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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 10th, 2006, 01:18 PM   #1
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The Orange Thing

Is it just me, or does footage from Canon cameras generally have an orangish tinge? I know that color balance can be custom set, but I've noticed this for some time now. For instance, that overlit series on Lifetime Television, "Lovespring International," is shot on Canon HD and looks orange. And Steven Soderbergh's film "Full Frontal," shot on Canon SD, had that look.

Seems like each camera manufacturer has a bias in their color profile. Sony looks kind of cold and bluish, Panasonic has rich skin tones, etc.

It could just be the stuff I've seen, but I've had this impression for a while now.
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Old November 10th, 2006, 03:58 PM   #2
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I've always felt Sony's had a warm, sorta orange/red glow to them, and Canons to feel kinda green...... but this might just be me, I've heard a lot of people saying Canons are orange or red
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Old November 10th, 2006, 04:03 PM   #3
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To me Sony's are always "cool" on the blue side while Canons were more golden.....just my opinion. I prefer a warmer image to a cold one.
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Old November 10th, 2006, 04:33 PM   #4
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Those films have gone through serious color correction to get the look the director wanted. Doesn't matter what camera is used, they do lots of color correction in post. If you use most Sony professional cameras right out of the box, they look pretty flat, so you tweak them up to suit you. Same with Canons. I think Canon got a bit of a reputation for over-saturated color from the original XL1. With all the adjustments on the newer ones, they look great today.
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Old November 10th, 2006, 05:43 PM   #5
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Bill's right on target. It is interesting that over time various folks have said that, for example, "the Canon look" was too purple, too orange, too green, too flat or too saturated. In all honesty any recent 3-chip camera regardless of manufacturer has so much image control that I really think there is just no utility at all in even paying notice to the out-of-the-box "look."

I'm fortunate enough to have just gotten access to an XH A1. Although I've just barely scratched the surface of its custom image capabilities, it is obviously so deep that it will take me quite some time -- many days, if not weeks -- to really get my brain around it. Not that this should intimidate anyone; there's lots of quick and simple tweaks one can learn in minutes to dramatically change the look of an image. The point is that these modern cameras can give you just about any look you can think of. Heck, when you buy the camera, you're paying for all that capability...might as well use at least some of it!

Anyway, gotta go. Lots more to learn about the XH cameras!
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Old November 11th, 2006, 03:43 PM   #6
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It's good to know that in modern video cameras you can tweak the colors and get what you want. Perhaps my impression of too much orange with Canon footage I have seen is from the two productions I mentioned. Maybe the DP or the gaffers simply stuck with the lights they had always used for professional HD cams or Panavision film cams, resulting in an orange hued overkill. I like the Canon available light footage I've seen posted in this forum.

Last edited by John Dentino; November 12th, 2006 at 12:46 AM.
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Old November 11th, 2006, 06:28 PM   #7
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Lights are lights, either tungsten or daylight, and don't have anything to do with the camera. They're going to have the color temperature they have, unless gelled. In just about anything you see on TV or theatrically, somebody has done colorizing in post to get the look they want. It usually has nothing to do with the camera shooting warm or cool. Check out some of the Showtime series, for instance. They like a really warm look on parts of "Dexter." And the now discontinued "Huff" was really warm, with blown-out highlights. As far as Soderberg--he really uses color temperature to convey mood. Look at "Traffic."
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Old November 11th, 2006, 06:51 PM   #8
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since the gl2, and following with the xl2 and xlh1, I've thought that the main color defect with these canon's has been a shift toward the red in the yellow portion of the spectrum...I think this is due to canon trying to shift skintones a certain way, but often it ends up turning straw colors definitely in the direction of orange. The funny thing is that I usually only see this when viewing on computers of many shapes and sizes. On my sony wega set at home, everything looks perfectly balanced. Seeing as that is the intended final output of an HD video camera. I think canon got it about right.
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