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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 25th, 2008, 02:15 PM   #1
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What's the best way to tune my colors

I tuned my LCD TV-set at home (not Full HD but just HD ready) in a way that looking at news bulletins I see natural and vivid contrasts, colors and skin tones. And looking at DVD's I produced with my old Canon XM1 footage I see the same natural and vivid contrasts, colors and skin tones on that TV-set. So when I bought the Canon XH A1, 1 month ago, I expected to see even better and more natural and more vivid contrasts, colors and skin tones. I knew that the colors of the cam would be bad right out-of-the-box but I thougt that that would be a matter of finetuning and configuring one or two good presets.

But after a month I still donn't have the right preset(s) I can work with and the first wedding is due in another month. I thought I best configure the cam when it is connected to my TV-set. But connecting via AV-out produces complete other pictuers than connecting via the Component output. And both of them produce other pictures than the LCD screen on the cam. When I think on one screen that red is too red, on another screen it is not, or vice versa.

So I thought I do it the way I do productions: shooting, capturing, editing, rendering, burn it to DVD and watch that DVD om my TV-set.
But I'm busy now for over a week tweaking two presets which come very close to what I want to see. Little bit more of this or little bit less of that and everytime, shooting, capturing, rendering and burn it. I'm very close to what I think looks good on MY TV. But how can I be sure that my productions will be appreciated by my customers when they look at it on their TV-sets?

No I know that on this website (and others) presets can be found (like Trucolor and 3dB) that were tuned using a color chart and a Vectorscope to produce natural colors (in a tecnnical way) But when I use that presets I donn't like that colors a lot. Using that presets I donn't see natural and vivid contrasts, colors and skin tones on my TV-set.

So I'm very curious if I'm the only one who encounters this problem? And how do/did others tune their presets?
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Old March 25th, 2008, 04:21 PM   #2
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Hoi Kees,

So many things could be wrong here, it's difficult to pick a place to start...

Let's assume there's nothing physically wrong with the camera and that you used an appropriate profile and whitebalanced correctly, that should produce a consistant picture quality. Maybe you should reset the cam and start from scratch.

Then on output; try a simple render first without any (color) corrections. If this looks bad on your TV, but broadcasts look ok (newscast, etc), you may be doing something wrong in post.

Lastly, you cannot calibrate your TV of of a broadcast. There are some "home theater"-type DVD's that provide basic setup assistance. Or you can have your TV professionally (ISF) calibrated for ~80-200 Euro's, if it is any good ;).

Don't try configuring your camera by connecting it to a TV. If you want to setup up your cam yourself you''ll need the right tools (charts, monitors). Otherwise you'll just go around in circles.

George/
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Old March 25th, 2008, 04:48 PM   #3
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I think this evening I came closest to what I like to see. I did some further testing with the Trucolor preset but then the version without the bluecast and with Paolo's suggested changes for the blacks. And I changed it a little bit to my liking (little less Red gain, little more setup) and I'm beginning to believe that this is close to perfect. When I came hoem from work there still was a fait amount of sunlight so I could shoot some bright footage. Later on I tried the same preset with all lights in our living room turned all the way up and I tried the preset with fairly low light and the gain switch at +6dB. In all cases the picture looks very close to what I think is natural. I also checked the results on an old CRT TV. Was not bad at all.
Now for my post procedure: I use Sony Vegas Pro 8. I shoot in HD. I capture in HD. I edit in HD and then I render to SD PAL DVD quality (Mainconcept MPEG2, 720 x 576, highest possible bitrate). The result of that I burn with DVD Architect. Is there a better way to downconvert to a SD DVD?
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Old March 25th, 2008, 05:09 PM   #4
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Kees,

Would you post the preset with your changes and perhaps some example footage?
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Old March 26th, 2008, 02:27 AM   #5
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I'll give that a try soon. I did some last changes yesterday evenening but went to bed before trying them. Have to wait for a sunny day to try it out. Meanwhile I read in another tread that my footage might be not that bad at all but that it's could be Vegas that makes it washed out. That could be an explanation for the difference I see connecting the cam to my LCD TV (via component) and look at direct pictures and the pictures I see after capturing, rendering, burning etc. Life pictures are brighter and more vivid. With my old XM1 I never noticed that difference. But that's no HD cam.
To be continued....
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