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Old September 6th, 2001, 12:15 AM   #1
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More XL2 Speculation

Howdy from Texas,

Now that Canon has released the XL1S, which replaces the XL1 but is not a radical ergonomic departure from it, I'm wondering what Canon has in store later on down the road.

Many folks were surprised that the XL1 follow-up didn't include the by-now-ubiquitous flip-out LCD monitor so common to other prosumer camcorders, that it doesn't record on full-size DVCAM cassettes, etc. etc.

I'm willing to bet that DV tape-based cameras will be eclipsed in the near future by DV disc-based camcorders. I keep thinking that the next manifestation of the XL1, if there ever is such a thing to be known as the XL2 or whatever, will have a round back end instead of a square one... and record on disc media. In a consumer version of the HD format, no less. Native widescreen! And under five grand! Hmm?
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Old September 6th, 2001, 07:26 PM   #2
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Yeah I would love to see native 16:9 and pure 24fps modes.

A flip out screen would be nice, how about one that can do 4:3 and 16:9 switchable? A hood for it too would be good, what about folding out? I am sure the guys there could do that. :-)

I would like to see pro connectors throughout, like BNC, XLR, and what ever the standard power connector for pro gear is.

I guess this has to do with the "software" but how about having 4 chan audio with 16 bit @ 44.1Khz? Its not that hard to build in good preamps and ADCs.

I think there is a small chance that they will use DVD recordable or something disks. It makes it eiser for the consumer who owns a DVD player. DVD stuff is coming down in price but not enough...

Correct me if I am wrong, but can they make it a higer res cam? Better image qualtiy plus native 16:9 and 24fps will make it the cam of choice for small film units.

Well I guess we could go on and on about stuff we would luv to see in the new XL series. Lets hope that Canon's R&D department is reading this site!

Cheers!
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Old September 7th, 2001, 03:59 AM   #3
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xl2 specification

xl2
3 ccd 1280 x 720 or 960 x 720
50 Mbit mini dv up to 40 min in sp, up to 60 in lp

1280 x 720 - 4:2:0 - 24 Fps - 5.2:1 compression

4 ch audio 16 bit 48 kz
8 ch 12 bit 32 Kz
8 ch 16 bit 48 Kz 2:1 compression

ntsc
720 x 480 x 60i, 720 x 480 x 30p, 5:1 or 3,3:1
720 x 480 x 60P 5:1

pal
720 x 576 x 50i, 720 x 576 x 25p, 5:1 or 3,3:1
720 x 576 x 50P 5:1

12,5 mbit extended recording 3 hr, 4hr
6,25 superextended recording mpeg2 6hr, 8hr

dvi video out tu see 24 fps on pc monitor

is good for you???
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Old September 7th, 2001, 03:32 PM   #4
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Wow thoes are some good specs francesco.

My question is, can the MiniDV casset take higher res or what not? Or does it have to be alterd...

What about post production? Can it take the diffrent res?

You can tell I am just a beginner. :-)

Cheers!
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Old September 10th, 2001, 04:30 AM   #5
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mini dv 25 - 50

(sorry for my english)

with 25 Mbit you can record up to 80 Min in SP or 120 Min in LP

with 50 Mbit the tape run double so you can record up to 40 in HDSP or 60 in HDLP

my idea is only to double the bits like in dvcpro50 so with more bit we have a good quality in 1280 *720 *24

the difference from SP to LP are the correction bits
15bits to write 9 bits in SP
9 bits to write 8 bits in LP

who have more idea for a dv-Minidv hd format???
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Old September 10th, 2001, 05:12 AM   #6
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Its prolly getting into way too high a price range here, but what about Hi-Def cassets?

That is what they are shooting the 2nd Star Wars film on.

Thats the funny thing with the big Sony cams they are using, they need 7 cables. HD, TimeCode, GenLock, 2 Audios, and Data. (I assume some of thoes need two cables or something.)

