XL H1 With Nikon 80-400mm Lens at DVinfo.net

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Old October 15th, 2006, 11:25 PM   #1
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XL H1 With Nikon 80-400mm Lens

I just got back from 12 days in Ecuador and got the opportunity to use an XL H1 with my Nikon 80-400mmVR lens. Of course the VR won't function with the camera, but I included it just to identify the model of the lens. All the settings on the camera were factory defaults, and I was using a white balance setting that was at least 5 months old. Of course it was also manual focus and exposure. Most of my shooting during the trip was with the Canon 20X, but I did get quite a bit of Nikon footage also. This clip was made from SD footage down converted from the 1080 60i HD master. The original SD tape played on a good monitor looks awesome, and really can't be judged based on this WMV file. This clip is less that 10 seconds because I didn't want to post any large files.
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File Type: wmv andean_emerald-2.wmv (940.3 KB, 339 views)
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Old October 16th, 2006, 07:58 AM   #2
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The clip is far to low rez and short to judge anything (hummingbird landing on branch), plus there seems to be some bad sound at the start of the file.
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Old October 16th, 2006, 01:19 PM   #3
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Sorry about the clip I selected, understood. Here is, I think, a better sample clip that might be a little more instructive. Please keep in mind that shooting in a cloud forest when your dealing with heavy overcast isn't exactly easy, but I still managed to do most shooting at -3db gain. Please bear with me, since the transition from an XL1 to an XL H1 has been a real learning experience. Also, since I'm PC based and WMV's are easy to produce and are fairly decent given the ratio of size/bit rate, I'm open to suggestions to other formats that would not only help me, but others.
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File Type: wmv butterfly-4.wmv (2.64 MB, 327 views)
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Old October 20th, 2006, 12:13 PM   #4
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footage

don,

I liked the butterfly imagery. This is pretty nice as a down conversion from hd.
My question is, do you think the footage looks the same as if you shot it with your xl2?
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Old October 20th, 2006, 05:21 PM   #5
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Dale,
First of all I have an XL1, and I have always been able to optained very sharp video using the Nikon 80-400mm lens, especially on the macro side. Looking at that butterfly clip from the down converted tape on a Sony PVM-2030 monitor, my first impression is that it looks better, and the H1 handles the blacks and whites much better than the XL1 ever did. The detail is awesome, mainly because I managed to hit focus, sometime not that easy with the viewfinder Canon provided. I would have to say generally that the H1 footaged down converted to SD looks better than any of my XL1 footage. From what I have heard about the XL2, I would venture to say that it would most likely be of equal quality to XL2 footage. I didn't get to use the Nikon lens as much as I would have liked to on my last trip, because the assignment involved using the 20X lens most all the time. I'm in the process of getting out in the field more with the Nikon lens in a more relaxed situation to get footage that I can compare and look at more closely. One observation that I have made right away, is that when I'm shooting in bright sunny conditions, I'm stopped all the way down to f32, and the zebras are still going crazy. This was never the case with the XL1, and I had to purchase a 2 stop ND filter, to bring it back down to the f8-11 range. I finally found a down converted clip of a bird that shows good feather edge detail, and I'll be glad to post it if there is any interest. .
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Last edited by Don DesJardin; October 20th, 2006 at 09:36 PM.
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Old November 4th, 2006, 06:15 PM   #6
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Missed that post until now Don.

I would like to see any bird clips you have. The IBC rarely does justice to clips with much movement apart from shore birds.

Last edited by Brendan Marnell; November 5th, 2006 at 08:15 AM.
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Old November 4th, 2006, 08:43 PM   #7
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Brendan,
Here is a Social Flycatcher shot in a cloud forest in overcast conditions. The bird was about 30-35 feet away. Of course all manual focus and f stop. All my footage to date, with the exception of a small number of shots including this one with the XL H1, have been with the XL1 and Nikon combo. If your interested in any more or anything specific, send me you email address and I'll be glad to send them off line, since I have ~375 wmv files to choose from. I'm also trying my Tokina 80-200mm f2.8 on the H1 with very good tack sharp images, even after down converting to SD.
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File Type: wmv social_flycatcher-3.wmv (1.67 MB, 162 views)
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Old November 4th, 2006, 10:09 PM   #8
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Don,

What I would like to see is a sharp close up from your h1 and then one with your x1, just for comparison.

Also a comment on the video footage comparison of the non lowered resolution which we can't see.
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Old November 4th, 2006, 10:46 PM   #9
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Here is a close up from the XL1 with the Nikon 80-400mm. I don't have anything from the H1 that would be comparable other than the butterfly that was down converted H1 footage that has already been posted. I'll try to get something that would be more comparable to the hummingbird next week.

I view my footage on a Sony PVM2030 monitor which doesn't lie. This hummingbird footage is very detail sharp.
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File Type: wmv annas_hummingbird-1a.wmv (2.05 MB, 208 views)
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Last edited by Don DesJardin; November 4th, 2006 at 11:33 PM.
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Old November 5th, 2006, 03:55 AM   #10
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Wow!

What a hummingbird and what a flycatcher.

Two marvellous illustrations that there's much more to bird movement than flight. Hummingbird seemed to be checking himself out in the mirror Flycatcher was saying "They're all over the place, oops, nearly missed that."
marnellatindigo.ie will gladly welcome all bird clips including ones that you're not happy with because of flight movement v. manual focus ... my education continues ... hooray. Thank you Don

Last edited by Brendan Marnell; November 5th, 2006 at 08:15 AM.
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Old November 5th, 2006, 07:22 AM   #11
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Hi Don,

The hummingbird clip was exceptional. Can't wait to see more.

Regards,
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Old November 5th, 2006, 01:48 PM   #12
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OK folks, I quickly went out this morning with the H1 and Nikon combo and grabbed a little footage. I got White-crowned and House Sparrow. Although it's just a House Sparrow, it's a close in shot that I think shows good detail. It was shot is shade, which helps saturate color better than being in full sun. Also, this is HD down converted footage to SD.
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File Type: wmv house_sparrow-1.wmv (1.71 MB, 186 views)
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Old November 5th, 2006, 06:32 PM   #13
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Don, the sparrow is delightful but the barn owl at less than 2.5mbs is truly superb. I feel everybody should see it and let the experts offer their expertise even if few of them have done as well. Questions scream at me when I view it, like, How did you do it? but above all, How did you avoid jerking to a stop when the owl landed suddenly? or did I miss a moment of high-class editing/extracting? I couldn't find it. Did you use a slight slowing down for the sparrow? Great footage, but especially the owl. Both remind me of Meryem's kestrel in that you captured the eyes and facial expression but the owl's flight is a real thrill. Oh more please, anytime you've time.

I hope you don't get cheesed off when I enquire about tripod set-up, use of a hide/cover, distances from targets, manual focus always, handheld never, are you seated or standing, remote control ??? And please believe me that I do appreciate what you mean when you say you've been practising long and hard. But you've been practising smart too and observing like a naturalist. And then, what's Ecuador like for discomfort? And how would I survive a month in Colombia trying to record the musician wren? That'll do for a start!
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Old November 5th, 2006, 11:58 PM   #14
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this may be a silly question but how are you using the Nikon lens with the canon? Is it through a 35mm adapter? Or is there a Nikon lens that directly fits the XLH1?
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Old November 6th, 2006, 12:21 AM   #15
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Not a silly question at all. I have a Canon video to Nikon 35mm camera lens adapter that works for all XL series. The adapter can be purchased at:

http://www.lesbosher.co.uk
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