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  1. Hi,

    I am new here and would like to consult some knowledgeable people on here about a strange issue I've been facing.

    I have a Canon HF10 camcorder which records on a flash disk. When I play back the recorded videos directly on my camcorder it looks great, however when I transfer the files to my PC(they are still AVCHD files and plays with Windows Media Player) the colors look terrible. For example, the black backdrop I have look greyish and the blue shirt I have looks purple. The lighting seems the same(no quality loss in terms of lighting but just the colors).

    How does this happen and what can I do so I can get the original quality of the video?

    For your information;
    I use Sony Vegas Pro 10 and even when I transfer(import) the AVCHD file to Vegas it displays it with those bad colors.
    I have a powerful computer which the files play with no problems. The only problem is the ridiculous loss of color quality.

    Does anyone know why this is happening and what needs to be done to fix it?

    Thanks.
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  2. Member
    Join Date: Sep 2007
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    Maybe you graphics card and/or monitor settings aren't calibrated
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  3. I tried this on a few other computers as well though. I got the same result on all of them.
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  4. Try play with VLC or Quicktime
    also try import with Sony Vegas Pro 12 trial, you can only install on windows 7 64bit
    Sony Vegas Pro 10, 2 years old
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  5. The problem is colors, so I don't think it has anything to do with players. I tried on Windowns Media Player, VLC and Quicktime. All has the same problem. I thought it could be the AVCHD format so I imported it in Vegas Pro 10 with no result. I converted the AVCHD to other formats such as mp4 and avi but unfortunately the colors still no good.

    It's very frustrating not the be able to find the cause of this strange issue.
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  6. By the way, in case this might help; my graphic card is ATI Radeon HD 5700 series.

    I thought this might also have to do with color calibration of my monitor but the fact that I get the same problem in all computers I tried makes me think this has nothing to do with it as either.

    I'll really appreciate if anyone can help.

    Thanks.
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  7. On replay you have option to upload file up to 100mb
    can you upload 5 sec sample file?
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  8. I just uploaded one of the test files I recorded while trying the mic setup. Just disregard the script

    As you'll see the blue shirt seems purple-ish and evenif the lighting is not that bad the colors are just not at the quality level with the original recording.

    When I play the file on camcorder the video and colors look like it should. When I transfer it to PC with the same format(AVCHD) it just loses the color quality. I record videos with my iPhone and other digital cameras and my computer plays them with no loss of color quality so I started to think that this has something to do with the AVCHD format...or my brand new canon camcorder is broken

    I really hope you can help me finding a solution for this because it has been 2 days now that I'm trying to solve this issue with no result.

    Thanks for all your support.
    Attached Files
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  9. I can't see any problem with file
    I can play in VLC version 2.0.2 no problem with colors
    I can play and edit in Sony Vegas Pro 11 64bit
    also I can play and edit in Adobe Premiere Pro CS6
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  10. There is no problem playing or editing the file, the problem is with the colors. They are much different than the original recorded video colors. Do you see the shirt as blue or purple-ish?

    Can you take a screenshot of the video or if this is not going to be a problem convert it to another format than AVCHD and upload it here? Because if you can see the video with true colors then I should start question my computer. It's Windows 7, 64bit 12GB RAM and 2TB harddisk with ATI Radeon HD 5700 graphic card so if that's the case I'd be surprised.

    Thank you for the support, I really appreciate this.
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  11. Yes, these are not the true colors. I wish I could attach a true screenshot here but since I can't get it work on my computer there is no way to do it.

    I also just realized that the lighting is not as good. So seems like the complete video looks darker. I tried to play with brightness and contrast but that reflects on the black backdrop in a negative way. I simply have no clue how to fix this.

    Thanks much for the support.
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  12. Yes, Sony Vegas Pro, latest VLC and WMP. Apparently you get the same picture with me though. So, it must be the file. But then if it is the file, then how come it plays perfectly when I play it back directly in the camcorder?
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  13. Member 2Bdecided's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by chaos33 View Post
    As you'll see the blue shirt seems purple-ish
    It looks blue here.

    You do realise that the file you have on your PC is exactly the same file you had on your camcorder? It's not changed at all. If it looks different, it's down to the decoder, drivers and monitor.

