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Old October 16th, 2011, 06:50 AM   #16
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Re: XA10 noisy case

Sounds like audio AGC is turned on on in a quiet room. That will ensure any handling, case noise, or noise coupled to the case from the support (e.g., monopod or tripod) noise is maxed out in the recorded video.

In any case anyone using a built-in mic (especially on a handicam form factor camcorder) is not is probably not too worried about sound quality.

FYIW: I can hear similar physical noises pressing on the tape loading doors of tape-based camcorders.

Solution - assuming it is not something loose in the camcorder (relates to the Canon suggestion) - handle the camcorder with a reasonable degree of care, skip on auto audio AGC, and use a decent external microphone.
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Old October 16th, 2011, 07:05 AM   #17
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Re: XA10 noisy case

Don, you worded your suggestions much nicer than I did, but you were right on the money. I bought the XA10 because it has XLRs and a shotgun mount and the sounds would never show up using an external mic. But even with the internal mic, handling the camera with proper, normal, care the sounds would not occur either. Any professional, in my mind would not find these issues, because their shooting techniques are such they would never occur.

This reminds me of the rattling issue I've heard so much about. In the two videos demonstrating the issue that I've seen, the shooters are walking heavily, practically stomping through their houses while videotaping almost begging for noise. It would be funny if it weren't so weird.

To anyone who does suffer from a truly bad noise, maybe the phenomenon is real, I don't know.

Kawika, it is important you leave up your video, so that people can see exactly what is being talked about here. This will scare people away from a fine camera, but hopefully if they see your video they can understand how not to cause the problem.
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Old October 16th, 2011, 01:26 PM   #18
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Re: XA10 noisy case

EDIT: I want to point out that I in no way want to discourage people from checking out this camera. I'm not an activist. I'm a user looking for a solution.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
Go shoot video and stop squeezing your camera, that is my suggestion.
Hey Jeff,

I understand your confusion. I have two XA10s sitting next to me and I'm confused. I'm open to the possibility I did the 6 things I'm not supposed to do with a camcorder and I've tried your suggestion (long before I came here). Along with that comes my responsibility to operate in a way that gives me the best product I can create. To date, I haven't had much success. To answer your questions.

1. Squeezing. I'm really not squeezing that hard and maybe I've got fat hands or something but when I'm in the grip belt loosely, if I move my hand or flex it in any way (e.g. moving the zoom control on top of the camera) I get the creak. I guess if I never moved the muscles in my hand and didn't want to zoom this would be okay but I kinda need to do that. I know there's noise if I slide my hand across something like the body or belt but that's a completely different noise.

2. The shaking sound in the video I posted isn't a real issue, as I commented in the video, that noise is probably the BP-827 battery which has some play in it. But even with the battery removed and my fingers over the XLR locks there's two distinct noises inside the camera and handle. I can accept that as it may be something floating or a wire or something. But it's there and I was just demonstrating it.

3. Flexing the handle I agree isn't much of an issue when its off the camera but it does show that it's not solid. Maybe it will never come up in a video and that would be great. My experience with plastic however is that any creaks resulting from loose fittings only get worse over time, not better. It's really the case creaking in every mounting situation I've tried that's my main concern.

4. Pushing the side of the case. I was just demonstrating the right side has nothing behind it and to show what's happening when I touch the camera side. I do this when I'm in the grip or if I'm holding the camera from underneath with my hand and my fingers wrap around the body. It seems related to #1 best I can tell. The issue seems to be that the right side is not tightly mated to the rest of the camera and the smallest pressure on the right side or any flexing made to the body will cause the creak. At least in the two I have.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
Am I the only one who sees this? I got curious and went to my camera, and I refuse to push or squeeze it as hard as you do, I don't want to damage it. I pushed it gently, no problem, it's very stiff.
And that's why I'm here and I appreciate you trying that. I'm really not pushing that hard at all. Since yours doesn't do what mine does my thought is the manufacturing process has changed. Maybe Canon will find there is an issue and they come up with a retrofit or maybe they'll check their supplier QA process. I don't know but accepting the noise is tough for someone like me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Palomaki View Post
Sounds like audio AGC is turned on on in a quiet room. That will ensure any handling, case noise, or noise coupled to the case from the support (e.g., monopod or tripod) noise is maxed out in the recorded video.

In any case anyone using a built-in mic (especially on a handicam form factor camcorder) is not is probably not too worried about sound quality.

FYIW: I can hear similar physical noises pressing on the tape loading doors of tape-based camcorders.

Solution - assuming it is not something loose in the camcorder (relates to the Canon suggestion) - handle the camcorder with a reasonable degree of care, skip on auto audio AGC, and use a decent external microphone.
Don,

I don't see AGC for audio but I do see the attenuator. Where do I set the audio AGC? What I tried was turned the attenuator on and set the manual volume to 75 so that Metallica playing Master of Puppets playing from a speaker 2' away was -10db on the audio indicator. The creak spikes to 0db which is full scale.


