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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 February 1st, 2008, 02:02 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Miceli View Post
I would like to send you an RS-A1U that you can touch and feel.
Chris, he has a Canon XH-A1, not a Sony A1U.
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Old February 9th, 2008, 01:19 AM   #17
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Cba- Xhag1

I got my Porta Brace "Camera Body Armour" CBA-XHAG1 today. What an awesome piece! It fits like a glove, totally pads my camera and still allows me to be able to get to all of the switches and dials including the focus, zoom and iris. To top it off, it includes a rain cover that stores in the pouch on the side of the unit where the grip belt is. Totally recommended for anyone looking at protecting the camera. Given I have not used it yet in the field (this weekend will be the test of truth), but I will let you know and post pics when I get some.
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Old February 10th, 2008, 05:20 PM   #18
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Hugh?

Am I missing something here guys? I looked at the images of it and it doesn't cover the microphone/handle eye piece? Won't that get wet if it rains, blows, etc, run along the edges and get into the camera eventually? Is there body armor and then also a rain jacket that does cover everything?

Tony
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Old February 10th, 2008, 05:27 PM   #19
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Video of armor?

Chris,

I would love to see some video demo-ing this on an xh a1 with water, wind, etc?

I see the body armor but I also see that the handle, microphone, and viewfinder are exposed? Is there a second piece that goes with this to cover those areas?

Tony
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Old February 10th, 2008, 08:50 PM   #20
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The Porta Brace rain cover does cover all the important bits including the mic, handle and eyepiece. The mic can be completely covered or exposed by reconfiguring the velcro. The cover will not cover the end of the eyepiece but if it did you wouldn't know what you're shooting. The handle is, by default, covered. There is a velcro opening in the top into which fastens a nylon "sleeve" that you can stick your hand through.

When I close the top opening there's virtually no way water can get in.

I think this cover works well. I have used it in snow and in light rain. Not sure how well it would work in a big Nor' Easter or a hurricane. In those situations, I'd augment with a heavy trash bag.
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Old February 11th, 2008, 09:49 AM   #21
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How does the Porta Brace do when the Canon Wide Angle WD-H72 lens is mounted? I assume it doesn't cover the monster Lens hood but is there a way to keep the slicker on to protect the camera at least cover the glass?
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Old February 11th, 2008, 11:05 AM   #22
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Thank you

Thanks for the information.
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Old February 12th, 2008, 09:05 AM   #23
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Ernest, No. The glass, both with and without the wide angle adapter, will always be exposed unless you cover it with something else.
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Old March 1st, 2008, 09:05 AM   #24
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I bought the Porta Brace Rain Slicker for my Canon A1 before the Body Armor was introduced (CBA-XHAG1). The Rain Slicker fits great, so I am sure the Body Armor will fit equally well.

The only question I have is: why the angular right side on the CBA-XHAG1? I understand a rain cover fits there. If you removed the rain cover, would this conform more closely to the A1 body?

UPDATE 3/01/08: I sold my Rain Slicker, and ordered the Body Armor. I would prefer the Body Armor were more closely contoured to the A1 camera shape, but for my use, I believe the Body Armor will provide good protection - time will tell!

Last edited by John C Heid; March 1st, 2008 at 12:39 PM.
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Old March 4th, 2008, 11:04 AM   #25
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I ordered the body armour a while ago, and when it arrived, I couldn't figure out how to fit it - too many openings and bits of velcro etc. Took it to the store yesterday, they put it on, and then I discovered by accident that what I had been sent was actually the rain slicker! So now I'm still waiting for the body armour - seems there is a delay of some weeks before the next import (to the UK) is due.

I'm all for saving on packaging, but if it had arrived in a labelled bag, I'd have known sooner it was the wrong thing.
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Old March 4th, 2008, 11:13 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Annie Haycock View Post
I ordered the body armour a while ago, and when it arrived, I couldn't figure out how to fit it - too many openings and bits of velcro etc. Took it to the store yesterday, they put it on, and then I discovered by accident that what I had been sent was actually the rain slicker! So now I'm still waiting for the body armour - seems there is a delay of some weeks before the next import (to the UK) is due.

I'm all for saving on packaging, but if it had arrived in a labelled bag, I'd have known sooner it was the wrong thing.
That is actually pretty funny! (Sorry to laugh at your expense). I've bought a number of PB items and look for a small label sewn inside each one with initials (ie., RS-L1 for Rain Slicker, and the last initials describe which camera it is designed to fit). I ordered Body Armor from Adorama; it is in stock, and is the best price I could find. I wonder if Adorama would sell and ship one to you in Wales?
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Old March 4th, 2008, 12:28 PM   #27
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Yeah, I found that label after a while, and that confirmed to me that it was for my camera, but I hadn't really picked up on the RS being rain slicker. It didn't help that I was between trips to Norfolk (350 miles away) and Scotland (550 miles away), trying to make sure I was up to date with work emails, and failing to complete my film for the UWOL challenge all in the space of a few days. Although I'd got the Portabrace by mail order, I called at the store on the way back from Scotland, and sorted things out there. The camera may not be completely protected, but for the moment it is snuggled up with a dead cat!!
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Old March 8th, 2008, 08:12 AM   #28
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Hands on with the Portabrace RS-A1U

After using the Portabrace RS-A1U for a day of run and gun, I was ready to eBay it. Having no alternative on another rainy day on the same trip, I gave it another shot and warmed up to it a bit with a couple exceptions. I narrowed down my beefs and thought I'd leave them here as well as some of the features I enjoyed as feedback.

