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

Rosie Young October 19th, 2003 09:22 AM

I shoot alot of surfing (in the water) and I thought that frame mode didn't work well if you were shooting fast moving objects. I does look like a strobe effect when I look in the lcd. So u guys are saying that it won't look strobe-like on the final outcome?


Barry Goyette October 19th, 2003 09:57 AM


This is typically the biggest discussion area surrounding frame mode...if you do a search you will find an abundance of opinions, pro and con.

Here's mine: Footage shot in frame mode (30p) has 50% less of the temporal moments per second of interlaced video(60i), so yes, it will be less smooth than standard video. On the other hand it has 25% more than standard 24 fps film, the standard for theatrical release worldwide, so thus it is significantly smoother than than what most of us see in the theater everyday.

The strobiness that many people complain about is usually more a factor of innapropriate camera movement, rather than the speed of the sport being filmed. It is typically seen when panning across high contrast vertical elements (for instance a backlit telephone pole against the sky). This type of movement will cause a very jarring, obvious type of strobing, so it's a type of movement that is to be avoided (as is also stated in the leading cinematographers handbook for film cameras). A second situation that causes a problem is the minute rotational camera movements that come from hand holding a small camcorder like the gl2. I've found that a shoulder mount eliminates this problem.

Surfing, as a sport, doesn't have any of the elements that should give you a problem. Make sure you have your camera on manual or TV mode so that you keep your shutter speed at 1/60 (faster speeds will cause strobing even when interlaced). Try shooting some footage alternating between interlaced and frame modes and see which you like best. You can also try doing a custom preset with the sharpness turned down a notch or two, I've found that this trick can virtually eliminate all kinds of strobing, and give you a very film-like look.

Here's a clip with lots of subject and camera movement shot entirely in frame mode (gl1). I think it looks fine.



Chris Yi October 19th, 2003 12:19 PM

I'm just wondering, but if I wanted to use my Gl2 to shoot a fight scene, would Frame Mode be a good choice? I know that slow motion should be filmed interlaced, but from what I've seen of frame mode, it gives you a very "Saving Private Ryan"-esque jerky look. Would an action scene look better if filmed interlaced (with a shutter speed of 250 to get the aforementioned look)? Or would frame mode be ok for this purpose?

Barry Goyette October 19th, 2003 01:31 PM


I think the best way to answer your question is to shoot a test using both methods, and see which you prefer. No, Frame mode won't give you the saving private ryan jerky look all by itself, you would need to crank up the shutter speed a bit to make it look jittery like that. Remember, frame mode is in fact slightly smoother than typical 24fps film.

I'm not sure, based on you post, whether you are going for the jittery look or not. Using a 1/250 shutter will almost certainly give you a choppier look whether you are in frame or interlaced, if you want it to be smoother, then keep your shutter at 1/60.


(I shoot everything in frame mode)

Chris Yi October 19th, 2003 10:28 PM

Thanks Barry! I am actually going for the jittery look. I was just concerned that maybe filming that jittery look with frame mode might be bad for a fast moving scene (maybe motion blurs, excessive choppiness, etc.). I guess the best way is to try both methods and see which gives me the look I want.

You say that you do EVERYTHING in frame mode though. What kind of filming do you do? My basic understanding was that frame mode is only great in a controlled environment.

Rosie Young October 20th, 2003 08:42 AM

Thanks Barry, that was lots of info. But know I'm really confused, as I think I've been doing this all wrong. I have been shooting in manual mode, but as the days have been extremely sunny and bright, my shutter speed has been averaging around 600, f-stop 8, with no gain. If I was to lower the shutter to 60, or 30, I'd have zebra pattern all over the place. What's the solution here? Is it the ND filter? Should I be using that? Also, I have been using a tripod, but in order to follow the surfer on the wave, I have to pan faster. I think my pans are smooth though, and I do have the stabilizer turned off. Thanks again. Any tips on this for me?


Guest October 20th, 2003 10:10 AM

whatsup you guys

im filming surfing too and although my gl2 is at the canon factory being repaired right now i had the same concerns.. that frame mode when panning fast and zooming would make the image too jittery, i dont have my camera here so i cant test it out but if rosie wouldnt mind letting us know how filming surfing with frame mode works i would be most appreciative.

Barry Goyette October 20th, 2003 10:24 AM


Yes...the neutral density filter is a must in any bright sunny condition...this will get your shutter speed down to where it needs to be..1/60....I would also recommend a circular polarizer, as this will cut your f number another stop and a half..plus give you some control over reflections coming off the water.

Regarding your panning, a fast pan of a surfer on the water should present no problems in frame mode...if you think about it your subject matter (and your main point of contrast) is remaining relatively static in the frame, so its not creating the kind of situation that would create a problem...again testing should answer any doubts you have.

