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Canon 1014XL-S test


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#1 Maurizio Zappettini

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Posted 24 June 2007 - 01:01 PM

I've shoot two test rolls with a Canon 1014XL-S that I've just bought. I have a few questions:

NOTE: footage was entirely shoot at 24fps but it was transferred at 18fps by mistake so the entire footage will run in a little slow motion.

1- I'm not sure about the STABILITY of the frame. The entire footage shakes a lot. Considering that I shoot hand held, I can't understand if it's completely due to my shaken hands or there is also an instability in the frame due to a camera fault (like transport, etc.) Can anyone understand by this footage if the camera is fine?

2- There are many out of focus images while I saw sharp images in the viewfinder while I was shooting. I noticed that there are many more blurred images in the shoots where I used 150 degree shutter angle than where I used 220 degrees.
In fact when I used 150 degree shutter I heard a strange continuos noise from the shutter like it was changing angle continuously even when the camera was not running. To stop this noise I had to switch again to 220 degrees (XL shooting). Could this shutter angle problem be a cause of blurred images?

Here is the link of the footage (the download could be a little bit slow, sorry):

http://www.nonamepic...e/1014tests.mov

Thanks,

Maurizio
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#2 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 24 June 2007 - 04:59 PM

Wow, I don't know where to begin.

First of all, your compression for the internet was absolutely spectacular, the best I've ever seen. Absolutely no dropped frames on my computer, no stalling at the beginning, the video never caught up to where the video timeline was still loading. Perhaps not having sound to contend with makes a BIG difference???

Secondly, I assume this was scene to scene color correction because virtually all the images were very acceptable, you had a very high rate of useable footage. What I find intriguing is that I LIKE that you shot it at 24 but transfered it at 18 frames per second, it really smooths out the footage. I didn't notice any horrible jitter. There may have been one shot that might have been jittery, but it may also have been near the end of the first cartridge and that may explain why.

As for your out of focus shots, I can take a guess if you like. Perhaps your diopter viewfinder has been incorrectly set. The way I have been taught to set the viewfinder is to put the camera in wide angle, set the viewfinder focus to your eye, zoom in to telephoto, set the lens focus, zoom out to wide, readjust the diopter for maximum sharpness. Now zoom all the way in and see if the viewfinder holds focus. You may have to repeat these steps a few times. When you zoom all the way in, it's ideal that you zoom into something that is far away so you are close to infinity on the focus scale.

The short explanation, when zoomed all the way in, you focus the lens for maximum, when zoomed all the way out, you refocus the viewfinder for maximum sharpness, repeat the same pattern until no more focusing is required for either the diopter or the zoom lens, now the viewfinder should be correctly set.

I hope that helps!
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#3 Jim Simon

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Posted 24 June 2007 - 09:42 PM

I found the jumpiness a little distracting. Definitely more than hand shake, that's the film jumping around in the camera (or during telecine, depending on the process used). Still, next time use a tripod to make the picture as steady as possible.

Overall I thought the images looked pretty smooth. But the colors did seem somewhat muted. I can't tell if this is because of the stock used, the transfer, or the compression settings for Internet viewing. I have seen much better color from Internet clips using this camera and 200T than I see here. What stock did you use? What transfer process?

I also suspect that incorrect diopter settings are what caused the focus issue. This is easy enough to retest, though.
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#4 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 24 June 2007 - 11:10 PM

I found the jumpiness a little distracting. Definitely more than hand shake, that's the film jumping around in the camera (or during telecine, depending on the process used). Still, next time use a tripod to make the picture as steady as possible.

Overall I thought the images looked pretty smooth. But the colors did seem somewhat muted. I can't tell if this is because of the stock used, the transfer, or the compression settings for Internet viewing. I have seen much better color from Internet clips using this camera and 200T than I see here. What stock did you use? What transfer process?

I also suspect that incorrect diopter settings are what caused the focus issue. This is easy enough to retest, though.


Final color should be attempted during the film transfer but the final look of any shot is dependent on what shots come before and after the shot on the edited timeline. As long as the shots are neither too dark, too bright, nor overly muted, then adjusting the shot to exactly what one wants should be possible during the editing stage.
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#5 Douglas Hunter

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Posted 25 June 2007 - 12:14 AM

Maurizio,

If you want to know how much of the jitter is due to the camera you should shoot a registration test grid. Super 8 is going to be jumpy because of the crude transport system but some cameras are steadier than others. Shooting a registration test will help you see how much of the jitter is due to the camera itself, and give you a reasonable expectation of what super 8 looks like in this regard.

