What XH-A1 settings should I use for a Documentary? - Page 3 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Canon EOS / MXF / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Canon HDV and DV Camera Systems > Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders

Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old February 23rd, 2009, 12:23 PM   #31
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Oxford, UK
Posts: 422
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Lewis View Post
You mentioned using the "Black Stetch" option when shooting in low light. What is this? I am not famliar with the term or the option. Is it a seting within the camera?
In the camera's "customize" menu (I think), you can tailor a large number of image variables and save them in "presets", numbered CP1 - CP9 (more if you save them to the SD card). There are lots of threads on the subject... Some of these settings are quite advanced, and although you can make amazing changes to the image you record, you can seriously mess it up too, if you over-do things. However, some are pretty straight forward and worth exploring.

The "black" level adjusts the way the camera responds to the darkest parts of the image. "Press" makes the dark bits darker while "stretch" makes them a little lighter. In poor light, black stretch can help to reveal details in shadows. However, if you are also using gain, then it can make the noise more noticable, since it's the dark parts of the image where gain is amplifying the lowest signal. HTH.
__________________
Steam Age Pictures - videos in aid of railway preservation societies.
Mark Fry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 23rd, 2009, 10:22 PM   #32
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Philadelphia, pa
Posts: 705
Thanks Mark.
Kevin Lewis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 24th, 2009, 09:16 AM   #33
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Orange County, California
Posts: 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Fry View Post
Sorry Tim, you do sound a little harsh.

"Manual mode allows you to control everything." True.

"Understand Exposure!!! Get to know it and you will be a better Videographer for it." Sound advice, but no need for the exclamation marks.

"In my opinion using Auto on the A1 is like these people you see capturing treasured moments using a cell phone camera, why bother?" Now we disagree.

The missing piece of advice here is "get to know your camera." Modern cameras can help you a lot, provided you understand when you can leave it up to them and when to step in and take control yourself. Unless you are working on a well-controlled set, with lighting, sound and action doing what the director tells them, and you have the chance for several re-takes, you will often find the need to concentrate on one or two aspects yourself (always framing, maybe focus and DOF, maybe exposure...) and leave the camera to do the routine things. If you only ever use manual mode, then you are only using half the camera. I'm not suggesting that everyone should use "easy" or "green box" mode (unless there's a good reason, of course). "A" and "Tv" are as usable as Auto Focus or auto audio level - a boon in some circumstances, acceptable compromise in others, and sometimes quite unsuitable.

Besides, you can frame and shoot a dozen images on a phone-camera in the time it takes to unpack and set up a "proper" camera in full manual mode, by which time the moment may have passed - even phone cams have their uses sometimes ;-)

Definitely a need for exclamation Mark, not sure where your head is but learning exposure is "getting to know your camera", that goes without saying and is the difference between
so-so captures and quality images. By learning exposure you will learn how to set shutter, aperture, and other settings needed to properly expose based on the conditions you are shooting in, thereby getting to know your camera.

At no time did I imply to "only ever use manual mode as you referred to above, I did however say that learning exposure was crucial. I often times shoot in TV, AV, but prefer Manual when I desire a certain result that the camera just can not determine on it's own. But at no time will I shoot in Auto or Easy.

As for the cell phone camera? Surely you do not think that a 2 or 4 plus mega pixel phone cam is suitable for quality captures such as a childs first steps or fast moving wildlife at a distance do you? "Honey look, he's walking... grab the cell phone" C'mon...I mean really? They are so-so at best as far as the cell phone images I have seen thus far. I guess it boils down to a persons definition of quality huh Mark?

As for your mention of studio and sets? Retakes and the like? If you have a look at my site you will see the conditions I shoot in. It is about as non-controlled as it gets. All my images are 100 % wild, no Zoos or controlled enviroments. I have no problems setting up my gear and getting the images I am after before they have passed, and then some, using what you refer to as a "proper camera in full manual mode". I would never dream of depending on my camera to determine a proper exposure as the conditions are constantly changing by the second. Nor would I rely on a cell phone to capture anything of quality. To even imply that a cell cam can capture something of quality or detail, something such as the eye of a bird in flight for example is rediculous.

While I forewarned of my possible harsness, I make no appologies for my opinions based on facts and learning experiences so if the harsness offends you, well....it is what it is.

In closing I will add...I hear the cell phone ring all day while out shooting but it never gets picked up even for it's intended use, to communicate, let alone to capture images.
__________________
www.socalt.com
Tim Cee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 24th, 2009, 12:08 PM   #34
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: London, UK
Posts: 792
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Fry View Post
I've used it to cut down the blurring of fast moving subjects. Any faster than 1/120 looks too stuttery, but sometimes it's helpful. There's a comment above that its helpful when doing slow motion. Also, in very bright light, the camera's maximum ND might not be enough to keep the apperture below f8, in which case you either have to add an external ND filter (or maybe a polariser?) in front of the lens or move to 1/120.
Hi Mark
Many thanks for the explanation.
Very helpful and clear.
Richard
__________________
http://www.gooderick.com
Richard Gooderick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 3rd, 2009, 10:06 AM   #35
Tourist
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: san diego, CA
Posts: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Fry View Post
The "black" level adjusts the way the camera responds to the darkest parts of the image. "Press" makes the dark bits darker while "stretch" makes them a little lighter. In poor light, black stretch can help to reveal details in shadows. However, if you are also using gain, then it can make the noise more noticable, since it's the dark parts of the image where gain is amplifying the lowest signal. HTH.

Hey Mark - now that's the kind of explanation I like. Simple layman's terms. "makes the dark bits darker" :-) Thanks for that.

Now, can anyone out there either give real world explanations for the other 22 adjustable recording specs in the Custom Preset section of the A1, OR point me to where I may find them? I've been looking all over this forum, and elsewhere on the net, and Mark's post in this thread is the only thing like that I've found.

Generally, I'd like to know what those do, and the best Canon comes up with isn't so good. For instance, Canon says that PED brightens or darkens the dark areas, while SET brightens or darkens the shadow areas. WHAT is the difference? Also, what is Horizontal Detail Frequency (HDF) - the frequency (how often it occurs) of Horizontal Detail? More questions abound. I don't get it. Any Settings for Dummies out there?

Specifically, here's my immediate concern. I'm picking up a DP job on a project from another DP (multiple shoot documentary). He shot the first shoot with a rented A1, and it looks great. Rich colors, black blacks, no noise/grain - solid work. Then, the director bought an A1, shot the 2nd shoot, and the colors are dull, slightly washed out, blah, drab.

The rental house claims to reset ALL ALL ALL settings to manufacturer settings between rentals.
The former DP says he never messes with any of the GAM, KNE, PED, SET, etc. settings, and that he doesn't even know how, really.
The director says same thing.

SO, why do the 2 sets of footage look so different? If the answer is that DP got exposures right and director didn't, I might believe that - but then I took the 2nd camera (owned by director) out, myself, and shot 2 days of b-roll and testing (I left camera on manufacturers settings), and still the same drab dull coloring (and, yeah, I know how to nail my exposures ;-) ).

Anybody got any idears on what I can do to try to match the rich coloring of original DP?

THANKS.

by the way, we're shooting 10801p24 HDV.
Ted Coakley is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Canon EOS / MXF / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Canon HDV and DV Camera Systems > Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:27 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network