View Full Version : Canon XL-H2- when?


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Jacques Mersereau
June 6th, 2009, 05:51 PM
Calling all Canon insiders - including J.B.

Any 'guesses' as to when the next revolutionary XL will debut?

Inquiring minds who are about to purchase Sony want to know.

J.

Chris Hurd
June 6th, 2009, 08:29 PM
I'm not so sure that the XL line has much of a future. I think Canon will most likely move to a larger sized image sensor for their next pro-level video camera... maybe not as big as the full-frame 35mm sensor used in the EOS 5D Mk. II (hopefully so), but most likely whatever they do next will have an image sensor larger than 1/3rd inch.

The only way to continue the XL line is to limit the sensor size to 1/3rd inch, and I just don't see them doing that... I think it'll be a larger size chip. And if it's not 1/3rd inch, then it can't be called an XL. It'll have to be called something else, under a new model name and nomenclature.

So I think the question to be asking is, what will replace the XL line?

Jacques Mersereau
June 6th, 2009, 09:09 PM
You are right Chris. Yes, that is what I meant. 1/3" chips are too limiting in terms of DOF and HD low light imaging.

Several years ago, this list was asked by Canon to provide user feedback concerning upgrades and added features users would like to see implemented. I said that there were two paths; evolutionary and revolutionary.

My evolutionary recommendations where to upgrade the XL with HD-SDI output, selectable wireframe viewfinder aspect ratios, etc. and keep the camera compatible with XL1 & XL2 accessories.

The "revolutionary" path was to produce a camcorder with single 35mm sensor that could be used with Canon 35mm glass.
The latter is what I am now waiting on, basically a RED for 1/3rd the money that is made by a veteran company.
The 5D MkII is very cool, but doesn't have all the features I need in a video camcorder and the studio I run is about to upgrade to Sony EX3s. However unlikely, I was hoping that Canon might get back in the game before this planned purchase.

Sorry I missed you at NAB.

Jacques

Michael Galvan
June 14th, 2009, 08:59 PM
I'm wait for this new camera too!

I agree ... I don't see how they can't go with a larger sensor, especially with the success they had with the 5D Mark 2 and it's video mode.

I would think the sensor would at least be APS-C sized.

Jack Zhang
June 19th, 2009, 05:34 PM
I'm thinking a move to Solid State and a solid video codec is in the future for everyone.

Simon Beer
July 1st, 2009, 01:04 AM
Interesting thread, would be a great piece of kit to own.

Always been a fan of XL's and owned the XL1 and later XL2.

My guess is if Canon really are going to do this and this year it will be around October.

Tony Davies-Patrick
July 1st, 2009, 04:40 PM
It would also be interesting if there will be new or updated XL optics than the original 20x and 6x lenses.

Matthew Nayman
July 2nd, 2009, 07:55 AM
A little bird told me... though I can neither confirm, nor deny...

XL-H2.. January, 2010. Full Frame 5Dmk2 sensor in XL style body, EF lens mount, 50mbit/sec AVCHD, CF cards, 24p-60p, sub 10k...

Take it or leave it,

Chris Hurd
July 2nd, 2009, 11:23 PM
XL-H2.. Full Frame 5Dmk2 sensor in XL style body...The only way it can be called XL-anything is if it has 1/3rd-inch chips.

If it's going to have the 5D2 sensor, then it won't be an XL. It'll have some other designation.

Peter Moretti
July 3rd, 2009, 01:52 PM
A little bird told me... though I can neither confirm, nor deny...

XL-H2.. January, 2010. Full Frame 5Dmk2 sensor in XL style body, EF lens mount, 50mbit/sec AVCHD, CF cards, 24p-60p, sub 10k...

Take it or leave it,

I think we are all underestimating one aspect of this full or APC sized sensor camera. It will need a lens (or a few of them).

Giving the camera an EF mount does not make the current offerings of EOS lenses video camera lenses. So Canon is going to have to come out with a new line of lenses, and the ? becomes what size sensor do they make those lenses for? 1/2, 2/3, ACP, FF?

It's not so easy a ?. For example, 2/3 is lighter and should be cheaper. But FF could use some existing EOS lens parts and would be more future proof.

Michael Galvan
July 3rd, 2009, 07:35 PM
Well I would think that if they are changing sensor size, it would probably be APS-C or Full Frame. They know that once they change sensor size, they will have to redo their entire video lens lineup again. So they must look at what will last in the long run ...

I suppose 2/3" is an option too, given the lenses they have in the market place for such.

