TrueColor configuration for XH A1 at DVinfo.net

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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 March 14th, 2008, 04:25 PM   #1
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TrueColor configuration for XH A1

After the release of TrueColor 3.0 for the JVC HD100 I've been asked to replicate those settings with numerous cameras. While I don't have an XH A1 one of my clients was able to send me one for a few weeks just to calibrate it at the best of my possibilities. TrueColor is a scene file that aims to set the camera to the most neutral, 1:1, configuration possible. This is to follow the well established practice to shoot neutral, use the maximum precision that the camera can provide and then obtain the look that you desire in post, possibly at 32 bits of precision.

The configuration is available at my site http://www.paolociccone.com or you can link directly to the article using http://www.paolociccone.com/blog/?cat=46

Enjoy!
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Old March 16th, 2008, 03:33 PM   #2
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Thanks Paolo. It`s excellent.
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Old March 16th, 2008, 03:40 PM   #3
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Paolo, we're using the Ambi2 OSGs from DSC and we also own an XH-A1 here for testing. I'll replicate the settings and see how they look on the rear-illuminated versions. We're about to do the same testing here with the EX1, HV20 (not adjustable) and the HPX500 (also no matrix!) to see how they all stack up. Are you doing any dynamic range testing with the cams? If so I'd love to chat :-)

From what I've gleaned talking to the DSC crew, part of the noise problem is OnLocation itself. I find it much easier to read the displays when p frames are turned off in the OnLocation output menu..it stops all the "pulsing" in the scope display.

Cheers,
Dennis.
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Old March 16th, 2008, 07:09 PM   #4
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Hey Paulo,
I shot my son's soccer game with this yesterday as a test, and I am exstatic! I really believe this will even be my new low light preset... Thanks a million...
Bill
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Old March 16th, 2008, 07:35 PM   #5
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Bill, Ivan, you are very welcome, glad it works for you. The HD100 version quickly became one of the most widely used settings. Funny thing how the image "pops" when you calibrate it just for reality :)
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Old March 16th, 2008, 07:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Wood View Post
Paolo, we're using the Ambi2 OSGs from DSC and we also own an XH-A1 here for testing. I'll replicate the settings and see how they look on the rear-illuminated versions.
Very cool, it'll be interesting to see if there are differences.

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Are you doing any dynamic range testing with the cams? If so I'd love to chat :-)
Very good point. I forgot to mention it in my post. I compared the A1 to the HD100, a camera that costs about $2,000 more, and yes, the A1 has a narrower dynamic range. In particular you can see how highlights go abruptly from OK to blown out after you go past a given aperture. I mean, it's to be expected. Highlights are the weak point of any digital camera and the extra dough goes to better sensors and circuits, nothing surprising here. For the money the A1 is actually a pretty good deal. The amount of adjustability is quite surprising for a camera of this price range and in a couple of spots it was actually more flexible than the HD100. The ability to dial in the white balance, for example, is not available in the HD100.

Quote:
From what I've gleaned talking to the DSC crew, part of the noise problem is OnLocation itself. I find it much easier to read the displays when p frames are turned off in the OnLocation output menu..it stops all the "pulsing" in the scope display.
That can fix the pulse but the noise is really there. I verified it with other cameras and the difference between the two setups is glaring. The detail circuit is the one things that should be ripped out of the camera. Set it to off or at the bare minimum and you'll get much better pictures. It's a little bit like shootin RAW with still cameras. If you have a camera that captures both RAW and JPG you'll see that the Jpeg files always seem sharper. That's because the conversion circuit adds a bit of sharpening. The RAW files are straight from the sensor. When you apply the sharpening in post you always end up with a better result.

Take care.
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Old March 17th, 2008, 05:47 AM   #7
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Excellent Preset Paolo. I was always unsure about the sharpening, thanks for clarifying. IMO the preset achives a film look without the use of the CineGamma, but thats just my opinion.

You might want to copy the Preset to the XH Custom Presets Download Library thread just so other people might not miss it.
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Old March 17th, 2008, 06:56 AM   #8
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Thanks Paolo. I followed what you did for the HD100, so I'm looking forward to trying this!

Richard
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Old March 17th, 2008, 12:11 PM   #9
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Nice CLEAN preset, albeit slightly dark.

Bumping the setup level up bought in some more light, however I was wondering how this responds to lower lit environments or graduated colour tones (such as shadowed faces)

I agree 100% regarding the fine clipping the A1 is capable of, however I also find that the knee is far more reponsive in this regard than any other camera.
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Old March 17th, 2008, 03:43 PM   #10
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Even modified with cinegamma - this preset produces really good looking pictures. It is the first preset, that show my cat in really natural colors - even this Black&White with this intensive brown... Simply excellent. Thanks!
http://www.bildercache.de/anzeige/20...211527-407.jpg
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Old March 17th, 2008, 05:05 PM   #11
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Hmm... so far my 1st prelim look at this TrueColor preset seems to be on the cool side. Manual WB made whites seem a tad blue. TrueBlue? :) Will do more testing later.
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Old March 17th, 2008, 05:32 PM   #12
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This is a great idea for a preset. I just got my A1 today and am going to plug these settings in right away. Must. Get. Perfect. Image. ;-)
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Old March 17th, 2008, 07:33 PM   #13
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The XH-A1 is indeed a very noisy camera, particulary in low light. You've got my curiousity piqued now though to compare the camera on this criteria to the EX1, HV20 and HPX500. The HPX500 image is noticeably cleaner than all the other cams and this should be fairly evident on the displays.

We're using the 72db (13 stop chart) from DSC labs. Other than setting the "white" bar to 100 IRE on the waveform and reading off the stops, would you have any other techniques we should try to explore the range of these cams?

BTW, here's the preset file "TRUCOLOR": http://www.cinevate.com/images/PRESET19.CPF

Paolo, here's what it looks like from the Ambi2: http://www.cinevate.com/images/trucolor.jpg Sorry about the picture but Onlocation doesn't save the image frame when doing a windows screen print..directx or something goofy like that. This is a still photo of the laptop screen...but the colours look great.

Last edited by Dennis Wood; March 17th, 2008 at 09:57 PM.
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Old March 17th, 2008, 08:22 PM   #14
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Thanks for the fabulous preset. It's CP1 on my cam! This preset greatly improves the issues I've had with the my XH A1. The image is more natural and will cut better with with other cams. I found it perplexing that the HV20 seemed to have better color than my XH A1.

Bill may have something with the image being a little cool. However, I was only looking through the LCD, so I don't expect all the blue hues to be exact on it. I'd rely on a scope more than what my eye sees on the built in LCD.
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Old March 17th, 2008, 08:24 PM   #15
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Many thanks for posting this.

I look forward to trying it out. It sounds good.
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