Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Canon XL-H1 early results.

While one of our engineers is having fun learning about our newly-arrived JVC HD100U, that has left me some time to spend with the new Canon XL-H1, with a particular focus on its HD-SDI abilities. The HD-SDI feed is great for on-set monitoring and direct acquisition that bypasses the MPEG compression. Note: If you are using direct HD-SDI capture, you can't use the magnify feature for focus assist because the magnified image is sent over HDSDI. Anyway, you don't needed the magnify feature anyway because the peaking focus assist works very well.

I used a Prospect HD system to capture HD-SDI directly from the camera and compress on the fly into CineForm Intermediate. The results are nice. The 24F stream doesn't use HD-SDI's 24PsF mode (segmented frame), rather it delivers a 60i stream with standard 3:2 pulldown applied (although the data is presented with the proper 24p cadence.) We will be quickly adding real-time pulldown extraction to Prospect HD for direct support for the 24F mode, so 24P editing will be straight forward.

The image quality is excellent, really! The 24F image doesn't quite resolve the same image resolution as the 60i, but it seems higher than one interpolated field; we still have more to learn about 24F. I expect this will be a very popular shooting mode. The HD-SDI feed is 8-bit not 10-bit unfortunately, although someone at Canon had already stated that -- I really hoped to find that information incorrect. Please Canon, 10-bit support in a future update! That said, its clean uncompressed 1920x1080 8bit feed is still very nice. That is what I have learned to date.


-Spiff- said...

*Does some math*:

8-bit 4:2:2 1920x1080 gives: 0.99 Gbps
8-bit 4:4:4 1920x1080 gives: 1.49 Gbps
10-bit 4:2:2 1920x1080 gives: 1.24 Gbps

I thought they reported the 1.49 Gbps? I guess that's just the connector, not the actual data rate exported by the camera.

Oh - and I don't suppose it's possible for you to do a resolution test on the 60i, 30F and 24F modes? I'd be curious to know the effective resolution to 2 significant figures.

Interesting stuff David - I really enjoy reading over reports from someone with enough technical knowledge to sort through the nonsense out there!


David said...

HD-SDI is a 10-bit protocol, when sending 8-bit the two least significant bits are simply zeros.

I did some quick resolution charts, but too quickly to report actual numbers. I think most users will be pleased.

Anonymous said...

ok, so does it blow away the panasonic varicm? how about dynamic range on the is it?


David said...

My job is make editing of this camera's images the best experience possible. Obin, yours is to determine if this camera will meet your shooting needs.

Anonymous said...

David, do you think we are getting 3/4 the resolution of native 3ccd 1080p?

would you take a wild guess and say we are getting more lines of resolution then you would get off a single cmos/ccd 1080p bayer?


J.M. Puntervold said...

I'm going to rent this camera soon, any chance of 10bit in PAL land?

Will I get better resualts using Magic Bullet DeInterlacer (from 50i), than the 25F mode?

Looking foward to more info...

Jon M.

David said...

No you don't want to use a de-interlacer on 50i data from the Canon XL H1, the 25F will produce a better picture than that. The 'F' modes are very nice.