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

Stewart McDonald June 27th, 2003 07:34 AM

Is there a way to film in normal mode, and then use third party software to convert it to 24fps?

Graham Bernard June 27th, 2003 07:59 AM

Do a search for 24fps on the VEGAS forum at the sonicfoundry.com site. You could also download a demo of Vegas 4. Do a small render to the frame rate you wish. See if that fits the bill !


Jeff Jordan July 28th, 2003 09:09 PM

Advantages of frame movie mode?
Hi folks,

New GL2 user here. I think I have a good handle on the camera controls and now I know why everyone says "stay in manual mode!!" It is very easy to manipulate the exposure controls once you get the hang of it.

Question. I understand that frame mode drives the video at 30fps, which is the same as film, thus giving the video a film-like, soft appearance? It is also supposed to allow tack perfect still frame pulls, frame after frame.

I have been using the mode and don't get something. The manual states that when in frame mode, the picture may not appear "normal" under some conditions. I noticed in my footage of a coming summer storm, swaying trees from high winds and flying birds look very jerky-not a smooth motion at all.

Can anyone tell me why frame mode would not appear "normal" under all shooting conditions since, I think, it's the closest to film you can get at 30fps?

I have also heard folks on the forum here rave about frame mode. I assume that is because under controlled conditions, it does look fabulous?


Ken Tanaka July 28th, 2003 10:06 PM

Hello Jeff,
Do a Search on Frame Mode here, as we probably have at least 1,000 threads on the topic.

But let's at least get you headed in the right direction. Standard NTSC video does record at 30 frames per second (fps). Film, however, uses 24 fps. So the relationship between "film look" and Canon's frame mode has no basis on that front.

Canon's frame mode is a variant of "progressive scan" recording. Video is composed of two interlaced fields of lines. Normal video recording actually records alternating fields of lines every 1/60th sec. (sometimes called 60i). Progressive scan recording records both fields simultaneously. "Frame mode" uses a proprietary technique to record that 2nd field.

Why can Frame Mode look jerky? For much the same reason that carelessly or amatuerishly shot film can also look jerky. Progressive frames' lack of interlacing can leave the eye/brain with scant motion clues, particularly at high shutter speeds. Hence, the frequent addition of "motion blur" effects in post production.

The best way to learn about frame mode: shoot, shoot, shoot, experiment, and review!

Jack Robertson July 28th, 2003 10:17 PM

Advantages of frame movie mode?
"I have also heard folks on the forum here rave about frame mode. I assume that is because under controlled conditions, it does look fabulous?"

Well I guess you nailed it right there...

When professional movies are made, all angles, motion, and other key elements of the shot would have been worked out before hand and well rehearsed.

Most people using Frame Mode for "Handy Cam" style shooting will get jerky results because the smoothness of film cranes, dollys and steadicams is not there.

A lot of the times the "Film Look" is a objectionable and heats up a lot of argument as to which looks better...

In Films, having a blur & stuttering effect is usually desired in certain parts of a shot. For example if someone is walking along a street, the actor/subject is the main focus and is being tracked by the camera, so in essence they are always in the same position of the frame... whereas the background is moving, which produces the blur and stutter effect... this is the way most people's eyes actually work, and most people don't even realise it... Try this: extend your hand away from you and lock your eyes on your finger and move your hand from left to right, now what you see is the finger in sharp focus and the background is blurred and stuttering… just like when watching films.

That is why the "Film Look" looks more natural and real life than interlaced video! Video seems to have everything in focus without the blur effect and thus it would take away from a shot like the one described above… with the subject walking along a street.

Obviously Film shot on Film will always look better than Video Shot in progressive mode like the “Frame Mode”, there are a lot of factors to why this is so, but this is a subject on its own.

Well this is the way I like to explain it,

Peter Moore July 29th, 2003 06:16 AM

"But let's at least get you headed in the right direction. Standard NTSC video does record at 30 frames per second (fps). Film, however, uses 24 fps. So the relationship between "film look" and Canon's frame mode has no basis on that front. "

I really disagree with that last part. Even though 30 is not 24, it is MUCH closer to the look than 60i is. 60i, because it is such a high frame rate, gives motion that looks life-like. Try rotating your head 90 degees fairly quickly and that's the motion 60i gives you. 30p can be "jerky" but exactly as Jack said getitng good quality depends on your technique. But when shot well, Frame Mode really does give a cinematic appearance, at least in terms of motion, that 60i does not.