Cheers!
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Old September 11th, 2001, 05:00 AM   #7
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xl2

I don't now about 7 or 8 cables in hdcam, if are necessary 10 they are 10.
The hdcam is surely a good format, but is only a

1440 x 1080 + 480 x 1080 + 480 x1080

145 mbit in 24 fps

my HDdv 50 is
1280 x 720 + 640 x 360 + 640 x 360

50 mbit in 24 fps

with only a firewire you can send to pc the data, and with a dvi you can see on a pc monitor the video out.

i think that with the new 1280x720 dlp you can see a very good images, non like star wars but good.

the price make the difference for a Sony hdw 900 you pay 100.000 US$

for a xl2 you pay about 6000-8000 US$

i'm sure that there isn't a problem to develop a camcorder with 50 Mbit or hd ccd (the megapixel camera have 1.5 Mpixels).
Perhaps is a standard problem?
P.S.
the extended mode is standard?
we see E-mode in other camcorder(Sony,Panasonic,jvc etc)?

by Francesco
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Old September 28th, 2001, 09:01 AM   #8
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xl-2

I would suggest that the xl-2 might use some form or variation of the Sony memory stick system. After all, it makes for a more reliable, and stable product; e.g.: without a tape or disc drive, fewer moving parts to go out of wack! I wounder just how much memmory would be necessary to handle 0ne hour of video plus audio? Perhaps a tetrabit??! Anyone have a guestimate?

P.S. My biggest disappointment in the XL-1s, is the fact that it is not native 16:9.
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Old October 14th, 2001, 06:40 PM   #9
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XL2

Hi all,

I tend to agree with francesco. The major issues to improving the quaility of the image are the CCD's resolution and the amount of data that the tape can store.

A couple of posts have mentioned using DVDs. Now that's only 4.7GB. That's nothing. And has anyone really been impressed with the quality of DVDs? I haven't. Sure, it's better than VHS, but it's no where near DV, and is miles off Digibeta or even BetaSP. There currently is no (cheap) better way to store huge amounts of data than digital tape. The easiest way to improve the miniDV format is to look at DVCAM - increase the tape speed - DVCPro 50 is the perfect example.

Now, some of the items on the wish list are just too expensive and one has to remember that Canon's main target market isn't ever going to need 8 channel audio, and won't have XLRs at home. I mean, if we need more than 2 channel audio we're going to have our sound guy there mixing it down - if you need more, then timecode DAT or similar. I'd never use a flip-out LCD - that's what field monitors are for - and I certainly wouldn't want it if the trade off was image quality to keep the price point.

The CCDs would of course be the most important change, but the increase to CCDs capable of handinling true HDTV or the interims is the most expensive change. Digital-S is heading in this direction at the lowest cost (from what I've seen) but the fact remains that we're a little ways off being able to justify that cost for a product under $5k.

It's a question of who's the target, and Canon will have to make some compromises. Now, I'd be happy to only get 20 mins on a tape if I could get a higher resolution with lower compression, but would the rest of the users complain? I'm not overly fussed about the audio stuff - most of our stuff goes to audio post anyway, but again, if the tape speed increase you can have 4 channels of 24bit audio at 96Khz...

Faster tape, bigger CCDs, lower compression (higher bandwidth) are on my list. Any comments?

Take care,
Chris
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Old October 14th, 2001, 11:50 PM   #10
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The Mythical XL-2

