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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 1st, 2013, 06:34 PM   #1
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new viewfinder for H1

Over the years we've all complained about the viewfinder on the H1. We still use this camera for various shoots...and it's hooked up to a SoundDevices Pix 240 so we can record higher resolution file based video.

In creating our 'frankenstein' rig for our Canon 7D....we needed to add a good viewfinder. The Small HD DP4-EVF was the choice.

One day while thinking (I do that sometimes when my head isn't exploding with other insane thoughts)...I thought HEY....why not use the DP4 as a viewfinder in place of the original one on the H1?

SO...with using the component cable that comes with the H1...and connecting it to a component cable that comes with the DP4 (it's plug is a multi-pin headphone style jack type)....SHAAZAM !

Suddenly the H1 had this amazing viewfinder that looks GREAT !

Downside....you need a noga arm to attach to the camera/rails...etc. It doesn't move as easily as the original viewfinder....so setting up takes a bit of time...BUT...resolution looks awesome and no LAG !!

If you're still using your H1...and are still yearning for a better viewfinder....check out the DP4.
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Kevin Martorana is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 6th, 2014, 06:28 PM   #2
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Re: new viewfinder for H1

After all these years with my XL H1S, I finally found the perfect solution to the viewfinder.

I recently bought the Alphatron Retina EVF along with their ENG-EVF bracket. Combined with a little grinding of the viewfinder mounting plate on the XL, and I was able to replace the viewfinder system completely with this Alphatron EVF and it fits perfectly.

And WOW does it make a difference... it feels like I am using a new camera again. The Retina screen resolution blows away the original EVF (the Alphatron has a 3.5" LCD with 960x540 res) and it has added extra functionality to the XL, like live waveform/vectorscope, false color, etc. It also operates in the same way as the XL viewfinder, with the pull-up EVF to reveal the LCD. The color accuracy is far better too and I have been able to calibrate the EVF to Rec. 709 color bars using all the EVF's calibration functions. So what I see during shooting is what I am getting!

I've also calibrated the camera with a Chroma DuMonde chart to and combined with the Nanoflash that I have mounted on the back of the camera, and I've managed to still pull a lot more life out of this camera. 280Mb 4:2:2 I-Frame video along with the super sharp EVF has made this camera a real pleasure to use.

Although a lot of my shooting these days uses the Cinema EOS system, I'm glad to know that I can still use this XL camera for a couple more years with these upgrades. And there are still a lot of productions that I do for broadcast that this system fits perfectly into.
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Old May 7th, 2014, 06:14 AM   #3
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Re: new viewfinder for H1

Did you connect the viewinder to the hdmi port of the Nanoflash?
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Old May 7th, 2014, 11:33 AM   #4
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Re: new viewfinder for H1

No, I am connecting using the HD-SDI output of the Nanoflash. But HDMI will also work as well with this setup. I just prefer the locking connector of the HD-SDI cable.
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