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Canon's XL H1: Ready for Its Closeup

A Q&A with Canon's Joe Bogacz By Frank Moldstad

XL-H1 HD camcorder
It's the new kid on the block, but Canon's first HD camera, the XL H1, has been steadily gaining support among professional users, third-party accessory makers and editing platform developers. With support for direct capture of 24F footage to the editing timeline in Adobe Premiere Pro 2.0 and Apple's technology preview with Final Cut Pro at NAB, plus new hard drives, digital interfaces and a 6x wide angle HD lens coming this fall, the XL H1 is ready for its closeup.

Recently, we caught up with Joe Bogacz, assistant director of product development and support for Canon's video division, to talk about the XL H1. Caught up with, as in literally -- soon after we spoke, he was jetting to LA for technical rehearsals of a new Lifetime Network series shot with the XL H1, called "Love Spring International," debuting June 5th.

In the following interview, Bogacz brings us up-to-date on the XL H1's progress.


What's the status of the XL H1's support for Adobe Premiere Pro and Apple Final Cut Pro?

Well, first there are a couple of different frame rates on the XL H1. There's 60i, which is the normal video, 30 frame, and also 24 frame. The latter, 24 frame, is the Holy Grail of the film look. So there's a couple of different ways for editing and finishing your project. One is to keep it at 60i, which is basically if you're going to show it on broadcast television. That means that you can shoot 60i, 30 frame, or 24 frame, and finish on 60i. Or, you can shoot 24 frame and end up with 24 frame. Those are sort of the two major areas. The reason you'd want to stay with 24 frame is if you were going to output to movie film, if you were actually going to make film with it.

So in the first scenario, which is that you end up at 60i -- you're making a television show, for instance -- there are four editing platforms you can use. One of them is AVID, one of them is Apple Final Cut Pro, one of them is Canopus and one of them is Adobe Premiere Pro. In that case, we are fully compatible and everything is wonderful. Even if you shoot 24 frame but you're going to finish on 60i, you can use what's called a 60i timeline, so it works fine.

When you want to stay on 24, that's where we are still working through some of the things with Apple and Adobe. When you want to edit a full 24, shooting 24 frames a second and editing 24 frames a second.

A complete 24F workflow from start to finish.

Yes. Adobe Premiere Pro has a plugin from a company called CineForm, which allows you to do that. With Canopus you can do 24 frame. And we're waiting anxiously for Apple to release what they showed on the NAB show floor, which was the technical preview of Final Cut Pro doing 24 frame with the XL H1.

Joe Bogacz, captured in glorious HD on the XL H1 in Photo mode.

Will Canon have these plugins downloadable from its web site?

Actually, we've just put up what is basically an XL H1 micro site, which has some success stories and third-party accessories and those types of things. [See it here] Adobe asked us to host the download because they thought that was a good idea. Apple wants to have everything on their site. Every company is different. Canopus, I believe, just has an update that you run. Adobe uses CineForm, and they also have some settings that we're going to have for download. 

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Related Keywords:XL H1, Canon, HD camera, 24F, Adobe, Premiere Pro, Apple, Final Cut Pro, Joe Bogacz

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