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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 October 4th, 2009, 03:12 PM   #1
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XHA and low light

Last nightwas one of the few times that I had to use this camera with less than optimal lighting conditions. I shot 60I o gain and had a camera mounted light. MMost of the shot came out decent but others were grainy because of the low light levels. If it wasnt for the grain, the shots would look good. Any one have iany suggestions on how to eliminate the grain under low light level conditions? If I had used -3 for the gain, would this have helped? Like I siad the shots were clear enough, just the grain was an issuie.
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Old October 4th, 2009, 03:17 PM   #2
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Try neat video (I found out about it by searching the site) it works really well.
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Old October 4th, 2009, 04:24 PM   #3
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Hi Kevin,

Can you grab a full-res still? What was your shutter speed? Have you messed around with the presets? Are you sure you weren't in Auto Gain? 0db is relatively grain-free, depending on your camera presets which can affect the gain, like sharpness. Have you tried 24F or 30F? With the right settings in a custom preset which accentuates sensitivity and less grain plus the camera set at 24F at 1/24th you gain more than two more stops of sensitivity compared to 60i-1/60th and the stock preset. Not zooming in also allows a wider aperture.

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Originally Posted by Kevin Lewis View Post
Last nightwas one of the few times that I had to use this camera with less than optimal lighting conditions. I shot 60I o gain and had a camera mounted light. MMost of the shot came out decent but others were grainy because of the low light levels. If it wasnt for the grain, the shots would look good. Any one have iany suggestions on how to eliminate the grain under low light level conditions? If I had used -3 for the gain, would this have helped? Like I siad the shots were clear enough, just the grain was an issuie.
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Old October 4th, 2009, 10:03 PM   #4
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Joel:

I was shooting using 60I 1/60. I have not used 24F and 1/24. Will this give a better picture under low light scenarios? Does that 1/24 leave ghost trails. Also, you mentioned zooming. How does this setting affect zooming. And finally, how is the 24f 1/24 setting affected by an on board camera light?
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Old October 4th, 2009, 10:51 PM   #5
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Let me try to answer in the order asked.
-Yes
-It can leave trails - You could try 24f-1/48. Still lets more light in
-Same as motion - Zooming is motion
-No change

Content and conditions dictate shooting settings. If I was shooting an arty piece on snails in the moonlight, I'd use 24f and might try 1/24. But I shoot motor racing at night in marginal lighting. 60i and 1/60 full stop. I'll run the gain as high as +6 but no more. If you're at -3 in the dark you're working against yourself.
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Old October 7th, 2009, 02:38 PM   #6
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Thanks for the input guys. I found out what the problem was. I typically shoot in manual mode. For this event I used the green box setting (yeah I know), although the gain was set to zero, it didnt matter beause in that setting the camera is still in control of setting the gain. Its been a while since I used the green box setting and I did'nt even think about it. It was a post that Chirs Hurd recently made which reminded me of it.
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Old October 9th, 2009, 01:00 AM   #7
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Hi Kevin,

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Originally Posted by Kevin Lewis View Post
I was shooting using 60I 1/60. I have not used 24F and 1/24. Will this give a better picture under low light scenarios?
Absolutely. Just testing the camera in a dimly lit room will show that. Switch between the settings and you can see for yourself.

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Does that 1/24 leave ghost trails.
It has a motion quality that is different than a higher shutter speed, but I by no means find it objectionable. The entire ceremony and reception scenes in this clip were shot at 1/24th shutter.

~ chelsey + andrew ~

For outdoor scenes or better lit indoor scenes the shutter is set at 1/48 or 1/60. My goal is to have the widest aperture as possible at all times for a narrower depth of field, but I don't like the artificial look of a shutter speed higher than 1/60. I use ND filters, both the built in and screw-on, to lower the light levels so the aperture can be large and the shutter optimally at 1/60. I hope that makes sense. A wide aperture also has the benefit of hiding dust and smudges that might be on your lens' glass.

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Originally Posted by Kevin Lewis View Post
Also, you mentioned zooming. How does this setting affect zooming.
Zooming in with the XHA1 causes the effective fstop to change and has the effect of less light reaching the sensors. If your fstop is already wide open what appears to be exposed properly when at a wide angle will be underexposed when zoomed in.

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And finally, how is the 24f 1/24 setting affected by an on board camera light?
No differently than a higher speed except that the light will seem brighter.
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Old October 9th, 2009, 12:02 PM   #8
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Thanks Joel!
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