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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 June 11th, 2008, 08:57 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Herrmann View Post
David-
I see you wrote the gains setting at high is 6. It can be set anywhere from -3 to 18.
if you want some grain do an 18 gain, works every time.
I think you misread my answer...

I meant to say that the grain is very minimal at +6 that i can still use it for weddings. And Eddie is complaining that it is graining even at -3. yes it can go up to +18, but it sure is not usable in my option

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddie Coates View Post
I am sorry folks for not responding sooner...

I have the AGC set to OFF

Preset is low -3

I do not use high gain or any gain boost due the fact I shoot in lots of light so a boost is NOT
Needed.

E
I think it is the compression of the NLE.

Have you tried hooking it up directly in to a HDTV straight out from the camera?
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Old June 11th, 2008, 01:58 PM   #17
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Ahem.................

Would someone, anyone, like to answer the question I asked back in #6, whilst you lot were off "wild goose chasing" all over the planet?

Eddies statement right at the beginning was enough to ring alarm bells here.

I know the A1 ain't grainy, you know the A1 ain't grainy, so if anyone says it's grainy, there's gotta be sommat weird going on.

Chanting mantra's doesn't help much in these situations.

So, what's Eddie watching this on, and how is the video getting there?

Eddie?


CS
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Old June 27th, 2008, 06:49 AM   #18
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So?

What happened?

You guys find God, the Holy Grail, a free ticket on the Metro for a year, did whathisname get glasses, find the focus ring, or what?


CS
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Old June 27th, 2008, 05:40 PM   #19
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Chances are you're missing something that will seem obvious once you familiarize yourself with the camera - apart from when you accidentally knock the lock switch. No matter how many times I do that, I always seem to spend at least 15 minutes in a panic thinking my camera's broken.
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Old June 27th, 2008, 06:22 PM   #20
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I dont own an XH-A1, but when I used it on previous shoots, I too did notice the really grainy image even at AGC off and 0 gain.

I dont know if its just me or a fact that just hasnt been discussed, but I noticed that when you turn on peaking, that increases the grain. I know that you get stuff on screen to tell you about focus, but it seems those things are recorded onto tape.

Can somebody do comparisons for this? I only used the camera on 3 or 4 shoots, but that was something I noticed.
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Old June 27th, 2008, 06:22 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Vinny Flood View Post
TNo matter how many times I do that, I always seem to spend at least 15 minutes in a panic thinking my camera's broken.

Thought I was the only one...
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Old June 28th, 2008, 10:46 AM   #22
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Ryan,
it does not record peaking unless you are going out of the camera to a recording device or whatever. Peaking is not recorded to tape.
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Old June 28th, 2008, 10:55 AM   #23
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You know the other thing I've noticed is that people's perception of the truth varies. Grainy to Eddie might be perfectly clean to me. He won't be able to understand why I can't see the grain, and I won't understand what he's complaining about. I think the scale goes from 0-100 with perception of technical issues with brides coming in at about 12-15, most of us coming in around 50-75 and maybe Eddie's one of those unfortunate guys that is sitting around 90 or so. I love the thought of being around the 35 mark. Blisfully unaware is a great place to me. I have truned in so many videos where I've said Ok my career is over because this video is just so technically bad. Brides just can't tell. I think Eddie just might be on the other end of the spectrum...
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Old June 28th, 2008, 12:48 PM   #24
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The first footage I shot out of the box was unbelievably grainy. It was because the Auto Gain Control was set to on (as others have already hinted at.)

Since remedying that minor issue, I don't see any grain until I go to +12db gain. And even then, if the lighting is otherwise contrasty -- albeit dim -- the grain is actually kind of attractive in a certain sense. Here's a link to some footage I shot at 60i, 1/30 shutter, f2.0, +12db gain: http://vimeo.com/1202294

I use a custom preset with the sharpening set to -7, and then I will just slightly sharpen (.100) in Vegas if I think it needs a little.

To me, this is about the limit on the amount of graininess I can tolerate. That said, I think it is tolerable -- especially if your choices are shoot in low light or don't shoot at all.

In well-lighted circumstances, I shoot with the gain at -3db. At -3, 0, and +3, I can perceive no "grain" issue in my footage, whether at 60i or 24f. If someone's getting grainy footage and the AGC is not the issue, then I would suggest the possibility of a defective sensor. One thing you could try is to shoot separate red, green, and blue cards and see if the graininess is isolated to one of the sensors.

I'm not certain of all the electronics-related principles involved, but the other possibility could be something wrong with the ND filters. I like to play around with the settings to see the results, and I've noticed that a small aperture, high ND filtering, and slow shutter speed in combination could be producing something you perceive as grainy.

