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Canon XF Series HD Camcorders
Canon XF305, XF205 and XF105 (with SDI), Canon XF300, XF200 and XF100 (without SDI).


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Old January 27th, 2010, 04:21 PM   #121
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Pellicle Mirror

Another feature that would be KILLER would be the addition of a pellicle mirror. That would allow vision through the optical viewfinder, as well as high-quality auto-focus.

Hopefully, we will see that on future Canon DvSLR technology cameras, whether in a still or video format body.

Pellicle mirror - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It's not my idea. Credit where credit is due:
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Old January 27th, 2010, 04:34 PM   #122
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There was a Canon SLR that had a Pellicle mirror, think it was the EOS1RS, had super fast motor drive because the mirror could stay put. You lose some light though.
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Old January 27th, 2010, 05:33 PM   #123
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According to the video and Wikipedia, Canon has made at least three such models: the Pellix, the RT, and the F-1 high speed (or 1-RS, according to the video). That means that Canon would have minimal royalties to pay if it brought Pellicle mirror technology back to its lineup.
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Old January 27th, 2010, 05:46 PM   #124
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I am very much with Chris on this one - the issue is very much regarding the lens.

For a DSLR it's not necessary for the lens to track at all, and to keep costs reasonable they generally don't - they don't need to for stills work. Hence it's a question of zoom to frame, focus, then take the picture. For cinema type work, that may not be too much of an issue, you accept a fixed focal length during a shot.

General video work is a different story. It's firmly expected that it's possible to zoom from one end to the other and for the lens to hold focus throughout - and this the average still camera lens just will not do for very good design reasons. (They are commonly not real zoom lenses, rather variable focal length lenses. A true zoom holds focus throughout the range, with the latter you have to refocus every time the focal length is changed.)

It's possible to build a lens to meet various criteria relatively easily - to be wide angle, or to be fast at max aperture, to hold focus accurately throughout the range, to have a good zoom range. The trouble is when it's desired that a lens should have all of these desirable qualities *AT THE SAME TIME*.

And the bigger the chip imaging size, the more difficult (ie expensive) it is. That's before we even consider other factors like zoom servos etc.

Hence the popularity of 1/3" chips. It's not because they are good in themselves, it's because they mean that most of the desired design criteria can be met reasonably well at not too high a cost or size/weight.

It's also why the EX series have taken off so well. It's quite a triumph of design to be able to use chips with twice the area of 1/3", yet still keep overall size/weight/cost to the levels that have traditionally meant 1/3".
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Old January 27th, 2010, 05:48 PM   #125
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Bolex 16mm cameras had a semi-silvered mirror (same thing more or less as a pellicle I think). Can't remember whether there was a downside, but Arri and Aaton didn't use one, so they obviously didn't think it was the way to go.
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Old January 27th, 2010, 06:15 PM   #126
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Quote: who would use an AF lens on a video camera?

'Push to focus' is a very very handy thing to have!
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Old January 27th, 2010, 06:27 PM   #127
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True, but only if your viewfinder is awful (as it is on most small cams, notably the Canon XL1 types).
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Old January 27th, 2010, 06:31 PM   #128
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Originally Posted by David Heath View Post
It's also why the EX series have taken off so well. It's quite a triumph of design to be able to use chips with twice the area of 1/3", yet still keep overall size/weight/cost to the levels that have traditionally meant 1/3".
More than a decade ago, Panasonic made a three 1/3" chipper that was really small - the EZ1 (and it even had a lens with a 10x optical zoom). Looking at the EZ1, I'm not so sure the EX cams are that much of a triumph in size.
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Old January 27th, 2010, 06:38 PM   #129
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Looking at the EZ1, I'm not so sure the EX cams are that much of a triumph in size.
If you take something like a DSR500 as representative of a typical 2/3" camera, and something like a PD150, PD170 or Z1 as typical of a prosumer grade 1/3" camera, then the EX cameras are far closer in size/weight/cost to the latter than the former, whilst having chip areas halfway between 1/3" and 2/3" in area terms.

Yes, it's possible to get 1/3" cameras smaller etc than the examples above, but I don't think you're then comparing like with like.
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Old January 27th, 2010, 06:46 PM   #130
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Yes, it's possible to get 1/3" cameras smaller etc than the examples above, but I don't think you're then comparing like with like.
The 5D/7D show that it's possible to get a 35mm sensor in something smaller than any of these cameras. That's not the issue. The issue is where to put all the connections (2-XLR, HDMI, SDI, large capacity battery, headphones, etc.) and all the switches (ND, gain, shutter speeds, zebra, etc.) when you have a smaller footprint. And you're going to need room for a the media to go. And a place to tuck away an LCD because no one likes the fixed one on the DSLRs.

There is only so much real estate to be had. A 35mm sensor in something the size of a DVX would be most welcome. From Canon or anyone else.
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Old January 27th, 2010, 06:50 PM   #131
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Another feature that would be KILLER would be the addition of a pellicle mirror. That would allow vision through the optical viewfinder, as well as high-quality auto-focus.
No, the killer feature is a mirror. So you don't lose much if any light. And it's already been done. Just not at this price point. If you want to see the newest iteration, Google "Arri Alexa".
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Old January 27th, 2010, 07:10 PM   #132
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Heath View Post
Yes, it's possible to get 1/3" cameras smaller etc than the examples above, but I don't think you're then comparing like with like.
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Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
The 5D/7D show that it's possible to get a 35mm sensor in something smaller than any of these cameras. That's not the issue.
Sorry, apples and oranges... David refers to a three-chip block built around a prism, while the D-SLR is a single-chip camera.

I agree that single-CMOS is the Next Big Thing, but the topic of this particular discussion centers around a three-chip design.
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Old January 27th, 2010, 07:15 PM   #133
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but the topic of this particular discussion centers around a three-chip design.
Ah... yep.
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Old January 27th, 2010, 08:14 PM   #134
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No, the killer feature is a mirror.
:)

Maybe the key is to have the pellicle mirror retractable. Use it when you want to use the optical viewfinder and AF. Retract it when you want more light, don't need/want AF, and will use the LCD or other monitor.

Also, you could feature it as a built-in ND. :)
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Old January 28th, 2010, 03:22 AM   #135
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Originally Posted by Steve Phillipps View Post
Bolex 16mm cameras had a semi-silvered mirror (same thing more or less as a pellicle I think). Can't remember whether there was a downside, but Arri and Aaton didn't use one, so they obviously didn't think it was the way to go.
Steve
The down side is that you don't have a bright viewfinder - Arri & Aaton V/Fs are in a different league with the rotating mirror shutter design. Plus you lose some light going through to the film.
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