Xl H1 vs newer options - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Canon EOS / MXF / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Canon HDV and DV Camera Systems > Canon XL H Series HDV Camcorders

Canon XL H Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XL H1S (with SDI), Canon XL H1A (without SDI). Also XL H1.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old August 9th, 2010, 09:53 PM   #16
Trustee
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Posts: 1,138
Some Thoughts on Using XL H1 & Flash XDR Combo

Hi Stuart, Steve, & Michael:
I wanted to add my 2 cents about using the XL H1 with a Convergent Design's Flash XDR (Father of the Nano Flash & uses exactly same technology). I highly recommend the purchase and use of Canon XL H1 with a Nano Flash or a Flash XDR (recently discontinued). The image quality obtainable from the H1 when shooting @ Long GOP 50 Mbps, or I-Frame 280 Mbps is utterly astounding and will easily blow away a Sony EX -1/3 camera. I still press the value of having a camera on hand with a built in VTR in it as a safety backup for simultaneous recording.
The Convergent Design recorders not only bring to the XL H1 camcorder an upgrade in color precision, but also full raster HD and 24 bit uncompressed PCM audio recording (Now up to 8 Channels via HD-SDI embedded stream as well as phantom 48 KHz 24 bit analogue input). I'm using the 4 CF card slot recorder version (Flash XDR) with my XL H1 and I can even do time lapse shooting, which is something the H1 could never do by itself. Get a used H1 and a new Nano Flash if you can. It is worth it.
Mark Job is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 18th, 2010, 10:38 AM   #17
Trustee
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 1,327
The XL-H1, Sony EX1 and EX3 all produce great images. IMHO, it is more about lighting and composition to get the best image. If you can do those well, you can rock with any of them.

Also, I would say when using the H1 with 35mm glass, the images can be sharp, but they can also be soft depending on many things. The great tendency is SOFT.
IF you really want to use 35mm, I would highly recommend a 5DMkII, which is sharp as a tack in almost all conditions.
__________________
Jacques Mersereau
University of Michigan-Video Studio Manager
Jacques Mersereau is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 22nd, 2010, 08:39 PM   #18
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 775
Yes, I can second the XL H1s/Nano combo. Image quality really is superb. Especially with the 220+ mbp I-frame modes, really fantastic.
Michael Galvan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 3rd, 2010, 06:22 AM   #19
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 29
Tapeless option using AJA Ki Pro with the XL H1

I am using an AJA Ki Pro and loving it. I mounted it right on the tripod with the optional exoskeleton housing. The original H1, as was said, provides only video from its SDI port. This means you need to run separate audio cables, but the sound is pristine 24 bit through balanced, stereo XLR inputs. The cool thing is that it can record any flavor or Prores 422 directly to a disk that can be immediately edited via firewire 800 from the removable drive. This is high quality, high res 422 color. 1920 by 1080. It is also a great I/O box and up/down converter. You can control it wirelessly from your laptop, or with an app on your iPhone. It is bigger (3lbs); not "as run and gun" friendly as an FS unit. but it is worth trekking with after you realize how easy it is to edit the files. The unit comes standard with a 250gb drive. That is enough for about 3 1/2 to 4 hours of standard Prores 422 recording time. It is really worth taking a look at if you want a professional, no nonsense way to get the best that your H1 can give.
Norman Lang is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 6th, 2010, 09:11 AM   #20
Space Hipster
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 1,593
I have to disagree with most of the responses here.
I would definitely go with a different camera, the EX or the XF line.
If cost is your concern, I checked into used prices on XL H1s, and good ones seem to be starting in the $4,000 range. Add the cost of a Nanoflash as some are suggesting and your camera is now in the $6,500 range. And for what? An HDV camera, with 1440x1080 chips. Granted, it's a very good HDV camera, but why settle for HDV?

For the same price, you can get the XF300, with native 1920x1080 chips, 50mbps 4:2:2 color codec, outstanding viewfinder and a cheap CF card recording medium. Its low light performance will surpass the XL's. You won't need a Nanoflash, the codec is already at broadcast level, fully approved by the BBC - try that with an XL. The lens is supposedly one of the best, an L-series Canon. If I were in your shoes, there would be no doubt as to which camera I would choose. The XF has the XL beat in every way, aside from the swappable lenses.
HDV tapes? Sorry to earn the ire of those with XL cams, but HDV is a dying HD medium. There's no way I'd consider going with HDV. The XF codec is far superior. But for those who insist, the XF can also record in an HDV mode.

