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XF400 & XA50 Picture Profile Limitations

mikew124
Contributor

I have both of these cameras and use them for live streaming and more traditional filming jobs. I chose them mostly for their ease of use, good sound capability and picture quality. With good lighting the 1" sensor on these cameras gives excellent results after a bit of tweaking.

 

My only real complaint is the lack of adjustment if you want to use the Wide DR mode for live streaming. The picture just isn't monitor ready as stated in the manual. It looks washed out.

 

It does come close after adjusting the pedestal down (blacks float a little high as standard) and adding some extra chroma. But I would really like to adjust the black gamma but it is greyed out. Of course I can fix this in post production if the shoot isn't live but I would really like the ability to use Wide DR for live shoots where the lighting is all over the place.

 

Is there any chance that the firmware on these cameras will be updated to offer this feature in the future?

 

11 REPLIES 11

rs-eos
Whiz

Possibly.  I know the upcoming EOS C70 firmware will allow one to send out a LUT now out the HDMI.   Currently, you can only apply a LUT to the camera's own display.  So if recording in say Canon Log 2, the on-screen display can represent the final footage look whereas you'll get that very flat-looking representation out the HDMI.

 

No idea if Canon will be doing similar firmware updates to their other professional video equipment.

--
Ricky

EOS 5D IV, EF 50mm f/1.2L, EF 135mm f/2L, 600EX-RT (x6), ST-E3-RT
EOS C70, RF 24-70 f/2.8L IS, EF-EOS R 0.71x

Inapickle
Rising Star

@mikew124 wrote:

My only real complaint is the lack of adjustment if you want to use the Wide DR mode for live streaming. The picture just isn't monitor ready as stated in the manual. It looks washed out.

 

It does come close after adjusting the pedestal down (blacks float a little high as standard) and adding some extra chroma. But I would really like to adjust the black gamma but it is greyed out. Of course I can fix this in post production if the shoot isn't live but I would really like the ability to use Wide DR for live shoots where the lighting is all over the place.

 

Is there any chance that the firmware on these cameras will be updated to offer this feature in the future?

 


It's understandable that adjustment of Black Gamma and Knee settings is not available for the Wide DR custom preset (C2) as these parameters critically define the Wide DR gamma curve and how it handles the shadows and highlights.

 

I don't own either camcorder to test myself, but I wonder - if you unprotect the Wide DR (C2) preset, copy and save it to an SD card and then load it to replace one of the User-Defined presets (C5,C6) does that give you any more editable options? I read where someone did that with the CLog3 (C3) preset and he was then able to add Sharpness, which is normally not available in CLog3. Worth a try ?

 

Otherwise (if that's not possible) why not create a custom profile from scratch that better meets your requirements? That's what the User Defined presets are for. Does your monitor have videoscopes (WFM, Parade, Histogram, Vectorscope etc) ?

Unfortunately if you select the Wide DR gamma on any of the presets user ones included the black gamma & knee settings are greyed out. Saving and loading files doesn't appear to alter this.

 

I've tried creating a profile from scratch and it doesn't even come close to the dynamic range you can get with Wide DR.

 

I think the clue is that when Wide DR is selected 9db of gain is automatically applied to the image. My thought is that the sensor is  deliberately underexposed along with the gamma change to help achieve the wide dynamic range of Wide DR mode.

Wide DR, in essence, decompresses the highlights and applies compensatory gain to the shadows. But that does come at the expense of reduced local contrast, softening of fine detail (which cannot be restored merely by sharpening in-post) and higher noise levels in the shadows.There's always is a trade off.

MandyDroid
Contributor

@mikew124 - If you are going to send the video straight to a livestream you should not use the WideDR or Canon C-Log 3 profiles. These profiles require additonal processing from a LUT or something. Depending on your livestream patform you may be able to apply a LUT live -- I think OBS allows this; or at least the ability to adjust contrast and some levels. 

 

I have updated my XF400 with the latest 1.0.5.0 December 2020 firmware. It allows me to use a CanonC-Log 3 profile that is even flatter then the WideDR. The profile is amazing when teamed with a proper LUT or other imagieng refinement. 

 

WideDR and CanonC-Log 3 profiles require post editing. My Atmos recorder can apply the Canon LUT to the recorded media and also it can apply the LUT and then send the adjusted video to a livestream. 

 

I do live streams for ballets and music shows. Would love to hear more!

Canon has intended the WideDR profile is used to archive a "ready to go" image as long as you set the exposure right. If you ask me I'm not a fan of clipping highlights anyway.

This are two stills from a live production... with wideDR directly. I'll suggest to optimize the settings in the WideDR 
(color deep: max. and sharpness: 4). Downside you can't match to other cameras not using wideDR profile.


ex1.jpg

 

ex2.jpg

Wide DR is monitor ready according to the manual and I have used it successfully live. However, being able to adjust the black gamma would make it even better in my opinion. I find that the blacks a bit flat in some situations.

 

This still from a service video is straight out of the camera (XA50)

 

The settings were:

Wide DR

-10 pedestal

+10 sharpness

+20 color matrix tuning gain

Lighting was 2 x roof fluorescents plus 1 LED 20w light set to 4200K.

 

Screen Shot 2021-08-04 at 9.44.45 pm.png

 

@MandyDroid - Small world, I do live streams of classical music myself Smiley Happy

 

I use 2 - 3 cameras depending on the size of the ensemble.

Canon XF400

Canon XA50

Canon XA20

 

For live streaming I use the Blackmagic ATEM Mini Pro & a Mackie audio mixer in a custom made fold up rig.

 

pic3.jpg

 

These stills are from footage shot using the "Normal" video profile.

 

pic1.png

 

pic2.png

Great Shots! I also use the XF400 as my primary camera with a VIXIA GX10 as a second camera. I use a combination of an ATEM Mini Pro and OBS for live streams. I just got both cameras upgraded to the latest firmware (1.0.5.0) but have not had a chance to test the C-Log 3 profile in a production yet. In testing the C-Log 3 profile flattened the image even more but with the Canon LUT and some minor post production tweaks the image is amazing.

I really only find normal profile for shooters that don't intend to do any post production work - ie livestream. Also to be clear normal is a great profile!!! Canon color is well known.

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