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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 October 5th, 2010, 04:01 PM   #16
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It's extremly simple with the Nano. If you are on Mac, you can ask to the Nano to record .mov type file. Copy them by drag and drop from the CF card to your hard drive and voilą! QuickTime can read them! No conversion recquired.
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Old October 6th, 2010, 12:58 AM   #17
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that's great to know Ronan thanks!
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Old December 30th, 2010, 02:01 AM   #18
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Nano Flash rec/ control / XLH1

Sounds great about the Nano Flash, I have the Canon XLH1.

How does it work together; when you Record; do you have to press REC on the Nano too?
Or is it somehow controlled by the camera; like LANC?
So you just need one button to press,
both HDV backup and Nano rec...

Thanks

Carl
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Old December 30th, 2010, 08:12 AM   #19
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You can set up the Nano to record on Timecode trigger, which means it'll start and stop recording when you start and stop on your tape recording respectively.

So yes, one button to press to start and stop recording on both!
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Old January 2nd, 2011, 03:44 AM   #20
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And you can power a nanoflash using your existing Canon batteries provided you have the Canon CH-910 dual battery holder and the appropriate cable, which is available via nanoflash.net

Ron
ps also think about the nanoflash mounting kit for XLH1, again available from nanoflash.net. Comes with a lovely solid tripod plate with a variety of 1/4 and 3/8 mounting points
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Old January 4th, 2011, 05:31 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Galvan View Post
You can set up the Nano to record on Timecode trigger, which means it'll start and stop recording when you start and stop on your tape recording respectively.

So yes, one button to press to start and stop recording on both!
Thank you Michael, that sounds great!
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Old January 4th, 2011, 05:58 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronald Jackson View Post
And you can power a nanoflash using your existing Canon batteries provided you have the Canon CH-910 dual battery holder and the appropriate cable, which is available via nanoflash.net

Ron
ps also think about the nanoflash mounting kit for XLH1, again available from nanoflash.net. Comes with a lovely solid tripod plate with a variety of 1/4 and 3/8 mounting points
Thank you Ronald, so if I also get the Canon CH-910 I use one of the battery slots for the plate/ cable to boost the NanoFlash, I guess?

Thanks!
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Old January 6th, 2011, 05:42 AM   #23
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The CH-910 can't be used to power both the camera and a nanoFlash, unfortunately. Only one or the other.
I don't know why apart from the need to produce a "split" cable, one end terminated in the power plug for the nano, the other terminated with a battery plate for the camera. I've been intending to ask Convergent Design about this limitation
The CH-910 does not draw power from both batteries simultaneously but consecutively. It can be used with a single battery.

Ron
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Old January 15th, 2011, 02:48 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Galvan View Post
You can set up the Nano to record on Timecode trigger, which means it'll start and stop recording when you start and stop on your tape recording respectively.

So yes, one button to press to start and stop recording on both!
Thanks for great advices.

So if I have the first version XLH1: I use a HD-SDI cable, analog sound cables, and a Time code cable..right? Timecode cable like this?:
nanoFlash.net - NANOFLASH ACCESSORIES IN STOCK! LARGEST SELECTION ANYWHERE!Remote Control & Time CodeCustom lengths in 24 hours. E-mail or call us.
And thanks Ron about the double battery tips, but I don“t have it so nanoflash.net battery option is good too?
nanoFlash.net - Batteries and Chargers

Thanks again.
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Old January 15th, 2011, 04:01 PM   #25
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I recently bought a Nanoflash for my XLH1. It took me a while to get it set up with the camera, but this is the solution that worked best for me.

1) HD SDI cable
2) Time code cable (from nanoflash.net)
3) Battery & charger (from nanoflash.net)
4) 3.5mm Male to RCA Audio Lead Cable (from ebay)
5) Hama Accessory Shoe 1/4" Thread (from amazon)
6) Some washers and heavy duty velcro (from DIY shop)

The nanoflash was a no brainer for me as it has extended the life of my XLH1 (and I'll continue using the Nanoflash with the Panasonic AF100 when I get one in the future!).

The cables are self explanatory. The XLH1 is unique in that it does not carry the timecode and audio in the HD SDI cable - hence the need for these other cables.

I was not able to use the hotshoe on top of the XLH1 handle to mount the Nanoflash as I usually have a PAG light up there. So I drilled a hole in the accessory plate on the back and attached the nano with the Hama 1/4' screw (I used a couple of washers to make it fit). Finally I attached the battery to the back of the nano with some heavy duty velcro. This is my first basic set up, and I'll adapt it if I see it needs tweaking.

In terms of setting up the Nano and the XLH1 make sure you do the following:

XLH1 Menu:
1) Turn on the HDSDI out.
2) Turn on the Timecode Out.

I'm shooting 25P so the set up I have on the Nano as follows:
Trigger: Timecode
Source: SDI
Record PSF Prog: Yes
Audio In: Analog
(still working out all these details though...)