The only time I might see a problem in your situation would be a surfer shooting the pier at sunset, when you'd have a lot of vertical high contrast lines moving horizontally through the frame.


I think that testing is your answer. Shooting at 250 or higher in interlaced will give you a similar look to frame mode at the same shutter speed, so I don't think one or the other will cause substantially more choppiness (they'll both be choppy). If you think of Saving Private Ryan they were running 24 fps with a 90 degree shutter which I think is about a 1/100 shutter speed (my memory may be wrong on this, but its in the ball park)..so frame mode's 30p at 1/125 to1/250 should probably give you a similar look... the key here will be to avoid sunny high contrast situations, as these will increase the choppiness of the image...I'd experiment shooting in overcast, magic hour or controlled indoor lighting situations to see which makes the best use of the technique.

Good luck to you both!


(oh...on my comment about shooting frame mode on everything...I was trying to say that it is not some "special technique"...I have shot with it for about 5 years now on everything...short films, music videos, travel and home movies. It is probably the reason that I have been so interested in these prosumer cameras of Canons. Simply put, I detest the look of interlaced video...unless you are trying to make something that looks like "news" it does nothing for me. Interlaced video has an immediacy and clarity that puts the viewer too close to the material...it's too real...so for me, I choose Frame mode...and now...progressive recording on the DVX100... for a look that feels more cinematic, timeless...artistic, if you will. In addition, I think the "problems" that are often discussed at length in this forum are inconsequential if one uses good technique (frame mode does require more discipline and practice than does the interlaced mode).

Rosie Young October 20th, 2003 01:53 PM

jerry, I am planning on going this afternoon and filming some surfing in frame mode. I will also use the HD filter to see if that cuts out some light so I can shoot at 60. Will let ya know soon.


Guest October 20th, 2003 03:09 PM

cool rosie, im excited to hear how it works out...

where in SC do you film/surf?
im moving out to cali this summer.. probably to san diego in hopes of working with poor specimin...


ps did you mean ND filter ?

Rosie Young October 20th, 2003 06:14 PM

ok...so, I went down to shoot, again, bright sunny conditions, but a bit later in the day so the sun is not as intense. I used frame mode, shutter at 60, f-stop at 4.5, or something. no gain, and the ND filter. I had to go to 4.5 because 8 was too dark. I really liked the results, especially with the back spray of the water during a cut-back. I noticed when I took the shutter down to 30, the footage looked really strobe like. I'm still a little confused tho. I think I'm going to start shooting like this for a while and see what happens with it. I also have an av filter and polorizing filter on as well. I wonder if I should remove the polorizing filter when shooting in this frame mode? Thanks heaps Barry, for the heads up on this. Oh, and Jerry, I shoot whatever spot the waves are best, and where my 12 year old little ripper son is surfing. Usually it's the Lane, Steamers Lane, but also Mitchells, John Street, Swift Street and up north at a spot called Ano Nuevo. Yesterday would have been perfect to try this because we had macking waves at 15 foot all lined up perfectly with offshore winds. and, for an fyi, there's a beautiful spot to film surf near San Diego called Trestles (Lower Trestles). It's near San Clemente, unfortunately, opposite a Nuclear Power Plant, and a little bit of a hike, but well worth it. It's a summer break and works on a south swell.


Rosie Young October 20th, 2003 06:18 PM

one other question barry, at the end of your post, u say that frame mode takes more discipline and practice. I'm curious about that. More discipline in learning how to change settings appropriately? can u please elaborate, because you've turned me on to something and I want to learn more very much.

thanks again.


Guest October 20th, 2003 06:58 PM

15ft and juicen? geez.. its ankle biters here right now, im jealous.
ya trestles is sick, ive been there once, just stopping by though.
what kind of ND filter do you use?

Rosie Young October 20th, 2003 08:42 PM

jerry, the only ND filter I was using was the one in the GL2.

Barry Goyette October 21st, 2003 10:47 AM


I would remove the UV filter when you are using the polarizer..it's doing nothing but causing potential flare and reflection problems. Regarding the polarizer it's up to you... depending on your angle to the sun it can be a great way to control reflections and increase color saturation...rotate it to get the desired effect. The F4.5 f stop is fine, although I would avoid shooting at 1/30 unless it gets too dark. While I haven't noticed any more strobing...it will typically cut your sharpness noticeably...remember the strobiness you might see on the LCD isn't necessarily transferred to the actual footage. Try running through your settings on some footage and calling them out as you switch...then view on a regular TV to see the results.

Regarding the discipline thing...this refers to my earlier comments regarding camera movement.


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