Flaw in the Tripod mount area on the A1? - Page 3 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 November 7th, 2007, 06:40 PM   #31
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No, I don't use the adapter on the A1.

I use them on an ENG JVC cam and an Xl1-S.

The tripods that I use for my A1 have plates that fit within the surface area of that ledge.

I wouldn't really say it's a "flaw." It seems to allow deeper threading of a tripod plate and also protects the hinge area of the battery door.
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Old November 7th, 2007, 07:38 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiv Kumar View Post
Bill,
All Im saying is that if the design were better, I could use my $900 dollar tripod (which is solid as a rock) and not have to treat the camera as "hands off" while shooting.
I have used the XH-A1 on 4 different tripods, 2 booms, and a skater dolly, and never had a problem with how the camera was mounted.
Even loaded down with Brevis 35 and big Zeiss glass!
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Old November 7th, 2007, 07:48 PM   #33
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Shiv,

OK I see what you are referring to. If I zoom to full telephoto and punch the buttons or drum the pan handle I can induce vibration.

I can see how your 'pads' would reduce this as would the Canon tripod adaptor plate re-fit.

Just now testing the unit on my Miller DS-10 with the plate overhang as in your image, with downward pressure on either end of the handle, I can see some body flex outside of the actual contact zone.

In my case normal use on the various controls is not enough the bring an effect into the image and I do recall the effect being apparent at times when I used a friction head. Maybe it's a combination of camera body flex, plate clearance and head clearance for any given setup.

Certainly the zoom/focus preset action would be the worst case for inducing movement and I can understand how a Letus Extreme overhang with racking focus would stretch the current mount. So rubber pads/adaptor plate or a special plate for your application is the go.

I guess Canon has matched the plate mount with the body mass for a hand held design and given us an adaptor mount alternative for more complex and demanding system use.
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Old November 7th, 2007, 08:45 PM   #34
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Its not a design flaw, in fact, it's there as the plate itself can be removed if damaged. The issue you're seeing is the fact that tripod plates aren't sitting totally flush with the rest of the camera body. There are ways around this with rubber grommets and mats found at your local hardware store.
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Old November 7th, 2007, 10:30 PM   #35
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Malcolm,

Thank you. Yes, you see my point.

Since the zoom/focus preset also has a speed setting, in my opinion it implies that it was designed to be used while the camera is recording. That being said, all they had to really do is provide rubber strips that go along both sides of the camera all the way to the existing rubber pad at the back of the camera and the problem wouldn't exist. Hmm, but they'd get less space for their label. I supposed that's out of the question then :).

If the adapter mount alleviates this issue then that's good news.
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Old November 7th, 2007, 11:23 PM   #36
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Shiv,
Didn't factor in the label requirement, it was probably in the design spec ;-).

I must confess when tripod mounted I often use the ZR-2000 LANC controller on the pan handle for stop/starts, zoom adjusts and push AF among others. Touch the camera as little as possible in record mode is my mantra, HD is so unforgiving and definately worth whatever it takes.
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Old November 7th, 2007, 11:36 PM   #37
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Malcolm,

Yes, I agree with you in principle. However, as I said earlier, we tend to adjust for the flaws...

Oh well.
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Old November 8th, 2007, 12:14 PM   #38
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Peter,

Having designed many many gadgets and parts I can tell you it's a design flaw. I don't think we're all supposed to go out to the local hardware store to fix it if Canon couldn't have provided the solution instead. It's not a preference or option kind of thing.

But you're obviously free to have your opinion :)
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Old November 8th, 2007, 12:45 PM   #39
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This tripod mounting area on the bottom of the XH series camcorder is not a flaw. It's a feature, meaning, Canon intentionally designed it this way and it is identical on four camcorders: the XH A1, XH G1, XL H1 and XL2. This design has been unchanged since the debut of the XL2 more than three years ago back in 2004.

As previously pointed out by Bill Pryor, the design accommodates the Canon TA-100 tripod plate adapter, which in my opinion is an essential item that should be bundled in with the camera, as similar plates are included with other pro video camera systems.

Also, as far as the little "ledge" is concerned -- as Eric Weiss mentions above, it protects the hinge area of the battery door.

Finally, the right way to operate any tripod-mounted camcorder is to simply not touch it at all. Always use a wired remote controller such as the Canon ZR-2000 or similar LANC controller.

Edit: What I mean by that statement above is the camcorder body, while it's recording a shot; of course a person still has to touch the tripod itself in order to pan or tilt. However, rec/pause is best triggered remotely whever possible, as are changes in focal plane and focal length.

Hope this helps,
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Old November 8th, 2007, 03:03 PM   #40
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Chris,

Yes, it's quite apparent that Canon expects/wants people to buy additonal gizmos in order to operate the camera as intended (by Canon).

