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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, 06:54 PM   #1
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XL H1 Conversion From HD to SD

I'm thinking of purchasing a XL H1, and it's going to be perhaps months or even years before editing and producing videos from the tape I shoot in HD. I would still like use the footage to produce short videos, so in real simple language, what is needed in the way of hardware to convert the HD footage to SD on MiniDV tapes. I currently use an XL-1 for nature documentation, but I see the hand writing on the wall, and since I will basically be starting over, I feel the sooner I make the move, the more ahead I'll be a few years down stream when HD really kicks in. I currently work with a Windows base system and use a Panasonic AG-DV1000 deck for downloading. Thank in advance.
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Old December 19th, 2005, 10:01 PM   #2
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Hello :-)

Yeah, I'm probably buying one soon and I am interested in the answer to your question if someone can chime in.

Also, are we limited to downloading HDV to our NLE via the XL H1 or can I use my DSR-11 so as not to ware out the H1 heads??

Thanks!
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Old December 19th, 2005, 10:21 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Don DesJardin
what is needed in the way of hardware to convert the HD footage to SD on MiniDV tapes?
Nothing.

All you need is the camera itself. Both Sony & Canon HDV cameras will downconvert your HD tape to SD computer files in realtime on the fly. If you want to copy your HD minidv tapes over to SD minidv tapes to create shows in SD today, simply plug your new HDV camera into your old XL1 or DVX100 and copy the tapes right over the firewire camera-to-camera. The JVC HDV camera can't do that unfortunately.

So be safe in knowing that you can go out and shoot all you want as much as you want, and rack up your HD footage on those inexpensve MiniDV cassette tapes so when you're ready to make an HD product, like a DVD in HD, in the future, you can. In the mean time, you can do SD with those same tapes today.

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Old December 19th, 2005, 10:38 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Shannon Rawls
Nothing.

All you need is the camera itself. Both Sony & Canon HDV cameras will downconvert your HD tape to SD computer files in realtime on the fly. If you want to copy your HD minidv tapes over to SD minidv tapes to create shows in SD today, simply plug your new HDV camera into your old XL1 or DVX100 and copy the tapes right over the firewire camera-to-camera. The JVC HDV camera can't do that unfortunately.

So be safe in knowing that you can go out and shoot all you want as much as you want, and rack up your HD footage on those inexpensve MiniDV cassette tapes so when you're ready to make an HD product, like a DVD in HD, in the future, you can. In the mean time, you can do SD with those same tapes today.

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Hello,

But can the Sony DSR-11 (or any of the other VTRs) play the MiniDV tapes that contain HDV information so that you don't have to beat up your H1 heads??

Thanks!
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Old December 19th, 2005, 10:42 PM   #5
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Nope.

There will be new decks coming out for the newest versions of HDV.

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Old December 19th, 2005, 11:01 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Shannon Rawls
Nope.

There will be new decks coming out for the newest versions of HDV.

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That's what I thought, it would have been some kind of cool voodoo if it could have...

Too bad, I just bought the DSR-11, I'll have to get more DVCAM work to make it pay off :-(

Thanks Buddy!
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Old December 20th, 2005, 10:10 AM   #7
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Anthony: DSR11's a good little deck with the advantage of being able to use the large tapes. Shoot HDV and down convert your footage from the camera to 3 hour DVCAM tapes on the 11.

True, you'll be doubling the mileage on your camera, but it would be better than searching and digitizing with the camera, both for the camera itself and for your HDV tapes. You would have a timecode reference so you could always go back and conform your show in HDV later... Steve Rosen
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Old December 20th, 2005, 05:51 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Steve Rosen
Anthony: DSR11's a good little deck with the advantage of being able to use the large tapes. Shoot HDV and down convert your footage from the camera to 3 hour DVCAM tapes on the 11.

True, you'll be doubling the mileage on your camera, but it would be better than searching and digitizing with the camera, both for the camera itself and for your HDV tapes. You would have a timecode reference so you could always go back and conform your show in HDV later... Steve Rosen
Good Point!

I thought I read about some HDV decks going for around $1900.00 (which isn't that much more than the DSR-11) it would be nice when I can justify the expense.

How is the H1 for SD, I mean I may be using it in SD mode until delivery issues are resolved rather than down-converting.

How does the SD footage look (4:3 and 16:9) from this camera?

