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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, 09:19 PM   #1
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Using a XL H1 - which frame rate for wildlife.

I have been using 60i with my XL2 and when I purchased an H1 I tried all the frame rates but found the 60i most pleasing to watch. I video only wildlife and outdoor footage which is used for sd and eventually hd dvd. Is there a best frame rate for my application?
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Old February 10th, 2006, 12:19 AM   #2
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Probably 60i for a hyper-real kind of look. Some like that better for content that's more about capturing reality than trying to look like a hollywood movie.
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Old February 10th, 2006, 01:52 AM   #3
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Bill - I'd be very interested to hear your views on the H1 compared to the Xl2 for wildlife outdoor subjects, not only in actual quality of video image, but also on the ease of workflow, etc - in the field and also during editing stages.

Are you actually noticing any difference on a large anologue TV screen between the two? (I'd only expect a big difference if the H1 were shown on the best and latest HD screen).

Have you found positives/negatives between the two for low-light work, or harsh sunlight conditions, and audio quality?

Have you tried any other lenses (14X & 16X manual, EOS/Nikkor adapter lenses) on the H1 yet?

Are you using the 3X or an adapter/converter for wide angle shots?

In what way will your final edited H1 footage be converted to, as an end product, so as to enable it to be viewed/sold to your intended audience?

What were your main reasons for opting to upgrade from the XL2 to the H1?
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Last edited by Tony Davies-Patrick; February 10th, 2006 at 10:01 AM.
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Old February 10th, 2006, 10:06 PM   #4
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Yes Barton I have to agree. Tony, I have done comparison tests between the XL2 and the H1. In fact, I was going to keep both however after the tests, today I have decided to sell the XL2. Here's what I see ( all outdoor related). On a SD tv set, the H1, in SD, shows very little difference in all aspects except color and contrast which is both controllable with the presets in both units. Editing will be the same since I use 60i 100% of the time ( I produce wildlife and fly fishing dvd's) in fact I am considering the Sony HC1 or HC3 as a deck. For low light, the XL2 is slightly better however, with the H1, turning the gain up +6db actually surpasses the XL2 but just slightly. I used telephotos all the time and the H1 has equal resolution in SD and slightly more in HD. The long lenses I use the most are the canon EF 100-400 and the Nikkor 600mm. Finally the main reason I purchased the H1 is - I like technology, especially in our business. Just think back before the power mac, final cut pro and the XL1 back then I was actually working 9-5 for a living! I still do but now I enjoy it Sooooo much more!!!!!
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Old February 11th, 2006, 05:32 AM   #5
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Thank you, Bill - your information has been extremely helpful and has matched my own belief that the H1 doesn't improve significantly over XL1s & XL2 SD bodies for our line of work - (final viewing on television programmes or for sale as DVD).

I also try to maintain the best possible equipment (within my budget) and keep abreast with the latest technology (although do not purchase unless it improves dramatically on the equipment I already have - in both quality and robustness).

I will be having some meetings with TV producers soon, and hopefully my latest SD work will still meet their requirements. It will be interesting to hear their own views on the need for HD in 2006 or 2007 (I can't see them refusing high quality SD work until HD TV and HD-DVD equipment is in the households of a larger percentage of the world's population). I also have no doubts that present standard DVDs will sell for a long time to come.

I definitely see myself buying the H1 (or other HD camera) in the future, but will wait until at least later this year before I decide whether to upgrade to the H1 completely.

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts.
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Old February 11th, 2006, 09:58 AM   #6
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Tony
I feel absolutely confident in saying that, as long as you're using an XL2 and you're filming SD, there is no significant advantage in the purchase of a H1 at least for another year. As I said, I'm just one of those techno guys and it shows in my bank account! I've had my XL H1 for a month now and I have only used the HD 10% of the time compared to SD however it is winter and wildlife are not as abundant. BTW if you do decide on HD later in the year, I have done all the comparisons and if you enjoy your XL2, you will not regret the purchase of the H1.
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Old February 11th, 2006, 10:38 AM   #7
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this exchange between tony and bill exactly answers my own questions and concerns. i think i'm a year away from an H-1 purchase, when i hope prices will drop, new cameras may emerge, making the whole decision moot, etc. meanwhile, i can still deliver in SD and have the FX-1 in case anyone requests HD (so far, no one has...) and to make my own HD projects. between the XL2 for wildlife and the FX-1 for HD, i haven't been limited in my choices. but hearing where others' are at, in this decision-making process, is invaluable....

it is so useful to hear from wildlife videographers whose primary use is producing broadcast work, because those are the leaders i, as a person who does mostly corporate and documentary work, will eventually follow. when the price is right....
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Old February 12th, 2006, 03:13 AM   #8
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Few comments on this discussion. As Bill, I've also tried to make up my mine between 50i and 25f modes. With the XL2 I ended up using 25p all the time.

I've been testing 50i and 25f modes of XL H1, and the 50i mode seems to be more sharp, and as Barlow says, it creates a kind of hyper-real kind of look. However, it in my eyes it also creates a kind of TV-news-impression, whereas the 25f mode seems to add a flavour of nice wonder in wildlife footages as if the "skin of reality" was peeled out in a pleasant way. Furthermore, as the European HD standard is 720 lines, the slight loss of sharpness of the 25f mode is not an issue in broadcasting. So, currently I'm biased towards 25f mode

The local TV station people say here that they will accept only HD material in the near future. This is precisely what I expected that will happen, so the timing of the shift from XL2 to XL H1 was almost prefect. (The rumours also say BBC and the other main European broadcasting companies find downconverted HD image more pleasing than SD, which is why SD material is already less desired.)
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