But with the huge success of the 5D Mark II and it's video, I can't see them making their top of the line HD Camcorder (which also will cost more than many Mark II's together) any less.

Peter Moretti
July 4th, 2009, 03:59 AM
I really wonder how Canon will solve this problem.

1/2 would be seen as only matching what Sony did two years ago.

But going 2/3rd's wouldn't mean using its existing FJs 2/3rd's HD line. Those are $18K a piece true cine prime lenses.

ASP-C means creating a line of cine-esque lenses for a format size that's considered less than what the 5DMII currently offers.

But going from 1/3 to full frame would be a huge jump. And Canon is now going to make full frame professional video lenses w/ an EOS mount?

None of it works out very smoothly, IMHO. I'm very curious to see what they'll decide.

Perhaps they try to punt on the whole lens line issue, by offering only a fixed zoom AF version and seei how long they can get away with that. (In which case I guess it wouldn't be an XL replacement.)

Chris Hurd
July 4th, 2009, 11:31 AM
The glass is indeed the elephant in the room for all of these possible-XL-replacement speculation threads. Because 35mm still photography lenses don't have zoom motors, they're not going to be viable as kit lenses for whatever the XH / XL replacement will be.

Think: if the sensor size is 35mm full frame, as it is on the EOS 5D Mk.II, what kind of video lens would that require, and at what cost? Keeping in mind how large in circumference the front objective will have to be, and that the faster and wider the lens, and the higher the zoom ratio, the larger diameter that glass will require and therefore the more expensive it will be.

Also consider how expensive Canon's L-series of fast telephoto EF primes are. Then you'll get some indication of how the real limiting factor of an XL replacement isn't the sensor so much as it is the lens. The practicality of the lens requirements -- that it'll have to be motorized, will most likely include IS, will need a field of view at the wide end comparable to the mid-thirties in 35mm, and have some kind of usable zoom ratio of at least 5x or so, and not throw the camera cost off balance -- are the factors which will ultimately dictate the size of the sensor that Canon selects.

Matt Davis
July 4th, 2009, 03:18 PM
the real limiting factor of an XL replacement isn't the sensor so much as it is the lens.

If I were Canon, looking at the HPX300, the HM-700 and the EX3 in one corner and Scarlet and the EOS in another, I'd probably look at putting a half inch chip into an XL-H form factor, using the existing good Canon half-inch glass. That would be head to head with Sony (winning if it does SD), and beating Panasonic and JVC with its bigger chip. As soon as you use something larger than 1/3", you can't go back.

Going 'way out there' with a mix of handycam and EOS isn't going to interest the mass market, but delivering a neat little 'full-on' camera with all the broadcast credentials would be an easy sell to an ever widening industrial/web market.

Oh yes, and SDHC rather than CF or SxS.

Steve Phillipps
July 4th, 2009, 03:25 PM
Never seen a thread, even in Area 51, where so little rumour is out there to add to the discussion! Nobody seems to have anything to go on at all. Sounds like there's absolutely no hint coming from Canon, which makes me think there really is no surprise on the horizon, and that they'll just stick to XL-H1 and EOS 5d for now.
Steve

Matt Davis
July 4th, 2009, 03:36 PM
there's absolutely no hint coming from Canon, which makes me think there really is no surprise on the horizon, and that they'll just stick to XL-H1 and EOS 5d for now.

Although I'm not a Canon fanboy, there's enough proof out there that they're very much into slow steady evolution, with some huge - nay, massive - spikes of innovation.

The XL1 was pretty ground breaking and then evolved gently over time. I remember writing up a glass box 'mock up' of a new camera (what became the XL-H1) as a cruel 'tickle' by merely spraying an XL2 black and putting a few blue LEDs on it.

It's got to be evolutionary or just a whole new ballpark. And in a recession, I guess evolution is safe. Are we really ready for an EOS based camera? It's a clever thing, but the footage has got lots of issues, the workflow isn't nice, the ergonomics aren't thought through, I don't think there's a big enough market for it to do 'properly' yet.

So erm, yes. Like what Steve said.

Michael Galvan
July 6th, 2009, 02:53 PM
Yes, I think as filmmakers, we can't help but get excited about a new high-end camera from Canon that uses a form of the 5D Sensor technology.

But looking at who the XL series is aimed at, we are only a certain percentage of their overall market. Imagine the issues that having a sensor like that size will cause for event videographers or for anyone who need deep depth of field.

Though I think a large APS-C sensor is a possibility for the next camera, I wouldn't be surprised if they just moved up to 1/2" chips (or 2/3") also.

I guess we just wait and see ...

