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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 February 2nd, 2011, 08:48 PM   #1
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Snow video

recently acquired an XH-A1. been playing with it a bit indoors but really wanted to get some outdoor footage. Well I got my chance today because we had a freaking blizzard last night.

I was shooting some video of the lake and snow. I am a little disappointed in the overall look. Everything seems too bright and washed out. I'm trying to do some post production work to make it look better but its pretty hard.

I had the ND filter at 1/32 and the gain set to low, AGC off.

Any hints or tips for shooting outside with bright snow? Am I doing something wrong?

Any hints for post production?

I may post up some raw footage and then try to edit it as best I can.
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Old February 3rd, 2011, 09:01 AM   #2
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Happy blizzard, from Northern Indiana! We got slammed here, as well.

IMO you need an additional ND filter on the camera. I find the built-in filters to be fine for heavy overcast days but they don't block enough light to shoot on clear days in the snow.

Have you tried shooting with a custom preset? A CP may help out a bit. I'd try some out now, but I'm at my day job.
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Old February 3rd, 2011, 04:00 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. I heard Northern Indiana got hit just as hard as the Milwaukee area. We had about 18" of snow and some wind gust around 60mph.

Since I will be shooting outdoors a lot, an actual ND filter may be a good investment. I was using a UV filter but obviously that didn't help much besides protecting my lens.

If I bought an ND filter "lens", would i be able to leave it on for most all outdoor situations and use the cameras built in ND filter to fine tune? I just wouldn't want to be screwing a filter on and off every time a cloud comes over.
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Old February 3rd, 2011, 07:19 PM   #4
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If you were to put a ND2 filter on it, you should be able to leave it on for most outdoor shots as long as you "fine tune" it with the built-in ND.
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Old February 3rd, 2011, 09:40 PM   #5
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I have had the XHA1 for alomost two years now and I have been very happy with it. The pictue quality is amazing. If you purchased the camera used make sure that your not using the former owners custom setting. Manuel mode should give you full control of your settings which should allow you to come up with a great picture. Even the automatic mode is pretty good. check your settings.
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Old February 4th, 2011, 02:57 AM   #6
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Hi

Turn on Zebra pattern which indicates overexposed areas. Note that you can set the zebra pattern to indicate from 70-100%. Outdoors I set zebra to 100% and use (internal) ND filter, shutter speed and aperture as my tools to keep the exposure correct. Try to keep aperture between f3.0 and f5.2 to get the sharpest picture from the lens. Smaller than 5.2 might introduce diffraction, which makes the picture blurred and looks as if its out of focus.


Regards,

/Bo
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Old February 5th, 2011, 05:27 AM   #7
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Snow Video

I haven't been able to view your video. I'm not sure where the link is but anyway, you have a GREAT camcorder. First, I probably would not have used the filter unless you were unable to achieve the correct levels with the iris. I'm no professional though. I would have also use the auto gain and made sure that I white balanced the camera first. Being that the snow is white I guess I could see how it might be really bright. I shot some video of the same blizzard. I haven't looked at it yet but I will now just to see if I had similar problems.
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Old February 5th, 2011, 08:43 AM   #8
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Make sure your low gain is set to -3. You can choose.
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Old February 5th, 2011, 11:00 AM   #9
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I'm owning up on this one guys. I've determined its my newness to this camera that caused my undesirable video.

I believe if I would have been shooting an manual mode and adjusting my aperture appropriately the video would have been much better. I thought automatic mode with the n/d filter would work appropriately. Live and learn. I'm not use to having so much control!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo Sundvall View Post
Hi

Turn on Zebra pattern which indicates overexposed areas. Note that you can set the zebra pattern to indicate from 70-100%. Outdoors I set zebra to 100% and use (internal) ND filter, shutter speed and aperture as my tools to keep the exposure correct. Try to keep aperture between f3.0 and f5.2 to get the sharpest picture from the lens. Smaller than 5.2 might introduce diffraction, which makes the picture blurred and looks as if its out of focus.
Regards,
/Bo
Thanks for the reply. I did have the Zebra pattern on, set to 100%. I obviously saw the lines when I was filming, i just didn't think it was going to be that over exposed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maurice Covington View Post
I haven't been able to view your video. I'm not sure where the link is but anyway, you have a GREAT camcorder. First, I probably would not have used the filter unless you were unable to achieve the correct levels with the iris. I'm no professional though. I would have also use the auto gain and made sure that I white balanced the camera first. Being that the snow is white I guess I could see how it might be really bright. I shot some video of the same blizzard. I haven't looked at it yet but I will now just to see if I had similar problems.
I decided not to post the video. I had the white balance set to outdoor.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Denise Wall View Post
Make sure your low gain is set to -3. You can choose.
Thanks for the tip! I think this will help a lot since I will be filming mostly outdoors. It was set to 0, and I changed it to -3.



So does everyone here shoot in Manual/ TV or AV mode 99% of the time?

Last edited by Paul Elertson; February 5th, 2011 at 04:59 PM.
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Old February 5th, 2011, 03:30 PM   #10
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The mode I shoot in is based on the situation. I rarely shoot in full manual. Usually I'll just need to control the aperture or shutter speed. I do shoot 90 percent of the time with AF on. I don't think I've ever used AWB. And of course the AGC is off.

If I'm locked down shooting an interview, then I can go full manual control. For live event shooting, it's just too much to keep track of when going full manual.

The only mode I NEVER shoot in "GREEN BOX" mode.

Sorry if I led you astray. I thought you still had exposure problems after implementing -3 gain and internal filters.
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Old February 5th, 2011, 06:43 PM   #11
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I shoot fully manual always. The only time I use autofocus is when I zoom in to compose my shot then I hit the autofocus button so it locks perfect focus. It's the button that overrides the manual focus temporarily. As far as overexposure, it really depends on what you're filming. If you're focusing on a person in a frame, say skiing, then you may have to deal with overexposing the snow to get the person exposed properly. If you're filming scenery then it's a different story.
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Old February 7th, 2011, 04:26 AM   #12
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What mode do you regularly shoot in?

I shoot AV 100% of the time, and hit exposure lock when I need full manual control. (never want to have to rotate that wheel while filming) Zebras on 80% and allow them to dance a little. Manual Focus and Auto Focus about 60-40, though I do hit the MF over-ride button a lot. The Position Preset button is mostly set to FOCUS, and is hit from time to time when I'm using the MF over-ride button.
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