A few questions for the experts at DVinfo.net

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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 November 16th, 2006, 02:56 AM   #1
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A few questions for the experts

I received my Canon XL-H1 last saturday and have been playing around with it ever since. Coming from analog/digital photography, there are some things that I would like to see clarified. And I am sure the knowledge is available here.

1. I am a great fan of light meters. In my photography days, I was using a spot meter to allow for accurate readings of the whole dynamic range. Is this workable with digital video? I am looking for a good lightmeter but I am not sure if I can better opt for a multi-functional or a spotmeter. Maybe for video, a spotmeter is not very pratical which I would like to find out. Also, if you have a recommendation for a nice meter please let me know.

2. I also would like to buy a good videolight. However, the Canon light does not really appeal to me. I am sure there are better options. So again, if you can recommend a particular light fill me in.

3. Are you using a UV filter? I have read so many times that it is the best way to protect your lens. But will a filter really degrade image quality or are the high-end filters up to the task of high-definition video?

4. I am also considering a matte box. Which brand can you recommend and what is the price of the filters it takes?

5. I am really interested to learn more about the dynamic range of High-Definition video. I found this information on Wikipedia, is this accurate for HDV? Is there an article/resource I should read?

Quote:
Film

Film has about 11 stops. And a contrast ratio of 2048:1 or about 2000:1. Film is currently the highest amount of Dynamic Range in motion picture. It is over ten times the amount of even the highest quality and clarity of video.

Video

Video has about 5.5 stops. Or a contrast ratio of about 45:1. Video is pretty limited because it only has 145 million variations of different brightness level.
As always, I thank everyone for their feedback!
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Old November 16th, 2006, 04:05 AM   #2
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Hi Floris,
Excuse me but are you not too lazy now? Most of the information you request are already answered in different threads. Without searching I know there are many opinions at dvinfo about at least your number 2, 3, and 4.
I also think it is much better to keep such different questions separated in their designated areas. For instance, many have already bought video lights. There are tons of information in the "Photon Management" forum. Light is nothing special for an XL H1. You don't need a Canon lamp on your Canon cam.
If you havn't found usuable information already, use the "Search" button.
BTW, welcome to Sweden next year! /Johan
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Old November 16th, 2006, 04:28 AM   #3
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Hi Johan, it is not that I am lazy but I could not find exactly what I was looking for. I changed my search terms a bit and narrowed it down and now I did find some of the information. Anyway, thanks for your feedback.
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Old November 17th, 2006, 09:39 AM   #4
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Floris,
I use an on cam light, mainly for weddings and interviews in low light situations. About a year ago I bought the Frezzi 50 watt mini fill with dimmer and softbox. I used it quite often on my xl2. It's a fantastic rig. you can use just the amount of light needed, and you can change the diffusion in the soft box, or use gells when needed.
It's not cheap, but it really does the job.
I hope you're having fun wiyh your new H1...I'm really enjoying mine.
Bruce S. Yarock
www.yarock.com
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Old November 18th, 2006, 09:29 PM   #5
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I use a litepanels mini flood ran off of a couple of extra camera batteries. I have worked many 12 hour days with it on almost the entire time without ever running out the batteries. It is also EXTREMELY useful for narrative shoots when you need a quick fill or a light hidden in the shot, fantastic for car interiors as well.

i don't like to use a UV filter unless it is a high risk environment, such as a windy day at the beach or a drunk crowd. I shoot into the sun a lot for a nice back light on my subject, light will bounce back and forth between the front of the lens and the back of a filter and give awful problems. also yeah, there has to be a degredation in image quality. leaving the lens hood on is good enough protection for most circumstances, the glass on all of my lenses is very clean.

every digital camera has a different dynamic range because they use different chips and processing and compression etc. in terms of picture quality this is probably the XL-H1's worst problem, it really doesn't have enough for a lot of situations i've found myself in.not much of a problem for narrative work in a relatively controlled environment but kinda rough for run and gun stuff sometimes. I was watching an XDcam HD demo the other day and i was blown away by the cameras lattitude, among the best digital cameras i've seen.

as for a light meter, they're not s useful in this class of camera because you never know what ISO rating you are really shooting at. you can however use one for finding out if you have too much lattitude but a monitor is really more useful.
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Old November 21st, 2006, 09:42 AM   #6
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How long can you use the Litepanel with a battery (and which batteries does it use?). I heard that they are pretty popular at this moment.
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Old November 21st, 2006, 06:35 PM   #7
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you can get them with an adapter plate for whatever brand camera you have, so in your case they'd use Canon batteries, I run the things all day long on a couple of XL batteries and have never worn them out, i've even pulled one off after about 10 hours on set and used it to run the camera for the rest of the day, incredibly efficient.
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