Or get the EX line, with their 1/2" 1920x1080 chips, 35mbps recording, outstanding viewfinders. Granted, the SxS cards ain't cheap, but they're forever. You can get used EX1s in the $4,000 range.

Or even consider a used Panasonic HPX300, in the $6,000 range. Native 1920x1080 chips (see a trend here?), great AVC-intra 100 codec, full size form factor, swappable 1/3" lenses. The P2 cards are pretty costly, though.

Go with the latest and best out there, assuming it's in your price range. And if you're considering a used XL H1 with a Nanoflash, the EX, HPX and XF cams are definitely within that budget.

edit - B&H Photo has dropped the price on the XF line, so you can get the XF300 for $6,499, w/ free shipping. Better hurry, deal ends on Sept. 30.

Last edited by Glen Vandermolen; September 6th, 2010 at 09:45 AM.
Glen Vandermolen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 6th, 2010, 09:13 AM   #21
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Wales
Posts: 2,130
CCD chips though don't forget, that can make a difference in some uses. All the alternatives you mention with their super high specs and low prices are mainly due the fact that they use CMOS sensors.
Steve
Steve Phillipps is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 6th, 2010, 09:59 AM   #22
Space Hipster
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 1,593
Yup, and I'll take 1920x1080 2.2 megapixel CMOS chips over 1440x1080 1.67 megapixel CCD chips any day. Even with the rolling shutter. The CMOS chips on the EX, XF and HPX will give a better, sharper picture over the XL H1, and with better low light performance. Throw in the superior codecs and it's a win-win.

I'm not saying the XL H1s are bad cameras, not at all. But even Canon boasts the XF line are better cameras. And for the same price, go for the best.
Glen Vandermolen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 6th, 2010, 10:40 AM   #23
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Wales
Posts: 2,130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glen Vandermolen View Post
The CMOS chips on the EX, XF and HPX will give a better, sharper picture over the XL H1
Of course you're entitled to your opinion, but in your quote above that's not an opinion, you say it WILL give a better picture, and that's not neccessarily true, not in all cases anyway. CMOS rolling shutter issues may result in a worse picture in some situations.

Just my opinion. Didn't mean any offence, always good to hear your thoughts Glen.

Steve
Steve Phillipps is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 6th, 2010, 10:52 AM   #24
Contributor
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 224
Thanks for everyone's thoughts... Unfortunately my budget will not allow for any of these choices short-term... For the interim I'm using CF card capture on my original XH A1 (via the Datavideo DN-60) and the Cineform full 1080 intermediate codec. It's not as clean as the XF or EX (or XL + Nanoflash) footage, but it's not bad either. Cineform footage properly graded can look GREAT even from original HDV footage. Of course that assumes you're starting with quality HDV footage - lots of light!!!

I do agree though, based on footage I've seen, that the XF series is pretty amazing. If the projects I'm expecting come through, early 2011 looks good. Until then it's my trusty A1, 5D mkII, my new hacked GH1 (GH13), and my little 60p wonder, the TM700K... For my industrial work, they do the job for now and my clients are happy. But I am dreaming of the XF series...
Stuart Brontman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 6th, 2010, 11:53 AM   #25
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 775
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glen Vandermolen View Post
I have to disagree with most of the responses here.
I would definitely go with a different camera, the EX or the XF line.
If cost is your concern, I checked into used prices on XL H1s, and good ones seem to be starting in the $4,000 range. Add the cost of a Nanoflash as some are suggesting and your camera is now in the $6,500 range. And for what? An HDV camera, with 1440x1080 chips. Granted, it's a very good HDV camera, but why settle for HDV?

For the same price, you can get the XF300, with native 1920x1080 chips, 50mbps 4:2:2 color codec, outstanding viewfinder and a cheap CF card recording medium. Its low light performance will surpass the XL's. You won't need a Nanoflash, the codec is already at broadcast level, fully approved by the BBC - try that with an XL. The lens is supposedly one of the best, an L-series Canon. If I were in your shoes, there would be no doubt as to which camera I would choose. The XF has the XL beat in every way, aside from the swappable lenses.
HDV tapes? Sorry to earn the ire of those with XL cams, but HDV is a dying HD medium. There's no way I'd consider going with HDV. The XF codec is far superior. But for those who insist, the XF can also record in an HDV mode.

Or get the EX line, with their 1/2" 1920x1080 chips, 35mbps recording, outstanding viewfinders. Granted, the SxS cards ain't cheap, but they're forever. You can get used EX1s in the $4,000 range.

