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-   Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/canon-xl-gl-series-dv-camcorders/)
-   -   Confirmed: XL2 has a 12-bit DSP (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/canon-xl-gl-series-dv-camcorders/30428-confirmed-xl2-has-12-bit-dsp.html)

Chris Hurd August 12th, 2004 09:26 AM

Confirmed: XL2 has a 12-bit DSP
Just received this via email from Canon USA:


Since the press release concerning the XL2, we have had many
inquiries as to the bit depth of its Digital Signal Processor (DSP).
The bit depth of a DSP is important because, as the number of
bits increases, the number of gradations processed and,
therefore, the quality of the image, increases. As a comparison,
8-bit processors use 256 gradations, while 12-bit processors use
4,096 gradations.

The XL2 has a 12-bit DSP, customized by Canon exclusively for
use in the XL2.

Joseph Bogacz
Assistant Director, Product Development & Support
Canon USA
Consumer Imaging Group
Video Division
One Canon Plaza
Lake Success, NY 11042


The DSP column on the chart in my page "XL2 CCD Block Overview" has been updated accordingly.

Don Berube August 12th, 2004 09:35 AM

During our training and at the DV Expo East, many of us were impressed at how the XL2 output was very clean with minimal (if any) noise. It's nice to have all of that custom image control with 12-bit DSP. Very cool.

- don

David Ziegelheim August 12th, 2004 10:07 AM

Well, that is good news!

Now, who rents Canon XL1/XL2s in the NYC/NJ area? And do they also rent the Mini35?

Don Berube August 12th, 2004 10:13 AM

Here is a list of facilities in your area that rent:

- don

Barry Goyette August 12th, 2004 11:08 AM


Thanks for the good news. Although I've already ordered mine...this was the one issue that concerned me a bit about the xl2.

This is slightly off topic...but concerning the sensor dimensions hubbub of a few weeks back..I noticed that canon has not offered up any correction on their website....have you had any communication with them about correcting this?


Chris Hurd August 12th, 2004 11:19 AM

Hi Barry,

I mentioned it briefly to one of the marketing managers in their California office. He said they'd look into it. Meanwhile I'm preparing a brief explanation of the issue for him, which will basically state that if these are standard 1/3rd-inch chips (and they are), and if the 16:9 target area is smaller than the total CCD angular dimension (and it is), then there's no way that the 16:9 target area diagonal can measure 0.289 inch (as they state). I have a feeling that they worked under the mistaken assumption that a 1/3rd-inch CCD has a diagonal of 0.333 inch (we all know it doesn't, but I don't think they do). In fairness to Canon USA, they didn't build the thing; they're strictly marketing and sales. At least the DSP question has been sorted out finally... one battle at a time, as they say.

Yi Fong Yu August 12th, 2004 11:58 AM

hi Chris,



"Because Canon utilizes a 12 bit DSP (Digital Signal Processor) maximum image quality is preserved."

has this info always been there or because of our insistence it was just recently put up on canon's offical xl2 site spec info?

Chris Hurd August 12th, 2004 12:02 PM

As far as I know, that line was just recently added.

Bill Pryor August 12th, 2004 08:10 PM

This announcement is unfortunate, Chris--all the critics who like to slam the camera before it's available for use won't have anything to do. They will become morose, depressed, sad...unable to go back and delete all those negative posts. What you should do is make up a list of all the possible negative things about the camera for them. That would be the gentlemanly thing to do. For example: it's white, and that's unnatural. A guy could set it on top of a white car and forget it was there and drive away and it could fall off, resulting in serious damage...all because it's white.

Don Palomaki August 12th, 2004 08:36 PM

Good news and info on the DSP issue. If we bat questions around enough the truth will emerge.

On CCD size, many folks are not aware that CCD size is a throwback to vacuum tube days and refers to the nominal size of the imaging tube used in those cameras, not the deagonal of the actual active area of the imaging sensor. The nominal CCD size is an "equivalent" number based on the old tube days, not an actual physical measurement.

If we look into the camcorder with the lens removed, we can see that the nominal active area of the 1/2" CCD in the canon L2 has an apparent diagonal of about 0.34" and the nominal 1/3" CCD in the XL1 is about 0.23" Lets see, that mans the 1/6" CCD in some newer consumer camcorders is closer to 1/9" inch actual doagonal area.

The moral of this thread is do not buy a white car.

And who really cares, it is the final image that counts.

David Ziegelheim August 12th, 2004 08:41 PM

<<<-- Originally posted by Don Palomaki : The moral of this thread is do not buy a white car. -->>>

What is wrong with a white car?

Chris Hurd August 12th, 2004 08:51 PM

<< all the critics who like to slam the camera before it's available for use won't have anything to do >>

Eh. They had their run. Besides, I'm sure they'll find something else about it to fixate on.

David Ziegelheim August 12th, 2004 09:00 PM

Now, how about a 12x3.8 lens with doubler?

Bill Pryor August 13th, 2004 08:44 AM

Yeah, and a viewfinder with underscan, and 2/3" chips, and color bars switch instead of in the menu and...oh wait, I can already get all of that. For a price. But not for under $5K. Dammit, I want new Toyota Land Cruiser, and I want it to get 40 mpg and I want it for $20,000.

Chris Hurd August 13th, 2004 08:54 AM

Is that all you want, Bill? You're relatively easy to please!

You do get a color bars button (with tone) right on the body. Hey, one out of three ain't bad. In fact, it's great!

David Ziegelheim August 13th, 2004 08:57 AM

Not quite that bad. The CRT viewfinder is available. As is a manual lens. And in the next step up, Canon offers a 12x wide angle lens with optional doubler.

