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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old July 24th, 2006, 04:07 PM   #1
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Soccer coverage advice needed

I have used the XL2 to film semi-pro soccer matches but have yet to be 100% satisfied with the results. I wondered if anyone has found the best settings to capture movement of players without any blur, and record rich colours, especially against the green background of the grass pitch. Having adjusted the shutter speed, I seemed to have affected colour quality. I have had better results with an old Sony VX1000 using manual focus based on the half-way line and leaving everything else on auto settings. I have very little experience with more complex set up possibilities of the XL2.

I plan to download the custom preset for sporting events from this site to see if that helps, but wondered whether this needs to be altered for evening floodlit games.
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Old July 25th, 2006, 12:23 AM   #2
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Shoot it in 30P, the shutter will effect light which effects color, if you turn up the shutter, you might need to boost the color gain...


ash =o)
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Old July 25th, 2006, 04:31 AM   #3
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I assume Julian has the PAL version in the UK, so like me he doesn't have 30p unfortunately, just 50i and 25p.
I imagine it's probably quite bright at the moment in your matches with the heatwave over here, so make sure you're trying to keep your iris as open as possible - switch gain to -3dB, and use the built-in NDs and maybe a screw-on one also?
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Old July 25th, 2006, 09:25 AM   #4
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Well IMO you definitelly want to shoot fast paced action like sports at the highest frame rate possible which in your case will likely be 50i. Shooting 25p with a high shutter value will give you that "Saving Private Ryan" movement effect. The XL2 is factory adjusted to give you legal broadcast colors out of the box. It will not give you rich vibrant (non-legal) colors that pop like most other prosumer cams do unless you tweak the RGB channels in camera.

Just do a few tests by tweaking the RGB channels individually (you might want to priorize the reds and greens for skin and grass colors). Using a polarizer can also help in some cases depending on distance/glare/etc. and if everything else fails, maybe a color enhencing filter might do the trick.

The shutter selection shouldn't affect color as long as you have enough light for proper exposure. Lowering the shutter (higher value) means you'll have to open up the iris to compensate. Try shooting everything at -3db gain if possible and use a high shutter value (maybe 1/100th) if you're following fast moving people. Try also keeping your iris in the ballpark of F5.6 for the sharpest results (use the built-in NDs to compensate).

This is assuming all of this is shot during day time of course.
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Old July 25th, 2006, 10:21 AM   #5
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A very high shutter can cause colors to wash out... You might try 50i with a 1/120 shutter, that will look pretty close to 30p





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Old July 25th, 2006, 10:36 AM   #6
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Well I'll disagree for the sake of discussion here, no offense intended Ash, and I don't pretend to be an expert either. And if proven wrong I'll be glad I learned something new today.

That being said, I don't understand why a higher shutter value would cause the colors to wash out. As far as I know there is no physical difference in the amount of light reaching the CCD between proper exposure from a small iris opening/low shutter speed vs large iris opening/high shutter speed. The amount of photons reaching the CCD should be identical. Is this some kind of video limitation I'm not aware of? Is it because the shutter on a video camera isn't mechanical like a film camera? Honestly I can't understand why there would be any difference.
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