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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 10th, 2008, 08:39 AM   #1
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New XL H1S and H1A -- questions and answers.

Please use this thread for all Q&A regarding the new XL H1S and XL H1A.

Start here: http://www.dvinfo.net/canonxlh1/watchdog.php


Official Canon USA press release
(full text below)

More XL H1S information: XL H1S product pages at Canon USA

More XL H1A information: XL H1A product pages at Canon USA

pages from Canon Japan:
http://cweb.canon.jp/newsrelease/2008-04/pr-xlh1s.html
http://cweb.canon.jp/prodv/lineup/xlh1s/comparison.html
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Old April 10th, 2008, 08:50 AM   #2
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Press Release: Canon USA announces XL H1S and XL H1A

The following is a press release from NAB2008:
--------------------------------------------

CANON'S NEW XL H1S AND XL H1A HD CAMCORDERS PROVIDE
ADVANCED FEATURES FOR ENHANCED CONTROL AND OPERATION

New 20x HD Video Lens, Enhanced Image Control and Other User-Requested Refinements Serve the Needs of Event Video, Documentary Filmmaking and Pro Markets

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., April 10, 2008 – Building on the success of its acclaimed XL H1 High Definition (HD) camcorder, Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging technology, has introduced the new shoulder mount XL H1S and XL H1A HD camcorders, which include new advanced features requested by professional users for improved operation and image control.

Canon's new XL H1S and XL H1A camcorders, which will be on display at the 2008 NAB Show (Booth #SU3020), feature an updated Canon 20x HD Video Lens with three independent manual adjustment rings (focus, zoom and iris), as well as enhanced manual focus and zoom control. Additionally, the XL H1S and XL H1A incorporate an expanded array of controls for customizing the image, display, and operation to match individual needs. Utilizing the industry's most affordable digital video recording media – HDV tapes – both models are ideal for such long-form production applications as wedding and event videography, digital filmmaking, documentary production and media education.

Both the new XL H1S and XL H1A deliver superior HD image quality with their Genuine Canon XL interchangeable lens system, three 1/3 inch, 1.67 Megapixel CCD Image Sensors, and Canon's proprietary DIGIC DVII HD Image Processor. Both models also feature a durable six-pin IEEE 1394 terminal, providing a more robust connection to external hardware.

The XL H1S model provides expanded connectivity by incorporating HD-SDI (SMPTE 299M)/SD-SDI (SMPTE272M) output with embedded audio and time code, providing a raw, uncompressed 1.485 Gbps signal for demanding live production environments, SMPTE Time Code input and output terminals, and a Genlock output terminal for multi-camera shooting situations.

"The new XL H1S and XL H1A HD camcorders continue to meet the needs of producers, event videographers, and digital cinematographers with superior Canon optical and imaging technology, and with the most cost-effective medium for high-quality HD video capture and storage, which is HDV tape," noted Yuichi Ishizuka, senior vice president and general manager, Consumer Imaging Group, Canon U.S.A. "Canon's unsurpassed quality is seen in our broadcast HDTV lenses and the Canon EOS digital photography cameras. This know-how directly benefits the quality of Canon professional and consumer HD camcorders. Recently, our consumer camcorders claimed the number-one position in total high definition camcorder unit sales above $200 in both January and February of 2008, according to The NPD Group's Retail Tracking Service."

New Genuine Canon 20x HD Video Zoom Lens III
Leveraging Canon's expertise as a worldwide leader in optics, the XL H1S and XL H1A feature a redesigned Genuine Canon 20x HD Video Zoom Lens equipped with Canon's XL lens mount. The XL lens mount enables users to interchange lenses, such as Canon's optional 6x wide-angle lens, Canon EF photographic lenses, and many other lenses for specialized image capture. The XL H1S and XL H1A HD camcorders' new Genuine Canon 20x HD Video Zoom Lens III offers independent manual zoom, focus and iris rings, which can operate simultaneously. These rings have been redesigned for easy access and comfortable operation. Other innovations of the lens include: three sensitivity settings for the manual focus ring; fast and slow zoom speeds; smooth movement when starting or stopping zooms; and selectable rotational angles between the tele and wide ends of the lens zoom. Simultaneous zoom and focus control are also possible in either Manual or Auto Focus mode. The new Genuine Canon 20x HD Video Zoom Lens III incorporates aspherical lenses to reduce flare and fluorite lens elements to minimize chromatic aberration. Additionally, the lens features Canon's SuperRange Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) system, which corrects camera shake instantly on hand-held shots at full telephoto, shots taken from a moving vehicle, or other challenging situations.

