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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 February 8th, 2007, 03:24 PM   #76
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Brian,
Shouldn,t the final edited master be as good as the original footage if you firewire everthing back and forth? Right now I'm archiving wildlife footage shot with the XLH1 and I simply firewire my special shots from a Sony 25U deck back into my camera and save on new Sony digital masters and the quality looks exactly like the original footage. I'm sure I could go back and forth all day without generation loss with the same piece of footage. A good editing HDV system should be able to maintain quality as in DV but I can't say for sure as don't have one yet.

The following is not aimed at you Brian.

As far as quality is concerned I'm more than happy with the XLH1, whip pans, fast action, you name it looks good 99% of the time. I snowshoed for hours yesterday tracking a family of lynx and finally managed 30 seconds of footage of the mother, her 3 half grown youngsters I could not find. The point I'm trying to make is, if I was lugging a monster of a camera I wouln't of been able to get the footage I did. So this camera is the best for me, as year in year out this is my style of filming, rough going most of the time. I couln't care less for a little better quality on those full size cameras if they're too heavy to pack far. My camera with lens support, teleconverters and tripod weighs about 22 pounds and when at times you have to carry the mounted camera ready for action in deep snow, I often wish for less weight. At this time I don't know of a better camera than the XLH1 for wildlife filmmaking.

Leon Lorenz
www.wildlifevideos.ca
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Old February 8th, 2007, 03:58 PM   #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leon Lorenz
Brian,
Shouldn,t the final edited master be as good as the original footage if you firewire everthing back and forth? Right now I'm archiving wildlife footage shot with the XLH1 and I simply firewire my special shots from a Sony 25U deck back into my camera and save on new Sony digital masters and the quality looks exactly like the original footage. I'm sure I could go back and forth all day without generation loss with the same piece of footage. A good editing HDV system should be able to maintain quality as in DV but I can't say for sure as don't have one yet.


www.wildlifevideos.ca
Just because it's digital doesn't mean you don't get generational losses, with HDCAM around six generations seems to be regarded as the limit. From my understanding, for best results you don't want to be editing native HDV, best practice is to convert the HDV into full HD video. Of course, you're now into needing lots of extra drive space to store this, but you don't have the GOP and you're working with full frame HD.

It's certainly an area you should carefully think about and plan a workflow that maintains maximum quality. This technology is changing all the time, with new developments coming along every week and it's worth doing some research before making any decisions.
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Old February 8th, 2007, 04:42 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by A. J. deLange
Some does and some doesn't. The local public TV channel, for example, has attrocious compression. All the things cited here (macroblocking....) are plainly visible if the situation is the least bit dynamic. And while I have seen stuff on other channels that looks sharper, more vibrant etc than XL-H1 images I have to note that if I go stepping frame to frame on XL-H1 footage in which there is lots of motion (panning running dogs past trees with lots of leaves etc) which have been converted to an I only codec I can't tell which were originally I frames and which were B and P. This says to me that the temporal compression is working pretty well.
Yes, but I think as others have said, It's a case of how compressed your material is to begin with then how much more compression and manipulation it suffers prior to broadcast. As much as I'd like to see lot's of HDV making it onto the BBC's HD channel and channels to come, I don't really see it happening. They've drawn a line in the sand in terms of it's technical guidelines and unfortunately (at the moment) HDV is considered unacceptable as a genuine "HD" contender.
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Old February 8th, 2007, 04:57 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by Brian Drysdale
...best practice is to convert the HDV into full HD video. Of course, you're now into needing lots of extra drive space to store this...
Or use an intermediate codec, such as Cineform at approx 35-36GB/hr for "visually Perfect" 8-bit compression...a little LESS than DVCProHD, or about the same disk storage as DVCProHD for 10-bit.

You are technically correct that you still get small amounts of generational loss with compressed formats. Maybe others run a lot of their footage through a half a dozen compressions, but I doubt if I ever have so far. I'll worry about it when I do (although since I'm using Cineform right now, they promise their wavelet codec will give me 15 generations with no visible degradation). And Cineform is just one solution, which I mention because I'm personally familiar with it.

A given broadcaster may have a dogma about HDV; that's unfortunate and a bit hypocritical considering -- as pointed out by AJ -- how most providers bit-starve their broadcasts.
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Old February 8th, 2007, 05:08 PM   #80
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The Cineform looks extremely impressive. It's one reason why I think the lower budget HD future lies with a wavelet compression format, rather than HDV.
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Old February 9th, 2007, 10:04 AM   #81
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Originally Posted by Pete Bauer
Or use an intermediate codec, such as Cineform at approx 35-36GB/hr for "visually Perfect" 8-bit compression...a little LESS than DVCProHD, or about the same disk storage as DVCProHD for 10-bit.

You are technically correct that you still get small amounts of generational loss with compressed formats. Maybe others run a lot of their footage through a half a dozen compressions, but I doubt if I ever have so far. I'll worry about it when I do (although since I'm using Cineform right now, they promise their wavelet codec will give me 15 generations with no visible degradation). And Cineform is just one solution, which I mention because I'm personally familiar with it.

