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-   -   GL2 / XM2 Frame mode (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/canon-gl-series-dv-camcorders/3415-gl2-xm2-frame-mode.html)

Benjamin Hill January 19th, 2007 09:26 PM

Frame mode is for when you're trying to be ambivalent, whereas normal is for when you are trying to appear more deliberate in your intentions.

Jk. Seriously, the look is different and can be likened to a faux-30P compared to normal 60i. Something useful would be to switch your camera to Frame mode, shoot a bunch of footage, and see how it looks on TV. It IS different, but my opinion is that 30P or Frame mode (not the same but similar) are somewhat more flexible in their application than 24P or 60i. That statement assumes that the 24P look echoes cinema and narrative filmmaking, whereas the 60i look=real. This is an over-simplification, I know.

But it is a sort of a hybrid look, as others have noted, and has been adopted by some reality TV shows (appropriately I guess) as well as for some narrativistic segments for news shows. For whatever reason.

Alex Sprinkle January 20th, 2007 12:40 PM

interesting. thanks guys. I'll go play around with it today.

Tom Hardwick January 20th, 2007 01:27 PM

I think you'll find Canon's frame mode loses resolution on the GL series, so a quick A / B test on a newspaper pinned to a wall is a good idea before you shoot your next feature.


David Yuen January 20th, 2007 11:02 PM

Download the manual from Canon's site

Graham Bernard January 21st, 2007 01:26 AM

And if any PAL XM2 user wants to get the PAL version:


Ryan Thomas February 21st, 2007 10:38 PM

Frame mode or shutter speed problem?
Ok, so I filmed some guys riding motorcycles in Frame mode with a shutter around 1/1500 with an iris 1.8. Some of the riders appear to have the "ghosting" effect to them...SORTA like a blur, but others, in the same exact shot do not. Like one guy can go by and it looks bad, and then another guy goes by and it looks perfect. (They were riding at high speeds and jumping, just to have an idea on the conditions) So I can't determine if it is shutter speed, frame mode or if its something I am doing? I know this sounds kind of trivial, but I don't know. I am new to this. Any help would be appreciated.

Dale Guthormsen February 22nd, 2007 07:09 PM


I would shoot in progressive (frame) and I would assurely slow the shutter speed down. The only real reason for shooting fast shutters in my book is if you are wanting to pull stills out of it. Try shooting some test footage at lesser shutter speeds. I shoot almost everything at 60 to 1/100.

Faster shutters casues what I call flicker, is that what you mean??

Tim Agnew February 22nd, 2007 08:41 PM

Frame rate Vs. other camera
If I shoot in frame mode in the Gl2, but then shoot some footage on, say, a Panasonic PV-GS35 Mini DV Camcorder, then want to use both for a video and maintain the frame mode, would I first convert the Panasonic footage to frame first then use it? Would Media Studio Pro 8 do this/ Help appreciated (as always)

Don Palomaki February 22nd, 2007 08:45 PM

In general, for smoothest motion effects use slower shutter speed, and use movie (normal interlaced) mode.

Frame mode can give a bit of jerkiness or strobe effect to fast motion or pans in the frame, much as it does in the movies, because image motion is updated every 1/30th rather than every 1/60th. Also, it can become more apparent if you are panning to try track a moving object.

Philippe Messier February 22nd, 2007 08:47 PM


Originally Posted by Tim Agnew
If I shoot in frame mode in the Gl2, but then shoot some footage on, say, a Panasonic PV-GS35 Mini DV Camcorder, then want to use both for a video and maintain the frame mode, would I first convert the Panasonic footage to frame first then use it? Would Media Studio Pro 8 do this/ Help appreciated (as always)

Hi Tim,

You actually can leave the PV GS35 stuff (which will be 'normal 60i') and edit everything together. The 'frame mode' (30p with resolution loss) of the GL2 is 'embedded' into a 60i stream, therefore you don't need to change your setting while editing (meaning you will be editing in 60i either way, or in '29,97i' for that matter...).


Tim Agnew February 23rd, 2007 12:07 PM

Do you mean render everything normal- not in frame mode? I thought if you shot in Frame mode (I know it's not really true frame) you had to render in frame. If you could clarify? Thanks

Robert M Wright February 23rd, 2007 12:28 PM

Is your goal to wind up with all progressive footage when you are finished editing?

Tim Agnew February 23rd, 2007 12:39 PM

Yes- I usually shoot in the Gl2 frame mode. What does the "i" stand for in the last post?

Robert M Wright February 23rd, 2007 12:46 PM

If you want the finished product to be progressive footage, you'll need to deinterlace any interlaced source material.

("i" stands for interlaced)

Philippe Messier February 23rd, 2007 01:19 PM


Unless i m missing something,...the frame mode footage is interlaced it's just having the 'look' of 30p with a resolution loss. And so, you don't need to deinterlace this stream. If you want everything in 'true 30p' you should shoot in normal (60i) mode on both cams and then deinterlace everything (with a good program like dvfilmmaker).