    Cheers,
    David.
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  14. Originally Posted by chaos33 View Post
    But then if it is the file, then how come it plays perfectly when I play it back directly in the camcorder?
    The file not changed on import from camcorder to PC
    Don't know how its play perfectly camcorder, but you can check by edit on PC small clip and export to camcorder
    and play edited clip on camcorder
    If its play perfectly on camcorder, that mean you camcorder good player
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    If it's playing the same on all your computers, I would suggest it's your camera's viewfinder that's not giving you the true picture.
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    More likely all your computers , graphics cards and monitors are calibrated in the same incorrect fashion

    Everyone else "sees" the shirt as blue. Usually "blue" is not mistaken for "purple"

    Levels issues are common (TV vs PC levels, studio RGB levels in vegas) , but hue issues are less common - purple for blue suggests a hue shift in addition to levels issue
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    All of the images you posted have the same color balance; they all look alike (which leads me to ask, why did you post images of entirely different frames?). All the gray backgrounds are the same, except on CS6 they are darker -- but since the images are not all from the same frame, it's impossible to draw any conclusions about that.

    You are aware, I think, that all monitors require calibration for video work. Don't assume that just because they are "digital", they all display in the same way. They don't. It's rare to find a properly calibrated monitor out of the box. CS6 has extensive documentation on that subject, as well as various settings for viewing and color correction using various color spaces and matrices depending on the color system used by your video and your monitor. I would imagine that Vegas has similar features. VLC, like most media players, has no proper color balance adjustment except for some primitive Tint, Saturation, and Brightness/Contrast controls. There are various hardware/software packages, test patches, and gray ramps available for testing and adjusting displays. It is far too extensive a subject to cover here. There will not be much variation in screen captures anyway. The Windows clip board (usually) copies the source image with no modification.

    BTW, the VLC and Vegas images are telling me that the brightest parts of the blue shirt are clipped and beyond the standard RGB range for TV video (for PC playback they are within range, but they look somewhat clipped to me), and your black levels seem a bit high. But I don't know what kind of processing was done on the video.

    Your camera likely has some sort of IRE record and playback settings. They might not match the IRE standards of your PC.
    Last edited by sanlyn; 19th Mar 2014 at 13:54.
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    Originally Posted by poisondeathray View Post
    More likely all your computers , graphics cards and monitors are calibrated in the same incorrect fashion
    Respectfully, that's like all the kids getting the same wrong answer on an essay question.

    It may be a worthwhile test for OP to do a manual white balance on a grey or white card and post that.
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    Originally Posted by smrpix View Post
    Originally Posted by poisondeathray View Post
    More likely all your computers , graphics cards and monitors are calibrated in the same incorrect fashion
    Respectfully, that's like all the kids getting the same wrong answer on an essay question.

    It may be a worthwhile test for OP to do a manual white balance on a grey or white card and post that.
    No, sorry, but the quoted answer is correct. However, you have the right idea: a white balance check would help somewhat, but a calibration kit such as Xrite/EyeOne would be far better. It's not possible to get a linear RGB/luminance/gamma range adjustment on a PC monitor with the controls provided on consumer monitors. You might get the whites correct, but the black and gray points are impossible to adjust properly at the same time. User controls on monitors don't work that way. It's better to do a multi-point adjustment with a colorimeter. Every advanced hobbyist and pro photog I know uses that method. It is also the sad truth, that some consumer monitors defy proper correction.
    Last edited by sanlyn; 19th Mar 2014 at 13:54.
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  20. Originally Posted by chaos33 View Post
    By the way, in case this might help; my graphic card is ATI Radeon HD 5700 series.

    I thought this might also have to do with color calibration of my monitor but the fact that I get the same problem in all computers I tried makes me think this has nothing to do with it as either.

    I'll really appreciate if anyone can help.

    Thanks.
    If someone asks me "what color is the shirt ?" I would also answer that i see the shirt "in blue color" but if i look at the RGB values i see that there is RED values in it. Please see 20. sec of your video and the mouse pointer (actually it was a color picker icon but screen capture captured it as a pointer arrow) shows the RGB values in color picker program.

    Ati has released a driver , i do not remember the exact date , maybe 1 year ago , it has changed the COLOR TEMPERATURE from 6500 Kelvin to 6600. My screen became also redish so i changed it back to 6500 K. Please make a pure white color picture and open in your monitor. If you see it blue or red tint , try to change it via monitor or Ati Control Center settings.

