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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 July 22nd, 2006, 02:27 PM   #16
Barry Wan Kenobi
 
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Dave,

I'm rather picky when it comes to this stuff, but -- with all due respect, this is pretty minor, compared to how some of the others perform, and most especially given the price tag. A 20x zoom on a camera for under $9,000... there does come the point where you have to say "you get what you pay for." (I mean, don't get me wrong, I *hate* the lens controls on the XLH1, which is 99% of the reason I haven't bought one; if it had a true manual HD lens I'd probably have one by now). But this C.A. you've pointed out is no worse than any of the other under-$10,000 HD cameras, and far and away better than what the JVC suffers from.

Let's put it in context -- have you seen some of the shots from the JVC? Look at this:

http://www.ideavideo.fi/pic/harakat_hdv.jpg

That's from DVInfo member Jari Pakkanen. Now obviously that's extreme, here's an example I shot with the HD100:

http://www.icexpo.com/JVCnDVX/HD100-Strip-2.JPG

In both those examples I think you'd agree that the aberration is extraordinarily worse than anything in Steven's XLH1 video. And that's not to say that every JVC shot suffers from it to that degree, obviously, but I'm just pointing out what a "bad" example looks like, to keep the XLH1's shots in context.

I think the Z1 and the HD100 are far worse than the HVX and XLH1 in the chromatic aberration department. Simple fact is, they're all going to have some, to some degree or other, especially at the more telephoto settings. There's a reason the CineAlta is $160,000 (with lens) and the XLH1 is $8999. You have to be willing to accept some sort of compromise at this price point.

This is not to diminish or minimize your dissatisfaction, but merely to put a little perspective on it. These cameras are 1/10th to 1/20th the cost of what we've been used to (CineAlta, VariCam, etc) yet deliver images that are well above 1/10th the image! Some CA is going to come with it.
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Old July 22nd, 2006, 02:43 PM   #17
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Dave,

What you demonstrate is precisely the same I've found the fingerprint of XL H1, and like you, find it bit repelling. The question is, what causes this, and what should it be called. A.J. says CA is not the right name for the artefact.

To check the effect of the lens, I checked my archives. Here are two frames of HDV footages taken almost immediately after each other.

www.luontovideo.net/Common tern XL H1+20x.tif
http://www.luontovideo.net/Common te...H1+EF600mm.tif

The other one is with the standard 20x lens, and the other is with the EF-adapter and Canon EF 600mm F 4.0 L IS USM lens (a very good and expensive lens).

Interestingly enough, the one shot with the EF600 lens does not seem to have this "border effect" whereas the frame taken with the standard 20x suffers a bit for it (see the top of the head of the common tern).
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Old July 22nd, 2006, 03:38 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry Green
This is not to diminish or minimize your dissatisfaction, but merely to put a little perspective on it. These cameras are 1/10th to 1/20th the cost of what we've been used to (CineAlta, VariCam, etc) yet deliver images that are well above 1/10th the image! Some CA is going to come with it.
Hi Barry. and thanks for your response.

I already know that my standards are much higher than those of most of the users on this board.

I attended the Canon show at Paramount Studios in Hollywood last month. Canon pedals the H1 camera as suitable for filmmakers and broadcast professionals alike, and yet the 20x lens is second rate compared even to the Z1 which is much cheaper.

I rejected the HD100 and the HVX, out of hand for the CA problems and also because they were the lowest resolution of the bunch.

JVCs offering is only 720p which may be ok for broadcasting, but most filmmakers these days edit in 2K and 4K. Some cameras now originate at 2K and 4K like the Dalsa.

The Sony HVR-Z1U does not exhibit this obnoxious red and green fringing around objects to the same extent as the HVX, the HD100 or the H1 do. I know because I own a Z1U and use it all the time. However it is not ideal for my purposes either.

I don't think my complaints are unreasonable. I have every right to complain about spending $9.000 for a camera that ships with a substandard lens. I am a filmmaker and am trying to make the best product I can.

I am looking for solutions to the problem and have found some, at least as far as using 35mm lenses and a cinema adaptor is concerned. I am waiting for the 6x manual lens to solve some of the other problems I'm having with this over-glassed, underfeatured, be-all-end-all 20x lens.

