Darn Focusing on the H1 Viewfinder - Page 2 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 January 28th, 2007, 02:23 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willard Hill
this is not the answer for a serious wildlife videographer.
Willard, there's also another practical problem with B&W viewfinders in wildlife videography; It's much easier to find and follow the subject with a color EVF. Typically, when shooting birds or animals in action, one is in hurry to get the subject focused and the camera rolling. It's a matter of a few seconds. This is why I rather use the stock color EVF of XL H1 despite of its limitations.

What comes to smearing in cold conditions, there is a trick to manage with that. Put these small bags called hand or feet warmers --bags which start to warm up when the plastic cover is removed and the contents get oxygen-- around the EVF. I have myself a PortaBrace winter cover for the XL H1, and in cold conditions I set one hand warmer between the EVf and the cover. It helps quite a lot.
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Old January 28th, 2007, 10:16 AM   #17
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Lauri: Actually that applies to non-wildlife stuff as well.. one of the reasons that I like the color finders is that they allow me to compose in the viewfinder, as I do in 16mm, allowing contrasting and complimentary colors to add to the frame and not be lost or overpowering...

When people talk about getting a "film look" I think that this factor is often overlooked.. one of the reasons that video in the past looked so unfilmlike is that filmmakers, documentary filmmakers at least (who don't use monitors), were stuck with B&W finders...

But it's a shame that with the H1 we have to sacrifice the confidence of accurate focus for color...

By the way, I asked on the A1 forum how the viewfinder on that camera holds up.. the thread went away overnight, I guess big brother didn't think it appropriate.. anyway, does anyone know how it compares to the H1?
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Old January 28th, 2007, 10:27 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Rosen
I asked on the A1 forum how the viewfinder on that camera holds up.. the thread went away overnight
Look again, it hasn't gone anywhere: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=84944

I even replied to it within 18 minutes of your post... ?
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Old January 28th, 2007, 02:23 PM   #19
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A couple more questions for those of you brave enough...

Does the H1 utilize the same viewfinder as the XL2? My XL2 doesn't seem to have as much smearing... even when using 24p mode...

Also... The B&W viewfinder that Canon sells is 4x3 aspect correct? Don't you think they would want to update it to 16x9 at least?

Thanks for all your replies... Very helpful!

Bob
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Old January 28th, 2007, 03:33 PM   #20
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Hi Bob,

The XL2 and XL H1 have different LCD panels in their viewfinders. The one on the XL2 has a 4:3 aspect ratio with 200,000 pixels while the one on the XL H1 has a 16:9 aspect ratio with 215,000 pixels.

The B&W viewfinder that Canon sells is indeed a 4:3 aspect ratio, but it also properly letterboxes 16:9. That viewfinder is made by Ikegami.
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Old January 28th, 2007, 11:01 PM   #21
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Willard,

I found that smearing usually happens in the viewfinder when it's colder than -20 C. It's truly amazing how this camera performs in cold weather. Last November I spent 1 month filming the bighorn sheep rut in lots of cold and snow, -28 celcius with a wind which made it -40 on the coldest. After 3 hours my camera was so cold and stiff ( the zoom and focus rings ) that I had to quit for the day, my gloved fingers were frozen as well. The smearing was bad on pans and fast action and hard to tell if the focus was correct. I thought at the time my footage would look terrible, sort of like what I could see in the viewfinder but I was wrong, when I played the footage back at home it was perfect with no dropouts and the only ruined footage was when my focusing was off. I have no problems with the camera on all day shoots of up to -20 C. I too need to start using heat packs or handwarmers fastened around the camera in very cold weather.

All the best in your cold weather filming.

Leon Lorenz
www.wildlifevideos.ca
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Old January 29th, 2007, 10:34 AM   #22
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I have also noticed an audio sync/delay when monitoring with headphones.

There is distinct delay between the video display and the audio while using the standard color EVF and this delay increases even more when I've got the H1 on my steadicam. This sync is very annoying and odd because when the footage is dropped into my NLE the audio is synced up perfectly.

How is it that Canon can produce a camera with this type of issue, I dare not mention the issue with focusing (both auto and manual), and claim that it is a "pro" camera.

