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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old April 19th, 2010, 09:04 AM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: McSherrystown, PA
Posts: 3
Problems in darker settings


Doing a great deal of weddings and frankly need a bit of help with environment. I am interested to hear from those who regularly deal with low lighting situations and what the best settings for the XL2 are in this scenario. What type of portable lighting are you using if any. My feeling is that the current settings on my camera are either wrong or malfunctioning because no matter what I do I cannot get it to lighten up, except when putting it in "low light" function. When I do the image displayed in the viewfinder looks as if it is in slow motion.

Thanks in advance
Dan Colgan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 19th, 2010, 09:19 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 566
Hi Dan,

What settings are you shooting with, and what frame rate (60i, 30p, 24p)?

Generally, if you shoot with 60i with the iris wide open, you'll get the most light in.

You've probably tried the gain settings already? If not, you can dial in the gain (I think) up to +12dB, but you'll see noticeable grain in your footage.

I shoot mostly with 30p, and with the iris wide open, I dial the gain up to +6dB to get a "lighter" picture, and the grain is a bit forgiving (I wouldn't dial it up higher than +6dB, but it'll depend on your situation.)

For those times that I do need it, I use an on-cam light, like this Bescor light (though the model we have is the MPL-645):

Jeff Anselmo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 19th, 2010, 09:37 PM   #3
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Cap-aux-Meules, Quebec, Canada
Posts: 18
On camera light

Hi Dan,

I agree with Jeff, "on camera light" is probably the way to go. I also have a Bescor light which is the following:

Bescor | KLK-624D On Camera Light Kit | KLK624D | B&H Photo Video

It's a cheaper model but I get good results up to about 8-10 feet. It's good for interviews and ENG stuff. The XL2 low light capability is not it's best selling argument but it's the same thing for most 1/3 inch CCD's cameras.

I also tend to shoot at 30 fps and rarely go to 60i exept for TV jobs. I mostly shoot indoor with a full studio light setup.

You can also fiddle a bit with the "knee" and "pedestal" setting of the camera to get rid of some of the noise in black areas of the picture but it has it's limitations. I never go under 30 fps and I always shoot in full manual mode.

+3db and +6db can get you good results but anything over that will get very grainy and just doesn't look good.

Best regards

Luc Fontaine
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