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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 24th, 2006, 01:14 PM   #1
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Advice...

Hi All

I've just placed my order for my new XL-H1 to replace my XL1s that I damaged on a shoot in Zambia a couple of weeks ago and if all goes well should have the camera before the end of next week.

I'm leaving on another 30 day wildlife documentary shoot in Zimbabwe next weekend, which will leave me with absolutely no time to experiment and play around with the camera, which makes me a bit nervous...

At this point I'd appreciate any advice for things that I have to watch out for, as I really don't want to find out the hard way!

I've got a few questions and if anyone has time to share their experience, I'd really appreciate it.

(1) First off, is there any major operation differences that I need to prepare myself for between the Xl1s and Xl-H1?

(2) Tape stock, I used Sony's Mini DV cassettes in my XL1s, which brand would be best for the XL-H1?

(3) Finally, I'll be using two Sennheiser Evolution G2 Wireless Lavalier microphones on this particular shoot, one of the presenters is bringing the set with him to Zimbabwe. Is there a system to attach the two receivers onto the camera??? As I'll be walking long distances with the camera over my shoulder following elephants (up to 10 miles per day) and as most of the footage will be shot hand held, does anyone have any advice on mounting the receivers in such a way to balance the camera and make it as comfortable as possible for this purpose.

Oh, before I forget, we are using the latest Final Cut Pro version from Apple to edit on, anything that I should keep in mind when shooting on the XL-H1? Can I for instance shoot in 24F???

Thanks for taking the time to read trough this, I really appreciate it.

Didi
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Old August 24th, 2006, 01:31 PM   #2
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Didi,

One thing... I'd download a few custom presets from the sticky's. I now use Steven Dempseys Panalook pretty much exclusively. If you have the time and a hi speed connection you can review most of the presets listed. The difference between factory settings and a good preset is stunning.

If you don't already have extra power, I also got the CH-910 Dual battery charger and 2 BP 970 batteries and am amazed at the life I get out of them.

Good luck.
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Old August 24th, 2006, 05:40 PM   #3
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I would also read the wonderful sticky above - Tips and Tricks of the H1

One very important issue for you in your run and gun situation touched on in this sticky is the viewfinder; it is not accurate as to brightness and hues. As suggested, you should do some work to adjust it to more closely match a broadcast monitor that is in adjustment to SMPTE or EBU color bars. And I should take my own advice on this as well.
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Old August 25th, 2006, 03:14 PM   #4
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Thanks for the advice, I did read trough the tips and tricks segment and am a little concerned about the viewfinder... I guess like with the XL1s it's something that I will get used to and develop a feel for over time... had similar issues with my XL1s when I first got it.

I have a silly question though, can one access the Flash card in the camera trough the firewire connection to download still pictures or upload custom presets like Ken suggested, or do I have to purchase a USB flash card reader to connect to my computer?
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Old August 25th, 2006, 03:29 PM   #5
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24f question

Yes, you can use 24f. When editing, you should consider digitizing from the SDI port and going into DVCPro HD. If you need a workflow you can contact me. Also Barlow Elton is an expert on this (he's on this board).

I shot an indie fearure in 24f in March and it looks absolutely terrific.

Best of luck with the elephants.

Harry
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Old August 25th, 2006, 04:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Didi Schoeman
Thanks for the advice, I did read trough the tips and tricks segment and am a little concerned about the viewfinder... I guess like with the XL1s it's something that I will get used to and develop a feel for over time... had similar issues with my XL1s when I first got it.

I have a silly question though, can one access the Flash card in the camera trough the firewire connection to download still pictures or upload custom presets like Ken suggested, or do I have to purchase a USB flash card reader to connect to my computer?
Didi,

You need the USB card reader for both stills download and presets.

Re the EVF. I like the distance meter in MF and although it still requires some estimation the deep DOF is somewhat forgiving. Sometimes you just can't zoom in focus and zoom out. Depending on the situation, I shoot autofocus more now and use the evf for composition etc. So far I have found it to be pretty reliable.
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Old August 25th, 2006, 04:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Didi Schoeman
Thanks for the advice, I did read trough the tips and tricks segment and am a little concerned about the viewfinder... I guess like with the XL1s it's something that I will get used to and develop a feel for over time... had similar issues with my XL1s when I first got it.
If you read through the other camera forums, no one seems real happy with the stock EVF. I was pleasantly surprised after reading reviews on it. Of course I'd like to upgrade to the 7" Marshall, but...$$$$ (HD is also an acronym for High Debt)
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Old August 26th, 2006, 04:03 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Diewert
If you read through the other camera forums, no one seems real happy with the stock EVF. I was pleasantly surprised after reading reviews on it. Of course I'd like to upgrade to the 7" Marshall, but...$$$$ (HD is also an acronym for High Debt)
Lol, true.. it seems I'd sell my soul for pretty pictures though!

