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

Frank Granovski October 31st, 2003 03:02 PM


What do you mean by: "... if you keep this footage in frames"
When you shoot in frame mode, the footage recorded onto the miniDV is in frames, not fields.

Guest October 31st, 2003 04:24 PM

so once its been exported via firewire to a computer it will look smoother rather than "thicker" as you described early

Frank Granovski October 31st, 2003 05:42 PM

I don't know your computer.

I mentioned it will look smoother if the frames are viewed interlaced via AV or S-Video out.

Mike Ostracky October 31st, 2003 06:08 PM

If I may add something, Frank.

Once the footage is converted to MPEG2 (DVD standard and that done right - by a person who knows what he`s doing) it looks sweet, as majority of DVD players today decode progessive. That looks nice on whatever you`re watching. Be it HDTV, SDTV or projected onto a screen in a giant auditorium ;)

James Chesterton November 2nd, 2003 03:57 AM

Frame mode is OK, and kind of reproduces film motion with progressive as opposed to interlaced frames. If however you want to give your piece a film look, Magic Bullet is, I believe, the definitive answer.

The cost is of it does not bear thinking about though (about $1000 I think). Careful framing, lighting and camera movement are the key here, and it cannot work wonders if the footage you put into it is crap.

Remember, you can't polish a turd.

Consider it though, as it can give you stunning results, far better than frame mode if used correctly.

Mike Ostracky November 2nd, 2003 05:57 AM

Magic Bullet
Magic Bullet gives excellent results, but it has one bad side... It renders extremely slow - I`ve had demo of 1.1 and later 1.5, I`ve tested them on P4 3.06GHz computer with 1,5 Gigs of RAM and I was quite dissapointed when I realized that my 16 minute short would render for few days (!!!) - my approximation based on first three hours of rendering.

:( Otherwise it`s great, but verry, verry overpriced.

David Ho November 11th, 2003 09:39 PM

Questions about the frame movie mode/motion/shutter speeds
I am leaning towards to get the GL2 over the VX2000 for the frame movie mode option for the "film look" apparel, but should I really geta nother camcorder because of a specific option? From what I've read through the past threads is that the frame movie mode causes fast motions to blur or strobe. This movie that I will be making will have lots of fighting scenes. My question is that will it probably blurr alot? I am also going to do some slow-motion during these scenes (similar to the Matrix-type fight scenes, I love those karate/kung fu type of fights). I want a clear slow motion and some good visual spectatular moves to be shown, will this be a problem?

Also, another question is the shutter speed. What is it exactly and will it help in any way with the blurrings, if any?

Ken Tanaka November 11th, 2003 10:26 PM

Canon's "frame mode" is basically a type of progressive scan imaging mode in which both video fields are captured simultaneously. For a complete explanation see Adam Wilt's FAQ page.

The GL2 can shoot in either frame mode or normal (interlaced) mode, so you would be able to make your own decision concerning which would be best for you.

Shutter speed, as it applies to digital video cameras basically refers to the rate at which the camera samples the image chip(s) (the CCD's).

David, these cameras are relatively expensive. I strongly recommend that you do a bit more research and study before taking the plunge with a purchase. Either of your proposed cameras will probably meet your needs well. But try to actually get your hands on each before making a selection.

David Ho November 11th, 2003 10:49 PM

What about the motion blur thing? Does anyone have any videos/images comparing between the normal mode and the frame movie mode? I would love to look at some sample videos like that comparing the two or showing the differences. For sure, I will go to a camera outlet store and test them out beforehand. I think its just a matter of personal preference.

Don Palomaki November 12th, 2003 05:26 AM

Motion blurr is an artifact of slow shutter speeds, just as it is with still photos. If you use a higher shutter speed there will be less motion blurr in the individual fields/frames.

The strobing effect is a result of a reduced effective field rate of frame mode. With normal (movie) mode a new field is provided every 60th of a second (NTSC). This updates the positional informationof objects in the image every 60th, is the normal TV rate and provides for fairly smooth motion. In frame mode, the TV still display fields at the rate of 60/sec, but the fields are captures at the same instant, which means the image is updated with new poisitional information haslf as often (every 30th of a scond). This means moving objects may have a strobed motion look.

