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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 March 9th, 2010, 10:27 PM   #1
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Color explanation?

So, I am still getting used to my new XHA1s and doing a lot of test shots. One thing has me a bit confused. Today I was shooting test shots of a color chart with no presets (just raw)inside and outside. I shot one color and one black and white and then shot it again with the lens adapter. Then just for a comparison I shot the same with my old HG-10. I pulled it all into Vegas and compared them . The color of the single chip HG-10 was clear and crisp and read better on the vector scope then the XHA1s (It’s color looked washed out and dull). I must be doing something wrong or I have the XHA1s set wrong. I truly expected the color of a 3 chip camera to be far superior….so what am I missing???
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Old March 10th, 2010, 12:06 AM   #2
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Settings, Jack............

The HG - 10 is a consumer cam and their colour (and everything) is always set to "mind blow" mode straight out of the box.

That's why you have such a huge array of variables on the A1, set it as you like.

Bog standard, it's probably set to the lowest acceptable everything, it's up to you to tune it to your tastes.

Practice, practice, practice and play with every variable going.

You'll get there.

A lot of serious shooters prefer to shoot it flat and do the rest in post (as I do), gives far more control over the final image.

The other alternative is the presets, but I've never found one I'd like to shoot base footage with, just doesn't suit my style of shooting.


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Old March 10th, 2010, 11:38 AM   #3
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Thanks Chris, I thought it was something like that. I do want to shoot it as flat as I can with as little noise as possible. Then get the film look I'm after in post. I have to say though, I am a bit overwhelmed by all the settings. I am guessing that the factory settings out of the box are a good flat baseline to start with. Right? Are there any settings you would suggest I focus on first? Honestly, I'm still trying to find the right combo for low light without grain or motion blur.
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Old March 10th, 2010, 01:38 PM   #4
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Well, to be honest..........

My A1 is still on it's original factory settings, I've never changed a thing "look wise" as I like the footage exactly as it is (Not true, changed then reverted to original, many times).

You might want to check out the "Presets" thread at the top of the page here, as there's a wealth of info on what settings do what.

"Low light without grain or motion blur", hmm, that would be the Sony EX3 setting set then.

Can't think what they are off hand but I bet it's bloody expensive.


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Old March 10th, 2010, 02:36 PM   #5
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I have checked out the presets, and they have been fun to play with. I'm I'll use them sometimes, but for the most part I want to shoot clean and flat. A preset seems like shooting with a filter, once you do you it can't change it later. So as long as I have the presets off the Camera will go back to factors settings, right? Even though the preset name is flashing on the screen, it's just telling me "turn it on and this is what you get"?
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Old March 10th, 2010, 07:01 PM   #6
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heya jack, this has been one tough topic for me every since using the a1 2 1/2 years ago. i have tried a bunch of the presets but i like to alter the color in post so this is something that has to be considered. many of the presets will change one of the RGB settings or all of them, thus when in post, the image could be totally thrown off when you up the saturation all at once. for this reason, i have found that just playing with the contrast setting, for example blacks, pretty much everything that is on the first half of the screen, is a good way to go in camera. it has worked for me so far because i still have a normal color rendition of what i shot, but with better contrast. it is true though, make a list and write down the presets you try, after so many years i am still trying. there are just too many factors in your shooting situation that will alter a preset that does well outside in more than enough light, but will suffer inside using ambient light sources. i also think you should look into the limitations of the hdv codec, i was unaware of this; the color sample is not a great one, though with minimal color grading can look good. its a wide range of topics and questions but all comes down to trial an error. stock up on some tapes and just go shoot! haha. and to the one question, yes blinking is off, though you can turn off the CP on lcd in your menu options if you dont need it there.

dan

-this was helpful to me to understand what the setting change.

