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Canon XL H Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XL H1S (with SDI), Canon XL H1A (without SDI). Also XL H1.


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Old October 16th, 2007, 05:42 PM   #1
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Please Help Cinematography and Apple Questions!

Hello,

I watched Jonas' commercial for Vagabond Shoes and I am inspired!

The commercial: http://www.hotshot.nu/

It's great! I have a Canon XL-H1 and I have to ask you guys a few questions because my footage looks nothing like his, even when I use proffesional lights.

1. My first question is how do you achieve such smooth gradients as seen in the shots in the commercial. My shots all have a great deal of contrast which makes color correction very tricky, even when I use soft lights. How do you get that smoothness to the shadows and bright areas where everything looks so film like with a great depth of color, instead of harsh contrasty footage? A great example of what I mean about the contrast gradients is the wide shot of the girl walking down the stairs, and also the overhead shot of the stairs, found in the behind the scenes website here . . .

http://hotshotpictures.blogspot.com/

2. Is it possible to achieve the great shallow focus shots, without buying a min35 setup, with the stock Canon lens that comes with the XL-H1? Or with the EF Adapter and Photography Lenses?

3. I've asked a few people about this but I'm still confused. Right now I'm using Adobe Premier Pro 2.0 on a Windows PC but I'm thinking of purchasing a Mac. In order to capture from the XL-H1 I'm using a great preset made by Adobe that allows me to capture Canon's 24F format perfectly. I don't see anything on Adobe or Canon's website about the preset for Apple. I will most likely be purchasing the new Adobe Production Studio for Apple. Does anyone know if Adobe Premiere CS3 captures the Canon 24F format natively? or if there are any plug-inn's for this? Plus, anyone have any helpful tips about using the XL-H1 on Mac?

4. Does Cineform work on Mac's?

5. How do you film a shot where the white balance is precise like in this commercial for Apple TV?

http://www.apple.com/appletv/ads/

I always have alot of blue or very saturated un-intended colors in my shots. How do you achieve the smooth color balance to the shots so they all match and cut well.

I've been trying to solve these questions for some time now, so I really appreciate all of your help! Thanks everyone!

Take it easy!

Henry Hoyos
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Old October 17th, 2007, 02:50 AM   #2
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The main key to the shoe commercial is the type of lenses they used with the adapter... besides really good lighting...
Plus (if I remember correctly) there was some post color correction and fx done on the footage.
Yes, you can get some good-looking shots with the stock lens but nothing like cine lenses (can’t comment on EF adapter and lenses… never used them).
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Old October 17th, 2007, 12:29 PM   #3
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1. That's more than one question. :)

The mini-35 plus cine lenses create a totally different image than the
H1 with a stock lens. That answers about 90% of the first questions.
The gradient is most likely just a ND Grad filter or post effect.

2. >>Is it possible to achieve the great shallow focus shots, without buying a min35 setup, with the stock Canon lens that comes with the XL-H1?

NO. Choose, frame, and light your shots carefully to avoid deep focus.

>>Or with the EF Adapter and Photography Lenses?

NO. it will just multiply the EF lens by 7.4x

3. >>Does anyone know if Adobe Premiere CS3 captures the Canon 24F format natively?

Yes.

>>Plus, anyone have any helpful tips about using the XL-H1 on Mac?

?? Not sure how it would be any different. It's the same footage either way.

4. >>Does Cineform work on Mac's?

Yes... but is not going to improve anything in question #1 or #2

5. >>How do you film a shot where the white balance is precise like in this commercial for Apple TV?

You need to read your camera manual and manually set the white
balance for each shot whilst checking the color on an external monitor.
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Old October 17th, 2007, 02:28 PM   #4
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the appleTV clip was shot with blank screens and the school of rock clips added in post.
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Old October 17th, 2007, 05:14 PM   #5
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Thanks Will! I appreciate your help! Let me re-phrase a few things to make sure I'm explaining things correctly :)

1A. What I mean by the gradient is that the lighting allows for everything to look smooth and gives the image a very soft feel where everything looks like it has a smooth contrast from bright to dark areas, as apposed to harsh bright areas and shadows with no detail. Is this achieved through any special filters on the lense? or is it simply in the lighting? I've used soft lights and I haven't been able to achieve what I'm trying to describe. It's like everything in the image is smooth even the over exposed areas of the frame blend gradually with the correctly exposed areas of the frame. The Apple TV commercial, and the frame of the stairs are good examples of what I mean about the smoothness of the light.

http://www.apple.com/appletv/ads/

http://photos1.blogger.com/x/blogger...048/Emma_2.jpg


2A. I know the EF Adapter alone won't give me the great shallow focus shots, but for example, I have an EF Adapter and a 300mm Lens. Can I use these together, or a different combination of EF and Lens, to achieve the great shallow focus possible with the mini-35?

