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Thread: How to work with "Manual Settings on a Canon XM-1"

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Bath, UK

    Smile How to work with "Manual Settings on a Canon XM-1"


    I have a Canon XM-1, i came across a video today which i shot a while ago and i realised the picture of the video is a bit grainy, i had realised this quite a long time ago but thought it was just the way it was, and to be honest it looks a bit like my home cam, i did read alot of reviews on this camera before i bought it and alot of them said this was a almost broadcast quality video camera, so makes me wonder why i get this grainy picture and maybe its not supposed to be like it is, the camera is supposed to be good, and i think it is but i have learned everything by myself and researching, so maybe im doing something wrong which is what i think i am doing to make this happen.

    I film skateboarding, I always have it on Manual Mode, and it gives me 3 options to mess about with which is what i always change to what i want, but i dont really understand what they are, it comes up as this:


    All these are lighting settings, i set them up how i think it looks alrite everytime but im sure theres a better way of doing this.

    Today i was trying to mess about with it to try and understand or find maybe new options that may be causing this problem, i did come across this button that changed the atmosphere colour, theres about 3 icons that come up as i press and its a sun and another 2 which i dont really know what they are but one is most probably for inside filming(it looks anyway), so when im out filming next i will try and make sure its on the right setting to see if it makes a diference.

    I do know about exposure and shutter speeds but i dont think i fully understand them.

    If anyone could help me it would be greatly apreciated, and anymore tips on, you know the settings to have and that before filming and other stuff that may be helpfull, thanks.

    Hope im speaking

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Bristol uk
    Blog Entries


    I think i know what is causing the graininess, you are using 9db of video gain. This brightens the image electronically and on most cameras can increase noise / grain.

    9 db is quite high and should only be needed in very poorly lit rooms, certainly shoudnt be used when shooting outdoors.

    If you are having to use it you might have the neutral density filter on (ND) when it should be off.

    The ND filter is built in sunglasses for your camera and should only be used in very bright light.

    Set the gain to zero and grain will be reduced.

    I think the other setting you are talking about is white balance - at it's most basic it has 2 settings - outside, usually a 'sun' icon and inside, a light bulb. You have to set this so the camera can adjust for the different colours of the light. Your eye does this automatically - light bulbs are red and the sun is blue, set wrong everything has a blue or red colour.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Bath, UK



    Oh right yeah that makes sence, because it doesnt actually happen all the time because i obviously change all 3 settings all the time so sometimes i may put it on 0 and it will be fine, but because i didnt know i just put it on any setting that applys to the lighting at that time.

    Thanks for your help i will try that!

    If you know what the rest means would be great if you could explain, thanks


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