XH G1 now in Low Earth Orbit at DVinfo.net

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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).


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Old October 25th, 2007, 07:57 PM   #1
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XH G1 now in Low Earth Orbit

For all of you fellow NASA fans out there...

At least one Canon XH camcorder is currently working in Zero G aboard Space Shuttle Discovery, currently flying the STS-120 mission to the International Space Station. If you have NASA TV in your television programming line-up, check out today's (Flight Day 3) highlights, which repeat several times this evening. Not too far into the edited highlights package, just after you watch Discovery perform the "backflip" maneuver prior to docking with ISS, there's some video of the crew on Discovery's flight deck. The front end of an XH comes into frame pretty clearly for a moment. You can't mistake it; the Instant AF housing on the right side of the lens, the XLR input block and the Canon logo on the hand strap.

There are a number of handheld DV and HDV camcorders aboard Discovery and the ISS, most of them are small Sony's but the Canon XH really stands out. I got a kick out of seeing it on the Flight Day 3 highlights show this evening and thought y'all might be interested and want to check out the repeats later on tonight. It's practically a two-week mission so I'm sure it'll be seen again before Discovery is back on the ground.

Meanwhile, if you want to step outside and watch the docked space shuttle / space station complex flying overhead in the evening sky, there are several sighting opportunities depending on where you live. Check 'em out at http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/realdata...ngs/index.html -- just remember, when you look up and see that bright point of light zipping across the sky, that's about 340 tons of hardware with ten people inside at an altitude of 215 miles or so. Kind of mind boggling, at least for me it is.

Lots of digital still photo and digital video gear on board; lots of images to see, especially on this mission -- five planned space walks -- simply amazing stuff. Interesting to think that their video equipment is the same as ours.
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Old October 26th, 2007, 09:21 AM   #2
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I think a full size 2/3" chip HD camera would be a bit much for the shuttle. Not only is weight a big issue, so is size. My guess is they picked the Canon because it's small, light, and has the highest resolution of the small, light cameras.
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Old October 26th, 2007, 12:14 PM   #3
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Yup, our sharp-eyed if obstreperous leader called it! I just saw Dan Tani float by the ISS airlock with the XH just after hatch opening post-EVA. I don't know, but guessing that it is a replacement camera for ISS and will stay aboard...will have to watch for it post-undock.

They have even flown IMAX cameras before (don't miss the "Space Station 3D" Imax if you ever get a chance) but no doubt the XH is a bit more convenient!
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Old October 26th, 2007, 12:44 PM   #4
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This is sweet news, nice to let people know

"what camera are you shooting our video on?"
"Cannon XH-A1 HDV"
"really I thought HDV had crap compression?"
"really?,if it's good enough for NASA...."

"Cannowned"
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Old October 26th, 2007, 01:43 PM   #5
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Well, I suppose there could be some motion artifacts since they're going 5 statute miles every second.
;-)
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Old November 8th, 2007, 02:47 PM   #6
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Just got a clear view during live downlink of a Canon XH camera (probably an A1) operating on the ISS during prep for tomorrow's EVA.

At least one XH is up there for the long haul.
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Old November 8th, 2007, 08:16 PM   #7
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Would love to get a photo of the XH flying around space. Anyone manage to get a screen grab yet?
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Old November 9th, 2007, 08:42 AM   #8
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Hi

About 6 months ago I got a call from IMAX looking to rent my A1 for a NASA test. Seems they are no longer able to bring an IMAX camera on the shuttle due to size/weight and were looking to find a suitable camera.

Maybe they did end up with the A1

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Old November 9th, 2007, 08:57 AM   #9
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I'll try to corner one of the Photo/TV guys but I've learned this much so far:

- It is an XH G1, which has been selected for both ISS and Shuttle.
- Rumor has it that testing (maybe yours Chuck?) was done with the G1 and it was deemed acceptable for uprez for IMAX film use.
- IMAX is tentatively approved to fly again (thinking Hubble).
- They're currently using it with 4-pin 1394 (and of course tape).

