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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 July 4th, 2009, 12:42 PM   #1
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Xh A1s & image noise?

So I've had my XH A1s for about a month now but there is one thing that is getting pretty annoying and that is the noise that I'm getting in any WELL LIT shot where there is grey or any other color that is not completely dark or completly light (if that makes sense) Pics Below. The video is Beautiful other than in these areas.

I've tried the NR settings (both 1 &2) but then you get a ghosting/trailing effect that is not good.

Anybody have any tricks to getting rid of this noise in the grey to mid tone areas?

This was shot with full lighting set up, HDv 30fps. Auto gain OFF. Gain on L-0.

It's hard to see in a still image but the grey desk has noise that moves when watching the video.
My Photos Photo Gallery - Photo 20 of 20 by Danny Winn Productions - MySpace Photos

In this shot the noise is in the blue cabnets behind me.
My Photos Photo Gallery - Photo 19 of 20 by Danny Winn Productions - MySpace Photos

Last edited by Danny Winn; July 4th, 2009 at 02:21 PM.
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Old July 4th, 2009, 04:10 PM   #2
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I've got the A1s as well and was told to put the gain on -3 which the manual says you can do burt I'm having a hard time getting it to dial in -3 gain.

I guess people advise -3 gain for a reason which I suspect is reduction in noise. But you'd think "0 gain" would be ZERO gain.

Edit: I just played around with my A1s and was able to set the L switch to -3 gain.
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Old July 4th, 2009, 07:15 PM   #3
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Hi Danny,

Are you using automatic gain control?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny Winn View Post
So I've had my XH A1s for about a month now but there is one thing that is getting pretty annoying and that is the noise that I'm getting in any WELL LIT shot where there is grey or any other color that is not completely dark or completly light (if that makes sense) Pics Below. The video is Beautiful other than in these areas.

I've tried the NR settings (both 1 &2) but then you get a ghosting/trailing effect that is not good.

Anybody have any tricks to getting rid of this noise in the grey to mid tone areas?

This was shot with full lighting set up, HDv 30fps. Auto gain OFF. Gain on L-0.

It's hard to see in a still image but the grey desk has noise that moves when watching the video.
My Photos Photo Gallery - Photo 20 of 20 by Danny Winn Productions - MySpace Photos

In this shot the noise is in the blue cabnets behind me.
My Photos Photo Gallery - Photo 19 of 20 by Danny Winn Productions - MySpace Photos
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Old July 5th, 2009, 12:36 AM   #4
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i have noticed the same thing about my a1. but the best solution i have found has been to take care of it in final cut... is that a bad way to do it?
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Old July 5th, 2009, 07:21 AM   #5
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A bit more info please.

What preset are you using.
What mode you shooting? Manual, TV, etc?
apature setting.(around 5.0 is the sweet spot)
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Old July 5th, 2009, 10:25 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone,

For this particular shoot I was shooting:

Exposure lock ON,
In camera Auto Mode, (But it does it in manual too)
Auto gain OFF,
Gain set to Low (0).
Manual WB.

I do get the grainy noise in manual mode as well though with all the same settings, I always shoot my scenes very well lit and I've always known that Gain = Grain. My XL 2 does not have this problem.
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Old July 6th, 2009, 02:12 AM   #7
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Try shooting in TV mode with the shutter at 1/50, try to keep the iris around 4.8 and use no gain. Assure the "acg" switch on the side is set to "off" and don"t use any preset.
I at least don't get any grain when using these settings in well lit areas, not as you describe it.
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Old July 8th, 2009, 02:54 PM   #8
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I turn the the sharpening down to the absolute minimum (-9). Canon is one of the companies that doesn't understand what "zero" means, and they do silly things like having sharpening set at zero to mean "please heavily sharpen my image". Sharpening really hurts your images, greatly magnifying noise, increasing compression artifacts, creating halos around edges. By my tests, sharpening at -9 is actually "zero". It doesn't soften the image, for example, as on some cameras.

