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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old June 11th, 2005, 10:03 PM   #1
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XL2 Settings Contest

Calling all XL2 owners!

I propose a contest to see who can setup their XL2 to match the Scene Files here. Take a look at that link at the different settings which Panny provides as preset setups. No prize for figuring out the Canon setups except that you get your name on record here as the Scene File Setting Founder ("SF squared").

So we are all on the same sheet of music, all settings are for 16:9, 24p, 1/48th shutter, no AE Shift, no Gain, no ND Filter.

All settings must be adequately described with a setting for each and every one of the following attributes:

Hue (-6 to 0 to +6)
Chroma (-6 to 0 to +6)
Area (-6 to 0 to +6)
Y-Level (-6 to 0 to +6)
Skin Detail (OFF, HIGH, MIDDLE, LOW)

Gamma (Normal, Cine)
Knee (High, Middle, Low)
Black (Stretch, Middle, Press)

Color Matrix (Normal, Cine)
Color Gain (-6 to 0 to +6)
Color Phase (-6 to 0 to +6)
Red Gain (-6 to 0 to +6)
Blue Gain (-6 to 0 to +6)
Green Gain (-6 to 0 to +6)

Vertical Detail (Interlace, Progressive)
Sharpness (-6 to 0 to +6)
Coring (-6 to 0 to +6)

Setup Level (-6 to 0 to +6)
Master Pedestal (-6 to 0 to +6)
Noise Reduction (Auto, Off, High, Middle, Low)

Did I forget any?

I'm going to attempt to document the AMALIE setting, a personal favorite of mine,as shown in the Scene Files.

Any takers?
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Last edited by Patrick King; June 13th, 2005 at 07:09 AM.
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Old June 12th, 2005, 06:48 PM   #2
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Well, I guess 46 views with no reply is a resounding "NO THANKS".

I tried to setup the AMALIE scene today and like a recipe missing something I couldn't identify, I just couldn't tweak things to reproduce that style. I'll experiment more, post if I'm successful, and then "just let it go".
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Old June 12th, 2005, 07:24 PM   #3
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Hi Patrick. I think it's a great idea. I am one of the ones who didn't reply, mainly because I didn't realise that "Scene Files" in your first post was a clickable link. If you could make it more obvious I bet you would get more takers.

Richard
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Old June 12th, 2005, 09:07 PM   #4
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I applaud your efforts, Patrick. Admittedly I'm a little confused by the reluctance of XL2 owners to share their custom presets, as if they're closely guarded secrets to be kept hidden. It's not like this widely diverse group is in competition with each other, so I see no reason not to share presets.
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Old June 12th, 2005, 09:14 PM   #5
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Actually rather than trying to match the Panasonic scene files -- because it just seems to me like that might be some kind of copyright thing -- why not have a contest for "best custom presets" for certain generic applications such as weddings, or specific film looks or whatnot. Tell you what... to sweeten the deal, I can probably arrange a prize of some kind... some juicy toy for an XL2, how's that for an incentive?
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Old June 12th, 2005, 09:16 PM   #6
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Chris, Glad you chimed in, I was worried you might think I was misappropriating your forum to do this. Thanks again for all you do for this community.

Richard, I put the link in bold type and referenced it in the discussion. That tweak was easy...now if I can just find that last little setting for the AMALIE scene file. I'll be pretty embarrassed if someone else solves one before I do.
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Old June 13th, 2005, 12:01 AM   #7
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At the risk of sounding a little dense, wouldn't I need to own, rent, or otherwise have access to the above mentioned Panasonic camera if I was going to try to duplicate the looks of its scene files? Since I don't, and I suspect many XL-2 owners don't either, I think that might have been the reason for your lack of response. On the other hand, a contest for good old custom presets that emulate certain looks would be a good one. I might have time to participate in that one.

=gb=
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Old June 13th, 2005, 12:49 AM   #8
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Greg, I thought the idea was to tweak the XL2 settings to get as close as possible to the look of the scene file photographs. Sounds like a good way to learn how all these preset menu parameters affect the image.

Patrick, when I want to try out my settings, if you could just get me the contact details for the model in the picture, I will supply the flowers. :)

Richard
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Old June 13th, 2005, 01:03 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Hunter
Greg, I thought the idea was to tweak the XL2 settings to get as close as possible to the look of the scene file photographs. Sounds like a good way to learn how all these preset menu parameters affect the image.

Patrick, when I want to try out my settings, if you could just get me the contact details for the model in the picture, I will supply the flowers. :)

Richard
Ooops, you're correct Richard. By the time I got to the bottom of the thread, I forgot to go look at the link before I posted.(begins tugging desperately to remove foot from mouth)

-gb-
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Old June 13th, 2005, 07:07 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Boston
Ooops, you're correct Richard. By the time I got to the bottom of the thread, I forgot to go look at the link before I posted.(begins tugging desperately to remove foot from mouth)

-gb-
Greg, The link doesn't stand out very well, Richard has already pointed that out to me and I thought I'd fixed it, but obviously not. Sorry for leading you astray.