As far as cost, it is COTS (commercial off-the-shelf) hardware so at most they'd have paid retail for it. Maybe less or nothing though, as the Japanese Space Agency is involved because they will have HDTV requirements when Kibo flies next year, and there is at least one Space Act Agreement (SAA) in place involving either HDTV and/or IMAX. Usually an SAA is intended to be a mutually beneficial arrangement between NASA and a company and thus typically results in a benefit to the space program for little or no cost.
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Old November 9th, 2007, 10:16 AM   #10
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Pete

I was told that Canon sent a camera and a Canon special tech to do the testing with... They were testing other cameras as well... it does say something about our beloved XH series camcorders.

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Old November 29th, 2007, 09:42 AM   #11
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This was important enough to Canon USA that they issued a press release about it:

http://www.usa.canon.com/html/templa...g1inspace.html

Canon XH G1 HD video camcorder supports HDTV test in outer space

TOKYO, November 12, 2007 – A Canon XH G1 HD video camcorder traveled into space for use in testing involving the capture of digital high-definition television (HDTV) images on the latest space shuttle mission. The XH GI was carried on the space shuttle Discovery, which was launched on October 23 from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 11:38 a.m. EDT, and used in HDTV testing jointly carried out on the International Space Station by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

The Canon XH G1 HD camcorder, introduced in November 2006, is equipped with a Genuine Canon 20x HD zoom lens incorporating a fluorite lens element to ensure outstanding resolution, contrast and color reproduction. The compact, lightweight XH G1 combines exceptional mobility with stunning high-resolution 1080i HD video and delivers the same high-performance capabilities as the XL H1, which has garnered high acclaim in the broadcast and video-production industries since its release in November 2005.

The Canon XH G1, which passed verification testing by JAXA, effectively fulfilled its mission objectives, contributing to successful HDTV testing for the joint U.S.-Japan project at the International Space Station, an environment subject to various constraints compared with more conventional "Earth-based" shooting conditions.
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Old February 7th, 2008, 10:12 AM   #12
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The ISS crew just downlinked some HD footage of this morning's Russian 28P docking (I assume shot with the XH G1 since AFAIK it is the only HD camera onboard).

Unfortunately NASA TV doesn't goes out in HD yet but the spectacular footage is probably worth a look anyway. Sure looks beautiful on the Big Board here at Mission Control!
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Old February 7th, 2008, 10:20 AM   #13
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Thanks Pete, sure hope this makes it into today's highlights reel... although it's tough competition with the STS-122 launch!
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Old February 7th, 2008, 11:27 AM   #14
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That's interesting, I didn't know they use a G1 on the ISS. I'm working with Jacobs Technology on the Engineering and Science Group Contract offsite from JSC and they have 2 A1's that I've been shooting with since late November. I'm starting to really like them. I'm used to the JVC 100, but I like the fact the A1's have some noise reduction (NR1 and NR2). Seemed to reduce some of the mosquito noise. Overall, I'm starting to get attached!

I'm shooting next week in the Lunar Rock Facility (Bdg 31) for a directive contract video. I've already shot the Genesis rock (from Apolllo 15) and some bunny suit footage. It turned out a little too stark (my bad). But taking a new tack with some Caselight Flos. Shooting in 30f which we can edit in FCP.

I'll post some footage in a couple of weeks and I plan on starting to frequent this thread a little so I can learn how utilize their A1's better. (Promise to do a search first before posing questions already covered)

I've already started using some of the presets like Vivid RGB and will ask for some prefs on set ups.

Pete, we need to hook up and meet sometimes. I'll email you...

Cheers, David
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Old February 8th, 2008, 07:15 PM   #15
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Hey, thanks for sharing!

Another reason to use a smaller, less expensive camera than a 2/3" variety is the damage due to protons from solar flares. In orbit, there's naturally less protection as the crew is closer to space. There are documented stories about the camera imagers getting damaged on a pixel-level (turning pixels hot or black) shortening the life-span of the camera. No doubt one would rather use a all in prosumer cam for that kind of work!
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