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Old December 20th, 2001, 01:00 AM   #1
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Shooting with XL1 for CD-ROM

I'm used to shooting with the XL-1 for regular NTSC broadcast. I'm about to begin a project that will end up on CD-ROM as QuicTime movies.

Are there any particular settings I should keep in mind that would optimize the camera for QuickTime over CD-ROM? Or should I just shoot as always?

A second slightly unrelated question - I'll be using two cameras. Anyone has had any problems matching color between two XL1. How about mixing an XL1 with a Sony 900? Just trying to make it difficult to come up with a good answer.

Thank you in advance.

Ozzie
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Old December 20th, 2001, 01:29 AM   #2
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Shoot as always. I recommend using these settings for your Quicktime:

Sorenson Video (NOT Sorenson 3) Quality = 60%
320 x 240
29.97 frames per second, or 15 if there isn't a ton of motion.
key frame every 24 frames should be fine. The lower the number the bigger the Quicktime will be, but slightly higher quality.
UNCHECK the "limit data rate to..." box.

Sound:

QDesign Music 3
Frequency = 32000Hz
Bit rate (under options) = 48kbps
16 Bit (stereo or mono, your choice).

This configuration will play on all Windows and Mac computers. The Quicktime video may seem a tad dark, so you might want to shoot your scenes a little brighter than usual (not too much) now that I think about it.

Also, do NOT use Media Cleaner to make your Quicktime, unless you want your Quicktime to look like crap. Simply use Quicktime itself (Quicktime Pro is required for this, using the EXPORT option. $30).

I can't answer your second question since I have never even heard of the Sony 900. Maybe white balancing both cameras on the same object might help, but the 900 probably does not have 3 CCDs (I have no idea) so the XL1 will look better no matter what you do. But the end result (Quicktime) will be hard pressed to show MUCH difference.
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Old December 20th, 2001, 08:21 AM   #3
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Hi Ozzie,

I recently used an XL1S and Sony TRV510 on a project and the color match was terrible! It was corrected to some degree in post, but still noticable. Another thread on this board also discusses this problem.

I am currently trying to find a Custom Preset on the Canon that will more closely match the Sony so that when those two cameras are used there will be a closer match on the color. I'm getting there, but still haven't come up with the perfect settings. If anyone else has experimented with this, I would appreciate your comments or findings.

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Old December 20th, 2001, 12:31 PM   #4
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Very helpful replies. Thank you.

Any estimate of file size with the given specs? Say, for a 90 second scene?

The Sony if mention is a 3 chip camera I just forget the three letter prefix for the model. Although white balancing off the same card is the given, there are inherent differences between cameras. I've mixed the XL-1 and the 900 but never in a critical cross-cutting situation where skin tone is important.

I'm also looking into what lenses to use with the XL-1. I've used the one it came with and, as everyone has found out by now, it's impossible to do serious work with it - e.g. not being able to track and keep a zoom is a big problem and there's also a slight back focus problem. (Even though I had Canon "correct" it.)

I'm leaning toward the currently available wide angle lens from Canon since I'll be shooting in tight quarters - restaurants, offices, cars. But I've heard there are other wide angle options. I haven't used the Canon wide angle. Any suggestions from people who have used a variety of optics with the XL-1?
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Old December 20th, 2001, 05:27 PM   #5
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90 seconds would run anywhere between 7 and 10 megs. Could be closer to (or under) 5 Megs if you went with 15 frames per second. Sorry, but there really isn't a way to have a tiny file-sized Quicktime and have it look great as well.
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Old December 20th, 2001, 09:07 PM   #6
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<<<-- Originally posted by Joe Redifer : This configuration will play on all Windows and Mac computers. The Quicktime video may seem a tad dark, so you might want to shoot your scenes a little brighter than usual (not too much) now that I think about it.

