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Canon XF-100 - Footage extremely grainy, color temperature, and iris issues...

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Tom Laughlin
Canon XF-100 - Footage extremely grainy, color temperature, and iris issues...
on Aug 5, 2016 at 4:47:00 pm
Last Edited By Tom Laughlin on Aug 5, 2016 at 5:01:10 pm

Hello all, this is my first post here in the Canon section, as I'm user of mostly Sony professional cameras.

I have a project where the footage we shot, as shot with the XF-100, and coming from using the Sony EX-3's, and Sony EX-1's, which I've used for many years, I cannot begin to tell you how "grainy" and noisy these XF-100 images are, compared to Ex-3's/Ex-1's.

With the camera's gain, set to -3, 0, and 6, using "Doug Jensen's" basic camera settings and methologies, as well as using manual iris, gain, and focus, when I get into post, just adding little color corrections breaks the image down even more. Playing the footage back on a 55-inch plasma, in our lobby, the footage is just horrible. Is this all part of the fact that the XF-100 is a pro-sumer single 1/3 inch chip sensor/50 MB 4:2:2/ camera, versus a 3-CCD 1/2 inch chip sensor/35 MB 4:2:0/ Sony EX-3/EX-1? We shot XF-100, in 29.97fps, 35MB bit-rate (we don't need the 50 MB 4:2:2 color-space for this shoot), with shutter at 1/60, and controlling the color temperature on this camera, just white balancing, has been a horrible experience for me. The preview LCD view-finder is horrible out-doors, super dark, and with glare, you can't even see what you're shooting.

Over-all, with all settings pretty well laied out, the image is just over-all grainy, and/or noisy. Maybe it's me comparing it to the EX3 or EX1 too much, but man, this XF-100 is totally not putting out the images I've heard others are getting. I also recently tried shooting with the XF-205, and there was less noise in the image, but there again, color temperatures indoors, is like the hardest thing to establish. Maybe I'll try some 'warm cards', or revisit the menu and see some settings.

One other thing, even with auto-iris turned "OFF", this XF-100 and XF-205, I clearly see the iris still shifting or adjusting on it's own. Very frustrating. Color temp and iris issues...

Any thoughts, settings, menu items to cehck or overall experiences?

Tom Laughlin
Salt Lake City, Utah

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Al Bergstein
Re: Canon XF-100 - Footage extremely grainy, color temperature, and iris issues...
on Aug 6, 2016 at 2:29:57 pm

Tom, can you post some bits of your footage? I assume, given your background and your post, that yes, you probably are right in your assumptions. I have worked with Sony, Canon XF305, 105 and others, and can tell you that the 100 is not the best choice for interior low light situations. It is very grainy when adding gain. I have shot good footage with it, but it's not a camera I would grab without useing in advance. It is very good at run and gun with lots of light.

Were you shooting 60i by some chance?

Yes, this is a prosumer camera. The xf300/305 was more targeted at the Sony EX 3/1 when it came out. I still use my 300 and find that it is the best quality image for stage shows in the 1080 world. As long as I have lots of good light. Even it is not a great low light camera, given today's choices, and the Sony seemed, in the tests I saw some years ago to have a small edge in low light.

Best of luck.


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