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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 November 2nd, 2006, 09:55 PM   #16
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HERE'S NOISE WITH GAIN FULL UP

Here's a framegrab from a Canon XHA1 with AGC on, wide open at 1/15th sec on a dark street. I don't know what db level that gain is. If you turn agc off and put it on H gain, it's 12db and looks the same -- which is brighter than the Sony at 18db gain. I also have a frame grab of a Sony Z1U at 18db gain, 1/15th second wide open. The Canon is brighter but they're both noisy.

These are still frames out of fcp, de-interlaced and resized to the correct aspect in photoshop, and uploaded as "7" quality jpegs.

chuck
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First Round FX vs. A1-canon-xha1-agc_on-15th-sec.jpg   First Round FX vs. A1-sony-z1u-18db-15th-sec.jpg  

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Old November 2nd, 2006, 10:01 PM   #17
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Thanks for the pics.

Still grainy, but the light is very low. It looks to be brighter grainier, but with more color than the Sony. All in all I am impressed. The Sony does very well for cramming that many pixels into a 1/3 ccd, and from the looks of it the Canon is right on it's heels.

I am interested in what DB the Canon was at. I know it was on AGC, but typically don't Canon's stop the Auto gain at 12db or 15db and only 18db with user input? I could be wrong but that is what I remember with my Gl2 years ago.

Thanks
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Old November 2nd, 2006, 10:02 PM   #18
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The Kaku clips of nighttime streets didnt have anywhere near this much noise. Whats up? It really looks like gain has to up somewhere.
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Old November 2nd, 2006, 10:47 PM   #19
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The picture on the left looks overexposed for the conditions; the one on the right is closer, probably. But from the lights it should be pretty dark. It looks to me as if you're trying to bring the darkness up too high with both cameras.
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Old November 2nd, 2006, 11:06 PM   #20
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I don't have this camera, but the manual is now available from Canon USA.

http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/co...&modelid=14061

Maybe people are forgetting to turn off the AGC switch? According to page 60 and 61 of the manual, when in Auto (A) mode, you can control the gain with the H-M-L gain switch but the AGC switch must be off.

I remember a similar uproar when Mikko posted noisy footage from IBC on another site but admittedly he was not familiar with the camera. Kaku's taxi footage definitely does not exhibit this kind of noise. It's pretty clear the camera is not at zero dB in Daniel's footage, in my opinion. Perhaps this is another case of operator unfamiliarity. The discrepancy between Daniel's footage and Kaku's footage is enough to be cautious about making any conclusions about the footage until we get more information.
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Old November 2nd, 2006, 11:21 PM   #21
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This all looks/sounds consistent with what we've seen in the past comparing the Sony FX1/Z1U to the Canon XL-H1. The Canons appear to be more prone to graininess unless you're very careful about gain, while the Sony footage looks darker in poor lighting. Neither is ideal.
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Old November 2nd, 2006, 11:21 PM   #22
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One thing is a low light test. Another thing is a NO light test. I don't thing anybody can be seriously expecting ANY camera to shoot with that little light without grain. Anyway, I think I read somewhere that there's a grain reduction button somewhere on the canon for extreme situations...don't know how much it will help though.

Last edited by Rafael Lopes; November 3rd, 2006 at 02:01 AM.
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Old November 2nd, 2006, 11:25 PM   #23
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were all these test shot in the SD mode?

The specs say .4 lus in manual mode with 18db gain.

Wouldn't shooting in auto mode in the low light automatically at the 18db and set the shutter and stuff so that the noise would be minimal?

If not and the SD footage is that noise, is that indicative that the HD footage would be just as noisy?

I am disheartened to say the least. Had hoped for something that would beat the vx 2100 in low light and still have great HD.

Thanks
Jerry.
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Old November 3rd, 2006, 04:22 AM   #24
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hey, thanks for posting clips..

..however, this 'comparison' proves nothing about picture quality. all it tells us is that the canon will boost its gain more in auto mode. if you kept the settings the same as they are in these clips but lowered the gain down on the canon, you'd have a picture that more closely matched the sony (perhaps more grain or less, perhaps better, perhaps worse.. dunno, can't tell from the video.).
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Old November 3rd, 2006, 05:56 AM   #25
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I think the big question here is if these are SD, HD, or HD downconverted to SD, and if downconverted, how?

