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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 May 12th, 2012, 02:17 PM   #1
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Best preset on XH A1 for biggest latitude in editing

Hello,

I do have all the presets on an excel sheet and right now I'm using the Truecolor preset, but I'm wondering what you experts think about the following:

I have a tendency to think that the best preset is the one that let me have the most options possible as I edit.
I mean the biggest latitude in the the corrections I want to do. So knowing that having the biggest latitude is post is what interest me, which preset from the list found on this forum would you say is better?

A stupid question,
Why not leave the cam in the default setting and do everything in post?
Thank you
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Old May 12th, 2012, 03:41 PM   #2
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Re: Best preset on XH A1 for biggest latitude in editing

There's a "BBC preset" which I use if I need to keep the footage neutral:

BBC custom preset
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Old May 12th, 2012, 04:27 PM   #3
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Re: Best preset on XH A1 for biggest latitude in editing

@Lerry
1) Default color profiles usually stink and are based on some manufacturer purpose not necessarily related to "latitude" (whatever that means
2) Why not shoot it the way you want it and save all that time in post?
3) Search here on True Color presets and profiles and pretty much everywhere it comes up, this debate erupts

IMHO, you should shoot it the way you want it. If you don't know what that is, then shoot it true color. YMMV
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Old May 13th, 2012, 08:34 AM   #4
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Re: Best preset on XH A1 for biggest latitude in editing

Thank you, for your answers, I'm checking the thread mentioned about TrueColor
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Old May 13th, 2012, 12:55 PM   #5
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Re: Best preset on XH A1 for biggest latitude in editing

I thought about this some more and I realized later that what you probably meant by "latitude" was to capture the most dynamic range which results in ugly captured footage but gives you headroom in the highlights. I am unaware of a preset for that other than the low light preset called LowLt12 for the A1. There may be others. Sorry if I misled you.
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Old May 13th, 2012, 05:06 PM   #6
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Re: Best preset on XH A1 for biggest latitude in editing

Well, from what i understand now, it's WAY better NOT to use any kind of preset and do all the work in post. I spend the day talking to many people about this and you better believe me. Do NOT use presets. Use the default factory and LEARN how to use your editing suite. That's the way to go. If you have time and need quality. If you don't have time and you want to output to the net for an in a hurry task, sure, use preset, but be aware that anything done in a preset pushes you in a particular direction that might not be correctable in post.
I looked at the TrueColor preset, and frankly there is something VERY wrong in pushing the RGM to 40.
Fine if you are going to film your duck in your yard to show to your grandmother, but if you are going to so some serious work, a narrative, a doc, etc... This is setting you off big time in a certain direction and you have too much bias in the info gathered through your camera.

Now, I'm convinced, gather as must unbiased, virgin info you can, and that's done through default factory setting, and work in post.
Many will disagree, but hey, I spent a weekend "playing" with this particular issue.
For me cam presets are a thing of the past
L.
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Old May 13th, 2012, 11:16 PM   #7
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Re: Best preset on XH A1 for biggest latitude in editing

Well, well, good to see.

Another shooter sees the light about presets (or NOT using same!).

Hallebloodylujah!


CS

Tip of the Month: Try shooting 1/2 to 1 stop down. Works wonders.
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Old May 14th, 2012, 06:54 AM   #8
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Re: Best preset on XH A1 for biggest latitude in editing

Larry, I have long shot with TrueColor based upon my desire, like yours, to capture maximum neutral information and allow maximum flexibility in post. I recall reading a detailed explanation of TrueColor by Paolo Ciccone, the author (apparently, this article is no longer available at his website) and seeing vectorscope images showing well-balanced and neutral color.

Hence, for my edification, I must ask what exactly troubles you about this preset? The red-green matrix (and, admittedly, I don't know what this does)?

I recall (again) a magenta tinge in the factory setting that some presets, like TrueColor, attempted to eradicate. Wonder if this is a problem for you...?

If you can post screen grabs of TrueColor (bad) and factory (good), that would get you a gold star...and probably convince me to look at factory again.

-Steve

p.s. I also ask because I'm interested in shooting more than ducks. ;)
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Old May 14th, 2012, 08:29 AM   #9
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Re: Best preset on XH A1 for biggest latitude in editing

Presets are good as a way to minimize the amount of correction (and thus time) required in post. This can be important for many shooters/editors working to a tight schedule.

They also allow one to bias the shot in favor of selected aspects of the image: shadows, highlights, gamma, certain colors, etc. With 8 bits of data recorded to tape it lets one prioritize the allocation of those bits to the part of the image gray/color scale that are most important to the task at hand.

The effective use of presets requires a clear understanding of the shooting environment, and the intended final product.
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Old May 14th, 2012, 09:17 AM   #10
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Re: Best preset on XH A1 for biggest latitude in editing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Palomaki View Post
Presets are good as a way to minimize the amount of correction (and thus time) required in post. This can be important for many shooters/editors working to a tight schedule.

