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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 May 7th, 2008, 07:35 AM   #181
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The newer, slower focus preset speeds, the three different zoom speed ranges, and similar features are not available on the older XL H1 body.
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Old May 7th, 2008, 01:26 PM   #182
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floris van Eck View Post
I think we can safely assume that the Canon's next lens will be a manual HD lens. Canon has seen that Sony's manual lens on the EX1 (sort of manual) had received a very warm welcome. The new 20X lens also indicates that Canon is aware of that, and it is also what the Canon rep said in the FreshDV interview. People want more manual control. I also think the new redesigned 20x lens indicates that Canon will stick with 1/3" for a little bit longer. Either that or a XL-H1 with 1/2" chips and a EX1 type lens. Time will tell.
They will. We'll have to give them a year or so to make that happen.
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Old May 7th, 2008, 01:39 PM   #183
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Originally Posted by Dan Keaton View Post
I was very impressed with the new lens. I realize that it is not a full manual lens, but it does feel like one. It responds like one. And the way it responds is adjustable.

I showed it to hundreds of professionals who came by the booth and the consensus was that it was very impressive. I encouraged our guests to operate it to get a feel of the new lens.

A full manual lens will (of course) not have auto-focus, nor image stabilization. In exchange, the full manual lens will have fewer elements and be less complex.

There are times when a full manual lens is nice. We are currently shooting a movie using a JVC camera with a full manual lens. We spend a significant amount of time trying to ensure that the scene is in focus. Even then, our camera operator does not always get it "Tack Sharp".

Please do not get me wrong. A full manual lens has its advantages at times. And there are many professionals who insist on a full manual lens.
I think Canon is just now starting to "get it". I think everyone needs to realize is that Canon is primarily a still photography company. And they really know how to build auto-focus/image stabilized lenses. It's their bread and butter. It's what still photographers want. Super quick, super fast snap focusing auto lenses.

It shouldn't surprise everyone when Canon applies that philosophy to their video lenses. It was only until just recently (this year's NAB) that Canon finally had their "ah ha" moment that filmmakers and EFP videographers want MANUAL, MANUAL, MANUAL. That realization made its way into the H1 refresh by making sure the "M" on the camera's setting dial is first and not 5th. LOL! How many folks have cursed Canon by trying to turn that dial on a darkened set and were thinking "did I turn that dial four times or six times?"

Canon's primary market is rich doctors, dentists and small TV broadcasters in the mid-west. The filmmaking segment is small in comparison. BUT...we're the most vocal and we drive the technology the furthest. Canon, I think, is finally starting to get it.

I know personally that the brass in Irvine has been screaming for a more filmmaker friendly camera to the higher-ups in Japan for years. They weren't listening initially. They are now.

The future is exciting for Canon. Next year I wait to see what they offer. It will be interesting.
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Old May 7th, 2008, 02:51 PM   #184
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Robert, what you say is true.

But Canon is also one of the best manufacturers of 2/3" lenses of incredible high quality. All those lenses are manual without autofocus. So although Canon maybe a photography company, I still think they also know what videographers/filmmakers demand from a lens.

But everything shows us that Canon is indeed listening. So I hope to see a manual HD lens with the XL-H2 (which I hope will be progressive, ntsc/pal switchable, over- and undercranking and tapeless or tape or both). This way they can keep on building the XL system. Going to 1/2" is also an option but will probably render our current XL lenses obsolete. I hope they can achieve some of the benefits of 1/2" chips in another way.
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Old May 7th, 2008, 08:06 PM   #185
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Originally Posted by Floris van Eck View Post
Robert, what you say is true.

But Canon is also one of the best manufacturers of 2/3" lenses of incredible high quality. All those lenses are manual without autofocus. So although Canon maybe a photography company, I still think they also know what videographers/filmmakers demand from a lens.

But everything shows us that Canon is indeed listening. So I hope to see a manual HD lens with the XL-H2 (which I hope will be progressive, ntsc/pal switchable, over- and undercranking and tapeless or tape or both). This way they can keep on building the XL system. Going to 1/2" is also an option but will probably render our current XL lenses obsolete. I hope they can achieve some of the benefits of 1/2" chips in another way.
You bring up a fair point about the 2/3" lenses. I don't know exactly how Canon has structured its internal infrastructure, but it's possible they are divided between a pro-video lens department and a consumer electronics department. I'd like to think the H1 is considered "pro". But somehow I suspect it falls into the CE market. LOL! Kind of like how the Rebel XL team is a completely different than the 5D team (similar products but with drastically different demographics).

I think going to 1/2" would not be too big of a problem for Canon. They can keep the same mount and still call it an XL camera. But they'll just do what they're doing now - which is telling customers the new refreshed lenses are incompatible with older bodies and older lenses are incompatible with the newer bodies. If they're willing to ignore legacy items on a simple refresh then I have no doubt they'll use the same tactic when introducing a new set of 1/2" lenses that would only be compatible with the future H2.

