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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 22nd, 2006, 04:57 AM   #1
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A brief report from the trenches

...and a request.

Hey all,

I've been shooting up at Sundance for the past few days with the XL-H1.
I'm super tired as I've just finished an edit that is going to air this evening
at 9pm EST on the Sundance channel. It's part of "Festival Dailies" and the segment is called "A Day in the Life". I followed around a very cool, charismatic filmmaker named Carlos Bolado who gets to meet Robert Redford at the end of the piece. (3 min. total.)

In a nutshell:

The H1 has been fantastic. I shot 24F and edited in DV100 from HDV (Kona SDI), and the material is still very, very nice. The final deliverable went to DVCAM, but it's amazing how many cycles of compression--technically--the footage has gone through, but you would never know it. I did a 4x3 downconvert from the HD in Compressor.

If any of you guys get the channel, please tune in or Tivo it and tell me what you think.
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Old January 22nd, 2006, 08:08 AM   #2
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My wife and I happened to have Sundance channel on last night and caught the Festival Dailies...fun and very motivating to watch ... in other words, it reminded me that I'm drinking a beer sitting on my butt on the sofa at home, and all these folks are out at Sundance doing cool stuff!

I have a hockey game tonight, but I'll make sure to DVR your piece -- probably won't get to watch it till tomorrow.
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Old January 22nd, 2006, 04:25 PM   #3
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What program are you using to edit?

Best

Harry.
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Old January 22nd, 2006, 10:46 PM   #4
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FCP 5. Works great in DV100. I'm waiting for native 24F editing in the program, but so far, I'm very happy with the results. People in the editing suites have been gawking at the HD footage...and all have come away with amazement.

You wouldn't believe how many times I was stopped and asked questions about the H1, just up and down Main St. in Park City.

Last edited by Barlow Elton; January 23rd, 2006 at 05:08 PM.
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Old January 22nd, 2006, 11:36 PM   #5
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Nice work! Looked sweet...
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Old January 22nd, 2006, 11:43 PM   #6
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Your footage looked Great! Nice camera work. The studio stuff they cut to looks flat compared to the scenes you shot. Congratulations.
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Old January 23rd, 2006, 12:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ Lewis
Nice work! Looked sweet...
Thanks! Wish you guys could see it in HD.
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Old January 23rd, 2006, 01:41 AM   #8
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Hi Elton,

I watched the show and missed the first 10 minutes. =( Was the only portion that used an XL H1 the portion you shot?
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Old January 23rd, 2006, 11:28 AM   #9
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Carlos was in the first 10 min. It's probably airing again so check your guide.

Yes, mine was the only H1 piece. Most every other non-studio bit was DVX, which is what they mostly use. The "Day in the Life" segments are 24p.
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Old January 23rd, 2006, 11:56 AM   #10
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Yeah, would love to see it in all its HD glory, but still looked nice...also saw "Barlow Elton" in the credits at the end of the show!

FWIW, the really variable audio quality of the Festival Dailies program -- often really poor -- is a reminder how tough it is to mix various location and studio pieces...but hostess Whitney Cummings is cute enough for most of us to not care much!
;-)

Also noticed an XL2 was visible in a scene later in the show, a few minutes before the end. Barlow, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to get your XL H1 shown on air. In any case, do let us know if you have any other work show up!
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Old January 23rd, 2006, 01:28 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Bauer
FWIW, the really variable audio quality of the Festival Dailies program -- often really poor -- is a reminder how tough it is to mix various location and studio pieces...
Indeed. Everything was going so fast, and I was a one-man-band (well sort of--I had a p.a. for releases) and Carlos kept putting his coat over his lavalier, which was hard to catch and fix during some moments, so quite often I just switched to the built-in mic, which was fine in some situations.

Did you catch the Stewart Copeland bit? They had to do ProTools noise reduction to get useable audio from that piece.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Bauer
Also noticed an XL2 was visible in a scene later in the show, a few minutes before the end. Barlow, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to get your XL H1 shown on air. In any case, do let us know if you have any other work show up!
Lots of XL2's around town. Seems to be nearly as popular as the DVX for all the other niche productions going on during the fest. Heck, in that shot of Carlos meeting the press outside the Egyptian, MTV was using a DVX. I'm sure next year I will see tons of H1's and HVX's, both on the street, and on the big screen.

My next piece should air Thurs. evening. I shot it 24F SD 4x3 to make my life a little easier as I would have had to delete some HD footage from the system. I follow around two women who made a doc called "The Trials of Darryl Hunt". It's a maddening story of a man's exoneration from a horrific crime he didn't commit. Pretty dang good documentary. HBO films picked it up.

Side note: One thing about shooting 4x3 SD with the H1...you absolutely need a WA. It's friggin' ridiculous. If you think the 20x isn't wide enough in HD, try SD.

I'm not sure if I should go with the SD Canon WA or get a Century adapter. I need to see how good both are in HD.
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