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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 July 9th, 2015, 06:35 AM   #31
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Re: The Great Canon XL Series Revival Thread

I recall when the XL1 was announced a lot of folks were bemoaning the death of the L1/L2 Hi8 line and the inability to use their lenses on the XL1. Of course the problem at that time was the sensor size (1/2 vs. 1/3 inch on the XL line) and the resolving power of the lens, both of which contribute to making the L1/2 series lenses a real mismatch for the XL1.

I guess the real replacements for the XL series are the XC and EOS Cinema series (interchangeable lenses being a key factor).

Producing good video people will watch is much much more than just gear!
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Old July 10th, 2015, 12:43 AM   #32
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Re: The Great Canon XL Series Revival Thread

Just found the original receipt from my Canon XL-1E
8999 DM :-O
Bought my two XL H1 second hand for less :-)

@Owen

You are living in a very nice country. Made the Rapehu and Tongariro crossing. Love the bird songs in your country :-)
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Old July 12th, 2015, 06:19 PM   #33
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Re: The Great Canon XL Series Revival Thread

@Owen, I too have really liked the Canon XL range of Cameras. I Started with the XM-2, then progressed to the XL-2. This camera was so versatile, solid audio, interchangeable lens etc. I decided to invest in it, getting the FU-1000 (which is brilliant), lens adapters, wide angle lens, and my favourite lens, the 16x Manual / Servo lens, let alone the Letus extreme and other lens adapters for that narrow DOF!

Not too long after I got the XL-2, the XL-H1 came out which was too much of a step for me at the time due to cost / justification. In 2009 I needed to upgrade my stills camera and of course the 7D was the obvious choice. I had fun with it, and for certain things it is useful, but always preferred the XL-2. I now had HD video capability with the 7D but it is no where near as good as the XL-2 for ease of operation, sound, versatility, but of coarse the XL-2 is only SD (which native 16x9 for web video is still perfectly acceptable).

Of course, everyone seemed to jump on the "DSLR" bandwagon and start getting rid of their Prosumer cameras like the XL-H1, but with the addition of a Samurai, the XL-H1 is a totally amazing piece of kit, so onto ebay I went and got one, and a samurai. I couldn't believe it. All the handling and buttons and versatility of the XL-2 but with HD and more!! With the Samurai in addition, you get 10-bit 422 Prores recording and with the XL-H1 preset configurability no more messing around with "log" profiles and deep colour grading in post as you can get the look in camera. I can also use all the accessories that I have already invested in, such as the lens adaptor, Letus extreme, FU-1000, and the 16x lens I love so much.

I sent it back to Canon for a service so it's now in tip top condition. The prices just seem to keep falling. Also got the 6x Wide angle lens which is now my 2nd favourite lens (although sometimes it does get 1st place).

The XLH1 picture is extremely good and shooting with it is a pleasure and I believe can have many years ahead of it. In my view, the best way to get the best picture out of any camera is to put something of greater interest than pixels, in front of the lens. I have no interest in upgrading to 4k and getting the latest camera. If you get to know your camera and how to get the best out of it, you become more productive. I've never has anyone complain about sharpness, or colour or the amount of pixels in anything I've shot. I've had plenty of comments on the contents (some good, some bad).

I would love to see Canon take all the developments that have made over the last few years and put them into an XL style form factor, with the same (or more) versatility, such as 7.2x magnification which is really useful for some long telephoto shots, but perhaps it's wishful thinking :)
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Old July 13th, 2015, 02:32 AM   #34
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Re: The Great Canon XL Series Revival Thread

Thank you Norbert. I live in central Nth. Island at Lake Tarawera. We have an extensive rat elimination program here. Rats are No.1 enemy to wild bird life.

I see you have the trusty xl1. I should have kept mine.
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Old July 13th, 2015, 06:39 PM   #35
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Re: The Great Canon XL Series Revival Thread

@ Declan. Pleased you're still getting use from your XL setup. Me too. I agree with all you say. I never got on the DSLR waggon and I'm not interested in 4k as well.

People talk about large screens and cinema look in video. No mater how large the home screen and how they tinker with it I still know I'm sitting in a lounge watching video. Years ago I used to work in the cinema industry. Super Panavision 70mm screened in a proper fully equipped cinema really engulfed one and drew the audience in and must have been the pinnacle. After watching 222 minutes of Lawrence Of Arabia in 70mm it felt like an epic adventure I've never experienced in a cinema since. Cinerama was amazing as well but never got into storytelling in a big way. How the West Was Won and The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm was about it. By the time they made It's a Mad Mad Mad World they had moved away from the three camera, projector set up. Anyway video is video, I love it, although in a different way to 'real film'. Video still has a long way to go to match real film.

I shot on standard 8mm first on a Bell and Howell. (still have it) then Super 8 switched to Canon. Didn't get a video camera 'till Hi8 hit the scene switching to Sony. The Sony experience, camera, video deck, 34in monitor was a trial. I seemed to have a bad run with it. Electronic failure was the ruination of video for me. On the release of the Canon XL1 I switched back to Canon and have been there ever since.

