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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 April 12th, 2008, 05:23 PM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Moretti View Post
The cost of tapeless archiving point mentioned a few post prior makes no sense to me. Harddrives are so cheap now that they are actually less expensive to store on than high quality mini DV tapes. And yes, harddrives fail, but tapes break as well. In truth, I've had tapes break, but can't recall *knock on wood* ever having a harddrive fail.

As for the Red costing $40K to $80K, that's also misleading to me. I think a lot of Red users don't pimp out their Red and get great results. They even post on the Red forum, if this statement is doubted.

This is the general consensus of those who fly by the seat of their pants when it comes to tapeless acquisition. Sure, tapes break, it is extremely rare. I have shot more DV tape than anyone on these forums, THOUSANDS of hours and I have had no more than 2 or 3 tapes "break." When you lose a tape, you lose an hour of footage at most, when a HDD goes down, you may lose MONTHS of work and in many cases, an entire project would be lost.

If you havent had a HDD fail, you havent had many. Manufactures claim a failure rate of near 1% but in real world practice over the life of the drive it is more like 8%. I have a friend who owns a data recovery company who says for some drives in certain conditions it can be up to 15%.

The only proper way to back-up your HDDs full of tapelessly acquired footage is a nice RAID system which is frequently backed up to data tape. You are talking $10K pretty easy for a decent amount of storage. It is a myth that dragging files to cheap bargain clearance HDDs is an adequate way to preserve footage. The horror stories, while there, are more scarce only because we are still in the infancy of this type of acquisition.





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Old April 12th, 2008, 05:32 PM   #62
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I've shot thousands of tapes too and have never had a tape I couldn't play back years from the acquisition date. I have, however, seen three different firewire drives die for no apparent reason.

In addition to the insecurity of having original footage stored in drives, there is the time consuming hassle of doing it. If you shoot tapeless (at this time, anyway) you have to, at some point, stop production and load all your footage, back it up, then delete it from the cards so you can reuse them. Depending on how many cards you own, this might take an additional person on the crew with a computer system and backup drives. Or, you can do it yourself at night after the shooting days. There's also the possibility of data being lost during copying. I've heard about a few horror stories in that regard in the past couple of years.

I think eventually we'll have some sort of solid state acquisition that will be inexpensive enough so you can treat the cards like tape--ie., put them on a shelf or in a box until you're ready to edit, and store them as long as you like without having to reformat.
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Old April 12th, 2008, 06:41 PM   #63
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I agree with Bill and Ash.

I have had 3 Seagate drives fail on me last year. That's why I switched to Western Digital which works great so far (no failures, 10 drives). My uncle works at the IT department of a large company and they had the same issues with Seagate. But anyway, never thrust a mechanical harddrive. Why do you think there are so many issues with the Firestore, and before with the harddisk tanks that were used for digital photography (microdrives). Flash memory is so much more reliable then harddisks. But flash memory is really expensive at this moment to store large amounts of data (think HD content). So you back-up your reliable flash card to a non-reliable harddisk. To make this work, you basically need to back up everything to two seperate harddisks. Although this is cheap, the risk is not in those two drives failing on you, but in you losing track of what is on what harddrive and where do you store them.

Nope, I think only when flash memory reaches like $10 for 8GB, it will never be as safe as tape. Although capturing is more convenient, archiving and making sure you lose nothing (offloading to computer, then harddisk, takes a lot of time), so no, I don't think it works perfect yet.
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Old April 12th, 2008, 07:23 PM   #64
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I'll join the club too.

Seems like I remember when everything off of our computers was backed up to tape drives for safety's sake! Now we are looking to replace or back-up our tapes to the same mechanical media or drives we were trying to protect ourselves from failure from before.

In the not too distant future there will be better solutions available at reasonable costs, but for now nothing beats me holding that tiny little MiniDV tape in my hand and storing it in my desk drawers.

I have various format tapes here from a client/friend that I'm going to transfer to DVD for her. Many are over 20 years old. The reason they are being converted to DVD is that they are stored here in Florida where humidity and therefore mold is a problem, they take up a lot of room and have to be stored at a storage facility and the machines they will play on will not be around forever, U-Matic, Hi-8, Beta, VHS. I have not encountered one yet that has failed to play back, even some with mold on them.

For now----I'll stick with that cheap little tape. It will probably be good for another decade at least.

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Old April 12th, 2008, 07:32 PM   #65
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I have friends that have had Firestore hard drives fail prematurely. One friend had three fail. These had reputable hard drives in them, such as Western Digital.

I feel very strongly that these Firestrore hard drives fail because of heat.

