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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 March 6th, 2006, 09:12 AM   #1
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SDI Uncompressed Solution

I know that this subject has been discussed several times, but again I would like to ask you all, what is the best SDI uncompressed solution? I understand that I can drag around my MAC with Deckling and capture to my HUGE RAID which is extra weight. So is there a solution under 15K that could do the job? Maybe there is some kind of deck or something that doesn't cost over 100k.

I see a lot of difference in DVCPRO HD and HDV also, so maybe there is an affordable deck that can record DVCPRO HD from canon SDI OUT? I know that it is not uncompressed, but at least that is better than HDV.

And yes, I know about cineform (Wafian). And they have good arguments why it is much better than DVCPRO HD, but it is only PC based, so I can not have it on MAC, and I can not go and change the system just for the codec right? If I knew that cineform is very good compared to uncompressed than I might consider it, but I couldn't find any discussion on that comparison.

So, what can I do to get most out of xl h1? Is there a solution yet? or do I need to stick to draging my MAC around?
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Old March 6th, 2006, 09:35 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Levan Bakhia
... If I knew that cineform is very good compared to uncompressed than I might consider it, but I couldn't find any discussion on that comparison. ...
I guess we will have to include that write up, however most of the benefits are self explanatory. Using compression reduces the footprint size 6-8 times, the ease of moving data around you system (and network) is now six times easier -- typically resulting in large cost savings and increased productivity. So question is always regarding quality. All I can say on that is we have a lot of feature films using CineForm compression currently in production, and we have several upcoming that will use the Canon XL-H1 with Wafian HR-1 capture. We will announce more when details can be made public. Announcements get quiet in this pre-NAB time.
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Old March 6th, 2006, 11:46 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Newman
All I can say on that is we have a lot of feature films using CineForm compression currently in production ...
Can you say more about which CineForm compression? Aspect HD or Prospect HD?

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Old March 6th, 2006, 12:10 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Newman
I guess we will have to include that write up, however most of the benefits are self explanatory. Using compression reduces the footprint size 6-8 times, the ease of moving data around you system (and network) is now six times easier -- typically resulting in large cost savings and increased productivity. So question is always regarding quality. All I can say on that is we have a lot of feature films using CineForm compression currently in production, and we have several upcoming that will use the Canon XL-H1 with Wafian HR-1 capture. We will announce more when details can be made public. Announcements get quiet in this pre-NAB time.
Well, to be honest, I have an intention to buy Wafian HR-1, if I will not be able to find any uncompressed recording option, and I would have already bought it, if not the fact that it is not compatable with MAC. I have a lot invested in my MAC, including color correction with Final Touch HD, and CP200 from tangent devices, and two 23inch displays plush one 30inch display, a decklink card and video raid. And I love the result, and quality and performance of everything we work with now, so it is really hard for me to switch from here to PC. The only way I thought I could go with Wafian, and cineform, is maybe I could record to cineform file, and then convert it to uncompressed targa sequence which then I could import to my MAC. I know this is not the smartest thing to do, but I assume that this way, I will have Cineform quality, and will not loose when I conver from cineform to uncompressed. Is that right?
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Old March 6th, 2006, 12:58 PM   #5
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Yes, coverting from CineForm to uncompressed is lossless, so you can do that, although Targa sequences are only 8-bit, so many want to consider TIFF or DPX.

Chris, most of the features we are directly involved with are all using Prospect HD, we don't know however how many Aspect HD installations have been used for feature work. The codec for both is very similar, only Aspect HD is limited to 1440x1080 4:2:2 8bit, whereas Prospect HD is 1920x1080 10bit .
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Old March 6th, 2006, 09:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Newman
Chris, most of the features we are directly involved with are all using Prospect HD
Is there an upgrade path from Aspect to Prospect? I didn't see on on the website.

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Old March 6th, 2006, 10:17 PM   #7
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Yes there is an upgrade path, see the FAQ entry titled
Q: Can I "upgrade" from one CineForm product to another and receive a credit on my new purchase?
here : http://www.cineform.com/products/FAQ.htm#Other3
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Old March 6th, 2006, 11:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Newman
Yes, coverting from CineForm to uncompressed is lossless, so you can do that, although Targa sequences are only 8-bit, so many want to consider TIFF or DPX.

Chris, most of the features we are directly involved with are all using Prospect HD, we don't know however how many Aspect HD installations have been used for feature work. The codec for both is very similar, only Aspect HD is limited to 1440x1080 4:2:2 8bit, whereas Prospect HD is 1920x1080 10bit .

Sorry if this is not very clever question but, when you say that converting from cineform to uncompressed is lossless, do you mean that, in the final converted to uncompressed TIFF sequence, does it losslesly retain whatever quality the cineform has, or does it mean that I would get the same quality as if I shoot directly uncompressed?

And another question: I have read somewhere that H1 SDI OUT is only 8 bit, it is not confirmed officially, but at least that is the only info I have so far. So does it make sense to have TIFF over TARGA in that case?

And can someone confirm if the sdi out is 10 bit or 8 bit?
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Old March 6th, 2006, 11:35 PM   #9
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Technically uncompressed to compressed in not mathematically lossless, whereas compressed to uncompressed is. If the end you will not be able to tell the difference in the final product using CineForm compression vs an uncompressed workflow.

The Canon H1-XL does only use 8 of the potential 10-bits of precision on it HDSDI outputs, however this is 8-bit of YUV data. YUV to RGB conversion (as required by Targa files) will introduce some loss of precision. For YUV to RGB conversion to be reversable (i.e. no loss) you need at least 9-bits per channel of RGB. So you can get away with Targas with this small compromise. When using a Wafian HR-1 or Prospect HD system to capture from an XL-H1, we still recommend selecting the 10-bit mode as there are quality benefits (even with an 8-bit source.)
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