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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 September 14th, 2005, 08:41 PM   #91
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1080p60 and 1080p24 for me!

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Old September 14th, 2005, 09:46 PM   #92
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If Canon thought about leaving the PAL/NTSC multi-standard out as an option to keep costs down, they could have done the same thing with genlock. How many here need it? I'm sure it's a big chunk of the price tag. They could make two versions, with and without genlock, like JVC did with the DV500. If they thought about it with the multi-standard, why not with the Genlock as well. The fact that this is mainly a studio camera is what bothers me. Why did they choose to go this way? It's not really something you would come to expect from Canon.
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Old September 14th, 2005, 10:11 PM   #93
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1st of all congratulations to Canon. While some have been barking about theire products for ages, Canon shows up from nowhere and steals the show.

I have always been a Canon fan since day one and shot my first shortfilm for gothenburg filmfestival 99 using a Canon XL1. I have also owned XM1 but never jumped on the XL2 as I waited for the HD(V) war to settle a bit. I must say that I, like many others was really dissapointed with Canon for giving us the SD XL2 at a time when others where offering 1080i and 720p. And to my surprise this just shows up out of nowhere right before I was making myself ready to buy a JVC!

I really liked the first 1080i pictures coming out of Sony FX1/Z1 cameras but in the end avoided them both bc they lacked 24p(F). The HVX was highly intresting but for me it fell with the P2 and the fixed lens. JVC on the hand was the most intresting option for me thus far as it offered interchangable lenses and 24p on HDV but it is limited to 720p and has some problems with dead pixels and split screen phenomena.

But up steps Canon with a black stallion, offering 1080i 24P(F) and interchangable lenses. The JVC was what I hoped the Canon would have been but they show up with a better camera and my dream about a black XL looking HD camera shooting 1080i in 24p came true!

All sub 10K HD(V) cameras thus far are good and could be used to make great movies with but the waiting is over for my part at least, thanks Canon!

Ps. I just wished it was a bit cheaper, but the swedes have a saying, "if it tastes, it costs"! ;)
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Old September 14th, 2005, 11:34 PM   #94
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1 interesting thing is that if the recorded image was edited (1920x1080) and outputted without any recompression unto a large hard drive, then projected onto a commercial DLP in a local cinema, would it truly look razor sharp? would it be comparable to somn like star wars ep2&3 that was shot digitally? i mean that's what people wants basically =). i know it's technically "1.5k" but with a bit of scaling during editing, it can be 1920 ("2k").
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Old September 14th, 2005, 11:48 PM   #95
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Every time an HDV camera (or even HD camera like the HVX200) is announced, the specs get better and better.

I joke that Sharp will come out with a CineAlta (F900) that shoots HDV and costs under $500. (We all had a good laugh at that one.)

But, if I were to buy a camera now, with my testing, it would be the FX1. I didn't get much time with the JVC HD100, but I will.

A lot of my friends are wondering what I'll shoot my next film on, and I am now saying, "I just want to shoot my next film. I want to make the darn thing!" The technology will just aid in my storytelling, not take over the whole thing.

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Old September 15th, 2005, 04:28 AM   #96
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SDI Datarate and DTE-Recorders

Hello all!

While I'm unaware whether the SDI-stream that the H1 puts out is constantly at 1.4 Gbps, I'd like to do some simple arithmetic here and apply the results to current storage technology. So let's assume that the SDI-stream is 1.4 Gbps (gigabits/second).

1.4 Gbps = 1433.6 Mbps (megabits/second) = 179.2 MBps (megabytes/second)

Portable DTE-recorders such as the Focus FireStore FS-4 employ 2.5" ATA hard drives at rotational speeds of 5400 rpm. These devices can be written to at maximum sustained datarates of around 40 MBps. Clearly, these drives won't cut it for uncompressed recording.

Server-grade SCSI-drives with 15000 rpm are the fastest the magnetic mass storage currently available. These drives top out around 80 MBps, and consume a lot of power and dissipate lots of heat while doing so. But even these drives won't do it to record the SDI data stream.