Motion blurr from slower shutter speeds can have a tendancey to mask some of the strobed look effect of frame mode and higher shutter speeds may make it more apparent..

Use the combination that best meets your creative need for image look/feel.

David Ho November 12th, 2003 01:34 PM

So, do you think if for any crazy fast fight-scenes (ie. Matrix-style kind), would the blurr screw up the effect majorily? I also plan to slow-mo the fight scenes. During a slow-mo edit on the computer, will the blurr show? Or is the strobe/blurr only shown on real-time frame movie mode? (cause I plan to frame movie mode + slow-motion on the computer)

David Ho November 14th, 2003 09:57 AM

So, I searched some more topics and threads about the frame mode and such. I have come to the conclusion that frame mode is bad for action sequences where the camera pans are fast and unsubtle. I am wondering does this only apply to the moving rate of the camera itself or the sequences produced when recording. What I mean is if I wanted to record someone fighting or such, would the type of alias/blurr (the effect that frame mode can produce, so I've heard) be produced on the camera view or is it only when the camera is moving fast?

I also want to know if slowmo-ing footage recorded in frame mode is a good idea? I want to add slow motion on some things in the footage through the computer editing.

J. Clayton Stansberry November 14th, 2003 11:17 AM

One thing I think you are forgetting is focus. When you shoot this you should do it manually (focus that is). I have had some trouble with the auto-focus taking a few frames to totally become focused. Make sure you practice this, because it can be a bear to overcome and get used to. To avoid blur, concerning exposure, I would recommend a higher shutter speed. This produces an effect similar to the "choppy, jilted" look of "Black Hawk Down," and is very effective. And, to protect your self, take several shots with a few "pre-arranged" settings (the ones you feel most comfortable with). Hope it goes well...

Bill Ravens November 14th, 2003 01:43 PM

I find it laughable that people bend over backwards to get the film look of 24 fps, then complain because the 30 fps of canon's frame mode produces "strobing"...these are mildly incongruous needs.

Federico Dib November 14th, 2003 07:01 PM

<<<-- Originally posted by David Ho : So, I searched some more topics and threads about the frame mode and such. I have come to the conclusion that frame mode is bad for action sequences where the camera pans are fast and unsubtle... -->>>

Iīll have to disagree here. Frame Mode is not BAD.. itīs DIFFERENT.
It just depend on what you are looking for, and how you shoot it.
Frame mode is not just for slow pans and steady shots of people sitting and talking.

For example Iīve found very appealing the Strobing effect on a frenetic action scene, and It suited it perfectly for the mood we were trying to achieve.
Something similiar to the opening secuence on this film (real film) Irreversible is probably one of the most shaky strobing visually disturbing effect Iīve seen, and fits like a glove to the mood of the scene. And itīs mostly achieved by camera movement.

So donīt discard Frame Mode from what you read... Use that as a guide... but better yet try to test and see it for yourself...

FRame Mode is just another option out there, and I think is better to have it than not. Of course you can allways turn it off.

David Ho November 15th, 2003 01:00 AM

If I am trying to mimic some Matrix fight sequences, do you think the frame mode is the way to go, or will it ultimately screw up the scenes? And can frame modes be slow-mo'ed/edited slow motion on the computer during post?

Mike Ostracky November 15th, 2003 07:53 AM

My area :)
Oh, someone mentioned frame mode - this is where I come in ;)

The fight scenes would look nice, but you have to thorougly plan them - most of all lighting ! Don`t overexpose - don`t go above 1/50th shutter speed (1/60th if NTSC) - light well and you`ll have just what you are looking for.

I just love frame mode, though at the beggining I had problems with it to... Experiment with it before you start shooting ! You know what you want, no one can make a decission instead of you. You have the vision !

God speed !

Charles Papert November 15th, 2003 04:55 PM

Why not go above 1/50th or 1/60th?


