Simple questions about the XL2 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Canon EOS / MXF / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Canon HDV and DV Camera Systems > Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders

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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old May 28th, 2007, 09:09 PM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 691
Simple questions about the XL2

Ok, I am absolutely new to film so excuse my lack of knowledge. I've searched here for the answer to this question but have not had it fully answered so I will ask in my own thread. This is probably something that everyone in the film community knows but unfortunately i've not gotten it yet.

I had an XL2 for 2 weeks and could not figure out what the GAIN dB dials/White ballance do. I'm sure its probably pretty self explanitory and half of you are like this guy's and idiot but I must face the humiliation and ask.

If someone could please tell me what these two dials do and more importantly what situation would I need to use them in I would be very appreciative.

Thank you DVI community.
-Terry
Terry Lee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 28th, 2007, 09:25 PM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: chattanooga, tn
Posts: 721
Nah, you're not an idiot. No one is born knowing this stuff.

Put simply, turning up the gain will make your image brighter; you will get a pretty grainy image if you up the gain beyond +6dB on this particular camera, but once you learn how to use the settings in the presets you'll be able to mitigate the amount of grain somewhat.

White balance lets the camera know what white actually is (and by extension, what all of the other colors are supposed to look like). Different kinds of lighting have differing effects on how the camera sees white (daylight is a little on the blue side and incandescent bulbs are a little reddish/orangeish). White balancing will correct for this. Our eyes do this naturally, but cameras don't have brains of their own and often need a little help. In order to white balance your camera: pick one of the preset numbers on the dial, point the camera at something white--like a sheet of paper--and hold down the little button to the right of the dial until the icon in the viewfinder stops blinking. Do this every time there is a change in the lighting, like when you move from one room to another, for example. The idea is to make the colors of your scene appear as they do naturally to your eye--though you can also get creative and get some interesting color effects by WB-ing to colors other than white.

So, to answer your question: you always want to white balance, no matter what the situation; the only exception is if you're shooting in black and white, in which case WB has no effect (because the coloration of lighting is irrelevant in a colorless image). WB is one of the most fundamental controls on any camera. As for gain, you pretty much only want to use it when you can't get your images bright enough by using any other means.
__________________
-->jarrod whaley.
www.oakstreetfilms.com
Jarrod Whaley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 28th, 2007, 11:05 PM   #3
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 178
Hey Terry, just to add to what Jarrod has already said, you might want to look into taking a basic video course or something to get yourself familar with shooting principles. There's a really good DVD out there:

http://dvcreators.net/dv-enlightenment

The XL2 is a pretty sophisticated camera but don't be afraid at first to use the "Easy Mode" (set the big dial on the side to the green square) when you're unsure of what to do. You'll want to eventually use the camera in full manual mode, but Easy Mode may help you when you have to shoot and find yourself over your head.

DV Creators also did a great video on the XL2 features, so you could check that out too.
Bert Smyth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 28th, 2007, 11:36 PM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 691
Jarrod - Thank you so much!

Ok, so for instance, if I am in a low lit basement and want to brighten it up a bit, I turn the gain up. If I am a moderately lit area, I can turn the gain down to make sort of a noir effect.

Two examples:

Gain down-http://a798.ac-images.myspacecdn.com...48302e71d5.jpg

Gain up - http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v9...ill/terry2.jpg

Pretty close?

For the white ballance, I must always keep my finger on the white ballance button to correct it if say I am fallowing someone from room to room?

Thanks again Jarrod.
-Terry.
Terry Lee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 28th, 2007, 11:41 PM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 691
Bert - Thanks for the link, I will definitely consider.
Terry Lee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 29th, 2007, 12:07 AM   #6
Trustee
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Lipa City Batangas, Philippines
Posts: 1,110
Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry Lee View Post


For the white ballance, I must always keep my finger on the white ballance button to correct it if say I am fallowing someone from room to room?
Hi Terry. You could try setting the WB to Auto for this case. I'm not sure exactly how it will respond because I never use the Auto position, but I suppose it is there for a reason.

I certainly wouldn't keep my finger on the WB set button, because the camera will get very confused if it is trying to WB on an image that's changing all the time. Anyway you would normally only WB when pointing at a grey or white subject (except for creative purposes as mentioned by Jarrod).

Richard
Richard Hunter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 29th, 2007, 12:48 AM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: chattanooga, tn
Posts: 721
I personally wouldn't ever use auto WB on this camera (or anything auto at all, for that matter)--there's no telling when the entire image is going to shift in color of its own accord. It all depends on what you're shooting though. Automatic camera functions are much more acceptable in a documentary than they are in a narrative piece.

When you go from one room to another, you usually won't have that big of a problem as long as both rooms are lit using sources of the same type. There might be some small difference in the color temperature, but it's rarely an issue (though note that you still want to do a manual WB--between setups--whenever necessary). What's much more difficult is, say, going from outdoors to indoors; you're either going to end up with overly blue outdoor footage or orangey indoor footage. There are always daylight gels for the indoor lights, but they're not always available when you need them. Then you have to get creative. You might need to decide if moving from one spot to the other while the camera is rolling is really necessary--you can always just cut from one to the other.

As for the gain question, you're really not going to darken the image by turning it down unless you're starting with a high setting to begin with; it's called "gain," in fact, because it electronically brightens the image. As I mentioned before, you typically want to keep it at 0dB (or better yet, -3dB) unless you absolutely cannot properly expose by any other means, including adding light to the scene. If you need a darker exposure, use an ND filter, stop down, or use a higher shutter speed--but be aware that stopping down increases depth of field among other things, and selection of shutter speed will affect the way that motion looks.

If you need gain beyond +6dB to expose the image well, you may also need to bump the coring up a notch or two and use a little noise reduction.

To get a film noir look, high-contrast lighting is at least 90% of the equation. Use hard, highly directional lights with little or no fill. On the camera, you'll want to crush the blacks (set blacks to press, lower master pedestal and setup level). A high knee will reduce dynamic range at the upper end of the curve and increase contrast, though this may not be the best way to go for every shot. I only use a high knee when I actually want blown-out highlights, which is an exceedingly rare circumstance.

If I'm losing you with some of these terms, read up on the presets. There are bajillions of preset discussions in this forum. Combine the reading with a lot of experimentation and you'll begin to get a handle on all of this.
__________________
-->jarrod whaley.
www.oakstreetfilms.com
Jarrod Whaley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 29th, 2007, 08:24 PM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 691
Jarrod, Thank you for explaining this.

I am alittle confused, but I will do some research and get back to this thread with some better educated questions.

Thanks again.
Terry.
Terry Lee is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Canon EOS / MXF / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Canon HDV and DV Camera Systems > Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:51 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network