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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
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Old August 28th, 2007, 03:57 PM   #1
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Lunar eclipse and northern lights -- a double feature

I enjoyed a double feature this morning in the sky: Lunar eclipse and northern lights. I'm in Fairbanks, Alaska. See the URL below to some screen shots.

First off, I've got to say I am very, very impressed with the low light capabilities of the Canon XH-A1. Sure there is noise, and I expect that. The ability to shoot in very low light outweighs the noise issue in this case. I'm including a list of the camera's settings.

I shot the lunar eclipse and northern lights this morning (Aug. 28, 2007) between 2-4 a.m. The sky was clear (luck) and full of stars. Fairbanks, Alaska is a small town and city lights have little effect on the sky on a clear night. This morning, the sky was pitch black.

The Aurora Borealis (northern lights) was shot with a Canon XH-A1, ND filter off, zoomed out, night mode, OIS off. Focus on infinity using the camera's monitor distance readout. The aurora does not have a sharp edge to focus on (it is more than 50 miles high).

The Lunar eclipse was shot with a Canon XH-A1, ND filter off, night mode, OIS off, zoomed in, with a Century Pro Series HD 1.6x Tele-Converter. I used peaking to confirm focus, but the distance readout said infinity (a good cross-check in dim light).

Each eclipse sequence was started with the moon off camera (left), then the moon drifted through the frame (it took 11 minutes to move horizontally through, left to right). I did this about five times. Most sequences were made using night mode (in full eclipse). Two sequences were made using Tv mode. I used Tv mode when a bright crescent showed up on the moon's left side indicating the eclipse was ending and the moon was exited Earth's shadow.

I don't plan to post the video. Here are some screen shots:

http://www.ericmuehling.com/lunar_eclipse_20070828/

1) lunar_eclipse_full_night_mode.jpg (Full eclipse, night mode).
2) lunar_eclipse_partial_night_mode.jpg (Partial eclipse, night mode).
3) lunar_eclipse_Tv_copyrighted.jpg (Partial eclipse, Tv mode).
4) aurora_borealis_20070828.jpg (pale green aurora, not very active, night mode).

Enjoy viewing these, and please excuse the big copyright symbol. Of course I intend to protect of these images. I'm feeling great today about this camera.
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Old August 29th, 2007, 12:11 AM   #2
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Would love to see some higher rez ones... I bet you could really tweak it in post to get some of that noise down and spike those colors on the borialis...

Nice work...
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Old August 29th, 2007, 01:12 PM   #3
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HERE'S MINE

http://ekmedia.blip.tv/file/356640/
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Old August 29th, 2007, 01:23 PM   #4
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Nice... A1?

Stupid moon kept moving around on you heh? Lol... Couldn't hold still for you could it? I guess it's like working with kids...
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Old August 29th, 2007, 01:29 PM   #5
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Yes. I shot it on the A1 I just picked up last week.
Darn earth rotation though. keeping that moon still was a challenge, not to mention it was 3am and I was delirious
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Old August 29th, 2007, 02:53 PM   #6
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I like the way you speeded up the moon in post production.

I just started using Final Cut Pro. It has a steep learning curve. How does Final Cut Pro compress time (selecting every 4th frame for example)? Yes, I could read the manual, I suppose.

Last edited by Eric Muehling; August 29th, 2007 at 02:53 PM. Reason: typo
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Old August 29th, 2007, 05:40 PM   #7
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I moved from several years of Avid to FCP and it was a nightmare at first. Then I bought some training DVDs, and they saved my life. DMTS did the ones I used, I think. Well worth the money.
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