The strobing present in frame mode (as a result of the 30 fps characteristic) is less than would be the case in standard 24 fps film. If you like what you saw in the "The Matrix", then you should not find frame mode to be a problem. Fast pans are not the problem, just "inbetween" speed pans. What this means is something you'll best figure out by shooting some tests. If you want to achieve a filmlike quality, you'll surely want to do something other than "standard" mode (i.e. 60i), and whether you shoot in frame mode or use software to alter your apparent frame rate in post, the strobing effect will manifest itself. The nice thing about using frame mode is that since it is an "in-camera" effect, you can look at playback immediately or on a monitor live to determine if you have a strobing issue.

David Ho November 20th, 2003 01:02 PM

Here's what I've come up to after reading some more of my topic-related info:

1. The frame movie mode and widescreen mode TOGETHER will produce tremendous image and resolution loss, both in quality and size, so I guess its either best to (if unable to afford a true 16:9 anamorphic lens) film in regular frame mode, then cropping it OR film in 4:3, use Magic Bullet or something lik e that to de-interlace the footage/make it look more like film, then cropping it again.

2. I am not sure about this one, but If I plan to slow-motion some of shots, is itbest to shoot in regular normal mode rather than frame movie mode because from what I've read through the threads, it can cause some crazy image errors. (I am trying to shoot a short film that will feature fast fighting sequences and some slow motions in between them.)

3. I plan to shoot in frame movie mode the whole time, if possible. My question is that what options can you shoot in frame movie mode that can work? And what can't work or will produce terrible results? Can you shoot with the frame mode and the optical image stabilizer? (etc)

I just need some more opinions, comments, and suggestions on this if you guys have any.

Mike Ostracky November 20th, 2003 05:06 PM

Frame mode - great :)
The best possible option is to shoot with true 16:9 anamorphic lens (although GL2 (XM2)`s widescreen is pretty good to) and with frame mode on.

Slow motion can be accomplished by a multitude of ways - one really great is to shoot fields and out of 50 fields get 50 separate, deinterlaced images - resolutio loss is great, but so is the slo-mo. My favorite way of doing slo-mo is to shoot in frame mode and use software like RETIMER - it looks sweeeeeet ! Try it.

Shooting the whole movie in frame mode is a great idea. Everything works this way but try to be as professional as you can, DV can give incredible results IF you light properly (I can`t stress this enough) and shoot properly (use tripods, improvise a steadycam if you don`t have one etc.).

I hope this was of help.

And I almost forgot - optical image stabilizer DOES NOTHING to image quality ! So enjoy in it ;)

David Ho November 21st, 2003 04:15 PM

Hmm, okay.

Well then, can the frame movie mode be used with the other modes (easy recording, spotlight, etc) or the full manual modes where you can set anything you want, or is the frame mode's options are already pre-chosen? What I am saying is, can you use the frame movie mode while also manually controlling color or something like that.

Also, does the anamorphic widescreen 16:9 option on the GL2 only STRETCH the image when viewed on a regular 4:3 TV? Does that mean when viewed on normal tv, everything will looked stretched and tall. (Because I want to have some black bars around it like cropping or letterboxing, if thats what its called). Then I guess if I want the black bars, then its just to crop/letterbox it right?

Ken Tanaka November 21st, 2003 04:51 PM

Wow David. You are a veritable eternal fountain of questions! ;-) Not complaining, just observing here.

Look, short of just buying or renting the camera, why not just download the manual? The answers to many, if not most, of your questions are there.

Mike Ostracky November 21st, 2003 04:54 PM

When shooting in frame mode you can control everything, and that`s the beauty of film making - manual, the only way to go ;)

Anamorphic on GL2 (XM2) does widescreen "the right way" - it stretches it, it (luckily !) doesn`t letterbox the image - but still, the anamorphic lens is the best way to go.

On great majority of modern TV sets you have 16:9 button on remote to "unstretch" the picture - thus making it appear as it should, widescreen and without any resolution lost (which is noticable when letterboxing).

Hope that helps.

David Ho November 21st, 2003 08:27 PM

"Wow David. You are a veritable eternal fountain of questions! ;-) Not complaining, just observing here."

