Snoqualmie Falls footage 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 May 8th, 2006, 12:08 AM   #1
Disjecta
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
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Snoqualmie Falls footage

I took a quick trip to Snoqualmie Falls this afternoon to continue my tests with the XLH1. The falls, in case you don't know, are featured in the opening sequence of David Lynch's Twin Peaks. In fact, the whole series was shot in this neck of the woods (Washington State).

Anyway, light was failing and rain was threatening but I said what the hell and shot some spectacular scenes anyway. I'm also working on a new Black and White setting although it's not perfected yet by a long shot. It's a little on the soft side (need to adjust the sharpness) and the tonality is still way off, not close to rich enough for me. It's interesting how black and white changes the atmosphere of a shot dramatically.

Anyway, I'll post the black and white settings when I perfect them. The color shots utilize the settings I have already posted.

Some shots are dark because it was pretty dark when I shot them but I wanted to test the camera's performance in low light. What I saw was awesome, much, much better than than my experience shooting low light with the DVX.

I also wanted to test the resolving power of the lens and took some long landscape shots that are really beautiful in my opinion.

WINDOWS USERS: You will need Media Player Classic (or equivalent) to play these files: http://www.afterdawn.com/software/vi...er_classic.cfm

MAC USERS: Use MPEG Streamclip: http://www.squared5.com/
Export 24F m2t's to QT DVCProHD at 23.976 fps, with a 1920x1080 frame size. (FCP will see it as 1280x1080 but set it for the larger frame upon export). Remember to uncheck all deinterlace or interlace options too. 24F is progressive material so there's no need for any deinterlace/interlace filtering at all.

Here are the clips, enjoy.

COLOR:

This is a wide shot of the falls. Many naysayers of HDV warned me about the problems of resolving a lot of motion, particularly in water. I have not encountered any motion rendering problems with this camera yet.
http://www.realm.cc/upload/disjecta/falls_long_shot.m2t (43mb)

Same shot as above but with the camera tilting downwards to the bottom of the falls. This is a very complex shot in terms of detail and the camera has to work pretty hard to render everything accurately and, from what I can see, it was successful.
http://www.realm.cc/upload/disjecta/falls_tilt.m2t (80mb)

This is a pretty shot taken in fairly low light. Typically, in my experience with the DVX100a, I would be seeing quite a bit of camera noise in the background but the XLH1 rendered a very clean image under the same circumstances. This is a shallow depth of field closeup of some grass/plants swaying in the wind with the waterfall rushing down behind.
http://www.realm.cc/upload/disjecta/dancing.m2t (28mb)

This is a wide shot of the one above. Again, there is much complex motion going on and it was fairly low light to boot. No problems that I can see.
http://www.realm.cc/upload/disjecta/plants_falls.m2t (33mb)

Another motion test. Rushing water over rocks. Lots going on, no problem for Canon's HDV.
http://www.realm.cc/upload/disjecta/rushing_water.m2t (33mb)

This is a low shot of a bridge in low light. I just like the receding quality of the composition. No movement to mention in this shot.
http://www.realm.cc/upload/disjecta/receding_bridge.m2t (34mb)

I liked the architecture of the bridge here and actually stopped down quite a bit to get a silhouette effect. I waited until some people walked over to add some motion and interest. There is some noise in the sky but it's a pleasing fast film grain feel rather than murky video noise.
http://www.realm.cc/upload/disjecta/...silhouette.m2t (32mb)

I was very influenced by the cinematography in Capote for this shot. They chose to shoot Super35mm on that film and there is a particular shot where it's ultra wide and way off in the distance a train goes by. The train is so tiny in the frame but it demonstrates both the resolving power of Super35 and also the grand scale of the landscape in the shot. I wanted to shoot a landscape with lots of tiny detail to show off the camera's abilities at sharpness. The noise reduction filter I had on (NR2) produced some uneven softening. I've decided not to use that in the future. Buy hey, that's the whole purpose of testing.
http://www.realm.cc/upload/disjecta/landscape_1.m2t (28mb)

