Do you use Kelvin WB on the XLH1 with the EVF!! 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 April 1st, 2007, 09:42 PM   #1
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Do you use Kelvin WB on the XLH1 with the EVF!!

How do you judge the Kalvin white balance if you don't have a field monitor on the XLH1, if you are using the EVF only how to you set the right Kalvin. Are there defined numbers for inside or out site shooting using K WB ! or is it what looks good on the EVF.


Thanks in advance,
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Old April 2nd, 2007, 07:52 AM   #2
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Well......a little bit of both really!

3200 is the generally accepted color temperature of Tungsten lighting and is a good place to start for indoor. However that is more than likely what the "indoor" preset is set at anyway.

5600 is the generally accepted color temp for daylight and that is where you can start with that. Again, the "sunlight" preset on the H1 is probably set here too.

As a general rule, you cannot trust the viewfinder for accurate colors. That being said, it is not "that" bad that you cannot tell when your white balance is way off. You can certainly tweak the Kelvin temp to get much closer to the proper WB using the LCD. This would leave you with less to correct in post.

A good field monitor would work even better but I definitely feel you can get good results with the LCD.

There are many H1 shooters who use the FU-1000 B&W viewfinder with the H1 to allow for easier focusing. This leaves the WB totally to the presets or you need to have a field monitor just to check the WB. A skilled shooter may even be able to set the kelvin temp just by looking at the shot and judging the temp. That takes "mad" skillz but can be done.

Good Luck!
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Old April 2nd, 2007, 08:22 AM   #3
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See also:

http://www.schorsch.com/kbase/glossary/cct.html
http://photo.net/learn/optics/edscott/cf000030.htm
http://www.tvtechnology.com/features...rh-white.shtml
http://www.apogeephoto.com/july2004/...en7_2004.shtml
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Old April 2nd, 2007, 04:09 PM   #4
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You judge the correct color temperature to dial in by using a color temperature meter. Relying on a monitor requires careful calibration of that device to accurately reproduce the colors captured by the camera. The meter analyzes the incoming light and calculates the "correlated color temperature" of the light source. Note that unless the source is a true Plankian radiator this is not the color temperature of the light but rather the temperature corresponding to the point at which a perpendicular from the color coordinates of the light source to the Plankian curve intersects that curve. Neither the camera nor the meter understand how far off the curve that point may be and assumes the light source is Plankian. This may lead to slight errors in white balance. This problem is easily solved by letting the camera adjust its gains to render a neutral object neutral in the given light. That's what the manual white balance button is for. Point a neutral card at the light source or, better still, put a neutral difuser over the lens and point the camera at the light source and then press the balance button. Anything that is white or gray will, when illuminated with that source, photograph white or gray until something in the lighting changes which it does fairly rapidly as the sun moves across the sky, as subjects move into or out of shade, as colored objects reflect light onto the subject etc. Put another way the camera itself performs the function of the color temperature meter and automatically dials in the correct color temperature without being subject to the correlated color temperature error. Why fiddle with Kelvin when Canon will do the job for you? Answer: when you want to render a scene warmer or cooler for creative control though you can also do that in post or by fiddling with the matrix settings.
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Old April 2nd, 2007, 05:31 PM   #5
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There's another reason to use the dial, and I do it all the time - In fact, that feature is one of my favorites of all on the Canons...

if you shoot documentaries, are working fast, and alone, and moving from place to place following a subject, you can dial in Kelvin values on the move. I can walk with a person from outdoors into a dim room lit with candles and hit the values I want pretty close without having to stop to WB.

I can do this in the color finder, and it will get me close enough for my kind of work - but mostly I watch the numbers, not the image. The range from 6000 to 2800 degrees is pretty obvious in most situations with experience, and since I prefer a warm look, I always err on the side of warmer numbers.

As a matter of fact, I find that I'm usually happier with my questimates than I am with the results of a manual white balance - One reason for that is (when shooting documentaries at least) a "normal" scene may contain a variety of sources - daylight, incandescent, flourescent, vapor, purposefully colored lights like bar signs or Christmas lights, reflections off a wall covering, etc - When you do a manual WB, the camera doesn't know what or which light is which (unless you carefully select the dominate source), and tries to make it all seem white - that may not be the look I want - and the camera may go nuts trying to figure it out.

By dialing I can move up and down till I'm satisfied with the balance of colors. True, in that situation, I am trusting the color in the finder, but as I said above, it gets me close enough and can be better than letting the camera decide.
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Old April 2nd, 2007, 05:38 PM   #6
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Good Points Steve. Can you change the white balance dial while filming? I have never tried it but that would be slick.

Anyway, AJ's answer was technical and very thorough but in a nutshell I believe the LCD on the H1 is good enough to get you in the ballpark of a proper white balance but I would not rely on it for anything critical.

Peace!
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Old April 2nd, 2007, 06:56 PM   #7
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Marty: yes.
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Old April 2nd, 2007, 08:15 PM   #8
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IMO kelvin WB is paramount to good clean colour matching of identical cameras. Sure you can CC in post, but its a time saver when u dont have to.

