Poor Canon GL2 Video, Need some tips

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    • #68257
      AvatarEric
      Participant

      I am making some amature travel videos and after doing a ton of research decided I wanted a Canon GL2 to get started.  I bought a unit on ebay and took to reading the owners manuel cover to cover.

       

      The problem I am having is poor image quality.  I am shooting outdoors and most often in the middle of day.  I have played with the gain, and sharpness but still get poor footage.  I am not sure if there is a setting I am missing.

       

      Here is an example of what I am talking about around 5:30 second you can see the grainy footage.

       

      The other camera I use is a GoPro and I am well aware of the difference between a High Def and the Canon GL2 but I still think there should be a better picture coming from the camera.

       

      Thanks,

      Eric

       

      DAN,

      I don't know how to do a photo in the reply so here is the screen shot:

       

      Here is another screen shot, this one is more what I am trying to figure out.  It was shot indoors but in good light.  The LCD showed a great shot, then I upload an out of focus grainy shot. 

    • #208092
      AvatarDaniel Bruns
      Participant

      Hi Eric,

       

      First and foremost, well done on the video man! I really like the local flavor that your video has. I can tell you really enjoy riding. Your enthusiasm is very contagious!

       

      It's a little tough to tell whether it's YouTube that's making the video look fuzzy due to compression or if it's your GL2. Judging on the fact that there are a lot of compression artifacts in your GoPro footage, I'd say the culprit is likely YouTube. However, you would know best since you're able to edit the original footage without the additional compression that YouTube places on the video. Could you possibly upload a screen shot of what you're talking about as a PNG or a TIFF so that we can see what your footage looks like without the YouTube compression? That would help to diagnose the issue!

       

      Also, if I were you, I'd keep bringing up the sharpness of the video in order to help elements in your video stand out better and keep lowering your gain. The more gain you have on your camera, the more grainy it will look (which I'm sure you know).

       

      Wish I could be of more help!

       

      Thanks,

       

      Dan

    • #208096
      AvatarEric
      Participant
    • #208098
      Avatarhal9000
      Participant

      I have a question; are you shooting in LP mode? It should say on your monitor. You can get more recording time in LP, that's because the tape runs slower but that in turn demands more compression. Your image will come out grainy, fuzzy or even posterized. I've seen background images (stationary ones) come out gittery due to the hand-held camera. It's not that obvious if your eye is on the action but once you notice it, it's hard to keep your eyes off it. If you want the best possible image, shoot in SP only. Hope this solves your problem. Good luck.

       

      Will

    • #208105
      AvatarEric
      Participant

      Will,

      I double checked and it is on the SP setting, I was really hoping that I had it on LP because that could help explain the problem.

      Last night I was playing with some video I had shot in the morning.  Again I was in good light and turned the sharpness up and I was still dealing with a slight out of focus grainy image.

      As I'm typing this I gogled canon gl2 footage and came up with this video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACJ8Uq1GTs0

      I can see the same video characteristics  as far as the image, however I am not seeing the grainy out of focus look like mine is producing.

       

      Again to all that have read and helped thanks a million!

    • #208106
      AvatarEric
      Participant

      I am wondering if I am loosing something during the compression and transfer.  Is there anyway I can check the quality that is being transfered via firewaire to the Mac?

    • #208114
      AvatarJoseph
      Participant

      LP vs SP on a miniDV shouldn't matter for focus. The tape records the same digital signal either way. The problem with LP is that if there are any tape flaws you'll get digital hits in your video and possibly dropped frames.

       

      As I know you know, the GL2 is SD. But remember, although it's a three chip, the chips are small 1/4" and 10-ish year old technology.

       

      I'm not able to watch your video on this computer so I'm just going to take a stab at this. My apologies if I'm telling you something you already know.

       

      Maximize your shutter speed first. (Maybe 1/60 at 30fps. Only shoot 1/30 if the action is slow to non-existent to avoid motion blur. 1/15 just looks horrible to me like bad webcam.) Then open your aperature as far as you can or until you've got good exposure. With these small chips you're not likely to have too small a depth of field. Make sure the video is in focus. I know this sounds elementary but you never know…

       

      Slow shutter and wide aperature will allow you to shoot the lowest gain possible to avoid extra video noise. If you have the option, turn off the auto gain feature and adjust manually.

       

      In post, optimize the contrast. This will help give the appeance of better resolution/focus. Play with the sharpening to get the right balance between sharpness and not introducing additional artifacts.

       

      The viewfinder resolution is only 180k and it may look more in focus than it really is. The LCD screen's 200k resolution and might also give you a false sense of clarity.