So off we go in to even more serious server-territory: RAIDs or Redundant Arrais of Inexpensive/Independent Drives. What would do the job to capture the SDI stream would be a multi-drive RAID-0 or RAID-5 array - serious hardware, and definitely not portable and far from silent.

All of the above serves as an illustration that uncompressed SDI recording is not for mobile applications at this point. But there may be light at the end of the tunnel in the shape of solid state storage units that are portable, extremely fast, have a low thermal signature, consume little power and are - at least currently - wickedly expensive. These devices are currently mainly used in the defense and aerospace sector, but maybe the popularization of HD and the ever increasing computing power of NLE-systems will drive down prices in due time. I sure hope so!

In the meantime, I enjoy watching the HD-market unfold while happily holding on to my XL-1s... :-)

Cheers,

Ron
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Old September 15th, 2005, 04:50 AM   #97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Pfister

In the meantime, I enjoy watching the HD-market unfold while happily holding on to my XL-1s... :-)

Cheers,

Ron
Yeah...I'm not sad at all, I bought 2 xl2's for less than the price of one H1. Although Im seriously diggn' the black, man is that cool!

kinda a shame about the camera though, I mean its not really a consumer cam, anyone think we'll see a XL3HDV consumer cam to replace the XL2?
Perhaps in a year or so...?

Any news on the GLH1 or GL3?
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Old September 15th, 2005, 06:17 AM   #98
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Where does this put something like the reel-stream modded dvx-100.
And how long do you think this cam has been in the works?

Cheers,
Ben Gurvich
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Old September 15th, 2005, 06:42 AM   #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Carney
As for being 6 to 8 months ahead? So what. Really, so what? Still plenty of time left before mandatory change over. Now it will be affordable.
6 to 8 months of people buying Sony and JVC HDV solutions is a lot of market share to loose. Not to mention how many people were let down by Canon's sloth like pace to get into this market. If I had a dollar for every complaint I've seen for the length of time it was taking for them to provide a HDV solution, I could buy a... XL H1 (if I wanted one).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Carney
At the very least this event will finally get a lot of people off the fence.
And into the store buying XL2's, FX1's, Z1's & HD100's. I know the XL2 is not HDV, but I think quite a few people who were considering a XL2 will now go ahead with acquiring one since Canon's XL H1 is well over twice the cost of a XL2 AND really NOT anything all that great.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Carney
And I still want the JVC, for making features, and for puting out true 24p on tape (yes it does)...unless Heath gives it a resounding thumbs down. I"m willing to learn how to use a 'real' lense.
I agree with you on this, from what I've seen over the past few months, it seems like JVC is the manufacturer that has really been listening to what the dv community wants and has been making true efforts since the very beginning (they were the first). If I was going to buy an HDV camcorder today, it would be a HD100 or Z1. I could keep my XL2 and have an HDV solution for the same price as the Canon XL H1. I no longer feel "brand loyal" to Canon. Of course part of that may have to do with the continued hassle I've gotten over the stupid $500 rebate that I have yet to get from buying my XL2 and 16x manual lens BACK IN JUNE.

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Old September 15th, 2005, 06:42 AM   #100
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With the real-stream there is still the issue of dynamic range.

Much of the percieved dynamic range of the Canon will deal with where they put the white-clip. Just because you're getting HD-SDI out of the camera doesn't mean that you're getting the full dynamic range of the chips before the information is manipulated in the DSP (i.e., straight of the A/D converter like the reel-stream).

For instance, in those comparsion clips with the reel-stream, you're seeing clouds and a lot of highlight detail that are typically clipped off in the post-A/D converter/DV stream. Most likely with the Canon's HD-SDI stream you're going to see the same amount of highlight detail as the HDV mode, only no compression artifacts. Typically most camera manufacturers clip off the top 400% of over-exposure dynamic range, or they hypercompress the information in the very top of the knee.

Knee adjustments aren't the solution to this problem either, because typically a knee circuit is not gamma corrected, so you get a break in the tangency of the curve between the "normal" exposure range and the highlight knee when you start pushing an agressive knee. This typically shows up as color banding or mis-coloration in the highlights right before clipping. So instead of a "smooth" highlight, like you might see on film where the highlights slowly desaturate, you'll see a "harsh" gradient of super-saturated reds and yellows (or something similar) into the highlight clip, which tends to be a very "video-y" artifact-i.e., not very organic.

