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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
Canon XL2 / XL1S / XL1 and GL2 / XM2 / GL1 / XM1.


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Old June 20th, 2006, 08:15 AM   #1
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XL2 Observation

Hi,

Many years ago I began filming short P.S.A.'s for a government access channel using of all Cameras, a Sony DCR-TRV7 HandyCam. I know the majority of you are probably laughing but I just came accross some footage that was shot back in 1998 with the camera and I have to say that the colors seem much more vibrant and crisp compared to my new XL-2.

Granted I am new to the XL-2 and have yet to learn all of its capabilities of the camera, I am a little disapointed with the quality.

I have gone through several of the presets on the XL-2 and have not found anything that gives a similar picture. Is it fair that I am comparing these two cameras?
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Old June 20th, 2006, 09:13 AM   #2
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if the "look" that you are trying to achieve is that of a handycam.. stick to handicam. check out some of the xl2 videos here. theres an enormous leap between a handicam's picture and an xl2. what about the picture dissapoints you?
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Old June 20th, 2006, 09:17 AM   #3
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This issue has been discussed numerous times. Search this forum and have a look at what's been said.

In brief, the XL2 is not a point-and-shoot camera. The image often seems a bit flat and desaturated when it is first removed from the box. Become familiar with its menus and settings. You can dial in almost any kind of look you want. Play around a bit.
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Old June 20th, 2006, 09:26 AM   #4
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Gary,

Welcome to the forum, and it is nice to have another shooter from Port St. Lucie!

As far as matching or comparing the two cameras, it is not very relevant to what you’re shooting now. Some cameras are oversaturated in basic settings and some are under saturated. The good thing about the canon XL2, and some other new cameras, is that anything and everything is adjustable.

If you understand all of the available settings on the XL2 you should be able to adjust it to look like just about any camera you want. Most people are used to watching TV and movies that are oversaturated and not realistic color wise. We get used to it and our brains get accustomed to it. Look at your TV for a while, and then look around your room. You will notice that the TV is oversaturated on the colors, but we like it because it looks rich.

When you mention presets, it sounds like you are trying some that were posted here, as favorite presets of others. If that is the case, I doubt any will match your past camera’s look. You will have to adjust each function separately to achieve the look. If you have not seen the XL2 Features tour, that would be a great place to start. It is a very helpful video and free to watch. Books can be hard to understand and follow, I know they are for me!

By adjusting saturation, sharpness, and on and on, you should be able to get the look you want. Then save that as a preset.

The last question to ask is: do I really want the look of that older camera? If so you can probably get it. But maybe it is time for a new look!

Hope that this helps and if you need a hand sometime just let me know. Most of the time, I am sitting around the house.

Mike
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Old June 20th, 2006, 09:31 AM   #5
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I have researched the forums and have learned a bit. It's one of my favorite past times, but I will do some more research.

I guess what I am disapointed with is the lack of color with the XL-2 when compared to my old camera. Blues are blues, reds are reds and so on. Put it this way. When looking at the old footage, the colors and brightness displayed on my lcd panels are the same as on my broadcast monitor. Their is no difference. With the XL-2 I am always having to adjust the colors, contrast and brightness.

It's probably just like the other poster suggested. I am going to have to learn the in's and out's of the camera.

Thank you for your input.
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Old June 20th, 2006, 09:40 AM   #6
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Mike,

Thank you for the warm welcome and valuable input. I will take your advise and do some more hands on. I too am not one for reading, though I have an office full of "for Dummies" books. lol.

As a one man operation; writing, directing, filming and editing I sometimes get overwhelmed. Afterall, this is all pretty new to me. The one thing I do have going is that I really want to learn as much as I can. So input such as yours and the other posters on this site is very valuable.

Thanks guys...
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Old June 20th, 2006, 09:53 AM   #7
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Gary,

This is the link to the XL2 feature tour. It is worth its weight in gold!

http://www.dvcreators.net/canon-xl2/

Mike
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Old June 20th, 2006, 10:09 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Gonsalves
With the XL-2 I am always having to adjust the colors, contrast and brightness.
Just wanted to point out that you can adjust these settings once and then save them as a preset. Then you can bring them back any time you want with the touch of a button.

The XL2 gives you an almost unprecedented level of control over your images (for prosumer DV cameras). I suspect that you're just not used to that amount of control. You'll get used to it.

The XL2 can do some pretty amazing stuff. Play around with it for a while before you judge it too harshly.

I agree with Mike, by the way, that the "XL2 feature tour" is a very helpful place to start. It goes through pretty much every setting on the camera and shows you example clips using different adjustments on those settings. It's very illustrative.
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Old June 20th, 2006, 02:19 PM   #9
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Mike,

Thanks for the link. I have saved it as a favorite and will definitly use it for future reference.

Gary
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Old June 20th, 2006, 04:46 PM   #10
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I agree with all of the comments made by the experienced users. If you combine the XL-2 with Tiffen branded filters, you could almost get any kind of look you want with the XL-2. I must agree with you in saying that the XL-2 out of the box is primitive, but if you get acsessories, you can enhance the performance of the XL-2 greatly.

My two cents.
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Old June 20th, 2006, 07:26 PM   #11
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I adore the XL2. I had such a good time using it on my short film DAY:11 that I bought the XLH1.

However, you do have to boost the camera's saturation setting significantly. I prefer anywhere between +2 to +4. I then dial in the final look in post.

Check out my short when you get a chance. [/shamless plug]

http://www.starwaypictures.com/day11
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Old June 21st, 2006, 01:07 AM   #12
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Post a grab from your old camera and I will give you a preset that matches perfect... As a general rule, the higher end the camera, the FLATTER the default look. They ALWAYS cheat toward max detail and max resolution. I remember the first shoot I ever did with a $100K+ at the time Sony F900... the default settings are almost pastel like with very low saturation. The other thing you need to remember is the information IS THERE.... meaning, even though it may look flat the info is there to tweak in post all you want. The poppier the colors, the more noise and chroma artifacts, etc. This is the most common complaint from new XL2 users (usually coming from the XL1s), that the colors dont pop... remember also that white balance willl dramtically effect color temp and saturation, if you like warm poppy color, you need to WB to a light blue card...


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Old June 21st, 2006, 08:47 AM   #13
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I watched the video and was impressed with the XL-2's capabilities. I think I was to quick to pass judgement. Thank you for all of your advice.
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Old June 22nd, 2006, 12:47 AM   #14
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Gary,

Please post a still from the camcorder as i would love to see what Ash will work up for your presets!! Ash is a walking encyclopedia on this stuff!!!!

i too was surprised when i took mine out of the box and my gl2 gave me better color!! With suggestions from As on other threads and tinkering with the ones he posted on the presets thread, I have come to love my xl2.
Take a look at his saturation [preset and his Focus preset, both are highly useful!!! then tweek away.
Can't thank Ash enough for the help he provides anyone!!!!!
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Old June 27th, 2006, 11:04 AM   #15
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Where can I learn more?

About the presets? I have the "Ultimate Guide", but it doesn't seem to go into a lot of detail on the color settings in the camera.. and it seems that the instructor suggests just tweaking everything in post. I, too, have noticed that the colors are sort of lifeless. So I compensate in post.. but I would rather get better color out of the camera if I could.

Any resources on the web for getting snazzier colors out of the xl2?

Thanks.
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