Cheers,
A
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Old July 8th, 2009, 06:40 PM   #9
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Thanks Anna and Noa, I will try those suggestions;)
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Old August 14th, 2009, 03:09 AM   #10
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What Noise??? I have SERIOUS noise

Man, I don't even see noise in your pics (at least not on my monitor). When I say I have noise, I mean totally unusable. It doesn't happen all the time, but when it does, I could never figure out why. I can go out and shoot beautiful picture one day and the next day shoot really crappy with what I though were the same settings. I'm new to the XHA1s, and HD in general. I've had the camera a short time, but I can't figure out where this noise is coming from or how to avoid it. I attached one example. As you can see - broad daylight, so it has nothing to do with light. I have noise in dark indoor and outdoor scenes as well.

I'm sure it has to do with my settings, but I tried many different auto and manual modes, white balances, etc., 24 fps, 60i, 30f. I'm capturing in different formats as well.

I pretty much confused myself there. I capture with firewire from the camera, and I also have the Matrox MX02 Mini. None of that seems to matter. My guess is that I'm doing something fundamentally wrong, but I don't know what.

Assuming I know nothing about video at all, which is how this problem is making me feel. I have an HDV camera that records 1440x1080 - not full-res, but I can capture 1920x1080 with the MX02. I wonder if that's a problem - capturing a lower res to full raster? Or capturing 30f footage to 24f or 60i. I assumed that the MX02 could convert anything to anything.

I see on a couple of posts that I should set gain to -3 db. That doesn't make sense if low light is the problem, nor do I know how to set -3 on this camera. Does he mean +3 db? Either way, that doesn't work. Please somebody tell me how to check for this and what to avoid when shooting.
Attached Thumbnails
Xh A1s & image noise?-img_0222.jpg  
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Old August 14th, 2009, 03:26 AM   #11
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My best bet would be that you have the "agc" switch" on the side of your camera turned to "on". That needs to be on "off", all the time.
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Old August 14th, 2009, 08:29 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
My best bet would be that you have the "agc" switch" on the side of your camera turned to "on". That needs to be on "off", all the time.
This is what I'd suggest. The first day I had my hands on the camera I didn't notice that the AGC switch was "on" and the results were not pleasing in the least. See attached.
Attached Thumbnails
Xh A1s & image noise?-020_grain.jpg  
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Old August 14th, 2009, 11:25 AM   #13
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I noticed the same issue with my XH-A1 and XH-A1s. Both have visible noise at 0db. I'm going to try set the gain range from -3, 0 +3 to see if -3 will be helpful. That also means I have to use light more often. hmm...

AGC is completely useless. Anything goes over 3db is not usable in my opinion. Good that XH-A1s has the AGC limiter function to set the max db added.
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Old August 14th, 2009, 01:06 PM   #14
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AGC was already off - how about presets?

I'm pretty sure I tried with AGC on and off, but that sems to be the major culprit based on all the other posts. Either way I might have had +6 gain setting for the night shoot. Last night, I set the gain switch positions to -3, 0, and +3. I cannot imagine setting more gain during daylight. And further, wouldn't AGC disable itself during daylight? If it doesn't, then Canon should take a real good look at that. Is that something that can be fixed with firmware update or are we stuck with this problem?

Anyway, I downloaded whatever custom presets I could find on here and other places but some are dated from as far back as 2007. Are these all from generous individuals or is there an 'official' updated collection available anywhere? How can I obtain?

I assume most users collect still pictures to compare the different settings and presets. I would like to just flip that switch over from 'card' to 'video' and trust that my snapshot reflects my video settings. However, the "video" mode and "card" mode are configured independently of each other. Is there a way to slave the card settings to whatever the video settings are, and vice-versa? For example, if I load one of my downloaded presets into the camera, will it apply to both card and video modes? In other words, it's a double effort. Am I wrong?

Last edited by Alex DeJesus; August 14th, 2009 at 01:34 PM. Reason: clarify a statement
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Old August 14th, 2009, 03:42 PM   #15
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This is my pictures, XH-A1 +6dB gain and second half +12dB gain (one is from Z1)

on youtube - YouTube - XH A1 no?ní m?sto_test
Attached Thumbnails
Xh A1s & image noise?-005.jpg   Xh A1s & image noise?-020.jpg  

Xh A1s & image noise?-035b-a1.jpg   Xh A1s & image noise?-036-sony-z1.jpg  

Xh A1s & image noise?-071-prac.jpg   Xh A1s & image noise?-xh_a1_011.jpg  

Xh A1s & image noise?-xh_a1_plus12db_001.jpg   Xh A1s & image noise?-xh_a1_plus12db_0011.jpg  

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