    Human eyes , cameras, monitors or tvs , printers do not always understand/see/show/provide the real color. They must be calibrated if possible or choose a better model with high accuracy input-output , unless if the result is acceptable or satisfying. In your case , as you are not pleased with the output ,you must decide what to do.

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    Chaos33, re-reading some of these posts I'm even more inclined to believe your camera's viewfinder is the problem.

    You indicate that shots taken with your iphone look as expected on your monitors, that you are expecting the background to be black instead of dark grey (good catch of Sanlyn's to note the background IS perfectly neutral), and that there is a color shift in the shirt.

    You have not indicated how or whether any of the monitors have been calibrated. Sanlyn's solution is of course ideal.

    The white balance test I suggested earlier may help give us an inexpensive baseline. I'm curious whether you'll see a color cast in either the camera's monitor or the computer monitor (and of course it can be measured.)
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    Also please clarify, are you using the HF 10 as stated or the HF g10?
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    Originally Posted by frmys View Post
    If someone asks me "what color is the shirt ?" I would also answer that i see the shirt "in blue color" but if i look at the RGB values i see that there is RED values in it. Please see 20. sec of your video and the mouse pointer (actually it was a color picker icon but screen capture captured it as a pointer arrow) shows the RGB values in color picker program.
    Well, the shirt looks blue as the dominant color, but not "pure" blue. These characters are pure RGB 0-0-255 blue, with no other color. In order to get a more pale, lighter blue you have to add white (i.e., you have to add some of the other two colors). That's why some red and green show up in the color picker.

    The backgrounds in all the images posted so far are almost neutral gray. If you have an image in which blacks, grays, and whites are neutral (all 3 colors in equal proportion), then the colors of other objects in the image will be "correct". Judging from the image posted just above, the background wouldn't be black; if it were black, the darker colors in the hair, etc., would be crushed and unnatural. The images all look about "right" as far as color balance is concerned. But you can always make it look any way you want.
    Last edited by sanlyn; 19th Mar 2014 at 13:55.
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  24. Vow thanks for all the replies. I am going to answer them one by one but let me just first mention that I am neither a professional video producer nor a highly technical person when it comes to video production. I actually have online businesses which sells online information products and training courses and that's what I mainly use web video for.

    To clarify what the issue was (and please know that as I said I am not an advanced video producer) and what I did;

    1) I recorded the video in a small studio at my home-office with a black background and some good lighting(softboxes) with Canon Vixia HF10(records in AVCHD format on a flash disk)

    2) The video lighting and all colors looked good when I played them back in the camcorder.

    3) Then I transferred all the videos into my PC (with the features I already mentioned before). I also use Sony Vegas Pro 10 as my editing program. I tried playing the videos on WMP, VLC and Sony Vegas (all latest versions). They all played well but with major picture quality loss.

    4) The video is not as clear(light and color wise) as it was shown in the camcorder. Naming it "purple-ish" might be my mistake, I meant the shirt color was different so does the background color(I think). In the original video they appear a lot more shiny and sharp. The screenshots you posted here might look blue but the point is it's different (darker and dull) than what is shown in the camcorder.

    5) I did make a monitor color calibration since I use Windows 7. However, I don't have a pro software like Spyder4Express. Still, this much quality loss must have another reason other than my monitor's color calibration because as I said videos recorded by other camcorders(different format than AVCHD, e.g: .mov files) look like they should with very minor quality loss. Therefore, in this case I think computer being the problem is out of the question.

    6) So, the computer is not the reason(since I imported, edited and use other recordings from different camcorders before with no problem) . The file is not the reason(because it plays clean and high quality in the camcorder). In this case, it's either the camcorder (which is brand new by the way) or my computer has an issue with AVCHD formats(but then how come the screenhots you posted has the same quality loss?). I wish I could get a screenshot of the actual recording in the camcorder so I can post both of them here so you can see the difference.

    7) To be honest, the only thing which comes to my mind is that my camcorder is broken. It records good, it plays good but when I transfer the files they get ruined I know it sounds on the "not possible" side but what else is left? I can see that when videos imported into a computer they might lose some quality, but this is more than "some quality", there is a major difference.

    I'll re-read your posts and try to see what I can apply so I can inform you as well. However, as I said some stuff you suggested me doing is too technical and advanced for me.

