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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old December 9th, 2005, 05:01 AM   #1
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drastic underscan w/viewfinder

I heard there was a underscan problem but never realized just how much until I viewed recent footage for a short I helped shoot with my XL2 after throwing the footage into FCP4. C-Stands that looked like they were out of the frame thru the VF while filming, were drastically in the frame when seeing it in FCP. If I view footage through the XL2 on to a 21 inch TV, I don;t see the C-Stand. My concern is if the project was projected onto a bigger screen at a festival for instance, whether I will see the C-Stand or not... Unfortunetly I don't have access to a big screen and projector. the footage was shot in 16:9 24pn.

Other than that, the footage has been looking quite wonderful.

Any suggestions about my frustrations? I guess the real question is how much of a leeway does one have?

Joe
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Old December 9th, 2005, 10:28 AM   #2
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always over frame, no matter what.

Or jsut rotoscope out the C stands.

Matt
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Old December 9th, 2005, 11:31 AM   #3
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Thanks for the quick response. I was wondering if you can explain what you mean exactly by "rotosope". I'm not up on all the editing terms. Do you mean enlarge the footage in post untill it crops it out of frame?

Joe



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Originally Posted by Matthew Nayman
always over frame, no matter what.

Or jsut rotoscope out the C stands.

Matt
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Old December 9th, 2005, 12:01 PM   #4
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Matthew was joking...at least I hope he was. Rotoscoping is where you go frame by frame and paint out an object.

Your gripe is very well warranted. This bothers me to now end! The solution? Get used to it. Just do some tests and get a feel for how much you have to pull back out. I usually frame it exactly the way I want and then pull back out about 10%.

This is a serious flaw in all of Canon's cameras, in my opinion. I cannot believe they didn't fix it on their $9,000 H1. UGH! Come on, Canon! And it's listed in their pro section...

By the way, the only thing you can really do is blow up the picture a bit. You can get away with about 3-5% blowup and hopefully this will solve your problem. You can also letterbox to get rid of it, if it's at the bottom. If it's for a multimedia project, just crop it out when you're compressing.

KW
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Old December 9th, 2005, 05:37 PM   #5
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There's another thread going on about this right now over on the 'Alternative Imaging Methods' board.

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=55696
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Old December 9th, 2005, 05:58 PM   #6
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Unfortunately I don't think you will find any other prosumer camera that doesn't overscan on the VF and LCD. The Z1 has an "all scan" function that shows the full frame however it puts a big black border around the whole image so you lose a lot of pixels which really only makes it useful to do quick framing checks. It also only works when shooting in HDV mode on the Z1.
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Old December 9th, 2005, 06:03 PM   #7
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With the FU-1000 black & white viewfinder, you see the whole picture (underscan 'n all).
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Old December 9th, 2005, 07:14 PM   #8
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Well i guess the "rotoscope" joke was on me :) But hmm.... the thought of the b/w viewfinder with no underscan problem, that's encouraging news. Since I've successfully used a 13inch TV to judge colors and exposure with pretty good results, investment in the B/W VF might not be bad idea. Thanks for all your responses.
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Old December 9th, 2005, 07:19 PM   #9
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I often get these terms confused myself, however I think you have them backwards. If I'm not mistaken, OVERSCAN means that the viewfinder/monitor scans wider than the physical screen and therefore you do not see the entire frame. UNDERSCAN means that it scans smaller than the physical screen so the full frame is visible. These terms originate with CRT's where an electron beam actually scans across a phosphor surface. Therefore this thread should probably be entitled "drastic overscan w/viewfinder".

The FU-1000 is a nice option for the XL series.... if you've got a big chunk of change available - see the link below :-)

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search
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Old December 23rd, 2005, 11:18 PM   #10
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Underscan is when you see the whole image. A good production monitor has an "Overscan" button which will show you to see the "full frame" of the image, so any things like booms, c-stands, stingers, or sleeping grips can be seen before they're in shot.

I highly recommend the FU-1000, not only will you see the full image, but the b&w viewfinder will help facilitate accurate focus. Much more so than the standard color LCD viewfinder. Crank the peaking a bit and you'll see the image snap into focus.

If you can, also get a good production monitor. Look on ebay and see what's for sale and then google the various models and see what features they have. You want underscan, blue gun and being able to switch between 4:3 and 16x9.

If you can afford it, get a Sony PVM9L3 and the Porta Brace case for it. Total is a little over a grand, but you and the director will see exactly what you are getting, you will see what the image will look like and what's going on with the lighting.

I also have a Marshall 4" color LCD monitor which is a good onboard monitor. I get underscan, but not 16x9. During run and gun shoots, the director uses it as a hand held monitor tethered to the camera, so he can see what the image looks like. Many people on ebay sell video transmitters...

I mount it to the acessory shoe for when I have to do a lot of camera moves, or I put it on a little stand so the dolly grip can see the image. It has a loop through feature, so I can go from camera to monitor and then to another monitor. Just be careful that the monitors have loop through and are terminated. If not, the picture brightness will change.
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Old December 26th, 2005, 03:06 PM   #11
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BTW

While I was joking around, I have rotoscoped out light stands in the past, to good effect. Sometimes being familiar with adobe after effects or combustion can be an added benefit to a film maker (being a special effects artist for 5 years helped to!)

But yes, i have noticed this on the XL2, and always make sure my framing is about 10% tighter than needed. Or jsut carry around an external LCD mintor and shrink the frame size ( vertical boundaries). Will show you the edges.

Matt
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