A given broadcaster may have a dogma about HDV; that's unfortunate and a bit hypocritical considering -- as pointed out by AJ -- how most providers bit-starve their broadcasts.
EXACTLY! The comparison's of HDV being used here are not accurate. The normal workflow of acquisition to final delivered product are NOT:
1. Shoot in HDV/m2t
2. Edit in HDV/m2t
3. Color Correct/Composite/Green Screen/Filter-Effects in HDV/m2t
4. Final Render out to HDV/m2t
NO - No -No

You shoot in HDV/m2t THEN you convert to a flavor of HD intermediate codec (Cineform Aspect/Prospet, Canopus HQ) or the many other HD formats that develop independent single frames of high color space from the original HDV/m2t files. The long GOP is ended immediately. You edit in the intermediate HD codec. You deliver in the HD tape format (i.e. DVCProHD, HDCam,etc). THAT's the WORKFLOW to compare, not multiple .mt2 recompressions.
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Old February 9th, 2007, 10:26 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by John Richard
You shoot in HDV/m2t THEN you convert to a flavor of HD intermediate codec (Cineform Aspect/Prospet, Canopus HQ) or the many other HD formats that develop independent single frames of high color space from the original HDV/m2t files. The long GOP is ended immediately. You edit in the intermediate HD codec. You deliver in the HD tape format (i.e. DVCProHD, HDCam,etc). THAT's the WORKFLOW to compare, not multiple .mt2 recompressions.
Using Cineform the files never actually end up on my computer in .m2t format (unless I tell the software to save the .m2t files also). During the capture process it is converted directly to the intermediate codec and I edit from there. Any drawbacks of mpg compression are limited to the very first acquisition written to tape and do not affect any further editing or compositing.
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Old February 9th, 2007, 04:00 PM   #83
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Brian,
Thanks for your feedback. I will keep my eyes peeled for a quality editing system when I'm close to completing the shooting of my first HD wildlife film. I've enjoyed using Edirol's Video Canvas DV-7 since 2002 and was their first Canadian customer, see an article about this on their website under stories. I understand they're working on an HD editing system right now and if it's anything like their DV-7 it will be awesome and should have firewire. On DV editing my final Digital Master is always 4th generation and 5th for Betacam SP for broadcast. I'm sure we should be able to edit HDV just like DV soon with new stuff coming out all the time, and get perfect quality.

Leon Lorenz
www.wildlifevideos.ca
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Old February 11th, 2007, 11:16 AM   #84
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i've been following this thread and this thread (http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...l+h1+broadcast) and reading for hours, but i can't get my arms around the specifics of what folks are using for an HDV tape to broadcast workflow. is anyone here using FCP who can offer one? i'm hearing what *not* to do, but i'm a bit at a loss regarding what tools and workflow are actively being accepted. i'm going into a field environment where a small unobtrusive form factor is absolutely essential, so XD CAM is out. any uncompressed workflow seems out of the question in this environment. HDV seems the only option. but then what do i do with these tapes to convert them for broadcast? (having never done this before....). desperately searching for a workflow....
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Old February 11th, 2007, 11:55 AM   #85
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Depends on what the station's requirements are. You may be able to load your footage onto a hard drive and let them have it that way (as you would for a lab going to film), or you may have to dub it to Betacam SP, Digibeta, or whatever they might want.
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Old February 11th, 2007, 12:07 PM   #86
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I personally just shot a series of commercials with the H1 in HDV. all the footage was captured as 10bit uncompressed NTSC and it's stunning. it will go from FCP to Fire as uncompressed quicktimes. it will be tweaked and output to d-beta for dubbing and shipped to the networks.

I do not see any visual evidence of compression.

vince
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Old February 11th, 2007, 12:41 PM   #87
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I'm with Meryem... I know that there is a wealth of information on this subject, but it is so scattered and fragmented and opinionated that it's difficult to get a handle on exactly what is the best workflow - and how best technically to implement that workflow. I've worked with FCP since version 1.0, but I am not the type of person that gets a kick out of loading software and/or learning new APs every few weeks - I just don't have the time...

I've made seven short (8 min to 30 min) documentaries and nine commercials in the last year with the H1, all of which have been edited native HDV in FCP and output to SD for broadcast (converted in the timeline) or DVD distribution (using Compressor) - with great success, I might add...

But, I know (from what I've read here and elsewhere) that if I want to be maximizing the potential of shooting HDV I should be converting (AIC - DVPRO HD - whatever?) and editing in a different way...

What I don't know is - how (specifically) do I go about doing that and what (specific) software besides FCP do I need to do it?..
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Old February 11th, 2007, 01:04 PM   #88
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what (specific) software besides FCP do I need to do it?..[/QUOTE]

FCP has all you need as a software solution. You may want to get a Kona or Decklink card if you don't have one. That will allow you to capture your HDV component or SDI into FCP to any I-frame format. You may also need to look at your media storage depenending on the format you choose.

Again, Walter Biscardi at the Cow is finishing for HD broadcast in Final Cut. He does have HDV as the original source in some cases. His workflow is proven.

Vince
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Old February 11th, 2007, 04:55 PM   #89
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Thanks Vince - I do as a matter of fact have a DeckLink card and 1.5t external SATA drives, so I'm good there.. So the drill is to capture via component rather than FW... Ok-a-y....

I just always worry about manipulating original files in any way - I'm from the "don't step on it if you don't have to" school of thought.. I'll check that link out...
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Old February 11th, 2007, 05:19 PM   #90
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thanks, vince, i'll check it out. "proven workflow" sounds good to me!....i feel as if i've seen posted workflows for converting HDV to broadcast here at dvinfo, but at the time, i wasn't in the market, so if any of you link-wrangling wranglers can direct me that way, i'd love it. my searches are not coughing it up....
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