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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 May 9th, 2006, 03:51 PM   #1
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Bad news for wildlife videographers

Well, it was news to me, maybe not to anyone else, but I thought a post might be appropriate. I generally shoot standard definition XL series with
an EF adapter and Canon 35 mm lenses. Today I took my lens to a local video production company to see what it would do on the XL H1. What we found was that the adapter caused the camcorder to revert to standard definition. Canon confirmed this. You cannot shoot high definition with the long lenses needed for small birds and other wildlife. I suppose all those high-def TV stations clamoring for nature footage are going to have to settle for large creatures, or wait until Canon gets its head on straight.
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Old May 9th, 2006, 04:18 PM   #2
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Steve, this is not the case - or at least it has not been with the two XL-H1 cams I have used, and others have also successfully used the EF-adapter to shoot HDV. By 'revert to standard definition' are you by chance referring to the EVF-warning 'HD incompatible lens'? If so, this has no bearing on your ability to shoot in HDV. It's simply a warning to the effect that Canon does not recommend you using a certain lens when shooting HDV.

You can find more info on the topic in this thread: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...ght=EF-adapter

Could you provide some further details?

TIA,

Ron
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Old May 9th, 2006, 05:06 PM   #3
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Steve,

Are you trolling??
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Old May 9th, 2006, 05:18 PM   #4
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Ron,
The term "revert to standard definition" was the Canon tech's answer, not anything I saw as a message in the camcorder. The fact is that both I
and the staff at the video company where I shot noticed a big difference between the footage obtained with the adapter-35 mm lens combo, and with the XL H1 20x lens. The former just wasn't in the same league as the latter when played on a HD monitor, using the XL HD as the play deck.

Bill,
What's trolling?
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Old May 9th, 2006, 06:02 PM   #5
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Well I was a bit confused on your post since this has been discussed in detail so I thought maybe you were trying to "bait" us into something. However I see that's probably not the case. Steve, what make/mdl 35mm lens did you use and what were the shooting conditions? There are lenses that show a definitive resolution loss.
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Old May 9th, 2006, 06:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Siegel
Ron,
The term "revert to standard definition" was the Canon tech's answer, not anything I saw as a message in the camcorder. The fact is that both I
and the staff at the video company where I shot noticed a big difference between the footage obtained with the adapter-35 mm lens combo, and with the XL H1 20x lens. The former just wasn't in the same league as the latter when played on a HD monitor, using the XL HD as the play deck.

Bill,
What's trolling?
Ignoring the 'trolling' comment for the moment, the footage was likely softer due to the lens and the EF adapter. That's why Canon puts the warning message in the viewfinder. It's like they are saying, "Hey, this isn't a recognized HD lens, so shoot at your own risk." The camera isn't reverting to SD mode, it's just not getting the resolution it needs from the glass you placed on the camera. So yeah, you're going to see a reduction in quality. The same goes for the 16x manual and 3x wide angle Canon XL lenses. You can put them on the H1, but you'll get the same warning message. Loss of resolution with those two lenses attached has been the subject of debate.

'Trolling' is an internet term describing people who post content that is meant to inflame and cause general discord amongst the readers of said post, thereby leading to arguments while the original 'troll' just sits back and watches the fur fly, so to speak. I didn't get the idea that you were trolling, merely posting your observations about the camera's behavior.
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Old May 9th, 2006, 07:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Siegel
Well, it was news to me, maybe not to anyone else, but I thought a post might be appropriate. I generally shoot standard definition XL series with
an EF adapter and Canon 35 mm lenses. Today I took my lens to a local video production company to see what it would do on the XL H1. What we found was that the adapter caused the camcorder to revert to standard definition. Canon confirmed this. You cannot shoot high definition with the long lenses needed for small birds and other wildlife. I suppose all those high-def TV stations clamoring for nature footage are going to have to settle for large creatures, or wait until Canon gets its head on straight.
Steve,

Can you try the same test with the 1.6 extender and compare the footage?
I would really like to extend the range on occasion (I've got a pair of bald eagles nesting that I can see from my dining room window and ospreys nesting down the street).

