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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
Canon XL2 / XL1S / XL1 and GL2 / XM2 / GL1 / XM1.


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Old September 7th, 2004, 02:38 PM   #16
 
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Sorry for being inaccurate. Indeed, HDV is a subset of HD. However, what I meant to say is that the HDV subset is that it's really HD compressed into MPEG2 for storage to tape. As such, while you get the true format size, 1080 or 720, you also get the artifacts associated with MPEG2 compression and the requirement to have adequate computational power to successfully do the frame accurate editting. Generally, this means, with todays current computer technology, that your special effects, transitions, etc. will bring your computer to its knees when editting HDV. The color space is stil 4:2:0...hardly 4;2;2.

It's simply my opinion, Barry, humbly, I submit....HDV is not the Holy Grail. The holy grail will cost us a little more than $3700.

It remains to be seen whether, in the final analysis, the images from this camera will be significantly better than the XL2. The new XL2 images I've seen rival what I've seen out of an HD-1...simple as that.

In an uncorrelated thought...
I was asked by Canon's rep at NAB whether I'd rather have HDV or re-use of my existing inventory of XL1 lenses and accessories. Without hesitation, I replied that I'd MUCH rather be able to re-use my XL1 accessories. So, while I don't think I substantially affected Canon's development roadmap, obviously, enough other videographers felt that same as I do. Canon doesn't have a reputation for pandering to the consumer market quite like JVC or Panny. I'm sure, one of these days, we'll see a Canon HD camera. By definition, it won't be able to use the 1/3 inch CCD lenses, but it will be a solid entry into the HD(v) market. Until then, i'll be cautious about my jumping off the boat while I'm still at sea.

BTW, I would expect my stable of 35mm SLR lenses to still be useable on an HD format camera.
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Old September 7th, 2004, 02:57 PM   #17
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I think the FX-1 and XL-2 are aimed at slightly different markets. The XL-2 looks like a really nice camera, but if you can wait another 90 days then why not keep your options open? If you need it now, and if you like what you've seen about the XL-2 then buy it and don't look back. The FX-1 price difference is significant and I wonder if this will put some downward pressure on XL-2 pricing come November (another reason to wait if you can)?

The MPEG2 is a non-issue guys. The FX-1 can also shoot in 4:3 and 16:9 DV mode and record DVSP and DVLP. So you could think of the 1080i HDV mode as a "bonus" (and a nice one at that :-) It doesn't have interchangeable lenses or XLR's, but there are a lot of other very nice features. 16:9 native 250,000 pixel LCD panel, new design native 16:9 CCD's. 14 bit DSP. Calibrated zoom, focus and iris rings with end stops. 32mm equivalent wide end.

Like all other new cameras - including the XL-2 - it would be wise to wait for some production model reviews and user experiences before spending your hard-earned money....
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Old September 7th, 2004, 02:58 PM   #18
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I didn't see anything about the sony HDV cam being able to record NTSC.
Is that correct?

Has anyone here done any color correction to HDV footage?
If so, how well does the codec hold up?

Anyone here done any composting using the HDV codec?
If so, how well does the codec work (we know DV ain't that great)?

How about blue/green screen work with HDV? How's that?

The other issue I wonder about with this camera is that it does not
offer progessive scan, but 1080i. I don't think it can do any flavor
of 720P. Even the JVC only does 720P at 30 fps, not the full blown
60 frames needed for smooth video (though I admit liking 30p)
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Old September 7th, 2004, 04:24 PM   #19
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Not commenting on anything technical, but as I read the things Boyd mentioned (proper rings, LCD panel etc) I was just slowly shaking my head as to why Canon didn't add those, simple basic things to their camera. I think they matter to people and in all honesty are the things that'd stop me getting one becuase to get them I need to spend thousands on other lenses and an LCD monitor - but then I guess this argument has been done to death.


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Old September 7th, 2004, 04:51 PM   #20
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> Since MPEG-2 is a lossy compression scheme, editing of the
> footage is destructive. Any edit would require regenerating the
> necessary reference frames and re-encoding

I strongly suspect this particular MPEG-2 implementation would not have intermediate frames, only keyframes, so editing is possible without losing info.

