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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 December 19th, 2005, 10:39 AM   #16
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Nope. No date next to the link and the little window that tries to open just closes right back up...have tried it on multiple computers. Going home for lunch and will try there (again).

Not a good first impression, so I hope they really aren't charging hundreds of dollars for it!
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Old December 19th, 2005, 12:12 PM   #17
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Well guys,

I downloaded using the link after jumping through the hoops. Running the XL2 in external control mode and dv control set to on works fine. Here's a kicker, in the play panel play window there is a buttion to turn ext display on and off. Let's you playback to the camera VF from the software.

Some other sweet features in the vector and waveform display. At the top, you can turn on a crosshair for a color picker on your image and get all the info on that color...like the eyedropper on image editors. Then, it has a line mode where you can highlight any of the 480 lines and the waveform display will show you what is on that line. You can also vary the line width from one pixel to 15 pixels.

You can also show zebras on your recording monitor but they aren't being turned on in the camera vf so this is a software function. Another software function that is great for XL2 users is focus assist. It magnifies a portion of the image and you can use the little hand icon to move around and select the part of the image you want to see. It will also let you set it to black and white.

The layout of the software is divided into two main panels called recording and playback. Within each of those two panels are subwindows for different functions such as focus assist, record, and waveform in the rec panel. Playback, filebrowser, and another waveform monitor in the playback panel.

Good news is that my 1.6ghz Pentium M laptop passed the performance check but I don't know if it could do HDV.

Shannon is correct about not being able to use the camera in VCR mode to feed previously recorded tape into the software but that was also true of DVPC Recorder. These programs aren't really meant for that.

All in all, I am very impressed with what I saw in the way of functionality for the XL-2. If they make the price reasonable, I'll be buying this program.

-gb-
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Old December 19th, 2005, 12:22 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Bauer
Nope. No date next to the link and the little window that tries to open just closes right back up...
Pete, this is precisely what happened to me on the Canon USA site several times. Then the problem was resolved when I set in my browser "tools" -> "internet options" -> "security" -> "custom level" and there "low". After that I was able to download the pdf file Shannon is talking about.

I have not yet found the Console program on the Canon European site.
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Old December 19th, 2005, 01:41 PM   #19
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I finally was able to download the manual after multiple attempts and disabling ALL of my security software (very temporarily). Looks like the set up is not exactly Plug-n-Play...several specific steps that involve the camera hooked up to the computer while in certain modes, or at least that's what a very quick glance at the manual appears to indicate.

The software does some nice stuff, including up to a 10 second pre-record buffer, but also has a lot of restrictions such as the inability to use any sort of external or removable drive. This has moved way down on my priority list but when I get a chance, I'll try again to see if I can get the software to function with my H1 and learn more about the benefits and drawbacks.
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Old December 19th, 2005, 01:46 PM   #20
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you can use an extrnal drive. I captured HD footage to a little cheap 80gig laptop drive that was in a USB bus powered case connected to my laptop USB2.0 port.

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Old December 19th, 2005, 02:47 PM   #21
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Both DV Mag and Video Systems Mag are saying this software is $600. I'll get you the specific issue if wanted.
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Old December 19th, 2005, 03:50 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Boston
Well Pete (and Shannon),

<EDIT>
As for price....you ain't going to like this, but I remember seeing on the website something in the $495.00 ballpark.
-gb-
I know that seems like a lot of money, but if you go and find a price
for the remote controller for the Panasonic Varicam, THAT
thing costs like $20,000.00!!!

Once put into perspective, the console program is a pretty good deal
and should get better with time, BUT what about Mac support?
Come on Canon, get with it!!!
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Old December 19th, 2005, 03:57 PM   #23
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Shannon,
Glad the external drive worked for you. Still, since Canon says more than once in the manual that they don't support external or removable devices, a guy can't have any gripes if that set up should fail during a critical shoot...

Jacques,
Point taken, although value is a subjective thing. Right now, I personally won't part with $600 for something I can't get to work and looks a lot like the free software that preceded it AND the free software for their still cameras. A real break in paradigm for Canon to start putting camera features including basic consumer-level ones like interval recording, onto "expensive" add-on software. If CONSOLE becomes a critical solution to a problem, then I suppose I'll pony up. Not today.
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Old December 19th, 2005, 04:22 PM   #24
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Canon Software

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Bauer
AND the free software for their still cameras.
The Canon D30 digital SLR was a revolutionary camera, and I purchased one of the first available in the US. But the software was buggy and unintuitive, and I hated it. Fortunately, a number of affordable third-party alternatives were quickly developed. Since that time, I've continued to purchase new Canon digicams (both SLR and point-and-shoot) and I like each camera for what it does, but I never bother to load any of the Canon software on any of my computers, even when it's free. Canon makes great cameras and exceptional glass, but I always look elsewhere for the software.

