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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 15th, 2005, 07:11 AM   #16
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After thinking about it over night -

I'm let down by Canon. It took too long for them to come out with their HDV solution. And now that they have, it's way too expensive, and 24F... what the F?

The only reason that I like the XL H1 is that it's not making my XL2 obsolete. I bought my XL2 back in June after much research and many sleepless nights of wondering if I was buying the right thing as well as wondering what kick ass HDV solution Canon was going to release.

Well, if I was making my decision today, it would still be to buy a XL2.

Here's why - I've seen TONS of great footage taken with the XL2 and DVX camcorders from links posted in this forum.

I have yet to see one great clip posted to this or any other forum from ANY HDV camera. I know that the web is not conducive for HDV movies in full resolution. But that's what Sorenson, Compressor and other compression software is for. Everybody compresses their footage from their XL2's and DVX's before uploading it to a web site. Why not the same for HDV?

I'd like to see a comparison of two 30 second clips - one shot with an XL2 or DVX and compressed to say 5 or 10 megs, the other shot with a Z1 or HD100 and compressed to the same 5 or 10 megs - and then be able to see what looks the best. They don't have to be identical shots, just close, with similar lighting and optimal settings for each camera - not the factory defaults.

In today's day and age the majority of footage ends up on the web, from wedding videos to movie trailers to full movies. So purchasing equipment that can supply good footage for this medium would be an important factor to anybody who wants to be well rounded.
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Old September 15th, 2005, 07:15 AM   #17
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Steve,

I liked your static electricity effect. Did you use After Effects for that?
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Old September 15th, 2005, 07:56 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek West
I'd like to see a comparison of two 30 second clips - one shot with an XL2 or DVX and compressed to say 5 or 10 megs, the other shot with a Z1 or HD100 and compressed to the same 5 or 10 megs - and then be able to see what looks the best. They don't have to be identical shots, just close, with similar lighting and optimal settings for each camera - not the factory defaults.
By doing this, the HDV camera would loose its advantage completely. It is only worth shooting HD if the film is going to be viewed in HD, either now or in the future.

BTW, there are a few clips around the web from HDV cameras that look very, very good. Check out the JVC HD100 Mini35 tests.
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Old September 15th, 2005, 08:14 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Mike Marriage
BTW, there are a few clips around the web from HDV cameras that look very, very good. Check out the JVC HD100 Mini35 tests.
I'd like to but would like to see the footage in a format that is recognizable by Quicktime or Windows Media Player. I tried downloading some footage that Nate Weaver shot (a 100 meg file). The link that was posted for the Mac saved to my G5 as a TEXT file. I tried replacing that with .mov and it didn't work. The other footage I saw was m2t format, and I have no interest in looking at a format that the vast majority of viewers on the web will not care to look at either.

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Originally Posted by Mike Marriage
By doing this, the HDV camera would loose its advantage completely. It is only worth shooting HD if the film is going to be viewed in HD, either now or in the future.
That's interesting that you say that the HDV will have no advantage over DV on the web. I think that's the first time I've heard it put so frank. Thanks. So would it be true to say:

If you are shooting video and your final edited products will be output to the Internet, stick to a traditional DV camera such as a XL2 or DVX?
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Old September 15th, 2005, 08:36 AM   #20
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Two things...

m2t files are raw camera files, they're posted in that format so people can see what the actual footage off the camera looks like... it's not intended to be a web format, but if you want to see what HDV is capable of, download VLC and watch them on it...

Also, the comment about taking away the advantage of HDV... if you're asking for video with 2-4x as many pixels as SD (depending on which resolution) to be crammed into the same file size it will clearly look worse, with major compression artifacts, etc. If you're asking for it to be downrezzed and then compressed, you're looking at both in SD, when one actually records in HD. The advantage of HD is that you can release (for the web) multiple sizes of the video, making full quality HD video available for those with the bandwidth that can handle it. If you want two clips to compare, one in SD and one in HD, you need to be ready for the HD clip to be 2-3x the file size of the SD clip... otherwise, you take away the advantage of HD...
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Old September 15th, 2005, 08:39 AM   #21
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Did you use After Effects for that?
Yup.

As for HDV vs. DV for web delivery... We're at the point where you can release stuff in HD. It just takes a lot of space, but it certainly makes a difference. Most people are running around 1280x1024, which is perfect for 720p format files. Trust me... people notice. And posting full-rez frame grabs can really excite anyone following progress.

-Steve
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Old September 15th, 2005, 08:42 AM   #22
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Kevin,

That's really helpful information. Thanks.

