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Canon 60d Video Noise at 800-1600 ISO (Test Video Included)

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Trip Nixon
Canon 60d Video Noise at 800-1600 ISO (Test Video Included)
on Apr 6, 2011 at 2:09:03 pm

I do wedding videography...and get tons of video noise in low light. I have been running at the MOST 800 Iso and still getting noise. Been playing with properly exposing at higher ISO, and under exposing a little bit and still keeping a low ISO...all with the same results. Even at ISO 400, I get noise. When I see everyone elses videos on vimeo, I see crystal clear video. Do I have to run neat video over almost EVERY clip to make it look reasonable. Am I doing something wrong, or is this normal? Im ripping my hair out over this...if I knew it was normal to get these results, and that everyone is cleaning all their shots...then I could sleep soundly...but, when I see these perfectly clear video's of low light weddings...I cant help but wonder if they are processing every clip with neat video or magic bullet denoiser...or I am simply doing something wrong. I follow the 180 degree rule...even drop to shutter speed of 1/30 sometimes if its slow paced...all with the same results...even my nice bright inside shots have noise in the ceiling corners and womans light black dresses. AH! Anyone, help is greatly appreciated. I notice even more noise when viewing through quicktime player especially...but my video seems cleaner through vimeo and youtube...(however size does play a role in that). I have 2 60d's and 1 T2i...all same results side by side. I've read every possible post about noise, exposure, ISO settings, styles, lighting...EVERYTHING 10 pages deep on google and everything on this site...all coming to the same conclusions "get your exposure right, and keep your ISO low". I get it...even at PERFECT exposure...I get this grain.

Here is the link -





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Daniel Hughes
Re: Canon 60d Video Noise at 800-1600 ISO (Test Video Included)
on Apr 11, 2011 at 4:45:32 pm

Hi!

I am a 550d/T2i user, and I have encountered the same problem. In my current film I'm working on, one of my sets had a red door and a reddish wooden desk, with which I had grain problems even with 1000 watts of light blasted upon them.

Most of the grain problems I get are with reds, and my explanation for this is that the colour red has a smaller frequency than any other colour of light, so it has less energy than any other colour and releases the least amount of electrons when meeting the MOSFET or CMOS sensor, so the camera interprets the very low amount of electrical energy as the colour red, and because it is so low and weak it appears grainy.

I have found the best way to combat this, before you've even shot anything, is making sure you have the correct white balance. I never use Auto White Balance (AWB) as it never seems to work for me. If you're using daylight, choose they daylight setting (5200K). I tend to use tungsten indoors, so I choose the tungsten setting (3200K). If you know what the colour temperature of your light is use the corresponding white balance setting. If you don't know, a quick google with the type of lights you're using will give you the answer, or even some trial and error taking shots with the different white balance settings. This will give you the most accurate colours and will most definitely calm down the grain.

About quicktime, the way it decodes the video does make it more grainy. My favourite way to see what my footage is more truly like is to upload to youtube and check it out the apple shop! Always looks spectacular.

You will also want to do some colour correction. Colour correction can help get the colours you actually want, and with the correct white balance, you have maximum fidelity and will be able to manage the colours more easily. If you have photo/video editing software you should be able to colour correct and manage lows, mids and highs, or you could get Magic Bullet software which is excellent for colour correction. If its a film look you're after, once you've darkened it, increased contrast or applied magic bullet or whatever, grain is often greatly or completely eradicated.

I hope this helps!

Daniel


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Trip Nixon
Re: Canon 60d Video Noise at 800-1600 ISO (Test Video Included)
on Apr 11, 2011 at 11:52:30 pm

Thanks for the help! As for white balance...I have come to the conclusion that since I shoot weddings, and am trying to balance 3 camera colors at different times...and having to change memory cards at crucial times sometimes...its so much easier to use a preset on all the cameras than it is to try to manual white balance. I simply cannot do a manual white balance when a card changes during a first kiss or a speech...and I find it a lot easier to do post production when all the cameras had the SAME setting rather than different. Its easier for me to fix a general white balance then apply it to all the clips...than it is to try to MATCH cameras. (as I am partially color blind...not so bad...but can be a struggle sometimes to match colors) So yea, I always take the time to find the best preset...preferably one that makes the dress or suits look as close to true white as possible...leaning on the side of blue...because like you mention...noise in the reds are terrible! I agree!

About quicktime...is this really true...quicktime player decoder makes it noisy? This would explain a lot with my problems!!!!!! Can you show my some info stating this?


Also about color correction...I use first light and magic bullet looks...depending on the complexity of the project. All my projects get quite the post production, even for a wedding...but neat video is still seeming to be my best friend on getting rid of even small amounts of noise...I use in on every track. I mean, ive done everything in my power to get the perfect exposure, correct white balance, proper lighting, etc...and still get little bits of noise or...better word would be compression noise I think...mostly noticeable when viewing the files from the camera in quicktime for the first time. Once to youtube or vimeo...they usually look ok.


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Daniel Hughes
Re: Canon 60d Video Noise at 800-1600 ISO (Test Video Included)
on Apr 12, 2011 at 8:13:33 pm

Hi again!

I don't really have any written proof or statement of Quicktime having a poor decoder, but if you watch a clip on Quicktime that looks better (less grainy) on another player it is pretty evident that Quicktime has a poorer decoding system than the other player, so you can make an assumption.

I have tons of footage that I can watch in my editing software, on youtube, on my camera and it's great, but as soon as I open it in Quicktime all this grain emerges from nowhere!

However, I use Sony Vegas, and with this the footage looks better than it does in Quicktime, but as soon as I set the pixel format to full range 32 bit, it becomes grainy and such, as it does in Quicktime. So perhaps Quicktime is changing the pixel depth of the footage and the result is grain? I'm not 100% sure.

So yeah, I pretty much have just accepted that Quicktime player makes your footage look abysmal when it really isn't. I tend to not preview clips in Quicktime, to avoid depression.

I agree with white balance, it can be quite challenging to maintain continuity, and I had this problem as in some shots I had tungsten white balance, and in others I had accidentally left it on Daylight or something! I managed to salvage the shots though, just playing around with gamma, gain and offset, with a dash of saturation, try and stretch the ranges to match the other footage using histograms, waveform monitors and such. They're really useful.

There is also a useful noise reduction plugin in After Effects with which you can... reduce noise. It's the only noise reduction I've ever attempted and it didn't disappoint! There are probably other programs that do this just as well out there also.
Something like that could be quite useful if you're willing to put in the time and effort to rescue an essential shot, like a first kiss or something!


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Daniel Hughes
Re: Canon 60d Video Noise at 800-1600 ISO (Test Video Included)
on Apr 22, 2011 at 8:39:07 am

Steve Rhoden just posted an awesome noise reduction plugin over on the Vegas forum. You can get it for many platforms.

[Steve Rhoden] "there is Neat Video, which is the best in the business:
http://www.neatvideo.com/overview.html"


I tried it, and it's AMAZING

Daniel Hughes
Amateur Writer, Director,
Director of Photography
United Kingdom


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