I tried my shotgun mic, same location, set the volume so the indicator showed -10db. The creak was down around -20db but still audible. That's better and can probably be handled in post. I'm not a fan of extra steps but I'd consider it to keep the camera.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
Don, you worded your suggestions much nicer than I did, but you were right on the money. I bought the XA10 because it has XLRs and a shotgun mount and the sounds would never show up using an external mic. But even with the internal mic, handling the camera with proper, normal, care the sounds would not occur either. Any professional, in my mind would not find these issues, because their shooting techniques are such they would never occur.

This reminds me of the rattling issue I've heard so much about. In the two videos demonstrating the issue that I've seen, the shooters are walking heavily, practically stomping through their houses while videotaping almost begging for noise. It would be funny if it weren't so weird.

To anyone who does suffer from a truly bad noise, maybe the phenomenon is real, I don't know.

Kawika, it is important you leave up your video, so that people can see exactly what is being talked about here. This will scare people away from a fine camera, but hopefully if they see your video they can understand how not to cause the problem.
Jeff,

I agree except for two things in my case; this is not a professional camera (I'd rate it more prosumer) and I'm not a professional. I know I have a lot to learn in all areas of production but if my first steps involve having to gingerly handle this particular camera and do a bunch of post when I'd rather be out playing then that makes me pause and either fix a problem, real or imagined, or look for a camera that's more of a match for me at this point in my development.

I really appreciate all the ideas and suggestions and I am trying very hard to get to a place where this camera works as I will likely be buying another one. Maybe I had too much experience with my wifes Nikon D7000 that costs $500 less and wouldn't make a noise if you threw it across the room (slight exaggeration but its body is dead silent, even the doors) but I'd like to think that whatever I go with will grow with me and not be a nag. Hopefully cautious.

Cheers
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Old October 16th, 2011, 05:11 PM   #19
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Re: XA10 noisy case

When I use the camera handheld, I use the handle, that's kind of what the handle is for.

If I held your camera in the palm of my hand I really doubt there would be any noise when I shot with it. You squeeze the camera, and it's visible and we can see your hand squeezing. I personally would never hold onto a camera so tight, so this is why I don't understand. The tighter you hold onto the body the more vibration you will pick up as well when you are handheld.

You should hold the camera loosely. It weighs almost nothing, you don't have to "grip" it, it should just rest in your hand. Cup your hands, don't hold so tight. I hold a camera in my hand and I treat it like I'm holding an egg almost, or I grip firmly to the tripod plate on the bottom for something to hold onto.

I let the camera rest in my hand and I guide it with the other hand. Easy does it, gentle, gentle.

If you can't work around the issue you will have to get another brand, of course. Good luck with it and hope you find a solution.
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Old October 16th, 2011, 05:32 PM   #20
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Re: XA10 noisy case

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
When I use the camera handheld, I use the handle, that's kind of what the handle is for.

If I held your camera in the palm of my hand I really doubt there would be any noise when I shot with it. You squeeze the camera, and it's visible and we can see your hand squeezing. I personally would never hold onto a camera so tight, so this is why I don't understand. The tighter you hold onto the body the more vibration you will pick up as well when you are handheld.

You should hold the camera loosely. It weighs almost nothing, you don't have to "grip" it, it should just rest in your hand. Cup your hands, don't hold so tight. I hold a camera in my hand and I treat it like I'm holding an egg almost, or I grip firmly to the tripod plate on the bottom for something to hold onto.

I let the camera rest in my hand and I guide it with the other hand. Easy does it, gentle, gentle.

If you can't work around the issue you will have to get another brand, of course. Good luck with it and hope you find a solution.
Thank you for the tips. I think I can do that in most cases and I'll have to figure something out in the situations where I may touch the camera or move it. It still leaves me with thinking I have the only two XA10 cameras that make a creaking noise.

Amazon kinda forced my hand as they scheduled pickup of both cameras back and won't confirm they do not want me to send it to Canon (likely a comm error). I'll either have to go against their instructions to get Canons official word on it or suck it up and get to recording as-is. Tough decision.

Thanks again!
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Old October 16th, 2011, 06:25 PM   #21
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Re: XA10 noisy case

Good luck, it is not fun to be unhappy with an expensive purchase. You are showing Amazon to be a great vendor. I like them very much also.
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Old October 16th, 2011, 07:48 PM   #22
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Re: XA10 noisy case

Thanks again. Official word from Amazon is they do not want me to send the camera(s) to Canon under any circumstances. I'm guessing Amazon wants to hear directly from Canon why two cameras were returned.
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Old October 17th, 2011, 03:33 AM   #23
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Re: XA10 noisy case

XA-10 = Amazing IQ, c**p build quality. The image from XA-10/G10 far outweigh the problems of poor build quality. But it could, and should be much better.
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Old October 17th, 2011, 04:57 AM   #24
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Re: XA10 noisy case