I recommend using SATA drives from a reputable manufacturer and keeping them cool. If appropriate, add a fan to keep them cool. Five dollar fans from Wal-Mart work fine. If you have Firestore drives, add a fan to blow air over the case.

What I worry about, is that some hard drive that have not been run for a while (way over one year) may not spin up when you go to use them). Sometimes with the proper techniques, you can get them to start.

Instead of using Firewire drives, in a small enclosure, or using multiple SATA drives in a hot enclosure, I just stand the drives on their side, run a SATA cable into the computer, and run a small fan.

I buy quality drives with a five year warranty and have not had any fail so far using these techniques. (I realize that I have only been doing this for about two years, so it is really too early to tell.)

Using this technique, it is real easy to keep one or more projects on a drive, and then back it up to another drive, and then put both away for safekeeping.

I use Vegas for editing, so I backup the Project files to another drive on a routine basis. This could save me if I had a premature disk failure, or I make a serious mistake while editing.
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Old April 12th, 2008, 09:20 PM   #66
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I know it is off topic but I will add that my ten years in IT have shown me that hard drive are 10-20x more likely to fail than a tape. And as Ash pointed out, 1 tape= 1 hour vs. many hours on a hard drive. If you were smart enough to have it stored on a redundant drive then great....but if you forgot or there was a glitch.....oops!

I have also had a lot more success restoring a broken tape....you can physically take the cassette apart and move the physical tapr to another case and salvage the undamaged portion.

No doubt that flash media is awesome but there is so much extra work involved and if you flub up at any stage you put your valuable shots at risk.

There is always a trade off. For now I am willing to live with capturing until the they iron out all the wrinkles.
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Old April 12th, 2008, 10:46 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by Marty Hudzik View Post
I have also had a lot more success restoring a broken tape....you can physically take the cassette apart and move the physical tapr to another case and salvage the undamaged portion.
Have you ever done this with miniDV tape? I have & it's no fun at all. The springs & braking mechanism are near impossible. Tiny stuff :-\
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Old April 12th, 2008, 11:00 PM   #68
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Have you ever done this with miniDV tape? I have & it's no fun at all. The springs & braking mechanism are near impossible. Tiny stuff :-\

Unfortunately I have (not for 5-6 years thankfully) and you are right. But what an exhilarating feeling when you recover your data! I had a tape that had been eaten by a sony GVD700? Mini DV deck. We were able to get the tape out of the mechanism, cut the bad part out and splice the remaining into a new cassete case. Surprisingly it worked! 45 minute recovered out of an hour....we could have gotten more of it back that was on the beginning of the tape but there was nothing critical there.

Let's not forget a major drawback of tape is alignment. I have probably a hundred old DV tapes (pre-HDV) recorded on my old partners XL1 that do not like to play in a lot of mini-dvd decks. There was something out of alignmnet on his camera and still his tapes a re a bear to get footage off of. Fortunately
I now strictly use an H1 and an HV20 and have had no problems.

Peace all.
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Old April 13th, 2008, 10:53 AM   #69
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Chris, I noticed in some of your photos there seems to be a bracket attached to the back of the camera. Just wondering if you had any shots of that. Hoping that is something I can attach some accessories to.
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Old April 13th, 2008, 11:01 AM   #70
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Hi Josh, that bracket is the same one included with all XL2 and XL H1 camcorder kits... there's a shot of it here: http://www.dvinfo.net/gallery/showimage.php?i=359&c=28
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Old April 13th, 2008, 11:12 AM   #71
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OK I figured as much but I wasnt sure as I did not see a bracket mentioned on the canon site in the Whats in the box section. Was hoping I could some how attach the NNovia Small camera mount to this bracket and hopefully add some weight to the back of the camera.
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Old April 13th, 2008, 11:22 AM   #72
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It is included in the box -- should be no big problem to rig something for carrying a QuickCapture drive, but it would be nice if nNovia provided a solution.
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Old April 13th, 2008, 11:38 AM   #73
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Well the small camera mount is designed to be mounted under the camer into the tripod mount but I dont think it would allow for shoulder operation. I don't have access to any of the XL cameras to try it on either.
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Old April 13th, 2008, 04:54 PM   #74
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The biggest dissapointment is the same old focus ring on the lens and the viewfinder.
Why canīt they give us a proper lens?
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Old April 14th, 2008, 02:48 AM   #75
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Sorry this "upgrade" feels like a bandaid to me.

Sony has just announced their new EX3 model. It has full 1920x1080 1/2" sensors, removable lens, solid state recording...

Yes its $4000 more but thats pretty insignificant for its spec.

I think Canon have dropped the ball.
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