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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 22nd, 2005, 11:52 PM   #1
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Free-Run Timecode and the Canon XL-H1

Free-Run timecode is a lovely thing for these smaller cameras. Makes synching sound, smart slating and multi-camera setups a snap for my type of work flow.

Today, just for kicks I ran the Free-Run timecode on the Canon XL-H1 and the Free-Run timecode on the Sony Z1U. I just wanted to see how accurate or inaccurate they were from eachother.

I streted them at precisely the same time (manually). I couldn't have been more then a few frames off from eachother.

RESULTS:

Welp, 12 hours later.....Clear as day, they drifted about 1 second away from eachother. it was pretty obvious. it looked to be a tad bit less then a second, but at times you can see one number higher then the other number on the 2nd camera.

Sony was faster.
or
Canon was slower.

Depending on how you want to look at it.

Either way, for those of you who may wish to shoot a multi camera 60i shoot with an XL-H1 and a Z1U, this may be helpful for you to know.

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Old December 24th, 2005, 03:09 PM   #2
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Don't forget that your XLH1 can be genlocked. The Sony probably puts out a video signal that can be used for this purpose and so it should be possible to keep the pair perfectly synced for as long as needed.
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Old December 24th, 2005, 03:41 PM   #3
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Genlock won't sync the timecodes and keep them together. it will just sync the picture in the event someone needed to do a multi camera shoot and edit the footage between the two.

Correct?

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Old December 24th, 2005, 03:46 PM   #4
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*UPDATE*

A. J. deLange's reply reminded me about this test. I have kept the cameras running for 2 and a half days.

Guess what.... the timecode is exactly the same as it was when I reported it!

Since then I have changed batteries, shot footage, swirtched it to all modes. Done all kindsa stuff with the XL-H1. The Sony has just been running and running.

I decided to check just now.... and both cameras timecode is exactly the same distance they were apart from when I reported originally. That means, I may have been OFF and they were always about 15 frames or so since I've started. Not to mention, the XL-H1 is on 24F and the sony is on 60i.

My Point:
Maybe the crystals in these two cameras are identical. because they have been going for THREE DAYS and the time code is exaclty the same.

good luck

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Old December 24th, 2005, 04:14 PM   #5
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I'm not sure. In some equipment the timecode can be derived from the genlock signal and vice versa. The words in the manual indicate that if timecode and genlock are both used and TC then disconnected that time code sync is retained suggesting that the camera "clocks" its time code generator from video sync. To be certain you could extract the timecode from the Sony (it's part of the LANC spec and as that's a Sony creation I assume they honor it) and put that into the XLH1's T/C in.

Doing it without any intercamera sync works sometimes and sometimes it doesn't. It depends on how close to each other the rates of the crystals in the cameras are and it's possible to be lucky or unlucky in this regard.
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Old December 24th, 2005, 04:35 PM   #6
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And exactly how will I extract the timecode from the Sony to put it in the XL-H1?

RCA Video out to BNC Timecode in? (easy)
Lanc_C out to BNC Timecode in? (impossible)

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Old December 25th, 2005, 08:30 AM   #7
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Neither as it has to be converted to a SMPTE signal first. The perfect device for this was the LTC Export http://www.spcomms.com/ltcexport/ which was inexpensive, portable and drew power from the camera but alas this device is no longer made (perhaps with more prosumer and low budget pros running around with XLH1's they will reconsider). The only other ways I'm aware of to do it now use another box called the LANC Interface http://www.spcomms.com/lanc_interface/index.html
which is a lot more expensive and requires mains power and there is also a cable from AVIT which has the LANC connector at one and and a MIDI connector at the other and which translates the TC to MTC http://www.avitresearch.co.uk/lancmtc.htm
From there you need something like the Rosendahl MIF3 http://www.rosendahl-studiotechnik.de/mif3.html or the MOTU Timepiece http://www.motu.com/products/midi/mt...b/body.html/en both of which produce LTC from MTC but both of which, unfortunately, require 110 although little enough of it that you can run them from a small battery through an inverter. Possible but not too practical in the field - more practical in a studio setting. It's really too bad about the LTC export. It was perfect for this job (ostensibly - I was a little too late to get one and thus have never seen it in the flesh.)
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