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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 August 18th, 2006, 10:06 PM   #1
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Need some advice and tips from XL-H1 owners !

Ok I just got my XL-H1 last week it took few weeks for a pal upgrade and I am going overseas in two weeks for my first documentary and I am shooting NTSC in this project. Now I am trying to learn all the curves in this Camera and I am new in the HD world so I am in a little panic.
My documentary has alot of interviews and also many outside shots in sunny mountain areas.
1- What should I shoot in 60i , 30f ,24f. I know that 60i looks too much like video and 24f looks nice but I am not sure about doing any paning and how Vegas 6 can handle it or is it too much to worry about.
2- Any color adjustment tips I should know about.
3- what about the skin detail function? Has any one used it for close-up interview shots?
4- Autofocus ! should I trust it at all. I will be using Glidecam Smooth Shooter in some shots, I have the Xl1s and it is very bad with autofocus when using the Glidecam (or anything for that matter).I only want to use autofocus on the Glidecam.
5- I am using a wide angle HDV7X1 for some very closed in areas. Would I lose some sharpness in the shot ?

I am taking some shots with the XLH1 and try to see what is the best picture possible this camera can put out for a TV documentary. But there are so many curves and so many combinations you need to try to get the best picture possible.

So any advice from you guys out there with XLH1 knowledge will be very much appreciated.

Thanks
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Old August 19th, 2006, 09:20 AM   #2
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Hi Michael, did you completely read through these two threads?

Tips and Tricks for the XL H1 at http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=65694

Thoughts and Advice on using the XL H1 at http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=68020
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Old August 19th, 2006, 10:15 AM   #3
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Thanks Chris, Excellent info.!!!!!!!
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Old August 20th, 2006, 07:21 AM   #4
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Dear Michael,

For your convenience, I copied this from a previous post:

If you have access to a field monitor, or a good substitute you can perform the following procedure so that your viewfinder will match what is being recorded.

Out of the box, the XL H1 viewfinder is way too bright and the colors (hue) on mine were off.

1. Calibrate or check your monitor for proper calibration. Pay close attention to the brightness and hue.Search this site, or the web for procedures to calibrate a monitor. This is a very important step.

2. Setup the camera and monitor. Set the camera so that the Color Bars are visible on the field monitor.

3. Adjust your viewfinder, using the menu controls, so that it matches the monitor.

4. Repeat this process using live scenes instead of color bars. Check different lighting and be sure to include colorful items in your scene.

After performing the above, I went on a personal trip with the camera. It was very convenient to have confidience in the image in the viewfinder. This allowed me to dial in the proper color balance manually when necessary.

I always like to use the field monitor, but this is not always possible in field shooting. After making the above adjustments, the viewfinder was a reasonable substitute for brightness and hue, but not resolution.

Also, I highly recommend that you download the custom presets from this site. Load them into your camera and experiment. The differences are dramatic.
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Old August 20th, 2006, 07:50 AM   #5
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You will find the autofocus much improved over the Xl1s.

However, under low-light conditions you may still have problems, depending on the setup of the camera.

As a general rule of thumb, I have found that if you have a good image in the viewfinder, then the autofocus generally works well. If you let the image get dark, then you will have some problems.

A friend used my XL 1H on Friday to shot an event, all on autofocus. The event was from 6:45 to 8:30, so the light was fading fast, and some situations were fairly dark. The camera was set on -3db gain.

He shot 16 minutes of footage (1080i), all was in focus except about 3 seconds when the image got so dark that the autofocus system could not handle it. Then he changed the gain to 0db and there were no more problems.

I am certain there will be problems under other demanding situations also, but it is dramatically better than the XL1s's autofocus.

The autofocus may not always focus on the portion of the image that you want in focus. Check the focus before you start recording. If it is not focused on what you want, then I recommend that you zoom into to what you want in focus, then re-frame as desired. This seemed to help when in the rare cases (for me, your mileage may vary) in which it focused on the wrong area of the shot.

I have not tested it yet, but I understand that when using 24fps, the autofocus is less effective since there is less data coming into the autofocus system.

If you are in a very demanding shoot, or very controlled conditions, you may want to use manual focus to achieve the results you need. But, as a tool, I find that the autofocus works well.
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Old August 20th, 2006, 10:29 AM   #6
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Thanks Dan for the info,

I will try that with the viewfinder but I was thinking of using DV Rack and use my laptop computer as a monitor and a waveform/vectorscope monitor.
I tried the trial version and it was ok I did not get the right results becuse I did not have the calibration chart to give you an accurate reading, does anyone here have any success with DV Rack with HD ?
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