They also allow one to bias the shot in favor of selected aspects of the image: shadows, highlights, gamma, certain colors, etc. With 8 bits of data recorded to tape it lets one prioritize the allocation of those bits to the part of the image gray/color scale that are most important to the task at hand.

The effective use of presets requires a clear understanding of the shooting environment, and the intended final product.
I'm not sure whether you're addressing me specifically, Don, but sincere thanks just the same for the brief explanation. In this specific case, a perception is that the TrueColor preset is what Canon would have (should have?) made as the factory default, given what the preset's author viewed as deficiencies in the existing factory default. (The original TC blog evaporated, so unfortunately I can't check the accuracy of my recollections!) Hence, it was my understanding, hopefully not ill-informed, that TC was not biased at all (or at least sought to eliminate factory bias), especially as to color.

That's why I felt compelled to ask essentially what is the matter with the TC preset, so far as Larry's stated purpose was concerned?

Meanwhile, I think I'll take some test footage to compare TC with factory and push it around in my NLE. Could be time for a reevaluation of my shooting preferences all these years. :)

-Steve
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Old May 14th, 2012, 11:59 AM   #11
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Re: Best preset on XH A1 for biggest latitude in editing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Secrest View Post
Well, from what i understand now, it's WAY better NOT to use any kind of preset and do all the work in post. I spend the day talking to many people about this and you better believe me. Do NOT use presets. Use the default factory and LEARN how to use your editing suite. That's the way to go. If you have time and need quality. If you don't have time and you want to output to the net for an in a hurry task, sure, use preset, but be aware that anything done in a preset pushes you in a particular direction that might not be correctable in post.
I looked at the TrueColor preset, and frankly there is something VERY wrong in pushing the RGM to 40.
Fine if you are going to film your duck in your yard to show to your grandmother, but if you are going to so some serious work, a narrative, a doc, etc... This is setting you off big time in a certain direction and you have too much bias in the info gathered through your camera.

Now, I'm convinced, gather as must unbiased, virgin info you can, and that's done through default factory setting, and work in post.
Many will disagree, but hey, I spent a weekend "playing" with this particular issue.
For me cam presets are a thing of the past
L.
Hmmm, have you read Alan Roberts' article? BBC - R&D - Publications - WHP034 - Addendum 22
Do so before you condemn all presets. I can't help feeling that you are assuming that the factory settings are so carefully chosen that they are flatly (ho-ho) the best possible. A well known Gershwin song springs to mind on that point.

Alan Roberts knows his stuff and I wouldn't dismiss his opinion out of hand.
However at the same time I can understand Chris Soucy's point. Some presents can fair bug**r things up and cause anguish in post (as well as making exposure very unpredictable).

I would second the "tip of the month" BTW.
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Old May 14th, 2012, 06:04 PM   #12
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Re: Best preset on XH A1 for biggest latitude in editing

I shoot with the true color preset with the understanding that it was designed to give the most dynamic range for post. So far it works very well for me...boost the whites & crush the blacks and it comes to life...tweak the saturation.
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Old May 15th, 2012, 01:24 AM   #13
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Re: Best preset on XH A1 for biggest latitude in editing

When I bought the camera 4 years ago, I tried most of the presets and eventually settled on TrueColor which gives the most neutral colours without being too flat.
I made a copy of Paolo's report which is attached. His work was done on the A1 model.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf TrueColor for Canon XH A1.pdf (82.6 KB, 2097 views)
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Old May 20th, 2012, 03:33 PM   #14
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Re: Best preset on XH A1 for biggest latitude in editing

Thanks to everybody, I'm going to give another look into that TrueColor preset and read the report.
To address questions above, my concern was that actually the TrueColor was not actually true color and was pushing me in a particular direction. Some people used to see a bluish color, I saw some reddish skin tone, and I must say on a nicely calibrated monitor.
Ok, I really appreciate all the feedback.
I'll go read that report
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Old May 21st, 2012, 06:40 AM   #15
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Re: Best preset on XH A1 for biggest latitude in editing

Larry, on the TrueColor preset thread here, I carried on a dialogue with a few people who did and did not see a bluish cast. As far as we could figure out, it came down to slight differences between A1's. I saw a bluish cast, as determined by analysis of screen grabs in Photoshop. Therefore, I customized the TC preset to remove the bluish cast.

I have installed but not yet played with the BBC preset. One thing that jumped out was its sharpening set to +3, which is very crisp compared to TC's -9. I prefer to sharpen, if any, in post. Usually, I don't.

I'm grateful for David's posting of the original article on TC. You'll see Canon's factory setting lacks quite a bit of color information compared to what the TC preset can pull out of the A1.

-Steve
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