XL H1 w Samurai still make sense w. all the new options out there? at DVinfo.net

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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 January 8th, 2013, 09:35 AM   #1
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XL H1 w Samurai still make sense w. all the new options out there?

I have the XL H1 and am considering purchasing the Samurai for working on a nature doc--that would require the magnification of interchangeable lenses.

I also have the Canon 5d MarkII but with its full frame sensor would take a Canon 800 w 2x extender to do what the XL H1 could do (I don't have that kinda money!)

Main camera could possibly be a new purchase of the XF300.

The question is- Is it still worth adding the Samurai to breathe new life into the Xl H1?

Things change so friggin' rapidly with cams I can't keep up anymore!!!!

Thanks
Ron
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Old January 9th, 2013, 02:35 AM   #2
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Re: XL H1 w Samurai still make sense w. all the new options out there?

Don't know about Samurai but I use a nanoFlash with my XLH1 which I guess is a pretty similar set up.

Gives, to me and my small circle of viewers, very pleasing results, and a new lease of life for my XLH1. All the connecting cables a bit of a nuisance, and as I use SLR lenses like the Canon EF 70-300L and the Sigma 500 (with the Canon EF adaptor) I find a focussing monitor to be essential, so more cables.

7.2x crop factor, so a very good tripod is essential.


Ron
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Old January 10th, 2013, 06:21 PM   #3
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Re: XL H1 w Samurai still make sense w. all the new options out there?

Thanks Ron!

Seems most feedback says about the same--so think I'll make the purchase!

I have filmed quite a bit with the 7d and 5d mark II but its a far from pleasant experience as opposed to filming with the XL-H1!!!

Looking at the XF300 as the next probable purchase--the C300 .... just can't justify the expense!

Thanks for your reply

Ron
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Old January 10th, 2013, 06:24 PM   #4
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Re: XL H1 w Samurai still make sense w. all the new options out there?

sorry meant to ask you---

Do you run audio through analog out to the Nanoflash? Just curious how that has worked out for you?

Thanks again
Ron
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Old January 11th, 2013, 12:50 AM   #5
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Re: XL H1 w Samurai still make sense w. all the new options out there?

I use a XLR connected shotgun mike and connect the cam to the nanoFlash from the audio sockets on the cam. This gives for me a mono only audio signal as my mike is mono only. Not sure about the "standard" XLH1 mike which of course is stereo. The HD-SDI signal from the older version of the XLH1 has neither timecode, audio or viewfinder info which a bit of a pain as necessitates a jungle of cables.


Ron
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Old January 13th, 2013, 10:15 PM   #6
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Re: XL H1 w Samurai still make sense w. all the new options out there?

Ron,

I'm no top professional, but I've been thinking about a lot of the newer cameras and like you I have considered the XF300. Because you already have the XLH1, I don't know if its absolutely necessary to jump up to the XF300. I have looked at it and have recently become very tempted to make the purchase considering the recent price drop. I guess you have to ask yourself, what is necessary? For me its my 5D Mark III and my XLH1. Similar to you, I am going to be purchasing the Nanoflash as it seems to be the device most synonymous with the XLH1. If I'm wrong, please tell me.
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Old January 14th, 2013, 08:07 AM   #7
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Re: XL H1 w Samurai still make sense w. all the new options out there?

Too many Rons! The nanoFlash is used with all sorts of cameras e.g. EX3s for some BBC wildlife. I think when it first arrived on the market it appealed to a lot of then XLH1/XHG1 owners. These cams now a bit old hat but not that bad and the nano does offer a substantial improvement.

There isn't actually much of a choice of "affordable" three chip interchangeable lens "good crop factor" cameras available for wildlife video. Three from Sony I think, a couple or three from JVC and a singleton from Panasonic (maybe). 1/3 chips equals 7x crop and 1/2 inch chip equals 5x , about, crop.

The current rage for single large chip cams doesn't, in my humble opinion, offer a lot for wildlife apart from of course close up work or work with large animals.

For info on nanoFlash have a look at their forum here, Dan Keaton, one of their "seniors" is very helpful and owns, or did, an XLH1 and a XHG1.

Ron
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Old January 25th, 2013, 07:39 AM   #8
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Re: XL H1 w Samurai still make sense w. all the new options out there?

Been using the XLh1 with the Samurai for nearly 14 months and it is amazing. I cannot recommend it highly enough. In well lit scenarios the video I produce now look amazing! Be aware that in less than ideal lighting situations there is a fine digital grain that you will see more prominently now that you might need to clean up in post. It has always been part of the camera but with the HDV codec it was largely lost in the compression. Now, with a better codec that is far less lossy, it appears. At first it bothered me but then I realized i needed to treat it like RAW and do color correctiong and I could deal with it.

