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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 10th, 2004, 01:22 AM   #61
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5 or 10 years from now I hope I am not that bad that I need to still use and depend on a camera that is that old. If you are trying to buy this camera so maybe it can be used 5 or 10 years from now the rest of us will have much better newer cameras that are new(5 to 10 years from now) so you will end up buying a new camera anyways. Heck 5 to 10 years from now dv tapes may be as hard to find as beta tapes today then your camera would really be useless. I think the only real market for this camera is film makers. The problem however is that the camera is interlaced and 30 frames per second. Yes they will have higher resolution but once the footage is deinterlaced you only end up with a blown up 540 lines of resolution instead of 1080. You could take a progressive 480 image and get the same result by blowing it up. Then there is the fact that you have 30 frames instead of 24 so your footage will be interpolated even more. About the only thing you gain from using HDV are more horizontal pixels. Even that is rumored to be smaller than we think. Instead of going for the full 1920 x 1080 SONY is rumored to only use an anamorphic1440 x 1080 or even smaller yet. If SONY would have given us 1080 P at 24 fps then it might be worth it for some film makers.

Actually I think there might be a somewhat market for weddings for HDV. Clients might think it is really neato to have their wedding in HD to play on that new TV they got talked into buying at Best Buy. The problem is you would either have to tell them to,

1. Buy a JVC HDV VCR for a couple of thousand.

2. Buy one of those DVHS recorders to play only their wedding video on.

3. Use the DVD only in their computer and it will only work if their monitors are set up to at least 1920 x 1080.

4. Scale down their wedding to standard video(What the hell did you just use HDV for then?)

5. You could always charge your clients an extra $2000,00 for your services and supply one of the above players.
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Old September 10th, 2004, 09:30 AM   #62
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> If you are trying to buy this camera so maybe it can be used
> 5 or 10 years from now the rest of us will have much better
> newer cameras that are new

Of course today's equipment will be most likely be obsolete in 10 years, probably less. The point is that the footage you make today with HDV will retain it's value for a longer time because it won't suffer as much upon upscaling, "future-proofing", as Steve Mullen and Boyd would put it.

> but once the footage is deinterlaced you only end up with a
> blown up 540 lines of resolution instead of 1080. You could
> take a progressive 480 image and get the same result by
> blowing it up.

Deinterlacing does discard some information, but it's not that bad, not half. I think it's around 25% and with a simple deinterlacer at that. There is adaptive software like the DVFilm products that can do much better, as well as expensive real-time hardware that can do a good job too.

Aside from vertical resolution, which is higher than SD even if you deinterlace it, you have to also take into account that horizontal resolution --though not full 1920-- is also higher than SD. No matter how you look at it HDV is higher resolution than any form of SD DV.

It remains to be seen is whether Sony's 25Mbps MPEG-2 does the job so a significant amount of visual information is retained. It will also be interesting to see how well Sony has dealt with vertical smear, a problem present in many of Sony's prosumer cameras lately.

Judging from the specs and from comments seeping from Amsterdam, the FX1 even in SD mode is quite a contender to the XL2 and DVX100. If the compression does the job right, it should be even better in HDV mode.
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Old September 10th, 2004, 04:38 PM   #63
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Thanks Ignacio, you're right.... I wasn't suggesting buying the camera now so you could still use it 10 years later.

Jim: you don't have to sell me on letterboxed video, but I know a lot of people who hate it. Look at the networks. TCM is the only cable channel I get that is serious about always using the original aspect ratios when showing movies. AMC, TBS, TNT, SPIKE, A&E and just about everyone else use 4:3 pan and scan. Ugh. The other network that is pretty good about this for movies is Sci-Fi.

TCM has a very nice short feature on the importance of using the original aspect ratio. They have comments from a number of directors and lots of clips illustrating how much you miss with pan and scan. And my favorite example is a picture of DaVinci's "last supper" painting which they then show cropped to 4:3 and ask "do you want to see all 12 disciples, or only 6?"

Yes, I am seeing more letterboxed TV shows, but I think they wimp out more often than not and use 14:9 as a compromise to reduce the size of the black bars.
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Old September 10th, 2004, 04:45 PM   #64
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<<Yes, I am seeing more letterboxed TV shows, but I think they wimp out more often than not and use 14:9 as a compromise to reduce the size of the black bars.>>

It's funny Boyd, I've been noting that phenomenon on commercials in letterbox. The 14:9 bars don't make any sense from an aspect ratio standpoint, but it's noticeable how different the heights are from one letterboxed spot to the next.