Richard, I'm with you on that; no credits (or phone numbers) on the website.
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Old June 13th, 2005, 12:48 PM   #11
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At the risk of sounding like a party pooper.....I just don't think you can get these looks right out of the XL2. I own and love my XL2 but I cannot for the life of me tweak it to get a DVX look or any type of Cinegamma look. I know the XL2 has the cinegamma settings and the cine colors but it just doesn't look anything like the DVX/SDX cine settings. Many acknowledge that and have come to accept that we need to do some post work on the XL2 to achieve these looks. I am one of them. I hope someone comes on here and proves me wrong........I'll join Greg and put my foot in my mouth too.

On another note can I ask about sensitivity of the settings on the XL2? I find that little slider adjustments do very little on most settings. It seems like the increment of change is so small that it does almost nothing unless you move it to the extreme settings. I complained about this when I first got the XL2 in Sept 04 and ended up talking with Don Berube. He convinced me that these little increments were designed to get precise settings in a usable range. I bought into that theory but have since come to the realization that it's completely bogus.

When comparing it with my old DVX100 (non A) it is absolutely terrible. I could go into the menu and choose color temp and add +1 or +2 and seriously start to see the image change. And it looked good. granted at the extreme end it was almost unusable...too much color way over saturated or way too desaturated. But it really did something and you could see major changes.

With my XL2 I am not even sure when I have a feature on or off. I tested outside shooting some swimming pool items that are bright colored and tried Cinegamma on/off and Cine colors on/off in several combinations. When viewing it back later I could barely tell the difference. Yet I am still having issues where I have scenes with moderate to average color objects in them looking flat and desaturated at default settings......then I crank the color gain up 2 notches and I see barely any difference. But if the wrong color red or green comes in the frame it blows out and is so over colored that it ruins the shot. I have people say "whats wrong with the colors?" when they see the footage. It is hard to Color Correct because 1 or 2 colored items are practically blown out and the rest of the scene is exposed properly or maybe even undersaturated.


I've had to resort to shooting without cinegamma or cine colors and all other settings at default and just color correcting and tweaking everything in Post. I just wish I could put the camera settings to use....but they fight me all the way!
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Old June 13th, 2005, 03:37 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty Hudzik
...I just don't think you can get these looks right out of the XL2.
Marty, You may be correct and we may not be able to achieve some of the scene setups.

But what are the options:
1. admit defeat, curl up and die
...or...
2. discover and share the scene configurations the XL2 is capable of

I like option 2!
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Old June 13th, 2005, 04:02 PM   #13
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Marty, the only way to notice the little changes is with an external monitor, the viewfinder on the XL2 is just not adequate IMHO. Also remember that when you choose the "cine" settings those are effecting the other settings. Set those to video or normal and you will see more of an effect when tweaking the custom pre-sets.

Another thing to remember about the XL2 is that, in general, it keeps colors more "legal" than most 1/3" CCD cameras. Of course, with the custom pre-sets, this can be overcome.

I am confident I could get ANY of the looks above in-camera.... just need to take time. In some cases, it may require a special white balance and/or an external filter....




ash =o)
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Old June 13th, 2005, 04:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick King
Marty, You may be correct and we may not be able to achieve some of the scene setups.

But what are the options:
1. admit defeat, curl up and die
...or...
2. discover and share the scene configurations the XL2 is capable of

I like option 2!
Well number 1(admit defeat, curl up and die) is a bit extreme. But there comes a point where you stop beating your head against the wall and stop trying to make lemonade out of oranges. Sometimes it just isn't going to work no matter how hard you try.

My point isn't that I want to curl up and die. I just do the color curves and "looks" in post production. I would really like to get these looks in camera. But I just don't see it happening. I hope someone finds the magic settings.

Is it possible that certain parameters only really have a major effect if used in conjuction with others?
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Old June 13th, 2005, 04:11 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ash Greyson
Marty, the only way to notice the little changes is with an external monitor, the viewfinder on the XL2 is just not adequate IMHO. Also remember that when you choose the "cine" settings those are effecting the other settings. Set those to video or normal and you will see more of an effect when tweaking the custom pre-sets.

Another thing to remember about the XL2 is that, in general, it keeps colors more "legal" than most 1/3" CCD cameras. Of course, with the custom pre-sets, this can be overcome.

I am confident I could get ANY of the looks above in-camera.... just need to take time. In some cases, it may require a special white balance and/or an external filter....




ash =o)
Of course I checked these setting on a production monitor. I hope you can find a way to get these loks in camera without filters. The entire idea is that you can hit a button and change presets. The range of looks I have seen Barry Green get with his DVX book and DVD is amazing and they can be stored in the 5 presets of the DVX for recall instantly. I am confident that with post work I can get all of those looks. But for simplicity it would be uber cool to call them up at will. I still love the Xl2 but have come to accept that some post coloring is almost always needed. JUst can't capture that magic look "in-camera".....maybe someone will figure it out! I hope!

Peace!
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