Upgraded from XL2 to H1a... Grainy import, REALLY grainy import (into FCS) at DVinfo.net

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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 July 14th, 2010, 06:00 PM   #1
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Upgraded from XL2 to H1a... Grainy import, REALLY grainy import (into FCS)

Ok, I know my first mistake was using the "Auto" setting, but I don't think that's my issue. The footage is crystal clear in the view finder on playback.

Here is what my settings were/are when importing:

Camera is in HD mode @ 60i.
Playback std: HDV
Comp.out: 1080i/480i
HD Down-conv: off

Final Cut import set to HDV - 1080i60 FireWire Basic

Please help an HD newbie figure this out. I am sure this is something simple, but the picture is horrible!

Here's a screenshot:

http://www.jkowners.com/temp/shot.jpg

Thanks in advance.

Last edited by Lance Clifford; July 15th, 2010 at 08:36 AM.
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Old July 15th, 2010, 12:11 AM   #2
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Sorry, Lance...................

"Access Forbidden" to that link.


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Old July 15th, 2010, 01:52 AM   #3
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Lance, as Chris says - could not get permission to view the image!

I have been using Canon XL-H1 for years, shooting 1080i50 (I'm in PAL land). Never had any issues in quality importing into FCP.
Your camcorder setting is correct and should not cause any trouble.
You say that you shoot in Auto, that could be a problem, as the gain would probably be high in low light situations. Viewing the footage in the tiny viewfinder will not give you any information about how grainy your footage are! Have you tried to hook the camcorder to an TV, viewing your footage by using component out (the red, blue green)
My advice for you would be to NOT shot in Auto! I always shot M (manual) which in my opinion is the best way to get stunning footage from the H1.
Also put the gain selector off the Auto position. In outdoor daylight I set it to -3 and for indoors shot 0 or +3. I found it's way too grainy if you use more than +6.
You should also chech that your FCP timeline is HDV 1080i60. Beware that HDV is a processor intensive codec, which could cause a downgraded image. For better editing performance you should consider using ProRes 422 if you are on FCP 6 or higher.
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Old July 15th, 2010, 07:27 AM   #4
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Grain usually comes from the gain being too high. I shot a whole day of beautiful daytime scenic footage and never noticed that I had accidently set the AGC (auto gain control) to ON. The H1 has a low resolution viewfinder so it's easy to miss it.
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Old July 15th, 2010, 08:35 AM   #5
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I will have to see if I can round up a monitor to connect directly to the camera to view the footage. I'm pretty certain it won't be grainy.

The captured footage is half the quality of my XL2 (that is shot in auto mode as well).

This image should work, sorry for the forbidden error: http://www.jkowners.com/temp/shot.jpg

I'll definitely take some time and play with Manual mode.
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Old July 15th, 2010, 11:29 AM   #6
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Here's a quick youtube of the XL H1 and an XL2 side by side, shooting the same shot. Both were set to "Auto".

YouTube - Sample video
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Old July 15th, 2010, 01:42 PM   #7
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Well it's one of two things, either your sensor is bad or the camera's auto gain was on. From the looks of your still frame it's the gain. The xl2 has larger pixels per sensor size so it doesn't need as much gain to get the same exposure. There is a program called NEAT that supposedly does a good job of cleaning the footage up.
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Old January 29th, 2011, 04:25 PM   #8
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I have the same problem with a XL H1s tha can be followed here Green Screen XLH1s (Picture in general)

:(

Maybe it should have been the Panasonic ;)
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