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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 30th, 2005, 04:26 PM   #1
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Question about ssing SD SDI for studio use

We are currently demo-ing a XL H1. I am impressed with the camera everything looks great. However, I have a question for those of you more in the know tha myself.

At the moment it is running SD SDI out and into a Sony Switcher in our studio(we really have no need for HD at this time). We have been running Panasonic WV-E550 studio cameras for years and connecting them YC through the switcher. The signal is mixed and sent out SDI to our DVCPRO deck. We realize that a complete SDI signal path would be best and thought that the new XL H1 might be an option. However, right now I am viewing both cameras on a SD monitor splitscreen. The Panasonic camera is more crisp (or should I say crispy) and maintains deeper colors and better over all image quality.

The Canon looks good and perhaps if I had nothing to compare to I'd be happy. However, things just don't add up. The old Panasonic studio cameras are roughly $5000.00 with the lens. This Canon is 9 grand...

To my question:

Anyway, I am sitting here speculating what mgiht be an issue. The pansonic cameras are going analog into the switcher (a Sony DFS 700) and analog into the monitor, while the Canon is SDI to the switcher and then converted into Analog and out to the monitor. Is it possible that the I am losing some quality in the conversion to analog? Obviously without an SDI monitor I can't truly gauge the signal quality. I guess I wonder if there isn't a better image (with more detail) that I am not seeing.

Being a small non-profit organization we struggle to keep quality up and expenses down. We are trying to move from analog to Digital and by the time we figure it out it will be time to go to HD.

Any Thoughts would be helpful.

By the way - A big Hello to Chris Hurd. long time no see - I hope all is going well for you.

Thanks,
Mat Cain
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DeCa Videoworks
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Old December 30th, 2005, 04:37 PM   #2
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Mat,

My question to you is if nothing is broke....why fix it?
Why use a 1/3" camcorder for your studio stuff? Seems the pro camera heads you are using are just fine, analog and all.

The signal you're getting from the Canon XL-H1 is a SD-SDI 1/3"chip signal. So you're not using the full power of High Definition that the camera can produce. Possibly that is why it is not up to your standards with your RGB-NTSC 1/2"chip broadcast studio head SD-SDI analog setup.
If you consider getting XL-H1's as replacement camera heads for your studio, are you going to get an HD-SDI switcher and HD-SDI HD monitor as well? Then finally record that signal in HD be it uncompressed, DVCAM or DVCPROHD?

See, to me, it makes no sense to upgrade ANYTHING if everyting you currently have is just fine. But don't go get an HD camera and run it into an SD setup. When you guys are ready to go HD...go all the way!!

- ShannonRawls.com
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Old December 30th, 2005, 04:48 PM   #3
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Thanks Shannon -

That thought has occoured to us. We were of the opinion that going and all SDI rout (even if it is SD SDI) would increase our quaility over the current Panasonics running YC in. These panasonic cameras are old and we are noticing white specks (which appear to be burnt out pixels). Because of all this we feel like it might be time to get some new camera.

However, like you said, we are not going to purchase new cameras just to purchase new cameras. If it dosn't look better than we don't want to do it. We have been investigating our options and figured that we would give the XL H1 a shot primarily because of the SDI out.

To be honest I expected the XL H1 would preform as it did because I have run my XL2 through our studio swithcer with similar results. I suppose I thlught that maybe we would gain some quality via SDI signal over analog. So I suppose we will mark the XL H1 off the list. It does look sweet though.

Thanks for the input.
Mat Cain
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DeCa Videoworks
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