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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 January 20th, 2006, 03:38 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Bryon Akerman
Shannon, you are a man among boys in this community, which is why I want to lay the following down for you. A doc that my friend and I did was selected for the New York International Independant Film Festival (the one in Hollywood), and I would like to know if you would mind coming by and critiquing it for us. I can get you a VIP pass good for the whole week, plus I would just like to meet the man behind the brilliance I read on hear every day. (Okay, maybe that was laying it on a little thick...) The dates are March 9-16. Drop me an email and let me know!
As for your project...CONGRATUALTIONS MAN!!! The NYIIFF is an AWESOME festival. I know the organizers. I am happy for you guys bro! and I will be there. Getting me a pass is not needed, I was already coming anyhow. I will make SURE I see your documentary, and will look for you to sit next to you guys.

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Old January 20th, 2006, 03:43 PM   #17
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Having compared my Z1 and H1 side by side on a decent monitor I would say that the H1 produces a much cleaner, more detailed picture. At first glance the Z1 looks to have more contrast, until you realise that with the Z1 the blacks are so crushed that there is no detail in the shadows, while the H1 clearly shows much more detail in the shadows. The H1 image is very neutral and natural looking, wheras the Z1 looks very punchy, enhanced and noticably softer.

With regard to high lights, in my tests at the point where the sky was just starting to clip the H1 was showing much more detail in the darker parts of the picture than the Z1, the Z1 blacks looked darker, but they were just blocks of black, wheras on the Z1 they were dark areas that still contained good detail. In this particular situation the picture look quite different, the Z1 looking more contrasty, however the Z1 seems to have only dark and bright areas while the H1 has a more natural progression from light to dark. I suspect the z1 has a fractionaly better highlight handling, but the H1 still produces a more natural image.
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Old January 20th, 2006, 06:17 PM   #18
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I think something needs to be said about this price thing that seems to concern so many people.. and excuse me, Shannon, for repeating the essence of something you've said several times before...

Nine grand a lot to pay for a camera? I made a documentary called BEYOND BARBED WIRE in super16 nearly ten years ago. The film, processing and telecine on that project alone was more than $10,000. On top of that, the on-line at 4MC to Digital Betacam was over $14,000.. That's nearly $25,000 for the acquistion material, not talking about the camera and lenses and audio equipment (that I still own) in order to shoot it.

I love film, I love the whirring sound of film running on a Moviloa, if I could get film budgets I would never touch any video camera. ... But the fact is that those budgets are getting few and far between. It bothers me not one little bit if Canon wants to hold out on their price so that they can continue to provide a high quality professional tool, and keep doing R&D to improve it... Steve Rosen
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Old January 20th, 2006, 07:58 PM   #19
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Shannon I applaud your point. Although this has turned into more of a reflection on what dv/hdv/xdcam is all about rather than hvx vs xl-h1 comparison I expected when I read this thread.

Its so true that everyone here is making history. Movies are a reflect of our thoughts, our dreams, our history, our culture, and everything that makes us up. Technology is making it easier for people to express their stories and what is almost frightening is that in 20 years you will probably be able to take every short, ever trailer, and every feature ever posted here and hold it in the palm of your hand.

I've said it a thousand times, I'm not a filmographer or movie maker or anything more than an engineer. I see people who have great concerns on how their tools affect their final product and I see people who are more concerned with what makes up the tool. I'm one of the latter and even though I'm not a movie maker I'm hoping that I'm going to be at least a little successful in the tools I design for this industry and hope that they will be remembered for how they helped people make their movie.

So with that I think that Shannon has made a nice point on how people are making movies now. They are putting themselves into it whole heartly and willing to risk it all for the perfect shot, or the perfect scene, all so that in the end they will create the perfect movie. And to do that you need to understand your tools and look at is the camera you choose suitable for the application and not what cool features it has.
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Old January 23rd, 2006, 05:21 PM   #20
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Man, what is YOUR movie worth?? Mine is surely worth $4k on the image for SURE! Ten Eighty Twenty Four Pee High Definition Footage...for only Four Thousand bucks more?? AND I GET TO KEEP THE CAMERA??? Ahh man, I'll take it!.....here (diggin' in my pocket).....here's the money, take it. You feel me?
Wow… this really hit home with me.

You see, I had a choice early this year. My parents offered to buy me a car, or a camera. I considered how I am trying to penetrate an intensely competitive industry, and, quite frankly, I am simply not that good. There are a whole lot of folks with a higher GPA than mine, more money, and all the right credentials. Why should anyone give a second glance at Jeff? I realized the truth; the only way I can even hope to have any kind of shot is by wanting it more than anyone else…

Man, I’ll take the camera!

