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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 09:39 PM   #1
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Technicolor preset question

Recently just got our new XL2, and been real happy with it so far! Been using the Technicolor preset for 24p. We've been shooting mostly exteriors, until a few days ago, when the interior footage we shot were a bit dark. I have the gain at 0, and opened the iris up all the way, but it seems dark still.

I'm not using an onboard light (can't afford it yet!), so I'd like to know if I can turn up the gain and not get additional noise?

Thanks for any suggestions or help!

--JA
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 10:38 PM   #2
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On turning up the gain:

For the love of God don't do it!

Ok, maybe that was a bit overreactive, but if you turn up the gain you will get more grain. I always shoot -3 and never slower than 1/48th shutter, and in my opinion anything above +3 is completely unacceptable. If you shoot with high gain, it just ruins the beautiful look this camera can produce and kind of defeats the purpose of having it. I also think it looks much more cinematic (if you do it right) to underexpose and than push it in post to compensate for the lack of light.

In any case, any additional light you can bring inside would be good. Get some work lights from Home Depot and play around with those to do it, if necessary.
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 11:25 PM   #3
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No gain & know gain

Thanks for the reply Justin.

Since I've only had the cam for a few weeks, I hadn't done any extensive experimenting. But I have messed around with the gain dial, and yes, produced more gain. I'm shooting 24p at 1/48th shutter, with 0 gain (maybe I'll go as high as +3 to experiment). I'll also try pushing up the brightness in post (PP2) to see if it's any better.

--JA
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Old October 4th, 2006, 12:20 AM   #4
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You can go up to +6dB and get almost no noise... you will need to crush the blacks and turn up the coring....



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Old October 4th, 2006, 10:18 AM   #5
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Just to add to what Ash said, cutting back on sharpness will help control the added grain as well. If you use the right settings, you can even get some pretty decent results at 12dB.

I also found a free vegas plugin that actually does a pretty good job of smoothing out unwanted picture noise. I can't find the site to post a link right now for the life of me, but I originally found it via Google search and so doing so again is at least a theoretical possibility. :)
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Old October 4th, 2006, 02:31 PM   #6
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Chroma blur can mask noisy colors....



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Old October 5th, 2006, 10:59 PM   #7
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It depends on what you consider acceptable, I suppose. For the money we spend on cameras like this, I squeeze all the quality possible out of the XL2... if you have any lighting to work with, why not use it and know you're settings will yield the best quality possible?
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Old October 6th, 2006, 07:57 PM   #8
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crushing gain, making noise!

Thanks to everyone's advice and suggestions. I'll try them this weekend!

Sorry Justin...there ain't no Home Depots here in Monument Valley :)

--JA
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Old October 12th, 2006, 11:12 PM   #9
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no grain, no pain

Just finished shooting and tweaking with the gain set at +3db, and everything came out looking fine! Even dared going up to +6db, and the footage still looked good. I had the iris all the way open, but actually could've closed it up a bit. Tweaked a bit in post (PPro 2--raising the brightness, adjusting the contrast, etc.), but don't quite know the full power of color correcting in post yet, so I'll try sticking with the XL2.

Sorry I can't send out images yet (working on a personal/business website--hopefully finished soon) to show my work (with everyone's help and suggestions). But I'm really thankful for this forum!

Best,

--JA
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