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Canon XC10 hardcoded noise reduction issue


kidzrevil
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Recently I picked up an XC10 as my go to camera for my personal projects and it works wonderfully in good lighting but I noticed something odd about the motion cadence at high ISO's. Upon further inspection I noticed a severe "ghosting" effect which seems to repeat the last 3-4 frames. This has made what would otherwise be great footage completely unusable. Other users have reported the same effect at even lower ISO's from 160-500. I hope this gets addressed in a firmware update because it is far wiser to apply noise reduction in post. This in camera temporal noise reduction makes it harder to use programs like Neat Video to reduce noise.

an example of the ghosting at lower iso's provided by @hyalinejim

We need the option to totally disable in camera sharpness in the other picture profiles and the ability to disable or at least adjust the strength of the noise reduction

 

noise reduction 2.jpg

noise reduction.jpg

the last two examples are shot with the wide DR profile at 2000-3200 iso. Please post any examples of your footage that includes this type of artifacts.

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EOSHD Pro Color 5 for Sony cameras EOSHD Z LOG for Nikon CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

@kidzrevil Thanks for making this thread. Canon don't know yet that this is a big problem. On page 76 of the manual they write:

"When using Dynamic IS, the edges of the picture may be adversely affected (ghosting, artifacts and/or dark 
areas may appear) when compensating for a high degree of camcorder shake."

BUT the ghosting appears whether or not IS selected or not, and at all ISOs. Now, my video shows faint ghosting artifacts at ISO 500, and kidzrevil's high ISO frame grabs show severe ghosting. So it gets worse with ISO. So it's probably due to temporal noise reduction. Forget frame grabs for a second: it's visible on the LCD at moderate ISOs as soon as anything moves. This makes the footage next to useless. 

I don't know how this slipped past Canon and the BBC guy. If you only shoot static scenes everything's hunky dory. But look what happened when DVInfo panned across a chart:

XC10-HDSwishPan.jpg

Adam Wilt knows it , I know it, kidzrevil knows it, but...

Canon doesn't know about the ghosting yet

So if you own an XC10, contact Canon support and tell them your camera does mad shit against your will. They've shown their willingness to improve image quality through firmware updates. Ask them to fix the ghost that is haunting your camera. 

Because if your scene demands you record at anything above ISO 500, you might as well shoot it on a potato.

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Here's a 4k 305mbps frame grab of a scene with deep DOF and a lot of fine detail at only ISO 1000:

mush.jpg

Here's a crop of the top right hand corner at 100%

mush_crop.jpg

Look at those rocks and shrubs. Pure mush. Here it is again resized to 1080:

mush_crop_2.jpg

It's still fucking mush!!!

There's no ghosting here as the camera wasn't moving. It's spatial noise reduction (within the frame) as opposed to temporal noise reduction (between frames). Both are perfidious and noise reduction should really be user selectable. Now, I'm sure the aggressive NR is helping the compression algorithm BUT... if I could switch it off I would.

25 minutes ago, tomsemiterrific said:

 Lots of professionals who are very critical love this image/color of the XC10/15 and there's never been any mention of any such problems in the past. You would think if it's common you'd hear lots of people talking about "ruined" footage. Any comments???

I'd also love to hear from other XC owners about whether they see aggressive noise reduction and motion ghosting in their units. Because if it's just my unit and kidzrevil's I'm sending mine back to Canon pronto!

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51 minutes ago, tomsemiterrific said:

I wonder if they've addressed this issue with the XC15. Lots of professionals who are very critical love this image/color of the XC10/15 and there's never been any mention of any such problems in the past. You would think if it's common you'd hear lots of people talking about "ruined" footage. Any comments???

a lot of reviewers shoot charts, very few take their cameras out in the field and really push it to its limits before they send the body back to the manufacturer. Some only shoot in ideal conditions or in studio so you won't notice these things which is totally understandable. I have a really critical eye & shoot in a wide variety of lighting conditions so so I tend to get lucky and catch these things. This is exactly why I STOPPED listening to the pro's and I test myself. Everyone is a "pro" these days lol.

Maybe they did fix it in the XC15 hopefully they can fix this cause it is very limiting.

The shot in my bathroom is at 4000 iso and 1/48 and you can see the ghosting

The shot of my front door is daylight white balanced, natural lighting with 1/320 shutter and you still see it especially if you look at the lock on the door

4000iso.jpg

afterimage.jpg

afterimage2.jpg

canon CPS customer service has been very helpful and responsive in trying to address the issue. 

@mercer are you experiencing this problem as well ?

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43 minutes ago, kidzrevil said:

a lot of reviewers shoot charts, very few take their cameras out in the field and really push it to its limits before they send the body back to the manufacturer. Some only shoot in ideal conditions or in studio so you won't notice these things which is totally understandable. I have a really critical eye & shoot in a wide variety of lighting conditions so so I tend to get lucky and catch these things. This is exactly why I STOPPED listening to the pro's and I test myself. Everyone is a "pro" these days lol.

Maybe they did fix it in the XC15 hopefully they can fix this cause it is very limiting.

