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Old May 25th, 2011, 08:19 AM   #31
Regular Crew
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Oak Harbor WA
Posts: 66
Re: Need Suggestions For Capturing Train Audio

Hi Again guys,
Following up on my earlier efforts, I bought a small widget that provides a 1/4" tripod screw on one end and slips into a hotshoe on the other and mounted it on my camcorder. I then put the small cheap video camera with the auto audio gain on this and then filmed a couple of trains going by using both cameras. I did this to try and make both cameras be the same distance and follow the same pan when filming. I noticed that while the cheap camera recorded poor audio, it did a far more satisfying (for me anyway) job of recording the train both at distance and closer. Now I know most of you feel this is not "real", is sorta fake, and isn't accurate, but it's what I'm looking for. And as I've said before, Picasso couldn't even get the eyes right and people flock to see his work. And I really need to concentrate on my pan and zoom when a train shows, so I don't have the capacity to worry about sound levels. So I've settled on some kind of auto gain. And decided to change cameras. So I'd like to ask you folks this: Looking at these two camcorders, the Canon XA10 and the Canon XF100( ouch), they say different things about the audio properties. Here's what is on the specs for the XA10.

"The Automatic Attenuator feature prevents high volume distortion and optimizes audio quality in situations when sound levels quickly change. It automatically keeps the audio clean and even. Additionally, two XLR audio inputs with phantom power can be found on the detachable handle. Both the built-in microphone terminal and XLR terminals have the option for automatic or manual audio level control".

And here is the ad from the XF100.

"Audio is recorded in 16-bit PCM format at 48kHz for amazing quality and fidelity. And both the built-in microphone and XLR inputs have the option for automatic or full manual gain control. To prevent variations in the recorded audio level, the dial can also be locked."

I'd like to ask: Do you think both of these are the same, just worded differently, or do you think only the XF100 has what I am looking for? I really have no idea what an Automatic Attenuator is, except maybe a limiter with a college degree?
Thanks everyone for following me through this.
Scott Hiddelston is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 27th, 2011, 10:50 AM   #32
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 262
Re: Need Suggestions For Capturing Train Audio

from a technical perspective I would thing "Automatic Attenuator" is describing a "limiter" which only controls loud sound that goes past a certain threshold.

where as "automatic gain control" would also add raising volume for soft sounds which is the part of AGC (automatic gain control) that people are mainly talking about when they say its undesirable to use automatic settings, as this is when hiss is raised to undesirable levels.

this is my best trtanslation of the two descriptions, but since both descriptions are speaking a sort of different "language or verbiage" its impossible to know if they are indeed describing the feature accurately to be comparable.
Gerry Gallegos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 4th, 2011, 08:42 AM   #33
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Oak Harbor WA
Posts: 66
Re: Need Suggestions For Capturing Train Audio

Thanks Gerry, and sorry for the belated reply.
After reading the manuals for both cameras I think you are correct. I feel the XA10 only offers a limiter, whereas the xf100 offers the limiter, plus the option to control the gain either manually or automatically. I'll pop this question over on the Canon groups and see if anyone who owns one of these can enlighten. Thanks again.
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