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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 31st, 2005, 09:40 AM   #1
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Grabbing still frames

Just got my XL-H1 and playing with it I discovered how easy it is to grab frames from tape. Pressing the photo button while tape is running pauses the tape while the frame is grabbed. When released tape continues and I can grab new stills. Since I dont have a HD screen yet I thought Id have a look at the still quality looking at my Benq 1280x1024 LCD. Beeing used to SD grabs i think the results looks really great. Makes me wanne buy a bigger memory card.
Can I use any SD card?

Heres a frame grab of my sisters cat. Camera was handheld recording HD 25F to tape in ordinary light.
http://img403.imageshack.us/my.php?image=img01340rr.jpg

pk
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Old December 31st, 2005, 09:47 AM   #2
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Puh, for a frame grab from a moving picture this is outstanding sharp, is it not?
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Old December 31st, 2005, 09:57 AM   #3
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The 'still' capture has a lot of colour fringing etc, (which is normal for video when compared to the much higher quality obtained from 35mm SLR images) - but Robert is right in that it is quite a good 'grab' image from moving tape.
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Old December 31st, 2005, 11:21 AM   #4
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Per,

That looks fabulous! Also remember that you can record still images to an SD card while shooting, simultaneously and without interruption of video recording. Of course, as you've done, you can also capture a still image from a tape that has already been recorded to the SD card, so you can go back later and decide exactly what still frames you'd like to extract without even worrying about the still shots while recording video.

I may be remembering wrong, but I believe I remember seeing something in Canon literature that the still images may be processed by the DIGIC chip in a separate way from the video so that each is optimized for its purpose, either motion picture or still frame. In any case, these new cameras are amazing!
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Old December 31st, 2005, 11:57 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Davies-Patrick
The 'still' capture has a lot of colour fringing etc, (which is normal for video when compared to the much higher quality obtained from 35mm SLR images) - but Robert is right in that it is quite a good 'grab' image from moving tape.
How do I see the color fringing? There is some blue spill light from a window to the right of the cat, but apart from that I'm not sure what to look for.

I used autofocus by the way. Cinegamma2 and I tweaked the color matrix some to get rid of the magenta tint many are complaining about. Otherwise I was just pointing the camera in the cats direction and pressed record.
I look forward to see the actual footage on a HD plasma.

pk
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Old December 31st, 2005, 12:10 PM   #6
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Wait a minute. I see it now. The white hairs has blue and red lines.
Well, as you said. It's to be expected. Still quite sharp for a moving picture and 25 shutter.

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Old December 31st, 2005, 12:30 PM   #7
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WOW. You grabbed that single frame from the tape being played back @ 25p HDV? And simply posted it to the internet from the SD card?
Gee Wiz that pretty.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Per Kristian Indrehus
Makes me wanne buy a bigger memory card.
Can I use any SD card?
Per,

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Last edited by Shannon Rawls; December 31st, 2005 at 01:24 PM.
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Old December 31st, 2005, 03:31 PM   #8
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Thanks for the link Shannon. And yes, that´s exactly what I did. I just pressed the photo button on top of the handle watching the lcd/WF as the tape was playing. And then downloaded to the net directly from the card. I made four or five grabs and they all look equally sharp.

pk

Last edited by Kristian Indrehus; December 31st, 2005 at 07:09 PM.
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Old January 1st, 2006, 06:29 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Per Kristian Indrehus
Just got my XL-H1 and playing with it I discovered how easy it is to grab frames from tape.
Gott nyttt r, Per and everybody else. Nice photo of the cat.

I wonder if anybody out here has compared the results by taking an SD card photo directly with capturing it from a taped video sequence? Will they look about the same or do they differ in quality so it is worth taking them as still photos first? If not much difference the ability to select a photo out of this 25 fps stream is exceptional. Just think how you could get a nice shot from a person talking.

BTW Per Kristian, var befinner du dig i Norge?
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Old January 1st, 2006, 09:47 AM   #10
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First off, the picture would be about 1/3rd the size. There would definitely be a huge difference in rez, too.

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Old January 1st, 2006, 03:48 PM   #11
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For those interested, here is a grab from my DV timeline. Im not sure its exactly the same frame as the first one, but close enough. Today I captured XL footage for the very first time. Since I dont have an HD display yet, I simply captured DV through firewire from the XL. The frame grab now is from a DV compressed 720*576(PAL) FCP timeline. I exported using quicktime conversion, then re-stretched the frame out to 16/9 in photoshop and saved to JPG. No other corrections.

I must say that Im very pleased with what this camera outputs even when downcoverting. Its very sharp even in SD. Im going to make better SD video now then ever before.

http://img326.imageshack.us/img326/5...imeline3mw.jpg

Johan, jag bor i Larvik. 13mil sder for Oslo :)
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Old January 2nd, 2006, 09:58 AM   #12
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There shouldn't be much difference. The camera has 1440 x 1080 pixels. If you take a still directly to the card the camera does the interpolation up to 1920 x 1080, converts that to JPEG and writes it to the card. If you take HDV and capture it to your computer you are capturing a stream of 1440 x 1080 pixel images which are essentially coded as JPEG. If you take a frame from this stream into PS or a similar program and interpolate up to 1920 x 1080 and save that as JPEG the result will be very similar to what you would read from the card if you had taken a still with the camera. There is one difference, however. I am sure that if you take an image in card mode it is direct CCD data that is processed IOW an I frame. If you take a frame from a sequence you have captured from tape you could be getting a P frame or B frame which, presumably, will be of lesser quality than an I frame. But one of the things I find remarkable about this camera is that I can't tell which frames are the I frames in stepping through a captured tape sequence.
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Old January 2nd, 2006, 04:44 PM   #13
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Thanks! Can you get more shots like this posted up?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Per Kristian Indrehus
Just got my XL-H1 and playing with it I discovered how easy it is to grab frames from tape. Pressing the photo button while tape is running pauses the tape while the frame is grabbed. When released tape continues and I can grab new stills. Since I dont have a HD screen yet I thought Id have a look at the still quality looking at my Benq 1280x1024 LCD. Beeing used to SD grabs i think the results looks really great. Makes me wanne buy a bigger memory card.
Can I use any SD card?

Heres a frame grab of my sisters cat. Camera was handheld recording HD 25F to tape in ordinary light.
http://img403.imageshack.us/my.php?image=img01340rr.jpg

pk
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Old January 3rd, 2006, 06:40 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Pappas
Thanks! Can you get more shots like this posted up?
Heres a few more. Remember they are all random grabs. Not hand picked from a timeline. Theese went through photoshop auto levels to kill a nasty green tint. I overcompensated for the magenta tint in camera prior to shooting. Its hard to see what youre actually doing watching the color WF. Anyway, here are the links:

http://img249.imageshack.us/img249/2484/cat22nj.jpg
http://img431.imageshack.us/img431/3372/cat38kj.jpg
http://img254.imageshack.us/img254/3200/cat40fr.jpg

If someone can tell me how to get HDV into FCP I will post the orginal video.
In the meantime Ive uploaded a dv downrez clip on my site. I forgot the .mov ext. so remember to add it to the file name.

http://indrehus.net/produkter/studio/hd/hd.html

pk
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Old January 3rd, 2006, 10:46 PM   #15
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Thanks for the frames - good work - some more would be nice, any chance of a human portrait? Maybe some street shots if you have time...

So, how are you finding the camera so far? Does it meet your expectations? Any bugs you've come across?

:-)
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