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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 January 17th, 2007, 03:00 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bogdan Tyburczy
Could we include professional deck next to our list regarding Canon A1/G1 firmware upgrade petition?
I'm not speaking for Canon and I have no insight into what they do or why (and I'm thankful for that, actually... I've been close enough to the corporate realm to realize that I'm not at all well suited for it). But I'll take a stab at the reason why you'll most likely *never* see a professional VTR-style deck from Canon, and the reasoning, if this really is the reason why, makes perfect sense to me. And I can sum it up in one word.

Tapeless.

Why bother with a deck at all, why would you even need one, if you can completely bypass the tedious video capture process altogether? Tapeless recording during acquisition saves time, and time is money. Plus, any of the available tapeless recording solutions (FireStore, nNovia, whatever) are considerably less expensive than a Canon VTR would ever be. Don't bother with what you wish a Canon VTR would cost... whatever you want that price point to be, trust me it isn't high enough. From my point of view, Canon traditionally overprices and underproduces. If they actually made a VTR, I guarantee it would be expensive and hard to find.

Meanwhile, any of the currently available tapeless recording solutions are considerably less costly than a Canon-branded VTR would be, and these hard drive recorders hold several hours of video in the edit-ready format of your choice. Roll a Mini DV cassette in the camera at the same time for a confidence back-up and instant archiving. On those rare occasions where you actually have to go back and reference the back-up tape, it ain't gonna kill you or the camcorder to use it as a VTR for a few minutes.

Like it or not, it's all going tapeless anyway... I'm willing to bet that HDV is the last tape-based format we'll ever see in this price range. The next step is some derivative of the AVC codec, recording either to disc, drive or card. Indeed, AVCHD is already here in the consumer world.

So my *guess* is that Canon is looking at the variety of tapeless recording solutions that are available today, and considering their lower cost relative to a dedicated VTR, plus the dual advantages of copious recording times plus the complete elimination of the video capture process, combined with the instant back-up and archiving provided by simultaneous recording to Mini DV cassette, and they're probably thinking, why would you need us to make a VTR, and why aren't you tapeless yet?

That's my take on it anyway. I've lost count of how many times I've been proven wrong though!
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Old January 17th, 2007, 03:44 PM   #17
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Chris -

Thank you for your, as always, incredibly balanced reply. You are absolutely right, the future belongs to tapeless recording. Who can disagree?

I still believe a HDV deck priced below HV10, let's say around $1k, would be very appealing to small production studios and businesses for which tapeless acquisition won't replace legacy technology for a few years.

Technically, it's really not difficult for a company like Canon, known for making such a wide variety of products, to include a little bit sturdier version of HV10 cam in their offer, just without the lens of course. Overall image of their product line would shift further into PRO side (not to say they aren't there already). That could benefit them long term since traditionally we recognize Sony, Panasonic and JVC as pro video manufacturers. Canon is widely associated with pro D/SLR cameras, but not with pro video equipment. It's more about company image than profits from sales of one particular product, imho.

Just imagine a professional deck on their website next to H1, G1 and A1 cams. Who would dare to say it's "prosumer" line then? :)

ps. I know we should not use that non-word "prosumer". I just did it on purpose of making my point.
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Old January 17th, 2007, 03:53 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Leith
Insert tape. Rewind to start. Open HDV capture window and hit the capture buttons. 63 minutes later you have your tape nicely broken up into clips (well, with FCP you do, not sure about other software)...
Does FCP automatically break the footage into seperate clips (like IMovie) ??
Which function does that?
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Old January 17th, 2007, 04:47 PM   #19
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Tapeless?
I disagree - at least in part.

I have nearly 600 hours of footage in my archive - most of it is digitally logged/cataloged.

Although most of this footage has already been cut in its respective documentary, all this raw footage is priceless to me.

Although I would to go tapeless for initial acquistion and NLE import, we still need logical archiving scheme.

