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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 13th, 2006, 01:18 PM   #1
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Any test requests?

I have an XL-H1 on loan through Wednesday and will be running a variety of comparison tests to other cameras. Anything specific people want me to check?

By the way, this is one nice piece of equipment. Slick black color, nice lens with a good zoom range, physical controls for most camera settings, lots of connections including XLR and the HD-SDI out, etc. If Canon ever gets around to making a GL3 HDV camera, hopefully with the same 1/3" sensor, that would be a hot-ticket item.
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Old February 13th, 2006, 03:10 PM   #2
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Would you be able to do a quick test shot of a person in a darkened room with a close up of a face with half of his/her face lit up while the other half left in darkness. The best image I can think of is a person in a police interrogation room. If you are able to get this test shot, will you be able to post it here for PC users to download? Thanks.
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Old February 13th, 2006, 04:14 PM   #3
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Low light tests are definitely on the list, and I like your idea of doing a light/dark face shot. I should be able to post short sample clips in M2T format, which can be viewed on a PC using the VLC Media player.
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Old February 13th, 2006, 08:09 PM   #4
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Ease of Focus

Kevin-

How hard or easy do you find it to be sure of focus? Is it apparent in the eye piece when the (HDV) picture is not sharp?

Do you find yourself needing to use the focus assist?

Is the auto-focus responsive?

We're going to be doing a remote doccie shoot and I doubt we'll have a HD monitor along. Lots of sunrise and sunset shooting. High sun- middle of the day and night shoots with a spotlight. And it's all animals. Rarely do you get "Take 2". Hence the concern.

Would really appreciate getting any of your feedback.

Wayne Crawford
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Old February 13th, 2006, 09:42 PM   #5
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I can chime in on some...

-It is VERY difficult to be 100% sure of focus in HD without having an external monitor. The Canon EVF is not adequate for ensuring great focus. You can definitely get it close, but an external monitor helps a lot.

-The focus assist only works only when you are not in record mode. So, for set up situations, it is great and necessary. Basically, it doubles your zoom to help you focus. I use it every time when I can. If you're in the focus assist mode and hit record, it will pop back out to your normal zoom depth.

-Auto-focus is...a little slow. It's worse in darker conditions, but is usable in bright conditions. At a live event, I several times used it to get focus and then shifted to manual to make sure I stayed at that focal range while I followed someone's movements.

-Sunrises and sunsets? No problem at all...the picture will blow you away.

-Animals at night with a splotlight and only 1 take? Start praying to the video gods now...

Hope this helps!

Kevin
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Old February 13th, 2006, 09:47 PM   #6
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Only the magnification (2x image zoom) focus assist doesn't work while recording. Peaking works while recording and is what I use the majority of time. Backfocus works, so you can zoom into a closeup of a subject, focus, and then pull out to your shot with reasonable confidence.

In all honesty, it's best to have an HD monitor in any production, but I don't think the EVF and focus assist features are all that bad in a pinch.
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Old February 13th, 2006, 11:40 PM   #7
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From what little I've seen so far the autofocus seems to work reasonably well, but like other Canon cameras it starts to hunt in poor lighting. And it stands to reason that you can't be sure about focus from such a small monitor, so plan accordingly if focus is critical. For my purposes, relying on autofocus is at least as likely be accurate as focusing manually on the run, for what that's worth.
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Old February 14th, 2006, 04:59 AM   #8
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I've shot a couple of tv shows with my XL H1 in the last couple of weeks and my experience with the peaking mode is very very good. I really trust on it and I found out when viewing my material back that you can.
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Old February 14th, 2006, 09:54 AM   #9
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Kevin just a couple other requests:

- A quick 5-10 second profile shot of someone throwing some quick punches
- A couple different slow-motion shots of anything
- A some close ups and full body shots of a person with overhead lighting

I really appreciate you offering some test shots. Your test shots may be the determining factor on whether I decide to invest in the Canon or the JVC. I love the pictures that the Canon produces, but the JVC, of course, is a little easier to budget. Thanks.
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Old February 14th, 2006, 12:25 PM   #10
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Rogelio: for the slow-motion shots, are you saying you'd like to see what happens when some XL-H1 footage is slowed down in post?
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Old February 14th, 2006, 01:04 PM   #11
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Yes. I would like to see how the canon footage looks in slow-motion added in post. Thank you my friend. I look forward to seeing the footage.
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Old February 14th, 2006, 02:03 PM   #12
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Kevin, one last one if you are able to:

- Stobe Light on a moving individual in a pitch dark room

I know I'm requesting a lot of shots, but whatever you shots you can would be greatly appreciated. Anything that inconveniences you, please do not worry about.

Rogelio Salinas
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Old February 14th, 2006, 02:53 PM   #13
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Ease of Focus- still

"It is VERY difficult to be 100% sure of focus in HD without having an external monitor. The Canon EVF is not adequate for ensuring great focus. You can definitely get it close, but an external monitor helps a lot."

Kevin-
1. Do you think the 500 line B&W eyepiece offers enough detail to "ensure great focus"? This B&W eyepiece would not negate any of the other focusing features would it?

2. Is the Marshall 7" HD field monitor big enough to judge focus? Any opinions?

3. I'm in Winston-Salem. Did you get the loaner in NC from a dealer?

Thanks for your feedback.

Wayne Crawford
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Old February 14th, 2006, 03:19 PM   #14
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Wayne: are you referring to a separate B&W eyepiece option? I don't know about that so can't comment. A 7" HD field monitor would be a big improvement over the small LCD built into the camera for focusing purposes, but whether that's adequate would probably depend on how precise you need to be.

I borrowed the XLH1 from someone here in California who bought one recently. I couldn't find a dealer who has the camera in stock.
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