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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 May 3rd, 2006, 07:26 PM   #1
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My Settings plus Footage

I would like to share the settings I came up with after an extensive test session and the results of a recent shoot I did using them. These settings were intended to deliver a pleasing gamma to the image while retaining as much color fidelity as possible. I did not get the chance to test them using a color chart, but in the real world they seem to deliver nice results with good skin tones. At the following link you can find a sample I shot with these settings. Unfortunately the original shot was not HDV but regular DV. The shot is not color corrected, but straight from the camera.

http://www.js-films.com/test/terra.wmv

The settings I used were:

GAM 2
KNE L
BLK S
PED -9
SET 0
SHP -9
HDF H
DHV 0
COR 0
NR1 0
NR2 M
CMX 2
CGN 0
CPH 0
RGN 0
GGN -1
BGN -3
RGM -4
RBM 4
GRM -2
GBM 6
BRM 1
BGM -6

Hope you guys enjoy playing around with 'em. If anyone comes up with anything better feel free to post :)
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 11:52 PM   #2
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The look of the scene reminds me the look I'd get from my DVX100, not A or B with original cinegamma preset. I've filmed something similar in Saint Tropes, France. Good work!
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Old May 4th, 2006, 09:07 AM   #3
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Seems odd to use the black stretch to pull all the black levels up, only to then pull the pedestal down so far that all the shadow detail is getting clipped.
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Old May 4th, 2006, 11:04 AM   #4
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Try it. The result is pleasing to the eye, as the shadows retain detail without looking washed out.
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Old May 4th, 2006, 02:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luis de la Cerda
I would like to share the settings I came up with after an extensive test session and the results of a recent shoot I did using them. Hope you guys enjoy playing around with 'em. If anyone comes up with anything better feel free to post :)
Dear Luis,
It would be very nice if you posted both your settings and the same shot with standard settings to compare the difference. Thank you for sharing your work. By the way, I wouldn't dare to put my notebook at the edge of a pool!/ Johan
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Old May 4th, 2006, 03:31 PM   #6
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Yeah, that was my notebook in the shot. I was a bit nervous about it :) I was working really fast that day so there was no chance of fooling around with my settings versus standard settings, but since I posted my settings, perhaps someone out there can? So far, I have shot tons of footage with my settings and I like the resulting images a lot. I don't think adding pedestal would increase shadow detail, since most of what's there to record survives any cliping because of the black stretch. Shadows start clipping at around -7, but the difference between that and -9 is negligible. Any higher and all you get is gray blacks. By the way, my posted settings crank the sharpness all the way down, which leads to a soft unsharpened image. I tend to work like this because I like to sharpen in post under more controlled conditions, but if you want the image editable out of camera, some sharpening should be added. Also, if you downconvert HD, there are workflows to get optimal sharpening that benefit from an unsharpened original image.
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Old May 5th, 2006, 12:10 PM   #7
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Yeah, a comparison with stock would be illustrative. In any case, though, direct sunlight and shadows at the pool is a tough lattitude test. It looked like you figured out how to handle that quite nicely. I have a busy weekend ahead but if I get a little spare time somehow I might give these settings a try. Thanks!
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Old May 5th, 2006, 12:55 PM   #8
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Yes, I'm surprised at how nice images come out of this camera even when dealing with backlight or extreme contrast. That particular scene at the pool had no fill whatsoever, it was merely available light. Would you believe that? The charts may be showing a reduced latitude for this camera, but my real world experience tells me otherwise. It behaves like a big camera. I wasn't expecting much since a lot has been said about how you cannot expect big camera performance from 1/3" ccd, and how you get what you pay for, but in this case I feel I'm getting a hell of a lot more than I initially was hoping for. The colors are also surprising. When I get to review my footage back at the studio it tends to feel a lot more like SDX footage rather than DVX footage. I also have a Letus XL on order so I will be testing that when it arrives and I'm expecting to make some presets for that as well.
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Old May 5th, 2006, 01:39 PM   #9
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Comparison of stock to Terra preset

Here are a couple of comparison stills I made using the preset Luis suggested. I've named it "Terra" unless Luis has a better suggestion! If you click the thumbnails, you'll get the full-size image. The one on the left is stock, no preset, and the one on the right is the Terra preset. These first shots were taken at dusk with the camera in "A" Program auto exposure mode.
Attached Thumbnails
My Settings plus Footage-img_0133.jpg   My Settings plus Footage-img_0134.jpg  

Attached Files
File Type: cpf IMG_0134.CPF (39 Bytes, 403 views)
File Type: txt IMG_0134.TXT (539 Bytes, 412 views)
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Old May 5th, 2006, 02:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd
The one on the left is stock, no preset, and the one on the right is the Terra preset.
Dear Chris,
I see one upper (0133) and one lower (0134), not left and right... /Johan
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Old May 5th, 2006, 02:08 PM   #11
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Stock on left, "Terra" preset from Luis on the right...

Again these were both in Program AE at dusk. OIS on, Gain off, AWB. I should have balanced manually...
Attached Thumbnails
My Settings plus Footage-img_0137.jpg   My Settings plus Footage-img_0138.jpg  

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Old May 5th, 2006, 02:12 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johan Forssblad
I see one upper (0133) and one lower (0134), not left and right...
In that case Johan the upper one is stock, the lower one is the Terra preset.

0133 and 0137 are stock -- 0134 and 0138 are the preset from Luis de la Cerda.

I included the .CPF file and .TXT file for 0134. They're identical for 0138.
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Old May 5th, 2006, 02:14 PM   #13
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Dear Chris,
They still show up as one upper and one lower in my Safari and Firefox browser. They are shown on two separate rows right above each other.
I assume the left is the first one... (with lower file number) /Johan
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Old May 5th, 2006, 02:18 PM   #14
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Great samples there Chris! I have made a minor modification to the preset for a sharper image out of camera. Sharpening in post is a good idea, but very render intensive and time consuming, so for all of us who have to work within the bounds of a deadline, turn the sharpening up to -3 (or 0 if you want a VERY sharp image) and the coring down to -4 to keep noise levels at bay. :)
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Old May 5th, 2006, 02:19 PM   #15
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Sorry fellows, I'm so "old school" and still using MSIE. I really need to get FireFox and see how the real world looks. Yes the even numbers were stock, the odd numbers were the preset from Luis.
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