Since if one can't take photos while recording without causing a shake or one can't operate the Focus/Zoom presets either and these two aspects are in Canon's marketing for this camera and niether of these functions were provided on the remote that comes with the camera. So it's by design! (Force customers to buy additional things) :).

No I do understand you point about maintaining the mount across multiple camera so one can use the same adapter across these cameras. But all it really needs is a larger surface area. And the protection for the hinge can still be maintained.

This thing about not touching the camera while the shot is on...in my humble opinion is something we do due to the flaws in design. We accomodate. We live with it and find other solutions or cram our style to suit.

It looks to me that (from your post as well) that the adapter is the solution? I'd appreciate it if you or Bill could post a side view photo showing (or attempting to show) the air gap (or the lack of).

Thanks.

Shiv.
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Old November 8th, 2007, 08:19 PM   #41
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Hi Shiv. While I agree with you that the design could be better for anyone with large quick release plates, it's really not a big deal. Some spongy tape or adhesive rubber pads will easily solve the airgap problem and stop the camera rocking. Canon is not forcing you to buy any additional gizmos from them.

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Old November 8th, 2007, 08:53 PM   #42
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I just attached a larger tripod plate that overlaps the surface area. The camera is completely stable. With pans, tilts, and zooms, it’s rock solid even with the small space there. The “flaw” might be with your tripod since you are the only one who is experiencing this.
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Old November 8th, 2007, 10:29 PM   #43
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Actually Eric........

he's not the only one experiencing this.

I run my XH A1 on a Vinten Vision 3 head mounted on a set of Vinten FiberTechs, and I can assure you, what I'm seeing on "the big screen" isn't either of them moving.

Anything but the lightest touch on the focus ring (the ZR1000 Lanc remote does not allow accurate use of focus, a "design limitation" according to Canon), the use of the Zoom/ Focus Position Preset facility (not even provided on the ZR2000) etc causes a distinct wobble of the camera on the mounting plate.

That so little of the real estate available on the base of these cameras has been utilised for mounting plate/ camera contact, means that what forces are applied to the rubber compound of the "landing area" by the plate under stress is limited to a small area.

The more force applied per unit area to a surface, the more it will deform. If the landing area had been even just twice the size of the existing, it would have made a significant difference to the amount of deformation possible in this rubber compound, thus lessening the ability to wobble.

The use of "pro" twin 3/8" machine screws instead of a pathetic single 1/4" fixing would have made "fore - aft" rocking absolutely impossible.

As I said in my first post, this type of camera/ plate connection may have been all well and good for small/ medium SD cameras (it was never considered acceptable on "Pro" SD cameras, hence the twin 3/8" screw), but I do not consider it so for HD.

That this particular mounting arrangement has been a Canon "feature" across 4 camera systems is neither here nor there, it may have seemed a good idea at the time, but the systems have outrun it, well and truly.

When the next itteration of HD cams hits the ground with 30X Zooms, is this pathetic arrangement still going to be a Canon feature?

I think not (well, I certainly HOPE not!).


CS

Last edited by Chris Soucy; November 9th, 2007 at 12:17 AM. Reason: Addition
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Old November 9th, 2007, 01:08 AM   #44
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Chris,
Well put!

Richard,
Yes, it's never a big deal. We'll always find a solution to design and other shortcomings. Heck we don't touch the camera! :). Rather than make the manufacturers clean up their act we'll simply find ways around it, buy additional toys to circumvent and simply "live with it".

No seriously, I don't believe it's a big deal. If it were, I'd have made the subject, "Major design Flaw" or something to that affect. In fact, it's because it's not such a big deal I am even more surpised it exists and will continue to exists so long as we continue to say there is no problem.

I'm also surprised that a lot of folks "defend" such flaws. I mean this is not rocket science it's just common sense. Besides, how else will Canon (or anyone else for that matter) improve their product if users don’t tell them?
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Old November 9th, 2007, 01:17 AM   #45
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Eric,
The battery cover hinge thing...well, that's a bad design too :). One bad design led to another in my opinion:). I mean you can't tell me the battery cover design necessitated a bad tripod mount? Or that they gave the battery cover (of all things) precedence over a stable camera :)

I know, we’ve all done our research, zeroed in on the A1 and spent some serious hard earned money. How could we possibly consider that there is anything bad, flawed or could be better?

Please don’t take anything I say personally (I know that's such a cliché). But I honestly don’t mean it like that, I love my A1 and defend it tooth and nail.

Technically speaking, yes, I'm the only one experiencing the camera shake. So you are correct there. I didn't read the part in the manual or the dozens of videography books I've read or hundereds of on-line articles and nor did I go to film school where they must have surely said, "Don't touch the camera stupid". :)

FYI: Others have confirmed the problem does exist.

My appologies if my post seems offensive. I don't mean it to be.

Shiv.
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