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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 March 22nd, 2009, 01:10 PM   #1
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XL H1s uncompressed capture settings

I am using an XL H1s and a Blackmagic card.

In the Blackmagic HD Extreme card settings for capturing uncompressed HD through the HD SDI output on the Canon XL H1s, there are several capture settings of which two (uncompressed 10-bit YUV and uncompressed 8-bit YUV) seem most appropriate for the output of the Canon XL H1s (uncompressed YPbPr). I think I understand from other threads that the XL H1s output is 8-bit. I also think I understand that broadcast in HD normally asks for 10-bit.

Is it better to capture the 8-bit output to a 10-bit format for editing so it is already suitable for transfer to broadcast-ready format, or is it better to capture in 8-bit for editing and then later change from 8-bit to 10-bit when transferring to the broadcast format?

Many thanks for your help.
Alan
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Old March 22nd, 2009, 02:38 PM   #2
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What can your RAID support?
You might find that ProRezHQ will work for you if your drives will not support the uncompressed speed needed.
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Old March 22nd, 2009, 03:56 PM   #3
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Hi David,

Thanks for the reply.

The RAID should be OK with either: 4 of 1 TB each SATA 7200 striped RAID 0.

My main concern was to know if there is a reason to work with the material in 10-bits (which I guess would only have 8 bits of information because it is coming from the XL H1s) because the final format I am hoping to deliver is HDCAM SR which as I understand it can have the format 4:2:2 10 bits and a bitrate of 440 Mbits per sec. This is the master required for HD by our national TV network (CBC) when submitting HD material.

Alan
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Old March 22nd, 2009, 09:42 PM   #4
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Hey Alan,

I do a lot or HD-SDI capture with my XL H1S. I'd recommend capturing to ProResHQ as it essentially keeps the quality of uncompressed but has much smaller file sizes.

ProResHQ is 10-bit as well (along with a higher bitrate than ProRes), so it is good for any post work you will be doing.
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Old March 23rd, 2009, 07:57 AM   #5
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Great! Thank you Michael and David for the advice. I will definitely use ProRes HQ. Being new to this, I really appreciate the guidance.

Alan
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Old March 23rd, 2009, 02:23 PM   #6
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Capture straight to ProRes. Definitely. I did this on our feature and I'm really glad we did. The image quality is great and my hard drives are thanking me for it. :)
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Old March 26th, 2009, 03:39 PM   #7
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Robert,
You are still using the original H1 aren't you? How are you capturing audio when it is not embedded in the SDI output? Or are you using a dedicated sound crew recording to an external device and bypassing the H1 altogether?
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Old March 26th, 2009, 03:45 PM   #8
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Well, in full production mode we were doing dual system sound. The sound department would send a feed to the capture station and the AJA Kona card would mix the audio and picture on capture. However, there was still a small 2 frame latency that had to be adjusted in post.

The exterior stuff we shot was to HDV tape. And I have to admit that the HDV footage cut flawlessly into the movie. Even on a huge movie theater screen you couldn't tell what was shot to tape and what was hard disk. *I* could tell...barely. The DP could tell...barely.
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Old March 27th, 2009, 10:05 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Sanders View Post

The exterior stuff we shot was to HDV tape. And I have to admit that the HDV footage cut flawlessly into the movie. Even on a huge movie theater screen you couldn't tell what was shot to tape and what was hard disk. *I* could tell...barely. The DP could tell...barely.
Which supports what Chris Hurd has been saying - HDV is HD!
If you can't tell the difference between expertly shot HDV and direct to disc uncompressed projected on a large theater screen, then there isn't a strong basis for rejecting well shot HDV destined for television screens.

HDV is still a great solution for most situations.
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Old March 27th, 2009, 10:45 AM   #10
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Of course HDV is HD. Any issue that I have had with my XL-H1 has generally been due to noise introduced via gain or screwing up some setting while I am shooting. I have literally never had an issue with compression artifacts caused by fast motion or supposed mpg compression. I could see how it could cause issues with some scenarios but I personally have not run into them myself. MInd you I shoot almost exclusively in 24P.

What would I need to accomplish an SDI output from my H1 to a PC platform? I am somewhat familiar with some of the SDI cards, but if I were to setup a small set to shoot, what exactly would I need? I currently have Prospect HD but have never even tried to capture via SDI? I would not want to go uncompressed, so can I assume that capture to Cineform would be ideal? And how do I get it to embed the audio that is not present in the SDI stream? Here's where the XL-H1S would simplify things I assume.

Thanks
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Old March 27th, 2009, 01:40 PM   #11
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Assume you already know about the Convergent Design XDR. It has the analog XLR inputs to combine the audio with the video out of the original H1. Records in 50,100 Long GOP high quality Sony encoder XDCAM HD4:2:2 and 100, 160 I-frame XDCAM HD 4:2:2.

Going the other route, using a Kona or Blackmagic card with HD-SDI to computer to fast Raid setup using Pro-Res or other near uncompressed schemes (depending on the speed of the raid) is what others have done. We have used a BM Multibridge Pro card/box, Intel Mac Quad Core, to Dulce PDQ 8 TB raid. But we have not actually gone beyond a couple short projects and testing after we got the XDR as it was so much easier and great quality.

Keep in mind that the H1 (and G1) actually are only putting out 8bits of data in the 10bit stream.
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Old March 27th, 2009, 02:03 PM   #12
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Unless something drastic has happened then the COnvergent Designs XDR is beyond our pricepoint. I'm just in the "noob" stages of SDI acquisition and need to get a heads up on how to do it on a Windows Workstation specifically as a MAC is not in the budget.

Thanks.
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Old March 27th, 2009, 03:37 PM   #13
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I'm not sure what to recommend, Marty. I'm a Mac guy so I'm really big into ProRes. ProRes' datarate is small enough that SATA drives are fast enough. Which saves a ton of cash.

Perhaps you can build a PC capture station with a Blackmagic card that captures straight to Cineform? Not sure if Blackmagic or AJA supports Cineform or not.

However, I must say: Why not just record to HDV tape? Unless you're doing a 35mm filmout or a DCI theatrical projection then the small amount of extra picture information you eek out of the SDI port isn't really worth all the hassle.
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