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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old April 26th, 2002, 09:30 AM   #16
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I may have to go back to Europe someday

Hi Adrian,
Thank you very much for your response.
The reason why I want to choose a XL1S PAL is because I am from Europe (Denmark) and have been relocated to NYC for a number of years. I would like to stay here indefinitely, but of course it will be up to my work to decide that. If we cannot agree to extend my contract I may have to go back to Europe, if I can't get other work here (not to mention a working visa).

Actually I have a question, I am going to build a NLE based on Apple G4 dual 1 Ghz and FCP3. You have mentioned a PAL/NTSC monitor. I was wondering what is the difference between a PAL/NTSC monitor and the regular computer monitor e.g. Apple's 17'' studio display? I think I read that it is recommended to view your work on a external TV or is it a monitor?
My last question is if I go with a monitor or TV I guess I will need a video card so I can transmit my DV from FCP3 to an analogue TV?
Thanks!
Best regards,
Thomas
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Old April 26th, 2002, 10:17 AM   #17
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The monitor I was refering to was indeed a broadcast monitor or TV. When viewing your work it will look totally different on the two monitors.

To hook up a monitor to FCP you need to use either RTMac(at the moment not compatable with OSX) and connect to the breakout box, or connect the monitor to a device firewired to the computer, like your camera or a deck.

In the other post I mentioned some 3rd party apps that are used to smooth out converted video, I forgot to mention that these are PC only apps. I'm not aware of any for the Mac.

You're in a difficult situation but remember if you go with the NTSC model you can always sell it and then up grade to the XL2 or whatever is around. DV technology move quicker than a 5 year old with a McDonalds voucher so don't plan too far into the future.
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Old April 30th, 2002, 08:48 PM   #18
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Thomas,

I'm in the same boat. I've just recently bought my XL1S (PAL) from ZGC. At that time I wasn't sure if I was returning to South Africa in 3 months or 9 months. However, since buying the camera, plans have resulted in me returning to South Africa in 3 months.

This issue was of concern to me too, but Christine at ZGC confirmed that the warranty I was getting was worldwide. In fact, along with her great service, this was the major deciding factor for where I would purchase the camera. I specifically asked this, because I knew I'd be in the US for a while and then in SA while still under warranty. However, when I received the camera, the warranty card said "Europe". I tried to speak to Christine but she was at NAB. Guy (french pronunciation) answered and relayed my question and concern to Christine while she was at NAB. He got back to me in about an hour (more of ZGC's great service) and said Christine had spoken to the Canon rep at NAB who confirmed that the warranty would be covered in the US and in SA.

Your experience and the response from Chris has me worried. I hope to get in touch with Christine tomorrow and get the skinny. I will post the reply.

The other difference, as of the end of March, Christine said that only the basic package was available, you could not buy the body only or change which lens you'd like.
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Old April 30th, 2002, 10:47 PM   #19
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Hi africats (and other readers),
I know that it is confusing about the canon warrantee. I got some price quotes from a couple of Danish stores myself. One of them claimed that there was a world wide warrantee and the other one claimed that there was only a European warrantee.

I wouldn't think that it would be a problem to service a PAL version of the XL1S in the US as they are offering and servicing the PAL version of the XL1. So I don't think it's a competance issue in the US.
Maybe what Canon US needs is a lot of requests from prosumers in the US who demand the XL1S PAL from Canon US!

I spend my Sunday browsing around B&H in New York. What a great store! Of course I looked at the XL1S and it was truely as magnificant as I had imagined. I also checked some pro-monitors out as well. SInce I need a PAL or PAL/NTSC monitor, but they were a little pricy. I have been looking into a small monitor which I can mount onto the XL1S and use as a field monitor to better focus in stead. But I guess it is more a question of both rather than a either or.

I saw Samsung's World Wide VCR @ app. 330$. With this great machine which allows you to input e.g. PAL and record NTSC. Supposedly the quality should be pretty good. Better than rendering and converting your edited footage from PAL to NTSC using FCP3 and maybe cleaning it using another piece of software. So I am definitly going to buy that VCR.

I am going to Denmark next week on business, but I will take time to buy my DV camera!!

