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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 22nd, 2007, 09:49 PM   #1
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XH-A1 on motorcycle

Some of you might think I am nut's but I rigged up a cool mounting solution for the A1 on a sport touring motorcycle in preps for an upcoming 2,00 mile trip to Nova Scotia (documentary). The camera is housed inside a waterproofed mailbox, it's functional but looks a little wierd and is safe and does not shake or vibrate too much it seems.

Anyway, in tests I seem to get quite a bit of blur as the AF seems to be hunting around all the time especially over 20 / 30 mph. Because it's mounted on the bike, I have limited control over the camera. I was wondering if anyone has some suggestions about the best setup (AV or TV mode?) shutter speed, IS and so on. Should I take instant AF off? Image stabilization is currently on. Any help would be appreciated. I have a 7 inch 16:9 monitor on the handlebars and also a LANC controller attached.
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Old October 22nd, 2007, 10:38 PM   #2
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I would turn it to manual focus and set to infinity. Can you see the bike in the picture? If so, I would turn OIS off. If it is on, the bike may seem to move in the frame, even though the camera is firmly attached. The OIS is compensating for the movement of the camera, making the bike move around in the frame.
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Old October 22nd, 2007, 10:51 PM   #3
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thanks - There is nothing showing of the bike in the frame, only the open road and traffic - although the camera is mounted about 30 inches off the ground and probably trying to focus the tarmac. If set to manual focus, infinity.. humm will a lot of the shot not be out of focus, long shots scenic or the bike in front?

Oh and any suggestions on setting focus to infinity other than OO display?
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Old October 23rd, 2007, 07:27 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich Perry View Post
Oh and any suggestions on setting focus to infinity other than OO display?
I believe the OO IS infinity :)

Bill
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Old October 23rd, 2007, 11:40 AM   #5
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About Optical Image Stabilization — I have experience mounting my Canon XH-A1 on an airplane’s wing strut. The Canon's optical stabilization didn't smooth out the aircraft's vibration (it didn’t work because the aircraft’s vibrations were too violent and high frequency). I suspect that optical image stabilization will not help you very much on a motorcycle either, again due to road-caused vibrations that are rough and high-frequency. The Canon XH-A1’s OIS is designed to overcome low-frequency hand-held motion and it does this very well.
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Old October 23rd, 2007, 02:59 PM   #6
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Thanks Eric, I am planning another test ride this afternoon, I will shut OIS off and set manual focus and see how it looks. The vibrations are very slight, but enough I think to cause problems. By the way I had a cheap but light camcorder (Panasonic GS-31) mounted to the handlebar back in the spring and the shoots were amazing - even though there is more vibration at the bars the camcorder was able to deal with it quite nicely, the is a bit overkill for this application but I will keep trying.
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Old October 23rd, 2007, 03:09 PM   #7
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I am into drag racing motorcycles, I have been interested in mounting a pd170 on it. suggestions? the front forks are conventional motorcycle style, there is no rear suspension, its ridgidly mounted. the bike goes about 0-150 mph in 8.5 seconds. I do not want to damage the camera. should I bother attempting it?
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Old October 23rd, 2007, 04:55 PM   #8
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Allen,

I have my camera mounted in a water sealed mailbox to protect it from the rain and elements as it will be on the bike for 4 days, the mailbox is bolted to crash bars that I have on a DL1000 V-strom.

For drag racing I would say go for it - as long as you have a really strong mount perhaps a custom made platform where the front headlight light would be that could bolt onto the frame? Also perhaps have the camera insured just in case :) attached are some shots of my setup.
Attached Thumbnails
XH-A1 on motorcycle-v-strom1.jpg   XH-A1 on motorcycle-v-strom2.jpg  

XH-A1 on motorcycle-v-strom3.jpg   XH-A1 on motorcycle-v-strom4.jpg  


Last edited by Rich Perry; October 23rd, 2007 at 05:00 PM. Reason: Adding pics
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Old October 23rd, 2007, 05:39 PM   #9
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The camera is held by the foam, and not firmly attached? I hadnt thought of that. I am more of a visual person. the dragbike is never in the rain, and does not have a headlight. metal fabrication is not a problem. I was trying to figure out the vibration problems. I like your idea. if I can make it work, I have a buddy that runs the baja 1000 in a truck.....
Thanks for the photos :)
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Old October 23rd, 2007, 11:39 PM   #10
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There is a bolt (tripod mount) that runs through the bottom of the mailbox into the camera to hold it steady, seems to work ok the baja 1000 might be too much for the camera :)
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