Thanks!!
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Old December 20th, 2005, 08:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony Marotti
I thought I read about some HDV decks going for around $1900.00 (which isn't that much more than the DSR-11) it would be nice when I can justify the expense.
I think JVC had a low-cost deck, the CU1 or something like that, that may have been in that price bracket. The current decks are not: the Sony is $4000, and the JVC BR50 is $3400. And neither will work with the XLH1's 24F or 30F modes. I think we're all most interested in seeing how the HDV deck situation shakes out. But if you were planning on getting a deck for use with an XLH1, just be aware that none of the current offerings offers compatibility with all the modes the Canon produces.
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Old December 21st, 2005, 08:57 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Barry Green
I think JVC had a low-cost deck, the CU1 or something like that, that may have been in that price bracket. The current decks are not: the Sony is $4000, and the JVC BR50 is $3400. And neither will work with the XLH1's 24F or 30F modes. I think we're all most interested in seeing how the HDV deck situation shakes out. But if you were planning on getting a deck for use with an XLH1, just be aware that none of the current offerings offers compatibility with all the modes the Canon produces.
Hey Barry,

Thanks for the heads-up.

Do you think the H1 is a good investment if you were just to use it as an SD platform, or would you go for a camera with larger CCDs?

Thanks!
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Old December 21st, 2005, 01:06 PM   #11
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Depends on your intended usage. For SD-only acquisition, there are probably better ways that $9,000 could be spent. The XL-H1 is intended as a high-def studio-integrated camera, and that's where it will find its best bang-for-the-buck. The special features it has, that you're paying extra for, are best used in an integrated high-def environment. As a standard-def camera, you'd be paying for a lot that you wouldn't be using. An XL2 will probably deliver an equally sharp standard-def image for less than half the cost, and will likely have better sensitivity and dynamic range too. Obviously such things can't be known for sure without a side-by-side.

But, if your intention is to use it as a standard-def integrated studio camera, using SDI and tc in/out and genlock, obviously the XLH1 would still retain significant advantages over the XL2. But $9,000? That's at least 1/2" territory, if not 2/3". If you're aiming for the best standard-def picture, something like the 70U from JVC would offer 1/2" chips and D-9 4:2:2 recording (practically Digital Betacam caliber recording) for a package price about the same as the XLH1.

I'm not saying an XLH1 wouldn't make a fine standard-def picture. What I am saying is, use it for what it is, and for what it's designed for. Play to its strengths, and it is unparalleled. If you use it for something other than what it's designed for, don't be surprised if other less expensive products could actually do a better job.
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Old December 21st, 2005, 02:16 PM   #12
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Barry,

I think the real value here is the open architecture. I will use it to shoot a dv50 studio job in mid January. Later in the month we're looking at a dv100 job. same camera, different deck. I like the idea of having one camera that allows me to shoot almost limitless formats. I'm very eager to get to the testing I'll be doing prior to the shoot. And more eager to get into Fire for finish and see what we really have.

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Old December 21st, 2005, 04:03 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Vince Gaffney
Barry,

I think the real value here is the open architecture. I will use it to shoot a dv50 studio job in mid January. Later in the month we're looking at a dv100 job. same camera, different deck. I like the idea of having one camera that allows me to shoot almost limitless formats. I'm very eager to get to the testing I'll be doing prior to the shoot. And more eager to get into Fire for finish and see what we really have.

Vince
Understood. The Canon does break new ground, and it has certain features that absolutely distinguish it from its competition.

But for multiformat -- does the XLH1 really give you anything that you just can't get in the other cameras? Using your example: if you want to shoot DV50 one day and DV100 the next, consider that the HVX does that built-in and doesn't require deck rentals (as long as what you're shooting fits on the cards of course).

The HD-SDI is a nice feature, but it's not night-and-day different from analog component, as regards these 1/3" HD cameras. HD-SDI could be, if it were dual-link 4:4:4 at 12-bit, but it isn't; it's 8-bit 4:2:2. Read Nick & Shannon's report, they couldn't tell much of a difference at all between the component output and the HD-SDI. So you could get basically-comparable format-agnosticity with any of the HD cameras being offered; a JVC HD100 or Sony Z1 or Panasonic HVX will all offer uncompressed analog component that could be captured on a DV50 or DV100 or HDCAM deck.

Yes, HD-SDI will be a little cleaner. But is it enough to make it the deciding factor in a purchase decision? That's an individual choice, obviously. I'm not downplaying the coolness of having HD-SDI, I'm just pointing out that for many, it isn't such a difference that it should be the sole overriding factor in considering which platform to go with. And the question I was responding to was as pertaining to the XLH1's pre-eminence as an SD camera. And for strictly SD, I figure you can probably get better imaging for less by going with a strictly SD product.
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Old December 21st, 2005, 10:40 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Anthony Marotti
Hey Barry,

Thanks for the heads-up.

Do you think the H1 is a good investment if you were just to use it as an SD platform, or would you go for a camera with larger CCDs?

Thanks!
This may help as well: http://www.canopus.com/canopus/techn...iveringhdv.php

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Old December 22nd, 2005, 12:18 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Shannon Rawls
This may help as well: http://www.canopus.com/canopus/techn...iveringhdv.php

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Thanks for the link Shannon!
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