So there is still space for products like the reel-stream if you're looking for that "un-electronic" look to your pictures, i.e., where the DSP hasn't been overprocessing, over-sharpening, etc., your picture information from the A/D converter, giving you a very "smooth" look to your pictures.

Of course I've never seen the Canon pictures, so who knows ;)
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Old September 15th, 2005, 07:17 AM   #101
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Data Rates

The SDI data rate is a little imposing, isn't it? If you do the math 1920 x 1080 x 30 x 8 x 2 = .995 Gbit (the last 2 in there is 1 for the luma + 1 for the chroma) and there isn't much you can do with that in the field. What's sorely needed here is the JPEG compression to get this down to a manageable 100 mbps as is done with DVCPRO HD. I see no mention of that anywhere and that dampens my initial enthusiasm somewhat. With DVCPRO you could put 15 minutes on a casette and that would be OK with me for the ability to get hi res pictures.

Perhaps a third party will offer a HD/compressor combination. A German company has such a device for SD which gets 2:1 by simple (and lossless) Huffman encoding.
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Old September 15th, 2005, 08:16 AM   #102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yi Fong Yu
1 interesting thing is that if the recorded image was edited (1920x1080) and outputted without any recompression unto a large hard drive, then projected onto a commercial DLP in a local cinema, would it truly look razor sharp? would it be comparable to somn like star wars ep2&3 that was shot digitally? i mean that's what people wants basically =). i know it's technically "1.5k" but with a bit of scaling during editing, it can be 1920 ("2k").
If projected digitally, it could surpass the "sharpness" of a Star Wars 35mm print. I doubt it would look near as nice, but then again, the CineAlta setup they use is $100,000s.

The 1440x1080 recording is very common, even HDCAM does it! DVCPROHD uses 1280x1080 which is lower still. HDCAM SR uses full 1920x1080, but is very much high end.
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Old September 15th, 2005, 08:34 AM   #103
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In terms of portable solutions, the HD-SDI out really offers a market for essentially a "codec drive" that takes HD-SDI in, and hardware compresses it to something more managable that can be written to disk. For example, this is what HDCAM SR really is - the (dual link) HD-SDI plugs in the HDCAM SR deck, which then compresses the stream to the 440/880 Mbps HDCAM SR format.

There are already a number of very editing/acquisition codecs out there, (esp. IMHO the Cineform codec), that could potentially be very well implemented on such a system relatively cheaply.

It would be really cool if companies replaced the whole solid-state memory trend and tape drives with essentially a slot for an iPod'ish device that you could buy - with hardware chips for your codec of choice. S-ATA hard drives are enough for sustained rates around 40-80 MBps in RAID mode - and that's pretty modest compression from a 1.4 Gbps stream (2:1 ish).

Surely Firestone would be well placed for this kind of application... but a company like Apple might be very close as well... to the point of it being a hardware complement to FCP.

-Steve
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Old September 15th, 2005, 09:40 AM   #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Rodriguez
With the real-stream there is still the issue of dynamic range.
Well, yeah, but it sure doesn't look half as attractive as it did when it was proposed. The more they wait, the less interesting it will look. With all the new stuff coming to market, if they don't start selling it soon, they will lose all their R&D money, because few and any will buy it.
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Old September 15th, 2005, 04:03 PM   #105
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>>So off we go in to even more serious server-territory: RAIDs or Redundant Arrais of Inexpensive/Independent Drives. What would do the job to capture the SDI stream would be a multi-drive RAID-0 or RAID-5 array - serious hardware, and definitely not portable and far from silent.
<<

Ron, unless I'm mistaken, SDI cable can run up to 300'. So the issue of noise should be relatively easy to overcome. And putting a video village on wheels will probably be a favorite way to do things.

I'm pretty sure that companies like Cineform and others will have an adequate capture solution not long after release since they store in a very affordable pc friendly lossless compression mode. Don't forget BMD has existing solutions around high data rates too.
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