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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 December 10th, 2006, 11:51 PM   #1
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Component vs. S Out

Good day.
I'm still learning about my new XL-H1 and have discovered something potentially alarming. Probably not, but it's got my attention for the moment.
I've plugged the component out of the camera (the RS232-looking cable that breaks out to Green, Blue and Red cables) into my Samsung 50in plasma. The resulting picture, whether it be from live feed or tape, is mighty noisy. Going for a double reference I plugged the component signle into my Dell 21in computer monitor and it's still pretty noisy, but not as noticable (smaller screen?). So I plugged the S Out of the camera into both and it looks much smoother.
Is component inherintly noisy? or do I have a problem?
Also, since I have duel monitors, I plugged the Component signle into my Left Monitor and the S signle into the Right. The S looks noticably warmer and brighter (albiet softer).
I was under the impression that Component was The Thing To Use (short of HDSDI).
Can any Canon Pro give me a clue here? It would be most appreciated.

Also, there is substancial (maybe 1/3 of a second) lag in action to video reference. I've read about this elsewhere, but wanted to bring it up here. Is this normal? I mean, when I wave my hand in front of the lens, the movement doesn't show up in the monitor until a split second later. Is there a fix for this behavior, or is that the way it is. Must make following action a bit of a challenge.

Thanks for your help and advice.

Edit: I should have mentioned that the camera is set to 0 Db and the grain or noise is MOST prevalent in the dark areas. But it's not exclusive to there.

Last edited by Matthew Roddy; December 11th, 2006 at 01:41 AM.
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Old December 11th, 2006, 06:21 AM   #2
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For HD viewing, S-Video is not an option as it is an SD signal that comes out of the camera's S-Video.

Try downloading some of the Custom Presets here in this forum and see how they work for you. I usually shoot at -3db gain as well.
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Old December 11th, 2006, 09:02 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Roddy
Also, there is substancial (maybe 1/3 of a second) lag in action to video reference. I've read about this elsewhere, but wanted to bring it up here. Is this normal? I mean, when I wave my hand in front of the lens, the movement doesn't show up in the monitor until a split second later. Is there a fix for this behavior, or is that the way it is. Must make following action a bit of a challenge.

Thanks for your help and advice.
That's mostly just the way it is. It will be less pronounced in 60i mode than 24f but it is still there.

I have noticed a decent amount of interference when using the component cables hooked to my HD CRT. However after capturing and viewing out from the PC the same noise is not there. There is some grain in dark areas of most footage from cameras in this class. There is just not a lot you can do about. However the H1 is one of the less noisy in moderate light. It just needs a little light to clean up well.....IMHO.

Peace!
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Old December 11th, 2006, 04:48 PM   #4
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For Component Out, there is a menu item that sets it to 480i or 1080i. Be sure you are on 1080i.

I was testing the component out yesterday, with an HD CRT. The 480i was not as detailed as the 1080i, as expected.

I did not notice noise in the picture.

I would be curious to know what preset you are using.
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Old December 11th, 2006, 06:34 PM   #5
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I recently shot an indie feature and monitored using the component outputs to a Dell 24 inch screen. I never witnessed this "interference" as you call it. However, you are correct about the time lag.

I think you ought to get Canon on the phone and interrogate them. I have found them pretty good.

Best

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Old December 11th, 2006, 06:35 PM   #6
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Oh, and by the way, I agree with the other person who uses the minus 3 gain setting.

H
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Old December 11th, 2006, 09:37 PM   #7
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"Minus 3..." I'd never heard of that. Guess it makes sense if you can control your lighting.

"Try downloading some of the Custom Presets here in this forum"
I'll have to try to figure that one out. I haven't made my way through the book yet, so I don't know how to load data onto the card.
I'm guessing there's lots of info here on how to do all that.

"However the H1 is one of the less noisy in moderate light."
This is what I had heard. That's why seeing all the noise was confounding me.