3A. I'm just trying to be sure, Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 on a Mac is able to capture Canon's 24F format perfectly, without the need of any plug-in's or 3rd party software?

Thanks again for all of your help!

Take it easy!

Henry Hoyos
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Old October 17th, 2007, 10:54 PM   #6
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sound track video track file size

Lovely commercial. I downloaded the QT file to look at the file size. According to the properties, the sound track is 9MB and the H.264 video track is 2MB and the file size is 11MB for a 46 second clip. Is that possible? Or are the sound and video track numbers reversed?

Best,
Christopher
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Old October 18th, 2007, 06:38 AM   #7
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1A. Even if you light perfectly the image will still not look like
that from a 35mm adapter. 35mm lenses, especially cine lenses
have much better optics.

2A. Once again... no. The Canon adapter just crops the 35mm lens
and makes it super telephoto. Your 300mm would be around 2100mm
or in other words, completely unusable for filming anything except
distant planets and wildlife (from a mile away).

3A. Premiere CS3 Supports 24f...REALLY! http://www.adobe.com/products/premie...ormatguide.pdf
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Old October 18th, 2007, 10:36 AM   #8
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Thanks for all your help Will! I appreciate your patience :)

So with my new knowledge I'd like to ask a few more questions.

1. The cine lenses, are they compatible with The RED Camera? From what I understand the RED is able to use Cinema Lenses without the need for any adapters (such as the mini-35) Is this correct?

2. Also the RED films in HD 2K and 4K, does Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 support 2K and 4K natively, or will I have to use a plug-in to use 2K and 4K?

3. And my last question, for now :), I filmed something and then when I captured the footage I noticed that there is some warping in the image. Lines that are perfectly vertical appear to be stretched. I was using the Canon stock lens as wide as it goes.

http://www.freewebs.com/thedirectorguy/Warp%20Frame.jpg

http://www.freewebs.com/thedirectorg...e%20Guides.jpg

Is this something the new Canon 6x Wide Lens would fix? Any help would be very much appreciated!

Thanks!

Henry
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Old October 19th, 2007, 12:38 AM   #9
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Hi henry i'll chime in as Will has exceeded his quota of questions to answer today ;)

Cine Lenses, is a broad term, the simplest way to think about it is as glass, then a mount that atttaches to the camera. The red has a PL mount which is the same type that many of the film cameras use today, there are other types as well, for example the canon uses it's own XL mount (hense the name) PL mount lenses will work with any camera that has a PL mount.

The 35mm DOF occurs because the lenses are projecting onto a larger plane then the 1/3" chip in the camera. Bigger plane, shallower DOF.

2) NO idea, but you can check teh red forum of this very website to find out the answer!

3) I believe what you're seeing is barrell distortion, that will be improved by the wide lens, however most zoom lenses and some prime lenses have that distortion at full wide.

A hint on the contrastu stuff, an easy way to fix that is bouncing the light off of a reflector, it softens the intensity of the light and will allow for a much more even lighting scheme. For more information check out the photon management section of this website
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I have a dream that one day canon will release a 35mm ef to xl adapter and I'll have iris control and a 35mm dof of all my ef lenses, and it will be awesome...
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Old October 19th, 2007, 06:21 AM   #10
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1. With a Red One you can just change the mount to use PL mount,
EOS, Nikon, B4, etc. etc. it just crops (windows) the image based
on the coverage. For example...a PL mount s16mm lens would have to be used
with the 2k format since it is made to focus on a smaller area of
film. An 35mm EOS lens would actually BE cropped like a lot of
todays digital SLRs because photo lenses are designed for an image
area larger than the Red sensor which is closer to 35mm motion picture film.

2. Not yet, but Final Cut will. You can use the Red software to output
movie files to edit in Premiere though.

3. I wasn't aware that the stock lens had much barrel distortion,
but that's probibly what it is. The 6x will only magnify this.
It's just part of the wide angle look.
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Old October 20th, 2007, 08:50 AM   #11
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Thanks everyone for the great advice! Take it easy.

Henry
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