Equipment->Reviews: December 2005 Archives

Pete's ScratchPad has a great geeky review of the Canon XL-H1, testing it against motion artifacting as well as the SD lenses (older 20X and 3X). He kindly provides some MPEGs as well as frame grabs and lens tests.

HDForIndies has a very negative review of a screening of some XL-H1 footage by Canon. Apparently there were some problems with the 24F demo that Canon is providing so it may not be representative.

My own complaint? The Canon XL-H1 uses center-weighted metering for motion video. It has a tendency to overexpose and given the sensor's tendency to bloom, this is a Bad Thing. I found myself having to dial back the aperture during the conference yesterday. Also, the little $1600 Sony has a live histogram, the $9000 Canon doesn't?

John Jackman gives an extensive user-based review of the Sony HVR-Z1U (a HDV camcorder) in action. He shot a short historical drama in the Sony's 1080-50i and then converted to 24 fps for final output to film. The review has extensive notes about the ergonomics and performance of the Z1 and a critique of the final output by professional DPs. Interestingly, he didn't choose to use the Z1's 24F mode due to the image degradation and artifacting that Adam Wilt has written about, instead using the PAL 50i and converting to 24P.

On Friday, UPS had a large box for me - the Canon XL-H1 that I have had on back-order from B&H for the past month finally arrived! It's arriving just on the nick of time, I'm leaving Tuesday for a 3-week field trip to Japan. I was just about to cancel with B&H when they told me that they had shipped. I don't usually like taking untested equipment to the field, so I'm bringing along my Sony HDR-HC1 as a backup and second camera.

Judging from the serial number, I think I have one of the first 100 units in the United States. Here are some of my notes after using the camera for the last 24 hours. Feel free to post questions and I'll try to respond as best that I can (it may be delayed since I'll be in the field starting from Tuesday).

Read for further comments on the camera and its use.

ArsTechnica has an excellent in-depth review of Apple's new Aperture program for digital photographers. It looks like it's definitely a version 1.0 program, hopefully Apple can resolve all of the issues for the 1.1 release.

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Equipment->Reviews category from December 2005.

Equipment->Reviews: October 2005 is the previous archive.

Equipment->Reviews: January 2006 is the next archive.

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