As to XLR, I am still not convinced that they are a requirement in the field. The Beachtek adapters work great as long as the camera has a good input circuitry and AD (like the XL1). In my case, a have a PDX10 with the XLR module and it is sort of like having a Sony-branded Beachtek adapter.

From my point of view, the next step up from the PDX10 was, until today, an XL2. Now that Sony finally delivered the HDV promise, I would not buy the XL2 without checking the new HDV offering. So my answer would be "yes, you should be worried".
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Old September 7th, 2004, 04:51 PM   #21
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I don't like posting direct links to other websites, but if you visit camcorderinfo.com you will find quite a lot of in-depth information on the new Sony camera; obviously they were given access to it much like Chris had for the XL-2. Obviously we won't know for sure what the features are until Sony themselves publishes them, but in multiple places on that site they say the camera can work in both SD and HDV and record DV at SP and LP speeds.
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Old September 7th, 2004, 05:03 PM   #22
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I bought the JVC (HD1) as first step into HD. I was not really purchasing a camera, just a cheap way to explore this new world.
At 2300$ it was cheap enough to not care about the future.
The learnings have already covered for the investment.
My only regret was not having 3CCDs. now i dream it and sony has made it. I will probably swap for the newborn very soon, just waiting for the first reviews and for that camera being more that rumours. This time i hope for a more serious tool.
For sure if the goal was to get a good DV device, it would be none of the JVC or the sony one, but probably a panasonic or a canon.
Unfortunately most of the people are not in a position to allow such money invested just for fun, so they need a different answer. My opinion is if you still live in the brave old world of DV, neither of the Sony nor the JVC should be a trouble for you.
If you want to enter into the new world of HDV, the sony is the only choice.
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Old September 7th, 2004, 07:22 PM   #23
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Worried?

The XL2 does true 24p. The Sony does 1080i. Can this really be compared? I got interested in the XL2 in the first place because of the native 16:9 and true progressive scan. If it did not have this, it would only be an XL1S revision2 and would have been of no use to me.

No matter the resolution of the FX-1, I don't think it's aimed at similar markets. If you want true progressive 24fps for transfer to film or for film motion look, the DVX100A and XL2 are the only viable choices. the JVC's seem to be nothing more than high tech toys. The new Sony has 3 CCDs, but apparently will only do interlaced.

If you're an indie filmmaker like me that comes from a film background, you still won't consider buying a camcorder (at least I would think), no matter the resolution, that can only shoot interlaced footage (god do I hate NTSC 60i), if your plan is going to film later on (or at least it'll look like film if you only release it on DVD).

Also, what seems to be the new and biggest problem with HDV is dynamic range. The footage is so compressed to fit on DV tapes that there's a lot of clipping. As a result, I always thought the JVCs' footage looked horribly video-ish and ugly. Unusable for dramatic projects.

The day HDV manufacturers will come up with true 24p 3 CCDs camcorders that have found a way around the very limited dynamic range and can offer a better solution than MPEG2 (which is a pain to edit) highly compressed to DV tape with a max. 25Mps bandwith, I'll sure give it a second look. Let's bet a $2 this could be Canon, who as usual, will be the last player to enter the new format, but this should not be until a year or 2.

Until then, there's a great deal of issues for HDV to resolve in order to be used in a professional environment (dynamic range being the priority, Mpeg2 compression artifacts and editing problems being the second).
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Old September 7th, 2004, 07:51 PM   #24
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> The day HDV manufacturers will come up with true 24p
> 3 CCDs camcorders that have found a way around the
> very limited dynamic range and can offer a better solution
> than MPEG2 (which is a pain to edit) highly compressed to
> DV tape with a max. 25Mps bandwith, I'll sure give it a
> second look.

I agree with much of what you say David, but we don't know yet that Sony has not "found a way around the limited dynamic range". It wouldn't make sense to have 3 CCD chips in there if all that color range could not get written to tape. MPEG2TS with only keyframes should be as easy to edit as any other digital format. I am under the impression (please correct me if I am wrong) that intermediate frames are not used.

I don't know if 25 Mbps is not enough. HDTV broadcasts look great to me and they use less than that!

And I daresay the resolution loss of deinterlacing is probably made up for with the enhanced resolution of 1080i. If you resample 1080i/60 to 480p/24 you might get something at least as good as the output from an XL2 or DVX100. Perhaps with even better low-light performance and less noise, not to mention it won't suffer as much when upscaled for HD later on... because it doesn't need to be upscaled at all, see?

