A few questions on the XL H1A at DVinfo.net

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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 September 27th, 2008, 06:56 PM   #1
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A few questions on the XL H1A

Hi everyone, I'm new here, so hello to you all :) i've been learning film and video production for about a year now and I'm just about to buy a Canon XL H1A, and have a few questions.

I have Final Cut Studio 2 already and want to know how compatible it will be with the Canon, didn't know if anyone had any experience with the two together. I'll be shooting mainly in 25f mode to tape. I wont be doing any visual effects, green screen, etc. I just want to shoot good footage and be able to transfer it easily to an editing suite, preferably FCS2.

Last question which i really can't get my head around, is. The canon is 1080i therefore isn't capable of recording progressive images. Yet you can record at 25 frames per second (PAL) Is this not the same as progressive recording? Sorry if I sound very stupid. Very much appreciate your help :)

Thanks

Phil
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Old September 30th, 2008, 05:09 PM   #2
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Phil, welcome to DVinfo and apologies for the delayed response.

The XL H1 series shoots 50/60i and a Canon flavor of progressive HDV termed "F-mode" in which a CCD meant by its original manufacturer as an interlaced sensor is read in its entirety (all 1080 lines) at the same instant. So 24F, 25F, and 30F are laid to tape progressive. There's a lot of discussion on that further back in this forum that you can search and read at leisure.

For a great overview of the camera, please see:
Canon XL H1 Watchdog

Cheers,
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Old October 1st, 2008, 01:15 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Dexter View Post
Hi everyone, I'm new here, so hello to you all :) i've been learning film and video production for about a year now and I'm just about to buy a Canon XL H1A, and have a few questions.

I have Final Cut Studio 2 already and want to know how compatible it will be with the Canon, didn't know if anyone had any experience with the two together. I'll be shooting mainly in 25f mode to tape. I wont be doing any visual effects, green screen, etc. I just want to shoot good footage and be able to transfer it easily to an editing suite, preferably FCS2.

Last question which i really can't get my head around, is. The canon is 1080i therefore isn't capable of recording progressive images. Yet you can record at 25 frames per second (PAL) Is this not the same as progressive recording? Sorry if I sound very stupid. Very much appreciate your help :)

Thanks

Phil
Hi Phil,

I recently shot a feature film with the first gen H1. We are doing the entire post production in Final Cut Studio (cut in FCP, graded in Color, sound-designed and mixed in Soundtrack Pro, screeners in DVDSP). On set we didn't record to tape, but used the HD-SDI out to a MacPro and recorded straight to disk using ProRes HQ. However, we did shoot about 10% of the movie to HDV tape. And I have to say the HDV footage (albeit outdoor sunlight footage) cuts well with the ProRes footage.

I put a bunch of info about the camera and our shoot here: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/canon-xl-...ture-xlh1.html

Soon we'll have a Digital Cinema master made and premiering it at The Landmark.
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Old October 6th, 2008, 10:06 PM   #4
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re

Thanks ever so much for the info guys! Cheers for explaining the frame query Pete, my head was beginning to hurt :) Much appreciated.

Robert - I actually watched the trailer for your movie a few months ago, looks very impressive, it practically sold me on the XL H1. I'm really looking forward to getting fully involved with the camera and a few projects i've been writing.

I'm actually entirely colour-blind so I tend to present everything I do, from airbrushing to still photography in B&W. Would you suggest shooting in black and white, or colour, and then convert in post? Or would I begin to degrade image quality doing it in post?

I'm also trying to get hold of a DOF chart for the camera, i'vd had a good look online but most of the ones I come across are for DSLR's. Can you point me in the right direction?

Thanks again chaps, the forum is really great. Purchased recommended HDV tapes and a decent case from reading posts on here :) and thanks for warm welcome.

Phil
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Old October 7th, 2008, 04:30 PM   #5
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I'm glad you enjoyed the trailer. We've got another one in the works. We're wrapping post-production on this sucker this week. Phew! It took a year to get this sucker through post.

I would definitely shoot in color and apply your B&W look in post. My primary reason for suggesting this is that you can create different B&W looks by using only one color channel, or two. And You can experiment with different contrasts and looks by blending the three channels differently. If you desaturate in-camera then you are throwing away color channel info.

I have no idea where to get a DOF chart for the H1. I'm sure it's probably the same for most 1/3" chip cameras. However, I've been told by others that they think the H1 has slightly shallower DOF than others. But I cannot confirm this.

Any Pelican case big enough for your camera should do you fine. I prefer hard cases over soft cases or bags. But that's my preference.

Good look on your project, bro. Happy shooting.

Rob
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 09:57 PM   #6
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Thanks Rob, I'll be looking forward to your next trailer :) Interesting what you say about shooting in colour to take advantage of additional colour channels, that's something I'll definitely be doing now. What are the main advantages of converting to ProRes 422? or is this only done with uncompressed HD footage?

I'll be receiving my XL H1A tomorrow, so very excited! Shooting a short film Monday.

Cheers
Phil
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Old October 23rd, 2008, 01:19 PM   #7
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Choosing ProRes was made because we didn't want to manage uncompressed HD on set. That would've required a small RAID. Backups would've been more difficult and expensive. With ProRes we could use SATA drives for both capture and backup. Plus ProRes is a great codec.

You can definitely cut HDV footage now. But I'd still prefer to convert HDV footage to ProRes. You definitely want to do your post using an intra-frame codec, IMO.
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