Quote:
I don't see AGC for audio but I do see the attenuator. Where do I set the audio AGC?
Page 76 of the manual. Mic Level is either Automatic (aka: audio AGC or ALC) or Manual.
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Old October 17th, 2011, 08:58 AM   #25
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Re: XA10 noisy case

Quote:
Originally Posted by Colin Rowe View Post
XA-10 = Amazing IQ, c**p build quality. The image from XA-10/G10 far outweigh the problems of poor build quality. But it could, and should be much better.
I am leaning that way. I'm making some progress at getting better holding the camera per the recommendations here. The video and audio quality is amazing. I let Amazon know I want more time with the 2nd camera.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Palomaki View Post
Page 76 of the manual. Mic Level is either Automatic (aka: audio AGC or ALC) or Manual.
Thanks. I did that and it is quieter. The shotgun mic is quieter as well. Thanks.
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Old October 17th, 2011, 09:09 AM   #26
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Re: XA10 noisy case

You are on the right track, and are to be commended for accepting advice. Well done.

When you are shooting normally, an event, or whatever, this noise issue will not exist. As you get out and start using the camera in a normal way, you will find this to be true..

When you focus on the noise, and do things to make the noise, then all you can think about is the noise, that is normal. Get out and go shoot some real footage, enjoy your camera!
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Old October 17th, 2011, 09:22 AM   #27
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Re: XA10 noisy case

Just a quick review on audio automatic level control (ALC).

It is intended for point and shoot or run-and-gun type use where the shooter does not have the time, skill, or inclination to manage audio levels and where audio levels are totally unpredicatable. The camera attempts to make all sound average out to be equally loud, the whisper, the shout, the a/c running in the back ground, the camera operators heavy breathing, the hand shifting in the grip, etc. and so on.

As the ambient sound level changes the audio gain will gradually increase or more quickly decrease to maintain the average sound level, up to the gain limits of the camcorder. The net result is that during period of relative quiet in the progam material you can hear the background noise level increase as the gain increases. A sharp noise like a single clap will be very loud because it is over before the ALC can react to it.

For reasonably predictable audio environments one is generally better off using manual audio level, setting the record level so that audio peaks just miss hitting maximum digital record level. This preserves the dynamic range of the audio, and avoids the pumping of background noises. However, there are instances where using ALC is an approriate approach. The trick is in recognizing what is most appropriate for the current shoot circumstances.
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Old October 17th, 2011, 12:11 PM   #28
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Re: XA10 noisy case

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
You are on the right track, and are to be commended for accepting advice. Well done.

When you are shooting normally, an event, or whatever, this noise issue will not exist. As you get out and start using the camera in a normal way, you will find this to be true..

When you focus on the noise, and do things to make the noise, then all you can think about is the noise, that is normal. Get out and go shoot some real footage, enjoy your camera!
Thank you for the kind words, assistance and putting up with my questions. I agree, when you focus on something you'll find it. I gave the camera to my wife and of course, no noise. For a second I thought, you're not holding it right. Then I caught myself and realized it's probably me. :) Thanks again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Palomaki View Post
Just a quick review on audio automatic level control (ALC).

It is intended for point and shoot or run-and-gun type use where the shooter does not have the time, skill, or inclination to manage audio levels and where audio levels are totally unpredicatable. The camera attempts to make all sound average out to be equally loud, the whisper, the shout, the a/c running in the back ground, the camera operators heavy breathing, the hand shifting in the grip, etc. and so on.

As the ambient sound level changes the audio gain will gradually increase or more quickly decrease to maintain the average sound level, up to the gain limits of the camcorder. The net result is that during period of relative quiet in the progam material you can hear the background noise level increase as the gain increases. A sharp noise like a single clap will be very loud because it is over before the ALC can react to it.

For reasonably predictable audio environments one is generally better off using manual audio level, setting the record level so that audio peaks just miss hitting maximum digital record level. This preserves the dynamic range of the audio, and avoids the pumping of background noises. However, there are instances where using ALC is an approriate approach. The trick is in recognizing what is most appropriate for the current shoot circumstances.
Thank you for the tips. I understand audio pretty good and hadn't reached the point where I was playing with the manual gain (ALC) but I understand it's use now along with the manual controls for the external mic. Great features. The mics are extremely sensitive. I heard my foot rubbing on the floor from 10 feet away. No more shuffling for me. More lessons learned. Cheers
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Old October 17th, 2011, 12:14 PM   #29
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Re: XA10 noisy case

I agree and find the onboard mic quite good, thought I've only used it once. I dismantled a Rode Videomic, removed the support system and it fits in the shotgun mic holder perfectly. I love my setup, great audio.
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Old October 18th, 2011, 02:55 PM   #30
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Re: XA10 noisy case, the solution

This is my solution to the problem.

The plastic switches on the handle makes a noise, also the base plate has a small piece of plastic that also rattles.

The DIY shock-mount is so that you don't hear the camera zoom.
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XA10 noisy case-dsc02375.jpg   XA10 noisy case-dsc02378.jpg  

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