Just make a 1/3" version of the lens available for the XL chassis.

Chris Hurd August 13th, 2004 10:19 AM

I assume you're referring to the 1/2" Canon YH12x4.8 IRS-A (with 2x extender), which carries a pricetag of more than $7,000 USD. The 1/2" Canon YH12x4.8 KRS-A (without 2x extender) sells for more than $5,000 USD. And these are the inexpensive ones which Canon Broadcast markets as "semi-pro."

A 1/3" version with an XL mount would really not be much less expensive. Plus, the zoom motor / hand grip would have to be removed in order to clear the built-in hand grip of the XL2. So you'd lose a lot of functionality right there. Given the current pricing, how much would you be willing to pay for that lens?

Bill Pryor August 13th, 2004 10:47 AM

Really? That's a minor thing, but always a major irritant for me when I'm shooting with the 250. At the end of takes I like to flip on the bars and record a few seconds, and that's a pain when you have to go into the menu.
From all I've read about the XL2, and heard, it should be a very cool camera for shooting 16:9, which I like to do. A friend of mine who works for IFP-L.A. saw one a few weeks ago when the Canon rep took it by their offices, and he was impressed. They're doing a workshop in about a month or so with it, so I'll get a report from somebody whose eyes I trust.

Chris Hurd August 13th, 2004 11:10 AM

When you hear from IFP-L.A., Bill, please pass it on here. I'm also interested in what they think about it.

David Ziegelheim August 13th, 2004 11:47 AM

I though it was closer to $3k without the doubler. I was wrong.

What I would like is a wider angle and maybe a shorter range in a lens that can use a follow focus. Something more or less similar to the DVX100A, but going even a little wider still (just under 4mm).

When I can find what I am looking for--16:9, progressive scan (24 and 30 f/s), WA lens, significant electronic controls, and hopefully 1/2 CCD--I would expect to spend $8-10k.

If I want a LCD monitor, a 7" Panasonic can be clipped on top. Or use a portable CRT.

If everything is in order, I think I will rent one later this year with the Mini35. However in the camera that is purchased and sits around to be used ad hoc, the desired features are needed. The two Panasonics (DVX100A, DVC-200) are close, as the XL2 seems to be.

Bill Pryor August 13th, 2004 12:51 PM

The DVC200 doesn't do progressive scan or 24fps. No other half inch camera does either. You're stuck with 1/3" or jump up to 2/3".

John Mercer August 13th, 2004 03:42 PM

"When I can find what I am looking for--16:9, progressive scan (24 and 30 f/s), WA lens, significant electronic controls, and hopefully 1/2 CCD--I would expect to spend $8-10k."

Like Bill said. The next cheapest camera with these features than the XL2 (it has WA - the 3x and 'significant electronic controls', but no 1/2" CCD) is the Panasonic SDX900 DV50 camera - and you'll have to pay a lot more than $8-10k.

It's great that the XL2 has a 12bit DSP, but it kind of stood to logical reason IMO.

Ignacio Rodriguez August 13th, 2004 03:51 PM

> It's great that the XL2 has a 12bit DSP

It is. But is it 12 bits for each primary color or for the full RGB?

Aaron Koolen August 13th, 2004 04:04 PM

Ignacio, I understand the scepticism - companies always tell mistruths about this sort of thing. BUT really would cannon have what would amount to an average of 4 bits per RGB? No F@*&#ing way they would - they couldn't be that cheap. If they do I'll eat my XM2 ;)


John Mercer August 13th, 2004 04:16 PM

12 bits for each primary colour would be 36bit surely?

This is really starting to be obsessive. It is a 12bit DSP that ends up producing an 8 bit 4:1:1 NTSC or 4:2:0 PAL processed DV25 signal. It is the same as the DVX100A.

BTW the 2/3" chip Sony DSR 570 DVCAM only has a 10 bit DSP and nobody complains about that camera's image.

Bill Pryor August 13th, 2004 04:23 PM

Nobody complains about the 500/570 because it's not in the same market as the XL2. If it sold for the same price as the DVX100a, then people would complain about it.

David Ziegelheim August 13th, 2004 04:43 PM

The DSR3x0 and 5x0 came out when 10-bits was leading edge. New Panasonic and Ikegami cameras are 12-bit, and presumably the next generation of Sonys will be 12- or 14-bit.

Ignacio Rodriguez August 13th, 2004 05:18 PM

My current Sony does 14-bit processing.

Jacques Mersereau August 14th, 2004 08:15 PM

I don't care if the XL2 is ONLY twelve bit and 720x480, I'm still going to buy one as long as they're still white.

David Ziegelheim August 14th, 2004 09:47 PM

<<<-- Originally posted by Jacques Mersereau : I don't care if the I'm still going to buy one as long as they're still white. -->>>

Is white the school color?

Jacques Mersereau August 15th, 2004 09:32 AM

Maize and Blue. GO BLUE!

I was making fun of all the detractors (me included) who've
rushed to voice opinions without having seen the images produced
by the XL2 and voice opinions as to whether they'll buy or not
based on pure speculation
(and such things as color of the camera body).

When told (erroneously) that the XL2 had 8 bit
processing I was disappointed. Why? Because from what I've
seen cameras with 12 bit processing produce better images than
those with less bit depth. One of the greatest challenges to the
XL1 (and all video cameras) is its ability to handle high contrast lighting.

Higher bit rates, even if only in processing, usually result in better looking
video and I am happy that Canon's XL2 has 12 bit processing.
I just wished it had 10bit SDI out to go with it (sorry Bill ;)

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