HOW DOES THAT LOOK? I have no social life… no girl friend (well, yet)… but I have a friggin’ camera, and I am making movies that totally smoke my competition. The only things I got are my story, and the means to tell it… and no one can take that away from me.

So, come this fall, I will be the college film student trekking with the public bus... donning a big, Canon hard-shell case. :)
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Old January 23rd, 2006, 05:43 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Jeff McElroy
So, come this fall, I will be the college film student trekking with the public bus... donning a big, Canon hard-shell case. :)
Love that image...but please don't buy that Canon case. It's an invitation to theft of something incredibly valuable. Get a Pelican case. Cheaper, lighter and smarter.
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Old January 23rd, 2006, 07:23 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Jeff McElroy
Wow… this really hit home with me.

You see, I had a choice early this year. My parents offered to buy me a car, or a camera. I considered how I am trying to penetrate an intensely competitive industry, and, quite frankly, I am simply not that good. There are a whole lot of folks with a higher GPA than mine, more money, and all the right credentials. Why should anyone give a second glance at Jeff? I realized the truth; the only way I can even hope to have any kind of shot is by wanting it more than anyone else…

Man, I’ll take the camera!

HOW DOES THAT LOOK? I have no social life… no girl friend (well, yet)… but I have a friggin’ camera, and I am making movies that totally smoke my competition. The only things I got are my story, and the means to tell it… and no one can take that away from me.

So, come this fall, I will be the college film student trekking with the public bus... donning a big, Canon hard-shell case. :)
If your making movies then you already have a social life. Movie making is such a social thing, I find hanging out a lot more fun when it's making a movie then just doing the usual stupid stuff our age range does (I'm in 2nd year uni now). So all you got to work on is a girlfriend. Just cast a hot female lead, and because your director she'll go for you. :) It worked for Speilberg. Hell, my girlfriend was MY hot female lead!
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Old January 23rd, 2006, 08:22 PM   #23
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While I never argue with casting a hot lead, I would like to suggest if you're truly interested in the girlfriend angle through directing, cast a smoking hot SUPPORTING actress. You and your movie will appreciate it a lot more. (For those unable to do the math, the thought process being that if she's the supporting actress now she'll date the director and become the lead next time, plus if she's just good looking and not much of an actress, you dont' kill your movie)

Also for the record this conversation is horrible and demeaning to our art (and perhaps women as well), and it never works...


Off the record, uh, yeah it totally does work. But it's more because you show passion and control and power when directing and for some reason that appeals to a large portion of the femals I've met.

On topic, I've ranted about this whole silly HVX vs XL-H1 thing enough. To me the information is starting to really get out there, and it should come down to each individual user what they want to do about there camera purchase. But I think it's silly to buy a camera without even seeing it in action first.
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Old January 23rd, 2006, 09:16 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Nick Hiltgen
(For those unable to do the math, the thought process being that if she's the supporting actress now she'll date the director and become the lead next time, plus if she's just good looking and not much of an actress, you dont' kill your movie)
I've seen some sage wisdom on these boards, but people should have to Paypal you for this one.

The thing about not buying a camera until you use it is ok too. ;-P
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Old January 23rd, 2006, 11:05 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Saraceno
For the life of me, how can a HDV camera shoot progressive footage?
A better question would be how can an HDV camera "shoot" interlace footage. :)

MPEG-2 works most efficiently with a non-interlaced frame -- i.e., a progressively scanned image. When you feed it interlaced video it has to deal with the frame to frame motion PLUS the field to field motion ALL within the same frame to be encoded.

That means you need a much higher data-rate for interlace than progressive. The 19Mbps to 25Mbps increment really is not adequate to make up for the loss of encoding efficiency, which is why Sony is moving-up to about 35Mbps MPEG-2 (while also increasing H. rez. from 1440 to 1920). That's really what's needed for interlace.

Frankly, I'm unclear why if the goal is Quality one would choose ANY interlace camera. Far too many interlace artifacts in the recording plus the addition of artifacts whenever video is deinterlaced for display.

These deinterlacing artifacts from the display go away with 24F, BUT they are replaced by a loss of V. rez. and in-camera de-interlacing artifacts. That's why no high-end professional camera deinterlaces to get 24fps.

