Minor issues with the XL H1 at DVinfo.net

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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 February 9th, 2006, 07:18 AM   #1
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Minor issues with the XL H1

At first I want to mention that at no doubt the XL-H1 is a wonderful piece equipment. The other day I did a side by side with a Sony PDW-530P XDcam + 20.000 euro glass (still SD but 2/3 CCD). For a project we had to match the camera's in colour etc. Boy oh boy, you couldn't notice! I think this is the best 10.000 euros I've ever spend on equipment.

But... During shooting I noticed some issues. The fist thing is a delay in audio when shooting. You can notice a delay of 3 frames or so, especially during interviews. It doesn't matter if you use the front mic or the rear XLR inputs. On tape it's fine, no delay, but during shooting (25F by the way) it's definitely there.

Second thing: Slow Zoom! The standard 20x lens is freaking sloooooow... I was used to the XL 1 16x lens which is very slow already but this new 20x beats that one. Is it me or do you guys think the same of it?

third thing, not so minor: Tapes recorded in SD (25F) won't play back properly in a Sony DVCAM player. It does play back in my XL1 and XM1 so I don't think it's a 25F issue. I got a déjà vu because I had the same with my XL1 back in the late 90's. I had to send it back and my whole tape compartment had to be replaced.. I think I've to drop by the dealer if I got some time.. Did you guys noticed the same?

But in the end, it's a superb camera! At the moment I use it mostly in a DV/SD environment so didn't use the HDV mode that much, but in DV it's already a beautiful image! If i got some time I put some footage + my setings online so you can see what I've figured out to match the XDcam 530p.
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Old February 9th, 2006, 08:46 AM   #2
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Hi Vincent,

If I understand your concern, I THINK the audio delay you describe is related to a menu setting (page 67 of the English part of the manual). You can choose whether to delay the audio monitoring to match the recorded video, or not delay and listen live.

Although I must honestly say that I've been so busy lately that I've hardly used my XL-H1's in the last several weeks, the zoom speeds seem about the same to me as the XL2. It isn't wrist-snap fast like you could do with a true manual, but at max level 16 goes through a 20x range in 3.5 seconds. Not bad...unless one absolutely, positively does need faster, of course.

On the tape not playing on a Sony DVCAM, I don't have any personal experience. In theory, all miniDV tapes should play on all miniDV camcorders, but of course in reality, head alignment issues and so forth may come into play. So we see posts now and then about tapes recorded in one camera not playing in another camera or deck; it isn't limited to the XL's. It does seem to me that the XL series have more of these kind of reports, but then again I pay the most attention to posts about XL's since that's what I shoot with. FWIW, that phenomenon is called "observer bias" in epidemiologic circles and we see it alot in message boards!
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Old February 9th, 2006, 09:18 AM   #3
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Hi Pete,

Quote:
Hi Vincent,

If I understand your concern, I THINK the audio delay you describe is related to a menu setting (page 67 of the English part of the manual). You can choose whether to delay the audio monitoring to match the recorded video, or not delay and listen live.
Thanks for the tip! I look in to that!

Quote:
Although I must honestly say that I've been so busy lately that I've hardly used my XL-H1's in the last several weeks, the zoom speeds seem about the same to me as the XL2. It isn't wrist-snap fast like you could do with a true manual, but at max level 16 goes through a 20x range in 3.5 seconds. Not bad...unless one absolutely, positively does need faster, of course.
I think you mean the toggle zoom? What I mean is the ring itself. As you mentioned, it's slower than a conventional manual lens but as I exprerience a lot slower then de XL1's 16x lens.. A bit of a bummer but not that I can not work with it.