Steve Phillipps
July 6th, 2009, 03:03 PM
One thing that is likely I assume is that any new sensor will be CMOS. Not keen on this trend, it allows a high spec for small money, but with some serious corners cut.
Steve

Matthew Nayman
July 7th, 2009, 08:01 AM
I work at a job where interactions with Canon folks are an everyday occurence... We have been told that an XL-H2 (though that might not be it's final name) will be a shoulder mounted, full frame sensor(almost identical to 5Dmk2) which takes EF lenses and records 50m/bit. Was originally an October release, but the poor market has pushed the announcment back to January.

I don't know if I like the idea of shooting with EF lenses, as they have no power zoom, etc... but I think this is a film makers camera, not an ENG camera. It's designed to be used with Prime lenses, follow focuses, and short zooms. I don't think they're making it for the 20X zoom set. They are building it for the people who will buy a scarlet or red, and who bough the 5D mk2 for the video. It might be misguided, but I am almost certain that's what's going to happen.

I could be wrong, as nothing is ever 100%, but the folks who have relayed this info to me are generally in-the-know... There may another XLH2 model being built as a direct 1/3 or 1/2 inch replacement, but this fullframe shoulder-style camera will most likely happen.

They might be killing themselves on lenses though... I would buy a nikon adapter and shoot nikon. Or try and find a way to hook up PL lenses (though they project a small image)...

I guess we'll see what happens :)

Chris Hurd
July 7th, 2009, 08:32 AM
We have been told... full frame sensor(almost identical to 5Dmk2) which takes EF lenses... I don't know if I like the idea of shooting with EF lenses, as they have no power zoom, etc... I don't think they're making it for the 20X zoom set.If they go that route, I think they would have to do at least one powered zoom lens, which would obviously be the kit lens. Probably some existing EF lens with internal focus (and not one of the pull-type zooms such as the 28-300mm) adapted to a motor.

Matthew Nayman
July 7th, 2009, 09:05 AM
I actually also heard they may be retooling the 24-105 F4 for a lens motor, but I think that is rumor. they might need to introduce a new line of full-frame, motor lenses... This is all speculation, of course, but the camera, I am almost certain, is a reality...

Chris Hurd
July 7th, 2009, 12:53 PM
The 24-105mm L IS is an excellent lens, in my opinion it's the perfect multi-purpose L-series lens. But it has only a 4x zoom ratio, fine for photography and cinematography but somewhat short for videography (I was thinking they'd want at least a 5x).

If they offer a low-ratio zoom, what do you want to bet that it'll be marketed as EF and other still lenses are, that is, advertised in terms of focal length in millimeters, leaving the zoom ratio out completely. Which is fine with me, by the way. But it'll be an interesting transition from "a 20x lens" to a "24-105mm lens" (or whatever it ends up being). They will want to avoid drawing attention to a low zoom ratio. However I can't see how it would be practical or affordable with anything but a low zoom ratio.

Scott Webster
July 7th, 2009, 04:26 PM
Chris,

But if Canon went with a straight PL mount camera and worked with Birger Engineering and Viewfactor Studios, they would have a working EF mount and focus solution from launch.

Birger Mount Overview on Vimeo (http://www.vimeo.com/4166804)

Now having said that both Birger and Viewfactor have had a very rocky road in getting products to market for the Red. Think years, not months.

Matthew's post does concur with the floor gossip at Broadcast Asia:

PL Mount
Full Frame
Shoulder Mount
50m/bit
End of 2009 release

Chris Hurd
July 7th, 2009, 08:15 PM
But if Canon... worked with Birger Engineering and Viewfactor Studios...Anything's possible, sure, but the scenario you describe here would be the rare exception to Canon's modus operandi.

Matthew Nayman
July 8th, 2009, 07:43 AM
Matthew's post does concur with the floor gossip at Broadcast Asia:

PL Mount

I do not see how a PL mount can work though... most PL lenses project a 35mm diagonal image, not the 50mm needed for full frame...

Jacques Mersereau
July 8th, 2009, 02:13 PM
I would agree with Mr. Hurd. Canon wants to sell Canon glass. If they went with a PL mount they would then surely have to also make or include an adapter for Canon. My guess is that Canon will provide a Canon EF mount and then let someone else make the PL adapter for it and not get all the headaches that might be involved therein.

So, back to the main question, WHEN? I get the economic depression thing, but a much better reason for such a delay is to market a viable 35mm camcorder that is pretty solid out of the box for a price point about or not much more than the XL-H1.