Oh......and don;t get me started on how much incredibly better the color correction is! I can really push the
footage so much further and correct issues that I'd never dream of touching in HDV.

I can't say enough good about the Samurai.
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Old January 25th, 2013, 02:17 PM   #9
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Re: XL H1 w Samurai still make sense w. all the new options out there?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Stoecklein View Post
sorry meant to ask you---

Do you run audio through analog out to the Nanoflash? Just curious how that has worked out for you?

Thanks again
Ron
There are some pictures here of my set up (from this time last year). Cables are shown specifically. If you are going to get a nanoflash there will be some extra accessories you will need to consider which I listed in that thread.

XL-h1 and convergent design nanoflash
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Old January 26th, 2013, 03:06 PM   #10
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Re: XL H1 w Samurai still make sense w. all the new options out there?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty Hudzik View Post
Been using the XLh1 with the Samurai for nearly 14 months and it is amazing. I cannot recommend it highly enough. In well lit scenarios the video I produce now look amazing! Be aware that in less than ideal lighting situations there is a fine digital grain that you will see more prominently now that you might need to clean up in post. It has always been part of the camera but with the HDV codec it was largely lost in the compression. Now, with a better codec that is far less lossy, it appears. At first it bothered me but then I realized i needed to treat it like RAW and do color correctiong and I could deal with it.

Oh......and don;t get me started on how much incredibly better the color correction is! I can really push the
footage so much further and correct issues that I'd never dream of touching in HDV.

I can't say enough good about the Samurai.
Yes I can second what Marty is saying (hi Marty!). With something like a Nanoflash or Samurai, you are capable of recording the uncompressed signal and keeping its quality for the most part. So that means the image is sharper (the XL chipset actually yields more resolution that you don't see in the HDV codec. The extra spatial resolution from the horizontal pixel offset is preserved though on the HD-SDI output because it is full raster 1920x1080). But this also means the luma grain from the use of gain is also finer and more pronounced.

Interestingly enough, this makes cleaning up with NeatVideo a lot easier. The XL's noise from gain is actually mostly all luma and no chroma, so removing it cleanly from high bitrate, full raster 4:2:2 footage is not difficult. I've been able to get +12 gain footage look close to 0db footage with practically minimal/no resolution loss. It's pretty nice (albeit the render times).
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Old February 7th, 2013, 02:38 PM   #11
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Re: XL H1 w Samurai still make sense w. all the new options out there?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty Hudzik View Post
Been using the XLh1 with the Samurai for nearly 14 months and it is amazing. I cannot recommend it highly enough. In well lit scenarios the video I produce now look amazing! Be aware that in less than ideal lighting situations there is a fine digital grain that you will see more prominently now that you might need to clean up in post. It has always been part of the camera but with the HDV codec it was largely lost in the compression. Now, with a better codec that is far less lossy, it appears. At first it bothered me but then I realized i needed to treat it like RAW and do color correctiong and I could deal with it.

Oh......and don;t get me started on how much incredibly better the color correction is! I can really push the
footage so much further and correct issues that I'd never dream of touching in HDV.

I can't say enough good about the Samurai.
Hey Marty,

I've had my XLH1 (original), sitting on the shelf for the last 3 years since I picked up a 5D2. Now after 30,000 clips thru the 5d, I'm looking to see if the H1 is worth the Samurai upgrade. Is it possible for you to post a pic of your set-up? Mostly interested in the audio work around. If it's not too much hassle to rig it. I always loved the H1, (but not the tape workflow or the Mpeg compression).

Thanks.
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Old February 13th, 2013, 10:48 AM   #12
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Re: XL H1 w Samurai still make sense w. all the new options out there?




Hey Ken. Just thought Id show you how I did the set up. I got the thickest gauge rca to mini cable I could just to be safe for audio. It doesn't need to be as I have used a cheap one with excellent results. I love the Samurai. It has helped keep the XLH1 viable in the tapeless HD market.
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Old April 18th, 2013, 10:00 AM   #13
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Re: XL H1 w Samurai still make sense w. all the new options out there?

Here are the pics Ken.



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Old April 18th, 2013, 01:04 PM   #14
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Re: XL H1 w Samurai still make sense w. all the new options out there?

@ Travis, NIce setup.
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Old April 18th, 2013, 03:50 PM   #15
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Re: XL H1 w Samurai still make sense w. all the new options out there?

Hey Travis,

Thanks for reposting the pics. I see you've got the battery mount and two audio receivers on the back. Looks also like a video light in front of the Samurai. I've been doing more research, and the Samurai looks like a great addition. I was going to sell my H1, but I think I'll hang onto it and just pick up a samurai.
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