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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 9th, 2008, 03:24 PM   #1
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Auto WB issue?

Hey everyone,

Quick question - when filming weddings I generally use the awb feature as I find it usually is pretty accurate and stays consistent between my multiple A1's - however one weird quirk is if the camera goes into standby or I turn it off, when turned back on, I often find the white balance is way off and to fix all I have to do is flip AWB off and then back on and its back to normal.

If time permits I white balance manually, but sometimes in certain situations AWB is the easiest way to go and gives good results.

Anyone else experiencing this? Am I doing something wrong? Did I miss a firmware upgrade?

Thanks!
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Old June 9th, 2008, 04:23 PM   #2
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This is normal for the A1 but I would highly recommend WB manually. The reason is that AWB can shift dramatically as the day wears on of if you go from shade to sun or have any other light temp changes. When this happens during a critical shot it is very hard, if not impossible, to correct in post without it being noticed.
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Old June 9th, 2008, 08:58 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Fink View Post
Hey everyone,

Quick question - when filming weddings I generally use the awb feature as I find it usually is pretty accurate and stays consistent between my multiple A1's - however one weird quirk is if the camera goes into standby or I turn it off, when turned back on, I often find the white balance is way off and to fix all I have to do is flip AWB off and then back on and its back to normal.

If time permits I white balance manually, but sometimes in certain situations AWB is the easiest way to go and gives good results.

Anyone else experiencing this? Am I doing something wrong? Did I miss a firmware upgrade?

Thanks!

We try to use auto as well just because of the various light sources in Reception halls, the trick we've learned is just to turn off the awb right when turn the cam on and then turn it right back on to reset everything and it seems to normalize pretty fast. Otherwise you'll have it glowing red for 10-15 seconds...
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Old June 11th, 2008, 08:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Miller View Post
This is normal for the A1 but I would highly recommend WB manually. The reason is that AWB can shift dramatically as the day wears on of if you go from shade to sun or have any other light temp changes. When this happens during a critical shot it is very hard, if not impossible, to correct in post without it being noticed.
Wouldn't you have the same problem with manual? I mean if the light changes so quick all I have to do is flip off AWB and flip it back on and I am pretty set, but for manual you need to find a pure white object...

I mainly shoot weddings and to me there are only a few "critical" moments and none where the light will change with the exception of a window-full church or an outdoor ceremony.

When I am filming staged stuff, like commercials or interviews, of course I manually whitebalance because I have the time and control, but during weddings sometimes, a lot of the times its run and gun.
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Old June 12th, 2008, 02:00 AM   #5
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Not that I use AWB much at all, but with my A1 at least when AWB isn't doing what it's supposed to do, simply turning off AWB & then back on had no effect, or maybe I haven't had the patience to wait. FWIW, I always have manual A set to some incandescent value & B to outdoor value, so I did find that switching temporarily to manual & set to A or B depending what the light source is, THEN it would work properly when switching back to AWB.
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Old June 12th, 2008, 04:07 PM   #6
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Matthew. Yes you can have a similar issue but the results are different. Here is a real world example: If you are shooting AWB on a sunny day outside and the sun suddenly goes behind a cloud the WB will change attempting to keep up with the changing light temp instead of going towards blue as it should. Depending upon what you are shooting this can be a real problem. In another example lets say you are shooting in the shade and AWB has your WB set about right. A White truck passes reflecting light into your shot. AWB can't keep up so you get a quick changing color shift that you just can't fix in post. These things have actually happened to me which is why I always WB manually.

Not sure I explained that very well so I'll try to find an actual clip to demonstrate.
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Old June 12th, 2008, 04:39 PM   #7
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Ok. here is a link to a video example of why not to use auto white balance. Much of the time AWB works fine but this example can just ruin your day in the edit bay - no, I'm nat a poet :-)

http://exposureroom.com/members/Vide...7803d76578fb5/
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Old June 12th, 2008, 06:29 PM   #8
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I completely get what you are saying and thanks for the video!

If I was using it for something like that I would definitely set manual, but like I said, most of the time I use AWB is for weddings and when we are outside, that footage isnt critical so if something like that happened you probably wouldn't notice because we are usually in fields or water where the sky is the background, so you would actually see it change (making sense to your eyes and brain) and probably not needed a fix.

If it was a ceremony or a critical part then yes I would manually white balance, definitely if I have the time to!
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Old June 13th, 2008, 01:32 AM   #9
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That's exactly the reason why i stick with manual WB all the time. 90% of the time the indoor/outdoor presets onder the lcd are just about right for me. At least the WB stays constant and if needed can have a little tweaking in post.
For those special light occasions, say reception halls with mixed lights, i perform 1 or 2 WB under the A and/or B preset. I can change to 3 presets (indoor/outdoor, A or B) then whenever i feel the need.
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Old June 13th, 2008, 08:37 AM   #10
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HOT Dance Show Lighting

I just attended a rehearsal and the video I captured at this venue with AWB creates blow outs on parts of the stage, and gives the dancers a bad tan. I know part of my problem at this OVERLY lit venue can be fixed with fstops. Manual white balance on the other hand can be hard to implement.
How do you set the Manual WB under this scenario when only house lights are on during set up,this changes to black, then the HOT stage lights appear with shooter in the dark and no WB set? Rehearsal number two is tonight and any advice appreciated.
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Old June 13th, 2008, 11:26 AM   #11
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I would suggest a manual WB under a typical lighting scenario. You can then adjust WB manually in post to suite your taste. The problem with AWB is that is changes in real time (sort of) as lighting changes making it very hard to fix in post.
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