Keep in mind this was taken with no gain and with the stock factory settings out of the box.

Well,I guess the Equivalent TIFF file is bigger than what I can upload here.

So,here is a tiny jpeg file which will have to suffice.

Will mail orig tiff file on request

Sorry!
Attached Thumbnails
The A1 colors out of the box from....HELP!-a1-tv-60.jpg  
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Old October 3rd, 2007, 09:23 PM   #26
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Eric,I missed which picture out of the 4 was the

GL-2 one. What camera took what shot?

Sorry I missed it.

Liked the sunset picture.

Would you be willing to do a indoor shot,at night and post 2 pics of the same thing like I did please?

It looks more and more like I have a bad A1.

Thanks,more to come on another night.

Bruce
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Old October 3rd, 2007, 09:40 PM   #27
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Cripes man, both of those grabs are heinous!

The A1 looks clean, albeit dark, for out-of-the box. I’ve never used “TV mode” but I suspect that’s your problem.

Color me presumptuous, but I think you may have a defective GL2!
What the hell with that tiff? It looks like it was taken from a ’94 web cam.

Edit: Your GL2 tiff at 100% is over 720X480 on my screen. At 50% it looks correct.

Mouse over my pics and the file names are the model. The GL2 is the 4x3 turtles going into the water.

I’ve uploaded some “low light” A1 grabs. I’m a little busy right now editing this turtle stuff. Trust me when I tell you that both the A1 and Gl2 should take noise free, well light shots of your scenes. It’s a living room with a 60 watt bulb right? There should be no issues.

Honestly, I have no idea what’s going on with your cams. Green Box both and take those again.
Attached Thumbnails
The A1 colors out of the box from....HELP!-a1-low.jpg   The A1 colors out of the box from....HELP!-fire-a1.jpg  

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Old October 4th, 2007, 12:11 AM   #28
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Bruce, either you're doing something horribly wrong... or your A1 has something horribly wrong with it. I'm still betting it's a ND or high shutter value issue

Bill
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Old October 4th, 2007, 02:04 AM   #29
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Bruce,
What does the A1 look like on Automatic? I too use my A1 for a lot of religious filming indoors, and never a problem. I keep it on automatic during these services that I tape. Yours should not have any issues with such a filming environment.

Does it have the same issue outdoors as well, or just indoors?

How are you setting white balance?

Just for fun, try those same shots again but set wb manually using a 18% photo gray card, or maybe "warm cards". I think you may have a white balance issue, where something is fooling it.
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Old October 4th, 2007, 02:46 AM   #30
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My suggestion.

NEVER EVER USE TV60! I'm sorry, but it looks like junk, on the GL-2 and the A1.

ALWAYS shoot in Manual mode and try out the custom presets on these forums. I think the VIVIDRGB would be your best bet. Everyone knows that factory settings always suck, and unless it's a consumer camera, that's how it should be. It allows the owner to customize the camera to their own liking instead of everyone sticking with the factory setting.

And honestly, any footage will look bad without good lighting. Even the most professional cameras will make footage look horrible without proper lighting.
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