Or even consider a used Panasonic HPX300, in the $6,000 range. Native 1920x1080 chips (see a trend here?), great AVC-intra 100 codec, full size form factor, swappable 1/3" lenses. The P2 cards are pretty costly, though.

Go with the latest and best out there, assuming it's in your price range. And if you're considering a used XL H1 with a Nanoflash, the EX, HPX and XF cams are definitely within that budget.

edit - B&H Photo has dropped the price on the XF line, so you can get the XF300 for $6,499, w/ free shipping. Better hurry, deal ends on Sept. 30.
Your comparison is a little strange here though. You are comparing the XL + Nanoflash's price as the same as the other camera options, yet you don't list the advantages gained at all from this combination. You just refer to it as a very good HDV camera, when adding the Nanoflash turns it into much more. You say why settle for HDV with this combo, but this combination takes your recording format far beyond HDV (and consequently what's being recorded on the XF). If you are going to compare the as the same price, gotta compare all that comes with it as well.

Like up to 280mb I-Frame shooting, full raster recording, 4:2:2, etc. The XL footage from the 200mb+ I-Frame modes looks incredible. Might also be due to the increase in resolution from the HD-SDI port (the XL chipset has horizontal pixel-shift, which can only be recorded out of the HD-SDI... it gets lost when recorded on HDV tape). Also to mention tape and tapeless together... which is a fantastic option, especially if you work for a lot of clients who still want a tape in hand (which I have many of).

I was thinking of getting the XF305, but decided to keep my XLH1S/Nano combo after using the XF300. I don't find the picture between both of them to be to much different. And I find the ergonomics and physical controls much better on the XL camera system. And can't give up interchangeable lenses ... use that too much.

But if Canon release an XF interchangeable lens shoulder mount camera, then I'll revisit this...

But of course, to each is own...
Michael Galvan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 6th, 2010, 12:14 PM   #26
Contributor
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 224
Michael, those are all valid thoughts. I'm certain Canon will eventually release an interchangeable lens version of the XF series or something comparable. A couple of months ago when I started looking into this, the abaility to have a back-up on tape is what led me in the XL-H1/Nanoflash direction. If money were no object, you can bet I would have gone that way back then since the XF series was still too new and unknown quality-wise.

There are also all sorts of rumors and hints from Canon that something is in the works to satisfy the Hollywood crowd on the shortcomings of the 5D mkII codec/compression schemes. I think in the not-too-distant future the hybrid systems will be very robust and the ultimate marriage of video and photo. We're just not there yet. Give me a video system with the ergonomics of the XL-H1/EX-1/3 series, coupled with pristine 4:2:2 high quality codecs, AND high level still photography capability and I'm all over it - along with a lot of others!
Stuart Brontman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 6th, 2010, 02:12 PM   #27
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Wales
Posts: 2,130
That'll be the Red Scarlet Stuart - if we ever see it!
Steve
Steve Phillipps is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 6th, 2010, 02:21 PM   #28
Space Hipster
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 1,593
Michael, the reason for this thread was to get opinions on whether an XL H1 with a Nanoflash was a better value than a newer camera. As an academic exercise, if I was going to buy the choices given, I'd go for the XF300, or a used EX1.
But you did make that choice for real, and the XL H1 /Nano was better in your opinion. You backed it up with your money and I gotta respect that.
Glen Vandermolen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 6th, 2010, 02:26 PM   #29
Contributor
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Phillipps View Post
That'll be the Red Scarlet Stuart - if we ever see it!
Steve
If Red does not move fast, Canon or Panasonic will beat them to it... Lets also hope the competition will help keep the prices down to earth.
Stuart Brontman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 7th, 2010, 12:01 PM   #30
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 775
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glen Vandermolen View Post
Michael, the reason for this thread was to get opinions on whether an XL H1 with a Nanoflash was a better value than a newer camera. As an academic exercise, if I was going to buy the choices given, I'd go for the XF300, or a used EX1.
But you did make that choice for real, and the XL H1 /Nano was better in your opinion. You backed it up with your money and I gotta respect that.
Sure, choosing a camera system has so many variable unique to whoever is buying. I'm sure for a lot of people, my camera system may not work for them.

Best thing for anyone to do is really look at what they'll be using it for and physically try out the camera for a while to make sure it fits for them.

Glen... I just was pointing out that you mentioned the price of the XL/Nano combo but compared it to the other cams as if it was just the camera without the Nano. Just wanted to make sure those reading knew what you get with this system combo :)
Michael Galvan is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Canon EOS / MXF / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Canon HDV and DV Camera Systems > Canon XL H Series HDV Camcorders

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:23 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network