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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 28th, 2006, 08:27 AM   #1
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Nosiy & Desaturated

Hey guys... I have had the XH A1 for a couple weeks now and think it's a great camera, however, for some reason any video I capture to my PC seems to come out somewhat grainy and desaturated. I use Premiere Pro 2.0 to capture as MPEG, and the video on the PC just does not look nearly as good as when I play back the video to my 55" HDTV. Why is that? It seems to be a lot noisier and noticeably desaturated on the computer. Is this to be expected or is there something amiss here?
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Old November 28th, 2006, 08:44 AM   #2
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I'm not sure about the noisy part, but video definitely looks substantially duller on computer monitors when compared to televisions. That's why serious video color correction is usually performed on a calibrated television rather than a computer display.

If you haven't already, you can set the gain to -3 to reduce noise.
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Old November 28th, 2006, 08:54 AM   #3
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So is this to be expected with any HDV camcorder? And, how would the XH A1's video when viewed on a computer compare to that of Panasonics HVX200's? Thanks.
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Old November 28th, 2006, 11:06 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deke Ryland
So is this to be expected with any HDV camcorder?
No.

Although I don't have an A1 I do use and mix footage from the JVC100, FX1, HC1 and H1 and it all looks great.

Just from what you've told us I would hazzard a guess, and its just that a guess, that if your trying to edit HDV natively in PPro2 you may be stepping on the image somewhere in your workflow.

When I capture I convert everything to Cineforms AspectHD4 Digital Intermediate works very well. The few times I have tried to edit HDV natively I did not like it.

I suggest if you are going to be editing HDV regularily that you try the free AspectHD eval http://www.cineform.com/

*note -- I have suggested this solution in several threads and though it sounds like I'm trying to sell this product, I am not. I have nothing to do with Cineform, I just like how well their product works and I'm a strong advocate for editing HD of any kind using a digital intermediate workflow.
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Old November 28th, 2006, 11:59 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deke Ryland
So is this to be expected with any HDV camcorder? And, how would the XH A1's video when viewed on a computer compare to that of Panasonics HVX200's? Thanks.
Computer monitors use different gamma than televisions do, and the result is that video looks darker and flatter on a computer monitor than it does on a TV.

Try calibrating your computer monitor using color bars and you'll see just how different it is from a television. Record some bars from the A1 and import that onto your computer, then play those exact same bars on your TV and you'll see a massive difference. And SMPTE bars aren't any reflection on the quality of the A1's video, that's a standardized signal so by using bars you effectively remove the A1 from the equation, you're just comparing monitor against monitor. And doing so, you'll probably see that the monitor is the source of your concern.
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Old November 28th, 2006, 03:58 PM   #6
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Computer monitors and HDTV can be calibrated to both have a gamma of 2.2 and if using video colorspace can show an identical picture; however, PPRO display of the timeline cannot be calibrated and will not match what you see on a HDTV. It uses the video overlay feature of you video card which, depending on the card, can show a wide difference of color and levels. Nvidia cards are especially bad on this one. One can approximate the look by adjusting the video overlay settings of the video card while showing colorbars on the timeline. Also, one must remember, most HDTV's out of the box are not properly calibrated, usually pushed towards blue and max brightness.
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Old November 28th, 2006, 06:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deke Ryland
So is this to be expected with any HDV camcorder? And, how would the XH A1's video when viewed on a computer compare to that of Panasonics HVX200's? Thanks.
This has nothing to do with HDV. Colors is the A1 are highly adjustable, that is with most new camcorders. You need to calibrate the monitor in a way you can 'trust' it. I think the HVX is very saturated in color to start with, but you can adjust the XHA1 to have a pleasing picture for the end result.

Noise on the XHA1 is comparable with the Canon H1, and like you can read in many tests en reviews the HVX is the noisiest of all the small camcorders. So it will show you the noise on the computer monitor too.
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