First, I'm a sucker for something that's well designed and built. The PB RS-A1U is a marvel of extremely skillful engineering and supreme sewing prowess. My head spins when I consider the complexity of it's seams, velcro, flaps, clear ports etc. It's a quality piece just like you'd expect from PB. I think pretty much anyone can make a "tailored bag" and some will add a see through window and these may suffice shooting on some sticks. However, as far as I'm concerned, none of the alternatives I've seen give you what you need for handheld shooting.

Flip-out Screen Cover:
THE GOOD STUFF
I find the A1 vewfinder hard to use so I use the flip-out screen. Shooting eye level, the PB slicker creates a "Hoodman" like cavity about 3 inches deep. So, if you are shooting in sunlight with the slicker (yes there are times you do this so save the wise cracks), it works well at shading the screen. For waist level shooting, there's actually a velcro flap on the top of the cavity that rolls up and stays rolled up because of strategically placed velcro. Very nice.

Another fine point of this cavity is if you hold the A1 over head, the bottom of the cavity also has a clear port with a velcro cover to roll back.

There's more ways to use this cavity but suffice it to say, it's well thought out.

THE NOT SO GOOD STUFF
The very thing that lets you shoot waist level with the flip out screen also has a down side. The glare from the plastic combined with the viewing angle issues makes it impossible to see sometimes. If a material that had less glare were available, it would improve it. Alternatively, a way to peel the clear cover back half way will improve it.
Another aspect of the flip-out cavity is that changing the screen angle it tough. You basically have to squeeze the whole cavity with it's stiff parts and you can't really finesse the positioning. It's crude and I worry about scratching the screen.

Petrol has a design for the Panny AG-DV30 that is a clear flipper totally encasing the screen. That solves all these problems but means the screen is always behand glaring plastic and lacks the sun shield and open cavity aspects of the PB. I prefer the PB cavity over the clear flipper cover. Your mileage may vary.

Audio:
The cover has velcro flaps that let you encase the built-in mic or leave it open. I had a wireless receiver and a Rode NTG-1 and all the flaps covered well. The NTG-1 foam shield stuck out about 3 inches.

Handle:
At first I felt the elastic hand cover on the top handle was a pain and I wanted to remove it. You can't. But after looking at it, I found it can be pretty well un-velcro'd away and draped down the side. This worked fine in a drizzle but when it rained harder, I was very glad the elastic hand cover was still with me. It really protects the camera.

The One Major Flaw:
There's a piece of nylon webbing that goes across the opening on the left side of the camera where you can access the controls. After today, I realized it's what made me want to get rid of it in the first place. It makes it very hard to shoot. This webbing seems to always be covering the Iris or zoom ring when shooting. And when you turn the camera to it's side to adjust the ND Filer, Preset Zoom/Focus or AF switches, the webbing seems to always move to cover them too.

All in all, the PB slicker covered the camera very well during 4 hours of heavy drizzle at 5 degrees C. You can't expect to operate the camera as easily as uncovered but you can expect it to protect your camera well in all kinds of situations yet still support creative camera handling.
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Old March 8th, 2008, 09:05 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernest House View Post
The One Major Flaw:
There's a piece of nylon webbing that goes across the opening on the left side of the camera where you can access the controls. After today, I realized it's what made me want to get rid of it in the first place. It makes it very hard to shoot. This webbing seems to always be covering the Iris or zoom ring when shooting. And when you turn the camera to it's side to adjust the ND Filer, Preset Zoom/Focus or AF switches, the webbing seems to always move to cover them too.
Oh yes. That is a major pain. In order to get to the iris ring you have to reach your finger beyond it toward the lens then pull the strap back. Not intuitive, nor easy to do. With gloves on it's impossible.

In fairness to PB, there may not be another way to build the cover. But if there is it would definitely be worth a re-design. PB... are you listening?
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Old March 8th, 2008, 09:26 AM   #30
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I came halfway around the world and it's ruined a fair share number of shots when I couldn't get at the ring or find the ND control.. What's that piece do anyway? It seems marginal as a support for the camera controls window. If I have to shoot in the rain again (forecast for tomorrow looks bad), it's getting snipped.
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