I hope Shannon was making comparisons on a huge high-quality projection system because I suspect these artifacts -- plus MPEG-2 motion artifacts from only 25Mbps -- will become all too obvious upon viewing.
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Old January 24th, 2006, 09:56 AM   #26
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See Steve, that's the thing....
These artifacts you speak of are all a hypothesis. The fact is, I have not seen any of these artifacts you speak of with the XL-H1. The picture is just flat out "GOOD". And in my opinion, better then any of the 'progressively scanning' options available today and in the near future for under 10 grand. Now if you go pulling out your microscope and find an artifact here, then I can pull out my microscope and find one there. Or I might find something EVEN WORSE then a simple artifact. If you disect the XL-H1, I can disect the HD100. We can do tit for tat if you want...im fine with that.

And what difference does it make if the XL-H1's 24F mode gets hit with a resolution loss, if the final result is still better then it's competition??? it perplexes me as to why people continue to talk about the so-called "24f resolution loss"....when 24f resolution is HIGHER then ANY other HDV camera available. Artifacts not-included.

I have seen many many many cameras of all types projected on a big screen with my own two eyeballs. Indie projects projected from DVD, HDCAM decks, component direct from HDV cameras and minidv....all on a 45-foot screen. Let's not forget, I'm the founder/owner of the Hollywood Pure Digital Film Festival. I have seen many many many DV and HDV movies, music videos, PSA's, commercials & documentaries in every frame-rate imaginable made into a DVD. I have study and analyze this conversion thousands of times over and over again all year long. Not because I want to, but because I have to...it's my job. So I probably have more of a grasp of seeing DV & HD/V converted & projected then most people in this country.
This is 'real world' talk I'm talking now. Not scientific study. Crunching numbers is meaningless. You may geek out with the best of them, but I'm in the kitchen tasting the pudding here. I'm talking about seeing reactions from the general public and taking their questions during Q&A about cameras and picture quality. Comparing colors from one movie to the movie that just played before it and seeing what cameras were used & how they used them. Critiqing sound and production values. Judging storyline and composition. Seeing shots that were too dark and finding out why. Seeing scenes that were blown-out and finding out why. I've witnessed & studied this so much, I now play internal games with myself picking out, not only the format, but the actual CAMERA that was used on certain projects, LOL...and I'm pretty accurate. On top of all that, I make movies of my own as well, using my own money. And I have in my posession a camera made by all 4 manufacturers.
Basically....in a nut shell.......I kinda know what I'm looking at when I see what I see.

No, I did not make comparisons on a huge high-quality projection system. and honestly, well, I kinda don't need to. I know what I'm looking at. I don't have a 9-5 job bagging food at the local grocery store and shoot movies in my spare time. This is not a hobby. It's all I do for a living. I have seen the XL-H1 on a big screen. A big 55" Plasma HD monitor. I don't need to see it on anything bigger. Yes, I know the CCD's scan interlaced...well...if that's the case, then Canon knows something you don't know. That DIGIC processor is doing something you claim can't be done. Because if what you say is true, they just broke the rules with the XL-H1.

Remember Steve, I already own the Z1U so I only had 3 choices----> HD100, XL-H1 and HVX200. I needed to record 24p HD @ 1080 for under $10 grand for my slate of projects in 2006. So I had to pick the best of 3 evils. Unlike others who salivate on their keyboards googling the web all day, I don't sit around and wait for the next best thing. I get what I need for TODAY and use it NOW...sell it later and upgrade.

So of my choices, I recommended to myself the Canon XL-H1 as the best of the bunch, hands down. (in-camera de-interlacing artifacts sold seperately)

Ya feel me Steve?

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Old January 24th, 2006, 10:53 AM   #27
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Shannon, are you still interested in getting the HVX200?

Just curious...
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Old January 24th, 2006, 11:04 AM   #28
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No Mathieu, I am not. This year all low budget projects will be done with a Canon XL-H1.
As I step up my game for 2007, I am looking at the XDCAM HD (selectable frame rate version) or the forth-coming Panasonic D5 w/P2 that Barry hipped me to. Those are the most I'll ever "PAY" for a camera at my level.
These XL-H1's are the last cameras I will ever purchase that uses a cassette tape to record on.

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Old January 24th, 2006, 11:19 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Shannon Rawls
These XL-H1's are the last cameras I will ever purchase that uses a cassette tape to record on.

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Great thought - we're on the last generation of tape cameras, I bet Sony Broadcast doesn't release another tape camera, with the possible exception of an SR camcorder. Unless the rumours of an XDCam HD SR camera are true!

Fact is it's ALL good, we have a great range of cameras available at the moment so there is something for everyone whether you want, cheap, interlace, progressive, interchangeable lenses or no tape!
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Old January 24th, 2006, 11:20 AM   #30
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I like Shannon's strategy (I'm pretty much in the same boat he is). The camera I buy today will be my last taped based camera. I still haven't made up my mind between the Panny and the Canon-----I intend to before the end of March.
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