Hehe, thanks. I am just trying to do the ultimate research as possible, so when I get this camera, I will know that I haven't made a mistake. Afterall, I am spending $2k+ :-)

So, let me get this straight. CROPPING, or putting the black bars, is also called letterboxing right? If so, I want to make my movie have those black bars, whats the best approach of doing so? I want to "mimic" widescreen.... You know how if you buy Widescreen DVDs or just watch widescreen movies on a regular TV, there are black bars trying to maintain the same ratio... that's what I kind of what. I am trying to mimic a widescreen black-bar look, but also trying to maintain a good widescreen ratio, instead of normal 4:3... Know what I mean? Hope that this make senses.

Alan Van Vliet November 22nd, 2003 04:16 AM

Frame mode, shutter speeds
Any suggestions for shooting fairly high speed tennis instructional videos?

I have been experimenting in frame mode, and had pretty good results at 1/60. Should I be shooting in normal mode?

I need to get the best quality (smoothest) shots I can as some will be converted to slow motion.

As a still photographer, my inclinication is to shoot with fairly high shutter speeds 1/500 to 1/1000 but depth of field and focusing is an issue as well.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance, AL

Ken Tanaka November 22nd, 2003 11:56 AM

Hello Alan,
If this instructional video will requre clear stop-action frames then I would certainly shoot in frame mode and use a higher shutter speed, perhaps closer to 1/500 than 1/1000. If it's bright daylight chances are that your iris will still be closed enough to maintain deep DOF.

If possible experiment at the courts before the big day.

Tom Hardwick November 22nd, 2003 02:23 PM

If I believe your original post and you want the smoothest looking video, then shoot in TV (shutter priority) normal mode and lock that shutter speed down to 1/60th.

Shooting at speeds above about 1/200th sec can result in very stacatto looking footage as so little of the original motion has been captured. Look at it this way: if you shoot at 1/60th you capture everything that happens in front of your lens. Shoot at 1/500th sec and for most of the time the chips are simply waiting around, wondering what to do next.

Slo-mo take your footage and splits it into fields, the better programs interpolating between fields. Action footage shot at 1/500th sec can have an awful lot of information missing and this makes the interpolation difficult (and therefore inaccurate).


Alan Van Vliet November 22nd, 2003 04:42 PM

Thanks for the input guys. I am going to do some test shooting tomorrow.

This is an ongoing project, so I will be able to get some results and make adjustments. I do need to get the bulk of it shot before the weather goes south on me.

I appreciate the ideas.


Alan Van Vliet November 23rd, 2003 01:55 PM

I shot both in frame mode and normal mode at 1/60 of a second and the quality is definitely better in both modes.

At this point it appears that the best quality is in the normal mode with these settings (i.e. the smoothest playback at regular speed). I have not looked at slow motion yet.

Ken, I understand your point when checking individuals frames, or in effect, stills. In that regard, they are much better at 1/500.

I may be imagining things, but the Auto focus also appears to be "hunting" less in the normal mode at 1/60.

One problem though, at 1/60 of a second I am slightly over-exposing the scene even with the neutral density filter on.
(Zebra patterns on the court lines, white shorts and shoes)

When I hand meter (with an equivalent ISO of 320) I need an aperature of f32, which of course is not available.

I assume I will need an additional external neutral density filter to reduce light ( I usually shoot in bright sunlight) so I can use these settings.

Does anyone know the value of the in camera neutral density filter (so I can adjust and handmeter accordingly)?

Thanks in advance,


Tom Hardwick November 24th, 2003 02:36 AM

The ND absorbtion is easily checked - and I've done so on my TRV900 and VX. Simply shoot some footage in auto Alan. Use a tripod and something dull and static like a brick wall as a subject. Preferably in the TV mode with the shutter speed locked. Flick in the ND and shoot some more.

Do this on three different subjects and then rewind the tape, push 'display' and check out your aperture readings. Why shoot three different subjects? Simply because the 'display' only reads to the nearest half stop, and you'll be weeding out the tolerances.

The TRV900 often needs an extra ND8 (-three stops) and of course the VX2000 comes fitted at source with internal NDs.


Alan Van Vliet November 24th, 2003 04:18 AM

Value of ND filter

I thought about testing it myself, but I didn't know how to use the display mode to re-read the settings.