I have yet to switch to Samauri, and believe it's amazing. Will have to give it a go. I have the 16x manual lens and am on the lookout for a 6x lens.

I share your love of the Canon XL camera, I will continue to use it even if I have to buy used second hand ones to keep as spares and teach my self how to repair it.
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Old July 14th, 2015, 12:16 AM   #36
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Re: The Great Canon XL Series Revival Thread

Me and my two XL-H1 at the local shooting club:

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Old July 14th, 2015, 12:30 AM   #37
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Re: The Great Canon XL Series Revival Thread

Very good. What brand and model of Steadicam Norbert?
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Old July 14th, 2015, 09:44 AM   #38
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Re: The Great Canon XL Series Revival Thread

I too shoot with the XLH1 series camera but also have some of the more current cameras as well. When planning for a job I actually still option for my XLH1 series cameras. While I do have clients that ask for HD footage, the majority of my clients only want SD. I'm guessing that for the smaller corporate shoots, this is typical due to financial constraints. I have and continue to learn workings of this camera and still find myself very much impressed with what I am able to to with it. Like some of the others on here, I am not necessarily ready to upgrade to 4K but I know that Ill be forced to make a purchase of some sort next year.

For now I use my XLH1 cameras with the Samurai and have actually considered upgrading to the Samurai Blade. I use a stereo to RCA cable to capture audio directly to the Atoms and of course I have a field monitor and wireless laws, etc. for capturing much better audio for the main audio track. Hopefully most of you on this thread will continue to shoot with your XLH1's and also post the footage as I always enjoy watching.
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Old July 15th, 2015, 01:56 AM   #39
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Re: The Great Canon XL Series Revival Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Owen Dawe View Post
Very good. What brand and model of Steadicam Norbert?
It's a Glidecam X10/HD4000 with Curved Handle and Anton Bauer battery system.
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Old July 15th, 2015, 06:42 AM   #40
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Re: The Great Canon XL Series Revival Thread

My XL-1s still sees use whenever I want an operable camera on sticks for Skype around the house. The 3x WA takes in a family dinner table just fine. YMMV
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Old July 15th, 2015, 04:43 PM   #41
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Re: The Great Canon XL Series Revival Thread

I will always love the XL series cameras. I invested heavily in the last iteration (XL H1S) and got everything for it, from all the lenses to mounting an Anton Bauer Dionic system on the back bracket with a Nanoflash connected to it for HD-SDI 4:2:2 high bit-rate tapeless file recording to replacing the EVF and custom fitting an Alphatron EVF for a hi-res viewfinder. It is such great system to this day... highly versatile, balances perfectly on the shoulder with this setup and the image quality is still top notch, especially with the high bit-rate 4:2:2 I-Frame recording from the Nanoflash.

Even though the majority of my shooting is now on the Cinema EOS cameras these days, that XL system still holds its own and works well for a lot of shoots, especially any ENG work.

Regrettably, I've decided to recently put this system up for sale since so much of my work is cinema shooting these days and I mostly use Cinema EOS cams and need to still buy a bunch of lights. But there is a strong part of me that just wants to hold onto the XL system as I put so much into making it the perfect camera system, and just because of my love for it...

I'm glad others still feel the same about it.
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Old July 15th, 2015, 05:41 PM   #42
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Re: The Great Canon XL Series Revival Thread

I still have my XLH1 & Nanoflash combo, though I'm fully invested in DSLR's now with the 5Dmk3 doing most of the work. Thinking about upgrading to a Sony A7s2 when it is released to jump on the 4K bandwagon.

The XLH1 still gets dragged out every now and then; I have a motocross documentary coming up where the XLH1 will be used for most of the event and stunt work, along with a GoPro for the POV work, and the 5D for most of the details and interviews.

I'll never sell it at this point. Its going to retire as a display piece in my office along with some old cine cameras.
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Old July 16th, 2015, 12:41 AM   #43
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Re: The Great Canon XL Series Revival Thread

I use nanoFlash for my steadicam and Samurai for tripod/shoulder cam. Samurai needs a tape inserted for remote operation.
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Old July 16th, 2015, 04:31 AM   #44
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Re: The Great Canon XL Series Revival Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Norbert Holzmann View Post
I use nanoFlash for my steadicam and Samurai for tripod/shoulder cam. Samurai needs a tape inserted for remote operation.
I would be interested to see any Samurai XLH1 set ups.

Is the Samurai triggered by the XL?
Progressive (25p) is captured from the SDI (I seem to recall the output from the XL is interlaced but the Nanoflash works some mojo to make it progressive)...
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Old July 16th, 2015, 12:31 PM   #45
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Re: The Great Canon XL Series Revival Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Wood View Post
I would be interested to see any Samurai XLH1 set ups.

Is the Samurai triggered by the XL?
Progressive (25p) is captured from the SDI (I seem to recall the output from the XL is interlaced but the Nanoflash works some mojo to make it progressive)...
The Nanoflash does real-time pulldown removal on the interlaced HD-SDI stream, so you can get a progressive file. Furthermore, it applies the selected bitrate to the video after the interlaced frames are removed to maximize quality.
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