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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old March 26th, 2005, 12:56 PM   #1
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XL2 and Adobe premier pro

Hello:

I wonder if someone has de answer to my problem... i made some shots with my XL2 with good lighting... i know this because i watched on my monitor and the image looks amazing. buut, when i transfer it to the computer, using firewire with adobe premier, the images turn dull, with no colors... now, is this normal? or what do i need to do?

thanks.
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Old March 26th, 2005, 01:17 PM   #2
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It could well be your PC's graphics card and/or monitor setup. I have the same problem here. Even with the brightness and contrast cranked all the way up, video is still dark and dull.

You may wish to experiment by burning a test DVD and checking it out on a decent TV/monitor. I suspect you'll find it looks more like what you were expecting.

As for how to fix it, I've been reduced to "cursing at the screen." (Hey, it's a low cost option!) Maybe some other folks here have better suggestions. :-)

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Old March 26th, 2005, 09:33 PM   #3
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Like Charlie mentioned, there's a good chance it is just your monitor (well one of them).

The same thing happened to me, except the other way around, as I thought it looked good on my computer screen but way too saturated once burned on DVD and played on TV.

So I had to redo the color correction for the DVD ouput version and desaturate it a bit to get the look I was going for.

I don't think there's anything wrong with your camera, most likely the look will vary from monitor to monitor unless you have them all properly calibrated to match.

One thing is for sure, transfering your footage to your computer via firewire does absolutely nothing to the image. It is the exact same footage that you had on your camera. So this isn't your problem.
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Old March 26th, 2005, 09:37 PM   #4
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i tought it way my monitor, but ive tried the footage in 4 diferent computers and it looks the same, dull and without color. this is not the way the real footage looks like.. so, i think maybe it has something to do with the firewire... but i dont know what im doing wrong. may be that adobe premier does not work well with the XL2?????
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Old March 26th, 2005, 09:44 PM   #5
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Angel, the firewire does nothing to your footage. It is not analog transfer, all it does is transfer digitized video in the binary language of ones and zeros. All the firewire could potentially do, if for example it was a cheap one, is corrupt some frames and create dropouts. But the color info isn't affected during the transfer.

Maybe it was your original monitor that was badly calibrated (too saturated, too bright maybe).

I am using Premiere Pro myself and used it to edit my last project without problems, although like I said, for me, the color was too saturated once viewed on TV which gave it a cheap video look I didn't care for, so I desaturated it some more.

There's lots of things you can do to troubleshoot your problem. Go back to your original monitor (on which you liked the look) and play your footage on it to see how it looks like.

You might also try Charlie's suggestion and burn a test DVD and play it on your old monitor.

No matter what, it is most likely that there is nothing wrong with your footage, just your computer/monitor(s) setups.

EDIT: Actually, there might be something wrong with your footage if your first monitor was badly calibrated and you relied on it to acquire your video. But what I mean is there is likely nothing different between the footage on your DV tapes and the footage transfered on your computer via firewire. There is no degradation in digital video transfers.
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Old March 26th, 2005, 09:52 PM   #6
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but, the problem is that, it only happens with footage taken from the XL2... because i did a test with a sony mini dv of almost the same footage and it dosnt look dull or without color.. it looks great... so basically... if i firewire images from a basic mini dv from sony, the images look great.. but still video.. and when i do this with the XL2, same monitor same everything.. il looks dull and no color...

may be it has something to do that im doing it with 24p footage.. but, its still very strange.
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Old March 26th, 2005, 10:09 PM   #7
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I don't know honestly, you'll have to be more specific about the equipment you used (monitors, cameras, etc.), your exact steps and your settings because there shouldn't be anything different in your footage from one storage device to another.

Your DV tapes are already like a hard drive, all the footage that is on it is digitized, meaning it's only ones and zeros. There is no interpretation needed in the firewire transfer like there would be if you used a capture card to capture analog (VHS, Hi8, etc.) footage. It is like copying a file from one folder to an other on your computer. Nothing is changed.

Maybe it has to do with the way the XL2 feeds the signal to the s-video/composite outputs for live monitoring (although it shouldn't be, there was no difference for me).

Maybe it's a codec problem. A setting in Windows...

It's really hard to tell. Maybe you could provide us with some frame grabs that show the problem?

Try connecting the original monitor to your computer if you have the appropriate connectors (or burn a DVD).

Try playing back the footage on your tapes directly from your camera to a different monitor via one of the video outputs to see if the look remains constant.
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Old March 26th, 2005, 10:20 PM   #8
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David:

ok, ill tell you the steps i did... i filmed a video of a mexican/american cumbia band called the Kumbia Kings. i filmed with super 16 mm. but i placed the XL2 right next to the film camera in some shots... i had videoasist for both cameras... i was monitoring the images from the XL2 and they looked amazing. even knoy, when i play them in the tv of my house, they look great.. i play them directly from the XL2 via RCA. but ... when i uploaded them via firewire into my pc, using adobe premier pro, they look very different. as i said, dull and with no colors.. this had never happened before, with any other footage.. just with the XL2...

im going nuts.. maybe there is something wrong with the camera, or maybe adobe does not work well with the camera... i dunno what is wrong.
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Old March 26th, 2005, 10:37 PM   #9
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OK, so can you take an other miniDV cam (you talked about a Sony model you used as well) and do the exact same thing. Feed some footage captured with it (don't mix tapes between the 2 cameras if they're different) to your TV/monitor via the RCA jack, then acquire it to your computer using Premiere and look at it once again. The same problem should show. If it doesn't, the only 2 possibilities I see are:

1) there is a problem with your XL2's analog output feed.

