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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 28th, 2006, 06:07 PM   #1
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Xl-h1 in SD

How many of you H1 owners have shot in standard def? How does it look?
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Old August 28th, 2006, 06:20 PM   #2
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I shot a project last Thursday in HDV, then downconverted to SD for the capture.

I did this because the video was not that important, just documentation that the event occured.

The output looked ok to me and the client was more than pleased with the SD image. Then I showed him the HDV footage to a HD television and he was even more impressed.

The reason I captured the footage in SD was to save the workflow hassles of HDV. Normally, I capture HDV then immediately render it via Cineform, and then edit using Vegas.

I am waiting for Vegas 7.0 to be announced to determine if I should buy the better version of Cineform.
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Old August 28th, 2006, 07:51 PM   #3
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I have shot many projects with the XLH1 in SD. Overall It doesn't look any better than my DVX-100A. It does have a longer lens which sometimes has been very useful. Each camera has it its strengths and weaknesses.
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Old August 28th, 2006, 08:06 PM   #4
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I shoot regularly in DV with the H1 and the XL2 in multicamera capacity. They are VERY close in quality...the H1 might be just a tiny, tiny bit sharper, which I attribute to the HD lense.
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Old August 28th, 2006, 08:36 PM   #5
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the reason I ask is I'm thinking about the new Canon XH-A1 and I think I have enough to get by using HDV but it will be slow. But if I use in in standard def I get the good lense, 16:9 and 24F then I can grow my computer needs as I go.

So two questions and the A1 will probably work the same.

1. When you record in HDV and then you say you capture in DV. Does the camera change this or is it a program like Final Cut that does it?

2. How does the H1 look in 4:3 if you ever do that?
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Old August 28th, 2006, 08:59 PM   #6
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Someone else should chime in on whether the H1 (and A1, G1) can do the real-time downconvert as you load in. I think you can do that, but I bring all footage in via a Kona LHe and capture using the DVCProHD codec. I downconvert on final export/playout. This way I can choose whether to do it as center-cut or just letterboxed.

There are several advantages to doing it this way. #1, you have the HD master for later use. #2, it actually allows you to do some emergency tweaking because the frame is so much bigger than SD. You can actually reframe your shot without a problem...not that we ever make compositional mistakes, right? :-)
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Old August 29th, 2006, 12:04 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Zimmerman
the reason I ask is I'm thinking about the new Canon XH-A1 and I think I have enough to get by using HDV but it will be slow. But if I use in in standard def I get the good lense, 16:9 and 24F then I can grow my computer needs as I go.

So two questions and the A1 will probably work the same.

1. When you record in HDV and then you say you capture in DV. Does the camera change this or is it a program like Final Cut that does it?

2. How does the H1 look in 4:3 if you ever do that?
Bob,

I regularly downconvert (through the camera settings) to SD from HDV. As noted you then have an HDV master and the ease of DV edit. I find the finished product to be acceptable for viewing on SD-DVD. I have not yet edited a project on HDV. I'm still waiting before upgrading my hardware. The dual cores are relatively cheap but so far I haven't really needed HDV.

I bought the H1 specifically so I can shoot HDV and edit SD, yet when ready, I can edit HDV.

The one thing about HDV is that it is native 16:9. I have some 4:3 work coming up so I'll have to check the workflow to crop to 4:3. I may shoot in SD 4:3 as it may be sufficient. I'll try it out anyway, as the work is quickie stuff and I'm looking to see if SD 4:3 may be good enough.
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Old August 29th, 2006, 07:15 AM   #8
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lowlight in SD-mode?

one reason to shoot in SD-mode would be to get better perfomance in lowlight conditions... it may theoretically be so. Is it in real.. Dan, Daniel, Kevin?
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Old August 29th, 2006, 07:39 AM   #9
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I don't believe using the XLH1 in SD mode changes its sensitivity compared to HD. It is still using the same chips to make either picture. The camera is definitely slower than the Native SD cameras.
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Old August 29th, 2006, 07:43 AM   #10
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Ken, I edit with Avid Liquid and using 16:9 footage in a 4:3 project is simple - just drop the 16:9 footage into a 4:3 timeline and it will automatically convert it to 4:3.

I believe that several other NLEs are just as proficient at doing this.

So to use a bit of HDV 16:9 footage in an SD 4:3 project I just used the incamera downconvert for convenience and loaded the footage into a 4:3 timeline and that was it.
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Old August 29th, 2006, 07:58 AM   #11
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I have not tested the light sensitivity of the XL H1 in SD mode.

Before I purchased the camera I had doubts about HDV. I have not had any problems so far, so I have not had any need to shoot in SD mode.

The downconvert on the fly (using the cameras hardware) works well. I have not tested the quality versus downconverting in a Non-Linear Editor (NLE).

The advantage of downconverting in the camera is that you can capture as an AVI file instead of a MPEG2 Transport Stream (M2T). This makes the editing easier and quicker.

When capturing HDV, the M2T is hard to edit. I find using Cineform is desirable and necessary.
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Old August 29th, 2006, 08:17 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Doherty
Ken, I edit with Avid Liquid and using 16:9 footage in a 4:3 project is simple - just drop the 16:9 footage into a 4:3 timeline and it will automatically convert it to 4:3.
Just make sure that you frame it for 4:3 when shooting. Liquid clips both sides to fit in the 4:3-timeline.
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Old August 29th, 2006, 12:11 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Per Johan
Just make sure that you frame it for 4:3 when shooting. Liquid clips both sides to fit in the 4:3-timeline.
I'm using Vegas 6, so I hope it does the same (i'll try it later). Presumably then you can still have an HDV master, which is always good.
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Old August 29th, 2006, 02:37 PM   #14
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i based in my previous post on assumption that if You use Your imaging devicde(ccd or cmos) in lower res then it could be possible use more than one physical pixel to get one logical pixel value. Now there is two branch:

1. use those additional pixels as additional surface and to get due to this bigger charge for logical pixel.
2. just to interpolate(later in supporting chips) all neighbor pixels and suppress so random kind of(thermal) noise.

Second branch is doable in NLE as well. You just have to use special kind of downconverting.

Thanks, Daniel and Dan for reaction. And if anybody happend to plan some further test with given camcorder i'd be very happy if You put in Your testlist low light tests in SD and HD mode.
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