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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 May 31st, 2008, 03:13 PM   #331
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Thanks for the comment Marcel.
Last week I did some testing. It was great weather with a few clouds in the air. I did no manual WB and set the camera to 5600K.

I switched the camera on M(anual)

I did no manual WB and set the camera to 5600K: (Little switch under the LCD set to (K) and white balance to (PRE) then press the manual white balance button and wait for the kelvin temperature blink on the screen and turn on the little wheel to change it to 5600 <-- Quick explination for beginners.

Then I switched on the custom presets and selected true color and some other CP's. I watched the picture on our 32 inch Full HD screen and compared it with outside....that was a WOW! moment...

After making the CP movie I was wondering which methode was right: number 1 or number 2. And yes, you are completely free to have a choice. But Canon said: number 1 is the way to go.

Both are the same thing. No extra work. No extra handlings....just a little change in the way you do it....only difference: the resulting picture.
As I said: If you have a CP which tells the camera to +3 the color red, green or blue and if you do a manual WB and that brings the camera back with -3 on the color you +3....then it has no meaning to have CP's. This is no techno stuff...it's very basic.

I"m not the expert in CP's and how to handle things...but I was very curious about the way I should really handle my A1. And this was one of the things I could not find in the manual. Yes they tell you how to handle WB and CP's....but they don't tell you in which order they should work. So I asked Canon..

Please, if you have the time, read this article:

http://www.dvuser.co.uk/content.php?CID=69
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Old May 31st, 2008, 05:29 PM   #332
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gert Kracht View Post

As I said: If you have a CP which tells the camera to +3 the color red, green or blue and if you do a manual WB and that brings the camera back with -3 on the color you +3....then it has no meaning to have CP's. This is no techno stuff...it's very basic.
Thanks, Gert.

Actually, it not as basic as one might think. White balancing does not necessarily negate your color settings in the preset. For example if you have your preset set red to +3 and white balance, it may move red to -2 or to +4 in order to produce white. It depends on and is relative to the other color settings in the preset and of course the color of the light. Balancing white doesn't necessarily deminish the affect of the saturation of each color and how it appears individually in the picture. In addition, there are many more settings in a preset than just simple color gain that affect the look of the picture.

When I was working on modifying a preset, I was outdoors. While I was playing aournd, I white balanced the camera and then moved through my 3 favorite presets. I repeated the process but this time white balancing after I switched to each preset...all the while recording to tape. Later, when played back the footage in my NLE, I ended up with 6 different looks. I didn't think about it much then, but if white balancing after switching to the preset negates the settings then the last 3 would have all looked the same. This was by no means a controlled experiment and other stuff happened in between moving through those presets, but I did learn from it. I also tried no w/b and using the outdoor K setting just to see how that looked.

I just happened to find that the preset I was modifying had a more pleasing look (to me) when I used the second method, rather than the first so I continued to modify the preset using that method.

I'm not saying that Canon's method is wrong or that I would never use their method in the future. I'm just using a different method now and happy with it.

This takes me back to my point that it's all about what works to create the look you want.

By the way I did read the article. Very informative. I have worked with video since back when it was black & white on reel-to-reel machines. I'm also familiar with using gels on lighting rigs, etc. and that article brought back some memories of nightmare lighting situations.

I also understand that if I want to capture the colors of a sunset, I'm not gong to white balance. Most of the times, though...I'm not shooting sunsets.

What I've come to find out through the years is that practical application doesn't always equal theory.

I understand your point that Canon said this is how they intended for CPs should be used. I spent hours upon hours playing with the settings on this camera since I got it and I have found that they can be used in other ways as well...and with good results.

I really enjoy the A1's adjustability!

By the way, where is Ens? I was born in Den Haag. (I don't even know if I spelled that right )
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Old May 31st, 2008, 05:46 PM   #333
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Thanks again for the nice reply Marcel. I hope there will be more people telling about their experience with this.

It sertainly helped me with getting some answers and I am sertainly going out the door tomorow to do some testing.

Oh yes, Ens...look at the little atachment....if you use it in Google Earth, it will bring you to on top of our little house in the middle of the Netherlands.
I also added a KMZ of the place where I made the custom preset movie. And I will return there very soon to make the second one with now 42 presets.
(And also doing some tests with WB and CP's in combination). I also have a ColorChecker card from X-Rite to give me some help with that.

And Marcel, may I ask what you use for doing a manual white balance? Are you using a white surfaced object (a white colored card?) or do you use a 17% grey card?
Next to that, how do you set your apperture of the camera? Just enough light to get some zebra on the white? Or just enough and without the zebra?
Attached Files
File Type: zip XHA1.NL.zip (764 Bytes, 855 views)
File Type: zip The place where I made the Custom Preset Movie.zip (1.2 KB, 607 views)
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Old May 31st, 2008, 08:18 PM   #334
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Well, that's a good question. On my last shoot "Vasquez Rocks", I actually used a cloud in the sky. The card I use was back in the jeep and I was too lazy to get it. :) The card I have is very old so I don't remember if it is white or 17% gray...it's probably white.

I try to keep the aperture between 4 and 5.6. My understanding is that this setting gives you the sharpest picture on this camera.

I have the zebra set to 85% so I will adjust the ND, aperture (staying between 4 and 5.6) and shutter speed if necessary to have it just before I see any zebras or, very slight zebras depending on the shot. I can always up the contrast in post, but if it's already blown out, you can't get the detail back.

Also, I changed zero gain to -3db in the camera setup.

I look forward to the results of your tests with CPs and WB.

Have fun!

