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-   -   Reminder: TV series shot with XL H1 debuts tonight (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/canon-xl-h-series-hdv-camcorders/68935-reminder-tv-series-shot-xl-h1-debuts-tonight.html)

Chris Hurd June 5th, 2006 07:16 PM

Reminder: TV series shot with XL H1 debuts tonight
As I mentioned before in this post:


For U.S. residents, there's a new TV show on the Lifetime Network, it's a series shot with the XL H1 called "Love Spring International," which begins tonight, Monday June 5th at 10pm or 11pm depending on your time zone. It's from the production company of Eric McCormack (from "Will and Grace" fame). http://www.lifetimetv.com/shows/lovespring/index.php

I'm stuck in a hotel in Orlando (out here for InfoComm this week) which doesn't offer Lifetime, so I'll have the wife record it for me at home. Hope the story line is worth watching!

Marty Hudzik June 5th, 2006 10:02 PM

I just watched the show and I wasn't impressed. I don't know what I was expecting but the show is shot in a style that doesn't really show off the image of the XL-H1. Plus I only get Lifetime in SD and find the image a bit soft. That is not the fault of the camera......just a drawback of the broadcast. I would rather see some drama type shots but this is not that type of show.

It really seemed a lot like "the office" but with a Dating Service company.

Anyone else catch it?

Steven Dempsey June 5th, 2006 11:36 PM

Not yet it's not on until 11pm on this side of the world....I'll watch some of it... :)

Was it shot in 60i? Anyone know more details?

Marty Hudzik June 6th, 2006 08:11 PM

It didn't look like 60i if I recall correctly. What I did notice was early in the program when they showed a little bit of a wide shot of the receptionist. I thought I saw some CA issues to the left of the frame. Not your typical CA that is a purple or green edge where a high contrast area is. But more of a overall distortion of color.....kinda like a projection tv that the convergence is off on. It was minor but I think I saw it.

The only time I have personally had this issue is when I shot with the Century .7x WA adapter on the XL2. It didn't show up all the time but sometimes it was there. It is kinda rainbowy....if you know what I mean. I will be getting the H1 down the line so I hope this is not an issue.


Steven Dempsey June 6th, 2006 09:14 PM

It was actually shot in 24f, there's an article about it on Canon's site.

Chris Hurd June 7th, 2006 05:28 AM

I couldn't find it right away at Canon, but there is a copy here:

John Trent June 8th, 2006 03:58 PM

Look, I don't want trouble, especially with the Kennelmaster but I really want to learn what's what. I know the XL H1 has the sharpest picture and is the most comparable to the F900, so somebody please explain why this show looks so bad. I was flipping back and forth between this show and a DVX show and the DVX show was so much clearer it was startling, even my sister said so (and no, I'm not a Pannasonic guy). Is it the 24f? It looked line doubled like my Sony VX2000. I thought they shot the show in SD, frankly. Is it a bad down conversion? It's soo soft.

I'm not trying to be a smarta**. I think Canon makes camcorders that are capable of incredible footage but what is the problem here? Does it only look good on HD sets?

Just to show I'm not picking on the Canon brand, the celebrity on celebrity interview show "Iconoclasts" currently being rerun on the "Travel Ch." (???) is shot with the Sony Z1 and looks even worse. Contrasty mush with blown-out highlights and when I asked why - Cineframe? Cinetone? downconversion? All I got in answers was - cameras great, musta been the broadcasters. Funny though, that the Sony VX2000/PD150, Canon XL1, and DVX100 all broadcast with a better picture than the two HDV cameras I've seen.

I've read that downconverted prosumer HD footage looks worse, the same, or better than SD. I don't know what to believe, so just answer me this - does all downconverted prosumer HD footage look like this show?

I'm sorry and thank you.

Chris Hurd June 8th, 2006 04:32 PM


Originally Posted by John Trent
I was flipping back and forth between this show and a DVX show...

What DVX show?

Steve Rosen June 8th, 2006 05:13 PM

John : the answer is NTSC - When you shoot any HD and have to air it in NTSC it looks pretty miserable compared to what you get used to on your monitor... Unless you do a careful scene by scene color correction for broadcast legal.. If you just feed it to a Beta deck for broadcast it's gonna look like crap.

Didn't see this show, but I have seen things that I've done badly mangled for nat'l broadcast (on PBS)... This particular show doesn't sound like something that is oriented toward stunning visuals anyway, so I'm sure there was a general lack of care in post..

As for "the DVX show", I don't know what that is, but my guess is that, because they chose that camera, they were dialing in a particular look, and took time to get it right for air - but, as for comparison, it doesn't matter which is which, they're both being seen through the crud filter of NTSC (which caters to the lowest common denominator)...

Steven Gotz June 8th, 2006 06:31 PM

Oh, man, I missed this thread. I would have had you out to the house Chris, and you could have seen it on my 60" HDTV. I am only about 20 miles from Orlando. Oh well, next time you come out.

John Trent June 9th, 2006 10:37 AM


Originally Posted by Chris Hurd
What DVX show?

