Canon XL-H1 takes the heat

Lancaster, PA-based Take One Productions recently shot inside a steel mill, rife with intense heat, grit and grime, and difficult — if not potentially spectacular — high-chroma imagery of 2900-degree Fahrenheit molten steel contrasted with equally challenging dark blacks.

Not only were these conditions enough to test the imaging capabilities of the most advanced digital video cameras on the market, the footage had to be shot in HD as well.

Kevin Martorana, president of Take One Productions, and his team used the company’s Canon XL H1 HD camcorder, which it acquired after seeing the HDV camcorder at NAB2006 in Las Vegas, for the shoot.

During the steel mill shoot, the Take One team ran time code and HD-SDI to its broadcast record deck and simultaneously used the camera’s onboard HDV recorder for backup video and audio. The matched time code allowed for syncing the two recordings in post-production.

As a standard feature, Canon’s XL H1 HD camcorder includes a “Professional Jack Pack” of four BNC connectors that provide: uncompressed digital HD-SDI (SMPTE 292M) video output at 1.485Gb/s, as well as SD-SDI (SMPTE 259M); genlock input; and SMPTE time code input and output.

Take One’s XL H1 HD camcorder met the challenge of shooting in the steel mill and of capturing the intensely bright images of molten metal against dark, black backgrounds.

According to Martorana, Take One’s acquisition of the XL H1 HD was originally only for the steel mill shoot, which alone paid for the camcorder. Take One’s XL H1, however, has become a major asset to the company’s equipment inventory and is being used on a wide range of productions.

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