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

Mark Austin January 10th, 2003 09:47 PM

Frame mode
I got my GL-2 used it a few days, set it on frame mode, and left it there.

I have used it in low light, for bands, music videos, family stuff, and a couple of shorts I'm working on.

My current problem; Now I need another (bigger) hard drive!

my 2 cents,

John Lee January 14th, 2003 09:31 PM

Another Frame Mode Question
I've read quite a few arguments about Frame Movie Mode vs Normal mode on the GL2 and I'm still a bit confused about exactly what the difference is between the two forms once you capture the video to a PC.

I understand how each mode records the video to tape, but I've read that when the video is played back and captured using a DV codec (ie through Vegas Video) that the format of the codec is always interlaced. What I am having trouble understanding is, what does it buy you to use Frame mode if the video you capture is going to end up being interlaced anyway?

I'd appreciate your comments. Thanks in advance.

Frank Granovski January 14th, 2003 09:41 PM

Frame mode gives you a cool "look." Some people say it's a film type look. Personally, I like shooting in frame/progressive mode for certain things.

Don Palomaki January 15th, 2003 05:25 AM

As you know, in frame mode the visual informationm in both both fields of the frame were captured at the same instant. rather thatn separated by 1/60 of a sec. In this respect the frame mode image is like progressive scan (except that the resolutionis a bit less).

However, for NTSC video, the analog output and display on a TV is always interlaced. odd number line in one field, even numbered in the other field separated by the same 1/60 of a second. It is the nature of the NTSC signal.

The film look thing is in large part due to how motion is presented. With Frame mode the scene is sampled every 1/30 and in movie mode it is sample every 1/60. The net result is motion looks smoother in movie mode. Think how bad fast pans look on the big screen movie relative to video. The interlace display is part of why TV pans look better.

Robert Knecht Schmidt January 15th, 2003 07:55 AM

Don, can you post data on what you know of the algorithm behind Canon's Frame Movie Mode? I'd like to see if I can't implement in in software (as an After Effects plugin, for example).

Rob Lohman January 15th, 2003 08:09 AM

I think there is a link or article somewhere in the DVInfo.net site.
I don't have it anymore myself.

The only difference between interlaced/normal and progressive/frame
is that the timing between the two 'fields' are different. As Don
also pointed out.

Interlaced in the digital world is just a different way of storing
the information. If you shoot interlaced there will be a small
time difference between the two fields. With progressive this
does not occur (but on the current Canon cameras this will
result in a lower quality) but the frames are still split up into
two different fields (which have been recorded at the exact
same point in time) and stored that way. But that does not
alter the look in any way. The way it is recorded does however.

Hope this explains some!

John Lee January 15th, 2003 12:21 PM


Thanks for the info, it has been helpful. Based on what you've said and what I've read, what I'm wondering is, what's the difference between shooting interlaced and deinterlacing in post, versus shooting in frame mode, then deinterlacing anyway in post?

What I want to know is what is the best method for making a progressive copy of frame mode video through vegas video or adobe premiere? I'm assuming that based on what I've read, it would be to render the video as an avi with field order set to progressive scan. What I'm concerned about is how vegas creates a progressive scan file. I don't know whether it merges the two fields together or if it takes one field and duplicates it.

[EDIT] For some reason I've also had trouble getting vegas video to capture video at full 720x480. The files it creates play as 360x240. [\EDIT]

Tom Voigt January 15th, 2003 03:35 PM

Vegas Video Capture
Right click on the clip or the event and choose properties.

It will probably say something like Attributes 720x480x24, 00:46:16:13 Format DV.

Now right click on the Preview Window and put a check mark on "Display at Project Size". The Preview at the bottom will change to Preview: 720x480x32 29.97p. With the preview window maximized it will Display: 640x480X32 (or 807x480x32 in my case because it is 16:9 widescreen).

If this isn't the case, then I am at a loss to explain it.

John Lee January 15th, 2003 04:04 PM

Thanks Tom,

I still have my video interlaced but it looks much better in preview mode now.

I also consulted the vv3 manual and it was helpful too. I'm still a little confused about how vv3 treats interlacing when exporting video. I think it may be a more codec specific problem than an NLE one though.

I'm trying to find a way to render a close to lossless 720x480p from a regular DV 720x480i input. I believe that DV is 30fps, so that there must be 60 interlaced frames, so there should be a way to create a near lossless 720x480p output around 30fps...right?