I won't settle for a substandard lens bolted to the most expensive of the low cost HD camcorders, unless I have to.

The H1 is a great camera and shoots at 1080 24p. It is definitely, by far, the best camera out there in my price range. The H1 is a filmmaker's dream. The only thing that stands in the way of this camera is the lens. Canon is aware of the problem and is attempting to address it this fall with a new lens.

Let's see how well they do with their new lens.

In any case, I love my H1, and very much dislike the 20x lens.

--Dave
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Old July 22nd, 2006, 04:00 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lauri Kettunen
Dave,

What you demonstrate is precisely the same I've found the fingerprint of XL H1, and like you, find it bit repelling. The question is, what causes this, and what should it be called. A.J. says CA is not the right name for the artefact.

To check the effect of the lens, I checked my arhives. Here are two frames of HDV footages taken almost immediately after each other.

www.luontovideo.net/Common tern XL H1+20x.tif
http://www.luontovideo.net/Common te...H1+EF600mm.tif

The other one is with the standard 20x lens, and the other is with the EF-adapter and Canon EF 600mm F 4.0 L IS USM lens (a very good and expensive lens).

Interestingly enough, the one shot with the EF600 lens does not seem to have this "border effect" whereas the frame taken with the standard 20x suffers a bit for it (see the top of the head of the common tern).
Hi Lauri, and thanks for the stills.

I guess you are as picky as me. It's not popular being picky around here. Most H1 owners seem to be a little sensitive about their purchases. Maybe it's because there is a problem and they don't like to admit it. It's kinda like buyers remorse. Don't remind me about the problems because I just refinanced my house to pay for this camera.

Well Adam Wilt of DV Magazine is a professional. He has reviewed the H1 and MC'd the Texas Shootouts. He calls it like it is. He states that the H1 has more CA (sometimes he also calls it red and green fringing too) than it's competitors.

I guess Adam Wilt doesn't post on this board or he would be torn to shreds by beginners with buyer's remorse. I am 55 and cut my teeth on film cameras. CA is CA, and it always will be. It is caused by bad lens designs.

Visit this link to see what Canon has to say about Chromatic Aberration: http://www.canon.com/bctv/faq/chrab.html

In the article Canon talks about which types of lenses are most prone to CA problems. This is what Canon has to say:

"In a long focal length, high zoom ratio lens, chromatic aberration is the greatest problem, particularly the secondary spectrum, which is a high order chromatic aberration."

Canon explains the problem and tells us why the H1's 20x lens has CA problems, all in one sentence... "Long focal length, high zoom ratio telephoto lens." IMHO, there's too much glass, too many useless features, and no manual controls. Canon is breaking all their sacred rules to produce this lens, and we pay for the marketing department's overexuberence, trying to outdo Sony and the rest.

I'm not sure what to do about the lens problem except to wait for Canon to come out with a better lens.

I use 35mm lenses and an M2 cinema adaptor on my camera. I love these simple, high-quality 35mm lenses. They are fully manual, sharp, time-tested, predictable, durable, and optically superior to the lenses used on 1/3" CCD cameras. These problems, CA and the like, don't show up when I use this 35mm lens and Cinema Adaptor combination, and is the only way I can use the H1 at this time. I wouldn't put my name on shots filled with this level of CA, or whatever you want to call it, that the H1's lens has. As I said earlier, Adam Wilt calls it CA.

I will say, however, that the shots with the 35mm lenses and shallow depth-of-field are amazing.

I hope that Canon comes through with a new lens.

Thanks again.

I love my H1, but I dislike the 20x lens.

--Dave.

Last edited by Dave F. Nelson; July 22nd, 2006 at 06:45 PM.
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Old July 22nd, 2006, 06:14 PM   #20
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what I dont understand is how my nikon d70s is capable of putting out image quality beyond beliefe..... with absolute 0 chroma abbrasion, and is capable of maintaining 3 frames per second, cant they just work from there and put it up to 24 and 30 frames per second? even if it meant No audio thats fine with me, foaley works wonders. It has to be possible...
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Old July 22nd, 2006, 06:41 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curtis Bouvier
what I dont understand is how my nikon d70s is capable of putting out image quality beyond beliefe.
Which 20x zoom lens did you test on your d70?

