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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old December 6th, 2007, 02:19 PM   #1
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whitebalance question for XL2

We purchased an XL2 in Sept and have been videoing with it since and loving it. We recently compared some footage from our camera to a friend of ours' XL1s. The quality of his tapes blew ours away, the coloring of our video seemed real dull and was off colored. There were no vibrant colors. Their video was amazing, just like something you'd see on a professional DVD or such. This past weekend we took it out and our first idea to fix it was to mess with the whitebalance. We've always run the camera on automatic whitebalance. We decided to try to manually set the whitebalance and see if that changed the coloration of the footage. This was the ticket! The video taken while the white balance was nothing compared to using the manually set whitebalance (using the whitebalance card/white piece of paper).

Our question is has any other XL2 users had troubles with their automatic whitebalance not generating the quality of lighting they desired? Thanks in advance for the help
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Old December 6th, 2007, 05:47 PM   #2
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I think you've figured out why Auto WB isn't the way to go...ever. I don't think I've ever used the AWB...mostly because I have no idea what it's using to tell the camera "This is what white should look like", and therefore I don't know what color it's going to come out as. That's why AWB gives users the quality they don't deserve. That said, it's a good idea to have your set/interview/subject lit properly as well.

Jonathan
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Old December 6th, 2007, 06:32 PM   #3
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Of course, the question is: were you looking at your friend's raw tapes from the camera, or were you looking at a DVD? Post-processing can make a big difference in what you see.

That said, AWB is an excellent crutch for when you get started, but as you gain experience, you'll end up shutting off more and more of the auto features because they will get in the way of what you really wanted to see. These days, I pretty much hit it with full manual exposure, no auto gain, and a manual white balance. You might want to investigate the Custom Preset features, which can be a pretty heavy subject in itself. Search the forum for information -- it's there. You can ginny up whatever "look" you might need with a little adjusting.

Martin
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Old December 6th, 2007, 08:23 PM   #4
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Thanks guys, the footage we watched from our friends' cams was raw footage played over their handheld mini-DV cams. We are searching on here and finding lots of helpful information. We are thinking that shying away from Auto gain and auto white balance as well as adjusting the exposure by adjusting apeture, shutter speed, AE shift, gain, and then adjusting the custom presets. After messing with all these this coming week we hopefully will learn a ton more!
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Old December 7th, 2007, 04:28 AM   #5
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Hi Russell,

Correct, we operate the white balance in manual mode. In time, you'll want to learn the significance of 18% Grey cards, color checker cards, warm cards, and if you really get into it, spot meters. And as a proud owner of your XL-2, you'll see how tweaking your camera presets will open up a whole new world of color.

Enjoy, Michael
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