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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 12th, 2011, 01:25 AM   #31
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Re: XL-h1 and convergent design nanoflash

Enormous improvement to my XLH1 footage with a nano, in my case initially at 100 Mbps Long-GOP and latterly 180 Mbps I-Frame.
"Juicy" though, eats up 64 gig CF cards so best to have a back up like a "Nexto".

I don't though see much scope for "run and gun" with an XLH1 (original) and a nanoFlash. Cables everywhere and I generally use a monitor (Swit) which takes an SDI signal from the nano so more cable. Note that a monitor will not show any viewfinder info or zebra patterns so you'll still need a viewfinder for accurate exposure unless you use auto. I bought a S/H FU-2000 unit from B&H which useful as can be used "off camera" so to speak but yet more cable.

I got one of those tripod apron things which very handy for holding the FU-2000 and my CH910 battery holder (for powering the nano off a Canon battery)

A final point, about the XF305, fixed lens unlike an XLH1. I film birds, and find my recently acquired Canon EF 70-300 L USM lens very good.
Final final point. Avoid "gain" like the plague with a nano, as this is picked up and magnified.

Ron
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Old March 12th, 2011, 08:01 AM   #32
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Re: XL-h1 and convergent design nanoflash

" Note that a monitor will not show any viewfinder info or zebra patterns "

If you use a monitor that accepts the Component feed from the XLH1, you will get all the same info and Zebra Patterns that you see in the viewfinder.
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Old March 13th, 2011, 12:51 AM   #33
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Re: XL-h1 and convergent design nanoflash

I don't think it is possible for the XLH1 to output both an SDI signal to a nanoFlash and simultaneously output a component signal to a monitor. With a nano one can obtain a SDI signal from the camera and output this from nano to monitor either as a SDI signal or a HDMI signal, depending on the monitor. However, and as said, there will not be any VF information.

I have a component monitor, and as John says, this will display VF information. I do not like at all the DTC-1000 component cable that comes with the cam as like a piece of rope hanging off the back of the camera but academic if one is using a nanoFlash.


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Old March 13th, 2011, 04:48 PM   #34
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Re: XL-h1 and convergent design nanoflash

All of the outputs on the XL H1 are hot at the same time, so component will work with SDI.

On the newer XLH1s and XLH1a, Canon provided a component cable that attaches to the EVF2 port, so you can use that to monitor to a larger monitor, with a smaller, simpler cable.

Hope this helps.
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Old March 14th, 2011, 02:18 AM   #35
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Re: XL-h1 and convergent design nanoflash

Presumably this cable will work with a basic XLH1. Difficult to get informed info. from retail trade here in UK about XLH1(s) which I guess they see as yesterday's camera(s).

Scrabbling around in the dark without Forums such as this one.

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Old March 14th, 2011, 08:43 AM   #36
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Re: XL-h1 and convergent design nanoflash

Ron - just checked our XLH1 (original version - not S) and the component out to a DP1 monitor does show all camera viewfinder info EXCEPT for zebra's. The zebras do still show in the camera's view finder. And the HD-SDI feed to a Convergent Design XDR Flash is still live for recording to the XDR.

The trick to get the camera's viewfinder info to display on the external monitor via component cable is to go into the camera menu and and turn "TV Display" > "On".

Hope this helps.
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Old March 14th, 2011, 03:41 PM   #37
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Re: XL-h1 and convergent design nanoflash

I need the cable that attaches to the EVF2 port. Nothing I could find online to suggest it is sold as an accessory or a spare.
Got to say that the necessity of a small jungle of cable with an XLH1 (mk.1) and a nanoFlash plus a monitor, which I find essential for most focussing situations, is a right pain.
Time code out, audio out, SDI out, SDI "in" to monitor, power in to nano, Lanc cable in, viewfinder connection, (have I missed any?). Then attaching the monitor plus battery to either the cam or, preferably, to a tripod
Patience in large order is what is needed and the results are worth it, but run and gun? Have me doubts.

Ron
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Old March 15th, 2011, 10:10 AM   #38
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Re: XL-h1 and convergent design nanoflash

Hi Ron, John & Michael

Thank you for all the information.

The bunch of cables on the camera is an issue and that has me a little worried. There's definitely not any room for a monitor in our shooting setup... I guess there's only one way to really find out and that's to give it a go and see how things pan out... lf it doesn't work I'll invest in another camera and use the XLH1 with Nano for more controlled work.

Ron is there any specific CP that you shoot with that gives you good results on the XLH1 with the NanoFlash? We will be filming stock footage for our documentary over a 6 month period and as we are most likely going to upgrade cameras during this period my head tells me that I should aim for neutral images that would easily intercut with footage from other cameras. I've read on the XF305 that there's talk about a BBC setting for the XF camera line and I was wondering if that might be something that could be used with the XLH1?
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Old March 15th, 2011, 11:26 AM   #39
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Re: XL-h1 and convergent design nanoflash

Good question! I was going to ask similar re CP settings with a nano attached to a XLH1. Try the Convergent Design forum on here, higher up.