Quote:
On the tape not playing on a Sony DVCAM, I don't have any personal experience. In theory, all miniDV tapes should play on all miniDV camcorders, but of course in reality, head alignment issues and so forth may come into play. So we see posts now and then about tapes recorded in one camera not playing in another camera or deck; it isn't limited to the XL's. It does seem to me that the XL series have more of these kind of reports, but then again I pay the most attention to posts about XL's since that's what I shoot with. FWIW, that phenomenon is called "observer bias" in epidemiologic circles and we see it alot in message boards!
Observer Bias.. ;-) I had the same disease but since the HD-consumer level hype I'm interested in all sorts of brands. good for me I think..
But yeah, I hear it a lot in my surroundings about Canon XL camera's and head alignment issues. Well, my agenda say's there's a empty spot in abut 2 weeks so I can drop by the dealer and find out what they think..

Thanks for your reply!
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Old February 9th, 2006, 12:20 PM   #4
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25F will NOT playback on a DVCAM deck or anything other than an XLH1 because it is the Canons proprietory Progressive mode. 25i should be OK, mine certainly is fine in 25i.

The audio delay is a menu setting, it delays the audio to match the delay you get via the firewire output.

The zoom is a tad slow, but I don't think I would ever use the full speed in any shot. I don't really see this as a big deal, I'm not into crash zooms.
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Old February 9th, 2006, 01:12 PM   #5
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Hi Alister, thanks for the reply!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alister Chapman
25F will NOT playback on a DVCAM deck or anything other than an XLH1 because it is the Canons proprietory Progressive mode. 25i should be OK, mine certainly is fine in 25i.
That's what I was thinking. But can you explain to me why it is perfectly playing back in a 5 year old XM1? I still have to find out if 25i will playback perfectlyon a DVCAM deck. If so or not, I'll post it here. By the way, just to be sure, I'm talking SD/DV right now, not HDV.

Quote:
The audio delay is a menu setting, it delays the audio to match the delay you get via the firewire output.
Huh? Firewire output? I'm talking about a live situation where I'm looking trough a viewfinder and have my earbuds pluged in. Then there is a delay. Am I not getting it or you..? Anyways, still have to check out the menu..

Quote:
The zoom is a tad slow, but I don't think I would ever use the full speed in any shot. I don't really see this as a big deal, I'm not into crash zooms.
Not into that either, but it can be very handy some in situations. A TV show I'm currently working on goes about people in their daily lives. So basically Im following them. If you wanna go close because something is happening, normally I give a twist on the ring en presto (the actual zoom is let out in the edit). This is almost impossible with this lens, but hey, I can live with it...
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Old February 25th, 2006, 04:04 PM   #6
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So, time to dig up this old thread a bit... ;-)

I quote myself:
Quote:
The fist thing is a delay in audio when shooting. You can notice a delay of 3 frames or so, especially during interviews.
Let me rephrase this, 'cause I think told it the wrong way around (excuse my bad English in writing..). During shooting, when I look to the viewfinder, the image is a couple of milliseconds delayed, but the audio, coming out of the back, is fine. I probably can delay that as well to mach the image, but I rather like it to be the other way around..
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Old February 26th, 2006, 05:20 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vincent Rozenberg
Tapes recorded in SD (25F) won't play back properly in a Sony DVCAM player. It does play back in my XL1 and XM1 so I don't think it's a 25F issue.
Hello Vincent,
Yes, I had similar experience. I put a tape from the XL H1 (PAL) into a Sony HVR-A1E (PAL): 50i played back fine but not 25F.
It is like everybody else say here: We have to use the H1 as a deck until new decks will come. /Best regards Johan
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Old February 26th, 2006, 05:25 AM   #8
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So you mean 25F DV does not, but 50i DV does play back good? Just to be sure where talking 'bout DV here... Thanks for the reply.
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Old February 26th, 2006, 10:35 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vincent Rozenberg
So you mean 25F DV does not, but 50i DV does play back good? Just to be sure where talking 'bout DV here... Thanks for the reply.
Sorry, sorry, Vincent, I overlooked you were talking SD. I was talking about a HDV tape 25F or 50i where a 50i HDV from Canon XL H1 could be played in a Sony HVR-A1E (PAL) camcorder. Sorry to confuse you. / Johan
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