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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 21st, 2006, 12:07 PM   #16
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I don't know why Canon doesn't make the Watchmaker available online as either a WMV9 or Quicktime file.
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Old June 21st, 2006, 12:20 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Dempsey
I don't know why Canon doesn't make the Watchmaker available online as either a WMV9 or Quicktime file.
I have the Watchmaker .MOV files on the DVD I got at the Canon show but the files are not compatible with Quicktime 7 for the PC. They are stored in the Avid .MOV and DVCPRO HD .MOV format for Apple.

I'll try again to see if I can load the file in PPro2 and output it in .WMV9. If I can, I'll upload it if Chris will let me. But it is a copyright violation I think.

>>> Sorry I tried it and PPro2 can work with the files.<<<

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Old June 21st, 2006, 12:23 PM   #18
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Thanks Dave, I don't think you will have much luck with PP2 though. Can you render it to a PC friendly format through Avid?
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Old June 21st, 2006, 01:44 PM   #19
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Actually, your footage WILL look better if edited uncompressed. You still start with the same image though...just as you add transitions, effects, filters, CC, etc. you are WAY better off editing in DVCproHD or uncompressed as HDV is IMHO a pretty terrible editing codec. It is not really fair to say it "unpacks" it or anything though and if you just do straight cuts, etc. you wont notice any difference...


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Old June 21st, 2006, 01:49 PM   #20
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Obviously most do not edit in HDV. I thought it was assumed that the HDV stream was going to be converted to a better more robust codec. In my case Cineform. While it won't look better than the original HDV source it will stay more intact throughout multiple generations of editing/color correcting.
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Old June 21st, 2006, 02:59 PM   #21
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Just to be fair to John Benton, the presenter at last Sat's Birns & Sawyer training seminar made the same comments about playing back the HDV tape out to your computer via the SDI connection for better quality than the firewire.

I was scratching my head thinking how do you upgrade from the already HDV compressed file - how do you put back what's not there to start with?

Will be very interesting to hear what Chris H finds out.

The other item about the SDI that's still not fully answered is whether the SDI output stream truly conforms to the SMPTE advertised specs which require 10 bit. David Newman of Cineform has posted on his site that it is actually 8 bit. Then there is the rumor that it's 10bit with 2 bits containing no data? This would be important for those chromakeying/green screening, heavy compositing/layering, or working with some forms of animation integration.
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Old June 21st, 2006, 03:16 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Richard
Just to be fair to John Benton, the presenter at last Sat's Birns & Sawyer training seminar made the same comments about playing back the HDV tape out to your computer via the SDI connection for better quality than the firewire.
Is it possible the confusion was on the word "playback"? Is it possible they were referring to simultaneous SDI out and HDV record?

Best,
Christopher
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Old June 21st, 2006, 03:22 PM   #23
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Yes that's correct. If you use Cineform's Aspect HD with Adobe's PPro or Connect HD with Sony's Vegas you will get much better results than editing HDV. These products create intermediate files that preserve the 8 bit 4:2:0 color space of HDV. However the file you acquire with Cineform's products can not be better than the original HDV file, but the quality will not degrade through the editing process.

To get the most out of the H1, use the Wafian HR1 or the AJA Xena card and Cineform's Prospect HD to acquire full 4:2:2 10 bit HD SDI data at 1.4 Gbps in 1080 24p. This must be acquired live, not by playing HDV files back through the HD SDI port.

The Wafian HR1 also removes the 3.2 pulldown and stores the files in true 4:2:2 10 bit 24p. This solution competes favorably with systems costing much more money such as the Sony HDC-F950/SRW-5000 combination although my choice would be the Sony if price was no object.

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Old June 21st, 2006, 03:22 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty Hudzik
Obviously most do not edit in HDV.
As a reader of the Adobe forums, my guess is most Premiere users edit HD projects in HDV.

Best,
Christopher
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Old June 21st, 2006, 03:42 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christopher Glaeser
As a reader of the Adobe forums, my guess is most Premiere users edit HD projects in HDV.

Best,
Christopher

I agree with Christopher's assessment, but I think that the professional level users as opposed to advanced enthusiasts will likely use something like Cineform to maximize their results. I have PPro 2.0, and can get a decent edit with HDV "native". Aside from the $500.00 saved from Aspect HD purchase, I also avoid need to increased hard drive capacity. However, in a professional situation, I could see no reason why I wouldn't go to the intermediate format to increase the quality potential of the final product.
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Old June 21st, 2006, 03:57 PM   #26
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Guys,

I just did another tethered SDI test yesterday, rolling HDV tape while simultaneously capturing lossless HD to the Sheer codec via KonaLH/G5/FCP.