Don Palomaki January 15th, 2003 05:31 PM

I do not have specific detailed data on the scheme used for Frame mode, just fairly general information. It is essentailly something like a given line in field A = the green lines from that field plus the average of the adjacent red and blue lines in field B. A given line in field B = red and blue lines from field B plus the avarage of the adjacent green lines in field A. All on a pixel basis of course.

Rob Lohman January 15th, 2003 06:00 PM

The problem with converting interlaced material to progressive
is the (small) time difference inbetween the frames. If the camera
or something in frame was moving you will begin to see feathered
lines. This is hard to remove in post, in fact it is actually impossible
without some loss in quality. But since the Canon's frame mode
is also a loss of quality it does not matter much. The best would
be true progressive scan (which would require a more expensive
CCD block and timing electronics and such).

If you shoot frame mode the WHOLE frame is made at the EXACT
same time, so there is no movement. The Canon's do this buy
coming certain rows and data from several of the CCD chips to
create a full resolution image. Since it is combing some quality
(what you also can call resolution, is lost). But it does this all at
the same time, so there is no time difference between the fields.
Hence no line feathering or de-interlacing worries.

That is the best way I can describe it for now, I hope this all makes
some sense!

John Lee January 16th, 2003 12:03 PM

Thanks again Rob, that makes a lot of sense now, I hadn't thought about it that way.

Sam Looc March 13th, 2003 06:36 PM

Frame mode for actions?
Hey, I was thinking of getting the GL2. How does it do with fast action shots in frame mode? I will be using it for shooting short indie martial art movies.

Adrian Douglas March 13th, 2003 09:03 PM

It all depends on how fast you plan on moving (panning/tilting) the camera. When shooting action in frame mode you should use TV and set the shutter speed to 50/60 depending if you use PAL/NTSC. Faster shutter speeds will produce a jerky footage, as will fast pans/tilts of the camera. You can use filters, polarizers, NDs etc to control the exposure.

It can be done but it takes some careful plannign of camera movements for your shots. Especially with a GL2 which is small and easy to move quickly when hand held.

Sam Looc March 13th, 2003 10:43 PM

I will be shooting in NTSC here in the U.S.A. I saw a clip of the DVX100 in 24p standard with fast motion and the motion was jettery/jerky, plus the picture did'nt look filmic to me. Heres the link http://www.mycen.com.my/dv/dvx100links.html

But then there is the "Christmas Magic video" found here http://momentsinmotion.com/demo.htm and this vid was amazing. I wonder did they just shot it 24p standard default or they did some stuff with the camera and post production.

I'm sorta choosing between the two (GL2 and the DVX100). If I could get the same picture quality as the "Christmas magic video" with out post production I will get this camera right away but the first link I posted above shows otherwise.

Frank Granovski March 16th, 2003 01:27 AM

I always make a point of shooting in interlaced when shooting fast action, unless I want to do it as an effect here and there throughout my footage.

Alex Dunn April 1st, 2003 11:54 AM

The GL2 performs wonderfully at 30fps. It's really just a built-in de-interlacer. In my opinion, frame mode shoots action shots much better than interlaced, because there's almost no blur.

That was a cool christmas video, I did a similar one with my kids last christmas. Mine was a 30 min production though.

Barry Goyette April 1st, 2003 03:47 PM

I've used the frame mode almost exclusively for several years, and have rarely seen any issues with photographing moving subjects. The frame mode's 30fps is slightly smoother than film's 24p, and somewhat less smooth that 60i footage. By using good camera handling techniques...ie avoid fast pans and lens axis rotations (hand-held camera jiggle), you really shouldn't have a problem. Keeping the shutter speed at 1/60 is also recommended.

I've posted this clip here before, but if you haven't seen it, heres a few minutes of action shot on a gl1 in frame mode.



Marc Martin April 1st, 2003 10:52 PM

I don't know why a lot of people likes the Frame mode. Perhaps it is because they use an NSTC cam at 30p (I haven't tested 30p). I have a PAL XM2 and I always prefer 50i than 25p.

If I want a film look, I deinterlace then add a little motion Blur. This the best solution that I've found after many tests.