       

      The worst case scenario here is you may have something wrong with your camera either optically or (less likely) digitally.

    • #208119
      AvatarEric
      Participant

      Thank you for the tips. I am learning everyday and much appreciate the advice. I will continue adjusting the settings. I am sure it is not the camera but the operator. 

      Thanks again. 

    • #208122
      AvatarTrevor
      Participant

      I still use a GL2 quite a bit and I will say that I find that when you are in the 16:9 mode the image does look a little softer than when it is in the 4:3 mode, since the GL2 chips do give you a little bit of added image on the sides when you are in the 16:9 mode, but because the camera isn't a, even for Standard Definition, true widescreen camera, it is also having to zoom into the image just a tiny bit to get that widescreen look.

       

      There is a function in the menu that allows you to, within the 4:3 mode, put a 16:9 outline on your LCD/eyepiece so that you can shoot to do a soft matte; soft matte's have been used for many movies and TV shows, the most famous movie series to use soft matte was the "Back To The Future" trilogy (if you watch an old VHS copy of one of the movies you'll see that there is actually more image on screen than on the widescreen DVD/Blu-Ray releases).

    • #208132
      AvatarDaniel Bruns
      Participant

      Hi Eric,

       

      After looking over this video several times, I'm starting to think that the problem lies with the fact that the footage was originally shot in a small, SD (720×480) size and when played back in full screen on a monitor with a much higher resolution (1440×1080 or more), it tends to look both fuzzy, and full of artifacts, especially when uploaded to YouTube. This may also be the same reason why it looks so good on your camcorder's smallish monitor and not on your computer.

       

      Here's what I would do to test this theory: If you could, watch the original digitized footage from your GL2 at it's original resolution on your computer. This may play back the video in a very small window compared to your screen size, but it is the best way to tell if the problem lies with the video capture or with the upscaling that your computer is doing when displaying your footage at more than 100% of it's original size. I'd be curious to know what you find out.

       

      Also, for all of the other responders, I'm also curious to know if you're seeing the same compression artifacts and graininess when the video is played at the original frame size on your computers in YouTube. Let's see if we can't solve this problem for Eric!

       

      Thanks again,

       

      Dan

    • #208139
      AvatarEric
      Participant

      Dan,

      I think you are 100% right about the resolution size.  I am posting a picture of a screen shot it has some video and the file information on it.  You can see that I record in a low resolution. So… I'm wondering if there is anyway of imporving that or am I living Analog in a Ditigital world and have to make do till I can afford an upgrade?

       

      https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-Gw7mT6115h8/UdWMPus5y-I/AAAAAAAAAN0/ZDCJ3qLf8Hw/w506-h281-o/Screen+Shot+2013-07-04+at+8.44.28+AM.png

    • #208165
      AvatarDaniel Bruns
      Participant

      Hi Eric,

       

      Your settings look good to me from the picture you posted. Also, the picture made your footage look pretty sharp as well which seems to go along with my theory. As such, I'm still convinced that your problem is due to blowing up the footage during playback on a screen with a larger resolution. However, I'd love to be proved wrong about that! 

       

      As you said, it may just come down to using what you have until you get a big enough budget to purchase an HD camera with similar specifications (except for resolution size) as the GL2. It's a tough pill to swallow, but I think that the freshness of your content far outweighs any "blurry" or "grainy" footage in your episodes. Content is always first and you have that in spades!

       

      Dan

    • #208243
      AvatarEric
      Participant

      THANK YOU TO EVERYONE THAT HELPED ME OUT!

      I am currently on location in Baker City Oregon filming an episode.  I took every single tip on here and worked with them.  I have made myself very familiar with the camera and have found that I am not going to get rid of the fuzzy look all together because it is an analog camera doing big picture digital however I have vastly improved the footage. 

      Some of the big tips that have made a huge difference were:

      Shoot in standard picture using the 16:9 guides, not stretching the picture helped

      Adjusting the AE setting to brighten or darken the shot

      Sharpness all the way up as well as playing with a few other color settings

       

      Thanks again for everything I will post the finished piece later this week.

    • #208259
      AvatarDaniel Bruns
      Participant

      No problem Eric. I look forward to seeing your next big adventure! You've done a great job with these videos.

       

      Dan

    • #208320
      AvatarEric
      Participant

      I posted this video in the Feedback section as well but here is the next video.  I spent a great deal of time before each shot working the apature and making sure I had the color and sharpness right.  I think it is better.  I had a guy get ahold of me with some more tips which I will impliment on the next video. 

      Again thanks everyone for the help and support!

       

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