An Open Letter to Canon: Suggested Fixes for the XL H1 - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

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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 June 5th, 2006, 10:02 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd
Actually you sort of have that already. Set the H1 to the Tv shutter priority program mode. Press the Exposure Lock button. Now you have full manual control of shutter speed and exposure, just as if you were shooting in Manual mode. Press the Exposure Lock button again, and you have auto iris. This method pretty much gives you a momentary auto iris function at the push of a button.


Daniel if you mean the Canon Global Expo that was held in New York last September when the XL H1 was announced, unfortunately that is not an annual show. It only happens once every five years (but I wish it was an annual thing)!
Chris,
Thanks for the tip. The only quibble I have with it is the TV Mode on my XLH1 doesn't seem to always remember what shutter speed I was shooting in when I go into standby or off so I have to keep an eye on it. The default shutter speed for 24F seems to be 1/24 instead of the 1/48 I prefer. Also the button is farther away from the Iris wheel. I had suggested to them the set button should do this function since it is right next to the wheel. Canon did not tell me to use the TV Mode



Yes that was the show but I thought they must have annual show albeit smaller than Last years. If they don't have an annual show then they should get used to using NAB like everyone else in the industry.

Thanks to Marty for another good observation.
I kept wondering why my zebras were not working on Saturday and it was because I was using the Peaking. I was shooting in Rain with a rain cover so I couldn't access the top buttons on the camera easily so I figured I had left them off.
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Old June 5th, 2006, 10:05 AM   #17
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I have wanted an XL-H1 ever since it was announced. But these issues are holding me back.

Just yesterday I learned, from this site, that there is only one motor in the lens. So, I assume that we can either focus or zoom, but not both.

Does this mean, that if I am zooming with one of the zoom controls, I can not manually focus using the focus ring on the camera? I assume so.

Yesterday, I was ready to place the order for this camera, however, this is a serious issue for me. With the Xl1s, the only way I could achieve a reasonable focus and zoom at the same time was to zoom very slowly.

My other main issue is the viewfinder. With focus being so critical, we need a good viewfinder. The reason for the underscan is a mystery to me. I want to be certain the boom mic is not in the picture. It is good to hear that the FU-1000 does not have the underscan issue.

Of course there are other issues as discussed in this thread.

I would also like to know how well the HDV recording holds up. For example, in normal shooting is it rarely a problem, or does the picture break up due to the compression frequently?

I would love to see a low to moderate cost solution for recording HD-SDI. The Wafian solution is out of my budget and not very portable.

Overall, I think this is a wonderful camera, and it produces outstanding video. I assume that these issues will not be corrected by firmware. If we had assurances from Canon that these issues were going to be resolved via a firmware update, then I (and possibly others) would be more inclinded to purchase the XL-H1.
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Old June 5th, 2006, 12:51 PM   #18
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I'm in the same boat as Dan. I was also disappointed to find out that peaking and zebras can't be on at the same time.

I also have a question:

If I zoom-in to focus and then pull back to wide, does the 20x lens hold focus througout the range? I know that some lenses that have servo-driven focus don't.
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Old June 5th, 2006, 01:52 PM   #19
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Yes Paul, it holds the focus, at least if the backfocus is properly adjusted which is easily done on this camera (please see another thread for this feature).
I was also disappointed when I discovered the camera couldn't focus and zoom at the same time. Must have been a woman designing it! (Sorry all girls, it was a Swedish joke.)
You cannot have it all. But sometimes it is time to decide for the investment and for me the time was right now when the picture quality was good enough. Good luck whatever you do.

Another one on the wishlist is a better "gear" software for the focus servo. Now it is too sensitive at the far end. When you turn the focus it will easily go past infinity even if you don't intend it. The gear ratio changes depending on the focal length but I would say it is often too sensitive, especially if you try to adjust according to the distance readout (great feature, thanks Canon) in the viewfinder.
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Old June 5th, 2006, 03:20 PM   #20
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Peaking AND zebra at the same time? Dear lord. The image would be a complete mess and unviewable.