Best,
Christopher
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Old July 22nd, 2006, 06:56 PM   #22
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just the default 67mm Nikkor lense

Is the abberation due to the fact that the lense is 20x? or just poorly made?

because there is practically telescope lenses that can zoom into anything from far away, and they don't have this issue..

this is how images would look at digital slr quality @ 1920x1080.

http://img83.imageshack.us/img83/188...er1080pjl5.jpg

http://img56.imageshack.us/img56/196...er1080pcx9.jpg

http://img218.imageshack.us/img218/1...in1080pwi9.jpg
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Old July 22nd, 2006, 07:15 PM   #23
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personally I think it's a canon issue with their lenses, because my friend just bought a 20D and almost all his outdoor pictures have chroma aberration issues, not quite as severe as the H1 tho.

example to backup my statement, cropped from an 8MP 20D image.

http://img98.imageshack.us/img98/9607/chromatic1mb7.png

For a digital SLR of it's price range, that is Unacceptable and I will stand by that till the end.

My D70s has no CA issues period as you can see in the above links I posted.
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Old July 22nd, 2006, 08:26 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curtis Bouvier
personally I think it's a canon issue with their lenses, because my friend just bought a 20D and almost all his outdoor pictures have chroma aberration issues, not quite as severe as the H1 tho.

example to backup my statement, cropped from an 8MP 20D image.

http://img98.imageshack.us/img98/9607/chromatic1mb7.png

For a digital SLR of it's price range, that is Unacceptable and I will stand by that till the end.

My D70s has no CA issues period as you can see in the above links I posted.
Hi Curtis,

You're on the right track. There is no excuse for the levels of CA on the H1 other than poor design. However I will give Canon this. They know how to make a good lens. The problem with the H1's 20x lens is that they tried to out do their competitors hoping that the typical user would not know the difference. They have proved it to me since the typical user on this board doesn't even know there is a problem, or if he does, he's not willing to admit it.

In an earlier post in this thread, I provide a link to Canon's website in which they explain what CA is, and they cover the types of lenses that are most prone to CA problems. They describe the H1's 20x lens perfectly.

They admit that these lenses have the most CA problems and yet they ship them because inexperienced consumers think they need them. They just see the 20x on the lens barrel and say Wow! Then these guys (and gals) go and make a 480i SD DVD of their kids at a birthday party and say the camera is amazing.

Many of the users here bought the H1 camera to create SD video. That's what the XL1 and 2 are for and you can save a lot of bucks and grief if your go with the XL2, or one of the cheaper Sony HDV cameras, at least until the software companies work out all the bugs, and Intel triples or quadruples the speed of the processor. The Mac uses the Intel chip now too.

Well there are also some serious pros on this board that recognize the problems. Maybe one of them will speak up, but I think that most are afraid to say something because old-timers and beginners alike will come down hard on them for even daring to discus the problem openly. The hostile reply you received from one of the old-timers on this board is a perfect example of what I am speaking of.

How dare you criticize my camera, you, you, you, you newbie! How dare you!

In any case, you are on the right track. However, high telephoto zoom lenses like the H1's 20x lens do have more CA problems than the lenses you are testing on your still camera. Canon knows this but built one anyway, knowing there would be problems. To give Canon credit, that's what the 6x lens is all about. But the typical user on this board probably scratches his head and can't understand why someone would want a 6x manual lens in the first place.

I'll bet that Canon will offer us one of the best lenses out there just so they can address the filmmaker market, and shut people like me up. I couldn't care less about a 20x lens. I'm not interested in shooting butterflies at 200 yards. All I want is a sharp, clean, high-quality, fast manual lens with minimal CA, to complete my film.

Canon probably decided on a 6x manual lens because they know that at that level of magnification, they are able to design a nearly perfect lens, or the next thing to it.

Marketing people at Canon probably don't know how to sell a 6x lens or why someone would even want one, but the engineers know what filmmakers want. I'll bet Canon will build a great lens, once they put their minds to it. That's what I'm waiting for.

For me, this 6x manual lens could be the perfect lens, if Canon designs it well. They certainly know how build great lenses.

--Dave.

Last edited by Dave F. Nelson; July 22nd, 2006 at 08:58 PM.
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Old July 22nd, 2006, 08:50 PM   #25
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I agree whole heartedly, 20x is just simpley not needed for 98% of film making, And I sure is hell wont need that for what I have intended lol...