Side note: Isn't Canon already producing a set of 1/2" lenses that work with the JVC?
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Old May 8th, 2008, 12:59 AM   #186
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You are right about the division. The Canon XL-H1 is from the CE division while the broadcast lenses are from the broadcast division. But still, they are the same company and could share their knowledge.

I guess you are right about the lens mount. It will be like the EF and EF-S on their photography cameras. You can use the old lenses but at the wide end, you will see vignetting on the new camera. The new lenses will work on the old camera but will be less wide due to the different image size.

I guess they can make it work like this.
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Old May 8th, 2008, 07:42 AM   #187
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Like I mentioned in another thread, a cool thing Canon could do about it's XL line of lenses would be to implement a crop system in its future XL bodies should they get 1/2" CCDs or CMOS. Could be pretty much like what Nikon did with its D3 body : you can use your "old" DX lenses on it, but you don't get the full megapixels res (don't really know the numbers, must be somewhere around 2/3 the res), or you use new FX format lenses (or older full-frame film lenses) and get full res.

On future XL bodies, a similar approach could alway be used : The choice would be either get 720p maximum res for older XL lenses without any heavy vignetting or use newer XL lenses at full 1080p res (or even use older XL lenses at full res, but vignetting would probably be horrible). They could even implement somewhere into the body a vignetting correction software to reduce or hide completely the effect of older XL lenses according to the lens you use. You could select it from a list in a menu, there ain't that many XL lenses on the market.

That might not be possible, but it sure would be pretty nifty instead of doing all vignetting correction in post, and would lengthen the life of our older XL lenses! Plus, it would be pretty useful when filming live events!
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Old May 8th, 2008, 08:09 AM   #188
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Originally Posted by Robert Sanders View Post
I don't know exactly how Canon has structured its internal infrastructure, but it's possible they are divided between a pro-video lens department and a consumer electronics department. I'd like to think the H1 is considered "pro". But somehow I suspect it falls into the CE market.
Canon Broadcast & Communications is part of Canon's Industrial Products Group, which is an entirely separate division from Canon Video, which belongs to Canon's Consumer Imaging Group. They are completely different companies (which means first and foremost that they are composed of completely different people, and they operate completely independently from each other). Within the Video division, there is the consumer side and the pro side -- the pro side product line being the GL, XL and XH camcorders, and the Console software. This delineation between consumer and pro video products happened fairly recently. But it's important to realize that Broadcast and Video have always been two completely separate companies.

Quote:
I think going to 1/2" would not be too big of a problem for Canon. They can keep the same mount and still call it an XL camera. But they'll just do what they're doing now - which is telling customers the new refreshed lenses are incompatible with older bodies and older lenses are incompatible with the newer bodies.
If they go to 1/2", they won't call it XL. Keep in mind that all older XL lenses are indeed forward compatible with newer bodies -- it's always been that way and this hasn't changed with the new H1S and H1A. They work with *all* older XL lenses (of course the older XL lenses that are non-HD will resolve only for standard definition).

Quote:
Side note: Isn't Canon already producing a set of 1/2" lenses that work with the JVC?
1/3rd-inch. Canon Broadcast is doing that. The 20x lens they're making for JVC ProHD lists for about $9,800. The JVC part number is KT20x5BKRS.
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Old May 8th, 2008, 12:57 PM   #189
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Thanks for the explanation Chris. You are the ultimate Canon guru!
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Old May 9th, 2008, 01:09 PM   #190
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Thanks for your insight Chris. Perhaps we're seeing the last XL camera with this refresh. I think that with Sony's move toward 1/2" CMOS cameras that Canon will have no choice but to respond with something similar. Of course, if they were going to make a move to an entirely new imaging format, I'd love to see them go for it and introduce a sub-$10k 2/3" camera.

Canon seems to have a good relationship with Sony. As I understand it the CCD's in the H1/A1/G1 are sourced from Sony. And since Sony has introduced a newer generation of 2/3" CCDs for the F23 and F900R, maybe Canon could get the older generation F900/3 chips at a reduced price (assuming Sony's foundry can still produce and haven't been completely retooled).

Otherwise, I'd love to see Canon set it's sights on the EX3 next year and blow it out of the water with something jaw dropping. If CMOS is the future, maybe a true 2K over-sampled sensor in the 2/3" size. I'm sure there's an ambitious engineer over there who can figure out how to take advantage of their 30D and 5D sensors and make them work in a video application. If they employed a 3-chip design then we could use those gorgeous 2/3" lenses (not to mention similar DOF characteristics of 35mm without adapters).

They could call it the new Ultra-Hi-Def Canon. 2K, Tapeless, 2/3" CMOS, $10,999.
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Old May 9th, 2008, 03:09 PM   #191
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I am not sure wether I prefer CMOS over CCD. But as Canon's complete photography business uses CMOS sensors (the DSRL line) it would make sense to me that they use the same sensors as they have proven themself. Canon is also famous for lowlight capabilities in that market so I think it can be a winner. They do have to fix the rolling shutter though. But I think once processing chips in cameras get faster, it will be minimized.