I agree with the others that your diopter is not set correctly, notice that so much of your out of focus material occurs on zooms, its looks like you had a poorly set diopter, focused in the wide shot and zoomed in to something thus loosing focus. I would think that if you were having problems with your shutter that we would have seen slight but frequent exposure changes that were not associated with changes in the subject of the shot. Nonetheless it is worrysome that you were hearing the shutter motor working so much.

I think you should shoot another test on reversal film and project the results. Do the test on a tripod and shoot a registration test, a focus chart, framing chart, and do some exposure comparisons between a hand held meter and the BTL meter on the camera. These sorts of things will give you a better idea of what you are working with. A good camera test is well planned and has goals in terms of testing specific aspects of the camera one at a time.

P.S.- I just shot a test of my new 814XL-S this afternoon!
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#6 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 25 June 2007 - 12:38 AM

........In fact when I used 150 degree shutter I heard a strange continuos noise from the shutter like it was changing angle continuously even when the camera was not running. To stop this noise I had to switch again to 220 degrees (XL shooting). Could this shutter angle problem be a cause of blurred images?........

Thanks,

Maurizio


I can't recall when or how but recently I read about this issue. I seem to recall that one workaround was to switch between shutter angles on a certain filming speed. So the next time you hear that crazy unending shutter changing sound, switch the filming speed and see if that stops the sound, then switch to the speed you really want and see if the original sound starts again or if it has been contained.
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#7 Mark Dunn

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Posted 25 June 2007 - 10:52 AM

If the variable shutter were moving you'd get exposure pulsing.
I don't think you've got a lot of jitter at all, but it's difficult to tell with so much camera movement. I'd echo the advice to use a tripod. Don't move the camera about so much- they used to call it 'hosepiping'.
You definitely need to nail the focus problem- around 1min. 20sec, the fellow in the blue jacket is in focus. You then pull focus and he goes out. So what you're seeing as 'in focus' isn't, especially at the long end where focus is more critical anyway.
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#8 Sean McHenry

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 10:11 AM

What I had thought was a natural idea for setting the diopter would be to zoom all the way in on anything with a sharp vertical line, focus until the images mate, then adjust the diopter for the clearest image as the split imager should give you a single solid line whether your eyepiece is focusing correctly or not.

Have I been wrong on that idea?

Seemed to work but then I haven't been critical on focus for my Canon 814 XL-S recently. My stuff always seems to be in focus using that method.

Sean

PS, maybe it's my eye or this PC monitor but it looks like your hue or chroma is off. I don't see anything really white in those images. Everything has a blue/green cast to my eye. Was this film "D" or "T"? Maybe the camera at the TC place was off?

S>

Edited by Sean McHenry, 26 June 2007 - 10:14 AM.

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#9 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 05:52 PM

What I had thought was a natural idea for setting the diopter would be to zoom all the way in on anything with a sharp vertical line, focus until the images mate, then adjust the diopter for the clearest image as the split imager should give you a single solid line whether your eyepiece is focusing correctly or not.

S>


Sounds logical, but no. Do all the steps you describe, except ZOOM OUT all the way first, then do what you say.
The zoom in, reset focus, zoom out again, readjust diopter, zoom in once more, hopefully by now the lens has held focus, then zoom back out.
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#10 Matthew Buick

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Posted 29 June 2007 - 07:50 AM

Beautiful, this video reminds me of how beautiful Super 8mm can be. :)

Which stock did you use?
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#11 Maurizio Zappettini

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Posted 02 July 2007 - 01:56 PM

Thank you for all your suggestions. In the meantime I've already shoot a lot of more footage with this camera for a music video which is much more satisfying than the test rolls I previously shoot and then published here. By the way I'll shoot soon a proper test roll in which I'll make all the test you suggested.
To answer to a few questions posted in this topic, the stock used was one 7217 and one 7218. The telecine was just a simple unattended one-light telecine performed on a Ursa Diamond. There was no color correction at all, probably the operator touched just the gamma and color balance at the beginning of the footage.

Maurizio
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#12 Grant Wilkinson

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Posted 03 July 2007 - 03:25 PM

nice footage of hampstead in there fella... just 2 quick questions: where did you transfer? and how did you compress? it is as amazing as all the other testimonies!

Edited by Grant Wilkinson, 03 July 2007 - 03:26 PM.

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#13 Don Brown

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Posted 04 July 2007 - 02:48 AM

nice footage of hampstead in there fella... just 2 quick questions: where did you transfer? and how did you compress? it is as amazing as all the other testimonies!


Hi Grant
I told him to try Todd AO they are in Camden Town down the hill from Hampstead
they do all gauges including Super 8

http://www.todd-ao.co.uk/super8mm.htm

Regards

Don
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