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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 February 17th, 2012, 11:42 AM   #16
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Re: It's time to look for a new HD system...

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I think $2500 is a good deal on the original H1, but I guess it depends on how much you want to spend in the end. If you want to take advantage of the modularity of the XL system, it's going to cost more money to add the other components (lenses, recorder, etc.). But truthfully, the newer 'A' or 'S' versions should be the ones to reach for as Canon really fine-tuned these cameras for optimal use.

Have you considered the XF100? Really good camera if you can deal with its operational shortcomings from its size.
This is good information. I actually shoot photography also using some of the higher end Nikon lenses so my cost would not be as much. I am interested in this Nanocard. I think that I know what this is but If I'm not mistaken, doesn't all of the Canon Professional Mini DV's have an SDI output option?

I actually have seriously considered the XF100. I am somewhat turned off by it not having the 3 rings but, I have seen the quality! Another benefit is it's size. You can probably take it into public areas without drawing to much attention.

One thing I have not seen with either the XF300 or the XF100 are people using them with lens adapters. I am wondering if this is because it is cheaper to simply buy an HDSLR.

Oh, as information, I do not know if the XLH1 is the original or a later model. I am going to guess later because it is only about 2 years old. The owner is getting rid of it because he could work with the focus and he wasn't able to get good footage in low light areas.
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Old February 17th, 2012, 12:17 PM   #17
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Re: It's time to look for a new HD system...

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Originally Posted by Maurice Covington View Post
This is good information. I actually shoot photography also using some of the higher end Nikon lenses so my cost would not be as much. I am interested in this Nanocard. I think that I know what this is but If I'm not mistaken, doesn't all of the Canon Professional Mini DV's have an SDI output option?

Oh, as information, I do not know if the XLH1 is the original or a later model. I am going to guess later because it is only about 2 years old. The owner is getting rid of it because he could work with the focus and he wasn't able to get good footage in low light areas.
You are probably thinking of the firewire port, which passes compressed date out. SDI is a more professional connection that passes higher quality uncompressed data out the port for external recording. It was included on the XLh1 and then Canon released the XLh1a and XLh1s and it was only available on the S model. This was the only significant difference between the models and the price difference was nearly $3000 if I recal correctly.

If the model in question is the XLh1S then that is an even better deal at $2500. But if you aren't going to use the SDI or extra lenses you might be better suited with something different.
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Old February 17th, 2012, 12:20 PM   #18
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Re: It's time to look for a new HD system...

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Originally Posted by Alan McCormick View Post
Marty, I suppose I was "lazy" when using the XLH1A and constantly relied on the exposure lock for example, something the XF300 does not have.
I used to work manual all the time till I started using the XLH1A for a company where they preferred working in AV & TV modes (which I did not like but had to get used to). So glad I am now back in full control. The main problem was the focussing and "strongly" recommend using an external monitor. Just read some threads regarding focusing and the XLH1A
Alan,
Your preaching to the choir about the focus! I love my XLh1 and I have had it for years, and I am still looking for a good focus solution that doesn't make my system too cumbersome! The only good answer is buy a newer camera! And that ain't happening anytime soon!
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Old March 17th, 2012, 10:07 AM   #19
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Re: It's time to look for a new HD system...

Okay guys, I am now the new owner of the XL H1A. Or at least I think I am. Per the serial number, it is an XL H1A but on the actual camera exterior, it say XL H1. Although it has a Canon lens, it is only a two ring lens. I believe it is a 5.6-108mm lens 20x zoom. The good news is that the camera was purchased for less than $2500.00. I was actually able to get the camera for only $1800.00. The bad news is that having had the camera now for 2 days and gotten a Chan e to play with it, all of a sudden there seems to be an issue with the cassette tray or the heads. The footage seems to start and stop during playback and doesnt appear to be accurately reading the time remaining on the tape. As a short term solution until I can get it to Canon, I'm going to try capturing footage direct to a hard drive via the fire wire. If this works out, Nanoflash here I come.

When the camera does work properly, the footage is AMAZING (especially in low light). It is worlds apaart from my XHA1'S and my XHA1S'. Overall I think that it was a good purchase, now I just have to make sure it gets maintained and/or repaired.