Some photos of the set up below.
Good luck!
Attached Thumbnails
XL-h1 and convergent design nanoflash-xlh1nano1.jpg   XL-h1 and convergent design nanoflash-xlh1nano2.jpg  

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Old March 11th, 2011, 12:06 AM   #26
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Re: XL-h1 and convergent design nanoflash

Hi Simon

I have a first generation Canon XLH1 (PAL Version) and I'm contemplating whether to buy a Nano Flash and upgrade the camera for an upcoming wildlife adventure documentary... I need to record 4:2:2 at 50mb or higher for HD broadcast.

Normally we rent in HDCAM equipment for projects destined for HD broadcast, but this is the first HD documentary I am bankrolling myself and I definitely do not have the budget to rent or buy the higher end equipment I would normally use on this type of project. Obviously my end goal is to distribute internationally, which makes things tricky as I still want to produce the quality necessary to fall within the requirements set out by high-end broadcasters, e.g. Discovery and BBC. I know that if the specs of my project passes their minimum requirements I should be in the clear for any potential broadcast market.

We are going to film in a remote wilderness area in Mozambique for 6 months and its imperative that I make the right choices, hence this post... I'm trying to get as much advice as possible from individuals who have been using the various options I am looking at in order to make the right decision.

I was toying with the idea to purchase a new Canon XF305 for this shoot, but the other option that I have is to look at the NanoFlash and give my XLH1 a new lease on life.

What is your experience with the NanoFlash and XLH1?

Does the setup work with regards to the timecode and sound that needs extra cabling due to the limitations of the XLH1 SDI output?

I've read that a user on this forum is battling with false starts on his NanoFlash with his XLH1, something I can't afford with wildlife and live action shots, do you experience similar problems or is the post I'm referring to an isolated case?

The majority of our footage will be handheld, it is a run and gun type of situation, will we be able to do that with the NanoFlash attached to the camera or is it cumbersome?

Finally, in your opinion, what do you think of the picture quality achieved by following the NanoFlash route on the XLH1? I don't know if you've been in a position to compare the images you get with those from other cameras, e.g. the new Canon XF305 or Sony's EX range, but it interest me to find out whether my XLH1 would stand up to them or at least produce good enough images for this project.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

One more thing, on your set-up list you have a Hama Accessory Shoe, but I can't see where you've used it on your camera from the pictures you've posted...

PS> If anyone else want to chip in and give their two pennies worth of advice I'd also really appreciate that!!!
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Old March 11th, 2011, 09:44 AM   #27
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Re: XL-h1 and convergent design nanoflash

Hi Didi,

I see you live in Tzaneen: I used to work in Makalali Game Reserve not so far from there (these days I'm usually based in Uganda though).

For me the decision was easy enough. I'd invested a deal of money in the XLH1system (the 6x lens, cases, portabrace etc), and I was happy with the style of shooting it offered. There was too much change in the video industry recently for me to buy a new system (I keep thinking if I buy something new now, then something better will be around the corner)! I'm waiting to see if Canon brings out an XLH1 successor. In the meantime the nano keeps my camera up to date, and if I decide to invest in a new system (like an F3 or an AF100; then the nano can also be used to improve those new systems too - so it seems like a good investment all round).

I'm not sure how the XLH1 compares with the new generation Canon XF series, nor have I ever really compared it to any other cameras I'm afraid.

The Nanoflash really does improve the quality of the footage. It also makes your workflow more streamlined by cutting out the tapes.

Most people using the XLH1 Nanoflash combo are happy with the results. However some people find that there is an issue with noise in the image. I've noticed this too, although my XL has always been a bit noisy to begin with, but it does not detract from the image (in my eyes). I find that you really have to get in and tweak the settings until you find something that works and then save it as a preset. The XLH1 has some noise reduction filters (NR2 at setting 1 usually works for me).

Also, bear in mind that you will be dealing with 2 sets of batteries instead of one. You also wont be able to review your nano footage on the camera (unless you have an external monitor attached). The cables dont bother me as they are all looped on the offside end of the camera (and they kind of make the camera look more 'professional' - sounds silly but its true).

I've had some false triggers with my set-up, where the nanoflash records a few seconds of footage. This does not bother me as I just delete them on my computer. It happens when I turn the camera on or off, and the tape moves a bit (causing the nano to see the timecode changing). I think there is a setting to get around this, however I usually switch off the nanoflash before switching off the camera (and switch on the nano after the camera) in which case I dont get any false starts.

The nanoflash would be the best option for running-and-gunning as it is very compact and rugged. I dont think any other external recorders would suit that job (the nano has no moving parts, no fans etc).

I think an external monitor would be a good investment, as the XLH1 always had a lousy viewfinder, and using the HDMI out of the nano you can actually see what the nano is seeing.

