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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 November 14th, 2007, 12:30 PM   #1
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Custom preset for India

I am about to go to Bandhavgarh Reserve India and was wondering if anybody has had experience filming in that location with the XLH1. I have various presets that I use, but I was wondering, if anybody who has filmed in that location or in India has a preset that they have found to be good.

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Mick
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Old November 14th, 2007, 01:48 PM   #2
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Yes, definitly, use VIVID preset. But try and get the gamma curve higher. I have done much work in India that works best, bring the life outta india.
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Old November 15th, 2007, 02:26 AM   #3
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Hi Mick............

Have you been to India before?

I need to ask, as any suggestions need to be based on whether you have previous experience of the particular challenges it throws up.

Joseph has made a sugestion which I'd sort of agree with, BUT..it depends.

ON - well, what the final product of the shoot is for.

I "don't do presets" as such, prefering to shoot flat and tweak later. So not one to really answer your question.

Without knowing where (exactly) you're going (Encyclopedic as my memory of India is, the Bandhavgarh Reserve has somehow slipped through the net) and when you're going, it is almost impossible to give any real help on how to shoot anything.


More info from you, more info from us.


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Old November 15th, 2007, 03:47 AM   #4
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Thanks joseph and Chris,

Bandhavgarh is more or less central India. I'm there to film tigers and other wildlife, also need to incorperate local scenes and life. Unforunately I won't have an external monitor with me so I amtrying to make an educated guess as to the settings I need use. I am aware that I will probably need to do some colour correction in post.

Regards

Mick
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Old November 15th, 2007, 04:03 AM   #5
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Joseph,

I have just done search of the preset forum and can't find VIVID preset, could you please tell me where it is located or post the settings. Mant thanks for your help,

Regards

Mick
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Old November 15th, 2007, 07:42 PM   #6
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Hi again.........

I'm going to assume that you're going in Nov/ Dec/ Jan/ Feb ? (You really don't want to be in Central in the summer).

The weather during the winter period is usually clear, cloudless days, starting off cold (very, sometimes) but rapidly increasing, so by 10am it's nearly T - shirt weather.

The problem is those clear skies. Contrast is absolutely phenominal, colours just leap at you and the shadows are dark pits of nothing. The cities, by and large, aren't quite so bad (re - contrast) as their perpetual smog cover softens things a lot.

The game reserve will be, er, a challenge. If you shoot for the shadows (under the canopy cover), every chink of light will blow out completely, go mid way and the shadows are back to being black pits of nothing.

The best way, believe it or not, is from the back of an elephant. It gets you clear of the ground cover and as you're shooting down or at a downward angle the shadows are not an issue.

Of course, that sun is your worst enemy again during the midday hours as everything just goes as flat as a pancake, but the elephant vantage point again really helps here due to the shot angles used.

Something to bear in mind, as it trips up a heck of a lot of people, is that the use of a tripod is prohibited just about everywhere (I'm talking buildings here, not the Reserve). Even a monopod will get your a pretty serious scrute from security. Anything deemed "professional" requires a permit from one Govt. department or another and takes months!

I don't know the Reserve you mentioned, well, I may but can't remember it, but it's definately worth checking thoroughly what facilities they can offer (elephants!) and what restrictions they have in place re video. Do not assume that because it doesn't say it in the blurb that it isn't banned, it's a national pastime.

So, as for pre - sets, guess it needs to be something that can dig you out of a contrast black hole in "clear sky" mode that won't blow the colours up any more than they already are.


Hope that's a bit of help.


CS
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Old November 17th, 2007, 11:28 PM   #7
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Hi again...........

Just for you to get an idea of what you're up against in Bandhavgarh, check out National Geographic, Nov. 2007, the fifth turnable page, "Olympus" ad (should be on your news stands now).

How the guy got this shot has me stunned and utterly at a loss. The tiger has obviously sussed him, the mate will charge at the first sign of movement of "the other half", and the photog has zero, nada, bugger all "run room" to make a discrete exit if it is necessary.