I have decided that I am going for the PAL version with the standard AF lens. I don't think that I am professionel enough to use 100% a manual lens. But down the line it is definitly something that will be on my top of my wishing list. Especially after having read other member's experiences or problems with the focus. But I would like to start using my camera as handheld, and then I guess I will be OK.

Hopefully after next week, the next big purchase can take place. Buying a Mac G4 with FCP3. My next dilemma is should I buy it here in the US in which case the power will be 110V or should I get it in Denmark where it comes with 220V. Right now I am leaning toward getting the US version, and when I return to Denmark (or I should say if I return), I will just have to buy a reliable power converter 220V to 110V.
By the way I saw the NLE room at B&H. They had a huge 21'' Cinema Display. WOW! They had also other NLE's, I remember AVID Express. What surprised me was that they had a set up using two monitors (also pretty huge) and one PAL/NTSC monitor.
I was only thinking getting a 17'' Studio Display, but now I am not sure if that would be enough.

Are there any who have only one monitor? Or is that impossible to work with? If so, maybe I should go with two 17'' standard monitors and then hope Santa comes by my apartment at X-mas?

I am also a little annoyed about the capture card since I would like to use a monitor and I have read that the MacRT does not work with OSX, but only OS9. I could just do what others have suggested by using my DVcamera or a DVdeck as a converter to the monitor, but it just sounds like a hassle. But I think it will do in the beginning.

What are you using?

And then I have to figure how I can burn DVDs in a NTSC format.

I guess what I have been missing is to hear from others PAL users how they have done in terms of their set up. Because one can go through the various threads and pick up info here and there, but since I have no experience, I could risk to buy components who don't match.

I guess the safest thing would be contacting Promax and ask them about a NLE PAL set up with my requirements.

I hope this wasn't too borring, but I am sure that there are others in the same situation going excactly the same things as I am going through.

Thomas
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Old May 1st, 2002, 04:54 AM   #20
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It sounds to me like you are going about it the difficult way...
Why eludes me a bit. You are going to spend more money on
a PAL to output to NTSC. Why? This will make your footage
a lot less good then if you would have recorded it in NTSC
native. There is no way you can transfer PAL footage to NTSC
without quality loss (Resolution, color space, frame conversion).

I have a PAL myself (because I'm in a European country) and
i'm making PAL outputs. Easy.

Think twice before going down the PAL -> NTSC route, cause
in my eyes you will only loose. If you want to do PAL -> FILM
you might have more, but than don't convert to NTSC!

Every NLE can do both PAL and NTSC, so no special requirements
are needed there.
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Old May 1st, 2002, 09:16 AM   #21
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Hi Rob.
And thanks for your 2 cents of advise.
I know that converting PAL footage to NTSC myself will in some way have a negative impact in terms of quality as you stated.

The two main reasons that I am going the PAL way in a NTSC country is that I may some day have to return to Europe, and I like the idea to be able to transfer the DV to film down the line.

I guess I will be working exclusively in PAL and only convert the PAL to NTSC when I have to show work in progress or to give my video team a copy of the work. I don't think I really need true broadcast quality since if I sell some work that needs to be in NTSC I can have a professionel house to do the conversion.

But I agree that you have a point.

Thomas
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Old May 2nd, 2002, 02:50 AM   #22
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Guys what abt transcoders?

I think I've seen them on ebay and if I recall it right they were quite cheap.
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Old May 2nd, 2002, 08:06 AM   #23
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The only concern about transcoders is that they are analog in nature which means you'll suffer a loss of quality due to the extra generation, and you'll still need another deck at the other end of the transcoder, so they're not really *that* cheap.
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Old May 2nd, 2002, 03:31 PM   #24
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Chris,

But if someone in US got PAL camcorder and he has to transfer footage to NTSC, then even with loss of quality but to VHS deck (which everyone has in US) - errr things shall be fine with transfers to VHS decks, even quality wise.

What about progressive type DVDs?