A variation of the one above, different angle. All of these shots are purposefully a little underexposed to bring out the saturation more. Although, if I had to shoot everything over, I would open the iris more. The noise reduction's effect (NR2) is obvious to me in this shot. If you look at the trees on the left in the background, they are softer than the equidistant trees on the right of the frame. Pretty obvious on a large screen display. Although someone suggested it might simply be the way the lens is reacting in wide mode, I'll do further tests and report back.
http://www.realm.cc/upload/disjecta/landscape_2.m2t (34mb)

This is another wide shot turning to the road with lots of detailed landscape in the background. In another test, I had shot some cars passing and noticed that there was some stuttering of motion. I later realized this was as a result of using the OIS. I had to then because I was shooting handheld. There is a significant difference in smooth motion rendering when the OIS is turned off. Never turn it on when you are tethered to a tripod.
http://www.realm.cc/upload/disjecta/road_landscape.m2t (51mb)


BLACK AND WHITE:

I like the atmosphere in this shot. When appropriate, I try to include some movement in my shots so they don't look like photographs. Black and white has such a different feel to it that it's almost like I was in a different place than when I shot the color version. My 10 year old daughter thought the look of the black and white was "the coolest thing I've ever seen!" The settings were completely off for this and it was more spontaneous on my part to start shooting BW. Since then, I've created a much richer palette with a more luscious tonal range so I'll test that the next time I'm out. Also, the sharpening was turned down to -3 which gave the look much more softness than I like. Instead of a pleasing softness, it looks more like the camera's resolution was compromised.
http://www.realm.cc/upload/disjecta/bw_lovers.m2t (47mb)

The same shot as the color one above but with the BW settings. Because the shot is a silhouette shot against a grey cloudy sky, there is little difference between the color shot and this black and white version but the architecture of the bridge interested me.
http://www.realm.cc/upload/disjecta/bw_bridge.m2t (30mb)

Last edited by Steven Dempsey; May 8th, 2006 at 12:27 PM.
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Old May 8th, 2006, 03:58 AM   #2
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Really appreciate your efforts to share this footage and your experiences. As much as I'd like to look at all of it, it's a fairly daunting list to work through. Steven, maybe I'm just being lazy, but is there a chance you might put a sentence with each clip of what you consider notable? (strengths, weaknesses etc)

Cheers,

Steve
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Old May 8th, 2006, 08:43 AM   #3
Disjecta
 
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Okay Steve, I'll add in some descriptions a little later today. [EDIT] descriptions of each shot now online.

One thing that I have noticed is that there seems to be an uneven amount of softening on some of the footage and I am attributing that to the noise reduction setting which I had on low (NR2). On the advice of a friend and my own tests, I've decided not to use this feature in the future so I'm adjusting my settings appropriately.

Last edited by Steven Dempsey; May 8th, 2006 at 11:05 AM.
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Old May 8th, 2006, 10:45 AM   #4
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Thanks Steven, I'll change our downloadable "Disjecta" CPF file accordingly.
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Old May 8th, 2006, 10:46 AM   #5
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thanks Chris.
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Old May 8th, 2006, 07:59 PM   #6
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Much appreciated (smiley of me tipping my hat to you).

For what what you're doing do you prefer the width of the HVX (DVX) or the length of the H1? I'm looking more at narrative work, so the width of the HVX is appealing (and more width for its competitors means big bucks)
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Old May 8th, 2006, 10:17 PM   #7
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You'll have to clarify what you mean. Are you talking about the physical camera or the footage?
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Old May 9th, 2006, 12:41 AM   #8
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i think he means the WA lens in HVX vs 20x lens in XLH1
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Old May 9th, 2006, 01:10 AM   #9
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Oh, I see. Well, the ideal solution would be to have two lenses, one for long wide shots and the 20x for long reach (for shy animals in my case).

I'm finding it more beneficial to have the stock lens on the Canon for my work.
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Old May 9th, 2006, 04:21 AM   #10
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Hehe. Wot's in the head doesn't always translate to da page.

Cheers.
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