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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old December 24th, 2004, 04:37 PM   #1
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Film Grain...

I recently shot a movie on a DVX-100 and I must say (outside the lighting problems and the rushed production), the images seemed somehow flat.

I am thinking about purchasing my own XL2. I specifically like the idea that you can add a film grain to the image (something my cinematgrapher either was unable to do or unwilling to do).

However, do you think someone could take an image that has a film grain added and put it next to an image with no film grain and email it to me just so I can see the difference?

Thanks.

My email is Bishop832@aol.com. Please use the subject as "Film Grain". Thanks again.

-C-
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Old December 24th, 2004, 05:17 PM   #2
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Quote:
outside the lighting problems and the rushed production
I would say that's your problem right there.. what kind of lighting problems are we talking about? Both the DVX and the XL2 are 3-chip cameras so you're going to get a similar image; it comes down to lighting and composing your shots well.
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Old December 24th, 2004, 06:11 PM   #3
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The article above has some information on film look with a picture at the top of extreme grain versus no grain.

2- As Alex is saying, lighting (and the rushed production) is probably the reason why your footage doesn't look good.

3- As far as cameras go, the DVX100 will likely get you the closest to the film look with no tweaking. Its cinegamma setting is gorgeous. You can however get similar results in post by applying a s curve with a curves plug-in... so that may be a moot point. In any case, there's little point in getting an XL2 if you already own a DVX100. Spend your money and effort on lighting and scheduling instead (nice food for the crew can help too).

Take a look in the film look forum. Also, if you post which editing (or compositing/effects) software you are using (i.e. Vegas, Avid, Final Cut, Premiere, After Effects, Combustion, so on and so forth) people here can point you in the right direction.

4- When you post, check the email notification box if you want email notification.
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Old December 24th, 2004, 10:07 PM   #4
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I actually don't own a DVX. I had a cinematographer who had one. I have decided against using him again because he was incredibly picky about what shots we needed and I think the film suffered as a result.

Thanks for the photos.

-C-
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Old December 25th, 2004, 03:55 AM   #5
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Shooting DV, it's best to keep your signal and files as clean as possible. You can add plenty of grain, gamma, curves... in post: there are heaps of plug-ins available for AfterEffects or other programs. Just err on the side of caution. It might look like: "Look at me, I'm grainy!!!" and your distributor/broadcaster will reject your material.
It also depends on your distribution. For 35mm film blowup, its better not to muck around too much: the signal is degraded enough with the DV compression and resulting artifacts.
Plenty of tests and a good communication channel with the post people will help you a lot.
Have a look on a monitor in the environement of the distribution master to asess the degree of "grain" you want.
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Old December 25th, 2004, 04:46 AM   #6
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Christopher, I'm not sure if the issue of flatness would be resolved by adding grain. If you felt that the images were too clean or lacked "grittiness", then I could see adding grain; flatness is as you noted a probable lack of contrast in the lighting. Certainly you could punch in the contrast in post, although it's not the same as creating it on set.

Interesting comment about the DP preventing you from getting the shots you wanted.

Incidentally, I find that the DVX100a is a more noisy camera than the XL series, and I well imagine that for many, noise equals "film grain". I have to go through hoops to keep my DVX images clean, and would probably trade to an XL2 primarily for this reason.
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