I read. I absorb the info. I am unimpressed.
I still say tape is DEAD! The designer's dream is for no moving parts. Therefore, something akin to the Sony "sticks", will be the next developement in the progression to a system that will have at least the quality of film/digital tape. Perhaps, it will be the magnetic oil drop, being developed in the state of Texas...., capable of holding the entire contents of the library of congress.
Once that, or something similiar, is put on the market, the nit picking over audio/video/etc needs, will end. This is not a far out concept. It is suggested to be available within a year.
My point being, worry about audio/video db, etc., has become some what academic.
The creative possibilities, sans the technical dribble, will develope around the nature of the classical "mood". that you will be able to attain with your new no tape system.
These are the areas that I am investigating. I choose to use my XL-1s, in combination with a disc burner, via a mind interested in pushing my toys beyond the limits of those who designed them! (My hummingbird stuff using multible electronic flash, is getting rave reviews from those who have been permitted to see them.)
The heck!! with the supposed limitations on my equipment.
To paraphrase the words of the US cavalry: Gentlemen. Draw your 16:1 lens......, and CHARGE!!!
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Old October 15th, 2001, 07:21 AM   #11
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Tape is here to stay.

Robert,

no offense, but for Canon - this is business, not art.

Let's say there is a new technology capable of storing 20+GB (looked at Iomega's Peerless?). What's the technology's entry price? Way to high for Canon and the XL2. I don't know about you but I'd rather get my XL2 next year using tape than wait 2 years for the technology to drop to a point cheap enough to use. Maybe we need two threads, one for semi-realistic items in the short term and another for developments in the 2-5 year time frame.

Agreed, tape isn't the ideal, but it's a PROVEN technology. And for the short term, I don't think that's going to change.

Take care,
Chris
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Old October 15th, 2001, 01:54 PM   #12
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Please tell me what is wrong with tape? We use Digital BETA at the post house where I am a trainee, and it has great quality. Also Star Wars II is being shot totally on Hi-DEF, is this not an indication that tape is still the better medium? If Sony wanted to they would have used RAM or some other storage for their HD-Cam.

Cheers!
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Old October 24th, 2001, 09:14 AM   #13
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DVD...I wish

The problem is both DVD and memory sticks require HIGH compression. MPEG sucks as an origination standard and is hard to edit. The various encoding schemes for memory sticks are even worse (usually just web-streaming variants). While these are great for low-cost distribution standards, they really suck for program origination.

I think we're stuck with tape (and its fragile, overly mechanical nature) for the moment. Whole new standards would be required, and new disk formats, to effectively overcome tape.

I do think you'll see small, handheld 16:9 "personal" screens for watching movies on memory sticks. Like a watchman.

If you really wanted quality, reliability, standardization and archival potential, you'd shoot on film. After Lucas tinkers with his "anamorphic" aspect, he's down to 800 lines. It'll be interesting to see what that looks like projected (remember, 35mm can yield 2000 to 4000 lines). Line-doubling and tripling and quadrupling only goes so far (when the original image sucks and is only 800 lines to begin with).
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Old October 24th, 2001, 01:47 PM   #14
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HI there!

I am sure that George and ILM know what they are doing. I know that he would not use anything that might make his film look worse than the rest. He has alwasy wanted the best, I mean how many theaters have THX installed? I could count them on my two hands I bet. It is the best way to hear a movie, so I doubt that they are going to compromise the quality of the images.

Cheers!
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Old October 26th, 2001, 09:19 AM   #15
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George

Most DPs disagree. George, it must be remembered, is most concerned with a quick, efficient way to input image files into the effects stream...not with sparkling cinematography. I don't share your confidence in George Lucas. Most don't (except in video circles, who have no other savior).

His DP, in a recent issue of Millimeter, described how they were shooting for an aspect similar to 35 anamorphic. That is much more rectangular than the normal Sony Hi-Def (really, medium-def) image. This gives them the ability to play with their composition in post, which is a really cool idea. But it knocks their resolution down to 800 lines (because they're cropping top and bottom).

Regrettably, there is NO way to make 800 lines look like 4000! Now, it is true that res is lost with optical printing and successive generation loss (in film). This is why the new printing route includes scanning the 35mm original and digitally printing a master. The result is WAY beyond Med-def (HDTV) origination!

The main prob with film is expense. But the problems associated with digital origination would take a book.

Back to the point: We need a whole new disk technology that isn't even on the horizon yet. Existing DVD wouldn't give you the quality yopu're already getting with the XL-1.
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