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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, 01:52 PM   #1
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Newbie Seeks Guidance on Intializing SD Card Problem on XLH1

Hi Shooters: I purchased my Canon XL H1 on December 22nd, so this has been a very Merry Christmas for yours truly indeed ! :-) However, I have encountered a problem, and I have been unable to resolve it. Perhaps some of the more experienced shooters on this forum could offer some assistance ?

The Problem: I cannot initialize the supplied SD card. I have downloaded several of the user custom presets from this forum, and I would like to copy them over to the supplied SD card, then load these presets into my H1 to try them out, but this process isn't working. I've been pooring over my instruction book, but on page 128 it gives instructions for a menu which simply does not appear on my menu list, nor can I effect a change from tape to card (??) Why ? Can anyone suggest what I'm doing wrong here ? Any feedback at all would be appreciated. I read page 126. I suspect the problem is that I am in the "TAPE" mode and I cannot get into the "CARD" mode for some unknown reason ???? It won't switch.

Last edited by Mark Job; December 28th, 2007 at 02:39 PM. Reason: For purposes of clarity
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Old December 28th, 2007, 02:46 PM   #2
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Dear Mark,

Do you have the SD card loaded into the XL H1?

Is the SD card set to allow recording?

Try this:

1. Power the XL H1 off.

2. Switch to Card Mode.

3. Ensure that the "lock" switch on the SD Card is set to allow recording to the card.

4. Insert the SD Card.

5. Power the XL H1 On, using the VCR/Play position.
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Old December 28th, 2007, 05:55 PM   #3
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Thanks to Dan ! :-)

Hi Dan:
I thank you kindly for your great assistance in helping me locate a key switch on the Right hand side of the camera called the "TAPE/CARD" switch (Totally embarassing). I must of looked at my brand spanking new XLH1 camera a 100 times and not seen it !

i.e. The best place to hide something is right in front of your face !

I am totally amazed at the potential of what I can do with this camera and I can hardly wait to try out all those custom presets posted in the Preset sticky :-) Like you had mentioned, the XLH1 is a camera all in its own category. There's nothing else like this camera in HDV land. Personally, from the tests I've been able to perform so far, I do believe the actual HDV MPEG encoder in this camera seems to be doing a much more efficient and accurate job then from what I've seen in the Z1U and F1 (And these are already pretty darn good).
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Old December 30th, 2007, 10:15 AM   #4
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Dear Mark,

Thank you for the kind words.
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Old December 30th, 2007, 03:02 PM   #5
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Mark,

Welcome to the world of H1...and you've already recognized one the best features of the H1...the mpeg encoding that Canon does...is superior to anything else. They follow HDV white papers for spec...but somehow...it looks better than the competitions....
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Old January 2nd, 2008, 03:13 AM   #6
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The XL H1 MPEG Encoding Quality

Kevin, I suspect Canon found a way to clean alot of noise from the video signal before it hits the mpeg encoder (??). There's not much noise to begin with from what I can see in my viewfinder. I have begun to play around with creating my own custom presets and I am astounded at what can be accomplished in low light shooting by adjusting the 'black-stretch' setting ! Wow ! I have always been frustrated with cameras where the only way to affect adjustments in shadow areas was to use the 'gain' control or change your lighting. If one could only boost a certain frequency of the video signal without raising the overall gain. Viola - black stretch !

From what I can tell from early tests, the preset adjustments can be slight, yet have a large overall impact. I used to own the XL1s and I thought the lens was pretty good on it, but I've been pushing the 20X lens on the H1 in tests and this lens is superior. I'm not just expressing such claims because I'm excited about my new camera and it's Christmas. The more testing I do, the farther my jaw drops when I see the picture in full resolution on my Avid editing system. I'm simply blown way by what I'm seeing ! When I first heard about this camera in late 2005 I have to admit I scoffed at the reports. A 1/3rd inch CCD camera low in noise ? - Ha !

My first impressions of the H1 are of an instrument with the guts of a broadcast camera, yet not presented as a camcorder either. I can't find any other make or model of digital HD camera which follows this camera's design philosophy.
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Old January 3rd, 2008, 04:30 AM   #7
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Please share..

Hi Mark

I am wanting to grab some good low liht footage at times but have no clue about settings or how to adjust them.
When you have finalised would you mind sharing the sttings in the sticky settings section of this site with us - please.

Thanks
Dave
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Old January 3rd, 2008, 10:23 AM   #8
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The Wonderful World of Black Stretch Adjustments

Hi Dave:
Yes, the black stretch adjustment truly brings out much more detail in the blacks and shadow areas of your picture in low light situations. Using this adjustment along with a judicious amount of overall "Gain" in some extreme circumstances, can make your low light shooting truly wonderful ;-) I will post my presets as soon as I know what I have for sure. Frankly, I would not have thought it possible to attain these types of settings and end results with "ANY" 1/3rd inch CCD camera, let alone one initially aimed at HDV recording. I don't mean to be a snob about it, but most of the 3 ccd cameras I've tested have been quite pretentious in their design and claims of performance, yet don't deliver. To my great shock, surprise and happiness, the XL H1 delivers !

The test results I'm getting actually force me to repeat tests two and three times, because I just can't accept the results being so good ;-). I am a strong "film" person who comes from this mode of production background. I NEVER liked the look of video, and I have tested several digital cameras over the past 18 months hoping to find some kind of prosumer or low end professional digital video camera on the market which would at least approach Super 16 MM film quality in good lighting, and be able to look reasonably good in a possible film out to 35 mm.

Imagine this camera with the Convergent Designs Flash XDR. Wow !

Last edited by Mark Job; January 3rd, 2008 at 04:20 PM.
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