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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 29th, 2004, 03:05 PM   #1
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Problem with picture on XL2

I have two XL1s, and two weeks ago I bought new XL2. But the picture is not good like on XL1s. Red color is not clear or really red. Something like darkly red and a little bit purple there is in red. Picture has no contrast and full color like XL1s and there is some greenish film. What can I do? With custom presets is something better but not like on XL1s! Sorry for my english.
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Old December 30th, 2004, 06:50 AM   #2
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Welcome aboard DVInfo.net Goran!

The two camera's are very different inside and do not produce
the same kind of image. Resolution and a whole lot of other
stuff has to do with this. Luckely the camera is very customisable
and should be able to get pretty close to an XL1s.

Are you able to put two frame grabs up on a website for us to see?

What where the settings on the XL1S and the XL2?
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Old December 30th, 2004, 08:59 AM   #3
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Here is the link where you can see pictures from both cameras. On left side is XL1s picture, right is XL2 picture. There was the same light conditions, the same places, gain =0db, shutter 1/50 (PAL), iris is set to 1,6-2,2. WB was manual.
Camera is now in Canon authorized service in Zagreb, Croatia and yesterday they called me and told me thet is everything OK with camera! For me, it isn't OK! Please, took a look at my pictures and if you can help me, what can I do!

http://www.gamma-video.com/xl2/
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Old December 30th, 2004, 09:59 AM   #4
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In comparing the two sets of frame grabs I notice that generally speaking the colors in the XL1s set are more saturated than those from the XL2. I just did a simple test with the XL2 and a Macbeth card which showed that the XL2 increases saturation on average about 3%. From this and your examples I'd conclude that the XL1s increases the saturation appreciably more than this and that, therefore, the colors from the XL2 are actually truer. It is well known that people like vivid color and that is why cameras and films are designed to boost saturation to the extent the XL1s apparently does. I'd suggest increasing the saturation in your post processing to see if that makes the images more pleasing to you. If it does you then have the option of increasing chroma gain in the camera but I don't recommend that. I feel its better to let the camera record truer color and enhance it after the fact if your creative inclination is to do so.

That said, I didn't like the XL2 very much at first relative to the XL1s either. As with any new tool it takes some getting used to. I'm sure you will be more comfortable with it after you've run a couple of cassettes through it.
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Old December 30th, 2004, 03:25 PM   #5
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In three weeks I made many difference settings with custom preset picture control. With which option can I set picture to bring it close to XL1s picture:
Knee point adjustment (High, middle, low)
Black (stretch, middle, press)
Colour phase (G.........R)
R Gain
G Gain
B Gain
Vertical Detail (normal, low)
Sharpnes (-....+)
Coring (-....+)
Setup level (-....+)
Master pedestal (-....+)
NR (off, high, middle, low)

I would like to hear some explanations of some options, or where I may make a change, where no. Please, if you can help me with it, or send some link, or text about master pedestal, setup level, coring, black stretch and knee point. In user manual, there is very poor explanations of those options.

Thanks!
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Old December 30th, 2004, 05:54 PM   #6
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The control you would adjust would be the color gain.

Having indicated that I suspected the XL1s recorded more saturated colors than the XL2 I captured a GretagMacbeth frame from the XL1s and subjected it to the same measurement process as for the XL2. For the record, the same lens, the 16x manual was used. White balance was manual using an Expodisk and the light source was the same. Exposure was set to give the best balance of gradation on the gray patches. JPEGs of frames were captured usign BTV Pro. These were opened in PhotoShop where they were tagged as being in NTSC space and then converted to the program's working space. Curves were used to set the darkest and lightest neutral patches to their correct L values which had been determined by measuring the card with an i1 spectrophotometer. The eyedropper tool was then used to measure the color of the colored patches in Lab mode. These readings were compared to i1 color readings from the card.

The results were quite interesting. In all cases (18 patches) the XL1s colors were more saturated than the XL2 by as little as 0.6% (light skin) to as much as 19.7% (red). The average difference was 8.7%. The XL1s oversaturated all patches except blue which was undersaturated by 1.6%. Red it oversaturates by 40%. Average oversaturation for the XL1s is 11.4%. The XL2, converesly, oversaturates some colors, moderate red being the most extreme at 15%, but undersaturates others by about the same amount i.e. blue is 15.8% undersaturated. On average the XL2 oversaturates by 2.7%

The average color only (L not considered) error was Delta_E = 11.5 for the XL2 with the best matches being for the blue flower (1.0) and yellow green (3.1) patches both of which would be considered indistinguishable from the actual colors and the worst being 22.4 for orange which would not be considered a very good match.

The average color only error for the XL1s was Delta_E = 15.6 with the best matches being blue at 3.6 and purple at 4.1. The worst were red at a whopping 41 and moderate red at 30.6.

Thus, based on the GretagMacbeth patches, the XL2 reproduces color more accurately than the XL1s. Part of this accuracy truer saturation which means that colors of the same subject will look more vivid from an XL1s than from an XL2. Hence the advice to increase the color gain on the XL2 if you want vivid color more than you want accurate color. I still advocate doing this in post as people have reported color bleed when color gain is boosted. Besides which, once it is done, it cannot be completely undone because of the compression schemes used in DV video. For this reason alone it is best to set all controls to their factory presets and fiddle with color in post processing (my opinion here and others may feel differently).
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Old December 31st, 2004, 05:57 AM   #7
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It also looked like the WB might have been of a little bit on the XL2.
Actually, now that I look at the first example closely, notice
how the paper is white with the XL2 and yellow-ish with the XL1s,
the XL1 is off actually. But, it is a known fact that the XL1 serious
had a tendency towards red (instead of blue with Sony for example),
it seems indeed that the XL2 has a much more balanced color
rendering.

