For XL H1 users..
This past weekend I attended a video expo in the Boston area and sat in on the XL H1 presentation given by Don Berube, one of the moderators of this Canon forum. Don mentioned the H1 was primarily designed for the broadcast industry and the broadcast studio environment. Don also mentioned Canon may introduce other variations of the H1. I would wait until NAB before making a decision.
I don't think the buyers of this camera are all broadcast users but it does have features which can be used in multiple camera situations and with the right accessories studio and field. Timecode and genlock and SDI are all great features for multi cam production. Does this make it broadcast?
The biggest issues I have with the camera is the lens,viewfinder and playback options are not as mature as the camera body. The standard lens is still the only good HDV option, a wide angle adapter may or may not be good enough. There is currently no hi res viewfinder only the standard def one for the XL2. The wide angle lenses and manual lenses are rumored to arrive 3rd or 4th QTR this year. Some people have been using the XL2 accessories successfully but you may not find them acceptable. If you shoot in HDV and want to play back 30f and 24F you need an XLH1 as the playback device.
As time goes on these issues should fall by the wayside but you are going to be disappointed if your method of production requires any of the accessories which haven't been delivered yet. As for waiting for NAb this is always a good thing unless you need to shoot something before that. Also most of the products which are announced at NAB are not delivered until much later.
Of course it is hard to imagine a camera which is as flexible as this one for different kinds of productions. Pal and NTSC, removable lens, Time Code and Genlock, HDV,DV 60i,decent 30F, decent 24F and more. I use all of these options at one time or another.
Gold Teleproductions, Inc
New York, NY
I have an XLH1 and shoot HDV and edit mainly in SD.
The camera is nice except:
1. The supplied lens is not a serious proposition because of its infinite focus, making faultless live shoots very hard. I use my Canon 16 x Manual lens. Did test on resolution and no worries. The HD 20 x is about a stop faster though.
2. The viewfinder has always been a worry on the XLs. Besides resolution, my mainb gripe is the fact we NEVER see the actual edge of the frame we are shooting. You need a field monitor with underscan to do this.
3. Despite asking since the XL1, the mangement of audio is still a problem. It is still not possible to feed the on camera mic to just once of the inputs and feed a signal from one of the rear inputs AT THE SAME TIME. This is a STANDARD professional workflow.
4. To have a trouble free capture, I have found best to digitize from the camera. It will wotk form a ceap Sony HDv camera, but of course the 25F will only play from the Canon.Unnecessary wear on expensive heads really.
Besides ALL that, I am happy.
I think the price has been fixed worldwide and dealers limited.
[Bob Glover] "3. Despite asking since the XL1, the mangement of audio is still a problem. It is still not possible to feed the on camera mic to just once of the inputs and feed a signal from one of the rear inputs AT THE SAME TIME. This is a STANDARD professional workflow."
Just got off the phone with Canon on another issue (See post about zoom/rack focus in this forum) and mentioned the audio issue to my tech support guy. After futzing around for about an hour, we figured out that if, and only if, you are shooting in HDV mode and don't mind recording 4 channels of audio (menu/audio setup/audio mode), you can set your Audio 1 switch (why it's at the bottom, where you'd expect to find "Audio 2" nobody can explain!) to "front mic", then set Audio 2 to "rear", and suddenly your L/R XLR inputs are feeding audio channels 3/4. To monitor the levels of 3/4 requires you to push the "audio monitor" button under your power dial.
I suspect that if you had a hot-shoe stereo XLR widget, you could bring in four mics simultaneously to four independent audio channels. If they make such and XLR pack, I'd like some info on it...
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yes - I'm waiting until NAB before buying a new camera. A cheaper XH-H1 would be great, but its the R&D that costs not the parts - I wonder how much they could reduce the price for a version stripped of some of its broadcast features. Canon normally dont introduce camcorders at NAB - but still might see a drop in price on the current models.
We've had this camera for about a month. It really is impressive, even if you're final output isn't HD. The downconverted image is truly spectacular for a camera at this price point. It's not as good as our Cinealta HDCam, but as Adam Wilt recently wrote, all these new little HD cameras are far more than half the camera at far less than half the cost.
The lens is a sticky issue. I also tested the older 16x manual over the weekend (reported on that over in the HDV forum) and if anything, that lens is better than this new lens.
I'd buy from a local dealer, since everyone is giving pretty much the same price, and my experience is that local dealers have no trouble matching mail order. This is probably the only way to get the camera without the 20x lens. I've been informed by my dealer that it is possible after all, but it's not something that's going to appear in the normal catalog listing for awhile. But you don't have to wait for the HD manual zoom, you can use the existing lens now. You'll lose still frame capability is all. (The new camera depends on the lens having a mechanical shutter for stills work).
We'll be ordering the Body only from now on.