As far as the stock 20x lens is concerned...don't like it...get a different lens. Rent or buy a 16x manual. Problem solved.

That's why the camera's modular. You're never "stuck" with a particular component like other cameras.
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Old June 6th, 2006, 06:57 AM   #21
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Nick,
Thanks. Btw, which battery do you use? It seems like the fu 1000 burns up batterys real fast. I've been doing some weddings, and need my Frezzi(occasionally),and my Fs4 hard drive. I tried powering everything(xl2 included) off of my AB Dionic 90, and the AB ran out befor the end of the evening. So now I use the biggest Canon battery(BP 945) for the xl2 only, and the AB for the rest.
Are you using the new H1 battery? If so, what kind of run time do you get with it?
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Old June 6th, 2006, 08:17 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Sanders
Peaking AND zebra at the same time? Dear lord. The image would be a complete mess and unviewable.

As far as the stock 20x lens is concerned...don't like it...get a different lens. Rent or buy a 16x manual. Problem solved.

That's why the camera's modular. You're never "stuck" with a particular component like other cameras.
I have had no problem with peaking and zebra on any of the panansonic cameras.....DVX100a, B and HVX200. In all fairness the peaking on the Canon is like the peaking on steroids...it's almost like a photoshop filter....it makes the image look totally like and 80's video. But at lease you can see the edges.

It's just the LCD is so completely soft as to render it almost useless without peaking. So if you want a chance to really nail your focus you have to have it on. Then you can't see the zebra patterns. Maybe not an issue on a controlled shoot but for run and gun.......
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Old June 6th, 2006, 09:09 AM   #23
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I agree with Marty that Peaking and Zebras should be able to coexist. The Canon implementation is the issue. Same philosophy which only lets you zoom or focus with the 20X Lens. On the SD B+W viewfinder there is an adjustment as to how much peaking you have. On the Color LCD there is not so when you turn on the Peaking it is full on. They should have at least given us a menu adjustment for the Peaking Level if not a control knob on the Color viewfinder. There is a reason they put one on the B+W VF and it is just as valid today as it was then.
As for the Devils Advocate argument that the camera is modular and we should buy the other accessories to use the camera the way we want. I would if they where high enough quality for the rest of the system. Ie the 16x Manual lens being the solution to the 20x problems I look at it as the short term solution since it does have HD issues. In NY I often shoot in dark environments where I need the camera to be able to look in focus with the lens wide open. The 16X doesn't look good at that F Stop. I just don't understand Canon's approach here. Did they think the old accessories or lens solutions worked well with the new camera? Did they think we want to wait patiently for the new camera to have the same capabilities as the old one? One of the reasons the JVC is still generating buzz is you can get decent glass for it if you have to. Even Canon has announced they are going to make a lens for the JVC camera. They haven't announced much for the XLH1 except the 6X Wide Angle.
Another area I would like upgraded is the way the camera does timecode. Beside not being able to do Free Run timecode in DV 24F ! I find the lack of Regen and the loss of TC when you eject a tape to be an inconvenience. Also and end of tape search function ie my DVX-100A. If you have to check tape for something other than the last few seconds you have to be overly careful as to what happens to the timecode. If you have to eject a tape and then put it back in you can't just have the tape cued up to end of tape and start recording. You have to reset the TC. This is not the way professional cameras work and shows the origins of this camera as a consumer unit.
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Old June 7th, 2006, 09:04 PM   #24
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How about access to even limited service menus...

I've had two units that have displayed pixels out/lit, and had to exchange them (which is a heck of a thing to place on everybody - me, the dealer, etc). It's irritating, guessing that there's probably a pixel-masking feature in there somewhere. If there isn't, there should be, and we should have access to it.

Either I (or others I've seen) are unlucky, and/or we're all at some point eventually going to get pixels to knock out on this thing.