In all it shouldn't be too hard to get this kind of footage to match
with some post production work. I did a small test in Sony Vegas 5
and got the footage to look identical (in the first comparison) within
a couple of minutes, this is what I added:

1. Brightness and Contrast filter: Brighter, More Contrast:
- Brightness = 0.08
- Contrast = 0.15
- Contrast center = 0.50

2. Color Balance: Red Highlight:
- Red = 0.0680
- Green & Blue = 0.0
- Highlights
- Preserve luminosity

3. Color curves: Increase Contrast:
- remove the upper point
- moved the remaining upper point to the upper right corner (use shift)
- added a VERY SLIGHT s-like curve

The latter one might not even be needed, but always makes stuff
look so much better.

The filters where added in the following sequence: 3, 1, 2

They are just different camera's with a different way to render
color, no real way around that but to match them up in post.

If you figure out how it typically works you should be able to get
it pretty close fast in the future.
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Old December 31st, 2004, 08:00 AM   #8
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Thank you Rob.

I would like that I can set all picture parameters on camera, because in postproduction, to do this is waste of time for me. I'm working with 1 to 3 hours projects, with more than 500 clips. Adding filters and setting picture on every of them is for me one step back in my job! I was buy this camera for one step up!
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Old December 31st, 2004, 12:05 PM   #9
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I don't know of very many people that can color correct within the camera so that no post work is necessary. Hats off to ya!
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Old December 31st, 2004, 10:25 PM   #10
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Like Goran, I would also prefer to shoot with the camera set to get a good image straight away. In my case, it's because I usually have to show the raw footage to several people, and it doesn't sound very convincing if I have to explain that it will look better after editing (even though I know this to be true).

Recently, I set the XL2 up to shoot on a very dull day, and boosted the colour a couple of notches. The pictures were great, and everybody was happy with the results. A few days later, I went to the beach and used the same preset without thinking, taking some shots just for fun. Since the weather was now sunny, the colour boost wasn't needed, and the links below show how the shots came out. If anyone says that the XL2 can't do bright colours, just show them these!

Richard Hunter

P.S. If someone could tell me how to make the links clickable I would appreciate it.

http://www.jaegercat.com/~richard/ChangiBeach1.wmv
http://www.jaegercat.com/~richard/ChangiBeach2.wmv
http://www.jaegercat.com/~richard/ChangiBeach3.wmv
http://www.jaegercat.com/~richard/ChangiBeach4.wmv
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Old January 1st, 2005, 07:49 AM   #11
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Please can you tell me all custom preset setting you made, so that I can try it on my camera?
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Old January 1st, 2005, 05:51 PM   #12
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Hi Goran. Most of the settings are left at default, except these:

Gamma - Cine
Color Matrix - Cine
Knee - Low
Vertical Detail - Low
Color Gain - Plus 2 notches

I shot with Shutter priority and shutter speed 1/50s, with one notch of AE exposure boost applied. I used ND filter for these shots, but not sure what the actual setting was for this.


I very much doubt that these settings will solve your problem, because the XL2 is not so immediately impressive indoors where the ambient lighting is much less. I also got quite flat results indoors until I learned to tweak the settings.

The number one feature I see in your frame grabs is that the shots are slightly under exposed. When I first tried my camera, I had the same results. In my case, the viewfinder was showing me a good image, but the recorded image was much duller. By hooking up the XL2 to a TV monitor, I was able to adjust the viewfinder brightness and contrast so that it was a closer match to the TV image. Now when I shoot, I can use the viewfinder to judge the exposure and know that the recorded results will be very close.

Be aware that Cine Gamma will make the overall image a bit duller. You might need to increase the exposure to get the results you want (or maybe use Normal Gamma instead).

I recommend you never use the Auto Gain setting, it seems to want to go higher than it should. Set it to 0dB if you can, but if this gives an under exposed image, maybe bump it up to 6dB. Of course you can go higher, but the picture will get noiser.

One tip is to use the Exposure Lock button to check whether the iris is fully open, as this can indicatie that you possibly need more light or more gain (especially if the shutter is 1/50s). If you temporarily increase the gain and check the aperture again, you should see the number get larger. If it doesn't, you are probably underexposing.

Having got the exposure correct, you may or may not want to increase the colour saturation. Adding one or two notches to the Color Gain setting should be enough for most people (and more than enough for sunny outdoor shots!).

The best way to get the results you want is simply to play around with the camera and check out what everything does. You shouldn't really need to go far from the defaults, unless you are are trying for a specific effect which I think is not the case here.

Good luck,

Richard
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Old January 3rd, 2005, 04:19 AM   #13
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Richard: I've activated your links, see the link in my signature to
learn how to do this yourself!

Goran: take the time to fiddle with your camera. Some of the
changes I've done in post can probably be done in-camera (since
the XL2 has such elaborate controls) as well. Simply set the two
camera's up side-by-side and fiddle with the camera until it looks
as close as possible.

There is no easy substitution for experimentation and learning
how it works yourself. Settings that might work for Richard for
example might not work for you or match your XL1S footage.

Make sure both camera's are white-balanced to the same source
as well.
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Old January 3rd, 2005, 05:17 AM   #14
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Thanks Rob!

Richard
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Old January 4th, 2005, 10:31 AM   #15
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Today I get my Canon XL2 from service. They say that is already in manufacture setting OK, but they set picture especially for me to look as close as possible to XL1s. For me it is really better than before. But I must to do many test on camera. You can see two pictures at my web site gallery www.gamma-video.com (click on GALERIJA and than IN ACTION - two pictures at top) or direct link is here:

http://www.gamma-video.com/galerija/...?album=1&pos=0
http://www.gamma-video.com/galerija/...?album=1&pos=0

Please, reply with your comment.
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