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Canon Optura Junior Watchdog
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Old October 18th, 2003, 09:21 AM   #1
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Opinions on Optura Xi

Does anyone like or dislike the Canon Optura Xi? Im thinking of purchasing this camera, and would like to hear some opinions on it before I do so.
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Old October 18th, 2003, 10:26 AM   #2
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Try and do a search. This topic has been covered recently and there are several ungoing threads.
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Old October 18th, 2003, 11:01 AM   #3
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I don't like the bottom-feed tape loading. Too much hassle for tri and mono pod users.
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Old October 18th, 2003, 04:46 PM   #4
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Glenn, Allan over at the MX Forum has compared the Xi with the GS100 and PC300. He's has also posted some results/findings of the Japanese Mag. tests.

The bottom line was, the GS100 performed better in lower light, but the Optura Xi took the crown with video quality, including with 16:9 mode. The PC300 seemed to have some major problems.
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Old October 18th, 2003, 05:04 PM   #5
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Thanks all.
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Old January 26th, 2005, 10:23 PM   #6
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New Optura Xi Owner

I just wanted to take a moment to say thanks to a few of you here on this board:

Dave Perry, Kevin Sturges, Xander Christ & Chris Hurd, in no particular order just the way I remembered them as I typed. By all means not all that should have thanks but at least those that I remembered.

I had researched my purchase for some time deciding on what I wanted when I purchased my new digital camcorder. After deciding on a couple I went to work on researching those few that were left when I discovered this board. I spent several hours here reading confirming my gut instinct from research that the Oputra Xi was going to be a good choice. So thank you all for your intelligent and thoughtful posts pro and con. My main criteria ended up being high quality image, optical image stabilization with choices of Auto and Manual modes. The Xi seemed to win hands down.

I had also researched price and decided at the last hour to purchase from a sponsor here B&H Photo. That too was a great decision. I settled on them since even though the camera was not the lowest price, but combined with shipping costs it wasn't going to cost but a couple % more to purchase from an authorized Canon dealer.

I just got it last week and was able to get my daughters recital to DV and I am very pleased. This was not an optimal light setting, dark audience with lights on stage I used the spotlight feature to record and was very pleased. I know that low light is considered a big deal for digital but very happy with the results I got then. I just got some clips of them playing at a museum that I have yet to download so we will have to see how that worked out.

I am replacing an older VHSc that I had for sometime 8yrs, doing analog conversion to digital via the Dazzle Hollywood hardware. Though that was rather time consuming so looking forward to capturing in digital.

I know need to decide on NLE software, hope to not spend too much money in my decision process. I will welcome any ideas you all have. Currently I have available for my use on my XP machine Studio 7, MovieStar5 (no longer supported), MS MovieMaker as well as Adobe Premiere 5. My initial thought is to upgrade Pinnacle Studio 7 to v9 as I like the feature of StoryBoard as an option versus only timeline.

I have yet to really play with Adobe much since I know that it is like most Adobe products lots it can do but requires a great deal of learning to get good at it.

If anyone has any feedback on NLE I would appreciate it. My main use of camera and NLE will be capturing my two small children to share with grandparents miles away via VCD or DVD. Not being a professional easy to use seems to be high on my list of criteria for an NLE.

Thanks again all here on the board
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Old January 26th, 2005, 10:44 PM   #7
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B&H and Editing Software

I got my camera from them too! Yeah it wasn't the cheapest one, but I was like I'd much rather pay a few more dollars and not have the stress of dealing with people who might or might not be ripping me off.

You should get one of those new Mini Macs and Final Cut Express, although I think it probably comes with iLife 05 installed, which has iMovie and iDVD on it. Those programs are easy breezy cover girl. Amaze your friends and confound your enemies with the power of an Apple!!!
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Old January 26th, 2005, 10:53 PM   #8
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Hi Mike,

Thanks for the great report on the Xi. Sounds like you're putting it to good use. Your question regarding a choice of editing software isn't really related to the Optura itself, so you might want to post it in our NLE message board for the PC platform. The link is http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/forumdisp...?s=&forumid=31. Hope this helps,
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Old January 26th, 2005, 11:22 PM   #9
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Thanks Chris, I sometimes get going and don't stop typing....

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Old January 26th, 2005, 11:24 PM   #10
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Thanks Kody, I have added switching to Mac when I upgrade my PC next but I think my wife will kill me when I tell her I am about to buy a new Mac to use my Camcorder. Maybe in a year or so.
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Old March 5th, 2005, 10:17 AM   #11
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New XI owner with some questions...

Hi,

I have jus received the XI yesterday, and its great.....
I have a question about the widescreen mode. I know that on the viewfinder and on the lcd, it looks squeezed and also when i hook it upto the TV, it also does that. Im wondering, if i only have a regular TV, meaning, not a widescreen tv, and want my footage to be anamorphic, so that the black bars show up, and show up "unsqueezed," how should i do that?

thanks
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Old March 5th, 2005, 10:51 AM   #12
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To get footage that isn't distorted but shows as a 16:9 aspect ratio on a normal 4:3 TV, you'll have to shoot 4:3 on the Canon and add the black bars top and bottom in post. Easily done with two black rectangles drawn in your title program, and pulled the length of your timeline.

Only use the Canon's 16:9 mode if you have a widescreen tv, or one of the pretty rare 4:3 sets that allows switching via the remote.

tom.
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Old March 5th, 2005, 11:57 AM   #13
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You can also put the video onto a DVD. The DVD player will properly display your widescreen video on a 4:3 TV.
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Old March 5th, 2005, 12:16 PM   #14
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Michael is correct. As long as your NLE and DVD authoring programs are set to flag the footage as 16:9, any 4:3 set will show it as wide screen and there is no need to fake it with black bars in post. The main reason I bought the Xi is because it shoots true 16:9 with no loss of resolution.

I shoot only 16:9 and do not have a widescreen set but am still able to view widescreen XI movies.

To answer your question about play back from the camera, you must have a widescreen set to see it wide screen since the camera is not really a playback device. When the camera plays back, all it does is play back a 720x480 image. Whether it's anamorphic or not, the camera does care.
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Old March 5th, 2005, 12:34 PM   #15
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When the cameras switched to the 16:9 mode the view widens slightly as more of the 1632 x 1224 chip is being used. Graph paper filming tests show that the 16:9 mode uses 20% less vertical CCD pixels than in the 4:3 mode but 7% more horizontal pixels, so this Canon solution is a small step in the right direction and better than simply losing 25% of the vertical resolution as was the case just two years ago. But the Canon lens is superb on this camera, and it's this - more than the pixel count - which makes the pictures look so good.

Dave, if you're viewing 16:9 footage on a 4:3 set, then the set's displaying about 360 lines of vertical resolution. I hope you're saving hard for a 16:9 set.

tom.
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