Great idea.

Thanks for the input.


Tom Voigt November 24th, 2003 08:35 PM

It's "Data Code" on the remote to display shutter, f-stop, and gain.

David Ho January 16th, 2004 03:59 PM

Trying to slow-motion in GL2's frame mode?
I've tried searching through some previous and past topics regarding this discussion, but have found some confusing points. From what I've read, it is very bad to try to slow-motion footage that was shot in the frame mode during post. because it'll create glitches or errors.... The general consensus is that slowmotion-ing something that's already been deinterlaced by the camcorder is bad or the frame/movie mode, specifically, in the GL2? Can anyone clear this confusion up? I don't know if its true...

Rosie Young January 16th, 2004 05:53 PM

well, I don't know what they all say, but I shoot in frame mode, shutter speed at 60, variable f-stops depending on lighting and I've taken various clips and and put them in slow motion in post, (adobe after effects_ and they've been perfect.

Rodger Marjama January 18th, 2004 03:54 PM

I don't have a GL?, but when using Twixtor to do slomo it always turns out better to deinterlace before applying Twixtor. So, I would suspect starting with footage shot in frame mode (non-interlaced) would only put you a step ahead with any software you choose to use.


Don Donatello January 18th, 2004 06:41 PM

i shot only frame mode / progressive and don't find slo mo a problem... i've seen others shoot interlace , progressive and their slo mo looks terrible ..IMO comes down to software ...
also depends on how slow you are trying to go ? 50%, 100% , 200< 300% ..above 400% is where you are going to find problems then special software might be needed DEPENDING on the "look" slo mo you are trying to get ...

John Lee January 19th, 2004 09:54 PM

It also may depend on how the slomo software renders the slomo sequence. I was wondering about this also.

I've been considering doing a comparison between using frame mode and video mode for slomo effects. What is the preferred program for doing this? I get the feeling that some programs may "cheat" and split and duplicate the interlaced fields into full frames, thereby halving their resolution.

I think I'm going to mess around with an exported sequence in after effects that is interlaced. I'd like to see how it looks at different speeds, particularly when I split and duplicate the fields.

I've used AVID motion effects in the past with frame mode video and if you try to slow the motion down more than about 75% it really becomes unbearably jerky, so I've been looking for a way past this problem.

Rodger Marjama January 20th, 2004 07:14 PM

For any who may not have been HERE, you can see some various footage shot with the DVX100. Little bit of a lot of things including, slowmo created from 30p, anamorphic adapter vs letterbox, and some other stuff.

This was all done a while back, but if you've not seen it, it might be worth the time.

BTW, alot of this is full res clips so if you have dial up, you may want to check filesizes before you d/l.


David Ho January 21st, 2004 05:14 AM

Tripod + Frame Mode/shutter speed + OIS?
I am going to shoot some shorts on a tripod with frame mode on. Now, the rumors and maybe myths or facts I've heard is that OIS, although different from electronic IS, will still decrease the image quality or resolution by minimal (somewhere around 5-10%?) when turned on. Now, what should be good while using frame mode AND on a tripod? OIS on or off? Of course, I'll be doing extremely slow pans as the frame mode will make things seem jerky if the camera moves too fast.

Next question is what is the best shutter speed setting for frame mode? I, technically, still dont know what shutter speed is all about. All I know is that I have messed around with some settings and it seems that the different shutter speeds with the frame mode on can either reduce or cause even more jerkiness or the laggy effect.. I've tried 1/30 and 1/60 -- those seem to be good, I think.

Mike Ostracky January 21st, 2004 05:54 AM

OIS does NOT decrease resolution and that`s a fact :)

IF you are using a tripod turn off OIS to avoid any possible problems.

If you`re on NTSC try to use 1/60 shutter for most of the time (1/50 for PAL). This is not a rule, you may choose not to oblige, but it is an advice.

There is an interesting way of improvising steadycam with a tripod and OIS turned on :) I do it all the time... you grab your tripod some ten centimeters beneath the camera (tripods` legs should be retracted) and jump around like a crazy man thinking he has a steadycam ;) ...a happy, crazy man.


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