Some more XL2 footage at DVinfo.net

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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old August 6th, 2006, 09:15 PM   #1
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Some more XL2 footage

I spent a few hours yesturday driving around southern Maine taking some shots with my XL2. I messed around with two presets. Many of you thought that my earlier XL2 footage post was a bit soft. I now believe it to be the compression in the WMV file. This original video looks sharp.

Here is the raw footage I took yesturday.
http://www.powellcontrolsinc.com/The...n_in_Maine.wmv

You'll nottice that the shots of the two old houses are missing a lot of detail in the blacks. Was hoping for some suggestions on that. The cemetery had a lot of dark shadows too.

These following presets were used. They are put together in no particular order. At one point I streched the blacks in the SATURATE preset.



Preset #1 SATURATE By - Ash Greyson

Shot in 24P - 1/48
Preset Name = SATURATE
Gamma = 1
Knee = 0
Black = 2
NR = 0
VDetail = 1
Color Matrix = 1
Color Gain = 3
Color Phase = 2
Red = 2
Green = 0
Blue = 3
SetupLevel = -6
Sharpness = 3
Coring = 0
MasterPed = -6


Preset #2 Contrasty look By - Brian Harris

Shot in 24P - 1/48

Preset Name = contrstB
Gamma = 1
Knee = 2
Black = 2
NR = 0
VDetail = 1
Color Matrix = 1
Color Gain = 2
Color Phase = 2
Red = 1
Green = 0
Blue = 3
SetupLevel = 0
Sharpness = -4
Coring = 0
MasterPed = -3
Description = Contrasty Look - B Set Gain to -3db

Thanks..

Tim
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Old August 6th, 2006, 09:43 PM   #2
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There were only a few shots where I was able to discern between the different presets, but for what it's worth, I thought the contrasty preset looked very nice! However, as far as the saturated preset goes, I think the colors were too vivid; they were a little surreal. That's obviously not a bad thing if that's the look you're after, but too rich for my taste (perhaps a polarizer would have toned the highlights down a bit?).

As far as what you could do to increase detail in the blacks -- I can't give you a straight answer -- but I'd play with the master pedestal, setup level, and blacks settings. Also, I'd try having a Low Knee and dropping the Coring slider one or two ticks. I'm sorry I don't have a specific solution, but adjusting those settings to taste will help achieve the look you're after.
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Old August 7th, 2006, 01:17 AM   #3
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This stuff looks pretty good, for the most part. I liked the color rendition quite a bit--very vivid. Footage like this ought to serve as a counterargument against all the claims so many people make that the XL2 inherently produces a desaturated image. :) I agree with Zack, however, that it's hard to tell the difference between the presets. And I agree with you that a few of these shots could use a little more detail in the darker areas of the image.

Now, to answer your question about that: to get more detail in the dark areas of the image, dial the black setting to "stretch." Then if you bump up the master pedestal and setup level settings, you're essentially bringing down the contrast, which will give you more detail in the shadows. Play around with these two settings to get the look you're after. The setup level control will define how your camera renders "black": a higher setting will give you greyer blacks. The master pedestal control shapes the lower end of the gamma curve: higher settings will bring out detail, whereas lower settings will decrease latitude on the lower end of the curve and effectively crush the blacks. Think of the setup level as a way of controlling the baseline from which the gamma curve "takes off," and the master pedestal as a way of tweaking the shape of the curve away from that plane.

Lowering the knee setting will not directly have an effect on the dark areas of the image, because it affects only the upper section of the curve. For all intents and purposes, knee is the highlight equivalent of the master pedestal. Lowering the knee setting will therefore give you a little more latitude in the highlights; you're smoothing the upper segment of the curve. Doing this in tandem with lowering the master pedestal and setup level will give you a less contrasty image, which helps if you want to do contrast correction in post.

Higher coring and lower sharpness settings will help decrease the effect of graininess that higher gain settings can induce, if gain is needed for exposure.

With all of this, keep in mind that if you reduce contrast, you're giving yourself more latitude to work with in post, where you can adjust the contrast of the image to a desirable level. The tradeoff there, however, is that when you tweak the gamma curve in post, you'll have to render your footage, which subjects the video to a new round of compression--thus lowering the visual quality. It's best to get things as close to what you want as possible when shooting. In fact, this is pretty key in my opinion.
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Old August 7th, 2006, 06:22 PM   #4
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Thanks again for taking the time to view. I'll follow your advice. I need to start experimenting with my own presets.

Tim
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Old August 7th, 2006, 06:33 PM   #5
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Great shots. My only advice is make sure your lower setup IRE is not fighting your increase in Black Detail or Stretch.

The internet is really not the right place to get proper in help corrections due to compression etc. A good monitor is needed for helpful information which only the camera person can make the right judgement.

Keep up the good work. I like your composition and the use of the Rules of Thirds.

LOU

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Bickford
Thanks again for taking the time to view. I'll follow your advice. I need to start experimenting with my own presets.

Tim
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Old August 7th, 2006, 06:43 PM   #6
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Thanks Lou,

Positive feedback helps a lot.

I'll keep at it.

Tim
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Old August 7th, 2006, 06:52 PM   #7
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Great job, Tim!
The only thing that I could see that you trouble with, was on the house with all the flags... Other then that, I really like some of the stuff that you did.

And might I ask what tripod you use?
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Old August 7th, 2006, 07:00 PM   #8
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Gabriel,

Thanks... I use an old Linhof tripod. It's really rugged. It was made for a still camera but supports the XL2 quite nicely. I'm waiting for my Manfratto 502 Fluid Head to arrive. Should be here anyday.

Thanks for the comments.

Tim
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Old August 7th, 2006, 09:39 PM   #9
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Hi Tim,

I'm a fellow xl2 neophyte from New Hampshire. I'm actually learning a lot from people's comments on your footage. I still don't have a feel for how to use 'coring' 'master pedestal' and a couple other important parameters.

Where are you located? Your other footage looked like it was Portsmouth.
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Old August 8th, 2006, 04:51 AM   #10
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Thanks for taking a look Greg.


Tim
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Old August 8th, 2006, 10:35 AM   #11
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To get detail out of shadows you need to make sure your setup level is at 0 and your blacks to middle or stretch.

To avoid noise in the saturate preset you can turn the sharpness down to -2 or -3 and bump the coring to +2 or +3.



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Old August 8th, 2006, 05:28 PM   #12
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Ash-

Thanks for the tips. I appreciate it.

Perhaps I'll get the hang of this.......

Tim
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