    Thank you all once again for all your support...and I hope I can solve this issue soon. If I do I'll post it here so visitors of this forum can benefit from this long discussion.
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  25. By the way, if I left any of your questions unanswered pls let me know.
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  26. Camera's viewfinder being the issue? Frankly, I never thought of it. I'd think it might be the reason but then doesn't the video have to be worse quality? maybe my camcorder has an exceptional viewfinder that it plays the video better than it originally is

    Also, I think I missed addressing a comment about editing a file and exporting it into the camcorder again to see how it's going to play. I'll try that...with a little hope though
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  27. Member 2Bdecided's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by chaos33 View Post
    maybe my camcorder has an exceptional viewfinder that it plays the video better than it originally is
    Several Canon camcorders have viewfinders (at least, LCD screens) which intentionally show the video with more contrast and deeper colour saturation than it really has. I don't know if yours is one of them.


    The file on your PC is the same as the file on your camcorder. I don't know how you think it's magically breaking it during transfer. It doesn't have the capability to process it in any way while transferring it - neither wrecking it nor improving it.

    Cheers,
    David.
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    Originally Posted by chaos33 View Post
    1) I recorded the video in a small studio at my home-office with a black background and some good lighting(softboxes) with Canon Vixia HF10(records in AVCHD format on a flash disk)
    If you have light falling on a "black" background sheet, the background will not be completely "black". Background materials -- even jet-black ones -- will reflect some amount of light, even if just a small amount, and will reflect spill from wall reflections as well. A pure black is RGB Red-0 Green-0 Blue-0. That is, a pure black has zero color value, period. For tv video, a pure black would look somewhat grimy, and many TV's can't reproduce RGB 0-0-0 anyway. Therefore, even a small amount of light reflected from a black background would make that "black" into a very dark gray. Move the lights closer to a black background, and an even lighter gray would result.

    Originally Posted by chaos33 View Post
    2) The video lighting and all colors looked good when I played them back in the camcorder.
    It's debatable what "looked good" really means. Have another look; my guess is that your camcorder's viewfinder is rather dark; hair and shadow details are likely murky, with little detail and poor separation from the background. Likely it is also oversaturated and with juiced-up contrast (highlights should not "sparkle and shine" in video; there's something wrong with either the display or the video if they do). As seen here, the highlights in the blue shirt exceed RGB 255, the latter being limit of your PC's bright-range display. You couldn't make the highlights shine any "brighter" on a digital display, even if you wanted to.

    Originally Posted by chaos33 View Post
    3) Then I transferred all the videos into my PC (with the features I already mentioned before). I also use Sony Vegas Pro 10 as my editing program. I tried playing the videos on WMP, VLC and Sony Vegas (all latest versions). They all played well but with major picture quality loss.
    I don't see a quality loss in the images you posted, except for some jpg compression. The exposure and color balance look about right. If you mean that you want your video sharpened and more saturated, that's easy to do with filters. You are also viewing images in a larger window than your camera's viewfinder.

    Originally Posted by chaos33 View Post
    4) The video is not as clear(light and color wise) as it was shown in the camcorder. Naming it "purple-ish" might be my mistake, I meant the shirt color was different so does the background color(I think). In the original video they appear a lot more shiny and sharp. The screenshots you posted here might look blue but the point is it's different (darker and dull) than what is shown in the camcorder.
    If you were using a black background, then the background color in the images you posted looks exactly like a black background that is reflecting a small amount of light -- which means that it will look very dark gray, not RGB-0 black. Also, as was mentioned earlier, different media players don't display video in exactly the same way, and no media player for Windows is properly calibrated. WMP is one of the worst. As for the shirt in nthe image, what color should it be? I see that it is a pale, bright blue, leaning very slightly toward cyan; it is a smooth polyester blend with some reflectivity and a slightly luminous quality (I mean to say, it does not look "dull") with medium-intensity highlights. The watch is metallic chrome/silver and gray, the microphone is dull blackish/gray, the skin colors look correct, the shirt's buttons are almost pure white, and the hair color appears blackish with maybe some dull brown subdued nhighlights (which could also be from the light source). The teeth are white, the eyes appear to be blue or hazel (could be reflections from the shirt), and the lips are neither too pink nor too red. What should be the "correct" colors for these objects?

