The Canon XL2 lets users fine-tune the cine look of their video recordings using a number of variables: color matrix, gamma, knee, black stretch, vertical detail, coring, sharpness, noise reduction, color gain, and hue. Each variable can be adjusted independently, thereby giving you precise control over the "film-like" appearance of your video. Because Canon utilizes a 12 bit DSP (Digital Signal Processor) customized for the XL2, maximum image quality is preserved.
The XL2's Color Matrix function manages the hue and saturation of the video to reproduce the most accurate color. The color matrix defines the camera's color output; the matrix lets you define the amount of primary and secondary colors that are produced. The primary colors are red, green and blue, with the secondary colors (cyan, magenta, yellow) made from the combinations of two primary colors. With the XL2's Color Matrix, you can change from a video to a cine "look" for the end product. Gamma (Video/Cine)
Gamma controls the general brightness (luminance) of the picture and the contrast of the picture. Adjusting gamma allows you to control the way the camera reproduces various tones. Video shot on the XL2 can be gamma corrected to allow for the final usage of the video -- where it will be shown. The display medium can distort the brightness, therefore if the gamma is corrected for the display medium when the video is shot, the display will show the correct brightness level. By switching to the Cine curve, the tonal qualities of the images produced have shading and coloration similar to that of film. Knee (H/M/L)
Among the XL2's picture-enhancing circuits is the knee circuit. Setting the control to high, medium or low manages the highlight compression of the video signal. Black (Stretch/Normal/Press)
The XL2 gives the user control of the depth of black in dark areas of an image. To emphasize contrast in the video's dark areas, "Stretch" is selected. To deepen or enhance the dark area, "Press" (compress) is selected. Vertical Detail (Normal/Low)
There are 2 settings: "Normal" for vertical detail optimized for playback on an interlaced monitor, "Low" for vertical detail optimized for a progressive scan monitor like a PC. Coring (-6 to +6)
The Coring function on the XL2 is useful in helping to remove image "noise." Coring removes fine detail information that is not a major contributor to the picture detail but which adds noise to the image. You can adjust just how much detail information is removed -- just enough coring to reduce picture noise, but not enough to hurt the detail in the image. Sharpness (-6 to +6)
The XL2 is capable of changing the degree of sharpness in the picture. By using this feature, pictures that do not require a lot of detail can be softened. This feature also can be used to hide imperfections during close-ups, for example. Increasing video sharpness can increase the video noise slightly. Noise Reduction (OFF/H/N/L)
Noise Reduction removes video noise -- non-picture artifacts such as those commonly found in low-light images -- without hurting image detail or creating motion artifacts. This is important for two reasons. The first is that we have become used to viewing high quality video. The second is that video noise makes compression -- to DVD, for example -- less efficient. Color Gain (-6 to +6)
The XL2 can deliver 13 steps of color gain, from off to oversaturated. This adjustment allows you to shoot in black and white. Color Phase (-6 to +6)
Adjust the Color Phase towards red or green for exact control.