Does anyone know anything about it. Cause when you analyze new DVDs they are all progressive, not interlaced.
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Old May 3rd, 2002, 03:03 AM   #25
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Most DVDs are indeed progressive... For the US they are
23.976 fps progressive (YES... that is a 23 your reading!).
Your player convert it to 29.97 fps interlaced on the fly if
you are watching it on a TV. Probably the best thing todo
with PAL footage to convert to NTSC is:

- Try to crop instead of resample.. if you have to do a
resample (resize) do it as small as possible
- Do NOT convert the framerate. There are tools available
in which you can alter the framerate of an AVI file without
actually changing the video frames AT ALL. This will mean
you will loose some time in the output, but that is not
noticable. You do need to convert your audio.

If you do this it might actually be very watchable! Oh,
one other thing that you are going to have to face:

- With PAL black is 0 IRE.. NTSC black is 7.5... You probably
need to conver the color space as well
- The actual shutter speed differences may work to your
advantage when converting to a progessive film like
NTSC fps (23.976 fps)

If you wanna know more let me know.
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Old May 3rd, 2002, 03:43 AM   #26
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Thanks Rob,

I think our forthcomming studio in overseas will eventually face this issue with footage being transfered to NTSC.

I've read articles on transfer to film, but it got little value to me since we are not planing to do so.

But transfers to DVD, that's where things might get interesting.
Since we have 25fps in frame mode, and would want to transfer footage to NTSC progressive 23domething fps, all of the additional image can be done to some anamorphic? oops - no image will be streched horisontally. Nevermind that.

I guess cropping is the best way in this case. And use of 16x9 guides without actuall use of this mode shall help in determining the right aspect ratio for transfers to NTSC. Am I correct?

Also Rob can you elaborate more about ire and shutter speed?

Much appreciated
Kairat
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Old June 5th, 2002, 08:39 PM   #27
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XL 1 defective after turning in at Canon Irvine for service

I turned in my PAL-XL1 for a "owner's club" check-up at the Canon facility in Irvine, CA two days ago. The camera was in absolutely perfect working condition by the time I dropped it off and I have never had any problems with it. When I received a call from them today I have been told that the camera's main board is defective. Obviously, the camera does record and playback in fragments. That's all the rep could tell me, a technican was not on hand. After double-checking that they are calling the right number with the right camera I do not know what to say. Does anybody has experiences with the Canon facility? I am not accusing them of doing something wrong. But, I am just curious when I turn in a working camera and get it back with a major problem attached to a $900.00 price tag.
Thanks for any support or comment here!
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Old June 5th, 2002, 09:04 PM   #28
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I think you should call Irvine back, and ask to speak to Chris Canada. He is the head service tech and he sees all cameras coming in. Ask him what you asked here: why did your working camera develop a problem on their bench? Chris Canada is a sharp guy who will shoot straight with you. If for some reason you can't reach him, ask to speak to Michael Cutler. He's not in the service department, but he is a Canon video tech rep whom I know personally quite well and I know he will help you get this resolved.

Did they know it's a PAL camera when you brought it in? I didn't even know they could service them there. Hope this helps,
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Old June 5th, 2002, 09:21 PM   #29
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Chris:
Thanks for the information and advice. Actually, it was Chris Canada who served me the "unfortunate news" at tea time.
The guy at the desk (I assume that must be Chris C. as well) checked back inside to make sure that they can service PAL-XL1s.
I left a message on his voice mail this afternoon, asking him to check with the technicians whether they hooked up my camera to any ntsc test equipment. That would be wonderful! I have absolutely no other idea what could have went wrong there.
Thanks again, Marcus
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Old June 6th, 2002, 08:55 AM   #30
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I sent my XL-1 for the first time and it to was working flawlessly. It came back with a tape head alignment problem. I was not thrilled to have to send it back a second time.

I have followed the advice of others when sending my XL-1 in for service and included both video samples of issues I was having as well as a written explanation. All I have ever gotten in return was an invoice stating, "We have returned your camere to factory specifications." They don't acknowledge actually having looked at my specific problem. I get the impression they "hit the reset" button and sent it back to me. I am sure they did more than this, but you never really know.

I love my XL-1 and don't want to sound feisty, but so far I am batting 50% with Canon's service department. Of course in baseball you are allowed to fail seven out of ten times and you are still considered pretty good.

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