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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 September 15th, 2005, 11:14 AM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2004
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HD-SDI... Sony Beware?

The more I read and think about this camera and its HD-SDI output, the more I've come to the following conclusion:

The Canon XL H1 is not competition for Sony FX1/Z1U. This machine is a 1440x1080 1/3" CCD competitor with the Sony F900. While it's not quite capable of F950 levels of performance (not native 1920x1080 2/3" CCDs, not as good optics), for most intents and purposes it will be remarkably close.

Realistically I know this camera is way out of my price range (heck, I've got an FX1 - the Z1U is out of my price range, as will be the HVX200) since I'm only a hobbyist... but if Canon has the balls to make HD-SDI standard on all of its HDV products (please, please, please do this), HD-SDI could very well lead to the "codec of choice / uncompressed" future I've been dreaming of.

No longer do you have to worry about direct access to the CCD block for something like Andromeda - you've got a purely digital pipeline to pretty much all the image quality the camera can deliver.

I know a lot of people are wishing for a direct to DVCPRO-HD system like HVX200 - but given the price/performance of P2, and the general enthusiasm for tapeless solutions, portable HD-SDI input devices with dedicated compression CPUs writing directly to hard drives really don't seem so far off... The components are pretty simple - an HD-SDI DAQ, a Pentium 4, and a S-ATA hard disk.

I think this is pretty darn revolutionary.

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Old September 15th, 2005, 11:24 PM   #2
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Bingo. I agree completely, Steven. However I think it's a bit of a stretch to expect Canon to offer SDI on all forthcomng cameras... I just don't see them putting it on a GL2 replacement, for instance. But then again, nobody really expected it with the H1 either.

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