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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old May 21st, 2006, 01:40 PM   #1
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XL2 questions, color, matrices

Hi. I rented an XL2 for this weekend to play with it, as I might want to get one. So, I'm mostly pleased with what it does so far, but before it goes back, I'd like to get a few things straight---

Can someone explain exactly how the matrices work, and what the difference between the normal and cine color matrix is?

Also, can someone explain the differences in how the master ped and setup settings affect the blacks?

Also, just to make sure I'm not missing something, it seems like the camera is almost reluctant to give you a "bad" picture. What I mean is, with the DVX, which I've used several times, you could bump up things like the color gain, the white balance setting, contrast, and get some really crazy nasty looking stuff. The XL2 seems to operate on a more subtle level, so that even if you jack everything all the way, it doesn't go all nuts on you. Am I limiting the camera with the way I've got something set? A matrix, a gamma setting, something like that?
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Old May 21st, 2006, 09:08 PM   #2
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Video gamma, will let you get a little more nasty with the settings. In general, the XL2 cheats to make things legal. There is lots of information about the color matrix. The XL2, like the high-end Sony stuff, tends to be more Kodachrome, while Panasonic is more crushed and saturated. The problem with saturating things too much is that, especially in DV world, you lose chroma resolution that cannot be gained back, only masked with some chroma blur.



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Old May 21st, 2006, 09:38 PM   #3
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So you're saying with normal gamma selected, the changes you make to other settings are more pronounced?

And by kodachrome, I assume you mean desaturated and low contrast, to a degree?


And I'm noticing how the colors tend to "grey out" as you underexpose. Is there a fix for that? Or is that just the camera?

Last edited by Josh Bass; May 21st, 2006 at 11:20 PM.
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Old May 22nd, 2006, 11:31 AM   #4
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Dont trust the Canon LCD screen, that and the lack of a line/mic switch on the inputs are the only bad things about the camera. I wouldnt say desaturated, more of a realistic look than hyper-real. Also, colors SHOULD drop off a little when you dial down the exposure but ALL the information is there to adjust in post. The XL2 will always cheat toward detail and resolution, the only two things you cannot regain in post...



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Old May 22nd, 2006, 12:10 PM   #5
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Well, that's the thing, see, regarding the color drop off--I wasn't going by the LCD, I had a Sony PVM 14m2u production monitor hooked up. I don't know; it's different from the way the XL1s handles underexposure. I'll have to compare 'em again. See if I can live with it. It seems like as exposure drops off with the "S", you get your color, but it becomes muddy and grainy, whereas with the "2", you lose color, but the image stays real clear, kinda monochrome, though there is some noise.

Regarding the audio---can you not use the RCA jacks the way you could on the XL1s? I tried hooking up my beachtek DXAWhateverItIs, to try to get a line level signal, and it wasn't having it. It worked fine when I tried to use the rear XLRs, but not so much with the beachtek adapter. Did I have it set wrong?

What do you guys do when you want a line level signal? Didn't I hear something about a -50dB pad you could buy?
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Old May 22nd, 2006, 12:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Bass
Regarding the audio---can you not use the RCA jacks the way you could on the XL1s? I tried hooking up my beachtek DXAWhateverItIs, to try to get a line level signal, and it wasn't having it. It worked fine when I tried to use the rear XLRs, but not so much with the beachtek adapter. Did I have it set wrong?
Make sure you set the Audio 1 selector correctly and here's the important thing which got me once. The Audio 1 pair of RCA jacks are the bottom ones, not the top pair.

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Old May 22nd, 2006, 12:36 PM   #7
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Do you mean Audio 1 in the menu or on the side of the cam? What should it be set to? The RCA thing got me the first time I tried to play back to the monitor.
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Old May 22nd, 2006, 10:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Bass
Well, that's the thing, see, regarding the color drop off--I wasn't going by the LCD, I had a Sony PVM 14m2u production monitor hooked up. I don't know; it's different from the way the XL1s handles underexposure. I'll have to compare 'em again. See if I can live with it. It seems like as exposure drops off with the "S", you get your color, but it becomes muddy and grainy, whereas with the "2", you lose color, but the image stays real clear, kinda monochrome, though there is some noise.