That the photog's minders let him get this close has me staggered (under the cover) as it always ends badly for the tiger if it goes "bent". That lens is a 200mm max, which means the photog and tiger can't be more than 25 metres apart (probably a heap less).

You can see what I mean about highlights and contrast.

From the blurb, it would seem the reserve isn't Central, it's North East, even less reason to go in the summer (Central in the summer is at least dry, bone dry, the North East is extremely humid, and will cook you the moment you leave the safety of the aircon, more than uncomfortable for anyone of a European inclination).

The reason for suggesting not shooting "under the cover" was to ameliorate just this sort of confrontation - it usually ends badly either for the photog or the tiger. They will NOT attack an elephant or rider (they have more sense) and will, instead, simply ignore you and "do their own thing", whilst you observe (rather swayingly) at your leisure.

Hope this is giving you some usefull input.

CS
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Old November 18th, 2007, 02:09 AM   #8
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Hi Chris,

Thanks for your replies. We will be off there on the 30th of this month. We will be in the reserve for at least 10days and have a driver and a naturalist with us in the vehicle. Also we do have access each day to elephants should they be the better option for tiger spotting. I am aware as to how difficult it is going to be to get good steady shots and taken this into account during our plannig of this trip. Also the photographer who is accompanying will have been in the reserve four weeks prior to our arrival.
I will check out the latest NG.

Many thanks

Mick
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Old July 30th, 2008, 02:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mick Jenner View Post
Joseph,

I have just done search of the preset forum and can't find VIVID preset, could you please tell me where it is located or post the settings. Mant thanks for your help,

Regards

Mick
Mick, did you ever get your hands on the VIVID setting? If you did, where can I get it please?
Thanks, Dave
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Old July 31st, 2008, 01:20 AM   #10
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Hi Dave,

Never did find the vivid setting but made up one of my own which needed very little colour correction.

Regards

Mick
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Old July 31st, 2008, 07:14 AM   #11
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Sorry my friend - I meant the VIVD preset on the XH A1 - I assumed it would be available for the Xl H1.
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Old July 31st, 2008, 09:01 AM   #12
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XH camcorder series presets are compatible with the new XL H1S and H1A, but *not* with the older XL H1. I'll try to translate it, but the problem is that the older H1 has a lower range of color adjustment than the XH series, therefore it might not be possible to emulate an XH preset in that camera.
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Old July 31st, 2008, 09:04 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Mick Jenner View Post
...made up one of my own which needed very little colour correction.
Have you posted your settings to the forum, Mick? We'd love to see them!
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Old August 1st, 2008, 12:37 PM   #14
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Hi Chris,

I don't have the camera with me where I am at the moment, but when I return home in a few weeks I will post them.

regards

Mick
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Old August 2nd, 2008, 02:19 PM   #15
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I expect that you must have roaming internet laptop connection with you (judging by your last post arriving after you'd left for India) so I might be able to offer advice if you come up against problems while you're out there.

I've been to India many times and a life-member of WASI.

The elephant advice is good, as it can sometimes get you right in close, although it can be very difficult to get smooth footage for longer shots due to not enough stable fixed support (yes, you can ask for them to keep the elephant as still as possible, but it's often not enough. Still camera shots with a high shutter speed are OK, but not DV).

Depending on your contacts, you might be able to use one the the permanant private hides (other thah the main tourist ones) and do some long waits for the tigers, although the standard 20X won't be enough on many sittings and you'll need to also use something like a Canon or Nikkor 300mm f/2.8 attached via an adpter (I'm not sure what lenses you'll have with you on this trip).

Harsh light can be a problem in India, but the tigers tend to be resting in the shade at midday anyway, so most of your 'action' or moving tiger footage will be taken during low light of early morning (cool colour temperature) or during the beautiful 'orange-vale' evening light (a warmer color temperature).

I'd definitely set your camera's main Preset up for warm or 'vivid colour; with a second Preset set for neutral; and a third Preset set up for extreme low-light conditions.

Regarding the use of tripods, I've never had any trouble using them outside of built up areas, and you'll definitely not have any trouble using them in most of the reserve, or in any wilderness area of India. (famous last words!)
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