However, my understanding is that if you want to convert to 24p later, you're much better off with 60i than with 30p. Your images will be slightly less sharp than with 30p native, but you will be able to transfer to film if you ever want to, or make a 24p progressive scan DVD, etc. (of course you're better off just making a 30p progressive scan DVD if you're not concerned about film transfer).

Jonathan Richards July 29th, 2003 07:03 AM

Or buy a PAL XM2 which works at 25fps!

Ken Tanaka July 29th, 2003 11:51 AM

I believe you misunderstood my remark, "So the relationship between "film look" and Canon's frame mode has no basis on that front.", and you actually reiterated my main point in your argument.

The point I was trying to lead into was that whatever "film-like look" that might be ascribed to Canon's frame mode is related primarily to it's deinterlacing and not to frame rate shifts (which it does not offer). I remarked about the frame rate because Jeff was confused about that subject in his first post.

I believe we actually agree on the main point.

Peter Moore July 29th, 2003 08:22 PM

Ah, yes I see, sorry. :)

I also wholeheartedly agree with Jonathan - PAL is a great alternative to NTSC for filmmaking. PAL XM2 frame mode at 25 fps only has to be slowed down by 4% (barely noticeable), AND offers increased resolution, so your 16x9 mode should look pretty darn good too.

And if you need to make it NTSC, you just slow it down to 24p, then use 3:2 to make it 60i.

Jonathan Richards July 30th, 2003 02:11 AM

I'm getting great results using frame mode on my new XM2. The increased resolution is visible and with a Cokin 'P' Series Diffuser filter, I'm getting a lovely look.

You can see a couple of frames from my latest music video here:

Nigel Moore July 30th, 2003 06:59 AM

Those shots look great Jonathan. What number(s) Cokin filters are you using?

Jonathan Richards July 30th, 2003 07:09 AM

I'm using a Cokin 'P' Series Diffuser 1, No 830.

Glad you like them - we shot them at 5.30am in the South of England!

Richard R Rivera August 1st, 2003 08:19 PM

Im using movie mode by frame need help
Im using movie mode and the shots look like slow motion and i would like to know why and how to set it to were its not doing that.

Some said that it might be the ires setting or the gain, but im new to this camera and dont know what seeting its or menus to set it right. ill be filming a movie soon and wold gladly take any ones advise that will help me out.


Andres Lucero August 1st, 2003 11:37 PM

It's probably not movie mode that's causing the problem; if you're using auto-exposure in low light settings, the shutter speed is probably changing to compensate, resulting in "streaking" video.

Check out page 76 of the manual to read more about adjusting the shutter & exposure settings manually. You can download it from here if you don't have a copy handy:


What you'll want to do is keep the shutter speed at 1/30 or 1/60 for more natural movement under indoor lighting. Anything lower (1/15, 1/8) will give you that slow-motion effect like the attacking ape scenes in Congo.

(I'm new to the camera, too, so these are just suggestions based on my own personal experiences.)

Richard R Rivera August 10th, 2003 09:19 PM

well i looked in the book
still with the book and good lighting the nd comes on and the frame mode still looks kina slow motion still, i dont think im going to use movie mode if it looks that way on the lcd or eye piece.

Either i have a lemon GL2 or its still user error. i turn on the the camera then i set the mode to frame then i goe to the side of the camerea were the gain is and set it to according to what the books says is good 1/30 or 1/60 and the frame mode looks choppy or as i said slow motion.


Im shooting a documentary soon and i want to beable to shot in frame mode, but i dont want a slow motion look. Help?

Federico Dib August 11th, 2003 02:03 AM

I´ve read and hear comments like yours before...

I have to tell you that maybe the term "slow motion" might mean different things to different people.

The first time I showed some footage of my XM-2.. my wife asked me "why is it in slow motion?"... well it is not... and shutter speed was at 1/50... (the normal here for PAL)... It was a Harley Davidson meeting lot of sun... (just beautifull metal beasts!).. and beautifull footage..