This is all too similar to my perspective as a musician and producer. A long time ago I lost the ability to just listen to music the way I did as a kid. Today I hear it as a writer, producer, engineer and listen for those things separate from the whole. Same thing with films and TV. Good and bad I suppose.
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Old September 10th, 2004, 06:14 PM   #65
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14:9 is a compromise that apparently has been widely adoped in the UK, seeing as it's halfway between 4:3 (which is 12:9) and 16:9.

Interestingly, 14:9 is a lot closer to the "golden ratio", the architectural and mathematical ratio that people associate with beauty. The golden ratio is 1.61something, and 14:9 is 1.56:1...
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Old September 11th, 2004, 02:36 AM   #66
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ah you know of the Golden Rectangle. It was one of the most interesting things I studied in art school.
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Old September 11th, 2004, 02:04 PM   #67
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I've noticed the commericials also. Was thinking to myself, they want to be able to re-use them in a few years when 16x9 is the majority of household tv sets.

I can tell you that here in Dallas, all four major networks ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX are running their prime time programming in HD. They don't all look exactly the same though. My preference leans toward CBS. Their prime time shows look absolutely stunning. I am able to pick all of them OTA using amplified rabbit ears.

I like the earlier comment by Boyd about the internet. It hasn't exactly been a linear ramp up. More like an explosion that started in the late 90's. I think it will be the same with HD. It will all seem to happen overnight, and then we will wonder how we ever did without it. This same type of adoptive timeline has happened with different technologies many times over in the last 25 yrs. or so.

regards,

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Old September 11th, 2004, 04:09 PM   #68
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<<<-- Originally posted by Barry Green : 14:9 is a compromise that apparently has been widely adoped in the UK, seeing as it's halfway between 4:3 (which is 12:9) and 16:9.

Interestingly, 14:9 is a lot closer to the "golden ratio", the architectural and mathematical ratio that people associate with beauty. The golden ratio is 1.61something, and 14:9 is 1.56:1... -->>>

Even more interesting is the 16x9 aspect ratio (1.78:1) was a compromise between two widescreen, non-anamorphic standards: the European (1.66:1) and the US (1.85:1) "widescreen flat" standards. 1.78:1 was chosen for HDTV because a US flat flm could be shown in HD only with a small letterbox showing and a European flat film could be shown with only a small amount of overscan. Widescreen flat is different than anamorphic (2.35:1) in that the widescreen image is hard-matted in the camera or print for the correct aspect ratio, rather than using the entire film frame through aspherical lenses.

Many directors expose the entire 35mm frame, with a safe area visible in the viewfinder for 1:85. This allows easier transfer to television and permits the widescreen image to be obtained by matting at the final print stage. In the HD Cinema world this is the common practice. George Lucas frames and mattes his CineAlta cameras in the Star Wars films for his preferred 2.35:1 aspect ratio rather than use anamorphic lenses. Shooting a matted, flat image removes a lot of the complexity in the post production and visual effects stages.

Curiously, 1.85 films are generally just transferred to HD or VDV at picture height (no letterboxing) losing about 2% of the image on each side .
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Old September 11th, 2004, 04:58 PM   #69
 
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I guess I'm not convinced that HDTV is gonna make it. While many people live in major urban areas, many also live in rural areas. It's hard enough to get a good signal in urban areas, special attention to antennas is necessary. For those of us in rural areas, there's no way, no how.

Nevertheless, the significant leap will be for progressive scan HD DVD set top players. This will push the market for HDTV sets. Looking around the internet, there are absolutely NO, repeat NO set top boxes out that will play HD or WMP. I was at NAB and M$ was pushing WMP-HD real hard....and yet, no one is making a WMP-HD set top box??? What's up with that? I guess one maker V-Inc., is supposed to have a WMP-HD player on the drawing board. Likewise, the number of DivX players are also very rare. If I had to guess, I'd say M$ wants a rediculous amount of money to license their WMP codec. If that's the case, they'll shoot HD (and themselves) in the foot. Didn't they learn ANYTHING from Steve Jobs?

Also, HD content is so data intensive, full length movies in HD will have to be on two sided blu-ray discs, or have the hell compressed out of it.

