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Old September 27th, 2009, 02:15 AM   #1
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Best settings for filming for wedding with Canon XL-H1a

Hi,

I am new here, Can some one with wedding videography experience please tell me what our the best settings (presets and none preset, gain, white balance, etc) for producing wedding video using Canon XL-H1A?

1- Best setting for the Groom preparation
2- Best setting for the Bride preparation
3- Best setting for the Church
4- Best setting for the Park and location shoot
5- Low light Reception
6- bridal waltz and dance clip

I searched the forum but I couldn't find any thing recent and complete.

Also what is the best PC base program for capturing and editing Canon HDV, I have got CS4 Productions package, can you scene capture with Premiere.

Does it take longer or edit HDV compare to DV, if so much longer, should we charge more?

Many thanks in advance
Mitchell

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Old September 27th, 2009, 03:11 AM   #2
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Mitchell,

I'll get started since I shoot weddings with an XLH1 and I'm still awake at least.

Personally - I rarely shoot presets at all anymore. I have a dozen or more stored on my card. I find it much better to shoot without presets and then tweak colors in post. Especially indoors as most presets will use some f-stop value. I used to use them quite a bit, but then you are locked in to a look.

On the H1 I usually dial in my WB using the 'Custom Kelvin' dial. This requires that you trust both your eye and your monitor a little bit, but custom wb'ing using a white card is specific only to that actual spot in the room. There may be a window that causes a change in color temperature if the subject moves 3-feet away. For outdoors I usually trust the outdoor WB dial preset. If you want to custom WB indoors, and your in a jam, it's nice that the bride usually wears white, or shoot a table cloth or napkin. In 3 1/2 years with the H1, I've rarely used the tungsten WB setting. These days there are so many compact florescents around.

Ideally we'd shoot everything in -3db gain. But weddings are far from ideal, so get ready to 'gain up' (gain = grain). Despite this I often shoot weddings in auto gain, which will offend some, but it's just one less thing to worry about.

I usually shoot in either Tv or Av mode, and usually fairly open (Tv - shutter at no less than 100 or 60 in a pinch. Av usually wide open).

The best setting for a low light reception is called the 5dmark2 setting. Seriously, you will probably need extra light because people want ambience, which does not equal brightly lit. And almost all of the low light reception footage I've shot with the h1 looks terrible really. Very Noisy. In most cases the clients don't mind.

Regarding HDV vs DV, especially where it relates to weddings - you will likely need to use an intermediate codec like Cineform. HDV will require extra processing horsepower and much more disk space. I have several terabytes and am constantly dumping files to make room for more.

Then if you are delivering on SD - DVD, you'll need to optimize the footage from HD-SD. When you're ready, there's a whole 100+ post thread around here somewhere. I believe it started in the Sony Vegas forum, but it is a universal problem.

Hope this Helps! Good Luck.
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Old September 27th, 2009, 04:31 AM   #3
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Thank you, very informative, I have been using XL1s, Canopus card and Premiere 1.5, in process of buliding one for my HDV, I also have a Firestore FS-4 Pro HD. Is XL-H1 worse than XL1s in low light?

I have filmed a few on my XL-H1a recently but as I haven't set up my computer with the new CS4 haven't had a chance to look and them or edit them so I have no idea what will happen.

Do you use 5D Mark II, what do you think about 7D for wedding? If I want to buy only one lens for 5D or 7D for video and little photo, what are the first and second choice lens for it?

Cheers
Mitchell
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Old September 27th, 2009, 12:46 PM   #4
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I see this is a cross post as it is also in the Canon Camera forum.
I did leave a reply.
cheers john
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Old September 28th, 2009, 10:05 AM   #5
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Hi Mitchell,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitchell Yazdani View Post
I am new here, Can some one with wedding videography experience please tell me what our the best settings (presets and none preset, gain, white balance, etc) for producing wedding video using Canon XL-H1A?

