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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 December 17th, 2007, 06:30 PM   #1
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One happy camper right here...or so I thought.

I just received my XH A1 a few days ago. Great camera, I have been wanting a real video camera for some time now. My fortay is stills using a Nikon D200. I wanted to start making higher quality movies. I've been reading these forums for a week now, getting ready to use the camera. I shot some footage, looks great with Steve's VividRGB preset. I captured it to PP CS3 and added transitions and music as I always do. I exported to DVD with the Media Encoder. The quality looked pretty soft. So I exported to a full resolution mpeg2, again seemed fuzzy although much better than the DVD of course. This is where I start to get frustraited. I've read that this NLE is not so great and Vegas does a bit better on exporting, so I DL'd the trial Vegas 8a. Now when I try to capture it creates a clip every second or so. This is not usable. I then found a thread to use DVD Split, that worked. Now I'm trying to export some kind of movie in full resolution to see the quality, .mov's look like some squished square format and stuttered alot.

Can anybody give me some setting Ideas so I can create high res .mov files?
Either Vegas or PP CS3
I realy don't want to spend the $$ on Cineform at this time, although I'm getting ready to use the trial.

I think I have plenty of power:
Dell Precision 690 Xeon Woodcrest 3.0 CPU
Invidia 7950 1GB Video
4GB RAM
30" Ultra Sharp LCD Display @ 2560x1600
Windows Vista Ult. and XP Pro SP2 dual boot -(Vista being used here)

BTW, This site is what gave me the information I needed to decide which camera to buy. Thanks for all the people taking the time to share information and most of all, the video clips. A lot of inspiring work. Steve Dempsey, someday I hope to acheive what you have. Great community, im excited to be a part of it.

Thanks
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Old December 17th, 2007, 07:27 PM   #2
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Okay, Scott. I won't tell you to buy Cineform NeoHDV because it captures in .avi or .mov format. I won't tell you that I does a great job on pull down for the HV20 if you end up using that as a second camera. And I won't tell you that you will have the ability to down rez at capture in NeoHDV. I wouldn't listen to that stuff either for about a year and a half... ... who wants to hear it..... Why would you want to edit with a more lossless format. Its crazy to think that way.....
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Old December 17th, 2007, 07:36 PM   #3
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Okay Chris, I get the point, I'll give Cineform a close look, that sounds like the way to go. I wasn't aware that you could capture in those formats. I thought I needed Aspect HD, Neo HDV is half the price. That sounds more like it. DLing trial right now.

Thanks for your input.
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Old December 17th, 2007, 07:46 PM   #4
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Yeah, CS3's media encoder is not great.

OnLocation (packaged with CS3) -> CS3 -> Debugmode frameserve (free) -> Tmpgenc Express ($99) -> Encore (packaged with CS3) makes me happy.

I inserted Cineform and got happier because CS3 runs better.


Aspect is for Premiere

Neo is for other NLEs
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Old December 17th, 2007, 07:47 PM   #5
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Scott, that sounded a bit smart "assy". Meant to convey that it was the same fight I had made for a long time. Aspect and Prospect or their latest renditions from Cineform (I haven't kept up), from what I understand, provide additional benefits in the Premiere editing process, including some real time editing capabilities.

I use NeoHDV files with Vegas, as well as with Premiere Pro 2.0, and I haven't had issues with on the Premiere side. However, I use it primarily in Vegas. I edit with the .avi files. One thing I've lived with is fairly soft preview files while editing.

If you want to actually buy Vegas, you start with $99.00 Vegas 6 at BH Photo, one of our sponsers here. Then you order upgrade to 7 or 8 at Sony site. Last time I looked, upgrade was going for $99.00. But check it out, these things change around a lot.

If you are going hdmi capture to disk, avoiding HDV compression, you are looking at the higher end Cineform stuff, and extra dollars, but I am not there yet.....