Also, I don't know if you guys agree but it seems as though you can pick up a used XL H1A for about $4000.00. Although I have never used the XF300, I don't know if the XF300 is worth the difference.
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Old March 17th, 2012, 10:14 AM   #20
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Re: It's time to look for a new HD system...

It definitely sounds like you have an original XL H1 and not the H1A. The H1A has 3 rings on the lens and no HD-SDI port/Pro JackPack.

As someone who uses both the XL H1S and the XF305 frequently, I can say that both have strengths and weaknesses.
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Old March 17th, 2012, 10:30 AM   #21
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Re: It's time to look for a new HD system...

Thanks for the clarification. Whats interesting as a mentioned earlier is that on the inside of the battery compartment it clearly says XL H1A. I'm wondering if the guy that sold it to me gave me the lens from the XL H1. But then again, it does have the SDI Jackpack. Couldn't that have been added if he took the old XL H1 and tried to combine the two?
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Old March 17th, 2012, 11:22 AM   #22
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Re: It's time to look for a new HD system...

If you obtained an XLH1 truly with and HD-SDI port for $1800 with the only 2 lenses ever made for it, then you have a wonderful camera. Add a nanoFlash to record 4:2:2 at a plethora of bit rates and you have a killer combo. Bear in mind that the original XLH1 passed timecode and audio out to external recorders via a timecode jack and XLR connectors. Whereas the XLH1S passed timecode and audio within it's HD-SDI signal.
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Old March 17th, 2012, 12:05 PM   #23
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Re: It's time to look for a new HD system...

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Originally Posted by John Richard View Post
If you obtained an XLH1 truly with and HD-SDI port for $1800 with the only 2 lenses ever made for it, then you have a wonderful camera. Add a nanoFlash to record 4:2:2 at a plethora of bit rates and you have a killer combo. Bear in mind that the original XLH1 passed timecode and audio out to external recorders via a timecode jack and XLR connectors. Whereas the XLH1S passed timecode and audio within it's HD-SDI signal.
Yes I did get it for the $1800.00. I'm not sure how I lucked up on such a great deal but I am really happy I got it. I am going to look to EBay for the Nanoflash unless you think it smarter to purchase it new.
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Old March 17th, 2012, 02:50 PM   #24
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Re: It's time to look for a new HD system...

Yup, definitely the original XL H1.

If you can swing the Nanoflash, I'd highly recommend it. It brings the images of the camera (as well as a dual tape/tapeless workflow) to a whole new level and I never use my XL H1S without it.

Congrats on your purchase. $1800 was a steal for that camera.
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Old March 17th, 2012, 02:57 PM   #25
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Re: It's time to look for a new HD system...

Here's a reference for how I mount my Nanoflash on my camera bracket.

Help with XLH1S, attatching nano and reciever

If you are looking for one, I thought I saw one for sale on this forums marketplace the other day.
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Old March 17th, 2012, 02:59 PM   #26
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Re: It's time to look for a new HD system...

Thanks, and as an update, I cleaned the heads with the Canon DVM-CL head cleaner and it now works like a charm! Yes the price was killer, I just have to purchase the Nano Flash drive. I'm seeing pricing on average $2100.00. If I read right, this is for 750GB's which for me seems insane.

I am going to go an get some footage. I'm in Chicago, in mid March and it's actually 80+ degrees. There's not much more a guy can ask for!!!!!!
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Old March 17th, 2012, 03:14 PM   #27
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Re: It's time to look for a new HD system...

The setup looks very functional. I didn't realize that the nanoflash was that big nor did I know that it takes compact flash cards. I'll have to read a little bit more for a more thorough understanding. Does the wireless mic tie directly into the nanoflash?
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Old March 18th, 2012, 03:38 PM   #28
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Re: It's time to look for a new HD system...

Well the Nano is fairly small... the pics may be making it seem bigger than it really is.

No, the wireless mic is connected to the XLR in of the camera. It just mounts to the side AB bracket that wraps around the side of the Nano.
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