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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old May 17th, 2009, 06:30 PM   #1
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Noisey video when shooting video; video attached

Now I have these problems GENERALLY in bright sunlight/full sunlight, but I can also have these problems when it's cloudy or shooting in any direction pointing towards the sun or just even randomly, it doesn't matter when really. Can someone please help me find some decent settings/tips tricks to help me out?

Current settings during shots provided here: YouTube - Noisey footage

Gamma - Cine
Knee - Middle
Black - Press
Color Matrix - Cine
Color Gain - 0-2
Color Phase - 0-1
V-detail - normal
Sharpness - -3 to 0
Coring - 0
Setup Level - 0
Master Pedestal - 0
NR - Low
R Gain - 0-2
B Gain - 0-3
G Gain - 0-3

Absolute Max are listed on the right of the specifications above. (I did not go over those amounts)

AE Shift - 0.25-1.0
24P Advanced
White Balance - Auto or Sunlight
Shutterspeed - 1/48th to 1/180th
Gain - -3 at all times
ND Filters - 1/32 or 1/6 or Off
OIS - Off
Focus - Manual

Can anyone tell me why the images turn out so noisey and bad looking from wide angle shots... I can't figure out why it looks so noisey or appears to have artifacting all the time.

Assistance would be excellent, thank you for your time.

Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 Settings -
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Old May 18th, 2009, 09:39 AM   #2
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I've looked at the footage via my mobile phone dongle connection (so not at full quality) but it doesn't look overly noisy. But I will say that all the footage lacks sharpness and contrast, and is generally a bit overexposed.

The footage can be improved in post by lowering exposure, bumping colour and upping contrast levels.

To improve footage on location I would choose a different XL2 Preset to match your needs, and also adjust exposure slightly.

I've also found for outdoor filming that the depth of colours and overall contrast in almost all situations are improved by using a polarizing filter.

For outdoor run-n-gun stuff it is good to keep the balance on 'sunlight' as this gives a natural warm look to the imagery (if that's what you're after).

The main dial can be kept on manual, but for fast-changing outdoor light-levels I prefer to leave the dial on AV and press the exposure lock when needed.

Last edited by Tony Davies-Patrick; May 19th, 2009 at 05:47 AM.
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Old May 18th, 2009, 03:12 PM   #3
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I watched your youtube footage in "high quality' (which is not that great) on my CRT monitor and yes I can see some noise, though really compressed.

I wouldn't be worried, my xl2 does the same, I did quite a lot of outdoor shooting mostly in britght sunlight with similarly set up camcorder and there's a hint of noise in the picture.

I think I worked out a pattern: whenever I shoot blue skies, concrete walls without any details, roads, mushy grey surfaces etc. I end up with a little bit of noise, not much. On the other hand, when I shoot images with a lot of details (if a lot is happening in the frame) e.g. London city centre, people, cars and fences etc. the image seems to be cleaner or I can't see any noise at all.

My guess is that the noise is there as well but the complexity of the image makes it harder or even impossible to notice. Some of these clean pictures have some noise only in certain areas e.g. pavement while buildings or people are completely clean. As I said, I wouldn't be worried because the XL2 noise is really small.

Similarly, you might see compression artifacts easier because XL2 picture is so sharp - few days ago I watched Sony FX1 HD interlaced footage captured into the computer as DV interlaced and although FX1's footage was very clean, skies and walls had some noise as well. Compression artifacts were also to be seen but they were somewhat less pronuced than on my XL2 because the picture was softer (and interlaced) than on the XL2 (I shoot only progressive). This doesn't mean that XL2 footage will always look worse becase it's sharp. Actually on the contrary, it just depends on what you are shooting.

Actually, the whole noise problem doesn't exist for me unless I start doing colour correction - adding contrast and colours amplify the noise and compression artiffacts a little bit.
Few months ago I filmed Piccadilly Circus in London at night at 0 gain, cinegamma, lowered blacks and the picture was very clean, only certain areas had little noise after very detailed inspection. This was really impressive even though Piccadilly Circus is generally well lit, but still, it was night and the lights not as strong as on movie set. After I colour corrected footage I could see noise more, but it was a really small difference. On my old CRT TV I couldn't see any noise at all.

Hope this helps, please mind that I'm basing all of this on my personal observation, so if I am wrong, somebody please correct me and advise Scott to send his camera for repairs. BTW Canon's authorized repair center in Poland said than everything is OK with the image from my XL2 when I sent my camera for backfocus adjustment and checking if there's some noise problem.

Sorry for a long post.

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Old May 18th, 2009, 08:38 PM   #4
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I agree with Tony. I didn't see any noise, but my expectations with YouYube compression are pretty low. Guy going up and down the hill, with sky in the background was a perfect example of why everyone should have a good polarizer in his kit. Emphasis on good. That sky would have been blue, or if it was all clouds, it wouldn't have been blown out like that, and there would have been some visible modeling on the clouds.
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Old May 19th, 2009, 07:56 PM   #5
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I was having real problems with noise and it turns out it was signal noise from the camera itself that was causing interference when I captured into premiere. I solved it by buying a little $250 sony camcorder and using that to capture. Also, make sure you're running it through a firewire cable. Any other type of cable can degrade the capture and introduce noise.
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Old May 19th, 2009, 11:13 PM   #6
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Brandon, if you were capturing from the XL2 via firewire, the noise in the image would be identical to what you would get using the sony camcorder. Capturing for DV cameras is only transferring digital data from tape to hard disk, there should not be any change in the video image due to capturing.

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Old May 20th, 2009, 04:10 PM   #7
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Almost sounds like Brandon was capturing via a breakout box to composite capture by some means if he wasn't using firewire....this would obviously degrade image.
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