2) you're crazy ;)

If you used the same tapes with both cameras, maybe you can capture to your computer your XL2 acquired footage via your Sony miniDV cam or better yet, a tape deck if you have one.

You should also try to play the XL2 footage from a different camera via the RCA jack to see if the problem comes directly from your XL2 (again, don't mix tapes though).

Try using a different setting in Premiere (like interlaced instead of 24p) although that shouldn't change anything.

What puzzles me is that Premiere doesn't change anything to the footage and doesn't work with the camera per say, it works with the acquired footage. All DV footage is acquired and treated the same way.

I must say your situation is kind of a head scratcher.
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Old March 26th, 2005, 10:44 PM   #10
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i did exactly just that... i put the mini dv tape in the sony cam and saw it in the same monitor and it was great.. then, i uploaded the footage with the same sony cam... same thing... it looks exactly the SAME... no color and dull... very diferent that it looks on the tv monitor... im going crazyyyy.. jejeje...

it appears that, the footage taken with the XL2 has been recorded in some sort of format that the premier dosnt accept well or something.. i dont know what is wrong.. im gonna post again under a new title to see if anybody knows an anwer to this question...

thanks alot for your posts... do you have msn messenger? we could keep in touch better that way....

thanks again.
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Old March 26th, 2005, 10:56 PM   #11
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Well at least now you know that the problem doesn't come from your XL2, which is always a relief considering the price of that thing. ;)

So it only confirms that your footage is intact and looks fine (out of the XL2).

The problem is within the confines of your computer. But hey, don't just play the footage with Premiere. Try playing the raw AVI file using Windows Media Player (if you're using Windows) or an other editing program if you have one, even a very basic one like the one that comes with Windows. Does it still look dull?

The footage in itself is standard 16:9 or 4:3 (depending on what ratio you used) DV video that can be read as 60i interlaced video as well (just like any other DV cam), so Premiere shouldn't have any problem working with it.

Sorry I don't use Messenger but you can Email me if you have any additional question. Good luck!
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Old March 26th, 2005, 11:00 PM   #12
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thanks man... but, one thing, i think that the problem is from the xl2... because, the images uploaded from the sony mini dv.. look great.. but, the images recorded with the xl2 are the onlyones that look bad inside the computer... so i think the probles is the xl2 or the way the fire wire works with the footage recorded with the xl2.... anyway... thanks for your time man...
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Old March 26th, 2005, 11:34 PM   #13
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XL2 does not go well with adobe premier???

Anybody knows wich is the best way to upload material to your pc? i know youre gonna say firewire, but, im having problems with it, trying to upload images that i shot with the XL2 and looked great on the tv monitor (videoasist). but now they look dull, no color once there uploaded in adobe premier...

every time i play them back from the xl2 to a tv via RCA, they look amazing... and if i play them with another mini dv camera, they still look great.. it is only when i upload them to the computer, either from the XL2 or from another mini dv, that the problem shows...(dull and no color)

i have a feeling that it is because they were made with 24p format, but, maybe is that the Adobe premier is no good for that kind good image??? can anybody help me with this situation?
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Old March 27th, 2005, 12:50 AM   #14
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You generally shouldn't trust your computer monitor as a reflection of what your footage looks like. If starting out, hook up a TV to your camera/deck to your computer.

TV - analog - camera/deck - firewire - computer. Along the chain, check your inputs and which way the conversion goes.

Easy, not very pro way of calibrating your monitors:
Calibrate your TV by setting the picture controls in the middle. Hue, brightness, contrast, saturation should all be changed. Color temperature should be brought down to 6500K, or something that matches the lighting of your computer monitors or the lighting in your room.

Ideally, whites look white on all your monitors. Your computer monitor probably has controls for setting white balance.

see http://www.videouniversity.com/tvbars2.htm for more advanced information on calibrating your monitor. If you don't have a NTSC monitor with blue gun, they suggest using a blue gel (to me, it doesn't seem like it gives very accurate results- I really don't have any way of testing however).

If you have a blue gel however, you can check if saturation is correct/close on your computer monitor.

Calibrating computer monitors:
You could display color bars and calibrate that way. That may not be helpful though.

see http://www.kozco.com/calibrat/gray3.html for setting white/black levels.

2- The firewire capture does not change your video image at all, so if the footage looks right on your TV it is probably right.

3- What kind of computer monitor are you viewing your footage on? How old is it?

What company makes your video card? Nvidia/Matrox/ATI for cards or Intel/some weird companies for integrated cards. With the associated video card software/drivers, you can manipulate the saturation and colors of your computer monitor.

Your computer may also have controls you can manipulate.
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Old March 27th, 2005, 12:57 AM   #15
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Thanks for answering...

the problem is that, all the images that i upload to my computer look great... all except the ones recorded from the XL2...

i have another mini dv camera, a sony.. and of course it does not mach the quality of the xl2, but, it actually look alot better in my computer than the images uploaded from de xl2... it is not the computer, because, as i said, the only time it reflects bad quality images, is when i do it from the xl2, and it is not the xl2, because i play back the images using a normal tv, via RCA and, the images look excellent.. so it must be that firewire looses a generation of quality or something... or if you recor at 24p, premier does not know how to work with it.. or what other reason could this be???

i appreciate the help...
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