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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, 11:30 PM   #1
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Gain, good or bad

Have read posts about low light situations and the use of gain in these forums and about the XH A1.

Can someone describe in layman's terms or point me to a resource that will explain gain to me? Is it like upping the ISO in a DSLR?

Also I have read posts where folks encourage the use of it and that is is ok, other posts say a little but not too much and others say that it is not good to have to use gain.

Why?

I would assume the vx2100 uses some sort of gain.

But with the A1 with gain at 0 as was done in the first round thread, if gain is bad then that noise is not good, because to recover it you would have to boost the gain. I guess I just need to know what gain does and why it is good or bad.

thanks Jerry
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Old November 2nd, 2006, 11:38 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Gordon
Is it like upping the ISO in a DSLR?
It's very similar to that, yes.

What's good about gain is that it increases low light performance.

What's bad about gain is that it adds noise to the image.

So the answer to your question "is gain good or bad," is that gain is both good and bad all at the same time because you're trading image quality for artificial brightness.
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Old November 3rd, 2006, 11:12 AM   #3
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Thanks for moving Chris.

So it appears with gain you are danged if you do and if you don't.

With low light performance you have noise, but with gain you have more noise, is that correct?

thanks..jerry
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Old November 3rd, 2006, 01:33 PM   #4
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Noise isn't inherent in low-light shooting but rather how you make your exposure. It's a trade-off. Choose your poison: too dark, or add some video noise. Looking on the bright side (ok, bad pun), gain -- which is basically just electronically boosting a low signal from the CCD -- allows you to get shots you otherwise just might not get at all. And you can often smooth it over pretty well in post.
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