But,....you can still shoot frame mode with the GL2 (hence having the 30p motion look) and deinterlace only the 60i stuff from the Panasonic. You can either way edit that in a 29.97 i timeline like i said before. Don't worry, you will keep the 30p look of frame mode.


Don Palomaki February 24th, 2007 07:24 AM

All NTSC video is interlaced, comprised two fields (the odd or the even scan lines) spaced 1/60th apart in time to form the full frame. With movie mode the fields are captured individually and their content is spaced in time by 1/60th. You can see this in a ful frame capture with a moving object. The edges of the moving object will have a comb-like effect resulting from the objects change in position between the fields.

In frame mode the full frame (both fields) are captured at the same instant in time (not as separate fields spaced by 1/60th as in movie mode), thus their content is spaced 1/30th apart in time. On NTSC playback the individual fields of the frame stream are still spaced 1/60th in time, but their content was capture at the same instant. This results in differnt image artifacts

With frame mode motion in the image is not as smooth (gives more of a film like or strobe effect), and the capture method results in a slight loss of vertical resolution (which it turns out just might tend to mask some of the vertical motion artifacts).

Jason Sanders April 15th, 2007 12:41 PM

GL2 and deinterlacing
Im trying to get better results when filming green screen. Would a deinterlacer program like Revision Fieldkits be better then the gl2's frame mode?


John Hudson April 15th, 2007 01:23 PM

I'd say it would not bring you better results due to losing half the resolution. I'd think your green screen needs those pixels

Tatsuya Graham April 16th, 2007 03:11 AM

doesn't matter
I recently did some green screen work for a school project, we used a smaller camera, panasonic gs-180, and it worked fine without being deinterlaced, your main concern should be proper lighting, That plays a HUGE role in greenscreening.

Here is what we did with the greenscreen:


Yev Belman April 16th, 2007 05:39 PM

Jason, what issues did you run into with shooting interlaced for green screen? Have you ever tried Ultra 2 for keying?
From trying fieldskit myself, i think it is pretty tricky. have you gone thru this tutorial ?: http://www.creativecow.net/articles/...iew/index.html

Did you go from 60i to 60p ? I never got it to work, i only used it on 29.97 compositions to convert it to 30p (and then twixtor for retiming).

What software do you use to key?

Janssen Herr April 26th, 2007 03:46 AM

Frame mode works for me
I used both the frame mode and normal mode on my XM2 to test which method is better. I de-interlaced the normal mode using MB and the G-Natress plugs. After many tests, looking at scopes and trying many types of keyers I found the best results came from the frame mode. The 'progressive' output was perfect to snap a key from. Almost one click.

The work I do with green screens is primarily for the small screen, so the "loss of resolution" issue with using it is never a concern.

I have some footage of a worst case scenario test online here:


its ugly camera work, but it helps me see what happens in the worst case.

Ryan Thomas May 3rd, 2007 06:55 AM

Frame mode mixed with 30p...
Is it possible to mix footage of frame mode from GL2 with footage shot in 30p by XL1? I guess the real question is, is frame mode considered 30p? Thanks.

Benjamin Hill May 3rd, 2007 09:14 AM

Ryan, as I recall the XL1 doesn't have 30P but actually the same Frame mode as the GL2. Even if you did shoot true 30P with an XL2 or a DVX100, you could mix the two. They will cut together fine on a 29.97 timeline.

Frame mode isn't technically the same thing as 30P because it is not progressively scanned, but rather 60i video that is deinterlaced in-camera.

Ryan Thomas May 3rd, 2007 07:18 PM

Thanks for the info. That is what I was looking for.

Norman Woo May 10th, 2007 02:23 PM

Yes you can mix and match from the 2 cameras.

I do this quite often. One thing you may notice is that the FRAME mode of the GL2 appears somewhat sharper than that of the XL1.

Dale Guthormsen May 11th, 2007 10:11 PM


I mix the frame gl2 and progressive xl2 all the time. On my big screen plasma you would not notice any difference than a bit of resolution difference.

Stephen B. Malkinson August 1st, 2007 11:06 AM

Is there a downside to using FRAME mode on GL2
Believing that there is no such thing as a free lunch, is there any downside to using FRAME mode? If FRAME mode is as good as the manual and other posts suggest, why would I not use it as my default mode. I use Adobe Premier Elements for post production. Target for video is both web, portable device (iPOD) and DVD.

Ian Holb August 1st, 2007 12:06 PM

Frame mode is fine if all you want to do is save a step in post (ie. de-interlacing). It does a good job interpolating the missing field. I'd say subjectively a good de-interlacer reduces resolution by about 33%, Frame Mode reduces it by about 25%.

Cons of Frame Mode:

1. Lose 60 samples per second of motion (good for slow-motion)
2. Some people don't like the look of 30-frame motion.
3. Conforming to 24P is very difficult.