The shot in my bathroom is at 4000 iso and 1/48 and you can see the ghosting

The shot of my front door is daylight white balanced, natural lighting with 1/320 shutter and you still see it especially if you look at the lock on the door

4000iso.jpg

afterimage.jpg

afterimage2.jpg

canon CPS customer service has been very helpful and responsive in trying to address the issue. 

@mercer are you experiencing this problem as well ?

I have not seen it, but I honestly haven't used the camera in about a month and I have shot mostly 1080p with it. It seems that most of the problems are from users who shoot primarily in 4K. I plan on getting out in the next week or two with it, so I will definitely look out for it and try to recreate the issues you guys are having. Could you guys specifically describe the shooting conditions where you have noticed it the most, to help make my tests more useful? Also, if your cameras are within the return deadline, I would exchange them out for a new unit... Just in case you did get a faulty camera. 

I do have a lot of older footage I shot in both 4K and 1080p... Mostly handheld in C-Log with IS. I also have some WideDR footage I shot on sticks, I'll go back and reevaluate it in case it was there all along and I just didn't notice it. 

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Very good examples kidzrevil. I'm also in contact with Canon support about this.

@mercer I see it most at high ISO. If I whack up the ISO to max and wave the camera around a bit I'll see it very clearly on the LCD screen. Nothing else matters, not IS, picture style, shutter speed... nothing. As far as I'm aware if there's movement within the scene in a high contrast area there will be ghosting in the shadows. I'll try to upload a vid of what to look for.

EDIT: Here it is. This is max ISO just to show the problem. IS is off. Shot in CLog and contrast expanded in post. Try to keep your lunch down!

 

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1 hour ago, hyalinejim said:

Very good examples kidzrevil. I'm also in contact with Canon support about this.

@mercer I see it most at high ISO. If I whack up the ISO to max and wave the camera around a bit I'll see it very clearly on the LCD screen. Nothing else matters, not IS, picture style, shutter speed... nothing. As far as I'm aware if there's movement within the scene in a high contrast area there will be ghosting in the shadows. I'll try to upload a vid of what to look for.

EDIT: Here it is. This is max ISO just to show the problem. IS is off. Shot in CLog and contrast expanded in post. Try to keep your lunch down!

 

Obviously an extreme example, but that is pretty bad. Do you have the RS cure enabled? Not that I believe that's the cause. 

Also, how are you handling your files in post? I bring all of my footage through EditReady. I'll either downscale and transcode the 4K MXF files to 1080p ProRes or transcode the 1080p MXF files to 1080p ProRes.

Again, I'm not saying your post workflow is the issue, but I believe for these tests to be congruent, there should be a specific protocol we follow to establish a proper control group.

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39 minutes ago, mercer said:

Obviously an extreme example, but that is pretty bad. Do you have the RS cure enabled? Not that I believe that's the cause. 

No, this was HD so no RS reduction.

39 minutes ago, mercer said:

I'm not saying your post workflow is the issue

It's definitely not post because I can see it on the LCD, and in the file SOOC.

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If true @HugoS316 that would be a massive relief because we can hopefully get our cameras repaired / replaced. Would you be so good as to record a few seconds of high ISO movement like I did above?

@tomsemiterrific do you see ghosting on your XC15?

@kidzrevil Did you register your camera on CPN? If so, they say there's a 5 day turnaround for returns.

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7 minutes ago, kidzrevil said:

Smh Canon tech support wants me to send my unit in but I have a strong feeling thats just going to waste my time. We need a flood of people to email them so they can understand its a problem with the image processing and faulty hardware @hyalinejim

I agree. I went into a store in town today and checked out their display model. It had the exact same behaviour as mine. I've sent the files from both cameras to my Canon CPS rep, because I haven't heard from the regular support guys in a few days.

In the meantime I'm trying to keep ISO at 500 whenever possible. Interiors are manageable at 24mm f2.8. If the ISO goes up the image goes to mush and the ghosts start coming out. I'd like to see Canon release a firmware update on October 31st.

If you want to chance sending in your unit, ask Canon for a loan replacement. You might be entitled to it under the CPS programme.

21 hours ago, tomsemiterrific said:

What would be the possible solution to this?

If kidzrevil and I are correct in our hunch, this affects all units and not just ours. In that case the only solution is for XC10/15 users to contact Canon and ask them to offer an option to disable noise reduction.

20 hours ago, HugoS316 said:

I have not experienced this with my XC10 (with the latest firmware). I just did a quick test with high ISO and IS enabled. No issue.

Can you check this @HugoS316 and upload a quick example at ISO 20000, waving the camera around in front of something sharp and contrasty with underexposed areas? If your unit doesn't have ghosting, this will encourage kidzrevil and me to send our units back to Canon. Thanks in advance. :grin:

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I did a couple of tests and didn't experience any thing like I see in the examples above.

Next, I put a pot of flowers in low light and ran the ISO to 20,000---still, no ghosting.

Disclaimer: I have an XC15--but I don't think that should really make any difference. Right?!?

I'll keep testing and keep a look out for it in the future. Weird. 

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