I used the Hama screw to actually mount the nanoflash to the accessory plate (you can see a silver nut beside the battery in the first photo - that is bolted through the plate and in to the nano). The battery was just velcro'd directly to the plate. I have since bought a battery cradle from Dolgin engineering that allows the nano to be powered by canon batteries - still working out how to mount that up. I'm flying back to Uganda tomorrow, but I can send you some clearer photos of the set-up in a couple of days when I get settled.

By the way: is there a canon dealer in South Africa who can service the XLH1?

Cheers,

Simon
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Old March 11th, 2011, 02:11 PM   #28
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Re: XL-h1 and convergent design nanoflash

Simon thank you for taking the time to write back to me, I really appreciate it.

So you've been working in my backyard! How long where you based at Makalali? I honestly didn't expect anyone on this forum to have the faintest idea where I live, but you've just proven me wrong... I guess once Africa is in your blood that's it, you always end up coming back.

Anyway, the grainy/noisy image of the XLH1 is exactly the thing that worries me a little bit... I know that I'll be able to up the specks of the footage with the NanoFlash but I don't know if the picture will be acceptable to HD broadcasters. Mind you I also like the noisy film look that the XLH1 produces, one of the things I fell in love with when I bought the camera a couple of years ago.

I normally use the PANALOOK preset that I offloaded from this forum when I got the camera but I will need to change that for something more neutral and clean that I would be able to intercut with footage from other cameras at a later stage as I will add a second main camera within the next two months or so (Also trying to decide between an AF101, PMWF3K, FX305, or one of the EX models... each has it's plus and minus points and I'm as confused as a kid in a candy shop...) I guess I will also have to look at the noise reduction settings and play around with the camera presets as you've suggested... if you have any that you can recommend I'm open to suggestions.

I pretty much have decided to invest in the NanoFlash, If I can get the XLH1 footage to play nice with a new camera I'd be able to use it as a B-roll which kinda is exactly what I need. I have an intern who's going to be in charge of the B-roll camera and frankly I feel a little more comfortable handing over my old camera than a brand new one, especially when we're going to be running after elephants in the bush.

I will have to place an order next week and I'm going to get the items you've specified in your previous post and copy your rig. Thanks for posting it!!!

We do have a Conon service center in Johannesburg and I send my cameras in for a service every year... dust in places like the Masai Mara etc. tends to get in everywhere. The only thing that they cant do over here it seems is the upgrade that would make the camera interchangeable between PAL and NTSC frame rates and thats been a bit of a bugger-up as I would really like to have the ability to choose between a 24 or 25 progressive frame rate.

I guess thats the other big question mark I'm struggling with, deciding whether to shoot 24 or 25 frames per second on this project as it will inevitably end up in both Europe and America...

Thanks again for your advice, I really appreciate it and any pictures or suggestions would be a great help.

Have a safe trip to Uganda!

Didi
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Old March 11th, 2011, 02:49 PM   #29
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Re: XL-h1 and convergent design nanoflash

Simon,

Thanks for the informative post. I had the opportunity to use the
Nano on my XLH1 last year. I also noticed artifacts, which is what kept me from buying one. There
were closely-spaced horizontal lines similar to interlacing (I was shooting 24p).
In addition I was only able to see better color quality using a whole lot of imagination. You mentioned
tweaking the settings to get optimal results. Would you mind mentioning what some of those settings might be, for I am thinking again about buying a Nano.
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Old March 11th, 2011, 05:38 PM   #30
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Re: XL-h1 and convergent design nanoflash

Hi Steve,
I've not seen the horizontal lines you mentioned before - perhaps this was an incorrect setting in the nano (PSF off?), or a faulty cable (but I'm just guessing here)? If you can get a hold of one then its worth testing as many settings as possible, with both the camera and the nano until you find what works best (other nano users said they had to look for their cameras 'sweet spot').

Unfortunately I have not had a chance to properly test the footage on my editing computer as I bought the nano while I was in Ireland (but most of my equipment is in Uganda). From what I have seen it is a definite improvement though (especially if you run the hdmi out to a big screen tv - people have said the footage was some of the sharpest they have seen).

That said I was always happy with the footage produced by the XLH1 on tape - straight off the camera it always looked great to me. It was only when I tried to do some serious colour correction that the HDV artifacts became unusable, especially if I then tried to compress for DVD. Having the full 1920x1080 instead of 1440 × 1080 is a real bonus too. I have yet to really try playing around with the higher rates, for the moment I have been using 50mbs. It really adds up by the way (so get a couple of extra hard drives).

I worked out a number of presets that worked nicely with the light here in Ireland, I think it was AC Pref1, with Cine 1, with the core upped a bit, plus the detail reduced a bit. For low light situations I had the next Preset the same but with NR2 put to one. If possible I always shoot at -3db. I'll have to double check when I unpack the kit in Uganda. I presume I'll have to tweak the settings for the richer colours in the tropics.

Didi, I'm really jealous of you running through the bush filming elephants! Give me a buzz if you ever need a 'C' camera! I was at Makalali for a year as part of my FGASA ranger training - it was one of the best years of my life.

Cheers,
Simon
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