User-Definable Operation
The new camcorders provide users with an unprecedented range of image/color settings, camera-control functions, and viewfinder display choices. Video can be captured and output in multiple frame rates to meet the demands of diverse production assignments. These frame rates include: 60i for mainstream production; 30F for perfect frame grabs or Web delivery; and 24F for emulating the look of motion-picture film. Canon's Factory Service Center can also provide an optional upgrade to add 50i and 25F frame rates. The camcorders can be switched in all frame rates between 1080-line 16:9 aspect ratio HD video and 480-line 4:3 aspect ratio SD video (or 576 lines in 50i or 25F mode).

Both the XL H1S and XL H1A HD camcorders provide Total Image Control for customizing image and color settings, with a total of 23 custom presets available for image-quality adjustment, with the range of image color presets extended from +/-9 to +/-50 steps for fine-tuning the picture (an important feature for achieving the visual subtleties favored by cinematographers). Custom image pre-set files can be stored to an onboard SD/SDHC Memory Card and shared with another Canon XL H1S, XL H1A, or with Canon XH G1 and XH A1 HD camcorders for seamless multi-camera production work.

Custom camera functions and operation settings total 21 items and 33 sub-items for achieving creative "looks" for footage. Among these new functions are: "shockless" white balance for smooth, color-accurate dissolves between two pre-set white balance values (adjustable from 2000K to 15000K); the ability to increase gain in 0.5dB increments from 0dB up to +18dB, and there is also additional -3dB and +36dB settings. A selective noise-reduction function is available for reducing the noise in targeted color areas, which is important for blue/green chroma-key applications in special effects work and for shooting insufficiently illuminated backgrounds.

Using the custom display settings feature, a camera operator can tailor the display to their shooting style. These include 22 items and 40 sub-items for selection of status information that can be shown in the XL H1S and XL H1A HD camcorders' 2.4" combination EVF/LCD monitor.

Audio Capture and A/V Connectivity
User-requested refinements in the XL H1S and XL H1A audio capabilities include: two-channel audio performance; two built-in XLR terminals with separate audio-input sensitivity settings; the ability to simultaneously record sound from an external microphone and the supplied internal microphone; line output level switching; an audio (manual) limiter; a new metal headphone jack for reliable connectivity. Another important new feature is embedded audio (and SMPTE time code) in the XL H1S HD camcorder's uncompressed HD-SDI/SD-SDI digital output via an industry-standard BNC connector.

Other improved connections on the XL H1S and XL H1A HD camcorders include an external LCD monitor output for critical focus confirmation on an optional larger monitor simultaneous RCA and BNC video output for added monitoring and dubbing convenience, and a photo-flash accessory shoe to support use of Canon EX Series Speedlites.

The new Canon XL H1S HD camcorder is scheduled to be available in June for an estimated retail price of $8,999, and the XL H1A, which will have an estimated retail price of $5,999, is scheduled to be available in mid-July.
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Old April 10th, 2008, 09:11 AM   #3
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Wow, I am truly disappointed at this news. As a Canon user and faithful customer of the XL series for the past 10 years, I feel this "update" is a bit late and seems odd in today's growing and pushing market to tapeless.

