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Canon XL H Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XL H1S (with SDI), Canon XL H1A (without SDI). Also XL H1.


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Old December 28th, 2007, 12:53 PM   #1
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1080/60i 4:2:2 HD-SDI output

I'm going to be shooting wildlife and bird video in Africa and hope to use my Canon XL H1. Unfortunately, my client does not want the footage recorded in HDV. In fact he is pushing me to use the new Sony HD EX1 camera.

Is there a portable recorder (similar to the Canon FireStore FSC-HD100 Portable DTE Recorder) that will mount on to the XL H1 and allow me to use the HD-SDI port to output uncompressed 1080/60i 4:2:2 HD-SDI or compress to a format like DVCPRO HD?
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Old December 29th, 2007, 08:37 AM   #2
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Hello and i am in the same situation, but i have a workaround. Expensive, but it's the solution that i have. We recently intergrated the AJA I/O HD into our workflow so what we do is shot directly to a G SATA drive. In the field we have a MacBook Pro, G-SATA drive, AJA I/O HD, Convergent Design SI, and a 23" APPLE Cinema Display (the connection for this is DVI to HDMI into the AJA I/O HD). When using the I/O we are not capturing audio as we go HD SDI out of the XL H1 to HD SDI in on the I/O. Since the XL H1 doesn't embed the audio, the workaround for that is the Convergent Design SI, which embeds the audio for you via firewire from the camera, then RS 422 and HD SDI into the I/O. The codec that is used is the APPLE PRO RES 422 HQ 1080i. Honestly, you cannot tell the difference between this codec and uncompressed HD. The file sizes are smaller. Hope that i was able to offer you some sort of a solution.
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Old December 29th, 2007, 10:57 AM   #3
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Excellent workaround

Thanks, Gregory. Thanks for the details to your workaround. I will incorporate this in the next production shoot I do for a customer that needs more than HDV.

However, this seems to bulky for shooting African wildlife (though most of the time I'll be on a flatbed truck/open SUV.

Any other solutions that are more compact? That is mount right to the camera?
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Old December 29th, 2007, 01:06 PM   #4
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Cineform is working on an HDMI version of what you are looking for - unfortunately still in development. Currently, their users who want better than HDV quality are recording to an Intensity-tethered laptop....
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Old December 29th, 2007, 02:46 PM   #5
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John,
I also forgot to mention that Convergent Design is working on a solution for the Canon XL H1 and according to their preliminary specs here is the price: US $4995, available Q1 08; 16Gbyte CompactFlash cards cost ≈ US $200:: When this arrives i will get this as well.
http://www.convergent-design.com/dow...20Brochure.pdf
I don't know if you have time to wait for this, but this is the PERFECT solution for the Canon XL H1! IMHO
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Old December 29th, 2007, 09:36 PM   #6
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John,

As far as I know...there are no options available RIGHT NOW.
the Convergent Design will be KILLER when it's available...

The idea of cabling into a Mac...with additional audio issues...is a great workaround...but like you said...not "in the field".

I've used the H1 shooting on-location recording to HDV, DVCProHD and directly into our AVID Adrenaline at 220mbs DNXhd codec. It all looks great.

Yes...HDV is 25 mbs...but it holds up very nicely. If you can wait...the Convergence will be the way to go...but if you can't...the HDV signal that the H1 is recording is one of the best (IMHO). I' ve seen other HDV tapes and have been un-impressed with the quality level. Canon says their signal does meet HDV spec...but because of the quality of lens and some (vodoo) they do in the electronics...their signal looks better in the HDV format.

All I know...is I agree.
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Old January 2nd, 2008, 09:53 AM   #7
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Convergent Design

Gentlemen, thanks for your input. the Convergent Design solution sounds exciting!
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Old February 6th, 2008, 11:00 AM   #8
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Audio is embedded in the SDI.
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Old February 6th, 2008, 04:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nelson Maldonado View Post
Audio is embedded in the SDI.
Not on the XL-H1. It is video only.

Fortunately, Convergent Design has stated that the XL-H1 is the #1 priority camera on their list in terms of Flash XDR. They even built in XLR inputs in the XDR to compensate for the lack of audio in the XL-H1's HD-SDI stream.
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Old February 6th, 2008, 06:33 PM   #10
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Michael;
Do have any information when the Convergent Flash XDR will be shipping?
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Old February 6th, 2008, 10:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry Gregg View Post
Michael;
Do have any information when the Convergent Flash XDR will be shipping?
From my understanding, they said it would be shipping by NAB, so around April.
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Old February 7th, 2008, 08:39 AM   #12
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HDV Recording

Hello everyone,

Can anyone tell me if there is any visual proof of a better quality picture when recording directly to the computer through the SDI output when compared to HDV capture to tape, then output that recording from the tape to the computer via the SDI output?

I am using Matrox Axio LE HD breakout box with PPro CS3 on a 10 or 8 bit uncompressed timeline. I find that the footage can handle the same amount of cc and effects equally as pure HD-SDI. I then export movie which creates a large Matrox AVI file. When I create a Blu-ray or reg dvd disc in Encore CS3, the quality is visually exactly the same on my 10ft screen 1080p set up. I also find that shooting vanilla in camera and then correct in post using the above mentioned method, I get a much better result and more oprions compared to in-camera presets. I know the H1 can only do 8bit. If I output HD-SDI 8bit 4:2:2 what visually do I get with 4:2:2 over 4:2:0 using the process above? I also want to mention that HDV firewire into the computer on a hdv timeline, then out put to Blu-ray does not tolerate too much cc in my experience. Some banding can occur but never in the process above. Can someone please put sense to this? I'm only going by what I see. Finally I also want to point out that vanilla capture with sharpness level to 2 to me is the same in sharpness as HD-SDI with no added noise. Thank you in advance for your input. Maybe someone can tell me how I can benefit with HD-SDI that would justify the added equipment on the field.

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Old February 7th, 2008, 09:55 AM   #13
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H1 output in HD-SDI = 4:2:2 Colorspace AND depending on the file format chosen, much less compression. (Example: ProRes vs. HDV long GOP)

H1 tape out in HDV = 4:1:1 Colorspace AND long GOP compression

But most agree that the HDV out of the H1 with proper lighting, camera movement, apeture/shutter control is beautiful. Only issues I've seen are complex detail with wild motion such as trees/bushes blowing in the wind or water with a lot of motion.
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Old February 7th, 2008, 10:15 AM   #14
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HDV is 4:2:0 o/w agree.
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Old February 8th, 2008, 10:11 AM   #15
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Oops! Pete is correct - sorry about that.

But the comparisons are still accurate.
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