I´ve also heard comments of some other people not liking the shots with frame mode.. and using different terms like "strobing", "jerkiness", and "CHOPPY"... most of these comments came from Videographers...

Ideally you should put some sample so others can take a look at it and see if it´s looking "slow motion" or if it is that you do not like (or are not used to) the look of Frame mode...

One advice... when using frame mode... avoid fast camera movements... it makes some "strobing" effect that more times than not.. bothers everyone...

John Heskett August 11th, 2003 06:08 AM

Turn off all automatic settings. Turn off the ND. With ND the speed will go down th 1/15 or so if on automatic. You need to learn to only use manual settings anyway. It should be the rare situation where you need automatic settings not the norm.

Richard R Rivera August 12th, 2003 10:11 AM

thanks guys that worked
Well it turned out that when i turned of the Nd and went manuel on the focas it made a little bit more difference. Maybe its just me and i dont like the look that frame mode gives off. I have filmed movies before but i am a newbie when it comes to the GL2. I work with $25,000.00 cameras at school that are hitache and sony. we even have the jvc gy dv550 nice camera for news.

So as far as mooving the camera with frame mode i do it slowly not to get the jerkyness or chop it presents. I think That the GL2 has a long way before its one of the top cameras when it comes to frame mode.

I was told that the XL1s frame mode is much better than the GL2/MX-2, is this true?

Ok i lowered the gain to 1/30 or 1/15 for the sunny day out and it kina gave it a better chop that wasn't too bad, but all in all I didnt like the way it looked so im planning to take some footage and post it for you all to see and get an opion what might be wrong or might need setting right.

Im also thinking about buying the Ma-300 xlr, I was told it does a great job with the sound. I know from being in college that the Mic we use are high grade with xlr connectors.

I still love this camera and feel that it was a great buy. I plan on using it to film movies and do some stringer work.

Jonathan Richards August 13th, 2003 05:32 AM

Film cameras work at 24fps and lots of fast panning and tilting shots cause a heavy strobing effect that can be difficult to look at. The large format of film allows the camera to remain relatively still and allow the action to move within the frame.

On a NTSC GL2 the frame mode works at 30fps not the 60fps of interlaced (the smooth looking) video. If your shutter speed is below 1/30th of a second then you get the slo-mo look to the shot.

Richard R Rivera August 13th, 2003 01:45 PM

that did it
Thank every one for the info and it worked out great for me. I love the Gl2/MX2 its a great camcorder for the price i paid.

I still dont like that i have to set color gain but can live with it for now. Alround id have to give the canon GL2 97% out of 100% vote.

I have been testing the canon GL2 out side light source like on the Beach and found that in frame mode when set right it records really well. For those out there that dont like the chop try keeping the camera very still and when it comes to pan scenes use a try pod that my recomondation. with a try pod it stays very clean but dont pan to fast or you will get the chop or streaks as other people say.

Also when using pd150 frame mode is very jerky and can be very blury.

In low ligh coditions i had to up the gain to get the frame mode not to be chopy but still it was chopy until i added more light indoors then it seam to do very well. I feel that if your going to do a indoor scene you shouyld invest in time with the lighting. this will then set your self for a good shoot.

I did a test were the ight was very little like in a home were the only light source was comming from the window. i found that in low light after white balacing in frame mode that the camera was still choppy. then after i up the gain and lighten the camera back light i found that it did well but wasnt impressed with the end results, but can live with it. over all this camera does very well in normal mode and i give it a a+ for normal and a B- for frame mode.

I did one more test in frame mode and that was done with those ultravilet lights and found that camera had some real nasty effects so i messed with the gain and white balance and still sdidnt like what i saw, so i decided to use light with blue and red gels over the light source and foud that it was much better and i got a light light like club effect from it and the frame mode worked very well in this condition than the rather ultravilette look.

Over all i think the GL2 is a great camera and up the road will lead to better things to come. And again people thanks for your imput it really did help me out. So as i always say Shot on and dont miss the chance to shoot more.

Richard R Rivera August 13th, 2003 09:21 PM

Today i use frame mode in theback of my truck
Hello every one, I was using my GL2/MX2 in frame mode while i was in the back of my truck to get a live traffic shot and it looked good until we came across a bridge under path. the film went hay wire and looked real nasty at that point.