1. Quasi film-like motion.
2. No need to de-interlace in post, thus saving a step.
3. Probably easier on the DV codec, thus less mosquito noise.

It depends on your application, I guess. If you shoot sports, you might want to turn Frame Mode off. If you shoot narrative, then turning it on might give it less of a reality look (unless you want a daytime soap feel).

Merlin Vandenbossche August 1st, 2007 01:30 PM

I've always wondered if "frame mode" doesn't affect a showing on a TV-set (DVD-video)? Since the image is made up 'progressive'? Will that give problems with interlacing artifacts or stroboscopic motion? Since most of my projects so far were payed I never really cared to try or take the risk. I had picked up somewhere that the GL-2 did not have a true 'progressive mode', but that frame mode was somewhere in between progressive and interlaced. I heard it had something to do with a specific usage of the green pixels CCD.

Don Palomaki August 1st, 2007 05:48 PM

Frame mode uses a vertical pixel shift technique to form a full frame (2 fields) that is captured from a single exposure. Thus it has somewhat reduced vertical resolution. It is recorded to tape (and played back from tape) as an interlaced video signal, but because the two fields were captured in the same exposure, the typical motion interlace artifacts between fields in a frame will be absent. This can give the motion a bit less smooth look (but not quite strobed to most eyes, unless you use a fast shutter), and that also accounts for much of the the film-like look.

Some folks like it, some do not. Give it a try (not on a paying job) and see if you like it.

Chris Harris August 1st, 2007 07:24 PM

The only downside to using frame mode is after you use it, you'll never go back to normal mode again! Well, maybe I exaggerate a bit, but it's a really cool effect. Like everyone says, you lose some vertical resolution, and it's hard to conform it to "true 24p". Blah, blah, blah. Taking all that into consideration, it gives you that choppy "film-style" type look. You might not want to use it in every situation, like fast-action sports. Maybe you do though, it's a creative decision.

Derrick Michael August 3rd, 2007 05:32 AM

What is de-interlacing? How is it achieved?

Graham Bernard August 3rd, 2007 06:48 AM


Originally Posted by Derrick Michael (Post 722737)
What is de-interlacing? How is it achieved?

Knock youself out! Loadsa info . and simple to unuderstand . . I did, so it HAS to be that simple ..



Dale Guthormsen August 4th, 2007 12:05 PM

good morning,

the best advice is to try it out yourself!!

I shoot in Frame almost all the time. I work in slow motion in most of my wildlife footage.

I do not find the supposed loss of resolution even noticable as a rule.

The main reason I shoot in frame is because of the look of the slow motion I get.

When we see things happen in motion it is the blurring effect that gives us the impression of slow motion and the speed of movement. for most of what i do, lots of bird flight, the slow motion shot in frame mode at 1/60th of a second gives me the look closest to how my eyes perceive it in nature.

When I started shooting seriously, I thought that video is video, and made no attempt to make my video more filmic. As I sorted out how I like to see my footage I have unintentionally made it so it is in fact more film like.

So, it is going to be what you like to see in your footage and it will develop over time.

Try it all on!!

Tom Blizzard August 5th, 2007 02:56 PM

What is your best method and/or softwear for getting great slow motion??

Dale Guthormsen August 6th, 2007 09:16 AM

Good Morning,

I use adobe premeire Pro. If you go on line and look up twixtor I feel that is the best program for extending your slow motion, it is not cheap.

the new sony hd camcorders shoot 6 seconds of slow mo at faster frame rates. the guys that have got them have said the quality of the slo mo from them is not good, a crying shame!!

Chris Burgess August 26th, 2007 10:13 PM

ummm, i shoot action sports with frame mode...don't have any problems. slow motion can get tricky if i try and slow it down too much and did not set the camera up to intentionally shoot some slow motion shots.

Gian Pietri November 8th, 2007 06:26 PM

So I guess I'll shoot in 60i and deinterlace to 24p. now I just need to get one of those d.o.f. machines built and I'm set.

Richard M. Hunter December 10th, 2007 03:30 PM

Using GL2 for stop motion video, Frame or Normal?

I will be shooting a stop motion animation music video this week with my GL2. This will be the first such video I cut together. Any advice on settings I should use? Since I am capturing still frames, will it be OK to set the shutter speed to 1/30, 1/15. or 1/8 (the GL has great low light capabilities at 1/8! hehe). I am tempted to use frame mode because I am unsure if my capture software will grab a progressive frame when the GL is in normal mode. (I know frame mode is not true progressive, but it fakes it pretty well in my opinion.)


Dale Guthormsen December 12th, 2007 07:47 PM

Good evening,

You can take stills both ways, but if you shoot interlaced you will have to deinterlace them. I would shoot progrressive. just to cut out a step.

some say it reduces resolution but a normal person would seldom even notice.

If by stop motion you mean individual frames then adjusting the subject it shouldn't matter at all, just make it so the light is best.

Maybe I have mis understood what you said.

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