That is the way it should be, less light, less color, same with your naked eye. The "noise" you speak of is actually SHARPNESS, turn the sharpness down when you see it and the coring up... you can also boost the saturation a notch or two and kill the "noise" in dark areas by pressing the blacks and turning down the setup level and MP...



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Old May 22nd, 2006, 11:42 PM   #9
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Ash,

I am still getting my head around all the possibilities with so many presets.

I used your saturated preset and found it to be quite satisfactory and better than the one I had worked on myself, mostly because i do not really know what adjusting them and how they interact does for me.
If I want a little richer look more like my gl2 produces what are the key adjustments besides the obvious rgb and set up.

If I am shooting in direct daylight I get more of a faded out or burnt picture-les color (here you saturation preset helped big time).

It would be really nice to see an article that took all 15 options and actually explained what adjusting up or down with them will actually do for you. What important interactions between settings does for the image.
perhaps you know where i can glean this already. I have searched this list and have garnered some knowledge which has been helpful but it always seems incomplete.
I also understand someone like yourself could probably write a book on the matter.


I really appreciate all the time you invest to help everyone!! I know they do too!!
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Old May 23rd, 2006, 12:49 AM   #10
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I know it's the way it "really" looks, but I'm still not used to it. It's still kinda weird to me, you know?


I've noticed that effect watching shows like Law & Order, SVU---you'll see someone's face lit by a "lamp" or whatever, and on the shadow side, there's almost no color, but the dropoff is almost too sudden, you have an orange color that graduates to a grey, and it just looks weird. I also noticed that in Harry Potter 3, both in the theater on DVD. It just looks wrong to me. I'm not trying to be an obstinate ass here, just voicing opinions. Anyway, that's my only real beef.
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Old May 23rd, 2006, 01:32 PM   #11
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Josh, if you searched back in this and other forums to when the XL2 first came out, you would see lots of threads with people confused about why it didnt look as good as the XL1S. The truth is, the XL1s, like the DVX, tends to get too poppy too quick on colors. This has become a sought after look by many indie film makers. What people dont understand is that look is usually created in post because it really loses detail and chroma resolution. You CAN get that look with an XL2 but you have to force the camera to a place it does not normally go.

One thing to understand about the cine-settings is that they tend to curb the other settings as they are cheating to be more film like in latitude, etc.

It sounds like you want to mess with the master pedestal settings, this is the setting that tells the camera where the gamma should start to pick up, it does not directly effect the blacks, that is the setup level, the MP more relates to the gamm curve, meaning when should this dark area become a shade of red, etc. In theory it is a luminance control. I use the Varicam quite a bit and it has sepereate pedestals for each color.

Another thing you might try that most people overlook, is setting the color matrix to CINE and the gamma to VIDEO. This will give you a little more "pop" as well and maintain the film like colors...

One last thing, the 16X manual lens is a little more poppy and crushed, if you dont have one try to test one out... it really works great with the XL2.




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Old May 23rd, 2006, 01:50 PM   #12
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I think I'm probably going to get it anyway. I did look through a lot of those old threads, and saw most of these issues addressed, to some degree.

I have the 16x manual lens, and used it for all the footage I shot. The 20x never left the rental case.

Thanks for the info about the master ped, cine settings, etc. Is there somewhere where this info is listed in more detail? I don't want to tecchy, but the manual for the XL2 says things like "color matrix--you can choose between "cine" and "normal", normal looks more like video, while cine looks more like film" that kinda stuff. Yeah, thanks. Is there somewhere that has more detailed info the way you describe it? E.g., master ped affects the gamma curve, acts like a luminance, control ,etc.? I've googled "XL2 color matrix" and the like, and I basically get every listing/review of the XL2, with notes about how there's a color matrix control. Very helpful.
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Old May 23rd, 2006, 02:35 PM   #13
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Josh,

Have you seen this thread?

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...ht=DV+Creators

There is a feature tour movie linked from it that shows a lot of the settings and their effects.

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Old May 23rd, 2006, 03:01 PM   #14
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I have NOT seen that thread. I'll take a look later. Jeez. . .35 minutes. Let me get the popcorn ready.
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Old May 23rd, 2006, 03:13 PM   #15
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I've posted this link before. It has a better explanation than the manual about some of the image controls.

http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/co...10350&pageno=4

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