Ken.
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Old May 9th, 2006, 08:32 PM   #8
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As a fellow wildlife vidograper and EF adapter user, I read Steve's posts on a regular basis and find them to be insightful and usually based on real world experience in using the long lenses with the EF adapter. His observations always agree with what I have learned by using these items. He is one of the last people I would accuse of "trolling", but is rather a fellow videographer in pursuit of the truth.
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Old May 9th, 2006, 08:57 PM   #9
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Please read my second post where I state "thats probably not the case". But let me make it more clear. Steve, I apologize you are not a villan or a bait fisherman nor are you a troller. I would still like to know what lens you were using for the XLH1 because I wanted to relay my experience. As I have posted in another thread, I believe to Ken Diewert, the canon 75-300mm is soft on the XLH1, Canon will concur this with me. Just by nature of collecting lenses and accessories for the XL series, many have gone the more economical route (including myself) by first purchasing the 1.6 extender then the EF adapter and 75-300mm and so on. It really does come down to, you get what you pay for, with the Canon lenses. My prime lenses, canon 400mm and nikon 600mm are HD sharp with the H1 so I guess it comes down to what you can afford especially after plunking down $9g's.
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Old May 9th, 2006, 09:08 PM   #10
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I am going to be using canon's 1.6 extender in conjunction with at front mounted Century 1.6x teleconverter giving me in excess of 1900mm (35mm still equivalent). It'll be interesting to see what kind of sharpness I get from this combo.
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Old May 9th, 2006, 09:16 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Taka
My prime lenses, canon 400mm and nikon 600mm are HD sharp with the H1 so I guess it comes down to what you can afford especially after plunking down $9g's.

It always gets back to the glass you stick on there. That's why we somtimes spend more than twice the price of the camera body on the glass.

-gb-
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Old May 10th, 2006, 10:32 AM   #12
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Perhaps this discussion is about the difference between mathematicians' for all and there exists clauses.

If Steve and the Canon rep. say:

The image of the XL H1 and EF-adapter is not genuine HD quality for all lenses you can adapt to the EF-adapter,

then I easily agree. But, I think Ron and Bill would agree with me and say:

There exist lenses which give you genuine HD quality when adapted to XL H1 and the EF-adapter.

In fact, some of my friends -who don't know anything about these lens issues- have found the EF-lens shot images more awesome than those of the standard 20x lens, when shown in full rez on a HD screen.
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Old May 10th, 2006, 01:36 PM   #13
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This has been mentioned elsewhere, but warrants repetition: Canon's official stance regarding EF-lenses in HD-mode is that L-series primes are up to the task. From what I've seen myself, certain high-quality non-L primes (e.g. 100mm f/2.8 macro) will do fine, and the very best L-series zooms (e.g. 70-200mm f/2.8 IS) will do, too. I'm sure Lauri can chime in with more real-use experience. I've just done some brief tests myself.

HTH,

Ron
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Old May 10th, 2006, 02:53 PM   #14
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What you are seeing has nohing to do with the camera, it has everything to do with the GLASS. When you put on an EF lens you are effectively zooming the image 700% - 1000%, anything but very high quality glass will not look great. There is much ignorance as to why HD and cine lenses are so expensive, it is because they are MUCH MUCH better glass than even high end still lenses. I tested some XLH with the EF adapter and $4000 L series still lens and it looked very sharp. There is no camera in the world that will convert glass to look better than it is...



ash =o)
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Old May 10th, 2006, 03:30 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ash Greyson
There is much ignorance as to why HD and cine lenses are so expensive, it is because they are MUCH MUCH better glass than even high end still lenses.
I don't agree. Optically, high-quality cine and still lenses are on-par (I'm talking about 35mm here). Cine lenses are more expensive due to certain requirements that must be met in film that don't matter at all in photography (e.g. no breathing while focussing). And the fact that the market for cine lenses is much smaller and has deeper pockets has a small influence on price as well ;)

Cheers,

Ron
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