Tapeless would also have to get much more practical/reliable. In Kenya, I shot 80 hours in 2 weeks. In Zambia, 40 hours, in Zimbabwe, 40 hours, in Sicily 50 hours......
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Old January 17th, 2007, 05:00 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Galvano
One more question for Chris: been reading about the 10-12% rez loss for shooting 24f. I havent found the rez loss numbers for 30f. Is it the same?
It would stand to reason at 30f with be simpler for the DSP.

thanks
Steven
Looks like your question got buried in this discussion despite the link provided by Juan. I will allow myself to answer it.

Yes, 30f displays the same side effect as 24f, but it's more about the numbers than images. Canon still shines with the most detailed progressive images in the class.

Congratulations on your A1. I've been happy owner since the first batch arrived at B&H and love it since then.
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Old January 17th, 2007, 05:38 PM   #21
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Bjørn: Yes, FCP will allow you to load the entire tape and then show you individual clips for every time the camera was turned on and off.

Steven: I'm with you on tape. The only tapeless medium that would work for us at this point is Sony's XDCAM, replacing tapes with discs. An XDCAM disc is $30, about the same as an equivalent length DVCAM tape. I have to always keep the original tapes. Sony has, basically, solved the tapeless issue with XDCAM and XDCAM HD, but I don't see that trickling down to smaller cameras. For one thing, the discs are greater in diameter than the XH A1 is tall.

Some sort of solid state device, like P2 but not an expensive proprietary format, has the capability of eventually getting there, I think. One gig SD cards are under $30 now, which at HDV compression would take 12 gigs, approximately for an hour. If you could arrange 6 two gig SD cards in a little package, that would be $360 at current prices for the cards--maybe that would eventually drop to 30 bucks so you wouldn't have to reuse them. Still more than DV tape but not out of sight. I think something will come along one of these days to make tape obsolete...but not for a number of years, and I'm not going to hold my breath. Maybe a more efficient compression combined with increased capacity cards or something like that will happen eventually. For the foreseeable future, though, it's going to be very difficult to beat a little miniDV tape for 9 bucks that you can file away safely in a box and not have to worry about re-using or crashing.
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Old January 17th, 2007, 09:47 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Galvano
Although I would to go tapeless for initial acquistion and NLE import, we still need logical archiving scheme.
I don't understand why you think you have to give up tape as an archiving scheme. It's not an "either / or" proposition. You're not losing the ability to use tape. I'm not sure why some people seem to think that they are. Tapeless acquistion on the XH A1 does not replace tape... it's an addition to tape.

Perhaps you guys didn't read that part of my post, so I'll repeat it: you simply record to a Mini DV cassette in the camera at the same time as you're recording to a FireStore or similar tapeless acquistion device, for a confidence back-up and instant archiving.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Pryor
I have to always keep the original tapes.
And you'll get to keep on keeping them with tapeless acquistion. You're making two identical recordings at the same time: one on tape to Mini DV cassette, for archival purposes, and one to a hard disc recorder, for immediate drag-and-drop to an editing timeline, completely bypassing the video capture process.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bogdan Tyburczy
..an HDV deck priced below HV10, let's say around $1k...
Oops -- you're stating the price you'd like to see, not what the manufacturer is most likely to charge. I doubt they'd offer one for less than $2k at the lowest. How much are the JVC and Sony HDV VTRs again?
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Old January 18th, 2007, 12:51 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd
...
Oops -- you're stating the price you'd like to see, not what the manufacturer is most likely to charge. I doubt they'd offer one for less than $2k at the lowest. How much are the JVC and Sony HDV VTRs again?
I know about that, but... for $1k it's still feasible. HV10 costs less than that. Remove the lens, sensor, DSP etc, put the rest in different enclosure, make it a little bit sturdier, add some extra I/O options... If they intend to shift their company image more into pro video area, they have to be aggressive. From engineering point of view it's easy task, they could release such product in 6 months in they wanted to, but marketing wizards are in control.
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Old January 18th, 2007, 01:09 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bjørn Sørensen
Does FCP automatically break the footage into seperate clips (like IMovie) ??
Which function does that?
Yes. The HDV capture window is different to the SD capture window. It automatically breaks clips if you select that option (in the capture window) before you start capturing a tape.

