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Canon XL H Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XL H1S (with SDI), Canon XL H1A (without SDI). Also XL H1.

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Old June 4th, 2010, 02:45 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 13
FS-CV HELP, please!

Is anyone on here currently using a FS-CV DTE with an XL H1a/s?

I just bought one and am hitting a few roadblocks and I am desperately needing to get back to work. I tried calling FOCUS at least 45-50 times and they simply won't answer the phone. I even talked with Canon who doesn't provide support for it but he sure tried (great support at Canon BTW!). He even tried to contact someone at FOCUS for me with no luck.

I just have a couple of what are probably simple questions. I'm willing to even pay someone at this point. It'll be cheaper than the money I'm losing while not filming.

After spending almost $2k, I hate to pop a tape back in.

Mike Smartt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 4th, 2010, 02:53 PM   #2
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I guess I could post a couple of questions:
they're probably remedial but I have only ever shot on tape

1. How to I get the Timecode to read the same on both devices? Right now i have the FS set to "EXT TC" and the camera set to "REC-RUN".

2. While not necessary, it would really be nice if there were a way to turn off that little red flashing "no tape" indicator in the viewfinder.

3. How do I actually import video in to FCP. The manual only explains how to import the XML but not the actual video files so as soon as I turn off the FS, my clips go missing.

4. How do I set up the my USB wireless dongle so I can access the admin area to create folders and clip names etc? I did everything the manual said to do and it did not work. I should add, I am very savvy when it comes to networking. I have been building websites for 14 years and I still cannot figure this out.

Thank you in advance if you have any answers!

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Old July 10th, 2010, 11:22 PM   #3
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Portland, Oregon ("Orygun"), USA
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I have three XLH1a with three FS-CV.

To answer your questions, Mike (and sorry for the long delay, but I've been away from this forum for a while):

1. To get TC to read the same on both devices? I have found that you need to have a never-recorded-to blank tape loaded in the XLH1a and set to write protect (to avoid accidental recording), before the XLH1a will emit continously updated time code. Press the DISP but on the FS-CV to monitor the TC you are getting.

1a. Recordf Quicktime files if you want to be able to playback recorded files to the XLH1a (note, you have to put the XLH1 into VCR mode, then press play on the FS-CV to effect the playback.

2. No way to turn off the flashing no tape (or tape write protected) flashing icon.

3. Files recorded to the FS-CV go into the FCP Examples folder. Just connect up the FS-CV with a USB cable to a Mac. The hard disk appears on the desktop. Navigate to the FCP Example folder and then you will see all the files. Note that the file names contain the encoded date time when the files were created. However the actual creation date/time for the files is wrong. Focus told me that this a known bug.

4. Sorry. Can't help you on this one. I just mount the drive using the USB cable and copy files off. I then use "A Better Finder Rename" to prefix each file name with a camera number.

5. There is a weird bug in the FS-CV which can cause the time code at the *start* of a Quicktime movie to be offset from what was recorded from the XLH1a. I've been unable to convince Focus that this is a serious problem. By way of an example (and not the real problem I've observed but apparently related to it), if you press the Pause button on the FS-CV while recording Quicktime for say, 10 seconds, the timecode at the start of the clip will be delayed by 10 seconds.

What I've seen is that if there is something like a disk writer error during recording that also causes the effect of a pause, then the timecode at the start of a clip will be delayed by several seconds. Under these circumstances I used CatDV to reset the timecode. It was easier to do this that try and persuade Focus that there is really a problem, I'm afraid. (Focus' technical support person was responsive, but does not seem to be able to persuade any of the developers that they really have a rather odd mistake in their code.)

This is particular important if you jam-sync more than one camera to a specific time code. Chris Hurd describes how to do this by lining up the cameras and using a single remote control to set several cameras' timecodes to zero by driving the menu from the one remote control.

Message is, if you want accurate time code recorded from more than one camera, don't use more than one FS-CV. Record to tape. The FS-CVs are just not reliable enough, based purely on my experience with three FS-CVs and a year's worth of experience.

Hope this helps.
Forensic Software/Image Analyst & Educational DVD Production
Portland, Oregon ("Orygun"), USA : www.jli.com
Andy Johnson-Laird is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 12th, 2010, 02:08 AM   #4
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Hampshire
Posts: 226
I also run an fs-c and it gives me mov files with the audio out of sync by 7 frames by default on everything it does.

I find it easier to draw in the footage off all cameras, straighten out the audio first then multi track in fcp and then pleuralyse the tracks to get them in sync - then if I have to I'll add a timecode track as an overlay.

The set all cameras by remote route is great if all the cameras are the same or they all can work with the same remote. We recently did a concert shoot with an XL-H1, Sony HD-1000 and a Canon 7D and a JVC HY something ----. We pleuralysed the tracks and the result is a great looking video highly suitable for web or DVD (after some colour grading of course. Odd thing was - we didn't even bother with timecode during the process. Clearly it would be better with all cameras the same - but we don't have that sort of budget.

Hope this little helps..
Dave Gosley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 17th, 2010, 07:42 PM   #5
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THANKS Dave for this incredibly detailed response!

I've got everything figured out except the wireless option. Even bought the branded "Focus" USB adapter and still can't get that to work. Unfortunately the manual is one of the more poorly written I've ever tried to follow (and like everyone here I have read more manuals than I ever want to remember!) and tech support is less than helpful IF you can get them to pick up :( They actually have up an updated version of instructions for wireless activation which STILL didn't help. I'm bummed too because I was really excited about the technology.

Overall, It's not a bad piece of equipment but honestly with all of this trouble + no help from them or the manual, I think I'm going to return it, spend just a tad bit more for the Nanoflash and that lovely 4:2:2.
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