Canon XL H1 HD Camcorder: In Depth :: Total Image Control
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Old March 13th, 2010, 01:05 PM   #7
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Hey Daniel and Chris, thanks so much for your help. Daniel, that link to Canon was great, it really answered a lot of questions. As I said before I want to shoot everything as clean and flat as possible. The only things I have dine is crushing the black a bit and noise reduction on low as I have been fighting noise. How ever I have noticed most of the presets don't use noise reduction at all. Is there a down side to it? It sure cleaned up the image I'm getting on the monitor.
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Old March 14th, 2010, 02:33 PM   #8
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good to hear jack! i am not too sure about this one but i believe the noise reduction 2 will soften the image a bit in order to reduce the noise. although the xha1 does have a good way of fixing this, it all comes down to if the image looks ok for you. i am using a 35mm lens adapter which produces a soft not so sharp image at open apertures so the nr2 at high was noticeable for me. one key thing to remember for the xha1 and hdv in general, light light and light whenever you can. if the scene or shots will be below exposure id suggest in a powerful on camera light; if you want to keep the noise down. some operators can live with the slight noise, but for myself, and like you it seems, i cannot =] haha. with the rise of the 5d crystal clear images its hard to keep up. but i would rather have a sharp image with a tad bit of noise in the mid tones when compared to a soft image and minimal noise. some more things to consider jack, if you have more questions by all means ask away =]. in short though, optimal light will allow for a super clean image from the xha1 without the need of a nr2 setting, but its the low light situations that still have me frustrated.

dan
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Old March 14th, 2010, 04:31 PM   #9
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Hey Daniel, Yeah, I hate noise in the image. I am also using a 35mm lens adapter (Redrock). Like most people am always trying to achieve the "film look". Starting in June I am going to attempt my first 90 min. film. So, now I'm really trying to get a handle on the new camera along with a dozen other things before we start. I am going to have to do some more test shots with the adapter on and then kick the NR1 up and down to see what changes. One of those things that I trying to understand better is lighting, and you confirmed what I was thinking. Light it up and darken it in post if I need to. Most of our shooting will be outside or in a studio but some will be inside people homes. Thanks for your help and I'll take any advice you have.
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Old March 14th, 2010, 05:21 PM   #10
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no way! this is a funny thread jack cause you concerned with the exact situation i am in. i got my m2e about 3 months back and it was such a huge change for filming and how to approach things. with the stock a1, adequate lighting is fine for a decently exposed shot. now with the redrock it is a whole different story. i have done some test shots outside, in the snow, and inside my house with an without lighting. by far, the a1 with the redrock needs some light(i am talking with experience only at 1.8 on an FD lens). with proper light, it does ok, but nothing to how i would like the image to look. i am going to invest in some zeiss glass because i am sure it will make for a better looking image than a 50 dollar canon fd lens. i am not too sure if you know this as well, but stopping down on the canon will allow for a sharper image as well. i keep it at around F3.7-4 and the lens around 1.8-2.8 if it is dark. theres just too many variables to consider but this is what i have found. if you can light the scene, stop down the canon aswell as whatever lens your using on the redrock. if you know this already, just read over haha. id say your on the right track, i just found a preset that worked well for me and how i shoot(no color adjust, just some contrast levels). just keep testing different scenarios so you know how the camera will handle in it. my experience has been a tough one but its a whole different camera with the redrock on as i have found.

since you can control the scene or have daylight, the shots should look great. i have seen some amazing things from redrock and hdv cameras. i too will be shooting this week, 5 minute short though haha=]. school first year shoot. ill be outside and in my house with lights. ill let ya know how it goes. and if you find out a secret to the system, do share jack!
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Old March 15th, 2010, 10:40 PM   #11
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Hey Daniel, That is too funny, I"m using the same $50 FD lens. Thanks for the tip on stopping the Xha1 down for a sharper image I didn't know that. As far as the FD lens I have not been able to see any difference between open or closed. maybe I am looking for the wrong thing or maybe my used $50 lens is broken. So, what is your short film about?
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