1- Best setting for the Groom preparation
2- Best setting for the Bride preparation
3- Best setting for the Church
4- Best setting for the Park and location shoot
5- Low light Reception
6- bridal waltz and dance clip
Depending on your proficiency with the camera the best option is to shoot manual everything. It took me about a year of events to be able to control the iris, focus, gain and WB manually without a pause in coverage. It just takes practice.

I use a preset designed for low-light shooting all day long. I'm very happy with it. With that I shoot 24f and never adjust my shutter above 60, choosing instead to use the built-in ND filter, and screw-on ND filters if needed, to bring the light level down within the 1/24th to 1/60th range. Its completely a matter of taste, but I prefer the softer more organic look of those shutter speeds over anything higher, which to me looks "electronic". For low-light shooting I shoot 24f at 1/24th and keep the gain at 6db or less.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitchell Yazdani View Post
Does it take longer or edit HDV compare to DV, if so much longer, should we charge more?
I don't think so - not based on the format you're shooting. IMHO what you're worth, how people value what you do, is based much more on what you do with the camera than what camera you're using or what format you're shooting and editing with.
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Old September 28th, 2009, 12:13 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitchell Yazdani View Post
Thank you, very informative, I have been using XL1s, Canopus card and Premiere 1.5, in process of buliding one for my HDV, I also have a Firestore FS-4 Pro HD. Is XL-H1 worse than XL1s in low light?

I have filmed a few on my XL-H1a recently but as I haven't set up my computer with the new CS4 haven't had a chance to look and them or edit them so I have no idea what will happen.

Do you use 5D Mark II, what do you think about 7D for wedding? If I want to buy only one lens for 5D or 7D for video and little photo, what are the first and second choice lens for it?

Cheers
Mitchell
I've never compared the low light performance of the H1 to the XL1, so I don't know which is better, but I would expect the H1 should be better.

I have compared the H1 to the 5d2 (with an f1.4 lens) and it's not even close...

Here's a little real life test I shot at a reception between an HV30 and a 5d2 (I don't notice any appreciable difference between the H1 and the HV30 in low light)

5Dmk2 vs HV30 low light test on Vimeo

I use the 5d2 now in low light exclusively. I don't like to drag around lighting and I think that on camera lights are also pretty invasive. I've shot the 5d2 with a 50mm f1.4 at 3200 ISO in near dark. Once you've used it in low light, it's hard to go back to anything else, though the reports and footage I've seen of the 7d look to very good as well.

The 5d/7d are challenging to shoot with because they become all manual in video mode, and they really are virtually impossible to handhold even with wide lenses. I use a tripod or Glidecam 2000. I find at a wedding especially with fast lenses, that focus is critical as you are dealing with very shallow dof at wide apertures - this is the beauty and curse of these cams. And I really don't have a reliable audio solution yet for the 5d2- so I record audio on the H1.

There are threads of lens discussions on both the 5d and 7d forums about best lenses. I bought the body only because I had some glass already. I like the 50mm f1.4 and the 70-200 2.8L. Remember though that the 7d is a 1.6x crop so you'd need to go wider to get wide and get the telephoto boost on the other end.

If I didn't already have the 5d2, I'd probably just buy the 7d and use the savings to buy some nice glass for it.

I wouldn't mind getting Joel's low light preset. All of my presets seem to go the other way.
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Old September 28th, 2009, 03:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Diewert View Post
I wouldn't mind getting Joel's low light preset. All of my presets seem to go the other way.
I'll trade it with you for you 5D... : )


i've uploaded it here, along with a preset guide and a Mac application for setting up presets:

http://tr.im/A21J

And the difference between what I was using and my derivation of the PFVISION preset is here:

http://tr.im/A23L

Its always changing. Recently I started shooting the HV30 in low sharpening mode, which allowed me to drop the sharpening on the A1 for less noise but still match the 30. I've been satisfied using that preset, 24f at 1/24th, 6db of gain and two lights from receptionlight.com next to the dj or band.
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Old September 29th, 2009, 04:47 AM   #8
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Thank you for your info, I noticed the low light preset is for Canon XHA1, can I use it for XL-H1 as well?
Joel, I saw some of your wedding video samples, they look great, can I ask you what equipment you use for them? Are they shot with XL-H1, looks like you use steady cam or some thing like that and fisheye lens, I love your colors, are they produced in post productions?


