Professional videographers need to have control over the set-up of their camcorder, including complete automatic setting to fine adjustments of: Master RGB, Setup Level, Master Pedestal, Skin Tone Detail, Program AE, Gain, AE Shift and Lock, White Balance, Shutter Speeds, Aperture Control, Zebra Patterns Clear Scan and Interval Timer. Because Canon utilizes a 12 bit DSP (Digital Signal Processor) customized for the XL2, maximum image quality is preserved.
Master RGB (R: -6 to +6, G: -6 to +6, B: -6 to +6)
The Master RGB control offers 13 steps of adjustment each to the red, green and blue components of the video signal. Setup Level (-6 to +6)
Setup level adjusts the standard point of the black level of video signal. In USA (NTSC) the black level is set for 7.5 IRE, in Japan (NTSC) the black level is set at 0 IRE, for PAL and SECAM systems the black level is set for 0 IRE. Professional cameras use 3 IRE for the black level. The XL2 has a 13 step adjustment, with the default mid level being 3 IRE. Master Pedestal (-6 to +6)
The Master Pedal controls the starting point of the gamma curve. This will change the dark areas of the picture. Skin Tone Detail
Hue, gain, area, Y level (+/- 6 steps). During setup EVF shows a zebra pattern over masking area flashes between picture and white-mask. During setup EE and IEE1394 out flashes between picture and zebra pattern, enabling you to easily smooth out skin blemishes and wrinkles with total control. Program AE (Auto, TV, AV, Manual, Spotlight, Low Light, Green)
Gain (-3 / A / 0 / +3 / +6 / +12 / +18 dB)
Control the amount of gain to balance between quality and getting the shot. AE Shift
With the XL2, you may want to make slight adjustments to the image brightness to compensate for backlighting or for scenes that are being rendered slightly overexposed. When in Auto, TV or Av Modes, you can engage AE Shift in the camera menu, then turn the menu dial to add or subtract a bit of exposure. There are 13 steps available for creative control. AE Lock
You can hold the exposure at a particular setting by engaging AE Lock on the XL2. This prevents unplanned exposure changes with a moving subject, for instance. White Balance (Indoor, Outdoor presets and 3 user settings)
The XL2 uses an electronic white balance process to calibrate the picture for accurate color display in different lighting conditions (i.e. sunlight versus indoor incandescent). Automated white balance settings include a fully automated mode, an indoor mode and an outdoor mode. (When the XL2 is set to Green Mode, white balance is fully automated and cannot be adjusted.) In addition to these set standards, the XL2 lets you set the white balance manually by selecting manual select, then pointing the camera at a white object (such as a sheet of paper) that fills the field of view. The XL2 gives you the option of setting and saving as many as three white balance presets that can be reused for non-sequential shooting. Manual white balance works best for dominant color or monochromatic scenes and close-ups, in rapidly changing lighting conditions and in places lit by certain fluorescent or mercury vapor lights. White balancing should be performed prior to any recording. Shutter Speeds
In 60i and 30p modes there are 30 shutter speeds as well as clear scan shutter speeds. In 24p there are 29 shutter speeds including 1/48th second and clear scan shutter speeds. Aperture Control
There are 23 aperture settings available with the 20x lens. This setting can be adjusted in 1/4 steps. Zebra Patterns (100%, 95%, 90%, 85%, 80%)
Zebra stripes, displayed in the viewfinder but not recorded, can be made to appear over any area that is overexposed. This black and white zebra stripe feature is activated via the camera's menu. Use this feature to guide the adjustment of the aperture and shutter speed. The zebra pattern settings that are available in the XL2 are: 80 IRE, 85 IRE, 90 IRE, 95 IRE, and 100 IRE. Clear Scan
The Clear Scan feature allows you to record a computer CRT screen or similar equipment without displaying a black band or flicker on the screen. The XL2 can adjust shutter speeds from 60 Hz to 202.5 Hz, allowing you to perfectly match the CRT's scan rate. Interval Timer
By selecting the Interval Timer on the XL2, the camera can be programmed to record at various intervals for varying amounts of time. This provides time lapse motion videography.
Set intervals include: 30 seconds; 1 minute; 5 minutes; 10 minutes. Set recording times include: 0.5 second; 1.0 second; 1.5 seconds; 2.0 seconds.