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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 April 4th, 2006, 05:22 PM   #1
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Another Timecode Gotcha

Here is something that came up today with the Timecode implementation of the XLH1.
To be fair it is in the manual but I didn't understand the implications until today as I was prepping for a 3 camera shoot for tomorrow.

The Canon XLH1 does not do Free Run Timecode in 24F in DV.
The Canon XLH1 does not do Free Run Timecode in 24F in DV.

60i and 30F both can do Free Run in DV. It can do Free run in HDV 24F

If you are shooting 24F in DV you are going to have to use Rec Run. If you are recording with 2 cameras in 24F your tapes will not end up with the same timecode using the Free Run Method. Even if you work in DV with other cameras which due 24p Free Run. If you need 24F Free Run you have to shoot in HDV.

The reason this came up is I am doing a three camera shoot with 2 DVX-100A's and 1 XLH1 and the producer wants to do DV 24F 4x3.
My solution is taking the firewire out of the camera into my DVCAM deck and recording the 24F DV signal in DVCAM. Can't use DV since Sony doesn't do timecode in DV. The DVX-100A's free run TC in 24P.

Also if you are having trouble syncing your camera to Timecode you should realize that the genlock in menu also controls timecode in. It seems to only show up if timecode is present on the connector. Ext Sync-Genlock+TC. It shows up under the Genlock only menu.
Again if you are in DV it only works in 60i and 30F.
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Old April 4th, 2006, 08:54 PM   #2
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Don't forget, you can also clock the camera from an external TC source via the TimeCode input jack.
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Old April 4th, 2006, 09:17 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd
Don't forget, you can also clock the camera from an external TC source via the TimeCode input jack.
Chris,
I thought of external timecode and tried to see if it works in 24f DV. I had no problems getting the XLH1 to see timecode in in 60I. It seemed to Genlock in 24F but didn't give me timecode in. HDV does do Free Run in 24F
I am now looking at the manual and the answer is it doesn't acccept external timecode in 24F DV
A close reading of the manual states Page 58 DV24F can only record " Rec Run or Rec Run Preset" Page 61 of the manual says Timecode In doesn't work in 24F SD Mode
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Old April 6th, 2006, 02:30 AM   #4
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probably a little late for this, but you could shoot in HDV and then just use the built in downconvert through firewire, if you really wanted to preserve the 24p cadence. Then your timecode should be accurate I think.
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Old April 6th, 2006, 08:30 AM   #5
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Nick,
Thanks for the suggestion. I didn't want to shoot in HDV for two reasons. One the producer wanted 4x3 framing and two the turn around time is fast so we didn't want to spend extra time and money converting.
Also we were doing a simultaneous window dub of the footage so the live 16x9 would have been another issue.
Frankly I think the timecode implementation is bizarre in this case. If you can do free run in 24F HDV why not in 24F DV? If you can do timecode in in 24F HDV why not in 24F DV?
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Old April 6th, 2006, 08:38 AM   #6
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The reason is probably due to the two separate ways that video is recorded to tape between DV and HDV. Although both formats use the same data rate (at 25mbps), the encoding processes are entirely different animals. Apparently the MPEG2 codec allows for certain functions you wouldn't get in DV, and vice versa.
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Old April 6th, 2006, 11:29 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd
The reason is probably due to the two separate ways that video is recorded to tape between DV and HDV. Although both formats use the same data rate (at 25mbps), the encoding processes are entirely different animals. Apparently the MPEG2 codec allows for certain functions you wouldn't get in DV, and vice versa.

Chris,
Thanks for the suggestion. But here is why I think of it as a gotcha.
I feel they buried it in the manual. I don't see them advertising timecode in and out in some formats but not all.
They don't have the excuse that nobody else does it. Panasonic doesn't have a problem doing it this way. 24F DV is the only format in the camera which doesn't do it. I think your explanation doesn't make sense. The number of bits recorded on tape for timecode is the same size whether it is grabbed as rec run or free run. I think it has to do with the architecture of the timecode design. When you set the preset it doesn't count up like other cameras. You are just telling the camera where to start. It remembers that number but not what your tape stopped at.
The question is whether they can change it or do I have to add this to the list of precautions I have made up to keep my clients from being surprised by what the camera can't do.
The list in some order of importance is
1) HDV 30F and HDV 24F only playback from the camera
1A HDV 24F has to be transcoded to edit in many popular edit systems. Timecode is difficult to preserve.
2) The 20x lens doesn't focus and Zoom at the same time.
3) Iris changes are not smooth with 20X Standard Lens.
4) Standard Viewfinder doesn't see the whole picture, is too soft, Peaking is on or off but not adjustable

Anyone else
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