Please tell me why test footage looks weird at DVinfo.net

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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 26th, 2009, 09:16 PM   #1
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Please tell me why test footage looks weird

I have attached just a few seconds clip shooting through the trees maybe 1/2 before sunset on a sunny day with my XH-A1. manual mode, 24p, image stabilization on, mainly just the default menu settings since i am new. But if you look at the trees in the background they are kind of grainy...actually they look like "The Predator" when he was wearing camoflauge. Why is this, and how do i fix it? Also, why is the sky white instead of blue? I'm guessing it was because I exposed for the trees and not the sky, but can i fix that too? thanks
Scott
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File Type: mpg test_trees.mpg (3.60 MB, 208 views)
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Old May 27th, 2009, 10:26 AM   #2
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Some additional info...I did not have AGC on, shutter was at 1/48 and not sure the F-Stop, but it was open pretty wide b/c it was kind of dark in the woods. Is that why the far away trees don't look right...b/c I had too wide an aperture and too shallow Depth of field? Do people normally use a very small aperture if shooting trees in a landscape scene and then boost gain if necessary to get enough light?
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Old May 27th, 2009, 10:35 AM   #3
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I've used the XH-A1 for landscapes/outdoors, never ran across that problem. I never used image stabilization though, that might be part of what you're seeing.
You need more light though ; ), the xh-a1 doesn't like the dark at all.

imho, it performs best completely manual. Manual Mode, Manual Focus, Gain -3, IS off
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Old May 27th, 2009, 10:51 AM   #4
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It's a very short clip. It looks like blocking to me.

Maybe because the camera is moving and you are using progressive rather than interlaced in low light conditions.

I've only tried progressive once, so I'm no expert, but it doesn't seem to like pans very much.
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Old May 27th, 2009, 11:42 PM   #5
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It's very hard to tell from that clip, I would stick it on a tripod, turn ois off, turn auto gain off, expose it as best you can and then have a look at it.
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Old May 28th, 2009, 01:24 AM   #6
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Hi

What does it look like if you connect your camcorder to a TV and play it that way? If it looks good then it's possible that it's compression artifacts or settings in your edit program that is wrong.

Regards,

/Bo
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Old May 28th, 2009, 07:42 AM   #7
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I can't tell anything from that clip. The resolution is low and the compression is pretty rough. Any chance for a clip taken directly from the camera?
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Old May 28th, 2009, 01:46 PM   #8
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besides the lighting / gain, how are you encoding that little clip? what bitrate? there is a TON of movement to be dealt with with all of the leaves, etc. need a longer clip and info on the encoding parameters or how you are encoding
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Old May 28th, 2009, 01:50 PM   #9
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thanks for all the feedback.

As for bitrate, I've jacked it up pretty high, but I can't remember exactly. I can check tonight. however, Even while I was viewing the raw clip in Premiere pro I could still see the same problem with the footage. I went out yesterday and shot a similar scene in better light, and switched to shooting in 60i like someone recommended, and the combination of those things helped a lot.
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Old May 28th, 2009, 08:07 PM   #10
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Easy. That's Bigfoot camouflage!

Seriously, here are a couple suggestions:

1. If you have a screw-on filter, try removing it and trying the shot again.

2. Make sure you capture to your NLE with the proper settings.

3. If possible, post a M2T format clip of the offending footage.
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Old May 29th, 2009, 08:27 PM   #11
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That's some weird looking stuff. I've shot trees like that and have never seen anything like it. Looks like old low res early days of the first NLEs, Avid's AVR72 comes to mind. I think there's something funky in your capture settings.

Do you have an HD TV with component in? If so you can use the component cable that came with your camera and play back to the TV so you can see if this is really on the original tape. My guess is that it isn't. But if it is, some things to check would include shutter setting? You shot at 24F...if this was the first time you did that, the camera, for some weird reason, defaults to 1/24 shutter speed. You have to set it to 1/48. After you do that and if you're in manual shutter control, it will stay there unless you move it. Second, turn off the OIS, I think somebody above mentioned that. Make sure all your camera settings are on manual, including shutter, iris, gain, white balance. Gain should be set to -3 or zero.

If you were shooting wide open and on auto shutter, the shutter could be changing if it's not on manual, and that might cause some weirdness. But I still think it's a capture issue. First thing to do is look at the raw footage on a monitor or even an HD TV. Go to a TV store or something and ask if you can check something if you don't have one. When you're looking at it through Premiere Pro, that's not necessarily what the original tape looks like.

Actually, as bad as that problem is, you might be able to see it in the camera's LCD screen.

Also, you can switch camera playback to downconvert and play it back via your BNC output to a non-HD TV. Won't look as clean and sharp but that might show if the problem is actually recorded or not.
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Old May 29th, 2009, 10:13 PM   #12
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After I read your intial post but before I had watched the video the first thing that was coming to mind was that you were seeing warm air convection currents. I have run across heatwaves showing up and making landscape footage shimmer and blur during various sunny weather conditions......

However...I don't think this applies to your case as it appears you were in a relatively high shade area and shooting subjects at relatively close range.

I think for the best efforts to help you with your situation a better resolution example is required....I can get a hint of the white sky shimmer against the tree leaves but the lack of resolution to your clip makes any critical analysis difficult.

All the best,
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Old May 30th, 2009, 05:15 AM   #13
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I don't know about the rest of these guys but the sky appearing white screams a white balance issue to me. I know you were foregrounding the sky, but you probably used some sort of preset that turned what is normally a bright blue into the white that you see in the clip. As for the rest of the clip, which is short, I am relatively sure it's the image stabilization. I've shot a few behind the scenes bits for independent films in the past, and I've stayed away from IS even though I'm doing mostly handheld work because it can produce some awkward effects, and they're likely compounded by the fact that you shot in a relatively low lighting situation. I'd take off IS, set the cam on a tripod, double/triple check white balance, and shoot a bunch of takes with different frame rates and see if they come up in Premier or Final Cut or whatever it is that you use.
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