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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 13th, 2006, 12:50 PM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Burlington, Canada
Posts: 2
from D30 to xl-h1

I need some "how to get it up and running quickly" advice.

I have been shooting on a Sony D30 for the last five years (fishing, outdoor adventure and lumberjack sports). Shooting it as it happens with little or no time to set up a shot. Pick your filter, white balance, quick iris, snap in, focus and go.

I had a couple hours to play with the xl-h1 and was overwhelmed by the options. I dont want to run on the auto "green square" mode so what would be the recommended starting point for an outdoor "shoot it on the fly" situation.

Given more time I am sure I can get it singing and dancing but for now I would like to set it up similar to how a D30 operates.

Any input would be appreciated.

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Old April 13th, 2006, 06:05 PM   #2
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 1,262
Run the camera in the Manual Mode. There is no auto Iris but the viewfinder exposure meter in the upper left is pretty good once you dial yourself in. Try and find a Manual Standard def lens since the 20X HD doesn't zoom and focus at the same time. Make sure the shutter is in the shutter speed you want. Lock the gain to -3 or 0 or some number but not auto. Built in Iris control is a little steppy but can be set to open or close the way you do a standard lens if you are more comfortable with that. White balance is pretty easy to understand (K is presettable Kelvin). Same button activates the AWB and K depending on which one you have the knob pointing to. Adjust the Iris wheel to change the Kelvin. The viewfinder display can be set up to show TV Safe and center along with 4:3 safety etc. It just won't show you the whole raster. 90% bars barely show up. Check it out on a monitor with underscan to see what they are actually doing with the frame. Become familiar with the button which cycles through the viewfinder display because you will need it. Remember that Canon often makes you hit two buttons to do one action. Ie Colorbars is tied to two other items and then has an on off button. It keeps flashing until you cycle it to a null option even though you turned it off. Custom Preset works similarly. A short list but a start. Good luck HTH
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Old April 14th, 2006, 03:43 AM   #3
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Location: Basel area, Switzerland
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Paul - a few more suggestions: you will want to use Peaking and Maginify to assist focussing. The latter is only available when you're _not_ recording, unfortunately. Another aid in focussing (and of course exposure) I've used successfully for a long time is Zebra. I set Zebra-level to 95 and look for specular highlights to judge both exposure and focus. If the Zebra-area around the highlight is smallest, your focus is near perfect.


Ronald P. Pfister
halimedia - digital solutions and services
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Old April 17th, 2006, 06:50 AM   #4
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Burlington, Canada
Posts: 2
Thanks for your suggestions. We should be getting the camera shortly and I will apply your settings and see how things work.

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