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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 3rd, 2011, 11:28 PM   #1
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Multicam shoot with 2 XHA1S cams - getting matchng exposure

We have 2 that this past season for some performance work ran FireWire lines into MacBook pros. Mine is an Older one, my wife's newer with much brighter screen. I don't have a waveform monitor, and wondering if there is a good way to make sure that the footage will have good levels, regardless of what it may look like on our MBPs. Any advise?
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Old July 4th, 2011, 02:47 AM   #2
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Re: Multicam shoot with 2 XHA1S cams - getting matchng exposure

Hi

Use identical custom presets, set WB manually with presets or kelvin to the same values on both camcorders and finally, set zebra indicators to the same value and use them to get correct exposure. Also make sure you try to keep the f-values somewhere around 4.0 to get the best performance from the lens. Then you should get identical picture from both cameras.


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/Bo
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Old July 4th, 2011, 06:25 PM   #3
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Re: Multicam shoot with 2 XHA1S cams - getting matchng exposure

yeah, we tried that, have multiple times. I am attaching 2 stills, one from each camera; roughly the same spot. We stuck to I believe 3400K on temp. Seems that brightness looked good on her camera; and even with copying settings from mine to hers, her shot was still dark. Her active matrix screen is much brighter on her MBP; which was being used to monitor picture... with little LCD.

Was halfway considering running through FCP, and having the waveform monitor open there. Just seem easier to catch these using QuickTime.
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Multicam shoot with 2 XHA1S cams - getting matchng exposure-sof-730pm-david-b.jpg   Multicam shoot with 2 XHA1S cams - getting matchng exposure-sof-730pm-lorrie-b.jpg  

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Old July 4th, 2011, 08:22 PM   #4
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Re: Multicam shoot with 2 XHA1S cams - getting matchng exposure

I feel the meters are not going to help because they are two different shots. Brightest in one pic is the dresses, while the other appears to be the lights. Did you ever zoom into the same thing and try to match the cameras then back one off? If you zoomed in on the subject and set proper exposure, then back off would be a better chance for the two. Please excuse my ignorance, but what is a MBP? What are you using to match the camera's? What is your current "process" to match the cameras?
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Old July 4th, 2011, 10:48 PM   #5
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Re: Multicam shoot with 2 XHA1S cams - getting matchng exposure

Thanks Michael, That ultimately may have been the problem on this one....those lights at top were bright, I think perhaps my wife was compensating her shot to make sure they weren't so bright. There were 3 performances, this was the last, and not every piece was so noticeable.

I appreciate the suggestion, that probably is going to be the key. MBP (MacBook Pro laptop)

Oh, our current process has been to stick to manual kelvin temp, and presets. There is a chance that te preset was not activated on her camera... which may explain the apparent difference in temp. We had been using a couple of ext 7" LCDs for monitoring; but they were not HD monitors... and didn't offer a crisp picture. We have found that running a firewire line into our individual laptops allows up to capture the footage digitally, and also gives us a nice picture. My laptop is older though, and isn't as bright as my wifes'. I am thinking that we may need to invest in 2 HDMI monitors... At any rate, that has been our process. We have only been using the XHA1s Cams for about a year. Performances twice a year, usually about 7 or 8 each season. They go by really quick.
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Old July 4th, 2011, 11:15 PM   #6
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Re: Multicam shoot with 2 XHA1S cams - getting matchng exposure

Have you tried adjusting the brightness control on the LCD so the screens on two cameras match?
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Old July 5th, 2011, 06:01 AM   #7
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Re: Multicam shoot with 2 XHA1S cams - getting matchng exposure

Hi

Guess it's already said, but you will probably have to overexpose the lamps in the wide shots to get the same level of exposure from both cameras. Setting the zebras to kick in at for example 80-90% on both camcorders, adjust exposure until the zebras disappear from the dresses on both camcorders. That will give you a wide shot that probably overexpose the lamps but the dresses will have about the same light level as the (now a little underexposed) closeup shots. Zebras at 80% will also give you a little room to adjust brightness and contrast in post.

Regards,

/Bo
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Old July 5th, 2011, 06:55 AM   #8
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Re: Multicam shoot with 2 XHA1S cams - getting matchng exposure

I have a xh-a1 and never use any exteral lcd/laptop's to judge exposure, eventhough the lcd screen is too small and cluttered with info (which you can remove but I like to see what the camera is doing) I can get accurate exposure only by relying on my zebra's. Ofcourse when it's too dark it can happen that the zebra's don't even kick in but in that case your lens is wide open anyway and when working with 2 camera's you just need to check you both are using identical gain. Ofcourse in such a case you need to be carefull when zooming in with one camera as you will loose light sensitivity.

The shot I see above is clearly underexposed, compared to the other cam, something you can only avoid by using your zebra's (if there is enough light for them to show)

I also would never rely on the image you see on the lcd, maybe one camera has a bit brighter lcd then the other and you will have a problem allready. With 2 xh-a1 just make sure both camera are exactly set up in the same way, are using the same WB setting and you use the zebra in the same way. Never expose on a light above but on the subject you want to have exposed right, like the dancers in this case.
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Old July 5th, 2011, 07:54 AM   #9
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Re: Multicam shoot with 2 XHA1S cams - getting matchng exposure

Most of the time I shoot on manual with my A1, but one exception is when shooting a stage show or a dance recital. On those occasions, I've found that the spotlight mode on the dial works well. Canon probably spent some time and money setting up the programmed modes.
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Last edited by Roger Van Duyn; July 5th, 2011 at 07:55 AM. Reason: typo
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Old July 6th, 2011, 11:40 AM   #10
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Re: Multicam shoot with 2 XHA1S cams - getting matchng exposure

I agree with Bo and Noa. Cameras set up the same. Set zebras to 80-90....set exposure where zebras JUST disappear on the main focal point(dancers). Remember, your main concern is the dancers.
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Old July 29th, 2011, 04:53 PM   #11
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Re: Multicam shoot with 2 XHA1S cams - getting matchng exposure

I really appreciate all the input people! we will try again in November, and use these tips! Thanks again!
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