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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old December 28th, 2005, 12:10 PM   #1
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Looking for the Best XL2 setup for film look...

Hey guys,

Im looking for into buying an XL2 in the near future and am interested in re-creating the film look. Trying to get that shallow depth of field look... a 35mm production camera look. Any suggestions as to what a relativly inexpensive lense/body set up would be a good idea?
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Old December 28th, 2005, 12:57 PM   #2
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Here at the DVinfo.net boards, you have a complete subboard that is named: Film Look and Methods.
You can take a look there.
Then there is a thread here, that shares some custom presets on the XL2 to get a filmlike image.

And then there's the Alternative Imaging Boards here, where people make their own 35mm adapters.
The official version is the one from P+S, but that costs about 10.000 dollars. Alternatives are to be found on these boards, adaptors so you can put 35mm lenses on it and get a real 35mm shallow DOF.

And for the real look... light very carefully...
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Old December 28th, 2005, 01:00 PM   #3
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First and formost, you want the hight f-stop as possible when shooting (this will give you a shallow depth of field). Set it at that, and if your subject is overexposed, use the ND filter,, or... adjust your shudder speed. Also, adjust your sharpess to its lowest negative setting, crush your blacks, and lower your master pedstal and set-up levels. I also always try to keep my gain at -3 db as well.
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Old December 28th, 2005, 01:05 PM   #4
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I don't know if adjusting the shutter speed is a good idea...
If you are shooting 24p, which I assume, if you are going for the filmlook, you should shoot at 1/48 shutter speed, otherwise you can get weird motion.
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Old December 28th, 2005, 01:37 PM   #5
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Yeah, I didn't think about that. Always try to keep your shudder speed at 1/48, for this is the set shudder speed for all film cameras. If you do fool around the shudder speed, you might end up getting a 'staccato' look to the picture.
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Old December 28th, 2005, 02:03 PM   #6
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Wow! Thanks guys...great information.
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Old December 28th, 2005, 02:40 PM   #7
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You will never get the same DOF from a 1/3"CCD camera as from a 35mm camera. As far as the 35mm adapters, the good ones and some good lenses, etc. will cost you as much as upgrading to a lower end 2/3" CCD cam which will give great DOF control.

For most projects, a skilled operator can pull off shots without a 35mm adapter. You just have to adjust your position, framing, etc. To get the most shallow DOF you need to use the lens LONG (from 8X-20X), make sure the aperature is open (low not high), the shutter is 1/48th and the gain -3dB. For more film like colors, choose the cine settings which also helps with the range. You may also want to set the knee to low. Blacks are a big debate... film truly will stretch the blacks naturally but most modern CC crushes them back. It all depends on what you want but once you crush the blacks, that detail is lost forever.


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Old December 29th, 2005, 12:25 AM   #8
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my 2 cents

Don't crush the blacks in camera. Do this when editing for the reason Ash states. Lower the sharpness setting, but not all the way. It's also preferable to add diffusion in post, but if that sounds complicated to you, a black diffusion or pro mist filter will help with the film look. Modern film cameras do use different shutter (not shudder) speeds. 1/48 is traditional, but by no means the rule anymore.
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Old December 29th, 2005, 04:45 AM   #9
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In film cameras the shutter is not a speed but rather an angle... the angle of the shutter controls the amount of time a frame is exposed to light. In video, the same thing is done digitally... a slow shutter will "expose" a frame for longer while a high shutter will just let a small burst of light in. For this reason, using a low shutter can help in low light situations but a high shutter will require more light...



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Old December 29th, 2005, 10:18 PM   #10
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So is it better (more film-like) to lower the sharpness, or would setting the "V Detail" to "low" be the way to go? I'm kind of confused as to what these two settings are actually doing.
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Old December 29th, 2005, 11:54 PM   #11
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It depends... there is no "good" setting, it depends on what you are shooting. The XL2 is very sharp, in a shot with lots of fine detail, this sharpness can essentially create noise. Vertical detail should only be changed when you notice a problem... stair-stepping on roof tiles... dancing stripes on a subjects shirt... etc.

You can also add a diffusion filter to help with the sharpness...



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Old January 2nd, 2006, 08:50 AM   #12
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now i am no master...

but if you grab the blue barn presets manager and the settings that nu,erous users have so generously supplied ( located here http://dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=48287 ).
That would be a good start that you can tweak from there. (conversely if you are on a mac open the preset file for film in simpletext, text edit or vi and set those settings in the camera)
after that a good film plugin for your NLE. like natress for FCP or Big Film for premiere to add in those gate scratches (which I personally hate) and gate creep (that side to side movement of the film track also not so much in my opinion) the lastly the flicker effect (though some have color etc).
just 2 cents. (well 10 with inflation)

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Old January 5th, 2006, 03:08 PM   #13
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Ash,
What about shooting outside, definitely you can not use 1/24.
I know I have to set the shutter to 1/6000 - 1/8000 sometimes.
What is the best for under the summer sun and during fall when the sun is not that shinny?

Thanks.
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Old January 5th, 2006, 06:48 PM   #14
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I use 1/48th outside all the time. You have to dial in those neutral density filters or add more ND to the front of the lens. A polarizer filter will help as well.

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Old January 5th, 2006, 11:51 PM   #15
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Yes put the shutter at 1/48th and use the built in ND filters... you can also add extra 3rd party ones. When you get the shutter that high you are creating a "crispy" effect and losing the motion blur that gives you the film like motion.



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