I recorded closeups of a babbling brook with water rushing all over the frame--basically filling the frame with random high-frequency motion--to unquestionably, MAJORLY stress the HDV codec and therefore be able to examine the differences. I recorded 24F and 1080i modes both to tape and the computer...and the results were interesting: HDV 1080i breaks down into noticeable macroblocking more apparently than 24F HDV, and I think this is due to the differences in bits allocated per frame, and the efficiency of progressive MPEG2 encoding vs. interlace; yet both paled in comparison (as you would expect) to good quality I-frame acquistion, in this case the Sheer lossless codec. (it's about 45 MBs--my single SATA drive in it's fastest partition barely kept up with it!) I'm sure CineForm in it's best quality modes would've been quite similar.

All in all, it was an interesting confirmation of what my gut level feeling was of the differences between MPEG2 at such a low bit rate and high bit rate I-frame HD acquisition. I must stress that what I tested was WORST CASE SCENARIO stuff, and watching the material in full-motion wasn't nearly as bad as pausing on the frame...and most people will rarely shoot footage like this that basically brings the codec to its knees.

Both are great for what they are; Canon's HDV is an amazing feat of processing for how compromised it actually is, but the SDI port offers TOTAL peace of mind for those wanting imagery with no compromises that will compete with the established broadcast HD cameras and formats.

In all, I'm very happy to have both options. Like everyone else though, I just want a PRACTICAL SDI option (cough*laptop*cough*FirestoreSDI*cough)

But this "unpacking" SDI thing is misinformed marketing hoo ha. I've done captures to uncompressed, DVCProHD and other formats from HDV tape through SDI, and of course, the firewire route of DVHSCap and MPEG Streamclip. Quality-wise there was no difference, but the firewire route made export to 24p intermediate files SUPER EASY compared to trying to inverse telecine material captured from 1080i SDI.

Last edited by Barlow Elton; June 21st, 2006 at 04:32 PM.
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Old June 21st, 2006, 04:24 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Nelson
To get the most out of the H1, use the Wafian HR1 or the AJA Xena card and Cineform's Prospect HD to acquire full 4:2:2 10 bit HD SDI data at 1.4 Gbps in 1080 24p. This must be acquired live, not by playing HDV files back through the HD SDI port.--Dave
Dave,

What is the bit rate of full quality 10bit 4:2:2 CineForm? You say that you are acquiring the full 1.4Gbps data from SDI, but in reality the Wafian or Xena are only feeding the codec that bit rate. What is CineForm ultimately crunching it down to in terms of what speed a hard drive needs to cope with for a successful capture?

Man, I can't wait for your product to be integrated in QT/FCP too.

Will it be possible in the future with an SDI express card to capture CineForm to a high-end (i.e. most processing power) laptop?
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Old June 21st, 2006, 09:56 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christopher Glaeser
Is it possible the confusion was on the word "playback"? Is it possible they were referring to simultaneous SDI out and HDV record?

Best,
Christopher
Good thought Chris, but, no, it was just Miss Information at the Canon event...

Funny thing is that I said I was on a lot of these forums (DVinfo/XLCinema etc) and she said that you gotta be carefull because most people on those forums don't really know what they are talking about...
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Old June 22nd, 2006, 07:57 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christopher Glaeser
As a reader of the Adobe forums, my guess is most Premiere users edit HD projects in HDV.

Best,
Christopher

That may be the case for HDV in general but if you are going to invest $9000+ dollars into the Canon H1 then I'd think you would want to preserve the quality and not edit in HDV. I sold my HVX200 and switched to the Canon H1 only after learning of the Cineform workflow and seeing the results. Prior to that I would not have considered working in HDV because of the lossy nature and poor response I saw when editing it. However these 2 problems were alleviated with Cineform.

Peace!
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Old June 22nd, 2006, 10:40 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Marty Hudzik
That may be the case for HDV in general but if you are going to invest $9000+ dollars into the Canon H1 then I'd think you would want to preserve the quality and not edit in HDV.
Yes, you would think so. In addition to quality and performance issues, you can't even access 24f or 30f with Premiere's native HDV editing. However, as foolish as it may sound, there are people paying $9,000 on an HD camera who refuse to purchase third-party codecs. The Adobe PPro 2 feature list says "edit in native HDV", and that's what they insist on doing. Vist the Adobe forums and you will see them complaining about this or that limitation of native HDV editing, and when you suggest using Cineform, they refuse to take the advice, and will accuse you of being a Cineform shill.

Now, when I respond to forum questions about editing HD, I first ask them about their budget. The majority of PPro 2 users moving to HD did not plan a budget, and spent every dime on the camera. If they respond they have no more money to spend, then I try to help them with native HDV editing. I dont' think it's advisable to move to HD without first understanding all the purchases that will be needed, but what can you do. The new low-cost HD cameras are a major driving force behind this problem, but there are some owners of $9,000 cameras who fall in this group as well.

Best,
Christopher
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