Would it be more accurate to modify my request above with the following change:

- one shot with an XL2 or DVX and compressed to say 5 or 10 megs, the other shot with a Z1 or HD100 and compressed to 30 megs -

As I do feel broadband is in wide enough use to offer those with it a choice of a higher quality video if they want the option.
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Old September 15th, 2005, 08:45 AM   #23
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good question derek.

i bought a XL1s last spring. shot a wedding last June but sold the body last August when XL2 was announced. but i never bought the XL2. i guess i didn't have time for this expensive hobby (still don't). i was waiting for the Canon HD cam. now that it's been announced and i can't use my 3x&16x lens, i intend to sell those lens as well. start from scratch.

i'll be making good use of a cam (SD or HD) in 2007 probably. by that time, i definitely wanna go with HD. i have a front screen projector. watching DVD on that is a pain. there's terrible compression artifacts. on the other hand, when i watch 720p or 1080p, it looks awesome! with HD cam, i can achieve 720p or 1080p. with SD, i can't. the idea of lugging around my FP& a laptop powerful enough to playback 720p/1080p (dualcore AMD Turion laptop comes out in 2006) can complete my complete chain of content creation AND delivery =).
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Old September 15th, 2005, 08:49 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek West
I saw this in another thread -

"Don't underestimate how good a feature the HD SDI out is. I'm sure a converter will be quite expensive, but if/when someone comes out with a realtime converter to get the files to a harddrive via uncompressed or DVCPro HD, this will be a very, very interesting camera."

Emphasis on two things -
1) if/when someone comes out with a realtime converter
2) I'm sure a converter will be quite expensive

So would I not need a "converter" to work with uncompressed HDV footage from the XL H2?

Even though most of my stuff will be going to the web, it's still best to start with the best captured source footage possible. So, would I need a flux capacator a.k.a. a "converter" to do that with HD footage from the XL H2?
The real question is whether it's 8, 10 or 12 bit coming out SDI. You wouldn't use a codec like DVCProHD for this instance since the raw data is uncompressed. You would work in uncompressed and bypass the codec altogether.

Working uncompressed is not as processor intensive because the processor does not have the 'duty' to uncompress and recompress each frame as you edit. If your NLE can work in uncompressed now, do a live capture with your camera to uncompressed YUV and start editing it. You'll see that your processor stays nice and cool. The issue with uncompressed is the throughput speed of your mother boards bus to the hard drives. The issue with uncompressed is the hard drive throughput bottleneck. To really edit it effecitly you need a hyper, hyper fast SCSI Raid for multiple streams.

Anyway, capture some SD uncompressed YUV (around 176Mb data stream) and you'll soon see it's no problem for the processor in your task manager (windows).
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Old September 15th, 2005, 08:51 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Jay Gladwell
That would depend on your computer, wouldn't it?

There's always a work around, but that's not my style.

Jay
Just my $.02, but not willing to take the work-around approach in a lot of instances is going to force you to spend significant $$ (that you're already saying you can't afford) on negligible needs that could be avoided by just taking the work around?

It's your call, but if I was facing that dilemma I would change my style.
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Old September 15th, 2005, 08:52 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek West
Kevin,

That's really helpful information. Thanks.

Would it be more accurate to modify my request above with the following change:

- one shot with an XL2 or DVX and compressed to say 5 or 10 megs, the other shot with a Z1 or HD100 and compressed to 30 megs -

As I do feel broadband is in wide enough use to offer those with it a choice of a higher quality video if they want the option.
Yeah, I would say 30 megs for a H.264 or wmv clip would be a pretty fair comparison with a 5-10 meg SD file.
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Old September 15th, 2005, 09:34 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Kevin Dooley
Two things...
m2t files are raw camera files, they're posted in that format so people can see what the actual footage off the camera looks like
I get the following message when I try to import a downloaded m2t file into FCP 5.0.2 -
File Error: 1 file(s) recognized, 0 access denied, 1 unknown
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Old September 15th, 2005, 09:54 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek West
I do appreciate several facts about the new XL H1 and how it was released:
1) It's twice the cost (if not more) than an XL2, so I'm not saying to myself, gezzzzz I could have had this for the same price and that helps keep my XL2 from becoming quickly obsolete.

See, I really think that's the main reason they set the price so high. Because honestly, I don't see anything in there to make it cost that much. I have the impression this camera will not be a big seller.
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Old September 15th, 2005, 09:58 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek West
I get the following message when I try to import a downloaded m2t file into FCP 5.0.2 -
File Error: 1 file(s) recognized, 0 access denied, 1 unknown
Convert the m2t file into another format first. It's more of raw camera format then an editing format.

http://www.alfanet.it/squared5/mpegstreamclip.html
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Old September 15th, 2005, 10:06 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Michael Maier
See, I really think that's the main reason they set the price so high. Because honestly, I don't see anything in there to make it cost that much. I have the impression this camera will not be a big seller.
You could be right about that Michael. If they would have priced it close to the XL2 it would be bitter-sweet. Sweet because you could have two cameras, a Xl2 and XL H1 for the price of one currently priced XL H1. Bitter because anyone that just spent $4,000 for a XL2 would feel, well, not so great.

However, it would have been great news all around for anyone who had not bought a camera over the past 6 months or so.

I don't think it will be a big seller either. Not near the level of sales for the FX1, Z1 or HD100.
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