By the way, Steve Dempsey is certainly a guy to follow.
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Old December 17th, 2007, 08:37 PM   #6
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I'd second the idea to stick with whatever editor you have and like, and if you aren't happy with the encodes, then export to AVI or other relatively lossless format (I too have used the cineform codec with vegas 8 for my HDV and it's worked well.. used it in batch, not real time capture and enocde into it's codec .. the basic version 4:2:0 I think, not the 4:2:2 or 4:4:4 version). then find an encoder you like and let that do the encoding.

tmpgenc is fine, I use sorensen squeeze, procoder works, and several others. but, don't switch your whole editor just to get encodes you like. too much $ and too much learning curve, and your favorite editor may not give you your favorite encodes.

oh by the way, if your image is squished, check your aspect ratios in your source vs. your project, and if your video stutters, try reversing the field order in your encodes (did you shoot interlaced?..take a look at your clip properties in your editor and then match that same field order in your encode .. should fix that problem). also, play around with your bitrates in your encodes..google 'bit rate calculator' and you can calc the correct bitrate for your material given a certain DVD size and max out on the bits... use a two pass VBR encode too.. I'd try to get the most out of your current encoder before you try to switch to a new one otherwise you may find the same problems with the new one only to discover that you could have done more in your current ... post back specifics on your encodes and I'm sure you'll get more comments...
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Old December 17th, 2007, 09:57 PM   #7
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Wow, I love this forum, you guys are great. Chris, I apologize if I sounded smart (assy), I didn't mean to. As for the format, it was 24F. I DL'd Cineform NeoHDV. I thought Chris mentioned I could capture in .mov or .avi formats. I didn't see any settings in the capture screens. I assume he ment I could export to those. After loading Cineform, I tried a test export to Cineform HD Export. As soon as it started there was a mesage saying key expired. I don't know what to do from there, I would realy like to try before buying.
Thanks also for the pricing on Vegas I will have to check in to it.

Thanks again
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Old December 18th, 2007, 12:25 AM   #8
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Scott, I was talking about myself seeming a bit smart assy.... my original response sounded that way.

NeoHDV, after installation, has HDLink as the capture utility. Under preferences, you can select .avi or .mov. for you destination files.
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Old December 18th, 2007, 12:51 AM   #9
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The program keeps stopping. Is it not compatible with Vista?
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Old December 18th, 2007, 01:58 AM   #10
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I started a thread in the Cineform area in regards to this.
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Old December 18th, 2007, 10:35 AM   #11
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Hi Scott,

I use Vegas to edit keeping the full HD (1440x1080) throughout since it can recognize the 24F without having to go through pull down removal. After doing all edits I tweek the settings. I've been trying a bunch of different combinations but it all comes down to a balance of getting the highest encoding quality while keeping your files small enough to fit onto a DVD (and staying within parameters that most set top dvd players will play).

I have just gotten CineForm HDV after going through their trial period. It does a great job in making the workflow easier but I did notice a small (very small) loss in resolution from the native HDV to AVI if I view the full res video, but after down converting to SD DVD I don't see any loss in quality.

I'm now using an HV20 as a second to my A1 so it is almost a must to use CineForm for pull down issues. Also, since my HV20 usally just captures the full stage I love being able to use Cineform to do live caputures. I still have tape running to have a backup but it is a great way to save two to three hours of capture time.

I am using Vista Ultimate on one machine and XP Pro on another that I'm running Cineform and Vegas on and I have not had any issues.
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Old December 19th, 2007, 07:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett Low View Post
Hi Scott,

I have just gotten CineForm HDV after going through their trial period. It does a great job in making the workflow easier but I did notice a small (very small) loss in resolution from the native HDV to AVI if I view the full res video, but after down converting to SD DVD I don't see any loss in quality.
Garret, what level are you setting your capture at through HDLink or in encoding from Vegas. I set my capture or renders in the Cineform Codec at least at High, and do not notice drop off.
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