Canon XL H1

Moving from bigger DVCAM format to miniscule MiniDV tapes of Canon XL H1 is a worthwhile transition. Canon XL H1 comes as Fantastic Plastic’s firm and compact camera with the matte box, focus unit and the battery adapter. The gold-mount adapter is rewired so that one Anton-Bauer brick connects both the lens converter and the camera without having to use multiple batteries. It appears more elegant compared to the P + S Techni Mini35 which is a lens converter with 35mm cine primes.

The Canon XL H1’s has removable lens making it a perfect camera to function with DoF converter, as it is not necessary that the camera lens be used as a relay. Though there are many high end converters, DoF conversion is worth the cost.

Those with a good knowledge of videography can use them efficiently to light, block or direct for films. Learning the technique involves an artistic as well as a scientific approach.

There are some factory defaults with Canon XL H1. One credential is the customization available for twenty three different recording specifications including gamma curve, black stretch with press, as well as knee point adjustment. There is also a set of parameters to boot.

We could carefully tweak all the seemingly endless adjustments and come up with numerous schemes to closely emulate our preferred filmstocks, though it was a time-consuming task. They could be saved as presets that could be accessed instantly. So, with just a press of a button, you can change from shooting the Kodak 5201 to the 5229 and back outside to 5205. They serve as ‘virtual filmstocks’, but take longer for loading the magazine in the darkroom.

Canon XL H1 offers a couple of appreciable features. Its 48v phantom power provided through the XLR audio inputs at the rear is one among the features. Therefore, it is easy to use Sennheiser MKH416 mics not having to provide separate power source. Yet another feature is that it is more like the ‘pro’ camera rather than the ‘prosumer’ camera.

There are plenty of switches and buttons on the body for making the required changes and tweaks quickly. The menu in Canon XL H1 is complex, but the items that are frequently used are positioned as easily accessible knobs and buttons. For instance you need not search the menu for changing shutter speed, as there are buttons to get it done. This feature enhances Canon’s credibility.

The proprietary style of Canon that cranks out 24fps has considerable detraction, but its appearance is lovely. The 24f footage of Canon XL H1 is reasonable for the price, with an ideal 3:2 pulldown, having toggled through and counted the frames and fields.

But decks to playback HDV footage with the 24f mode are not made. So the camera must be used to serve as the source deck while capturing. For shooting HDV at 60i or standard definitions of 24f, 30f, 60i, others have no trouble with the footage.

Though Canon XL H1 offers HD-SDI output for video, it has no embedded audio, and so, is video only. The viewfinder is not satisfactory as in most HDV or HD cameras. As an informative fact, the Accuscene viewfinder of Panavision Genesis happens to belong to the appreciable category.

The Canon XL H1 is able accessorize with the Porta-Jib and O’Connor head. The SteadyCam mount is not shown. So a 17 inch 1080 monitor can be taken along when it’s feasible. Further, the camera’s finder does not give helpful ‘focusing aids’ for magnification and edge finding. However, focusing by tape measure seems accurate enough.

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