A downconversion usually adds grain, and I would assume that the HD mode will not suffer as much from Grain, because there is more pixel information to combat it.
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Old November 3rd, 2006, 06:11 AM   #26
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Ok, we've all been rather hard on Daniel's quick look. Let's let that go and await further testing using manual mode and specified settings.
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Old November 3rd, 2006, 11:07 AM   #27
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I agree with Pete, and Matthew.

I was not bashing his tests at all. Quite contrer, I was trying to ask what Matthew was askiing and what would be the difference if the gain was in the auto mode too....what difference would that really make if any? I am trying to learn also.

I actually appreciate Daniel's quick test, because that is the conditions I shoot in, only everything would be in the auto mode and was just wondering since he said the gain was manually set to 0, what would it look like set to auto.

As for the clips posted earlier by Kaku, would be nice to know what mode and settings he used for his to compare with.
Jerry
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Old November 3rd, 2006, 11:25 AM   #28
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posting a so-called test on "auto" isn't a test at all, unless you also post a similar test using the full manual controls which push the limits of each camera. it's the only fair comparison.

with the degree of image control available in either of these cameras, the only reason to shoot on auto is to either set the levels and work from them as a baseline or because the action is happening so fast that it is the only way to capture the event before it ends. those are very specific conditions. why pay up for all of this image control and then neglect to use it? i don't get it. if you want to shoot out-of-the-box and not have to actually work the extensive controls to improve the image, there are undoubtedly better cameras out there. that's not a newsflash....
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Old November 3rd, 2006, 12:16 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meryem Ersoz
posting a so-called test on "auto" isn't a test at all, unless you also post a similar test using the full manual controls which push the limits of each camera. it's the only fair comparison.

with the degree of image control available in either of these cameras, the only reason to shoot on auto is to either set the levels and work from them as a baseline or because the action is happening so fast that it is the only way to capture the event before it ends. those are very specific conditions. why pay up for all of this image control and then neglect to use it? i don't get it. if you want to shoot out-of-the-box and not have to actually work the extensive controls to improve the image, there are undoubtedly better cameras out there. that's not a newsflash....
I understand Meryem.
But as i am amateur, just like with my DSLR's, I shoot auto out of the box for a time until I have time to learn the camera and what it does and learn about the different settings and how they affect the image...I shot auto with the DSLR for 6 mos, on things that I definitely did not want to miss or screw up, and in between worked with the different things until I knew what Tv and Av were and how to use them and so forth. There is nothing wrong with using a camera or corder in the auto mode until you are comfortable with it and have learned all the ins and outs. It has taken me 4 years to understand and fully appreciate and understand almost everything about the DSLR's, but in the meantime I shot auto on shots that were there and I wanted to make sure they were right and not take a chance on working on trying to set image settings that I had not become familiar enough with. Same with the camcorder. I am new at it totally from a manual settings viewpoint, so until I get it down I will use auto mode on those need to get it right scenes. And I don't think there is anything wrong with that or admitting that I don't know anything yet about manual settings on a camcorder. I never oncetried manual settings on my Vx in 3 years, I am ashamed to say as I spent more time on the DSLR learning it. I am no pro. But I was wanting to see how it did in full auto, because I will be using full auto while I learn the ins and outs of adjusting the image settings and so forth.
Jerry
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Old November 3rd, 2006, 01:07 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Fadely
HERE'S NOISE WITH GAIN FULL UP

Here's a framegrab from a Canon XHA1 with AGC on, wide open at 1/15th sec on a dark street. I don't know what db level that gain is. If you turn agc off and put it on H gain, it's 12db and looks the same -- which is brighter than the Sony at 18db gain. I also have a frame grab of a Sony Z1U at 18db gain, 1/15th second wide open. The Canon is brighter but they're both noisy.

These are still frames out of fcp, de-interlaced and resized to the correct aspect in photoshop, and uploaded as "7" quality jpegs.

chuck
Thanks for posting this Chuck ... did you try the "black stretch" on the Z1? I have heard that this improves the lowlight performance.
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