The bottom line to all this, and strictly IMHO, the data rate needed for full rez HD is just way to high. Too high for broadcast bandwidth, to hi for burning to conventional disk.

Perhaps if/when the economy turns around in this country, people will be willing to fork over their $$$$ for a new $4000 TV set. Now, AFAIK, there's NOTHING on TV,HD or otherwise, worth that kind of investment.

I'm sure I would've thought the Wright Bros. were crazy, too...hehehehe.
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Old September 12th, 2004, 09:32 AM   #70
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Bill,

I understand a lot of what you say. I used to live in a pretty rural area and could only get a 4 party phone line. By the time I moved out, I had a private line. The sparcely populated areas will always be out of the loop. It still hard to get a cell phone signal in most of Nebraska.

I remember people saying that 'we can never go faster than 1200 baud' on standard phone lines. Yet, here I sit typing this message on a 1.5mbs standard copper wire phone line.

Your mention of $4000 tv sets was a bit off. I bought my 65" WS built in HD tuner rear projection 2 years ago (9-11-02) at 10% discount of $3450. Prices have come down since then. The plasma screens are the high dollar sets. Note, when I bought that set, you couldn't find anything like that at Wal-Mart. Go into Wal-Mart today, and you'll find a plethora of smaller 16x9 HD sets. When technology gets into Wal-Mart, that's a good sign that it is hitting the mainstream.

Bill, I think your statement about HD-DVD's driving the HD set market could be very much on the mark. I truly hadn't thought of that angle.

My point in this long post is that we always seem to find a way around the technical hurdles. And as always, the early adopters will pay the price. Just like the XL-2 selling at full retail.

HDTV IS HERE in most of the major metro areas and will continue to spread. It's not a matter of if, but how soon.

That said, I'm NOT so sure that HDV will make it. Unless it has room for technological improvements in the spec (ie newer codecs).

Just my observations.

respectfully,

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Old September 12th, 2004, 09:56 AM   #71
 
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Just a word of clarification...
I don't think HD or HDV format is to be ignored. Clearly, this is the wave of the future, the path to much higher rez and picture quality. However, IMHO, I just think it's way too early to jump off the DV boat. A lot of development, both in technology and distribution capability has to happen before HDV format is a viable alternative. For the time being, DV is the only workable solution.
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Old September 12th, 2004, 10:31 AM   #72
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One thing to think about is that many "professionals" put down and still put down DV as a professional format. Just like DV has allowed event, corporate, and educational professionals to offer higher quality at non-Beta SP prices, I think that HDV will do the same. Since there is no good way to deliver the HDV content and consumers don't have HD DVDs in their living rooms, I'm not sure that I would invest in it right now. It is definitely worth looking at. I've seen some really nice footage from the JVC camera.
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Old September 14th, 2004, 03:19 AM   #73
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HD Backup on MiniDV Tape

<<<<2 - This does however lead me to a second point. I have always thought that if MiniDV is a digital tape, then it doesn't necessarily have to store info encoded in DV, why not be able to back up you hard drive on it (good idea hey? - 15GB per tape - each tape £2.00!)>>>>

for the mac my friend, there is a way...

check out dvbackup....

www.macupdate.com

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Old September 14th, 2004, 02:34 PM   #74
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I really think alot of this DV vs. HDV comparison is apples vs. oranges. They are in fact two different formats. What I would really like to see is how the Sony FX1 compares to the Xl-2 and DVX-100A in SD. Or, how the FX1 HDV image looks downconverted. Does the Zeiss glass required by the higher resolution put the Canon and Lecia lenses to shame?

If Canon would adapt some of their high quality glass to the XL mount, this would probably be a moot point. But if the FX1 performs as well or better than the XL and DVX in SD, you're really just getting HDV as a bonus.
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Old September 14th, 2004, 02:45 PM   #75
 
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hmmmm..

yes, they are different formats, but, in the end, what is it we, as videographers, want? I want the nicest images(re: highest resolution, color balance, etc.) I can get, regardless of the format. I think the customer expects this. I don't much care how I get to that product, DV, MPEG, or whatever. Provided the customer can use the format he's getting, on the hardware he's got. Also, you may be asking the wrong question. perhaps it should be, If the Xl2 performs as well as the FX1 in SD, why not provide better glass?
Well, obviously, because the DV format won't support the image quality.

I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion that this XL2 may be a dead horse without entering the starting gate. This Fx1 is looking too good to ignore.
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