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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 January 21st, 2007, 05:08 AM   #1
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Low light is grainy--settings ?

Hi,

We received a demo A1 last week. After shooting in a low light area we noticed a lot of grainy noise to the image. It looks like too much to me, especially when compaired to the Z1 and V1 in similar conditions. Is there a setting that I may not have correct that would cause all the noise ? I know I had the gain on high, but like I said--compared to the Sony this looked like it had more noise overall.

Thanks.

Jeff
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Old January 21st, 2007, 10:04 AM   #2
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A high gain setting equals more noise in the image.
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Old January 21st, 2007, 10:46 AM   #3
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Try turning AGC off and maintain the noise yourself. Also N1 or N2 enabled can fix a lot.

Don't forget that the A1 also has a little grain from itself, I personally like that, gives it a little filmic look.
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Old January 21st, 2007, 07:46 PM   #4
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I gave it another shot. I am testing with the gain because we normally shoot under harsh lighting conditions. I tested the Sony with +18db and the Canon with +12. The Sony has pixelation in the really dark underexposed areas. The Canon just has an overall grainy noise to it. I tried the NR filters and they did help a bit. But from some of the footage I have seen posted I expected better. The Canon rep is coming in Tuesday and I will get to the bottom of this for sure.
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Old January 27th, 2007, 05:29 AM   #5
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Bottom line now that We have pulled the still s and they were processed in P-shop by correcting dimensions, toning, using Noise Ninja (noise filter) and an unsharp mask they look good. We ran 2 last week in the newspaper 4 columns wide and they looked great. No way to tell the difference.
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Old January 27th, 2007, 09:57 AM   #6
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We're using them for stills for the paper too. The noise is easily removed; it's not blotchy like early still cameras or like the z1u. But for the video you definitely need to turn agc off -- there's a huge reduction in noise at +12 (default H setting) compared to when the agc cranks it up.

Chuck
http://newspaper-video.blogspot.com
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Old January 27th, 2007, 12:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Rhode
Hi,

We received a demo A1 last week. After shooting in a low light area we noticed a lot of grainy noise to the image. It looks like too much to me, especially when compaired to the Z1 and V1 in similar conditions. Is there a setting that I may not have correct that would cause all the noise ? I know I had the gain on high, but like I said--compared to the Sony this looked like it had more noise overall.

Thanks.

Jeff
Jeff I'm not sure if this is the "best" preset for low-light, but I picked this up off of Wolfgangs page over in Germany http://www.fxsupport.de/15.html and tested it last week. From what I saw, I was very impressed, 6db gain max and this preset and you may be as impressed as I was. Someone like Ash Greyson may look at this and be able to tweak it even more but for now I have it saved.

-WOLFGANG NIGHTSHOT-

GAMma=Normal
KNEe=Auto
BLK=Middle
Master PED=0
SETup=4

SHarPness=6
HorDtlFreq=H
DetailH/V=0
CORing=2
NoiseRedux1=L
NoiseRedux2=H

ColorMatriX=N
ColorGainN=0
ColorPHase=0
RedGaiN=0
GreenGaiN=0
BlueGaiN=0

RGMatrix=0
RBMatrix=0
GRMatrix=0
GBMatrix=0
GBMatrix=0
BGMatrix=0
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Old January 27th, 2007, 03:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Fadely
We're using them for stills for the paper too. The noise is easily removed; it's not blotchy like early still cameras or like the z1u. But for the video you definitely need to turn agc off -- there's a huge reduction in noise at +12 (default H setting) compared to when the agc cranks it up.

Chuck
http://newspaper-video.blogspot.com

Now the V1 that we tested gave us some of the "blotchies" (like the Z1) in the areas that were flat in tone and between mid dtone and shadow.

Thanks for the settings Miguel. I will have a look.
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Old January 27th, 2007, 04:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miguel Lombana
Jeff I'm not sure if this is the "best" preset for low-light, but I picked this up off of Wolfgangs page over in Germany http://www.fxsupport.de/15.html and tested it last week. From what I saw, I was very impressed, 6db gain max and this preset and you may be as impressed as I was. Someone like Ash Greyson may look at this and be able to tweak it even more but for now I have it saved.

-WOLFGANG NIGHTSHOT-

GAMma=Normal
KNEe=Auto
BLK=Middle
Master PED=0
SETup=4

SHarPness=6
HorDtlFreq=H
DetailH/V=0
CORing=2
NoiseRedux1=L
NoiseRedux2=H

ColorMatriX=N
ColorGainN=0
ColorPHase=0
RedGaiN=0
GreenGaiN=0
BlueGaiN=0

RGMatrix=0
RBMatrix=0
GRMatrix=0
GBMatrix=0
GBMatrix=0
BGMatrix=0
I would use these settings as a last resort for scenes that are very low light, I have almost the same settings on 1 of my preset, it will reduced noise for sure but since he turn on the noise reduction type 1 to low, it will gives you a little bit on trail with fast moving or panning, but the guy have it right though, it is the best compromise of noise versus trail.
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Old January 27th, 2007, 10:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Rhode
After shooting in a low light area we noticed a lot of grainy noise to the image. It looks like too much to me, especially when compaired to the Z1 and V1 in similar conditions.
In my experience the Canon HDV cameras yield much grainier images than the Sony FX1/Z1U when both are used at default camera settings, but the Canon images are a bit brighter and richer. Based on what Canon cameras owners are saying, you'll definitely want to experiment with manual settings including the gain and 'coring'. For those using the Sonys, if you're not happy with your low-light response try using more gain and experimenting with options for enhancing the footage in post.
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Old January 29th, 2007, 05:58 AM   #11
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So many menus.....I see that the "coring" has 19 possible settings (-9 to +9). time to experiment a bit.
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Old January 29th, 2007, 08:06 AM   #12
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I just think we all need to accept that modern CCD and CMOS technology (Infared exlcuded) just simply is not as good as the human eye, and that low-light will always equal grain.


Yes, there are settings which combat this... but if you are planning on shooting a romantic scene on a beach lit only by moonlight, the 320 iso rating of your XHA1 and it's 1.6 lens might not do it.
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