XL1s Results Seem Less Sharp at DVinfo.net

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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old February 17th, 2003, 11:41 AM   #1
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XL1s Results Seem Less Sharp

I've been using my XL1s for several weeks and can't seem to get it to give me nice chrystal clear video. Do you folks that know this system well have any advice on how to get the image to be more crisp? I've noticed the problem from the beginning and keep thinking I'll find the magic button that clears everything up...so far no luck. I shot side by side with a Sony TRV-27 (single CCD) camera the other day and the Sony video looked crisper than my XL1s. I've tried about every combination I can think of. I see it on both the stock 16x lens and the 3x wide angle lens.

Separate topic. I would like to get the 16x manual lens. Ideas on the cheapest (yet reputable) place to buy? Would also be willing to trade the stock 16x toward the price if there is anyplace or anyone some of you may be aware of that do such a thing.

Thanks for any ideas or help.
Dave M.
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Old February 17th, 2003, 11:57 AM   #2
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It takes a while to understand all the setting the S has. First off, the worse settings you could use is green box auto mode.

If you are new to videography try taking a photography class and learn about exposure and depth-of-field. Further you can cruise the Internet and pickup a lot about this without ever buying a book. Then shoot lots and get a feel for the cam.

As far as reputable places, I do recommend Watchdog supporters first as they keep this site alive. They are good people who understand these camera systems and will go the extra yard to help you.
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Old February 17th, 2003, 04:35 PM   #3
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Hi Dave, welcome to the community.

If you haven't already done so, try changing the sharpness setting under Custom Presets in the menu. It will make a noticable difference, just don't go too far with it or the image will suffer. (Instruction manual p.69)
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Old February 17th, 2003, 04:40 PM   #4
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<< Ideas on the cheapest (yet reputable) place to buy? >>

Cheapest and reputable are mutually exclusive terms. The best value for you is to purchase from one of our Community sponsors (see www.dvinfo.net/sponsors). Their prices are highly competitive, and they are simply the best dealers in the business. Hope this helps,
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Old February 17th, 2003, 05:12 PM   #5
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Welcome Dave,
The suggestions offered so far are right-on. Exploring the camera's various options and settings, expecially the sharpness control, will likely be productive. Experimenting with Frame mode and Normal mode will also be interesting.

The edge-sharpness of most Sony cameras has always been higher than those of Canons. But you should note that "crystal clear" can be both an illusion and a curse.

When looking closely at footage from many 1-chip cameras you discover that the apparent edge clarity often comes from agressive anti-aliasing. Since consumers want "crystal clear" point-and-shoot camcorders manufacturers tweak their digital signal processors to give them what they want.

But it can be quite a curse to those looking for a more film-like imaging system. Such edge sharpness screams "VIDEO" even to the untrained eye and can be very hard to tone-down in post production.

Canon strove for the middle-ground on this matter, realizing that many people making the investment in the XL system might want a less video-like imaging. As a result, the uncompensated footage from the XL1s will have a softer look.

So if you want footage that appears to have "crystal clarity" to your eyes you'll probably ulimately have to turn the Sharpness up a notch or two.
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Old February 17th, 2003, 05:33 PM   #6
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Wow -- Thanks to one and all

I'm amazed at all the great responses...and so quickly too! While not totally new to videography, I'm new to the Canon line and look forward to trying some of the ideas suggested. I know this camera can produce or it wouldn't be so highly used throughout the industry. I've just got to work it enough to get the most out of it. Thanks again, and I'm always open to more suggestions. I'll be in touch with some of the sponsors also about the 16x manual lens.
Dave M.
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