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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 April 14th, 2007, 10:32 AM   #1
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Best Settings For Protecting Higlights

I spend some time today testing out what effects the Setup Level and Master Pedestal controls have on the image with regards to creating or fine-tuning presets to protecting highlights and give the "best" (subjective) possible dynamic range.

The SETUP LEVEL controls the overall exposure curve. Set to "0" blacks are at 2%. Adjusting the SETUP LEVEL up or down shifts the black level by 0.5%. So SETUP LEVEL -4 puts blacks on 0%.

The maximum white level changes depending on the gamma selected.

Normal Gamma with Setup 0 = 109%
Cine 1 Gamma with Setup 0 = 105%
Cine 2 Gamma with Setup 0 = 103%

Normal Gamma with Setup -4 = 107%
Cine 1 Gamma with Setup -4 = 103%
Cine 2 Gamma with Setup -4 = 101%

Obviously this means that using a preset with a SETUP LEVEL of "0" and Normal Gamma gives you the greatest retrievable information in the highlights (with 9% headroom).

If you push the SETUP LEVEL below -4 using Cine Gamma you can end up with whites blowing out before they reach 100%!

The MASTER PED allows you to shift (theoretically) the black level up and down. It actually does shift the whole curve up and down slightly, within the overal curve. If you push MASTER PED down and SETUP LEVEL up then you can crush shadows to the point of losing detail.
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Old April 14th, 2007, 10:55 AM   #2
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What's your knee setting? If you turn that to low, you will get a much more graceful transition to blown out whites instead of instant clipping if you are using auto or high
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Old April 14th, 2007, 11:12 AM   #3
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Sure thing Steven, Knee set to low provides a nicer transition to white.

Now, would you go for setup at 0 to provide the greatest amount of highlight protection, or would you go for setup at -4 to provide true blacks, but less retrievable info in the whites?
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Old April 14th, 2007, 11:14 AM   #4
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Personally, I would keep setup at 0. Shifting it downwards takes the vibrancy out of the look for me.
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