Is it worth using ANY of the presets? 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 August 5th, 2010, 07:55 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Montreal, Canada
Posts: 104
Is it worth using ANY of the presets?

If I usually take the time to color correct in post, is there any point in using a preset? Should I just stick with the default factory settings?
Lately I've been using one of the "average film" presets I found on this forum, and really like the look, but I'm wondering if I would benefit more from trying to get that look in post. I do know how to do it, more or less, but the preset saves time.
Any thoughts?
__________________
Canon XH-A1, Sony Vegas Pro 8.0c, ProAm 12' Jib, Matthews M25 tripod, Rode NTG-1
http://ozvideoproductions.webs.com
David Seguin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 6th, 2010, 06:09 PM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Red Lodge, Montana
Posts: 889
Since nobody else is responding, my two cents' worth is that the presets (and especially downloadable presets) are a good reason to own an XHA1. My bias is that the less you have to do to an image in post, the better. It is better to get the initial recording as close to "right" as you can.

Some of this is personal bias or, if you prefer, a matter of personal preference and workflows. I work mainly with multi-cam events, and have often had to work to match my XHA1 footage with that from my other (mostly Sony) cams. So, the less color matching and correction that I have to do in post, the faster I can get a job done and the better I like it.

My workflow preferences aside, the biggest reason I see for using a preset rather than doing all the color correcting/grading in post is this: doing things in post increases potential for unintended interactions and artifacts in your images. I find this especially true when editing native HDV, but you can still get undesirable side effects when using intermediates like Cineform. For instance, I've found that I get decent wedding reception video by using a low-light preset and maybe tweaking saturation a little bit in editing whereas, when I've tried to do it all in post, the images tend to seem granier and less sharp.

But, if you are good at making your adjustments in post, and truly like working with effects "in post" then, by all means, do it the way that works best for you. There is nothing mandatory about using presets.
Jay West is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 6th, 2010, 06:48 PM   #3
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Montreal, Canada
Posts: 104
I see benefits to both ways of doing things.

One thing I like about doing it in post is that it's reversible. Whereas with the presets, the effect is built into the footage and you're stuck with it. That's not a problem if you're sure you like a certain look, but what I'm wondering is whether it's robbing me of some of my creative control when it comes to color correction. With or without the presets, I usually tend to do extensive color work anyway, so it's not a problem to do it in post, but it the preset could save me some time.

Another thing I like about the presets is that you can choose the look you want in a similar way that you would choose a specific filmstock. But again, it may be better to try to achieve that in post.
__________________
Canon XH-A1, Sony Vegas Pro 8.0c, ProAm 12' Jib, Matthews M25 tripod, Rode NTG-1
http://ozvideoproductions.webs.com
David Seguin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 6th, 2010, 08:03 PM   #4
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Sydney.
Posts: 2,569
David, whatever and however you're doing it now, in 12 months you'll be doing it differently. It's the learning, developing and creative process.

The important thing is to stay with it.
Cheers.
__________________
30+ years with our own audio and visual production company and studios.
Allan Black is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 7th, 2010, 06:24 AM   #5
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Fairfield, Dunedin, New Zealand
Posts: 3,634
Images: 18
Hi David.................

Don't let the Preset toys interfere with your film making.

I've been playing with the cam for over 4 years, tried the presets, uttered a total "Yuck" to all and gave them a wide berth, as one of those, "Yeah, but who actually needs a self emptying ashtray" inventions.

To me they are utterly useless, a toy. Everything I need to do, I can and do in post, without being shoehorned into a rediculous decision made at the time of shooting (there ain't much room with HDV when it comes to editing)

I shoot everything as flat as a tack (tho' with more saturation than basic) and tweak as required (tho' usually "flat as a tack" does the job).

In the hands of an expert, with a certain look required, they certainly have their uses, and I am not decrying their use for that, but for newbies just learning their trade, a complete and utter waste of time (IMHO).

I know there is a genre out there that just wants to have every bell, whistle and shlock horror effect known to video incorporated into their offerings, good luck to them. Not my cup of tea, and again, IMHO, it shouldn't be yours.

Get a story and tell it, you don't need fancy video effects to tell a story, it's just a conceit of major proportions that allows anyone to think that is the way forward (again, IMHO).

They are a tool, and untill practitioners have learnt their trade, a tool not really to be trusted to junior videographers. Hey, wasn't that condescending? Something I seem to do quite well.

Leave the presets alone. Learn to shoot first. Play later (IMHO).


CS
Chris Soucy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 8th, 2010, 10:57 PM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Hamilton Ontario
Posts: 769
Just to add to Chris....