I learnd that when the change of light source changes rapit that GL2 trys to keep a sharp picture for some reason and the frame mode went off the charts in chop. So we decide to add a light source to this area and tried it again only to find out that it didnt help much. This kna bugs me then i tried changing white balance and up the gain and it worked perfectly.

A few other things happen too, later on play back i fount that the blured back ground added a cool effect that i didnt anticapated at all and made the move segment look great.

Ill keep posting more finds on move mode as i film my movie im doing in miami.

Jonathan Richards August 14th, 2003 02:36 AM

Man - you really are struggling with the Frame Mode thing.

Richard R Rivera August 14th, 2003 03:08 AM

I don't think im strugling
I like to experiment with different things; it’s more like I’m trying things others wouldn’t do. As I go I learn what makes my GL2 tick. I want to know my Camcorder inside and out. I guess this is the teckie side of me that wants to know my GL2 like my Computer. So I’m getting good footage and my movie is coming along good so far.

Well shooting has been put on hold due to the tropical wave that’s heading our way and that why south Florida at this time of the year can hinder you film time. With that I’m back to post productions and learning more about my camcorder.

You can learn a lot when you struggle with any thing. What you learn is not to do the same thing over again. And some time you learn a few new tricks that save post editing. I thank everyone for there impute on this subject. If you think you have any advise that would help me learn more about the GL2/MX2 in frame mode or normal I would appreciate any advise that would help.

Tony Singh September 3rd, 2003 10:47 AM

Canon GL2 Frame Movie Mode and Slow Motion
Hi Everyone...my first post :)

I read somewhere that if I was to shoot in Frame Movie Mode, then try to edit a slow motion sequence, in Premiere, I would run into major problems. Is there any truth to this, or was this guy blowing hot air?

I need to know soon because I plan on using Frame Movie Mode in my next shoot, and there will definitely be slow motion sequences.



Hans Henrik Bang September 3rd, 2003 11:43 AM

Hmm. By no means an expert here, but here goes my thoughts.

In frame mode you get 30 frames per second.
In normal mode you get 60 interlaced fields per second.

Frame mode as such is already more susceptible to stuttery movement. The stutter obviously gets more glaring the more you slow down the clip.

I have no idea how Premiere handles slow motion of interlaced footage. There might be some smart interpolation to minimize the effects of stutter, but I don't know this.

My best piece of advice would be to try it out and see for yourself. Set the camera up next to a busy road and shoot 2 sequences. On in frame and one in normal. Then slow them both down by varying amounts and see for yourself.

Maybe you could even find some object that moves the same way over time such as a windmill etc. That way you will have identical shots except for the chosen mode.

My 2 cents.

Hans Henrik

Ps. And oh welcome to the forum. You will be hard pressed to find a better place on the planet for answers to your questions. There are some real gurus on these forums - not counting myself among them :)

Luke Gates September 4th, 2003 12:45 AM

your best bet is to shoot in normal mode for slow motion!

I would stick with normal mode for your slow motion shots regardless because with frame mode ANY camera shake without a tripod is noticed and the video looks choppy. Also any quick or even moderately fast pans will give you some pretty dissapointing results with your video. On the other hand if you want to do some frame grabs from your video frame mode is perfect as you get a true frame each time.
So I would say stick with normal mode but you should do what Hans said...make a comparison and see what YOU like better.

Tony Singh September 4th, 2003 08:17 PM

Thanks guys.

My reason for asking is because I don't have a camera yet.
I will be renting one for a shoot I am doing, and my partner will be receiving his new one sometime late this month.

We may not have much time to play with settings, etc before our first shoot with the camera, so I was hoping someone had some experience editing with Frame Mode.


Luke Gates September 4th, 2003 09:40 PM

Oh well in that case I would definately say stick with Normal mode as you would probably end up shooting your footage in frame mode and be very dissapointed with the results when you saw it in post.

Hans Henrik Bang September 5th, 2003 02:21 PM

I would definately vote for normal mode too. If you are interested, I could perhaps do a test of normal vs frame shots and post the results on FTP.

Would you be interested in that?