I wasnt aware the H1 could be dialled in (like a DSLR) im hoping the A1 also has this feature.
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Old April 2nd, 2007, 08:31 PM   #9
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Thanks guys,

Chris thanks that was very good links,
Steve I do use the dial with the camera lcd and I have very good luck with it so far, and I am not even an expert on it, I just keep using the same number when I have to shoot for days in the same place at the same time and the color temp is almost the same. But I always wondered how other shooters do it with out field monitor and only relying on the camera lcd.
I do like the fact that I can just change the WB on the fly with warm look in mind (I like that warm look). A lots of time I don't like what the camera gives me when I use the Camera WB, It is to cold and flat.
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Old April 3rd, 2007, 07:35 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Jefferson View Post
I wasnt aware the H1 could be dialled in (like a DSLR) im hoping the A1 also has this feature.
The A1 does have this feature also. However, I could be wrong about this, I do not think it is as readily available on the A1. It might require an extra step or 2 to get to this option whereas on the XL-H1 it is practically a dedicated button.
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Old April 3rd, 2007, 11:13 AM   #11
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If I'm being fussy, I use a purpose-made white or grey card made to do a manual white balance, rather than just dialing in a K that looks right on the LCD, which as Marty says, is "good enough" but isn't great for color accuracy. True, good cards cost some coin, but then you can be sure they are true. DSC Labs is one of our DVinfo sponsors who makes them.

In a pinch, balance using anything that is pure white or a neutral-looking grey and you'll probably be ok in most situations.
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Old April 3rd, 2007, 11:24 AM   #12
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Let me clarify something too. When I say it is "good enough" I am referring to a run and gun situation like a wedding or a reception where you have no real control over the events. I would not shoot a "production" or a narrative of any importance without actually performing a real white balance and checking on an external monitor.
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Old April 5th, 2007, 12:08 PM   #13
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I forgot to mention that using the dial requires a bit of a finger ballet and some practice - shooting in the TV setting on the H1 with exposure locked means that you are using the wheel to adjust the aperature - when you change environments and need to "follow Kelvin" you must push the WB button, the K# will blink in the viewfinder, then you use the wheel to dial it to where you want it,, press the button again to go back to change f stop... OR you can leave the K blinking and set exposure to Auto, which works fine as long as you aren't walking into a bank of windows or other bright back source...

Actually the A1 is easier, since the wheel is used for shutter (which makes more sense because you hardly ever have to adjust shutter during a shot) - you can leave the K value blinking (meaning you can adjust it) and use the iris ring on the lens to follow stop - and almost do both simultaneously...

I hope all this makes sense...

IMO, and I really don't want to start an argument about this, white value is a subjective thing, not a hard and fast fact - and I prefer to make that decision myself visually... In 16mm I usually use an 812 filter, or a Warm SoftFX, so obviously I'm not pleased by a "true" white value.. that's my opinion and everyone has their own...

I do manual white balances often, but then I usually change because I'm not happy with it... I've been using the H1 for a year and 4 months now, so I'm pretty used to the finder and its relationship to the real world... admittedly, at first, I made a lot of mistakes... but that's how you learn...
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Old April 7th, 2007, 02:08 AM   #14
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Great thread! I used to try to WB as often as possible, but gave up when I started doing weddings. With the crazy combination of light sources, and the changing light (late afternoon to evening) WB is impossible. I was a bit confused about how to use the kelvin setting, but now I realize how usefull it is.
I'm also really impressed at how good the auto WB is on the H1. After reading this thread, I tried setting the kelvin and then switched and compared it to auto WB. Auto WB was real close every time (indoors, mixed light). For out doors run and gun I've been using the daylight setting, but I'll try the kelvin.
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Old April 7th, 2007, 05:28 AM   #15
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As Bruce, I've also found this discussion interesting. Especially, as from my point of view the manual WB is a must and like Steve, I find it a highly welcome feature in the XL H1.

For an example of why manual WB becomes a must below is an example just shot a week ago (click the image or http://www.luontovideo.net/Eagle-raven.mpg to see the video clip in mprg2 format).



The light came from up-front-right which is why the snow in the background of the canyon reflects the sky blue. The snow in the front was yellowish on the right side as it was late afternoon, and blue on the left side of shadows.

As I had been in the hide for hours (and in this case the lens could not be even moved as otherwise the eagle would not appear) there was nothing I could use to set the automatic WB. Notice also, even if I had set a grey/white card somewhere outside the hide, that did not help, for there is no neutral light avaible in such a situation.

Like Steve says, with time one learns to read the colors from the EVF and also gets a rather good idea of the color temperature in numbers. So, experience helps and as a result one becomes able to make a good use of the manual WB.

The clip was shot with the XL H1 20x lens. It's a pity so much of the details are lost in the mpg-compression which also results in a lot of chrominance kind of noise.
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