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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 November 4th, 2007, 07:04 AM   #1
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Newbie questions.

I have been reading this forum for a while now and have gained considerable knowledge about my A1 but some terminology is still unclear to me.
I read about the use of a "deck" and I know that is related to using another cam to monitor your footage but can someone explain the procedure. I don't see how looking at your footage on another small viewfinder is any better than viewing it on the A1's viewfinder. What am I missing?
Secondly, what does "B-roll" mean. I read about users using a secondary cam for B-roll but unless that secondary cam is of the same caliber of the A1 woulldn't that give you lesser image quality?
One last question, I have been attempting to develop my own presets using the following method: I connect the A1 to a plasma TV and go into the cam to make adjustments but the TV shows the menu settings and adjustments on the screen as well as on my viewfinder. This makes it difficult to fine tune the settings and the corresponding effects because of the menu/adjustments showing on the plasma screen. I'd like to be able to make the adjustments by using the viewfinder and seeing the effects on the plasma. I hope that I am describing this properly. Can anyone help me with this please.
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Old November 4th, 2007, 05:43 PM   #2
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Brenda,

The "deck" is to be used more for capture purposes, in that rather than using the A1 as a deck you'd use the HV20. The logic being to not use the A1 as a deck and shorten it's life.

Once you've shoot your video, you need to rewind the tape, hook up your camera to your computer and capture the recorded footage to your computer's hard drive. Instead of using the A1, you'd use a deck (if you had one) since they are made for this purpose (rewind, forward, stop, play etc.).

"B-roll" is the term used to denote secondary footage usually taken with the second (B) camera from another position. But B-roll could also mean extra footage that might be used for fill. In post production terms B-roll usually mean a copy of the A roll so as you allow for wipes, fades and other transitions. The Editing I'm talking about is not what you'd do on a computer using an NLE software but on a professional editing studio (typically, 35mm film).

The quality of the camera is important and is usually on par with the A camera. Depending on your final output intent (DVD, on-line, television or film) most people (me included) won't be able to tell the difference between footage shot using the A1 or HV20.

When adjusting presets the LCD on the camera (and your monitor/TV) should clear the clutter so you can see the picture. Only the selected presets value will occupy the bottom on the screen. So yes, you should be able to make adjustments to preset values by looking at the LCD or monitor/TV etc. But you have to select the preset option you intend to change to see everything else clear away.

Shiv.
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Old November 4th, 2007, 07:17 PM   #3
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Newbie questions

Shiv,
Thank you for responding,
What connections are made between the A1 and the deck (HV20) Is the A1 recording direct to the HV20 ?
I understand now about the B-roll usage and the preset adjustment. Sorry if my questions sound so basic and I appreciate you taking the time to help me.
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Old November 4th, 2007, 08:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brenda Drennan View Post
Shiv,
Thank you for responding,
What connections are made between the A1 and the deck (HV20) Is the A1 recording direct to the HV20 ?
I understand now about the B-roll usage and the preset adjustment. Sorry if my questions sound so basic and I appreciate you taking the time to help me.
Hi Brenda. You don't connect the A1 to the HV20. You take the tape containing the footage that you shot out of the A1 and put it in the HV20. You connect the HV20 to your PC via firewire, and then capture the footage from the tape. This means less wear and tear on the A1 because you are not using it for capturing.

Richard
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Old November 4th, 2007, 09:16 PM   #5
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Brenda,

As Richard mentioned, you take the tape out of the A1 and put it into the HV20, rewind it using the HV20 and hook up your HV20 to the PC via firewire (the same cable that you'd use to connect the A1 to the PC). and then capture.

Since both cameras use the same codec (MPEG-2) the HV20 is able to read the data recorded by the A1 and transfer it to the PC. So your HV20 is now being used as a deck. Certainly, the HV20 is a damn good HD camera albeit without much control over many aspects the A1 allows for. It's a great cmaera to take when you need something small and light just to have a camera with you as well as for B-roll shots that will be used for "fill" etc.

A lot of us here have started at ground zero and know exactly what it feels like to be overwhelemed with all of this. So no question is too basic.

Shiv.
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Old November 5th, 2007, 10:48 AM   #6
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Shiv/Richard,
My thanks to both of you for your help. I now have a clear picture of the process. I sometimes feel a little intimidated by the vast amount of control offered by this camera but with the help of this site I am getting closer to fully understanding not only the A1 but the whole process of shooting, capturing and editing. It might take some time but I will get there eventually. Thanks again.
Brenda.
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