A screen shot would probably go far to helping us diagnose the problem. If you do one, make sure it's a full-size HD shot.
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Old June 28th, 2008, 03:38 PM   #25
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Will,

I agree that strait out of the box comes alot of grain with the factory preset
however soon and still to find out is the mode and preset settings thanks to this
site. Your vimeo links looks really good (to my vision) I am sure had to subject
been moving even shooting at 30i would have put focus on the low light conditions
at + 12db. Just my 2 cents.

Curious to know what preset you used on Steve Swift Live at?

Henrik
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Old June 29th, 2008, 04:10 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henrik Joensen View Post
Will,

I agree that strait out of the box comes alot of grain with the factory preset
however soon and still to find out is the mode and preset settings thanks to this
site. Your vimeo links looks really good (to my vision) I am sure had to subject
been moving even shooting at 30i would have put focus on the low light conditions
at + 12db. Just my 2 cents.

Curious to know what preset you used on Steve Swift Live at?

Henrik
It's my own custom preset. I named it RICHSOFT. (Actually, if I had it to do over again, I'd probably use something different for such a low light situation. I just simply forgot about it when I shot the footage in question.)

Anyway, here's the RICHSOFT preset as currently configured:

RICHSOFT XH-A1 Preset

Color Gain 10
Red Gain 10
Green Gain 7
Blue Gain 15
RG-Matrix 5
RB-Matrix 5
GR-Matrix 5
GB-Matrix 5
BR-Matrix 5
BG-Matrix 5
Gamma Cine 2
Color Matrix Cine 2
HDF Mid
Black Mid
Knee Low
NR1 Off
NR2 Off
Color Phase 0
H/V 0
Sharpness -7
Master Pedestal -7
Setup Level -6
Coring 6
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Old June 30th, 2008, 06:00 PM   #27
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The noise is absolutely present, and is normal. Believe it or not, this camera actually produces less noise than most of the others in its class, but it still produces noise.

You can adjust settings to greatly reduce grain at the expense of sensitivity, perceived sharpness, and latitude. For example, drop the master pedestal to -7 or less, sharpness to minimum, lower the knee, turn up coring, etc etc. After a little bit of experimentation and tuning, you will be thoroughly impressed by the cleanliness of the image at the price point.

Also keep in mind that the LCD is much less accurate for shadows than highlights.
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Old July 2nd, 2008, 10:15 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Grant View Post
You know the other thing I've noticed is that people's perception of the truth varies. Grainy to Eddie might be perfectly clean to me. He won't be able to understand why I can't see the grain, and I won't understand what he's complaining about. I think the scale goes from 0-100 with perception of technical issues with brides coming in at about 12-15, most of us coming in around 50-75 and maybe Eddie's one of those unfortunate guys that is sitting around 90 or so. I love the thought of being around the 35 mark. Blisfully unaware is a great place to me. I have truned in so many videos where I've said Ok my career is over because this video is just so technically bad. Brides just can't tell. I think Eddie just might be on the other end of the spectrum...
bill
Good point Bill. We have a much different perception of what is acceptable than the brides (or other non-technical users) do. I have been shooting receptions lately at 6db (using the Trucolor and Panalook2 presets). Yes, there is a bit of grain, but would the bride notice? I doubt it, even in HD.

The same goes for other technical flaws. A couple of weeks ago I posted a trailer on another forum. While it was generally well received, there were the usual comments on shaky camera work in places, saturation levels, and other issues. It was also posted on my blog for the bride and groom. They thought it was perfect.

Every year our local videographers association has a film festival for members to show their stuff. And every year I sweat over fixing technical glitches in video that I have already sent to the client. I know the client won't notice, but that other videographers will.

One thing about grain is that most people expect a bit of it as grain is present in film. Why do you think that "film look" filters have a feature to add it? The nice thing about the grain in the XH-A1 is that most of it is luma noise and can actually add to the film look that we are trying to archive.
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Old July 2nd, 2008, 10:45 AM   #29
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I have been shooting a docu on the local volunteer fire company and go out on calls with the firefighters, sometimes at night, sometimes in dark buildings.When in the dark I use +12 or +6 depending on the situation.

I have noticed that when there is only dim ambient light there is there is more noise than in situations where there almost any light source, however dim, in the frame. If, for example, there is a flashlight source anywhere in the shot, the whole shot, the dark portions looks, to my eye, less noisy than a similar shot in which there is not such a source.

I have an idea that small point sources (which aren't providing much if anything in the way of over-all ambient lighting) illuminating even a small portion of a subject has some kind of effect on how the A1 processes a low-light signal overall.

It's hard to explain, and I might be nuts, but I think it's a real effect.
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Old July 4th, 2008, 10:46 AM   #30
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Will, thank you very much for sharing and commenting.
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