    Originally Posted by chaos33 View Post
    5) I did make a monitor color calibration since I use Windows 7. However, I don't have a pro software like Spyder4Express. Still, this much quality loss must have another reason other than my monitor's color calibration because as I said videos recorded by other camcorders(different format than AVCHD, e.g: .mov files) look like they should with very minor quality loss. Therefore, in this case I think computer being the problem is out of the question.
    Avoid Spyder. It's inferior to other software/hardware kits, has poor black-level response and several color translation errors, and is over priced. You can get an EyeOne meter and software for lower cost and greater accuracy than a Spyder4. The Windows 7 calibration utility is seriously flawed, as it depends strictly on your ability to "suit the results to taste" and to eyeball a very narrow set of corrections . That has nothing to do with accuracy; it is impossible to properly adjust a consumer monitor with the Windows 7 utlity's controls. The only part of that utility that makes any sense is the gamma correction, but that corrects only at RGB's midrange. If I set my own monitors using the Windows 7 program they are seriously out of whack in the darks and brights and the RGB grayscale is not linear but looks like a bell curve splayed at both ends. You don't need a $500 USD "Professional" colorimeter for a PC monitor. That would be a waste of money.

    Originally Posted by chaos33 View Post
    6) So, the computer is not the reason(since I imported, edited and use other recordings from different camcorders before with no problem) . The file is not the reason(because it plays clean and high quality in the camcorder). In this case, it's either the camcorder (which is brand new by the way) or my computer has an issue with AVCHD formats(but then how come the screenshots you posted has the same quality loss?). I wish I could get a screenshot of the actual recording in the camcorder so I can post both of them here so you can see the difference.
    Indeed, the different video formats use a different colorspace and CIE targets. But I don't know what you mean by saying that the other screenshot posted showed the "same quality loss". The last post has exactly the same color balance and levels as the other images; there is no difference. The only image that looks slightly different is your CS6 image posted earlier; that one has a more dimensional property and seems to have more perceived depth, and looks more properly exposed than the other two, which seem a bit too bright. If you don't see a difference between the CS6 image and the others, then your monitor needs a better calibration. On my monitor, the difference is quite distinct. I'm viewing all these images on an IPS monitor calibrated with an EyeOne D2 or LT. My TVs are calibrated with the same hardware and to the same D6500 standards. What I see on my PC is pretty much what I will see on my TV (although the two devices will never look exactly alike.).

    We don't know what your videos from your other cameras look like, but the images posted from your Canon look correctly exposed and have a proper color balance. You might post a similar image from your "other" videos for comparison.

    I haven't kept track of how you transferred your camera's video to your PC. If by a "screen capture" you mean a capture of your Windows 7 screen output, what those images tell us is how the video looks in the Windows clipboard. They does not tell us how your monitor displayed it. They tell us is how they look in the unmodified Windows clipboard, which can be different from the way your monitor is actually displaying colors. It would also be quite different from the way your camera's viewfinder displays the same videos. The best way to get a capture of your video would be to cut a short, unprocessed and unmodified video clip and post in this forum, or use Avisynth or VirtualDub to capture frames. I don't think CS6 has a frame capture control (maybe it does nowadays, I don't use CS6), but I think VLC can capture frames (????). I never tried it.

    In my own experience, the viewfinders of my two digital cameras show an image that does not look like the scene I'm photographing. The viewfinder images look sharper (usually) because they're smaller, and they're darker and more saturated than the actual scene. My experience with Canon viewfinders is that they are uniformly oversaturated with pumped-up contrast, which makes them easier to see in bright light. When I load those pics into my PC and view them in Photoshop Pro, After Effects, or even VirtualDub on a calibrated monitor, the pics look more like the scene I photographed rather than the way they looked in the viewfinders. Most camera viewfinders are not entirely accurate (they aren't designed for that kind of accuracy), nor they illuminate in the same way as PC monitors AFIK.

    Originally Posted by chaos33 View Post
    7) To be honest, the only thing which comes to my mind is that my camcorder is broken. It records good, it plays good but when I transfer the files they get ruined I know it sounds on the "not possible" side but what else is left? I can see that when videos imported into a computer they might lose some quality, but this is more than "some quality", there is a major difference.
    It's very possible, although I still don't see any "damage". But no one could say for certain without a sample of the video you're working with on your PC. How they look in any specific viewfinder is up for debate, except to say that in-camera viewfinders are not the best way to judge PQ. They are designed for information only and to be seen clearly in different lighting conditions.

    http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews/eye_one_display2.htm
    Last edited by sanlyn; 19th Mar 2014 at 13:55.
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