Also, do NOT use Media Cleaner to make your Quicktime, unless you want your Quicktime to look like crap. Simply use Quicktime itself (Quicktime Pro is required for this, using the EXPORT option. $30). -->>>

Joe,

I've noticed the darkening effect QuickTime tends to have on many perfectly exposed footage. When you say "a little brighter than usual..." can yu be a little more specific - running the XL-1 manually do I "over expose" by 1/2 stop? 1 stop? I always keep the zebra stripes on and expose for a few stripes in the highlights if I'm shooting faces. Wold you err on the side of more stripes say in the mid tones?

Secondly, funny you should mention Media Cleaner - the client has specified it. Fortunatelly I didn't say anything because I'm not all that familiar with it. We use it sparingly and I don't know the criteria our tech people use to detetemine when to use it.
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Old December 20th, 2001, 10:30 PM   #7
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The problem with Media Cleaner is that you can't enter your parameters manually, at least I don't think so. It just asks you questions like:

Is this Quicktime for the web? YES NO
Please choose your size: BIG MEDIUM SMALL
Please choose your quality: CRAPPY MORE CRAPPY CRAPPY AS CAN POSSIBLY BE

Then it makes the Quicktime for you. I like a little more control than that.

As far as brighter, don't shoot it too much brighter. You don't want to wash out the details. Perhpas try adding a little brightness in post before encoding the Quicktime. I've done that and it works fairly well. Try it on a small sample until you get satisfactory results.
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Old December 20th, 2001, 11:00 PM   #8
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You have been most helpful. Thank you.
I'll probably be posting more questions as I begin to actually experience problems (hopefully minor) when shooting begins.

I'd still would like to get some comments on optics for the XL1. Anyone?
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Old December 21st, 2001, 09:01 AM   #9
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Ozzie,

"Optics" is a fairly broad topic. Please review the numerous threads about lenses and optics for the XL1, and then if you're still looking for an answer to a specific question, post that as a *new* topic so that it stands out better. Hope this helps,
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Old December 21st, 2001, 08:48 PM   #10
 
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my own experience has shown me that mpeg2 or divx is really the best way to go on cdrom. A two pass encoded divx has outstanding quality. the divx codec is a free download, as well as the xcoders TEMPGEnc and XMPEG. There are also bitrate calculators available that will help match the amount of compression to the file size and the number of cdroms you want to use. Overall, a much better solution than QT, IMHO.
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Old December 21st, 2001, 08:52 PM   #11
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Yes but EVERBODY can view Quicktime, not Divx.
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Old December 21st, 2001, 09:08 PM   #12
 
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hmmmm...not so sure that I buy that arguement, Joe. I can pack a divx player on the CDROM so that it will autorun when it's installed in the tray. I'd much rather give my customer quality, if he/she can read it. I'm not familiar with Mac's. Perhaps they can't play divx. In that case, I guess a mac owner is kinda stuck with QT, eh?
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Old December 22nd, 2001, 12:32 AM   #13
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I'm willing to check out divx to compare the quality but the product we're producing has already picked QT as the video source. The client has already released two sets of CDs with QT and is not about to switch in midstream. It's more of a marketing consideration than a quality one. The only way to use divx is, if its quality is obviously better than QT, to make it completely transparent to the user.
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Old December 22nd, 2001, 08:14 AM   #14
 
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I agree, I would not change formats in mid-stream. if you decide to use it, I would suggest an initial bitrate of not less than 3000 kilobits/sec. that seems to give me the same quality as DV compression.
one final thought, video distributed on CDROM and encoded in hi-quality svcd or dvd is distributable to dvd and svcd set top players. if your audience is viewing on a computer screen, be sure to de-interlace the output. If viewing on a TV, check the "de-interlace" radio button.

hope this helps
regards,
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Old December 22nd, 2001, 08:16 AM   #15
 
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sorry for the typo in my last.....I meant to say that if the audience is viewing on a TV, leave the output interlaced. it looks bad on a computer monitor, but, won't be seen on a TV.
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