Best,
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Old December 19th, 2005, 04:56 PM   #25
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Hi Chris,

I guess they've gotten better, because I'm one who is generally more disposed to keep it simple and stick with my main applications (in this case Photoshop), but I found that I actually prefer the Canon apps for initial acquisition and batching sort of stuff when using my little SD500 and my wife's 20D. In fact, I recall that the last time I did red-eye reduction, I went to the Canon app rather than PS CS (haven't upgraded to CS2, which I guess has a pretty good 1-click red-eye fix, but I digress).

It's my hope that CONSOLE turns out to work properly and isn't so expensive as we fear -- we shall see.
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Old December 19th, 2005, 10:32 PM   #26
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Hello Guys,

OK can you program focus and zoom actions so that they are repeatable?

More specifically, can you program them to act as a software application to run the camera i.e. Roll camera... speed... Director says action 5-4-3-2-1 zoom at a precise speed and focus to a specific distance... 10 sec delay, zoom at a variable rate to a predetermined FL and refocus... etc.

Or is this just a technicians consol... not that there is anything wrong with that :-)

Thanks!
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Old December 20th, 2005, 01:59 PM   #27
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No Timecode!!!

I just confirmed that capturing HDV footage using "CONSOLE" does NOT give you the same timecode as the footage on the tape.

All HDV clips recorded with Console start at 00:00:00;00 (in Sony Vegas 5)

This program better be FREE!

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Old December 20th, 2005, 05:44 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shannon Rawls
I just confirmed that capturing HDV footage using "CONSOLE" does NOT give you the same timecode as the footage on the tape.

All HDV clips recorded with Console start at 00:00:00;00 (in Sony Vegas 5)

This program better be FREE!

- ShannonRawls.com
Hey Buddy,

I thought the software was $600.00??
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Old December 28th, 2005, 03:39 PM   #29
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Now available for sale: http://www.canoncompanystore.com/epa...Detail=CONSOLE

Might be worth it for you.
Because it's not able to "CAPTURE" footage already recorded to the minidv tape and also the timecode of the clips it records do not match the timecode on the minidv tape inside the camera, it is not worth it for me.

I am sure some nature photographers can use it.

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Old December 28th, 2005, 05:41 PM   #30
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UPDATE:

Once I was finally able to download the CONSOLE User Manual, I was able to get it to recognize my camera. I think the trick is that the camera must be powered on in a camera mode or Ext Control DURING software installation, not just afterwards for use.

As I've been focused on family over Christmas, I haven't messed with it since the day I got CONSOLE to install, but it still appeared that some basic camera control functions were NOT working -- and I'm not referring to things listed as disabled for the trial version. If my trial hasn't expired yet, I'll play with it again tonight and see how it works.

This morning I went to the Canon site just to see what's new and noticed a little icon with "Buy Now" on the Console software's web page; I tried numerous times through the morning and could not get the page to load.

This afternoon, coincidentally, I FINALLY got an email notice that the software is available so I went back to the web page. Lo and behold, the page was alive:
http://www.canoncompanystore.com/epa...Detail=CONSOLE
It confirms that the cost of the software is $599 AND requires you to have the camera on and running with the CONSOLE software when you TELEPHONE Canon to get a license key. You have to give them the camera Product ID as read by the software, so I don't know if that means once registered, you can or cannot mix and match your various XL2 and XL H1's. I currently have an XL2 and two XL H1s...I'd be MAD if I spent $599 and then could only use the software on one computer and one camera!

This software, if it does work as advertised, may fit the bill for a few folks with very specific needs. So far, though, my opinion is that most of us would have little use for it. It doesn't support SDI-out (capture functionality will be natively supported in your SDI solution anyway). It is limited to capturing HDV over firewire; 1394 has a 4.5m cable length limit unless you go to the hassle of daisy-chaining (vs up to 300 feet for SDI out). So kind of hard to see how a pro would want to use this on-location on a crane as Canon suggests in its advertising...I'd suppose there are probably better solutions for a no-kidding production studio. And kind of hard to see how many of us small-timers will want to pay $599 to be tethered through a relatively delicate 1394 jack to within 14 feet of the one PC that the software is activated on.

I get the impression that Canon decided to drop the SDK concept -- so nicely exemplified by the Blue Barn folks with their XL2 Presets Manager -- in favor of putting beefing up the free DV-PC software with some vectorscopes, the Presets functionality from the SDK, and a prettier user interface in the hopes of creating an additional revenue stream. So far, despite buying a second XL H1, I'm not ready to add this particular $599 to my credit card....right now its value to me has one less "9" in it. As I mentioned, I'll tinker with it a little again this evening if I'm able, and will try to have something good to say about it. ;-)
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