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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
Canon XL2 / XL1S / XL1 and GL2 / XM2 / GL1 / XM1.


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Old December 23rd, 2004, 07:12 AM   #1
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new to XL2 need a lil help

i just got a xl2 and was shooting some test footage - edited w/fcp hd and then transferred to dvd studio pro 3 to burn a dvd - i have a 42in plasma tv that i watched my footage on and the image looks grainy - not sure if its the mode i shot in or its just typical for plasma tv's to look this way with footage shot from cams - [had setting in the auto mode] i do know when looking at a store brought dvd the image is crystal clear - and another thing i noticed was as i was shooting - looking thru the viewfinder the image looked grainy there also -
i am new to the videography field - usually shoot digital stills w/nikon D2H - all advice is greatly appreciated

merry x-mas & happy new year to all
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Old December 23rd, 2004, 08:46 AM   #2
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You may have had the Gain control on Auto. Check to make sure it's set to Zero.
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Old December 23rd, 2004, 08:47 AM   #3
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There is also a setting called "Film Grain" or "Film" that is part of the bars menu. If you accidentally hit it, it adds grain.
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Old December 23rd, 2004, 08:50 AM   #4
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Ah, yes -- "film grain" -- the single most worthless "feature" on the XL2. Good call there, Richard.
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Old December 23rd, 2004, 08:54 AM   #5
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you know what i think it was set to auto gain -
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Old December 23rd, 2004, 10:53 AM   #6
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I'm afraid the SNR out of these cameras isn't that good. You've been given the best advice I know - set the gain to manual 0 dB and leave it there unless you absolutely have to raise it to get proper exposure. What you have seen is not unusual or abnormal (unfortunately). Even with manual gain at 0 dB you may see noise in shadow areas if you are looking for it.
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Old December 23rd, 2004, 06:29 PM   #7
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Hi Ronny.
I had the same problem, the quality of my video was terrible. Unaceptible to me. I'm used to the XL1s and never had this problem. I'm still waiting for canon to see if there is a problem or not. Will see their finding soon. Will let you know what they found. Still don't know why its so bad witrh auto gain. I would expect the camera to handle this much better than that.
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Old December 23rd, 2004, 07:04 PM   #8
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From all that I can see with actually using the camera and anectdotal information on the internet the XL-2 is a great camera when it has enough light coming into the lens.

What sort of scenes are you shooting that 'look' noisy?

There is also the noise reduction option you can use under the custom presets and you could also set the image gain to -3db as opposed to 0db.
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Old December 23rd, 2004, 07:22 PM   #9
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Chris;
I was shooting a 15th birthday party. The light was low, but I had on my camera a varylux light that I used at all times. Part of the event was also recorded with my XL1s as a second camera and it was a lot better. Something that I noticed was that the worse videos were at the end of the event. As if it was getting worse as time went on. I will know if it was me or the camera soon. Anyway I apreciated your advise. will be more carefull next time.
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Old December 23rd, 2004, 07:35 PM   #10
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Getting worse over time is the sort of thing which would cause me to wonder if a button or setting were changed during the course of shooting - or the lighting conditions changed.

My first, inexperienced, impressions of the XL-2 were that it was difficult to focus and the image quality could be better. Turns out that I had not yet figured out how to focus the darn thing and driving it with +3-12db of image gain resulted in very grainy images. After spending some time to play with the camrera and all of its settings I have a much better feel for what will and wont work with it and how to troubleshoot it faster on the fly. I love the image quality now.

One suggestion would be to hook it up to a video monitor or your television, display the camera menus on the monitor and use the remote to change every setting you can find and watch the resulting changes as you make them. It's a fantastic way to see what all you can do with the camera and where you'll need to step in with better lighting or filters to get the look you want.

Good luck!
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Old December 24th, 2004, 04:13 AM   #11
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My first shots with the XL2 indoors were also disappointing. Making sure that the gain never goes above 6dB basically solved it for me, together with using Tv mode with shutter set to 1/50s (I am in PAL-land).

Outdoors, I set the gain to 0dB and use Tv or Manual depending on whether I want easier focusing or more depth of field control.

To add to Chris Mills' very good suggestions about using an external monitor, another thing I did with this was to adjust the XL2's viewfinder settings (like brightness and contrast) so that the viewfinder image matched my monitor's as closely as possible. This allows me to rely on the viewfinder when shooting, to adjust the exposure in manual mode and have confidence that it will look very similar when I "get it home". There are probably more scientific ways of doing this properly, but it has helped me get better exposure with the camera and I love the results I can get now.

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Old December 24th, 2004, 08:32 PM   #12
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ive been shooting mostly indoor shots [freezing outside] but the only things i have to monitor with is plasma tv's and im not sure if that will give me an accurate account of what the final will look like
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Old December 25th, 2004, 09:07 AM   #13
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Standard Settings

I too, am an amateur who owns the XL2. Inside, I the pix are a bit dark. I have been using Tv with shutter speeds of 50 too.

Can anyone share some of the standard setups and any links to presets that have been developed for the buttons.?

Additionally, is there an idiots guide to supplement the manula. The manual is a bit thin.

Thanks,
Steve
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Old December 25th, 2004, 05:24 PM   #14
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As I stated earlier: the best way to figure out how best to use the XL-2 is to set it up, display the viewfinder info on your monitor or television and play with it till you are comfortable with the way the different settings affect the image being captured. Try it and see.
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Old December 28th, 2004, 06:08 PM   #15
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Low lite problems

Hi Ronnie, Richard & Chris;
I just received my camera back from Canon and as I was especting it was fine. They recomend to shoot in manual mode specially in low light. And to keep the gain as low as posible.
About a month ago I went to a clinic held at Helix in Chicago and they cover almost every thing, but never was any thing said about low light recording and manual mode. At least it was good to know that my camera was fine. I will be doing some test tonight and tomorrow in low light and go from there wiht a diferent perspective. Thank You for your help, and have a great New Year.
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