Ken, you mentioned shooting with auto-focus on, is it stable or does it have the tendency to "hunt" for focus like the XL1s? My normal practice out in the field irrespective of camera is the zoom in focus and zoom out method, with the XL1s I normally zoom in and then just hold in the auto-focus button for a sec to get things done quickly, the fact that the standard stock lens doesn't come with professional focus and iris ring like professional lenses is a real pain in the butt, but then the lens stabilizer on these stock lenses is nothing short of amazing and being hand held most of the time, there is no real substitute for me...

Harry, you mentioned digitizing directly from the SDI port into DVCPro HD, is there a definite quality difference? I was under the impression that the footage once recorded on tape is already compressed to such an extend that the SDI port would only be viable for live footage and not already recorded footage... I'm extremely curious and would appreciate any information on this, is there a link or post on this forum where I can read up more about it? (This has me somewhat excited at the moment!!!)

Again, thanks to everyone for the advice, I'm like a little kid waiting to open his presents on Christmas day, can't wait for the camera to get here!!!

Didi
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Old August 26th, 2006, 04:23 AM   #9
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once you get the hang of it the peaking works very well for focus, i have had very few problems getting correct focus when peaking is turned on.
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Old August 26th, 2006, 04:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Bickford
once you get the hang of it the peaking works very well for focus, i have had very few problems getting correct focus when peaking is turned on.
Hi Jon, thanks for the advice, just read trough the manual and will look into the peaking function, should be interesting to try out in the field.

Didi
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Last edited by Didi Schoeman; August 26th, 2006 at 09:28 AM.
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Old August 26th, 2006, 11:43 AM   #11
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SDI etc

You are correct. The only improvement in photographic quality would be if you recorded straight to disk out of the SDI port. I am advocating editing in DVCPro HD because I understand that color correction and effects such as fades and dissolves (and all fx) look better when done in DVCPro rather than in HDV.

As I mentioned, I can send you the workflow that I have used on this last picture when using FCP5 and a Blackmagic card if you send me your email address.

I am not an expert, but I do have some recent experience.

Best

Harry.
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Old August 26th, 2006, 12:15 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Bromley-Davenport
You are correct. The only improvement in photographic quality would be if you recorded straight to disk out of the SDI port. I am advocating editing in DVCPro HD because I understand that color correction and effects such as fades and dissolves (and all fx) look better when done in DVCPro rather than in HDV.

As I mentioned, I can send you the workflow that I have used on this last picture when using FCP5 and a Blackmagic card if you send me your email address.

I am not an expert, but I do have some recent experience.

Best

Harry.
I'd really appreciate that, thanks!!!

My e-mail address is: didi@proafrica.tv

Any advice is always welcome.

Didi
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Old August 26th, 2006, 04:45 PM   #13
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Has anyone had any luck with importing 4 channels of audio into FCP 5.1.1??? I can't seem to find a definite answer on the posts on this forum.

I'm planning on using two lapel microphones on Channel 3 and 4 while keeping the Camera's mic on Channel 1 and 2 for this documentary, but I guess I'll have to make another plan if FCP can't import all 4 channels... Any news on this???

Didi
(EDIT) I suppose I should have posted this one on the other thread, hope I didn't hijack it, tried to move it but couldn't, would still appreciate any advice though!
____________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________

(EDIT) I actually did some research and found the answer I was looking for.

Fire Wire can only import Two audio tracks at a time, unless you use a third party Card like the Kona or Blackmagic Decklink HD Pro that Harry Bromley uses to import the video from the SDI port and four RCA audio outputs.

Alternatively you can have FCP mix all four channels into one and import it as one audio track when you digitize, obviously your four tracks are locked into one fixed level which is a bummer.

Second option is to two two digitize bypasses, on the first round you digitize Video, track 1 &2, and on the second pass, audio tracks 3 & 4... need to marry and sync up the tracks in your edit, a pain in the butt, but doable.

Didi
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Last edited by Didi Schoeman; August 27th, 2006 at 11:48 AM.
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