EDIT:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Pryor
Bjørn: Yes, FCP will allow you to load the entire tape and then show you individual clips for every time the camera was turned on and off.
Ah... you'd answered this already, Bill! Didn't see :-)
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Old January 18th, 2007, 05:08 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bogdan Tyburczy
I know about that, but... for $1k it's still feasible. HV10 costs less than that. Remove the lens, sensor, DSP etc, put the rest in different enclosure, make it a little bit sturdier, add some extra I/O options... If they intend to shift their company image more into pro video area, they have to be aggressive. From engineering point of view it's easy task, they could release such product in 6 months in they wanted to, but marketing wizards are in control.
And ultimately the deck would sell at 1% the volume of the HV10 (if even that much), so its actually cheaper for Canon to sell you a high-volume HV10 than a low-volume deck.

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Old January 19th, 2007, 10:49 AM   #26
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Terence -

I think you are right about that 1% when compared vs HV10 sales stats, but it's because 99% of buyers are interested in HV10 as camcorder, not as a deck :)

Introduction of actual deck would make it more attractive to current owners of H1, G1 and A1, and again, I'm sure would improve the image of the company on pro video market. Development of such product wouldn't be expensive either because most of building blocks are already available. I think they are not trying to position their brand next to Sony, Pana or JVC and prefer to stay in the middle. It seems unlikely that Canon will introduce 1/2" or 2/3" class camcorders in the near future, for example, but I'm more than glad they make such a fine products in 1/3" class.
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Old December 18th, 2007, 05:12 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Leith View Post

Insert tape. Rewind to start. Open HDV capture window and hit the capture buttons. 63 minutes later you have your tape nicely broken up into clips (well, with FCP you do, not sure about other software)...

In FCP are you just hooking up your camera, opening the log and capture window, and pressing CAPTURE NOW to get it to import all of your footage and break it into individual clips?

I can't figure out how you are doing this...
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Old December 18th, 2007, 05:26 PM   #28
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FCP detects every time the camera was started and stopped and you end up with every clip in the browser. Technically it really doesn't capture in individual clips--the entire length of the tape will be one big clip in your capture scratch folder, but for editing purposes you will see all the individual clips. So, as far as the editor is concerned, it magically loads in individual clips. Avid does something similar in that it gives you a little pink mark at every stop/start point, but it doesn't separate and name each clip.

On another note, I reread most of this thread and way back there I said something about HDCAM...I meant XDCAM, not HDCAM, heheheh. No comparison with HDCAM.
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Old December 18th, 2007, 06:46 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Bill Pryor View Post
Avid does something similar in that it gives you a little pink mark at every stop/start point, but it doesn't separate and name each clip.
Actually Bill, it depends on your settings. Avid gives you a choice of creating markers, sub-clips, or both, of the master clip. The sub-clip method isn't really a clip at all. It's basically just a pointer to where the original master clip is, but can be utilized as if it is an actual clip. It renames the master clip with a .sub.### extension. You can set this up automatically but at least with my version there's a 100 subclip limit, so I elect to do this after capture by highlighting all master clips in a bin & then running the scene detection function to bypass the 100 subclip limit.

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Old December 18th, 2007, 08:28 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Bill Pryor View Post
FCP detects every time the camera was started and stopped and you end up with every clip in the browser. Technically it really doesn't capture in individual clips--the entire length of the tape will be one big clip in your capture scratch folder, but for editing purposes you will see all the individual clips. So, as far as the editor is concerned, it magically loads in individual clips. Avid does something similar in that it gives you a little pink mark at every stop/start point, but it doesn't separate and name each clip.

On another note, I reread most of this thread and way back there I said something about HDCAM...I meant XDCAM, not HDCAM, heheheh. No comparison with HDCAM.
Thanks Bill. Is this something that only works with HDV? I have been using Final Cut for years and I have never noticed this feature. I've always set ins and outs and logged clip by clip. This is my first experience with HDV footage though so that might explain why I've never seen it before.
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