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-   -   The answer to better low light = custom settings! (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/canon-xh-series-hdv-camcorders/79133-answer-better-low-light-custom-settings.html)

Doug Bennett November 8th, 2006 10:33 AM

looking at the lowlight preset in the spreadsheet in the XLH1 forum the only things that are changed from defaults are black strech, noise reduction and coring.

does changing these settings in camera actually end up capturing more detail in lowlight, or could I just leave the presets at default and achieve the same in post?

does anyone have any other lowlight presets to recommend?

Greg Boston November 8th, 2006 10:34 AM


Originally Posted by Steve Nunez
More than ever this camera will demand mastery of it's custom settings and will reward the user with much better low-light performance. The term "Prosumer" has increased relevance with this camera as the end user will need to fully understand knee-point adjustment, black stretch, master pedestal, gamma curves etc to get the most of this "Prosumer" camcorder.

Professional camcorders for the consumer public- ...we all asked for it- Canon gave it to us!

Not unlike the XL2 and XLH1 that preceeded it! At least it's not like they dumped it on us all at once. (hehe)


Michael Padilla November 8th, 2006 11:18 AM

wedding presets
I use the wedding preset for my XL2's and am quite happy with it.. nice colors ok low light.. fairly good run & gun preset.

Can anyone come up with a similar preset for weddings.. my cameras will be delivered on Friday and I have a wedding the next day.. so I wont have the time to play around with it much.. that is if I choose to use them on Saturday.


Doug Bennett November 8th, 2006 11:51 AM

Michael what is the wedding preset? or is that a typo?

Lou Bruno November 8th, 2006 11:58 AM

Preset Name = WEDDINGS
Gamma = 1
Knee = 0
Black = 2
NR = 1
VDetail = 0
Color Matrix = 1
Color Gain = 1
Color Phase = -1
Red = 0
Green = 1
Blue = 1
SetupLevel = 0


Originally Posted by Doug Bennett
Michael what is the wedding preset? or is that a typo?

Brent Graham November 8th, 2006 01:11 PM

Hey guys, this is my dream thread considering I've recently received my A1 and I'm really new to a lot of these CP user settings.

Couple questions...

Could someone explain what these do to the image, I'm not seeing huge changes in my LCD and I don't have a monitor:(

Gamma: this seems to increase the steepness of the gamma curve for more contrast?

Knee: this seems to deal with highlights or blowouts, but I don't see a change, even in my zebra zones.

Black: This makes sense, like knee only in blacks, it crushes the near black areas into black areas, or stretches the near black areas into gray ones for more detail (and grain?)

Master Pedestal: I've heard this defined as the darkness setting for the black level, but not really sure how that affects my image, doesn't seem to change in my LCD.

Setup Level: no idea.

Sharpness: this is easy, just like a television sharpness right? Sharper lines?

Horiz Detail: I don't see how my camera or why my camera would want to change it's detail? Please explain.

Detail Horiz Vert: Like above, this makes no sense.

Coring: was defined well above, but what does it do? It removes grain and detail?

NR1: not sure how this works, but the med/hi settings cause ghosting, so I like the low for night shooting CPs

NR2: seems to not cause ghosting but not be as strong as NR1.

Color Matrix: not sure. but I like cine2

Color Gain: saturates colors, or unsaturates for B/W

Color Phase: no idea.

R/G/B gains: these are obvious what they do, but I'm not sure why I'd use them rather than do it in post?

RG~BG matrix: no idea. these don't seem to change anything.

I'm surprised they don't include a manual with pictures illustrating these settings.

Henry Cho November 8th, 2006 01:29 PM

an overview of the settings is here:

Brent Graham November 8th, 2006 01:30 PM

Not to double post, I thought I'd share my 'night' settings, seems to work well with or without gain.

GAM: Normal
KNE: Auto
BLK: Stretch
PED: 9
SET: 9
SHP: 9
COR: 9
NR1: L
NR2: H
CGN: 50 <- I thought this made up for the desaturated colors

everything else 0, unless I want to play around with Green Gain for 'night vision' style shooting, but that's easily added in post.

Let me know what you think.

Henry Cho November 8th, 2006 02:02 PM

brent, thanks for sharing your preset.

a few observations:

you have your pedestal and setup level maxxed out. this is what's reducing the contrast in your image... not a bad thing in the right situation and if that's what you're going for. the stretched blacks will preserve details in the shadows. the combination you have is good for shots that have problematic lighting and that you will want to color correct in post.

you have your sharpness at max as well. if this actually is a low light preset, the sharpness will make any noise from adding gain more pronounced.

i found using nr2 at high with nr1 on anything created some degree of ghosting with moving objects.

Henry Cho November 8th, 2006 02:12 PM

let me add, another really nice "image control" option that i don't think is mentioned in the canon link is in the dial in white balance. you can go from super cool to super warm and everything in between by simply rotating a dial.

Brent Graham November 8th, 2006 02:30 PM


I think you're right, there is some ghosting. I'm wondering if NR2 is some multiplier of the NR1 setting? As it doesn't seem to do anything when NR1 is off.

I'm using this setting to really stretch my nighttime options. I'm leaving saturday for a hunting trip in Africa and I'm trying to get set up for some night time interviews. I'm willing to sacrifice some quality if it means getting the shot.

Can you suggest a more moderate setting for ped and set? I have enough preset spots for a more moderate night setting.

I turned down the sharpness, seems to help with getting rid of grain.

Does anyone have any feelings on the steven dempsey's panalook? I've copied his settings, but his color gain is a totally different scale...I basically took his gain numbers and multiplied by 5, so color gain=5, R gain=10, G gain=10, B gain=15...how does this look to you guys?

Henry Cho November 8th, 2006 02:54 PM

nr1 and nr2 perform noise reduction in different ways. setting nr1 to "low" by itself reduces noise pretty significantly without introducing too many problems. the consensus, at this point, is that this is the ideal nr setting for low light to maintain a good picture.

keeping your blacks stretched is a good idea to me, since it's not a particular look you're going after. this will keep the details in the shadows, and you can always color correct later. remember that once you go to pure black (or pure white for that matter), details that disappear are gone forever.

also, if we're just talking interviews here, or anything short of a rampaging herd of elephants, cutting your shutter speed from 1/48 to 1/24, or from 1/60 to 1/30, will give you about an extra stop of light with no noticeable slow shutter effects.

if you're going to bump up the gain past +3dB, bump up coring and reduce sharpness to minimize noise.

with enough light to get you good exposure at +6 to +12dB gain, these settings should do the trick.

if all you care about is getting the shot, remember you have access to gain all the way up to +36dB. it will be noisy as hell AND make a candlelight look like a nuclear explosion.

hope that helps.

Steve Nunez November 8th, 2006 03:25 PM

Henry- where is this dial that can be rotated to tweak white balance?
(Are you referring to the dial on the rear that selects menu items???)

Tom Roper November 8th, 2006 03:38 PM

Flip the switch underneath the LCD on top of the cam, then press the white balance button to make the temperature readout blink, then rotate the dial at the front next to the exposure lock. Once dialed to the temperature you want, press the white balance again to set it.

Brent Graham November 8th, 2006 03:39 PM


1) Set the white balance switch to the color temp setting (under the lcd when it's closed)
2) Push the white balance button on the side. The color temp number will begin flashing in the lcd/evf.
3) the wheel on the side of the unit (not the one on the back, the one on the side toward the lens) adjusts the color temp amount, ranging from cool to warm.

This goes all the way up to 12000K, pretty cool!

**edit** what tom said...:)

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