My (new) favorite feature 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 January 24th, 2006, 01:43 PM   #1
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My (new) favorite feature

Something that hasn't been talked about much, a feature which I have become adicted to, is that little "K" setting on the white balance dial. Having spent (and wasted) time with many cameras trying to match white balance - on the run and in controlled settings - I can't tell you how nice it is to be able to dial in the color temperature.

Much has been said, myself included, about the viewfinder not being up to the camera. In terms of resolution, that is true. But if the color of the finder is matched as closely as possible to the output of the camera, you can use it effectively to insure a pleasing look (and avoid "fixing it in post"). And you can read the actual color temperature in the finder and make a note of it for future shooting in the same location.

Now that the HVX has finally emerged, the debate will become more and more heated among the pundits. But, in fact, there isn't all that much difference as far as the general public (the audience, remember them?) is concerned. The Sony is a better "point and shoot" camera, the HVX offers a new generation work flow, the H1 feels (and looks) more like a professional, working camera. But they all produce amazing images that we would have had to pay $100,000 for a few short years ago.

I'm not a Canon guy - I've owned a DVX, which I liked, and several Sonys, which I liked, and last year bought my first Canon, the XL2, which I liked. Point is, they're tools, and everyone needs to pick the hammer that fits best in their own individual hand...

But I digress - that little "K" is one of the (many) small things that makes the H1 the camera of choice for me...
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Old January 24th, 2006, 02:38 PM   #2
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Yes....I forgot all about that.

*note to self: remind all my DP's about this feature, it's important*

Never have I seen the ability to "dial in" the White Balance in kelvin increments of 100º each from a range 2800º to 12,000º to match the Hue of a specific lighting situation for a camera this inexpensive.

We all know Daylight is 5600º and Tungsten is 3200º, but to be able to dial above or below those in 100º steps is just sweet!

- ShannonRawls.com
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Last edited by Shannon Rawls; January 24th, 2006 at 03:38 PM.
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Old January 24th, 2006, 04:17 PM   #3
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Why do I have a feeling Birns & Sawyer will be swiping my Visa card this Saturday at their XL-H1 showcase? lol
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Old January 24th, 2006, 04:45 PM   #4
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The only downside of having the ability to dial in kelvin on your white balance is that you may have (in theory of course) someone who swears they can tell the difference between 4300 and 4200 and requests one then the other then ends up trying to make up his or her mind for the next 10 minutes when the correct color temp is 3200. In theory...
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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 January 24th, 2006, 06:30 PM   #5
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Well, in my case I make those decisions.. and I really like being able to make them easily... I don't think there's a downside to options, you don't have to use them... Just stick out a white card and wait...

I have over $4,000 worth of filters and I use them regularly. In film I use an 812 occasionally to warm up things; sometimes a Chocolate 1, works great with dark skin tones; or a Coral for women; or a warm SoftFX (same as 812 with slight diffusion)... I have a full set (1/4 - 3) of ProMists and Black ProMists.. I do not recall once seeing a DP wait for a suit to decide what filter he or she uses, or what gels to put on the lights.. same thing really...
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Old January 24th, 2006, 07:14 PM   #6
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steve i meant that more as a rant then as an actual draw back to the ability dial in kelvin... I totally dig the option and when i busted it out on set, everyone was impressed.
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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 January 24th, 2006, 07:14 PM   #7
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Steve,
I think Nick was just joking. *smile*
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Rosen
I have over $4,000 worth of filters
Shannon = jealous

- Shan
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Old January 24th, 2006, 10:00 PM   #8
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Nick: I thought you were kidding, but people may think that some of the bells and whistles are superfluous - because some of them are...

Shannon: I've been collecting filters for a lot of years.. I have 3 polarizers, for instance, because I needed different sizes for different matte boxes.. But filters are getting to be like Spectra exposure meters - something you pull out at wrap parties and mournfully say "I remember when...". The great thing about the more sophisticated cameras is that you can dial in almost everything but diffusion.

However, I do not like to add filters in post, especially with HDV, where the less f___king with the image the better... That's why the ability to chose my look, and repeat it, while shooting has become so important to me...
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Old January 25th, 2006, 06:22 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shannon Rawls
Never have I seen the ability to "dial in" the friggin' White Balance in kelvin increments of 100º each from a range 2800º to 12,000º to match the Hue of a specific lighting situation for a camera this inexpensive.
- ShannonRawls.com
Great function. Another function on the wishlist for next Christmas: Why not show the actual color temperature in Kelvin too? I mean when you use the white card and you read in the white balance. The camera today signals with some kind of bar when it is tuned. Why not display the actual setting and you could then be able to check it for difficult mixed situations or tweak it a little up or down from that number by using the manual K setting. But you cannot get it all ...
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Old January 25th, 2006, 09:59 AM   #10
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Johan, good idea.. I was thinking it would be nice if you could chose, in the menu, to have a preset white balance "hold" when you switch to "K" so you could check it and/or tweak it... you're idea's just as good and much easier for the folks at Canon to impliment...

Also, when I said that some bells and whistles are superfluous, I was specifically referring to "Film Grain" on the XL2 - That is probably the stupidist thing I've ever seen - it goes with the old thinking that film is somehow worse looking than video because it crawls with grain...
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