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Canon XL H Series HDV Camcorders
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Old February 17th, 2006, 10:22 AM   #1
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Nick: FU-1000 VF Impressions?

Or to anyone else that's put one on the XL-H1...whaddya think? Is it a giant leap for trusting your focus w/out actually needing a monitor (run and gun stuff)? How does it compare to VF's on Varicam, HDCAM, XDCAM, etc. ?

Thanks in advance,

Barlow
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Old February 18th, 2006, 02:23 AM   #2
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I'm curious also since I have the fu 1000 on my xl2, and am considering the xlh1.
Brue yarock
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Old February 18th, 2006, 05:39 AM   #3
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1. I found this information on the net:

"I recently purchased a canon xl1 NTSC fu-1000 b&w viewfinder for my camera, not knowing that it wouldnt work with PAL (which is what my xl1 is) therefore i am trying to sell it off."

so, is there one version for NTSC and another for PAL countries? That is not explained in my XL H1 manual as far as I know.

2. The FU-1000 has a separate power adapter you put between the camera battery and the camera. This will DC/DC convert the battery 7.2 V up to 9 or 12 V (don't know which) for this B/W viewfinder. If you are using an external 12 or 14.4 V battery, has anybody found a solution to put it together? Think it is silly to downconvert and then upconvert again. /Johan
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Old February 18th, 2006, 08:53 AM   #4
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Barlow, I absolutely love the fu-1000, no to be honest I've drooled over it since it was released for the xl1(s) but it didn't seem to be a smart move on a 3500 dv camera.

I'm used to looking through HDVF's (like the ones on the sony and varicam) so to be honest when I first popped the B+W vf on the canon and looked through it I was a little dissapointed. I mean don't get me wrong it's a great image, but I was comparing it to a vf that cost as much as the camera and fu-1000 put together. Then I plugged in the stock VF and I could definitely tell a difference.

So comparing the two I would estimate that the CRT (fu-1000) is capable of seeing about twice the pixels of the LCD (stock). There is no ghosting in 24F or anyother mode while you wait for the LCD to warm up (this was by far one of the more annoying things about this camera to me) and you have an extra peaking adjustment and brightness/contrast controls.

So the downside? Well it's not color, so if you do a lot fo run adn gun adn aren't used to the manual white balance, or auto white balance you may come back with some orange or blue footage. It's a smaller viewfinder then the stock one so flipping it up to use as a monitor may not be a choice.

Me, personally, I feel like it's a huge step in the right direction for how this camera should be used, no I'm a little biased in that I've purchased one and I'm a fan of resolution over color when monitoring, but for approximately the same price (on the street) as buying a new fu-1000 you can purchase a marshall 7" on board monitor (http://www.lcdracks.com/monitors/v-r84dp-hdsdi.htm) and some people may perfer that, but it's not really for me. (If I'm going to use a monitor I'd rather it be a 23" one that will actually be abel to tell me something instead of 7" which is just enough to almost think you have focus or accurate color)

Oh and you don't end up using the separate powersupply on the xl-h1 you just plug directly into the other viewfinder port, which I think is awesome. It also contributes to the reason that there is a pal and ntsc one (in addition to the format difference)

So there you go, hope that helped.
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Old February 18th, 2006, 09:02 AM   #5
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Nick,
How does that "focus assist" feature work on the xlh1 along with the fu 1000?
Does it magnify the image temporarily and help you focus?
Btw, the only time I ended up with blue or orange footage on my xl2 with the fu 1000 was when I mistakenly used a white balance preset from a different temperature condition.Funny but scary.
Thanks
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Old February 18th, 2006, 12:56 PM   #6
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A golden nugget of info re PAL and NTSC versions of the FU1000 Johan. If your thinking of getting your H1 modded for 50i/60i then you'd need two VF's.
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Old February 18th, 2006, 02:33 PM   #7
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Dear Alister,

Thank you for this valuable information. It sucks to pay USD 1500 to watch a black and white micro size CRT TV using a magnifying glass. Specially when it reduces the battery time by 1/3 or so and weighs much, in addition at the wrong end of the camera to balance comfortable ...
I will try to live without it at least as a start. Hope better and more modern VF are developed in a few years, why not? /Johan
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Old February 18th, 2006, 02:39 PM   #8
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Bruse the focus assist feature works great (magnifying). IF you look through the lcd on magnifying it seems to me that there's just too much grain for it to really be anyhelp, but with the CRT it's a good accurate picture. As far as peaking to be honest I think I might like the peaking button (on camera) over the peaking knob (on viewfinder).