Charles King April 18th, 2003 11:23 PM

Playing back Frame mode
I was testing out frame mode on the Canon xm-2 and wanted to see how it looked. I tested a 1 minute shot and played back the tape on in the camera. The shot looked pretty much the same to me when viewing the clip from the camera lcd screen. I guess I'm doing something wrong. Any ideas?
I did the search but came up with nothing.

BTW, The zoom control of this camera is truely amazing. I'm talking about the slowest zoom of all. Just like how the big film makers do in major movies. I'm really impressed. Big plu for canon.
I'm still testing this baby and finding out some nice features. Yep, this is my first camera. So far so good.

Ken Tanaka April 18th, 2003 11:36 PM

I don't understand what problem you're having. Could you be more explicit on your expectation -vs- experience?

Charles King April 19th, 2003 10:34 AM

Okay, I'll rephrase the question. When you shoot in Frame mode, can I see the results directly, during playback, in the camera lcd screen or do I need to connect it to a tv? Like I mention in the original post, I couldn't see the differnce while watching in on the lcd screen of the camera.

Ken Tanaka April 19th, 2003 10:52 AM

I must have my thick hat on today because I'm still not sure I understand your question. Perhaps I can re-phrase what I believe you are asking.

Are the differences between Frame mode and Normal mode on the GL-2 apparent when viewing footage on the camera's LCD panel?
The answer to that is no, not necessarily. Since Frame mode is basically a deinterlacing facility you would have to view the footage on an interlaced medium (i.e. television) to see most of its effect.

Barry Goyette April 19th, 2003 10:57 AM


Perhaps you are misunderstanding what the frame mode does, as the "effect" is viewable while you are shooting, as well as during playback on the LCD or TV or computer monitor.

The frame mode is a Progressive scan-like feature of the canon prosumer camcorders that creates a look that is subtly different than standard interlaced video. Motion, photographed in frame mode, is slightly less smooth, giving a look that is often compared to standard 24 fps film.

If you are wishing to see the difference between normal movie mode and frame mode, record some of each of the same subject matter (make sure you include some subject movement in the shot), and view it back on a standard ntsc (I guess PAL in your case) monitor or TV set. The difference will be subtle, but readily apparant.

Additionally there is a wealth of discussion in these boards regarding likes, dislikes, and other aspects of this feature...just do a search for frame mode, and you'll get more than you ever wanted to know about the subject.

Welcome aboard.


Charles King April 19th, 2003 12:12 PM

Thanks guys. That's pretty much want wanted to hear. Yes, I did do a search long before. I've read almost all but none had the answers to the question I wanted to know. I'm not one of those lazy person. Thanks again

Charles King April 19th, 2003 05:52 PM

I just re-read your post again Barry and it caught me. Barry, you said:

...Perhaps you are misunderstanding what the frame mode does, as the "effect" is viewable while you are shooting, as well as during playback on the LCD or TV or computer monitor...

...But Ken just said:

...you would have to view the footage on an interlaced medium (i.e. television) to see most of its effect...

Like I said. When viewing the tape in the camera on the lcd monitor, I don't see the slightest difference.Maybe I'm not understanding something here or simply mixed up. :)
I guess I'll have to experiment again.

Ken Tanaka April 19th, 2003 08:48 PM

Understandable confusion. But Barry and I are both correct. The degree to which you can discern the effect on the cam's little lcd or lcd viewfinder really depends on the nature of shot and the camera's settings. On a still shot you'll probably see little or no difference in the viewfinder. As I noted earlier, Frame mode records both video fields in each frame, rather than fields recorded in alternate frames.

I suggest you experiment and view the results on a television to gain a feeling for Frame mode, especially on shots with some motion in the frame. Also run a Search here on "frame mode" to see a great deal of thoughts on this subject. A close kindred topic would be "progressive scan" (although Frame mode on the GL-2 is a variation on true progressive scan).

Barry Goyette April 20th, 2003 02:18 PM


Ditto what ken said. The effect is visible on the lcd screen...it's definitely more subtle than viewing on a tv...but as someone who almost always shoots frame mode...I always know when I have my camera set to normal movie mode, as the interlaced look is apparent to me in both viewfinders of the camera. The effect will definitely be more noticeable on an interlaced monitor or TV. On the gl1 it was easier to view this, as there is a frame/movie switch on the camera body, and you could easily switch between the two to see the difference...