I can tell the XL2 and DVX100 are excellent SD cameras. The XL2 is surely impressive. But what will happen to that footage later on? Surely we need to asess the FX1 HDV footage and see how well it does in both and HD and an SD world and vice versa. Then we can make the choice.
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Old September 7th, 2004, 08:10 PM   #25
 
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<<<<"found a way around the limited dynamic range".>>>>

surely you jest. even if they found some magic in a black hat, there's still the issue of being able to edit( aka process) the massive data stream that would be required with full 4:2:2 video. No way, jose...not with today;s technology, anyway.
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Old September 7th, 2004, 08:12 PM   #26
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So no one has the answers to my questions?

Kinda hard to believe with all those JVCs out there that no one
has tried color correction, compositing, or blue screen work.

These are things I am interested in. Talking heads? Ugh.
(Sorry for the attitude ;)
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Old September 7th, 2004, 08:20 PM   #27
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Ignacio, you might be right about the Sony and JVC using keyframes, I must say I didn't do a whole lot of research on the HDV after actually seeing the footage from the JVC. It was enough to convince me the technology wasn't at a satisfactionary level yet.

The XL2 seems to have a great low light performance which is virtually noise free (judging by the night footage shot by Johnnie). It suits my needs on this front.

As for the dynamic range, we'll have to wait and see of course. I won't make the mistake of condamning a camcorder before it's out, but judging by the JVC, they have a mountain to climb to get my attention. I would assume the 3 CCDs will make for a much better color accuracy (JVC's footage looked blemish and washed up) and probably a better dynamic range, but from what I've read, the dynamic range problem of this new format is highly linked to the high compression ratio and won't be so easily overcomed.

All I know is that interlaced 60i footage and 24p is not meant for the same purpose. Give me quadruple the resolution, if it's 60i interlaced, I'll still find it ugly as hell. I'm biased because I come from a film background, but I would assume indie filmmakers are too, and like me, will want 24p before taking the HDV plunge.

I'm not one to adopt early technology until I get solid proofs it's not all hype and nothing more. So far, until I see HDV footage that actually looks good (not only on paper), it'll remain hype. I'll be checking that Sony of course, but my expectations are not that high. The resolution increase has been used as a marketing gimmick for a long time in digital photography and has provided very few tangible results. Hope video won't follow the same path...
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Old September 7th, 2004, 08:33 PM   #28
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Yes. We will have to wait and see. Oh and yes, we will not edit HDV on our G3 or PII laptops. Apple, Intel and everybody else are going to love HDV because we will have to buy new hardware. Again.
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Old September 7th, 2004, 08:42 PM   #29
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I'm not sure I see how a 60i camera, even at 1080 can be seen as an alternative to the XL2. The Xl2 was designed specifically to be a new generation film motion, film view camera. redesigned CCDs optimized for 16:9, 24p, 48 fps with cine gamma and color curves are what this camera is all about.

Shoot the XL2 in 4:3, 60i and it looks like pretty good video. Shoot it in
16:9 24p using the 5 pages of image control and it's literally a breakthrough look...certainly to me.

Really clean interlaced video is of no interest to me nor most of the clients I know looking for what they're seeing more and more; which is a growing body of work that while not film, is definitely percieved as film like and specifically not video.

I can't see how anyone could go very wrong committing to this camera, without waiting to read every post and every review on every site and wait the release of the next cameras.

This camera is here and now and without question the best looking thing I've seen below true film and real HD...including cameras way above it's price range.

Take Digibeta. It has more dynamic range and a better color space, but those are fine points when you're comparing image quality this close...it's indisitinguishable to the vast majority of the people who view what we create.

What is definitely distinguishable to them is a smooth rich detailed image in wide screeen and 24p motion...the things they associate immediately with film making.
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Old September 7th, 2004, 08:51 PM   #30
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> redesigned CCDs optimized for 16:9

Oh the FX1 has some of those too. Actually Sony did something I think nobody had done before: the CCD panels on the new camera have rectangular pixels! Thus the sensitivity and resolution are optimized and less resampling is required to meet the HDV spec. My camera, which is also 16:9 native, has square pixels, which is great for photos but not optimum for anamorphic video.
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