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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 2nd, 2018, 01:27 AM   #1
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Location: Lake Tarawera, Rotorua, New Zealand
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Using three Canon xlh cams and Blackmagic video assist

I use two XLH1s cams recording to Blackmagic Video Assist via the large sdi connector on the camera to the mini sdi connector on the Video Assist in Pro Res 4,2,2 HQ. The camera sdi outputs a uncompressed HD signal to the Video Assist. This is of higher quality than HDV which is slightly compressed to adapt it to tape. Video Assist has several formats it records to. Select one that works with your editing software and gives the best results. The XLH1s has embeded audio. I also have a XLH1. This does NOT have embeded audio. I think the XLH1a does not have embeded audio also. Each of my three cameras has it's own Video Assist monitor/recorder. I record audio either from a shotgun or a radio lapel mike. I always use a splitter on the audio sending and recording audio to each XLH1s in case one fails to record.

You do not need to run a tape at all. I never do. But you need to go into the camera menu to turn the power save feature off to stop the camera from shutting off onto standby.

I set a XLH1s and a XLH1 close side by side. The H1 is fitted with a 6x wide angle lens making a standby shot. The H1s has the standard lens it came with. The H1s I usually work altering the shot with the zoom. The third camera a XLH1s with standard 20x zoom lens is either to the right or left of me. It is usually on a medium shot. I can move to the third camera from time to time to alter or work it's shot. If I'm using a shotgun mike I run another monitor from the wide shot camera rca video jack to the audio boom pole operator so they can check the mike is not in the shot. From the third camera I also have a monitor from it's rca video jack pointing at me at the central two camera spot so I can keep a eye on it.

In Premiere I then in multi camera mode cut my way through the clip.

Now as I have only two cameras with audio I go the old fashioned way and use a clapper board so I can sync it all. I also copy a audio track to the silent camera (XLH1) track in the editor using the clapper board to sync the sound track. It's important to have the two H1s cams audio set to the same level,

For several years I worked in a studio with a three camera set up each one with an operator. The above way is the easiest way I've found to do a one man three camera shoot. I guess I could get three pan tilt heads operating them by remote.
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