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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 27th, 2006, 04:28 PM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, West Indies
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New user to canon hd x1

Greetings everyone, I am a relativiely new user to the Canon xl h1 camera and my problem is this, although after setting the brightness controls in the camera settting option in the menu, after recording a night event or even a later afternoon inot night event, upon playback my footage still comes out noticeably darker on the monitor than what is being displayed on the viewfinder screen , any suggestions on what i can do to rectfy this problem?
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Old July 28th, 2006, 03:29 PM   #2
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The XLH1 standard Canon Viewfinder is known for being too bright and not sharp enough. The little exposure meter in the upper lef of the viewfinder display can help you overcome this since the controls in the viewfinder menu settings for brightness and contrast don't seem to do the trick. Chris Hurd told us/me a trick for getting an auto exposure reading while in TV Mode and then using Exposure lock to get into manual iris. Practice also helps.
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Old July 29th, 2006, 06:40 AM   #3
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There are many ways to control exposure to solve problems like this one. One of the simplest, in my opinion, is to use the camera's built in zebra bars. If you always increase exposure to the maximum level at which zebra bars cover only those parts of the image that you feel can be blown (if you don't want any area blown then increase exposure until zebra bars appear and then reduce until they are just extinguished) you will have the most detail in shadow areas that you can get without fiddling with the camera's gamma settings (which you can also do but that's probably not the best approach for someone new to the camera). If there still is not enough detail in the shadows you can bring more out in the NLE using, for example, FCP's Three Way Color Corrector.
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Old July 29th, 2006, 08:26 AM   #4
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Location: Augusta Georgia
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If you have access to a field monitor, or a good substitute you can perform the following procedure so that your viewfinder will match what is being recorded.

Out of the box, the XL H1 viewfinder is way too bright and the colors (hue) on mine were off.

1. Calibrate or check your monitor for proper calibration. Pay close attention to the brightness and hue.Search this site, or the web for procedures to calibrate a monitor. This is a very important step.

2. Setup the camera and monitor. Set the camera so that the Color Bars are visible on the field monitor.

3. Adjust your viewfinder, using the menu controls, so that it matches the monitor.

4. Repeat this process using live scenes instead of color bars. Check different lighting and be sure to include colorful items in your scene.

After performing the above, I went on a personal trip with the camera. It was very convenient to have confidience in the image in the viewfinder. This allowed me to dial in the proper color balance manually when necessary.

I always like to use the field monitor, but this is not always possible in field shooting. After making the above adjustments, the viewfinder was a reasonable substitute for brightness and hue, but not resolution.

Also, I highly recommend that you download the custom presets from this site. Load them into your camera and experiment. The differences are dramatic.
Dan Keaton
Augusta Georgia
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