I think the different FU-1000's for different formats draws largely on the fact that it is a CRT (an old one at that) making them multirformat may have made the cost even more then it currently is.

There may be a new viewfinder that is capable of higher resolution in the future, I doubt it will be a crt but that's probably good news to most people.
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Old February 18th, 2006, 03:06 PM   #9
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Nick,

Thanks so much for the input! The FU-1000 is now on my must-have list...among many other things of course.
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Old February 19th, 2006, 04:31 PM   #10
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regular viewfinder experience

Hi Barlow,

Although I am new to this forum I have been a long time professional shooter/DP.
I went out yesterday with a new XL-H1. Wildlife and birds are my speciality. Snowy Owls were the subject. After a 4 hour drive to parts of Montana where there is a temporal concentration of the birds- Into the field I went. Immediately, I noticed a substantially poorer quality image to focus with than that which I normally experience in my other camera a SONY HDW-730.
Still the subject was there and I had a substantial investment in time etc. to be in this position. So I did my best for the rest of the day. Ended up with a little over 20 minutes of footage of the owls. Nothing spectacular but things seemed OK. After a long drive home and a late arrival. I resolved to look at tape today.

So I approached this viewing from a decidedly dissapointed viewpoint. I felt like I was floundering all the previous day. and had little confidence the footage would amount to much.

I hooked up the camera through the component out port directly to the component Ins of a Samsung HDTV 1080i. First image was very crisp and clean. Depth of field was much better than the viewfinder could display, color was impressive and although I missed a focus shift or two for the day overall It was better than I had hoped.
I pursuaded a company to lend me this camera as a demo unit so that I could acquire while on a visit to a foriegn country. I did not want to come in with my 53 pound O'Connor tripod, HD camcorder, huge 42x Fuji lens etc...
I had hoped to a bit quietly come in bring back some nice footage to display for a series demo and be able to intercut it effectively with later footage.

I think for that purpose I will be very pleased. The next tests will be in studios in Boston where we will look more critically at everything. For now I feel the FU-2000 is a must. If we purchase this camera (or 2) they will be mostly for low light, and camera # 3 purposes. But we will absolutely need bigger screens to assure that we are not missing critical focus in the field.

Again -early results look like the chroma is crushed a bit. I'll revisit internal menu and tweak a bit more. Heat waves are a bit funky and "sparky" not as smooth as a 2/3 " chip.
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Old February 19th, 2006, 04:57 PM   #11
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Thanks for such an interesting post, Timothy. It's easy to forget the very strong appeals of the H1 for wildlife videography. Particularly in other forums, people get so hung up talking about the indie filmmaking world that you would almost miss all these wonderful applications, (like yours) that the camera is an absolute dream for.

I had a similar experience when I shot a few mini-docs during the Sundance Film fest. I worried a lot initially about my focus while shooting, but fortunately, didn't have too much time to think about it. When I went back to the studio to edit, I was more than pleasantly surprised. The peaking feature worked fine for me, and I didn't even try black and white mode. Yeah, I missed a few shots, but very few. Not once when the producers were watching the HD footage did they complain about focus problems. Sure, it's easy to fall victim to this issue if you're not careful, but at least there are options, and it's not so bad to use the shipping EVF in a pinch.

All of the "affordable" hd's fall woefully short with their standard VF's, but I'm happy to know there's a decent alternative for the H1.
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Old February 19th, 2006, 05:20 PM   #12
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btw Timothy, how well does the H1 footage intercut with HDCAM?
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