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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old May 16th, 2002, 10:28 PM   #106
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Perhaps I should clarify... I *have a feeling* that they'll suggest cropping only for delivery mediums which aren't video, such as the web, CD-ROM, etc. In other words, if an NTSC monitor is involved, no need to bother since it's beyond the action safe area. But if a computer monitor is involved, then cropping is neccessary. And *I'm* not advocating this; I'm just saying that I'll bet this will be the official corporate response. This isn't over yet.
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Old May 17th, 2002, 07:18 AM   #107
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Chris, I doubt this is due to the Panasonic CCD block... Why? Well
first off all if this was true they really did a poor job. Why would
anyone manufacture CCD blocks with pixels that are always black
or not working? That just makes no sense to me. I think it is in
the electronics behind the CCD... or in the firmware (probably
not). If you want to fix this I think components need to be
replaced (and not the CCD chips)
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Old May 18th, 2002, 12:57 AM   #108
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Chris wrote:

>I *have a feeling* that they'll suggest cropping only
>for delivery mediums which aren't video, such as the
>web, CD-ROM

Maybe. But, I burn DVDs of my material. When played on a tv, you can't see the black bar at the bottom. When you play the same DVD on a computer, you can see the bar. The only delivery medium that's "tv only" these days is tape.
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Old May 18th, 2002, 02:34 AM   #109
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Although it's an issue most circumstances (TV projection etc) won't be so bad because of the overscan, but where I see it being a pain is with anamorphic lenses/adapters. Seeing as that stretches a 16:9 image to use the full 4:3 area, then when comes time to transfer to film you'll have the black lines.

Am I correct in my thinking here?

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Old May 18th, 2002, 11:14 AM   #110
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Aaron,

Your thinking is correct. In fact, I'm not even sure why this discussion rages on and on. This "feature" is nothing but a BIG problem. If this problem existed in any professional grade camera, it would be sent back to the manufacturer for immediate fixing or replacement, no questions asked, only apologies.

I've experinced similar problems with Sony and Ikegami cameras. There has never been a problem fixing them. For Canon to think that because this is a "prosumer" camera they can term this a "feature" is absurd. No professional will accept this "feature". No amateur should either.

If every "prosumer" camera exhibited this "feature" I would just think twice before spending $4k on a camera. But the fact that Canon is the only one is enough for the manufacturer to get its tail in gear and do somehting about it rather than waste consumer time with futile phone calls that only yield silly explanations.

One more tid-bit of information. My next door neighbor is a colorist for a big New York post house. Although his main work centers around film to tape transfers, he's also doing quite a bit of work color-correcting with HD, DVCAM, DVPro, and MiniDV. He's seen this problem only once - on B roll material shot with an XL-1. That was enough to drive his client through the roof. After all color-correcting time is not cheap. It's enough to have thiven THIS client through the roof also since it has added days due to having to blow up by 102% every shot used in the final edit. My two XL-1 cameras have now cost me close to $3k more - all spent in correcting this "feature".
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Old May 18th, 2002, 02:29 PM   #111
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Why are these tiny black lines a problem if you transfer to film
(Ozzie)? If I understand it correctly these will get cropped
anyway (or I'm missing something here). I saw that on of my
professional hollywood movies on a DVD had a couple of black
lines too on the bottom. Didn't really bother me.
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Old May 18th, 2002, 04:09 PM   #112
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Rob, but anamorphic lenses will be different. Footage will fill the entire region and not be cropped (It's squeezed into the 4:3 area) and so the black bars will appear. Then you'll have to crop and stretch, or just crop and "forget"

Let's hope Chris Hurd can get something out of Canon. I think I might try some phone calls to see where I get.
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Old May 18th, 2002, 04:49 PM   #113
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Rob,

You misunderstood me. My neighbor is a colorist whose work is mainly film-to-tape transfers. No problem there. Lately an increasing amount of his work has been color correcting tape-to-tape. Although most of this work has been HD to HD, DigiBeta and BetaSP, a significant volume of work coming into the shop has been mastered on small digital formats (MiniDV, DVCAM, and DVPro). These are also tape-to-tape transfers, usually DV to BetaSP or DigiBeta.

