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Canon XA and VIXIA Series AVCHD Camcorders
For the Canon XA25, XA20, XA10 and all VIXIA / LEGRIA Series AVCHD camcorders.


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Old June 4th, 2011, 05:04 PM   #76
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Re: Canon XF100 versus Canon XA10

How are you mic'ing it? To get the best results you might want to consider using a separate recorder and have someone manually control the levels for you as the train approaches.
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Old June 4th, 2011, 08:18 PM   #77
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Re: Canon XF100 versus Canon XA10

Scott,

The onboard mics are good and the XF100's is better (wouldn't hesitate to use it in a pinch for an interview) but I don't think this is a camera selection issue as much an audio one. An associate who shares your passion for trains uses two mics, both independent of the camera. One shotgun mic away from the camera (50 yards) pointing in the direction of the train to pick up distant audio and the "thunk-thunk after the engine has passed. He places a stereo mic at his location aimed at the point where the train will pass his position which moves the audio across the screen with the train. A little mixing in post and it sounds like you are there.

I think what you are looking for may be a little beyond the scope of either of the onboard mic on these cams. Especially if you consider the audio to be as important as the video because the video from either cam is stellar.

After 10 days or so with both, I like the XF100 better (mostly for the controls). So if I could only own one that would be it. Even if I were never going to use the .mxf codec.

Thank god that's not the case because I carry the G10 all the time and love the images it produces. I'm keeping them both.
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Old June 5th, 2011, 10:18 AM   #78
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Re: Canon XF100 versus Canon XA10

Thanks Steve and Dave. I should mention that I did ask about this in the "all things audio" threads, and the guys there told me to use separate audio. And I would happily go with the XA10 and use the $1000 savings from not buying the XF100 to get there. But would that take me back to having something else to monitor? As much as I'd like it, I have nobody to help me: I do this in the boonies with no-one around. And If I were to buy something that recorded audio and controlled the levels, then wouldn't the auto gain on the xf100 do the same job, and not have to be synced in post?
I understand my situation is not common; most people want accurate sound levels. But I want the sound of the locomotives to be dominant throughout the clip. I guess in short I want auto audio gain. According to the brochure, this is do-able on the XF100 but I see no sign of it on the XA10 page.

Thanks for the help.
Scott

Last edited by Scott Hiddelston; June 5th, 2011 at 11:22 AM. Reason: stupidity
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Old June 5th, 2011, 01:20 PM   #79
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Re: Canon XF100 versus Canon XA10

Scott, the XA10 will certainly allow you to record using an automatic gain control. That is what the simplest & cheapest consumer camcorder gives you. Finding manual controls is less common although normal on professional gear.
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Old June 5th, 2011, 01:36 PM   #80
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Re: Canon XF100 versus Canon XA10

Thanks Nigel. Yes I'm in a bit of a spot here, since I would like the quality and choices of the pro cams on the video side, yet need the audio feature found on the cheapest of camcorders !!
If I can flog this subject just a little more. Given my preferences, can anyone suggest a better alternative to buying the XA10/XF100? I mean if you were starting from scratch and had $3000, what would be a better approach? As long as I get video equal to my old Panasonic HMC40 and also get good audio with auto audio gain I'd be happy. Separate audio perhaps? I'll appreciate any suggestions here.
Thanks again
Scott
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Old June 5th, 2011, 06:05 PM   #81
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Re: Canon XF100 versus Canon XA10

Scott,

Both of the cameras have dual XLR's so capturing audio seperately is unnecessary, why add the step?

If someone were to hold a gun to my head and tell me they wanted the best audio to go along with their HD train footage, and it better be good, the last place I would want to pull it would be from an onboard mic off of any camera.

I would steal the setup idea I posted earlier, put them on wireless units to the camera and finish it in post.

In your first post you stated how important having high quality sound is but you keep pushing for on board audio options. No one can recommend the perfect "audio for train" camera, it doesn't exist. No matter how many different ways or areas of the forum you ask. Consider us flogged. :)
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Old June 5th, 2011, 06:40 PM   #82
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Re: Canon XF100 versus Canon XA10

Scott, is this for a client, or personal use? What is the end product going to be?
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Old June 5th, 2011, 10:04 PM   #83
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Re: Canon XF100 versus Canon XA10

Steve, the videos are only for my personal viewing. Maybe a copy on you tube but mostly for myself.
Dave, I apologize for the unacceptably wide scope of my question. You're right. I'll re-think.
Scott
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Old June 6th, 2011, 09:01 AM   #84
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Re: Canon XF100 versus Canon XA10

Scott,

Since this is for your own use and not a paying gig and there is little or no pressure to get it right the first time, you could use the XA10 to get pretty good audio. It has some "consumer" features that the XF100 doesn't that might make your job easier.

I apologize if my previous post was a little harsh but I wrongfully assumed there was a client involved. Sometimes I see someone post something that when read, makes my stomach queezy looking at it from a paying gig perspective. I would hate to have to ask the question, "How often does this train come through?"

But I can also appreciate "doing the most with the least" which can be fun and rewarding also.

The XA10/G10 has two features that could help with just using the onboard mic. Built in Mircrophone Directionality and audio equalizer. With directionality one of the features available is you can link the zoom and audio levels. The more you zoom in the louder and more focused the sound becomes. I think you could find that feature useful. There are four different settings, monaural, normal, wide (good presence) and zoom that have varying effects on the audio recorded.

With the audio equalizer (only available for the onboard mic) you can fine tune your audio and has some settings that work well. Setting MB ( Boost MF Range) and LHB (Boos HF +LF Range) are also settings that you should try.

If you have an external mic there is a Audio Mix feature that allows you to adjust the balance between the onboard and external mic that can create a unique "sound effect" that has possibilities also.
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Old June 6th, 2011, 09:15 AM   #85
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Re: Canon XF100 versus Canon XA10

Thanks Dave, and absolutely no need to apologize. In fact I apologize to the group for being vague and not figuring things out for myself. I've been trying to buy my way out of this problem and it has just led me into swimming with the big fish. My mind went along the lines of "My Panasonic HMC40 takes a great picture but I can't get the audio right. I need a better camera". I'll read some more, and take your advice and consider the AG XA10. Thanks again to everyone.
Scott
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