P.S., I see that Ens isn't that far from Den Haag. :). Also, thanks for the link to the aritcle. I'll read it in just a little bit.
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Old June 1st, 2008, 03:02 PM   #335
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O.K. guys, I thought I'd pull a Jethro Bodine on CP's and add a little humor to our CP discussion.

I went to the paint store and chose 5 color chips in a range of colors, taped them to the bottom of my computer monitor, then white balanced my A1 using the Canon Default CP. I then took a picture of the color chips with each of 4 CP's I like (Canon Default, Panalook2, TrueColor, VividRGB) and arranged the rendered results on my monitor above the physical paint chips and then retook a picture of the monitor's display of all 4 CP's against the physical color chips with the same 5500K lighting. I wanted to see what the difference in CP's was on my Samsung 216BW monitor since I do all my editing on it.

My thoughts:

1. Jethro would be proud. Serious videographers will not.
2. The rendered CP's are closer than I expected to each other.
3. A calibratable(?) screen would really help!
4. Taking pictures of your screen isn't a good idea!

A little levity is good for the soul.
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Old June 1st, 2008, 04:46 PM   #336
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And the winner is...... Canon Default! ummm...well,it's probably the closest...at least in this test.

That is interesting, though.
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Old June 1st, 2008, 05:56 PM   #337
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Lol, great test. Shame you didn't had a callibrated screen.

Light green and yellow both look not ok in all pictures...
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Old June 1st, 2008, 09:30 PM   #338
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For all it's problems, the test was interesting for me actually looking at the screen. Trying to share the results with you guys by taking a picture of a screen while lit with 5500K to light the color samples was a really, really, really bad idea!

From my vantage point on my monitor the Canon Default was probably the closest to the paint chips. In real shooting I tend to prefer TrueColor; but either way I end up making some adjustments in post to create the look I want. Here's a quick handheld using TrueColor with the blacks slightly pressed and upper-mid color curve slightly elevated in post:

http://vimeo.com/1105499
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 06:26 AM   #339
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Fantastic idea to use those color chips from a paint store to compare Presets. I'm definitly going to try that as soon as I have some time.
Your biggest result so far is probably that you now know your monitor fails to show decent yellow and green.
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 07:12 AM   #340
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Kees,

The monitor is slightly off on the yellows and greens as you say, but not as bad as the image shows. I think what is going on when I try to share the results is this:

When I color balance the camera for the chips, the camera adjusts its processing for how it interprets reflected colors based on the light source. The monitor, however, isn't reflected light, it is itself a light source projecting its own independent colors. So the camera on the composite picture interprets the screen (a light source) inaccurately as it is assumes all colors in the image are reflections from the same light source. The colors are also a little faded as I have two 5500K lights glancing of the screen at an angle. Add to that that the monitor portion is now an image of an image.... so color innaccuracy is magnified greatly upon sharing.

I think comparing the chips to your screen has some validity if you are looking at the results on your screen using your own eyes. It's probably a complicated endeavor to try and accurately capture the results and share them with others. I've been trying to think of a way to physically partition the lower part of the screen (where the physical chips are) and isolate the 5500K lamps there, but I still don't know how to white balance for a computer screen. Perhaps I should project a white image through the monitor and then white balance it and then photoshop the monitor results onto the paint chips? I think it's an interesting test for personal use, but probably not worth the effort it would take to make the "sharable" image accurate.
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 09:03 AM   #341
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kees van Duijvenbode View Post
Fantastic idea to use those color chips from a paint store to compare Presets. I'm definitly going to try that as soon as I have some time.
Hee Kees,

I have the X-Rite Color Checker card and I was allready planning a test with all the CP's. This card has 24 colors who are scientifically engineerd.

I'm very curious how this turns out.
I'm planning a few tests:

SUN + Custom WB
LAMP + Custom WB
KELVIN 5600K

And all three with Canon neutral and 42 CP's. Maybe I'll find a way to compare all three in one picture.
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 12:11 PM   #342
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Is there a difference between using CP1 (Canon Default) and turning the CP function off? Does "off" default to CP1 or something?

Also, my A1 has a number of factory CP's in memory that are locked. Have you guys deleted them or have you found a use for them?
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 02:49 PM   #343
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Hi Roger,

CP1 is no different than any other CP position. It's a "default" only if you haven't loaded it up with some custom settings. There's no reason not to configure the CP1 position as you would any other CP position. By the same token, any other CP position might be the "default" look if it's empty of settings... this could be CP2 or CP6 or any slot that hasn't been filled a custom setting.

The "off" position means just that... custom presets are off, and the camera reverts to the default, out-of-the-box image. The "off" position is the real default, but any empty CP position is as good as the "off" position for this purpose.

The factory settings at CP7, 8 & 9 are described on page 82 in your operator's manual and can be unlocked and deleted at your leisure. They can be restored either by performing a system reset or by manually entering their values as listed on page 82 of the manual. Hope this helps,
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 04:00 PM   #344
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Chris,

Thanks for the input on CP defaults, I appreciate you taking the time. I can't imagine you thought this discussion would live this long back when you posted on Dec 6, 2006! Thanks for pulling this together.


Gert,

When you do the tests with a calibrated monitor and the proper color chips, would it be possible for you to run a direct feed from your camera to the monitor and change one of the camera's CP's interactively (with real-time feedback through the monitor) until you feel the camera's colors match the physical chips?
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Old June 3rd, 2008, 07:49 AM   #345
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That can only be done with a calibrated monitor. Otherwise he can see the differences between the various presets but can never be sure which one produces real colors. But .... it sure will help.
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