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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old May 30th, 2002, 02:27 PM   #1
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very very odd......

Hello everyone,

I just aquired a Panasonic PV400 miniDV camcorder as a "fun" dv cam when I just want to throw something in the car for some casual videotaping- my main reason for getting it was to use it as a "deck" as to save any possible wear on the transports of my XL1S (use it as the capture device via Firewire)...I've noticed something very interesting...
I had some 1 month old footage of ladybugs eating aphids (used an EF adapter and 75-300 Canon lens for ultra macro video) and captured it into FCP 3.0 with the Panasonic- the video looks absolutely fantastic- the same video when captured using the XL doesn't look as well (less sharp and saturated)......I'm capturing from the same tape and same portion and my settings are correct for the XL camcorder- anyone have any words on why the video captured with the 1S doesn't quite look as good as the same footage captured with the Panasonic?

I find this very strange....anyone else experience anything like this?
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Old May 30th, 2002, 04:26 PM   #2
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Analog output? Maybe more playback DSP going on in the Panasonci to over saturate and enhance edges.
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Old May 31st, 2002, 09:01 PM   #3
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Hi Steven,

I'm confussed. Are you saying that you shot the same scene with two different cameras and want to know why the consumer model footage looks better? Or are you saying that the footage on the DV tape looks different when transferred (captured) via two different camcorders and want to know why the comsumer camcorder transfer looks better?

Jeff
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Old May 31st, 2002, 09:13 PM   #4
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He's saying that the XL1S video, played back from the little Panny 1-chip, looks better than when it's played back from the XL1S. And over FireWire, too. Most interesting. Is this a DSP difference? It's an 8-bit DSP in the XL1S.
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Old May 31st, 2002, 09:23 PM   #5
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Latter

The latter-

when I capture footage into the Mac via FCP 3.0- the resulting dv capture looks great when it was sourced from the low-buck Panasonic cam- yet the same exact physical tape (was shot with the XL1S by the way) and same scene are firewired into the Mac with the XL- the capture doesn't look as good- we're talking same tape and footage- only difference is that i've switched the 2 camcorders to see if there was a difference in quality- to my surprise the Panasonic footage looks a bit nicer...I found this strange as I just figured they'd look identical as they were just transferring dv info (just binary 1's & 0"s) into the Mac...I didn't export the footage back out to test for any degradation in quality as i have always noticed that exported footage always looked like the source video- I'm wondering if it's worth looking into....

...I've stopped using the XL to firewire into the Mac purely to save wear & tear on the transports (my cam is about 4 months old now) not really to improve the captures itself- .....I can run further tests and export stills should anyone really want to look into the matter.....For now i'm satisfied shooting with the XL and capturing with the Panasonic...

Anyone else have 2 different camcorders willing to capture identical tape footage and reveal their findings here?
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Old May 31st, 2002, 09:31 PM   #6
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Hi,

Any differences in playback involving an analog device (watching it on a TV/monitor) is most likely the result of difference in the A-D/D-A converters and their algorythms, bit depth etc. The transfer of data over FireWire is purely digital and should look exactly the same until an analog device is introduced. The term capture is a hold over from the old AVID days. AVID always referred to the analog to digital process as capture and that term has sort of stuck. The transfer over FireWire should look the same from the different devices. The exception would be if one camcorder was producing significant errors (servo problems with the heads) and the error correction algorythms processed the data differently.

Jeff
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Old May 31st, 2002, 09:48 PM   #7
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Confucious

I've read on 2-pop that Apple recommends the "basic' firewire setting when using an XL &XL1S as opposed to their other firewire protocol (using Final Cut Pro)- I'm wondering if the slight difference lies in the firewire protocol.....whatever the reason- the video seems unaffected when exported back out to camera which is my main concern (in other words the excellent XL video still looks excellent when captured and sent back to camera after having been in the hard drive-there's no apparent image degradation).....however it's still my observation that the captured video looks nicer when the source camera is the low buck Panasonic...


...but there's no doubt that video recorded from the Panasonic doesn't look as nice as video recorded from the XL (actual video taping)

Hope I didn't confuse anyone!
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Old May 31st, 2002, 09:57 PM   #8
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Hi,

The Apple basic FireWire setting has to do with camera control, not the digital media. The editing accuracy is affected by the basic setting not the picture quality.

Jeff
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Old June 1st, 2002, 08:05 AM   #9
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FWIW: The XL1 (and presumably the XL1s) use 9-bit A-D and DSP while recording. The output of the DSP circuit to the recorder section is 8-bit.

That IEEE1394 transfers reult in diffrernt looking video is intersting. That implies that at least one one of the machine is decompressing, processing, and recompressing the image.

If there is a noticeable difference in the IEEE1394 output of the Panasonic relative to the XL1, then a multi generation IEEE1394 dub should amplify that differnce in a hurry. Might be worth shooting some short standard test scenes and doing about 10 generations of firewire copy from the Pana to the XL1, and check the results. They try the same going the other way. And lastly try XL1 to XL1 if you can find another XL1.
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