Thanks
Mitchell

Last edited by Mitchell Yazdani; September 29th, 2009 at 06:52 AM.
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Old September 29th, 2009, 10:17 AM   #9
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Hi Mitchell,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitchell Yazdani View Post
Thank you for your info, I noticed the low light preset is for Canon XHA1, can I use it for XL-H1 as well?
Joel, I saw some of your wedding video samples, they look great, can I ask you what equipment you use for them? Are they shot with XL-H1, looks like you use steady cam or some thing like that and fisheye lens, I love your colors, are they produced in post productions?
Anything within that last couple of years was shot with an XHA1. The presets of the A1 and H1 are different, but only in the scales they use to define the setting. More information here:

XL vs. XH Custom Preset adjustment scales

I have the A1 mounted on a steadicam arm but use a glidecam pro for the camera. Pretty much have it on all day but lock it against my body as often as possible for close-ups and subtle movements. I feel like the move to jibs, sliders, etc takes away time from intimate coverage and you're more apt to miss fleeting moments if you're not ready for them. Another factor for my shooting style is that I always shoot and edit SDE's alone, so I take a K.I.S.S. approach. I have one wide angle lens, a Century Optics .6x, that I put on occasionally. The glidecam has markings on it that allow me to rebalance quickly when I take it on and off.

If the camera isn't putting out an image I can use any filtering is just a color correction or gamma and contrast tweak.
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Old September 30th, 2009, 02:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joel Peregrine View Post
Anything within that last couple of years was shot with an XHA1.
I have noticed many more people using XHA1, not that many use XL-H1A or S, is it only the price factor, size or not it is better than XL-H1 series? I need to buy a second HD camera for back but I am waiting to find out more before I do, debating between XL-H1A and Sony Z7 and EX1.

The more I look the more I get confused.

By the way how can I scene split capture from my XL-H1 to PC, I have Adobe CS4 Productions package, is that enough or I need another program. For my SD DV I used DV Canopus Capture and it works perfect but I have problem with HDV format.

By the way thank you guys, I am so glad I found this forum.

Cheers
Mitchell
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Old September 30th, 2009, 06:29 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitchell Yazdani View Post
I have noticed many more people using XHA1, not that many use XL-H1A or S, is it only the price factor, size or not it is better than XL-H1 series? I need to buy a second HD camera for back but I am waiting to find out more before I do, debating between XL-H1A and Sony Z7 and EX1.

The more I look the more I get confused.

By the way how can I scene split capture from my XL-H1 to PC, I have Adobe CS4 Productions package, is that enough or I need another program. For my SD DV I used DV Canopus Capture and it works perfect but I have problem with HDV format.

By the way thank you guys, I am so glad I found this forum.

Cheers
Mitchell
Check out www.cineform.com for working with HDV intermediate codecs. Most use NeoScene or Neo HD for HDV capture (also conversion of the 5d2 files). Cineform does have scene splitting on capture.

The XH series came out after the XLH series. They are considerably less $$$ than the XL. I have the original XLH1 and love it. It is considerably larger which works as a positive and a negative as it does impress clients but is larger and heavier. The XH series don't have interchangeable lenses. For the XL series you can buy an eos adapter and throw on any eos lens. Of course everything has a 7.2x crop factor when using eos lens. Great for telephoto work.

The XHG1 has an HD-SDI port (same as most of the XL series I believe). This allows you to add Convergent Designs NanoFlash or Flash XDR to direct capture at something like 100mbps vs. HDV at around 25mbps (don't quote me on those specs). The XHA1 doesn't have the HD-SDI port. Not sure about the sony's. I'm a Canon guy.
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Old October 25th, 2009, 08:17 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joel Peregrine View Post

i've uploaded it here, along with a preset guide and a Mac application for setting up presets:

http://tr.im/A21J
Hi,
How can I change this Preset to suit and use with XL-H1a? Is there a special program to do that or can I just use it with XL-H1a?

Regards
Mithcell
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