Yep, leave the presets alone.
Instead of using resources playing around with presets, learn colour correction for post instead..
It will benefit you much more in the long run...
Peter Manojlovic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 9th, 2010, 10:22 AM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Columbia,SC
Posts: 806
David,
My opinion is the oppsite of the last two. I say get it right in the camera. I tweaked a preset untl it really works for me. I also intercut quite a bit with the 5D mkII and I like having it match pretty well right out of the camera. For me, the balance of time, effeciency, and quality is best met with as little post time as possible.
Bill
__________________
Cinema Couture
www.cinemacouture.com
Bill Grant is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 9th, 2010, 10:33 AM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Oxford, UK
Posts: 422
The presets can be useful, because they can help you get the "look" you want in the camera. HDV is pretty heavily compressed, so post-processing will degrade your final image a little, and layers of processing will exaggerate this. Having said that, the presets I use are very simple changes from the default. For good lighting, I have one with Cine Gamma 1, which is my normal set-up (makes such a difference over the default gamma setting); for dull lighting, I have one using Black stretch, to squeeze a bit of detail from the shadows; for very low light situations, I have one with a mild NR setting, and so on.

I haven't felt the need to mess around with colour matrix settings, etc. However, if I was doing a series of multi-camera shoots with the same other cameras each time, it might be worth setting the Canon up once to match the others, so that its footage doesn't have to be fixed in post. I know someone who took over a project that was about 70% complete. He got some sample footage for the early shoots and matched his XH-A1 to those. It wasn't exact, but it was good enough, and it saved loads of time on post-production.

Like anything, it's worth understanding what the XH-A1's presets can do for you, then you can make up your own mind whether they are useful to you or not.
__________________
Steam Age Pictures - videos in aid of railway preservation societies.
Mark Fry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 9th, 2010, 10:35 AM   #9
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Wales
Posts: 2,130
I think you need to split presets and all sorts of colour/luminance settings etc. into 2 camps. The first one is those settings that tweak the overall look in terms of colour balance etc. This one can be done in camera or in post depending on your way of doing things.
The second group though are those settings (like the gamma curves, knee etc.) that actually affect how much dynamic range you get out of the camera. These cannot be restored after the event. For instance if your camera is set up from the factory to capture 10 stops, once a part of scene goes above that uppermost stop of its range then it's blown, there is no detail there to do anything with. Now if your settings alter this so that it gains an extra 2 stops at the high end of its range then that same shot will now have detail in the area that was previously blown. It might well be very bright - "overexposed" - but there will still be detail there to work with (ie you can selectively bring it down to a decent level).
This is what is done with the likes of the BBC settings on the Varicam, they increase the dynamic range by about 3 stops. The effect is that out of the camera the shots look flat and not very pretty! But once graded you've got an amazing reach into the shadows and a protection of highlights - just what you need in the sort of wildlife situations that they were designed for.
Steve
Steve Phillipps is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 9th, 2010, 02:11 PM   #10
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Noosa Queensland Australia
Posts: 236
For my purposes the presets are great. I film a bit of local news stuff for regional TV. Mostly outdoors.

Occasionally I have to download and edit but ideally I shoot my footage, pull the tape and send it straight in.

I noticed a loss of colour saturation when I first viewed the transmitted product so I now use Vivid RGB to compensate. Works well.
Bill Watson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 9th, 2010, 06:59 PM   #11
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Sydney.
Posts: 2,569
We're shooting docos with 3 XH cams and the custom presets are great. Once we got to know them they save days in post for us.

And a lot of our stuff goes into archives for later use .. maybe by someone else who might not understand CC and stuff it up.

Cheers.
__________________
30+ years with our own audio and visual production company and studios.
Allan Black is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 9th, 2010, 08:41 PM   #12
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Montreal, Canada
Posts: 104
Thanks for all the advice. I think what I'll do is set up a preset that allows me to get the most information in the image (basically what Steve suggested), and let the other settings be, so that I have more control in post.
__________________
Canon XH-A1, Sony Vegas Pro 8.0c, ProAm 12' Jib, Matthews M25 tripod, Rode NTG-1
http://ozvideoproductions.webs.com
David Seguin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 10th, 2010, 12:48 AM   #13
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Henderson, NV
Posts: 177
There is a whole listing of presets in this forum I think. I just wish I knew what their creators were thinking and looking at when creating them. I would like to know which presets fit specific situations. I have been doing a lot of band shooting in nightclubs. Panavision preset did awesome one gig, but horrible in another club. I am still too inexperienced to tweak comfortably on a gig. I try a few presets. If I don't see anything nice, I just fall back on a factory preset and deal with it later. I am also in the camp of doing as little in post as possible, mainly because I am less experienced at that and sometimes my computer isn't up to the task.
Alex DeJesus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 10th, 2010, 04:27 AM   #14
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Makati, Metro Manila
Posts: 2,706
Images: 32
The 3 most popular presets seem to be:

VIVIDRGB - vivid colors
PFVISION - low light
TRUCOLOR - flat as possible

Personally I usually shoot with TRUCOLOR and use PFVISION for low light situations.
Michael Wisniewski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 10th, 2010, 05:12 AM   #15
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Wales
Posts: 2,130
I'm no expert at this but for dynamic range (the only thing that you can't alter after the event as once the info is lost it's gone), the settings that make the difference are the gamma curve and the knee settings, and maybe things like black gamma and dynamic range stretch. Thing is you really do need to know what you're doing or you can get into a real mess!
Steve
Steve Phillipps 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 03:49 AM.


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