XL-H1 and F900 multicam shoot 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 23rd, 2006, 05:35 AM   #1
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XL-H1 and F900 multicam shoot

Well ok everyone, here it is, what this camera was meant for (or maybe not). Finally got a chance to put this camera up on a multi-cam (evertz e-cast) system.

A little backround on the system for those who don't know, skip this part if you don't care about professional multicam. The Evertz system is a great system that allows for live event coverage through fiber cable to a big switcher and directors station so that a line cut is available. This particular system was introduced about a year ago and now that we've got all the bugs out of it, it's time to introduce a new set of challenges.

This particular set-up had 4 sony f900's and two canon xl-h1. The canon's were completely stock (obviously I wasn't operating otherwise one would have had the CRT black and white viewfinder). The inputs used were HD-sdi genlock and timecode.

the lowdown.

The hd-sdi (when configured correctly from the engineering station) worked beautifully. Timecode also seemed to ruin fine, but I believe there was a proble with the other canon camera (not mine) that I'll attribute to some sort of battery issue. This same camera lost genlock as well.

I discovered that on "camera signal" (or whatever the menu title is) you need to make sure the camera is taking in timecode, this is done through the genlock set-up where the camera takes both genlock and time code in. (this was a big "ohh, duh" moment for me in setup). The whole system took some tweaking on the engineering end (where I was) but for the most part worked really well. At one point the non nick-owned xl-h1 randomly lost genlock but that was fixed by a power cycle of the canon. Other then that no complaints from set up side of things.

Picture quality. Well to be honest, the canon looked really really good. SUPER close to teh f900, there is more reolution there though, but on a lot fo the shots, you really couldn't tell and I was analyzing on a 1920x1080 monitor, calibrated to CRT standards (it's made by e-cinema, and they're more then welcome to contact me about a free monitor for pinping ther stuff on-line) The EOC, said he could tell the difference between the f900 and the xl-h1, I was pretty sure I could too, but to be completely straight in a blind picture test (hmm blind picture test, seems a little oxymoronic) I don't know that I'd be able to tell you which camera is which. Now we were monitoring the uncompressd out of the canon so I'm sure that helped things out as well. We'll see how it all cuts together. (if they use any of the HDV portion of the footage that didnt' make the line cut)

Shhesh this is to long, basically the camera worked great looked even better and is a good substituion for expensive cams, but it wasn't without some quarks. The show was Nada Surf and it was sponsered by network live, so check those guys out when you get a chance and if you get to watch it in HD see if you can tell which camera is which.
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Old February 23rd, 2006, 08:32 AM   #2
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Cheers for that! good write up about the "shoot out". I think 1/3" have been pushed as far as they can go! Its amazing how far we have come in the last few years alone.


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Old February 23rd, 2006, 10:12 AM   #3
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Great report Nick! This is exactly the kind of scenario that Canon was thinking might justify the higher price tag (for "affordable 1/3" hd), and IMHO it does, but they'd sell a ton more if they dropped the price tag to under $7K.

Great news!! Man, holding its own with F900's on a multicam shoot is pretty freaky.

BTW, where can I see it in HD? I have a Dish Network HD DVR with most of the HD channels they offer.

p.s. just watched Apocalypse Now Redux in HD last night. Jaw dropping

Last edited by Barlow Elton; February 23rd, 2006 at 12:35 PM.
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Old February 23rd, 2006, 10:59 AM   #4
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The price on the Canon has dropped. I know we are not premitted to talk about other vendors besides the ones that sponsor this site, and rightfully so. However I have seen a much lower price from a legit company $7996 for the XL-H1. So perhaps other companies will start to drop their prices as well.
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Old February 23rd, 2006, 12:27 PM   #5
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Canon Price Drop

It would seem that with the RED camera, and the inevitable flood of responses to the XLH1 by Sony and Panasonic, a price drop is inevitable. I know RED is an X-factor of unknowns, but it does present Canon with a very real threat. Competition breeds price wars. Hooray for the consumer!
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Old February 23rd, 2006, 01:02 PM   #6
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I just googled the XL-H1 and found it as low as $6999. I thought no one was allowed to sell it for a penny less than MSRP?
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Old February 23rd, 2006, 06:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Sanders
I just googled the XL-H1 and found it as low as $6999. I thought no one was allowed to sell it for a penny less than MSRP?
Gray market.
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Old February 24th, 2006, 06:52 AM   #8
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Barlow I'm not sure when the show airs but when I get a date and a channel I'll let you know.
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Old February 25th, 2006, 08:37 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Schreiber
It would seem that with the RED camera, and the inevitable flood of responses to the XLH1 by Sony and Panasonic, a price drop is inevitable. I know RED is an X-factor of unknowns, but it does present Canon with a very real threat. Competition breeds price wars. Hooray for the consumer!

I doubt this has anything to do with the RED---because no one has any idea of the price point on a camera still in development. I would assume that it has more to do with the release of HVX200, the JVC, the Sony's--all priced (except the HVX200 with specific P2 card configurations) way below the XLH1. Lets be honest, they are all competing for the same consumers.
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Old February 25th, 2006, 09:08 AM   #10
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Nick, what do you think of using the XLH1 in a live situation - as in live to air, for sports or, well, anything really?

Also, can you link to the CCU you were using? If there's some info on the web I'd like to take a look at it.

Thanks.
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Old February 26th, 2006, 03:29 PM   #11
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Conor we were using the Evertz E-cast system, the switcher was an old snell and wilcox HD1010 switcher it was good but only after we discovered that it needed a downconverted genlock reference (strange).

We used the camera's to do a line cut that looked great, so i think that using it for live events (and even streaming for the web) would be great for this camera since it's putting 4:2:2 out of the hd-sdi port. Haven't done anything fully live yet so i can't be completely sure that everything would be great, but it sure seemed to work fine to me.
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Old February 27th, 2006, 10:44 PM   #12
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Thanks Nick, I'm looking into just such an application at the moment. I'm interested in finding out more about the evertz ecast, but google and the evertz website haven't been very helpful on the topic.
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Old February 27th, 2006, 11:24 PM   #13
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Conor, no kidding. The e-cast is a specific version of the fiber optic system they have. It's kind of a built to order deal. I can probably give you more detail then the website (currently) so if you've got any specific questions just send me an e-mail, and I'll try to get you all the answers.
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