Nothing worse than a little white blotch sitting there on the screen... Let us fix it in 30seconds ourselves - ask JVC - ask somebody/anybody...
I won't shoot with or rent any unit that has problems.
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Old June 8th, 2006, 07:43 AM   #25
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Dear Shawn,

Are the bad pixels in the viewfinder or in the camera itself?
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Old June 8th, 2006, 07:10 PM   #26
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Chris: You are right the fu-1000 is easily the greatest model number ever put into circulation (rivals the nova in the spanish market)

Bruce: I'm using a plethora of batteries which include the new BP-950G the old BP-927 and the old larger BP-941. I'm seriously considering a transition to anton batteries if I purchase a mini 35 but that's still up in the air and well, honestly I'm trying not to purchase anything without have a client or something first (just moved back to GA)

Daniel: you can use the zebra's with the peaking turned up on the fu-1000 I think that basically the fu-1000 is a nessecity for all but the most basic users of the camera.
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I have a dream that one day canon will release a 35mm ef to xl adapter and I'll have iris control and a 35mm dof of all my ef lenses, and it will be awesome...
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Old June 9th, 2006, 10:47 AM   #27
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Nick,
thanks for the tip on the FU-1000. I have avoided buying SD accessories for this camera because it is in the HD realm that many of these issues are more important to me. I may have to make an exception for the FU-1000 if there is no HD option relatively soon. Nor is it a suggested fix request for the current XLH1 as sold. I can live without Zebras with Peaking in most situations but it is an indication that Canon isn't thinking straight. When you are in the fourth generation of making cameras(XL1,XL1S,XL2 and XLH1) and you haven't solved basic user issues like focusing while zooming and Zebras with Peaking on the basic model then maybe you really don't know what those things are for in the first place. Isn't it logical that if you have a peaking adjustment on the B+W viewfinder that you need one on the next generation color one as well. If you are looking at the implementation of zebras does any other camera have them go away when you have peaking on? Are they a successful camera manufacturer? Do they think this is some marketing scheme to sell more accesories? Since Canon doesn't sell the camera a la carte where I could choose my lens and viewfinder then I think they are hurting sales with these strange feature issues. It certainly stopped me from buying a second one until I have clearer picture of what I actually need to use the camera the way I want.
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Old July 10th, 2006, 04:45 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd
As for myself, what I'm looking for is some company like TransVideo or Nebtek to offer a replacement HD color LCD viewfinder for the XL H1. I envision it as something like a 16:9 panel in a 3" or 3.5" size, mounting on the existing EVF rail on the H1 body, and including a mic clamp. True HD resolution, full external controls, full image area, and a sun shade. What would that be worth? Put a price on that.
Hi Chris,
Sorry about the delay in keeping you updated. I have finally have an assistant to help me around the office and am able to provide some type of presence on the user boards again.

Check this out...
http://www.nebtek.com./proddetail.ph...lVR-70P-HDA-LI

It's not up to the specs of the Panasonic 8.4" but I'm using the hell out of it with my Sony Z1U. As far as rails go... I'm loving the new gear the Zacuto designed.

Glad to be back!
-Rob

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"Ask me about my new daughter."
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Old November 3rd, 2006, 01:18 PM   #29
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Another suggestion to Canon:

It would be nice if the flip-up part of the viewfinder were detachable. When flipped up, this piece:
-Is the tallest part of the camera, and is restrictive if you are shooting against a ceiling.
-Has a large shadow profile. This is a problem when shooting on city streets at night with many light sources.
-Is the first thing to show up in a mirror and reveal the camera in your shot.

And wouldn't it just be nice to remove this bulky thing for those of us who rarely use it?
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Old November 5th, 2006, 07:40 PM   #30
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More Viewfider ideas

How about an extension cable for the FU-1000? Then it could be used on the mount for the Mini-35.

It would be nice if it were possible to use an adapter cable to pick off the video, record, and other tallies for use on with a monitor and add LEDs for the tallies.
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