I just got out my cam and tried it... it is definitely more difficult to see on the LCD, more easy on the eyepiece viewfinder. To see it on the LCD, you might want to expose one of the weaknesses of frame mode (and any other progressive system including film) which is to do a medium speed pan across a high contrast verticle edge..you will see that the frame mode will strobe slightly, whereas the movie mode will be perfectly smooth.

One other thing, make sure your shutter is set to 1/60 (or faster). At 1/30 or lower the normal movie mode would look almost identical to the frame mode.


Charles King April 20th, 2003 03:07 PM

Thanks barry. Very explicit explaination. :) I'll give it a try not that I understand this frame mode a little better.

James Farley June 20th, 2003 07:18 PM

Using GL 2 Frame Mode with Steadycam
Does anyone know if the GL 2 works well in Frame Mode while using a stabilization devise like Steadycam Jr. or Glidecam? Also, what is the best stabilzer to use with the GL 2?

Charles Papert June 20th, 2003 08:49 PM

No problem with Frame Mode and stabilizing devices. You should be careful of your pans (applicable to handheld and tripods as well) as they can "strobe" somewhat in this mode, meaning they look jerky compared to non-frame mode. Some experimentation with different pan speeds at different focal lengths will solve this.

I'm a JR fan myself (as far as handheld stabilizers go) but there are quite a few variations out there these days.

Mark Moore June 20th, 2003 08:55 PM

I have a GL1 and a Steadi-Tracker and have used it with frame mode quite a bit. With the exception of the the strobing that Mr. Papert mentioned - (on patterned backgrounds especially), I have had few problems.

Charles King June 21st, 2003 02:46 AM

<<<-- Originally posted by Charles Papert : No problem with Frame Mode and stabilizing devices. You should be careful of your pans (applicable to handheld and tripods as well)... -->>>

Charles, are you saying that on bigger rigs the prolem is less likely to happen than on smaller rigs like a handheld?

Barry Goyette June 21st, 2003 12:56 PM

I've got my gl2 on a glidecam v-8, and it's great. While the v-8 is really designed for a larger camera, the gl2 just seems to fit perfectly with the system (and of course the v-8 also will set you back a little more than the camera, but thats beside the point).

Frame mode works fine, ditto the comments on the panning...watch out for strong vertical lines of contrast, as these will give you the most problem.


Charles Papert June 21st, 2003 02:25 PM

Charles, by "handheld" I meant having the camera on your shoulder. I was just trying to illustrate that strobing issues can happen regardless of the shooting platform.

Charles King June 21st, 2003 03:49 PM

point made. Thanks Charles

Joe Cinquina June 26th, 2003 08:10 AM

Should I shoot in Frame mode?
I am doing a dance program in a big 2000+ seat auditotium this weekend and was wondering how I should shoot it. I will be using my GL2 and a friends XL1s. I guess my first question is how well do these cameras match with each other (color, light)? And the big question is, should I shoot in fram mode? I have been playing around with frame mode on my GL2 and love it. I am able to get great Stills, and slow motion looks so much better. Is this the same for the XL1s? Someone told me that they thought Frame mode on a XL1s looks horrible and to them it looked like a lot of droped frames.



Adrian Douglas June 26th, 2003 08:13 AM

It all depends on how much camera movement there will be as if you pan too fast in Frame mode it can appear jerky. The best thing to do would be to do some test shots with both cameras. This would also allow you to balance the camera settings, sharpness, saturation etc, so they better match each other.

If you like the GLs Frame Mode then you will like the XL1s's, there is minimal difference in the produced images.

Joe Cinquina June 26th, 2003 08:25 AM

Thank you for your fast reply. That was great! I guess I would not be panning or zooming fast. It is a dance program, but I will have one camera on a tripod getting long to medium shots with an occational pan. The other camer will be roaming trying to pickup medium to close shoots from differnt angles. It will be hand held. Will that kind of lack of stabelization create a problem in frame mode?

Adrian Douglas June 26th, 2003 11:40 PM

I'd suggest using the GL on the tripod and the XL for the handheld shots as the XL can be shoulder supported which aids stability. Also make sure to use the Image Stabilizer. Again the same applies, keep the pans etc smooth and reasonably slow. I've shot snowboarding handheld in frame mode and while the subject was smooth the background was a little jittery during pans at snowboarding speed.

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