The problem is that, regardless of the source of the problem (what I've been calling "wide blanking" for lack of a better term,) it is not up to broadcast technical specs.

Look at it this way - if there were no strict standards defining the exact aspect ratio of the frame, you would be seeing the aspect ratio change from shot to shot with each edit. This may not be a huge problem with most TV sets (although SMPTE has set the standard for NTSC and broadcasters are bound to make sure the aspect ratio is maintained - a cost that is passed down to the producer (I'm sure the same is true of PAL)), it does become a problem when we see the full frame as in QuickTime movies and any picture-in-picture effect.

The production we are currently completing will be initially released as QT without any frame. Therefore any lines around the edge of the frame will be very intrusive, even more so than if the QT frame were kept. Imagine we have a shot of person against a white background and this frame is superimposed onto a computer white screen. In this instance, any black lines around the frame would be very distracting. With this particular job, the client was the first one to strongly object to these lines. Fortunately we had a relatively cheap way to fix it but not without a small amount of image softening. Even blowing up the image by 2% yields a perceptible loss of sharpness.

Gettiing back to your message - if your DVD was showing a constant black line at the bottom (or anywhere for that matter) then it was not a camera induced problem but either a codec issue or an error introduced during the transfer. It's only when the aspect ratio is non-standard at the camera end, that this becomes a huge pain in the rear.
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Old May 25th, 2002, 03:08 PM   #114
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Called Yet again their tech support

For all of those considering buying the XL1s! Please know that this camera was not designed properly to display 720 x 480 correctly. So if thats what you need, dont buy this camera. If you DO want a camera that displays 720 x 480 buy a Sony. Until Canon corrects this problem, I'd stick to buying a Sony. I wish I knew about this problem before investions so much money into it.
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Old May 25th, 2002, 09:30 PM   #115
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Does that mean Full Frontal will have the black bar too when its released since its shot with the XL1s ?
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Old May 25th, 2002, 11:49 PM   #116
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Michael, no. Steven shot it with the 16:9 guides and he is going to crop it to that aspect ratio, so the bottom and top of the footage will be removed and so will those bars.

In most circumstances the black bars wouldn't be a problem I think because when shown on TV's they are outside the visible area. When digitised and played as coputer .avi's etc then you will see it if you don't crop, so that's a problem. If you do movie stuff in 16:9 as in Full Frontal it won't matter either. If you use an anamorphic lens though you I think you would see the problem (haven't had anyone able to confirm it though) because it squishes the 16:9 to fill the entire area.
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Old May 26th, 2002, 12:38 AM   #117
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So he's shooting in 4:3 mode, with 16:9 guide rite?

I am actually planning to shoot a project using the 16:9 anamorphic adapter on the XL1s coz I am planning to transfer them to 35mm. But since this will include the black bars in it, I think I'll have to exclude them.

Has anyone done a transfer to 35mm using the XL1s? How's the result like?
And what's the best way to do this to overcome the black bar problem without adversely affecting the output quality?
Thanks for replying.
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Old May 26th, 2002, 01:08 AM   #118
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I hate to sound like a dummie, but I've got some questions that I hope someone can answer:

The black bars, do they show up in the viewfinder?

Also, these black bars, do they show up in a tape transfer to beta? It sounds like they show up if your editing on a PC platform like Avid and Premire and Final Cut.

I am about to purchase a XL1s next week, (tuesday as a matter of fact) and now Im having doubts. I plan on hsooting local commercials and short films and this flaw has be second guessing. I cant imagine buying a camera that is going to show a black bar on all of my footage. Whats the point of purchasing a XL1s then?
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Old May 26th, 2002, 01:25 AM   #119
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I'll reiterate, I'm no expert, and don't even have an XL1s, but they won't show on the viewfinder because the viewfinder doesn't show the whole frame anyway (About 88% coverage according to Canon's specs)
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Old May 26th, 2002, 01:56 AM   #120
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well that answers one question.

Now if someone can tell me if you see the footage if you transfer to Betasp tape or if it only shows up on the camera stills
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