Shooting the A-1 in SD at DVinfo.net

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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 October 18th, 2007, 04:49 PM   #1
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Shooting the A-1 in SD

A question here:

(1) Can you shoot the A-1 in Standard Definition? I know this begs the question why buy a high def camcorder, but I would like to know the answer.

(2) If you can shoot in SD.....

Is the camera more light sensitive in low light in SD than in HDV?

TX.

Rog Lee
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Old October 18th, 2007, 05:05 PM   #2
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1. Yes
2. No

You go to signal settings to change from HDV to SD. You have to change the output too if you use the camera for capturing footage. It's in the manual. Light sensitivity is a function of chip size and density, as well as the lens; whether it's HDV or SD doesn't matter.
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Old October 18th, 2007, 05:19 PM   #3
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I revisited SD on the A1 recently.

4X3 is completely useless.
It's horrible quality and shouldn't even be an option.
Trying to actually see what your shooting in the VF is also
nearly impossible.

16x9 SD is a little better. If you MUST have SD 4x3 without downconverting, you should film in 16x9 and import that into a 720x480 timeline.

The best way is to shoot HDV and downconvert. All your bases are covered and the quality is legend.
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Old October 18th, 2007, 05:51 PM   #4
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Eric, Bill,

Thanks for the info. What I'm hearing from you two is good news.

I had the chance to view video from the A-1 and GL2 last week on a regular T.V. monitor....not high def. The comparison was done at a camera shop in an average lit room.

I had been using the GL2 for about two months and was impressed with the clarity...at that point.

First, I looked at the GL2 video zoomed in to the max, 20x, on a salesman.

Next, the salesman zoomed in with the A-1 to 20x. The light was a tad bit darker than the GL2 and I mean a tad, I had to look for the darker video as I had read about the A-1 being darker than the GL2 (easily corrected in very basic software) but the clarity was next to none and super sharp.

Now, I'm coming from a digital SLR background and comparing to that. I own the 5D and 1D11N plus a number of 'L' lenses...super sharp stuff.

Truthfully, that comparison to the GL2 with A-1, with the A-1 being a bit darker but sooooo much sharper sold me on the A-1. Truth is, the color was a bit better too on the A-1...not sure what preset was in use.

The one opportunity I didn't have, before I bought the A-1, was to know how it did in low light in SD.....something I would read about on this forum but didn't have the opportunity to check out.

To me, getting an image brighter in post is a lot easier to do than to get it sharper in post...I would prefer a sharper image and have to deal with getting the image brighter. At least that's my experience with DSLR.

Tx..

Rog Lee

Last edited by Roger Lee; October 18th, 2007 at 06:29 PM.
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Old October 18th, 2007, 06:04 PM   #5
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I think its SD quality is excellent, especially in 16:9.

I did one shoot in 4:3 SD because that's what the client wanted, and I didn't have any problem with it in the viewfinder or in the quality. It's not as good as 16:9 because you are cropping in from the sides and, in effect, using smaller chips, but the SD quality in 16:9 is better than the other 1/3" chip SD cameras, I think.

For all my own stuff, I shoot HDV, 24p, and edit in a 23.98 timeline, then export the final edited master to whatever is needed. I think this is better especially if going to DVD because there are no interlace artifacts on the export, since the footage is progressive.

The GL2 only has 1/4" chips, so I think the XH A1 would require about the same or less light. If you had two cameras side by side in a store, there's a good chance the XH A1 was not set up the same. In an average room, there's plenty of light to shoot at a zero db or even a -3, in most cases. One thing you may have observed--the XH A1 has a 20:1 zoom, and like any electronic lens, you zoom in beyond a certain point and it stops down. You zoom in all the way and you're dropping 2 stops (or maybe a little more).
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Old October 18th, 2007, 06:11 PM   #6
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Once you get to know the camera and experiment in manual mode with the db, iris ring, and shutter - you will find that the A1 is far superior to the GL2 in low light...and in every respect.

Anything "auto" is not going to give you the best results. It will only give you the "safest" for what it thinks you are shooting.

"It's so advanced, it's not compatible with anything."
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Old October 18th, 2007, 06:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Weiss View Post
Once you get to know the camera and experiment in manual mode with the db, iris ring, and shutter - you will find that the A1 is far superior to the GL2 in low light...and in every respect.
Eric,

From what I've seen in demo's, your statement is easy to believe.

Thanks for replying.

I'll let you know as I'm getting the A-1 soon.

Rog Lee
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