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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 16th, 2006, 01:40 AM   #1
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G4 Dual 1Gig and 1080i

I'm going with the XLH1 for a short I will be lensing in a month, and I will be cutting on FCP 5 with a Dual 1Ghz G4 with 1.5 GB of RAM. Has anyone cut 1080i with this configuration? I'm concerned it may not be enough to handle, and I don;t want to upgrade until the Intel Towers come out. Any other XLH1 configs you can think of would be helpful. Also, has anyone created any solid workarounds for the 24 frame problem?
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Old March 16th, 2006, 11:01 AM   #2
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I have both a Dual 1GHz (Quicksilver) and a Dual 2.7 G5. I honestly don't think the Quicksilver is up to the task. The RAM speed is very slow and the best video card you could get configured for that system when it was new can't even play 720p h264 Quicktimes at full frame rate.

My Dual 2.7 cuts through 1080P like butter. I know a couple guys who got the Quad 2.5 and it's a screamer.

Personally, until all the software has been fully converted, I'm sticking with the G5 platform for a little while longer. Adobe will not be updated Photoshop or After Effects for at least a year.

The only thing that could convince me to move to Intel Mac sooner would be if Cineform announced Intel Mac support and codecs.
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Old March 16th, 2006, 11:02 AM   #3
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Converted to DVCPRO HD you may be ok...barely. HDV probably won't scrub very well in the timeline or render quickly enough. Bottom Line: G5 is the way to go with these HD formats. You can manage with a dual G4 but it just isn't enough processing power for a satisfying NLE experience with HDV or even DVCproHD.

The workaround I've found is converting 24F to DVCproHD and then inverse telecine of the footage (has to be captured in DVCproHD 1080i via Kona SDI) to 24p.You can capture via Firewire and HDVxDV and convert through software too. Takes a little bit of time to render, but results are good. There's also MPEG Streamclip for this codec conversion, (free program) but it's a little less intuitive.
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Old March 16th, 2006, 11:09 AM   #4
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I do short HDV stuff on a Powerbook 1.33 ghz with 768MB RAM and a 1 ghz G4 with 1.25GB RAM. It works although, as Barlow's mentioning, it's not as quick as you want it to be. But it does work, You just have to be a bit more patient... On my list is a new Mac desktop, but I'm waiting for a good Intel..
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Old March 16th, 2006, 11:27 AM   #5
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I was editing HDV on a dual 1.25 G4 (2 gigs ram) with no problems at all. I decided a little over a month ago to get a G5 quad for exactly the opposite reason that you've stated. While it's certainly possible that the MacIntels will be just fine (after the software is sorted out - and we're still waiting for 24f support so what does that tell you?), it's more likely that they may not - they may be quirky for a year or two with complex aps like FCP.

Two years is a long time to limp along when for a modest outlay you can have a quad with six and a half gigs of ram... Plus, I've heard that some large companies are buying quads and sticking them in their back rooms - just in case (sorta like stockpiling supplies for a natural disaster).. That may be good, actually, because if the MacIntels work out, there'll be a bunch of cheap quads on the market in their original boxes. Steve Rosen
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Old March 16th, 2006, 12:03 PM   #6
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I made the same call as Steve a couple of months ago -- namely that I'd rather go with the quad for the next year or three. My thinking was, "it's plenty fast for what I'll be doing, I won't have to suffer the growing pains that the mac intel pro app users *might* end up dealing with, and even if faster cheaper machines come out six months after I buy mine, mine doesn't actually get slower."

The only thing that'll bug me is if tasty things like Cineform come out and support only the intel based machines. But if something so compelling comes along, I'll eat the loss and switch machines I suppose.
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Old March 16th, 2006, 02:55 PM   #7
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I guarantee you the Mac version of Cineform will only be supported on Intel Macs as the owner of the company has stated that they use specific instruction sets built onto the Intel processors to do their magic.
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Old March 16th, 2006, 03:42 PM   #8
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That could be one of the reasons, second is, I won't be surprised as with a year or 2 Apple decides to bring out Intel versions only of their (NLE) software. It happened before.. Third reason; I know it's coming and it definitely will be faster than a G5.
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Old March 16th, 2006, 04:03 PM   #9
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Oh, you know it. ;-)
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Old March 16th, 2006, 04:16 PM   #10
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What? That it's faster? I think you can bet on that ;-)
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Old March 16th, 2006, 05:11 PM   #11
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Yeah, but while that "year or two" scenario unfolds I will have produced somewhere in the area of three to six one hour documentaries and numerous regional commercials on a machine that works (and more than pays for itself on the very first one)..

I'm not saying the MacIntels might not be worth waiting for, what I'm saying is that they are an unknown, whereas the G5 isn't.. it works, it's plenty fast, and all the software that I use works in it... FCP Suite, Photoshop and After Effects...

If you're concerned about using other software, that's a consideration. But Apple isn't going to close the door on OS X for quite a while yet...

If you have a 1G or 1.25G dual, maybe you don't need the G5 and should wait. In my case, I bought it as soon as the memory became cheap -

And, relative to this site, it supports two 23" monitors...
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Old March 16th, 2006, 07:38 PM   #12
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I've been using a borrowed H1 all this week and cutting it on a 1.42 PPC Mac Mini. It works suprisingly well. I've tried it as HDV 1080 60i and with the AIC. AIC yields decent real time play back with the 3 way cc on one track but anything more requires rendering.

Any way, at work, where the camera will be used, I cut on a Dual 2 gHz G5 and it works well. My boss shot a cooking segment for a Spanish speaking TV show with it tonight. He's really old school. Has shot Beta SP all his life and a little film.

He just called me up a few minutes ago after taking the H1 home for the first time and hooking it up to his HDTV through the component out on the camera and said "we're buying this thing!"
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