All right...it was that Jamie Kennedy "BLOWIN' UP" abomination. God, I can't wait for rap to be OVER. It was my first chance to see DVX B footage. Now, I might as well embarrass myself further and cop to the fact I was also flipping between the XL H1 show and a DVD of the DVX lensed "PREDATOR ISLAND".

Completely off topic: the audio commentary of "PREDATOR ISLAND" mentioned that they used Avid Media 100 to edit the DVX 24P footage because Final Cut Pro "grabbed" the footage a different way and made it look more "strobey". I know a lot of you Canon guys use FCP and wondered if this had something to do with the argument about the XL2's 24P looking different from the DVX's 24P. Just a thought.

I watched a good and sobering documentary on HBO last night called "BAGHDAD ER", which was shot with the Sony Z1. I kind of feel like a jerk, bitching about video quality when I've just seen what's happening over there, so I'll try to be brief. I saw no HDV motion artifacts. The down-convert looked about the same as SD originated footage, NOT BETTER, maybe a little worse. The walls and ceilings had tiles and their lines just sort of disappeared at times. Fine detail was gone. Not being familar with the Sony lens, I wonder if a WA adapter might have been used and is partly to blame. Seeing this show makes me think (IMO) that Canon's 24f is not so good and is to blame for the softness on "LSI". If I used either of these cams I would shoot PAL and use a smart deinterlacer.

For Steve Rosen: wouldn't Letterman and Leno, which are shot on HD, look crummy on my SD set - they look fine to me.

I recommend "BAGHDAD ER". I saw almost the whole program and it didn't seem to have a politcal agenda or nauseate the viewer with gore. It's not for kids and there were some flashes of full frontal male nudity of the wounded, so if your offended, be forewarned. Afterward, I sat thinking it's good that HBO is running this, then they went and spoiled it by running "SEX INSPECTORS". What a world. And no - I didn't watch it.

Barlow Elton June 9th, 2006 11:27 AM

I thought it looked as good as any other SD feed I get on satellite. It's just the MPEG2 compression of satellite is, to my eyes, soft in general.

Daniel Epstein June 9th, 2006 11:38 AM

It is fairly pointless to call Canon's 24F the problem with a show shot in this mode until you also know what settings where used on the camera and what lens they were using for the show. If they were using a SD wide angle adapter on the 20X lens then many of the issues could be originated in the optics not the format. Also unless you see footage intercut from one camera to another in the same show same channel it is very hard to say a particular camera looks bad for broadcast compared to another.
As an example we used to shoot some shows for cable broadcast which we softened up with a net behind the lens. It looked great all the way through production/postproduction but looked too soft on transmission. We eventually gave up softening the picture this way in production because of this.
Since many filmmakers come to Video being told to hate detail circuits they could have been too aggresive in that direction. It could look great on your post monitor but not so good when the higher frequency's disappear through transmission.
If you want to use The Tonight show or Letterman as an example of how things look you have to remember they have a lot of engineering going on to ensure the transmission looks the way they want it to. The settings they use for the cameras is partly based on how it looks for transmission. You might even dislike how it looks in the edit room but like the transmission.

Steve Rosen June 9th, 2006 12:10 PM

Also, shows like that are designed from the start with transmisson in mind - art direction, lens choices, cameras, switchers - all of that is tested and are state-of-the-art when budget isn't a consideration...

Bad looking stuff can look great elsewhere - a perfect example is to look at the SHERLOCK HOLMES or POIROT series on PBS, then watch the same shows on BIOGRAPHY CHANNEL... On PBS these shows look dreadful, washed out color, muddy blacks, etc. - on BIOGRAPHY they look great, just as they did when originally broadcast in GB... Why? PBS insists on antiquated broadcast standards, catering to people - both of them - who have 30 year old color TVs that can't handle contrast and receive their signals over the air (thus the term) with rabbit ears... I long ago gave up judging anything by how it looks broadcast, there are just too many variables...

I spend many many hours tweaking scene-by-scene to get the best overall look for a documentary, then am sick when I see it it on the air (even when originated on film)... It is the curse that will be far less painfull when NTSC dies it's long overdue death... (of course, then people will complain about whites buzzing their soundtracks)...

Steven Dempsey June 9th, 2006 12:16 PM

I agree with all that's been said. To summarize, what you see on a TV show can or will be a dramatic departure (sometimes) from how the original footage was shot. There is so much post technology available nowadays and that, coupled with the pipeline specific to a channel's broadcast abilities and decisions made to determine what is within acceptable levels of color, blacks, methods by which 24f is processed all make a difference to what the viewer sees. Not to mention the variables of television sets whether they be plasma, LCD, CRT, etc., etc.

Even in my own experiments with the XLH1, I have seen dramatic differences in the perceived cadence of 24f. Using Cineform to capture and export still looks more videoish to my eye but if I export to 24p WMV, it looks as filmic as video is capable of.

It's fine to talk about the performance of a specific camera if all things are equal but, as we have seen, the world is far from that kind of predictablity. What it comes down to is what you can do with your own camera. I think the Canon is capable of spectacular imagery and when I saw that show the other night it seemed like I owned a completely different camera.

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