"there is a menu item that sets it to 480i or 1080i. Be sure you are on 1080i."
I just looked. Set to 720p/1080i. Thanks. I didn't know that was there.

"I would be curious to know what preset you are using."
Whatever came with the stock camera. I'm still on a learning curve and don't know much beyond that. That's why I'm asking questions from yous guys. :-)

"I think you ought to get Canon on the phone and interrogate them."
Good idea.

Thanks one and all! Most appreciated!
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Old December 12th, 2006, 02:38 AM   #8
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Thanks for your reply.

I offer the following recommendations.

Find the thread "XL H1 Custom Presets Download Library", a sticky at the top of the XL H1 section, and read all of the posts. Loading the custom presets is easy, but you have to read more than one of the posts to get the instructions. If you have trouble, reply here and we will help.

Using Custom Presets is one of the keys to using this camera successfully.

If you ever leave the gain on "A" (auto), you risk getting noise.

I recommend using -3 whenever possible, in other words, if you have enough light.

As your light levels decrease, try using 0, +3, and +6.
For some work +12 is also usable.
+18, in my experience, will always give you noise.

On my camera, in the menu for Component Out I have two choices: 480i and 1080i. I say this since you mentioned 720p/1080i.

One word of caution:

Never use "NR1" until you understand that this will give you ghosting or visible trails in your footage that can not be removed in post.

If NR1 is active, you will probably not see the ghosting or trails in your viewfinder but they will be in your footage! If you do use it, the camera must be locked down, no movement in any direction!

Another Sticky is "Canon Xl-H1 Mini-site with Whitepapers ". This has very good information that is not in the manual, a must read. This is the key to understanding the custom presets.

Since you are new to the XL H1, I recommend that you calibrate your viewfinder. Out of the box the viewfinder is too bright and the colors may be off.

For your convenience, I copied this from a previous post:

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.

One last word of advice: If you are using a tripod, leave stabilization off.
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Old December 12th, 2006, 11:36 AM   #9
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Fantastic info, Dan. Thanks Very Much! As a newbie to this camera, this helps a lot.
Of course, so does this Camera-Specific forum/board. I'm very pleased to be entering this community.
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Old December 12th, 2006, 12:03 PM   #10
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Welcome aboard!

There are many members on this board that love to help others.

Remember we were all new to this at one time, so feel free to ask your questions. In some cases, you may be able to use the search functions to get just the information that you need.
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Old December 12th, 2006, 02:07 PM   #11
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[Cancelled. Just noticed that my suggestion has already been made. Read first. Type second.]
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Old December 12th, 2006, 02:20 PM   #12
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Just to confuse matters even more, I just viewed footage on a Viewsonic 27" LCD HDTV with a resolution of 1366x768 or something and the footage looked really noisy. Dancing pixels and chroma noise out the wazoo.

This very same footage on my Sharp 45" LCD 1920x1080 is clean as can be. In fact I was shocked how clean it was. Even at +3 gain in few scenes.

Either my Sharp LCD is doing an amazing job of noise reduction (which I do not engage at all and image is razor sharp) or the Viewsonic is adding noise somehow while scaling. Either way there is such a significant difference between them that if I was making a decision to buy or not buy this camera, I'd be screwed. If viewed on the Viewsonic I would think this camera is noisy as all get out. When viewed on the sharp it is clean, clean, clean. Would the real H1 please stand up?

Confused anymore people? I know I am!

Peace!
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Old December 12th, 2006, 02:24 PM   #13
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Dear A. J.,

I thought your suggestion was a good one. I just re-read these posts and I do not see where someone else suggested using the color bars to check for noise.

A.J., may I suggest that you repost your suggestion?
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Old December 12th, 2006, 04:04 PM   #14
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Marty: That's exactly what I was seeing on my Samsung 50 via Component in.
It was very "YIKES."
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Old December 12th, 2006, 04:06 PM   #15
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Dear Marty,

Is your Samsung 50" a 720p monitor?
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