I highly doubt they will go 2/3". Maybe they offer a similair mount as Sony where you can use both 1/2" and 2/3" lenses on the camera. Or maybe they go 1/3" and have the camera take 2/3" with an adapter. Who knows. But 2/3" glass is very expensive so I am not sure if it is feasible. The Sony EX3 is $13,000 which is a lot of money. You can get 2/3" cameras for that price. The Panasonic HPX-500 is like $9,000 right now. With glass you are looking at almost $20,000. But for that money, I would buy a RED.

Therefore I highly doubt that they will go 2/3". But the industry in state of chaos right now. So many new things are happening, 1/3" used to be the standard in this market segment but Sony upped it to 1/2". RED's Scarlet will have 2/3" sensors so you see where I am going. It will be hard to please everyone. Especially with interchangeable lenses. I still think the only feasible option would be an APS-C sensor with EF-S lenses or an APS sensor with EF lenses. That glass is available, Canon has a large catalog from zooms to primes and that glass is affordable. I don't see how 2/3" will work when the lens costs more than the camera. Unless the prices of those lenses will drop tremendously which I don't expect to happen. Canon sells plenty of those lenses to professional broadcast etcetera so it would eat their own profit. And I once read that because Canon sells 2/3" lenses to all its competitors, they won't appreciate it when they come with their own 2/3" camera body. Not sure how much of that is true. I can understand it though.

The video/film business is very divided. Everyone has its own niche and there is very little overlap.

- Canon makes 2/3" lenses but no camera bodies
- Fujinon makes 2/3" lenses but no camera bodies
- Sony cameras use a V-mount
- Panasonic cameras use a Goldmount
- Canon (it is said) uses Sony chips
- Zeiss makes cineprimes

And the list goes on and on...

RED is the only company that shakes up things and moves at lightning speed. 5k when the rest of the market is still doing 1080p. And all at prices that the competition can only dream off. Exciting times.

I think each company should look at its own strengths. Canon strength is its photography business and its broadcast lens division. The last division goes very well so I don't think they are going to eat those profits and the prices of that lenses are not acceptable for the XL market segment. So the best thing to do would be to use a DSLR sensor optimized (or developed) for this camera that utilizes their photography lenses. Or maybe slightly modified photography lenses with aperture rings, hard stops and aimed for video (option for lanc controllers that work with IRIS).

So for me... the road for Canon to follow would be APS-(C), modified EF-S lenses optimized for filmmaking (better manual control, hard stops, focus markings) that are slightly more expensive then their photo counterparts. Combined with a optimized Digic processor for video. I think this would make a great camera that will be very hard to beat by the competition. I think at the end I would use CMOS because Canon has its own plant for those and they wouldn't have to rely on Sony for the CCD chips.

But we can only wait and see what Canon comes up with. Maybe what I describe won't be ready next year. But I think it should be the longterm goal that Canon should aim for. In the mean time they can stick with 1/3". XL-H2 with better high-res viewfinder (like on the new Nikon's or Sony EX 1), better ergonomics in terms of balance on the shoulder (maybe AB mount standard) and truly progressive chips that do 120fps. This camera would do 1080p and 720p and I would not mind if it was long-gop MPEG. It would launch with a 16x Manual HD lens F/1.4. I would be happy.
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Old May 9th, 2008, 03:59 PM   #192
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I just stumbled across this in another forum here on DVinfo:

Edirol F1 HDD field recorder
http://www.edirol.com/index.php?opti...341&Itemid=390

Picture mounted on XL-H1:
http://www.edirol.com/images/stories.../f1_camera.jpg

Looks like a great addition and far more decent in build quality than the Firestore. It also gives better audio options. The only thing I dislike is that it records HDV in the .m2t format. I would like a quicktime alternative.
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Old May 10th, 2008, 05:00 AM   #193
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Floris van Eck is right.

A couple of things, 2/3 chip full HD cameras with broadcast glass have been there for a long time, that's the broadcast market and you pay for it. I've never known the manufacturers to put full broadcast facilities into prosumer cameras, they would be undermining their vital broadcast market. Personally I think they're already very close to the line with this.

I can't afford to take the chance with CMOS and a rolling shutter - the results are there to see. I don't want a tapeless format - of course chips look lovely, but my customers (who are often on a trans-Atlantic flight right after the shoot), don't like the idea - what about archiving? Who owns the chip?

Red keeps cropping up, but it is in a league apart. Red is a tempter for those who have the means to support it with everything it needs post prod wise. And does it need bottomless pockets or what?!
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Old May 10th, 2008, 10:24 PM   #194
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Watch.Impress review:

Original Japanese:
http://www.watch.impress.co.jp/av/do...7/zooma360.htm

English Translated:
http://babelfish.altavista.com/babel...2fzooma360.htm
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Old May 11th, 2008, 03:33 AM   #195
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From what I understand (it is hard to read babelfish translated articles), they say it is a nice camera with some nice updates. However, they also say that Sony upped the game with the Sony PMW-EX3 and that the XL-H1S is the camera "before the real pleasure" comes... the XL-H2 or something like that. That's exactly how I feel about it. But nice, insightful article.
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