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Old March 16th, 2011, 07:08 AM   #40
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Re: XL-h1 and convergent design nanoflash

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronald Jackson View Post
Patience in large order is what is needed and the results are worth it, but run and gun? Have me doubts.

Ron
I have to disagree with this. I have been filming part of a documentary in Ireland to do with the 'boy racer' culture. This was all run-and-gun, jumping in and out of cars, running away from cops, filming outdoors in the rain, filming in underground car parks etc. I dont think I ever had a chance to put the camera on a tripod, not even once. The whole thing was done on the shoulder.

I've been using an XL2 portabrace cover (with a rain slicker) while filming in the lousy weather in Ireland; I had to adjust it by cutting out some holes for the cables but it works fine.

I think my photos are earlier in this thread. There are just 3 cables from the camera to the the Nanoflash, two of these are heavy duty positive locking SDI type cables, and one is the audio cable. All 3 cables are on the offset side over the shoulder, so they are kept out of the way of your hands. I kept these SDI cables as short as possible so there is no play. I coiled the audio cable into a loop and then velcroed the cable to the accessory plate to keep it tight. Finally the nanoflash battery is tight in against the accessory plate with no cable play whatsoever.

The little plastic cover (that covers up the audio out ports) was annoying the hell out of me as it was rattling away the whole time. I was going to cut it off, until I figured there was an easy way to velcro it to the shoulder pad. A nice tidy solution. Industrial Velcro is your friend.

I agree that if you are using a battery cradle (with heavy Canon batteries) then this system is less solid and would only be used on a tripod. That said I am going to build a frame for the accessory plate to lock my cradle in tight (and then use velcro to strap the battery into the cradle tight). I'll see how that works out.

If you're using an external monitor then you'll be using a longer cable (but you'd have this issue with just about any external monitor on just about any camera).

I use my 6x wide lens for running-and-gunning these days, and this lens is very forgiving in terms of critical focus so I have not ever felt the need to use an external monitor with it.
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Old March 16th, 2011, 07:48 AM   #41
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Re: XL-h1 and convergent design nanoflash

Simon how do you attach your NanoFlash batteries to your rig... Velcro??? Dan from NanoFlash informed me that they have a battery pouch for the 2-Cell battery packs... I initially thought about getting the four cell ones but getting a tidy solution for the back of the camera is more important than a 6 hour battery pack...
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Old March 16th, 2011, 08:00 AM   #42
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Re: XL-h1 and convergent design nanoflash

Simon Before I forget... The cable lengths that I received on my ProForma Invoice suggested 18" Timecode and HD-SDI cables... sounds a little too long... do you have the 9" or 18" on your rig?
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Old March 16th, 2011, 08:51 AM   #43
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Re: XL-h1 and convergent design nanoflash

I believe the cables are 9" long. But I can recheck that.
If you get the 18" cables then you can always loop them round once to get them at the right length. One thing to bear in mind is that with the short 9" cables you are stuck with that one set-up (with the nanoflash on the accessory plate). Some people prefer to have the nano on the hotshoe (up on the handle) - this allows them to actually see the nanoflash while they are filming with the camera on their shoulder (to confirm the nano is recording). I often lift the camera forward to check the nano is running properly out of habit (though it has never needed checking as it has always been doing what its meant to be doing).

On a tripod it does not matter either way.

Of course if you ever use the nano with a different camera then the longer cables may also help in whatever set up is required there.
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Old March 16th, 2011, 09:05 AM   #44
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Re: XL-h1 and convergent design nanoflash

Good point, might as well get one in each size.

From a balace point of view I would imagine the camera to be more in balance hanging off the back then up front on the accessory shoe, but as you said I might want to mount it on another camera at some later stage and having a set of spare cables out in the bush is not a bad idea...

Do you use the camera pouch for your batteries?
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Old March 16th, 2011, 10:29 AM   #45
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Re: XL-h1 and convergent design nanoflash

No I never got around to ordering the battery pouch, so the battery is attached to the underside of the accessory plate by (...you guessed it...) industrial velcro. If you search ebay for 'Heavy Duty Stick On Velcro Tape' you should find it; it has extremely sticky gum on one side, so you can literally stick it on to any good surface and you're good-to-go. It is weather and water resistant; so lots of uses for it. That brand of velcro is overkill for those small batteries by the way, a small patch can hold 7kg seemingly (the nanoflash could probably be attached by velcro come to think of it, but not worth testing that theory!).

For sure its better to get as much necessary weight at the back end of the XLH1 to try and get some balance. The Nanoflash and the battery are very light so there is not much counterbalance provided by them (but Id rather they dont compound the issue by adding extra weight to the front). The 6x lens that I usually shoot with is a heavy thing, so I find my arms go dead these days (at least you cant feel anything after the 1st hour)! I find that a small satchel bag hung around my shoulder resting at my front (at a little below chest level) provides a nice stable rest for my elbows and takes the strain away when needed on long shoots. You can go all day that way.
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