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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).


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Old September 18th, 2007, 09:05 PM   #1
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XH A1 Color problems

OK so I have owned the Canon XH A1 camera since February. I loved my GL2's but I wanted to make the upgrade to HD incase a bride asked for High Def. Problem is, I've continued to have issues with color and clarity on my new cameras. I've tried all the presets but this new camera does not even compare to the quality of my GL2. Sounds weird, I know. It's supposed to be so much better but I don't know what to do. I'm editing a wedding from my GL2 and I'm almost in tears as to how much nicer it looks and I sold my GL2's and I'm stuck with the A1's. WHAT SHOULD I DO? I've tried all the presets. Nothing looks as good.

I'm having problems with lines moving (if I tape a house, the siding moves in my picture and does not look good) The GL2 didn't do that. And the GL2 took care of every problem. It was the BEST in Auto mode.

Anyone have this camera and have the same problem?
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Old September 18th, 2007, 09:18 PM   #2
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Have you tried some of the presets available here at dvinfo.net? The A1 is pretty flat out of the box, and I seem to recall that its built in presets aren't exactly very colorful either. In fact, some of them are designed to be extra flat to maximize latitude for post processing.

As for the "lines moving" problems, can you get us a short sample clip?

Overall something sounds... off.
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Old September 18th, 2007, 09:24 PM   #3
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Go to my website
http://www.angelinavideo.com/Angelina%20Weddings.htm

Go to the bottom of that page and watch This Month's feature demo. That's probably my best video I shot with the XH A1 so far. You can see the lines in the buildings. Might not be a good example so I can repost one if you need to view more. Basically, it's not just the house, every wedding ceremony in a church has those moving lines on the pews.

Also, go to my demo page and check out the first demos The Love Story
http://www.angelinavideo.com/Demos%20-%20AVP.htm

The quality is terrible. Or at least not as good as my GL2.
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Old September 18th, 2007, 09:47 PM   #4
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Could have fooled me...........

Gee, my Sony stills camera takes better video than that!

Amie, have you got an HD monitor? If not, a good SD monitor? Have you tried plugging the camera straight into either (in the appropriate mode, all presets off) and looking at the footage off the camera head live? If it's like that demo, you have one serious camera problem. If it looks fantastic, go to next test.

Next, shoot to tape and play it back straight through the monitor. Bad? You still have a serious camera problem. OK? Go to next question.

Ingest tape content into NLE (in appropriate mode). Whack it on the time line and play it straight back to the external monitor. Bad? NLE problem. OK? go to.......

Bottom line here, the stuff coming off the A1 should be absolutely crystal clear and sharp as a razor. If you use Component to a good monitor AND the camera is working properly, it should blow your socks off. If it don't, it has a problem.


I'm sure there will be a shed load of comment from others about just where this problem is arrising if not the camera, but I think eliminating it from the equation is the first step.

Judgeing by the speed with which the clips I looked at streamed, I'd say they were squeezed till the pips squeaked and then some. I just cannot tell how much of what I'm seeing is compression artifacts etc and "the real deal".

I'm going to real interested in the outcome of this little problem.


CS
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Old September 18th, 2007, 09:56 PM   #5
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Are you filming these in HDV or SD?
The A1 is best in HDV and downconverted for SD.
I agree, the GL2 and Xl1-S are better for SD than the A1..but for HDV the A1 is legend.
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Old September 18th, 2007, 10:01 PM   #6
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Shooting in SD because my clients want an SD 4:3 final video, they don't want a letterbox. I have shot in HD and I really don't see a big difference. To be honest, I'm a great videographer and editor but when it comes to the technical stuff as far as troubleshooting, I'm not very good. I wish someone lived close to Boston who could show me hands on.
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Old September 18th, 2007, 10:05 PM   #7
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Sorry Amie.........

Bit out of my area for a house call (gee, wouldn't the travel bill be cute?).


CS
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Old September 18th, 2007, 10:11 PM   #8
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well, that's the issue. it's a huge difference. i've seen those lines and muddy footage in tests that i did with SD. i also still own my gl2's and xl1-s for that reason.

you can easily convert the 16x9 to 4x3 by adjusting the pixle ratio and you'll also have room to play with for track motion or whatever.

this was one of my first shoots with the A1. HDV to SD. http://www.brightcove.tv/title.jsp?title=1184397088

i was a little worried about the quality at first, but after a few hundred hours behind the A1 now I find it to be the best camera I have ever owned.
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Old September 18th, 2007, 10:23 PM   #9
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Whoa Amie!

As Chris alluded to, there is no way anyone can make any informed judgments about the quality of the cameras based on the low-bitrate files on your web site. I took a quick look at an older clip, presumably shot with your GL2, and the featured wedding. They are both only 320x240 trying to squeeze 24bit color into 185kbs video stream. It's all compression artifact; nothing to do with what camera shot the original footage.

If you can post short native clips, or at least full-resolution frame grabs the community here might be able to give you an idea if you have a camera problem.
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Old September 18th, 2007, 10:31 PM   #10
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Amie, could you export one frame that demonstrates the problem and post it here? It's impossible to judge the quality with compressed demo from your website. If the problem won't quit, shoot HD always and scale down on timeline. All good NLEs can work with HD and SD footage simultaneously with great results.
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Old September 19th, 2007, 04:46 AM   #11
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Hello, I think I can help.
This camera does not work at its best when shooting in SD. This is because the lens and imaging sensors are designed for HD pictures, these high frequencies need to be suppressed before down conversion. The camera uses simple inadequate downconversion filtering which you see as aliasing in your picture.
The problem can be resolved by fitting an optical diffuser on the lens. Try a 1/4 Black Promist or similiar.
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Old September 19th, 2007, 08:08 AM   #12
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presets

I would go for the presets that are avaiable on the forum. Your footage looks very much like the footage i got when i pulled it straight out of the box.
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Old September 19th, 2007, 10:22 AM   #13
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I appreciate all the help from you guys but to be honest, I am completely lost as to what I need to do. It sounds like I need to shoot everything i n HD and downconvert. But I'm lost when we downcovert, how I get an SD picture with black bars on an old TV. I do not want the letterbox look.

Can someone explain to me step by step what I need to change in the camera as far as settings go to shooti in HD then turn it into an SD output? I own New Tek's VT4.
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Old September 19th, 2007, 10:36 AM   #14
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What's your NLE? I use Vegas and can help there.
I find that downcoverting while importing with the HV20 is the fastest way.
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Old September 19th, 2007, 10:42 AM   #15
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Hi Eric,

I don't want to sound really dumb, I'm very good at what I do but technically, I'm not so good. What is NLE and HV20? Is it in the camera or editing?
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