In regards to a 35mm motorized lens with auto focus etc. surely Canon can do this in a heartbeat. The only real question is how much will it cost as to how good the images are it produces.
IMHO, if Canon provides real value for a given price, they will come out well; very well.

Jacques

Scott Webster
July 8th, 2009, 04:53 PM
Jacques, I don't think this camera is a replacement for the XL-H nor at it's price point.
The remarks were more "Forget everything that has gone before"

If they do go with an EF mount, is it acceptable to just expect users to make do with DSLR lenses? Or can we expect a new range of Cine standard EF primes and Zooms? Wouldn't that be a bigger undertaking than the camera itself?

And if you look at the 'Zeiss Compact' set of cine primes you are looking at 40k for what are re-housed Zeiss ZF still lenses.

Chris Hurd
July 8th, 2009, 10:54 PM
If they do go with an EF mount, is it acceptable to just expect users to make do with DSLR lenses? In my opinion, no that is not acceptable.

Or can we expect a new range of Cine standard EF primes and Zooms? Wouldn't that be a bigger undertaking than the camera itself? Well... they already have a 2/3rd-inch series of Cine lenses: http://www.usa.canon.com/html/industrial_bctv/pdf/HDEC%20Updated%20Brochure_10.08.pdf

and http://www.usa.canon.com/html/industrial_bctv/pdf/Star%20Power%20Brochure_Single%20Pages.pdf

Michael Galvan
July 9th, 2009, 10:29 AM
There's no way the mount on this camera will be anything but a Canon mount.

It's like putting an EOS mount on a Nikon camera.

I agree ... a PL mount adapter will be made, but probably from a third party ...

Bryan Gilchrist
July 18th, 2009, 08:30 PM
I think with the market the way it is manufacturers have scaled back production of new gear.

Videographers, DP's, and production companies are having trouble finding work...why would they buy new gear?

Jacques Mersereau
July 18th, 2009, 08:49 PM
I think there is a large number of people waiting for Scarlet and I know a few people who are going to or have recently purchased the Sony EX3, which is now the camera of choice at that price point.
Our studio is about to buy two EX3s and hopes to buy two more if we can squeeze it out of the budget.
The reason for Canon to come out soon with a 5D on HD video steroids now is to make a product that many who are still going to buy will have a Canon choice. The longer Canon waits the more sales they will lose in both the short and long term; especially schools who purchase lots of cameras.

Oh well, our purchase order has been approved and we are now days away from purchasing SONY. When that happens, even if Canon comes out with a far better product, my next two cameras will also be SONY EX3s.

Jeff Kellam
July 20th, 2009, 03:36 PM
There is currently almost nothing (Maybe HPX300) that touches the EX-1/3 value and performance. They are a great choice.

Canon has a 100% track record of insanely slow camcorder development. They also have no pro-video following or market like Panasonic and Sony do. They have no SSD capture standards or equipment developed like SxS or P2.

Bottom line, don't wait on Canon. The H1& A1 were nice, but it could still be years before an all new system is developed and released. Then you still have to wait on the NLEs to catch up.

Peter Moretti
July 23rd, 2009, 02:11 AM
Jeff, do you care to comment of the image quality difference between your 150 and you A1?

Thanks ;)!

Jeff Kellam
July 23rd, 2009, 09:13 AM
Jeff, do you care to comment of the image quality difference between your 150 and you A1?

Thanks ;)!

If you search, you can find the comparisons I did back in October 2008. Lots of others have made comparasons too.

10 months later my opinion is; they are both good cameras with strengths and weaknesses. Performance wise, the 150 has a definite edge in my use for wedding and event video.

Tapeless capture has been a total joy. Once you go tapeless, you can't even understand how you ever dealt with tape. The durability of a tapeless camera also can't be understated.

Yang Wen
August 7th, 2009, 11:57 AM
Why not have the the next XL-H to have a crop mode on the large sensor? crop it 1/3 and make it compatible with current XL-H1 lenses for applications where you don't need shallow DOF.

That being said, I haven't figured out the math on pixel density and whether a cropped 1/3 area will have enough pixels for HD.. prolly not.. bah!

Matthew Nayman
August 8th, 2009, 09:15 AM
The FFL of the EOS and XL lenses is probably incompatible.

Bill Koehler
August 8th, 2009, 01:42 PM
FFL


??? What is FFL?

Theodore McNeil
August 8th, 2009, 04:15 PM
??? What is FFL?

Flange focal length Flange focal distance - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flange_focal_distance)

I think.

Matthew Nayman
August 11th, 2009, 07:56 AM
Bingo.

The XL lenses sit much closer to the CCD than EF lenses, meaning if there is an EF mount (which there would have to be) then it would have to be removable and behind it would be an XL mount.