Hans Henrik

Barry Goyette September 5th, 2003 02:47 PM

I don't know about Premiere, but in FCP, slomo-ing frame mode footage can be problematic, especially if you are using anything other than 50%. FCP has some algorithm for doing the conversion that seems to assume that your footage is interlaced ...when you give it progressive type imagery it starts to duplicate frames in a very uneven way, giving you a sporadically jumpy image.

Normal mode will definitely be smoother, although your result will be noticeably less sharp, as the program will be converting each field to a frame, thus you'll lose about 50% vertical resolution as compared to the original interlaced footage or about 25% less than if you had shot with Frame mode.


Brendan Getchel September 6th, 2003 04:42 PM

Frame mode ROCKS!

That's all I can say. Two weeks ago I shot some video with the GL2 at Ground Zero in the WTC, NYC. We're doing a memorial webcast of a documentary interview on Sept 12 with Alex Loutsky, who was both the first FDNY respondant (within 30 seconds of first impact) on scene and was the first to notify the Emergency Response System. As a quick aside, his ambulance was destroyed in the collapse, his partner injured and unable to return to his former duties, and, as they were running for their lives as the tower(s) came down the two FDNY running on either side of him were killed.

Back on topic...

I shot the interview using the GL2 in frame mode and an Azden SGM-2X XLR shotgun mic on a boom pole (wife/assistant) connected via 30-feet of XLR cable into the GL2 via MA-300. Most of it was shot tripod-mounted using the VZ-ROCK LANC controller.

We started around 6:30am on Sunday morning two weeks ago to minimize ambient noise and traffic -- but it was still pretty busy. Using "Frame Mode" infinitely ENHANCED all of that NYC hustle and bustle with what looks like a "Soderburg-Style" effect. I mean it REALLY looks nice and not at all "video-like."

I'm really impressed, and the results are awesome!

FYI, I am cutting the interview now on AXDV. The interview will be available for viewing on "WhereWasGodOn911.com" Friday, Sept 12 in the evening and then forever thereafter.

Graham Bernard September 6th, 2003 11:29 PM

Brendan - I know this is a cheek, but is it at all possible to see some "sample footage", even 5 seconds or so? Please? I'm interested in what my XM2 can do with this Frame Mode. I suppose I could the same . . . . but you sound so enthusiastic about its performance, I was just wondering - yeah?


Brad Higerd September 16th, 2003 01:51 PM


Awesome! I am not one to dump platitudes. The interview was great. Some work will stand the test of time and prove itself worthy of our effort. I believe this interview qualifies.


Brendan Getchel September 16th, 2003 02:49 PM


WOW! That's high praise. Now that the live webcast is over, we're thinking about breaking the interview off of the actual presentation and including about another 10-15 minutes more of the dialog and footage.

Thanks for the positive remarks. It was hastily thrown together. I'm not a NLE and have little Avid experience, so you post was very encouraging.

Rob Shoaff September 24th, 2003 09:15 AM

Frame Mode Jitters

I am new to this forum and a recent owner of a GL2. I was testing out the frame mode and noticed that when zoomed in at 20X the video image is jitters a little bit. When I mean jitters it's as if the image is shifting a couple of pixels in all directions randomly.

I was recording with image stabilization on and in P mode. I have searched through this forum, but didn't find anyone talking about having a similar experience. I am wondering if it's a defect in my camera. I haven't noticed this happening in normal mode. I want to know if this is typical with the camera and is due to the technology of frame mode and the image stabilization.


Frank Granovski September 24th, 2003 09:58 AM

Use a tripod and turn off the OIS. Also, frame mode footage will look jittery in the LCD.

Rob Shoaff September 26th, 2003 12:21 PM

Frank thanks for the information. I'm looking forward to test the camera a bit more this weekend.

David Bohn October 16th, 2003 08:27 PM

Frame Mode Confusion
I've done a lot of searches here and most state that there is a loss of resolution when shooting in frame mode because of a decreased contribution from the green CCD; but the owners manual states there is a "1.5X increase in vertical resolution" on pg. 50. Which is right ?

Nicholi Brossia October 16th, 2003 08:41 PM

Yeah, I thought I remembered reading that. I'm curious to see how that works too.

Frank Granovski October 16th, 2003 08:48 PM


but the owners manual states there is a "1.5X increase in vertical resolution"
Would that be the vertical resolution of 1 field or of an odd and even field? :)

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