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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 21st, 2006, 05:01 PM   #1
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Brush fire test

We had a small brush fire next door last night ... so I got to try out my new XL2 in dark conditions.

http://ralphwroberts.com/fire.html

I'm not sure I could have got better lighting (the footage I show on manual with the gain up and aperture wider were awfully grainy.

But... any suggestions for shooting in these type conditions in the future would be appreciate.

At least, enjoy the video.

--Ralph
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Old June 21st, 2006, 05:14 PM   #2
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I'd suggest pressing the blacks, raising the master pedestal, and giving setup level a bump or two. The footage will look really foggy and low contrast in the camera, but that'll give you more detail in the dark areas. Then you can tweak the contrast in post.
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Old June 21st, 2006, 05:16 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarrod Whaley
I'd suggest pressing the blacks, raising the master pedestal, and giving setup level a bump or two. The footage will look really foggy and low contrast in the camera, but that'll give you more detail in the dark areas. Then you can tweak the contrast in post.
Thanks, Jarrod! I'll experiment with that technique.

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Old June 21st, 2006, 10:33 PM   #4
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I thought it looked pretty good for night stuff... pressing the blacks and then raising the MP and setup doesnt make a lot of sense, they would be fighting against one another and just make for milky blacks void of all detail.

I would just use your gain in this situation, then turn up the coring, turn down the sharpness and turn on NR. Depending on how much detail you wanted to pull from the dark areas, you could either stretch (to get more detail) or press (to make all the dark area go black)... When you get your gain at +6dB you will need a notch boost in color saturation... when you get to +12dB you will need a two notch boost.


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Old June 21st, 2006, 10:53 PM   #5
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Listen to Ash. I haven't shot much of anything with this kind of contrast ratio, and was just guessing.
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Old June 23rd, 2006, 06:54 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ash Greyson
I thought it looked pretty good for night stuff... pressing the blacks and then raising the MP and setup doesnt make a lot of sense, they would be fighting against one another and just make for milky blacks void of all detail.

I would just use your gain in this situation, then turn up the coring, turn down the sharpness and turn on NR. Depending on how much detail you wanted to pull from the dark areas, you could either stretch (to get more detail) or press (to make all the dark area go black)... When you get your gain at +6dB you will need a notch boost in color saturation... when you get to +12dB you will need a two notch boost.


ash =o)
Thanks, Ash!

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Old June 23rd, 2006, 04:39 PM   #7
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The biggest problem in my view is not the exposure, but the constant in-out zooming, and very shaky/wobbly footage.

Try to edit out most of the zooms and it will look a lot better. The XL2 can look very steady if you stand still with a comfortable balance of the camera on your shoulder, and use IS if filming at the telephoto end.

Instead of zooming in, try a quick steady shot of the scene, stop filming, walk in closer, then take some tight shots with a wider angle (I know that it can be dangerous to get too close, but the tighter you are to the action, the more light and firelight - will be hitting the XL2 sensor).

In situations when you must stay far away, try to use a tripod, monopod, or brace yourself against a post or lean on something solid.

Try not to pan when you are not on a tripod; or if you need to when handholding, just stand side-on to the action and twist very slowly while doing a slow pan with no zoom. Turn off the IS when panning.

I hope some of this helps.
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