Of course, all of this is useless, because XL lenses wouldn't even come close to covering the full image.

Yang Wen
August 11th, 2009, 10:14 AM
Bingo.

The XL lenses sit much closer to the CCD than EF lenses, meaning if there is an EF mount (which there would have to be) then it would have to be removable and behind it would be an XL mount.

Of course, all of this is useless, because XL lenses wouldn't even come close to covering the full image.

Not the full sensor, just a crop of the full sensor..

Matthew Nayman
August 12th, 2009, 10:32 AM
that would be a difference of 7.6x resolution, so you would really need a 10mp sensor in there to do 1080 off 1/3

David Heath
August 23rd, 2009, 03:58 PM
A little bird told me... though I can neither confirm, nor deny...
50mbit/sec AVCHD, CF cards, ..........
Most of that spec doesn't seem too wild, but 50Mbs AVC-HD? I didn't think the AVC-HD spec went up to such bitrates? I wonder if it should have been 50Mbs 4:2:2 MPEG2? (Same as the Sony PDW700/800.) Immediately accepted by most editing systems, EBU approved, and not need transcoding for most applications. (Unlike AVC-HD.)

Chris Hurd
August 23rd, 2009, 07:29 PM
You're right. If it's 50mbps, then it's not AVCHD. This is why these "a little bird told me" kinds of rumors do more harm than good. They're worse than useless, which is why I'm loathe to entertain them here.

Peter Moretti
August 24th, 2009, 07:57 AM
It's probably AVC-Intra, no?

Chris Hurd
August 24th, 2009, 09:06 AM
They would need a licensing agreement with Panasonic for it to be AVC-Intra.

Not impossible, but not likely either.

David Heath
August 24th, 2009, 05:02 PM
It's probably AVC-Intra, no?
Licensing apart, I'd say far more likely to be 50Mbs MPEG2. AVC-Intra 50 is subsampled and 4:2:0 - XDCAM 4:2:2 50Mbs isn't. AVC-Intra 50 is not fully approved by the EBU - XDCAM 4:2:2 50Mbs is. Seems like a far more efficient use of 50Mbs of bandwidth to me.

It may not be directly the same as Sonys codec, but may be 50 Mbs MPEG2 wrapped differently (as with the basic JVC HM700 and the 35Mbs codec)

Peter Moretti
August 24th, 2009, 10:29 PM
Sorry guys, I didn't realize AVC-Intra was proprietary to Panasonic. My bad.

Floris van Eck
September 1st, 2009, 08:36 AM
I hope to hold the XL-H2 at IBC in a week or two.

But I don't hold my breath.

Louis Maddalena
September 2nd, 2009, 06:25 PM
Although I hope to see a 5D mark II sensor in a video body, with an EOS mount and some EOS motorized zoom lenses, I also hope they don't rush it. I hope they take all the complaints, concerns and praises that they can from the 5D user base, look at what they are creating and what they want to have the most. Then work from there. I don't think the 5D has been around long enough to have gotten all these comment and concerns to build into a full video camera yet, although if they hang out here or a number of other forums on the internet they probably have a good idea.

I really want this dream video camera body with the 5D tech, some less features that are photo specific and some more features that we would like in a video camera, although I don't want them to release a product that later this year we are all complaining about because it doesn't do this, or it doesn't do that and how could they release a camera that is for professionals that doesn't do these specific things.

I think with the 7D that has just come out, we should wait for canon to learn from that camera and those mistakes, before they dive into throwing this new technology into video cameras that we all need to make our living off of. Its not like the SLR, those are all great cameras, but we all have our regular every day XL-H1's or our XH-A/G1's as a fall back, knowing that they work this way, or that way. This way we won't have to abandon canon for EX3's just because they no longer make a solid product... I don't want the Canon camera on the market to be a "test", to see what prosumers would want in their camera. Although we all know that is a FF sensor and an EOS mount, but that really loses a lot of the features we are already used to.

Chris Hurd
September 3rd, 2009, 09:28 AM
Good points, Louis... I still think the biggest challenge to this concept is the lens. For videography / filmmaking / any kind of motion pictures, a still photo EF lens is not enough. The lens needs to have a motorized zoom and a decent zoom ratio. Whether the sensor size is FF or APS-C, even a fast 10x lens will be a seemingly expensive proposition. In my opinion, with the 7D shipping in less than a month and the 5D Mk. II having been out for nine months, the reason why we haven't yet seen a dedicated video camera equivalent from Canon is the issue of the video lens.