Cheers,
D
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Old January 29th, 2007, 11:49 AM   #23
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The first step in getting the most out of a complex device is to know what features it has. Headphone audio synch in the Canon professional cameras is a topic that has been covered before on DVinfo (available via the search engine), and headphones are covered on page 49 of your User's Manual.

There is a menu choice to output headphone audio in either realtime ("Normal") or with a slight delay to synch to the video signal ("Line Out").
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Old January 29th, 2007, 12:12 PM   #24
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Just to follow up after Pete's excellent reply, the menu choice between delay vs. real time audio does *not* affected the recorded output -- only what's heard in the headphones.
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Old January 29th, 2007, 02:08 PM   #25
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Thanks, Pete.
Last weekend was my first chance to really run tape through the camera and I was mostly concerned with being able to "fly" it and capture good video.

Now I know that I don't have to put up with the audio sync issue.

And Thanks to Chris for hosting a board where "issues" like this can be addressed.


Cheers,
D
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Old January 29th, 2007, 06:27 PM   #26
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Leon and Lauri,

Thanks for your replies. I will try the warmers.

I did try flipping up the eyepiece when possible to do so, during shooting on the last two days and found that of course while smearing was still present that the finder was much sharper appearing and a great deal easier to obtain sharp focus.

All in all, I love the camera except for this problem area, and look forward to giving it heavy field use in the near future.
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Old January 30th, 2007, 09:07 AM   #27
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Very mildly off topic for a moment.....I noticed the delay when shooting 60i SD 4x3 output through BNC connector to a projector. This was a live feed to a projector behind a man at a podium giving a speech. The delay between the man's real life movements and the projection was significant enough to look a bit awkward. I am sure the recording looks find. But this delay can cause some issues that will need to be worked around.

OK....back to talking about the horrible focusing!

:)
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Old January 31st, 2007, 09:10 AM   #28
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So am I to understand that there is a LCD screen attachment you can by for this camcorder? If so, where can I buy one at? I was getting worried when I read in a mag that it didn't come with a LCD screen. It's amazing that a camcorder that's $9000 doesn't come with a LCD screen. Does the XL H1 come with a remote?
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Old January 31st, 2007, 09:17 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Vaden
So am I to understand that there is a LCD screen attachment you can by for this camcorder? I was getting worried when I read in a mag that it didn't come with a LCD screen. It's amazing that a camcorder that's $9000 doesn't come with a LCD screen. Does the XL H1 come with a remote?
Let me clarify. The unit comes with a more "traditional" viewfinder like you see on most ENG cameras or shoulder mount cameras. Inside of this "viewfinder" unit is an actual LCD screen that is 2.7" I believe. YOu place the viewfinder up to your eye and you are essentiall looking at the LCD through a diopter of sorts. When you want to view it externally you can flip the viewfinder up and you have an LCD screen that you can view withou having to place your eye to the VF.

It is kinda like a 2 in one unit.

There is a more professional viewfinder (fu-1000) available that is not an LCD but a small CRT that is B&W and higher resolution. It does not flip out and offer an LCD type of view.

So while the H1 does have an LCD, it is housed in, and essentially is the viewfinder. The LCD is not like on many other handheld HDV cameras where it is in addition to the viewfinder. Again, the LCD is the viewfinder. Make sense?

Peace!
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Old January 31st, 2007, 10:38 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty Hudzik
Let me clarify. The unit comes with a more "traditional" viewfinder like you see on most ENG cameras or shoulder mount cameras. Inside of this "viewfinder" unit is an actual LCD screen that is 2.7" I believe. YOu place the viewfinder up to your eye and you are essentiall looking at the LCD through a diopter of sorts. When you want to view it externally you can flip the viewfinder up and you have an LCD screen that you can view withou having to place your eye to the VF.

It is kinda like a 2 in one unit.

There is a more professional viewfinder (fu-1000) available that is not an LCD but a small CRT that is B&W and higher resolution. It does not flip out and offer an LCD type of view.

So while the H1 does have an LCD, it is housed in, and essentially is the viewfinder. The LCD is not like on many other handheld HDV cameras where it is in addition to the viewfinder. Again, the LCD is the viewfinder. Make sense?

Peace!
Thanks for clarifying that for me. Now does this camcorder come with a Remote control, so I can start it when it's on a tripod?
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