Any idea what Canon has in store for the H1 exactly? I will take a 6x of pure quality anyday before a 20x that suffers severly from Chromatic Aberrasion. I am very picky when it comes to quality, and when I see severe CA, the first thing that comes to mind is one of those cheesey $80 dollar compact digital cameras, or a cell phone cam... so that's not cool having that in a $9000 dollar professional HD video camera.

I also hear that you can equipe the H1 with Anamorphic 2:35:1 Panavision Primo lenses, however you have to rent them as they are not for sale anywhere on this planet.

Any ideas?
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Old July 22nd, 2006, 10:10 PM   #26
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Dave: What you say is true, the 20x lens is not what it should be. But, and I told this to a Canon rep who called me just last week, we bought a camera with interchangeable lenses - why? so we can CHANGE the lens.

Unfortunately Canon has not supported this camera (yet) with accessories (lenses or viewfinders) that will satisfy professionals.

In my case, I've just ordered a 16x manual lens, which is not optimized for HD. Will it have as much CA? Probably. My reason for needing it is that the HANDLING of the 20 x is abominable, not unlike the snowman.

It focuses sluggishly and the autofocus is a joke.

In my case, I'm 62. I went to UCLA film school in the 60's and have shot with every kind of camera except IMAX. I make verite style documentaries and use a lot of filters (like ProMists), so lens optical imperfections aren't as objectionable to me as some others here. Hell, as I've said elsewhere, I've used Pan Cinors, Angenieux 12-120s and Zeis 10-100s (a very expensive BAD lens)...

But - Canon has got to improve this option, THEY MAKE VERY NICE SUPER16 LENSES!!! Even if the lens alone costs $10,000 there are people who will want/need/buy it...

We're still living with a 1/3" chip, though - oh well...
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Old July 22nd, 2006, 11:15 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curtis Bouvier
just the default 67mm Nikkor lense
That is the answer to your question, "I dont understand is how my nikon d70s is capable ..." There are other differences between your SLR and XLH1 such as three sensors vs one sensor, sensor size, etc, but the basic difference addressing your CA question is the lens. A 20x zoom has many compromises compared to a prime. That is why you see some XLH1 owners begging for a new lens with less zoom range. Everything else being equal, less zoom range generally means better images within that reduced range.

Best,
Christopher
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Old July 22nd, 2006, 11:20 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curtis Bouvier
For a digital SLR of it's price range, that is Unacceptable and I will stand by that till the end.

My D70s has no CA issues period as you can see in the above links I posted.
What lens was used on the 20D. Was it comparable to the Nikkor prime used on your camera?

Best,
Christopher
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Old July 23rd, 2006, 03:34 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christopher Glaeser
What lens was used on the 20D. Was it comparable to the Nikkor prime used on your camera?

Best,
Christopher
it was default shipped with the 20D, my lense is default as well.
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Old July 23rd, 2006, 03:58 AM   #30
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I think some people are expecting too much from an all-in-one zoom lens that is fairly cheap. The more glass elements in the make-up of a lens, the more problems will need to be overcome.

The 20X AF lens is a decent sharp lens, and so is the 16 X MF lens, but both do not match the clarity of my top EDIF Nikkors clamped to the same video body. Colour fringing is one of the biggest problems I've noticed with video zoom lenses, something that is not so evident when I use pro-level SLR zoom lenses on a video camera, and even less evident when I use a fixed prime lens.

Video zoom lenses do have their uses, and the 20X holds a few advantages when shooting some footage (Image Stabiliser, slow crawling zoom, etc) but there are many times when I've wished for a wide fixed manual lens.

If you read through a hundred archive posts on the Canon 3X zoom lens, you'll find even more problems encountered with colour fringing and maintaining sharpness than found in the telephoto 20x & 16X zoom lenses.

I've got a sneaky feeling that the 6X zoom lens that is about to be released will still have some fringing and sharpness problems that are encountered in the earlier zoom lenses. Hopefully I will be wrong and the 6X lens will be the lens we are all looking for.

I just wish that Canon had brought out a fixed prime wide angle video lens (around 24mm equivalent SLR lens) to fit the XL camera bodies.
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