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Old May 9th, 2007, 10:01 PM   #1
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XLR Worth it Over Mini?

I'm planning to work on one (possibly two) documentaries this year. But I am a newbie and DVInfo has been invaluable for me thus far.

I am leaning towards the Canon HV-20 to cut my teeth on. And from there probably moving up to an XH-A1. I just really don't want to "over buy" in the beginning.

The HV-20 lacks XLR inputs (makes sense on such a small camera); I am wondering if that should be a concern?

The first phase of the documentary will be indoor talking head type interviews, where I'll be able to control the lighting and audio environment to a reasonable degree.

Are there wired or wireless min microphones of high enough quality for this setup? Is XLR really that much better than mini? I’m leaning towards using a lavalier instead of a boom or shotgun mic for recording the subject.

Last edited by Peter Moretti; May 10th, 2007 at 10:17 AM.
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Old May 14th, 2007, 01:28 PM   #2
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XLR is the only way to go.

Yeah, tell ya what, you need to use XLR if you have the chance.

Beachtek is a company that can make converters for smaller HV20s and GL2s if they have audio inputs. Look around on the forums. XLR is the way to go. It allows you the ability to patch in, use or deal with pretty much anything.

Also, don't worry so much about overbuying the camera. That is an amazingly capable little camera, and has almost everything you need for the price. People often get scared that they're overbuying. That's called being smart. So here's my advice: Slightly used, but otherwise excellent camera equipment goes for about 80% of what you paid for it. If you need to unload an XH-A1, you can do that almost instantly at that price, or better. Let there be no doubt, someone will buy it from you.

However, if you actually buy an XH-A1, you're probably going to keep it and have HD movie night over at a friends house, because it is the bomb diggity.

I have had a friend that has used a GL2 for seven years non-stop. It just died the other day, he sent it in, now, it's working again.
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Old May 14th, 2007, 01:34 PM   #3
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You will want XLR's if you're running cables any longer than a few feet in length. Long cables with unbalanced connectors (like 3.5mm mini plugs) can introduce a lot of noise.

I agree with Alex about the A1, too. There's no such thing as overbuying, if you can afford it (I realize this last "if" is a big one). The A1 might be a little harder to learn to use at first, but once you're reasonably comfortable with it, you'll be glad you have the added functionality.
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Old May 16th, 2007, 11:54 PM   #4
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You're going to spend a lot of time on the documentaries. So get the XH A1 so you don't waste your time with less than pristine picture quality. Sure something better will be out sometime in the future, but it won't be much cheaper. I don't see a better value/performance coming along anytime soon.

While a doc shot on a A1 my be rejected by some HD networks (Discovery), it will be good enough for pretty much every other purpose. That is, provided you shoot things properly(in focus, not too much gain, steady, etc.) Having a better camera actually helps you do this by giving you more manual control.
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Old May 17th, 2007, 04:21 AM   #5
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What, what, what?

Er, Brett, what's that about some networks rejecting stuff off the A1?

Don't get me wrong, it's not that I don't believe it, I have just never heard anyone say that before. Is this verified? Documented?

Has Discovery posted info to that effect?

I realise this is getting "off post" but I would appreciate it if you have any real info to the above effect, that hasn't been posted elsewhere on the DVinfo site, to "tell all". I may have missed a few dark corners of DVinfo, but can't say that this piece of news has leapt out at me before.

I ask as this concerns me and my company pretty "up front and personal".

If this has been notified elsewhere on DVinfo, please let me know where.

Cheers,


Chris
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Old May 17th, 2007, 06:08 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Soucy View Post
Er, Brett, what's that about some networks rejecting stuff off the A1?

Don't get me wrong, it's not that I don't believe it, I have just never heard anyone say that before. Is this verified? Documented?

Has Discovery posted info to that effect?

....

Chris
I'm not aware of any reference specifically to the XH A1 being rejected but Discovery is very explicit about the maximum HDV footage that can be incorporated into a program not exceeding 15% of the total material. From their technical standards online ...

Quote:
(Acceptable)High Definition Formats
Sony HDCAM
Sony HDCAM SR
Sony XDCAM HD (35 mbps only)
Panasonic DVC PRO 100mb (HD)
Panasonic HD-D5 (Film Transfers)
HDV at 1080i (with restrictions)
HVX-200 DVC PRO HD 100
(with HDV restrictions)

Acceptable Up conversion Formats
Sony Digital Betacam
Sony Betacam SP
Sony MPEG IMX 50 (tape)
Sony MPEG IMX (XDCAM)
Panasonic DVC PRO 50 (tape)
Super 16mm Film (non-HD Guidelines)

Use of HDV Footage:
1080 line HDV footage may be used in HD programs with the following restrictions:

 Program may not contain any more than 15% HDV footage.
 The combined percentage of HDV and SD upconverted footage is not to exceed 30%.
 Producers wishing to use HDV must submit an approved post production path outlining their handling of the footage in the editing process.
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Old May 17th, 2007, 04:29 PM   #7
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Thanks Steve........

I shall look into this in a bit more depth. My appologies to Peter and the other posters in the thread for sidetracking it.

Cheers


Chris
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