Obviously some improvements were made, but I think Canon just lost me to Sony and the EX1...
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Old April 10th, 2008, 09:41 AM   #4
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Definitely incremental not revolutionary. Lots of useful changes though for people who already are using the Canon systems so it may be enough to keep the faith. There also may be more annoucements which make the rest of the system a little more competitive with Sony EX-1.
I think they would have had to scrap the XL series if they went to 1/2 inch chips or start another product line.
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Old April 10th, 2008, 09:46 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Staats View Post
Wow, I am truly disappointed at this news. As a Canon user and faithful customer of the XL series for the past 10 years, I feel this "update" is a bit late and seems odd in today's growing and pushing market to tapeless.

Obviously some improvements were made, but I think Canon just lost me to Sony and the EX1...
Don't knock the camera yet. For interlaced shooting the Canon cameras are pretty much equal in terms of detail.

The EX1 is also a bear to hold for long periods of time. It's still hard to beat a shoulder mounted camera for long term handheld shooting.

Also as nice as CMOS is the Canon cameras do not have any of the CMOS issues such as wobble and warped and stretched. If you shoot in an environment with a lot of rapidly changing lights such as stage productions or concerts then a CCD will give you much better results. I love the look of CMOS but you really do have to be carefull of what type of stuff you shoot.

The EX1 may have a detail edge for progressive shooting but the 24F mode on the Canon is nothing to laugh at. Once you get past all the pointless tech talk and specs and just work with it it can be a very high quality fluid format.
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Old April 10th, 2008, 09:54 AM   #6
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Finally, a cheaper shoulder mount from canon, The price isn't much lower then a first gen h1 but it has the newer features AND its a shoulder mount. Sign me up! My wrist is happy. From what I have read the ergonomics of the canon shoulder mounts still leave much to be desired with the front heavy design but after strapping my nnovia unit to the back along with my wireless receivers I figure that should help bring it a little more in balance.
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Old April 10th, 2008, 09:57 AM   #7
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Well this definitely is an incremental upgrade.

I'm disappointed that there is no new hi-res viewfinder. I suppose I'll wait till next week with NAB as there may be more announcements, before I say anything.

For all I know, this could be like Apple behavior - release something before they release the bigger thing.
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Old April 10th, 2008, 10:26 AM   #8
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I found some interesting new features on Canon-USA's website announcing the new cameras:

Click on the following, then click on "Monitoring" to view some of the new monitoring options.

http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/co...delFeaturesAct
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Old April 10th, 2008, 10:40 AM   #9
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Looks like we got some of our firmware wishes granted.
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Old April 10th, 2008, 10:50 AM   #10
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Looks like we got some of our firmware wishes granted.
Yeah, the gain increments have been improved.
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Old April 10th, 2008, 10:54 AM   #11
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I am relieved initially as the new features would be nice, but do not put me in a position to "have to" upgrade. This is definitely deserving of an "s" name as it is more of an upgrade to the H1 and less of a "new" model.

The possible saving grace is that as long as canon continues the XL series camera line, we still have the chance that a manual HD lens will be released and a hi-rez viewfinder.

These 2 things seem to be major reasons why many do not like the Canon series. Hopefully these will become available eventually for all of the H1 series cameras.

Peace.
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Old April 10th, 2008, 10:57 AM   #12
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Now that all three functions in the lens can be controlled simulaneously, I wonder if the camera can focus while it is zooming?
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Old April 10th, 2008, 10:59 AM   #13
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Now that all three functions in the lens can be controlled simulaneously, I wonder if the camera can focus while it is zooming?
I think that is the exact reason they added this feature right?

Also, perhaps this is the secret of the XL-H1 1.06 firmware. Perhaps they updated it for compatibility with the newer lens....if you could ever get your hands on one without the body!

Just a theory.
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Old April 10th, 2008, 11:09 AM   #14
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G....if you could ever get your hands on one without the body!

Just a theory.
Give it a few weeks after release and someone will have a broke body with the lens on ebay
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Old April 10th, 2008, 11:11 AM   #15
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In SD can both new models shoot (or be factory modified to shoot) PAL and NTSC.

Sorry just re-read specs and the cameras can do both formats

Last edited by Bob Thompson; April 10th, 2008 at 11:24 AM. Reason: update
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