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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 24th, 2008, 03:35 PM   #1
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New XH-A1, whats your tip?

Hey Everyone,
I'm a proud new owner of a XH-A1 and have been scouring the forums for helpful tips and information. This place is great!
I've learned a lot but would like to know if you have a "helpful tip" or a "must do" that you would like to pass on to a new XH-A1 owner.


Thanks,

Scott
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Old February 24th, 2008, 04:21 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Gold View Post
Hey Everyone,
I'm a proud new owner of a XH-A1 and have been scouring the forums for helpful tips and information. This place is great!
I've learned a lot but would like to know if you have a "helpful tip" or a "must do" that you would like to pass on to a new XH-A1 owner.
Hi and welcome! You've just got yourself a cool camera. here's my tip:

Download a pdf of the manual and keep it handy on your computer. Then when you get stuck you can search for the information very quickly in Adobe Reader.

It's on a sticky on this forum but here it is anyway:
http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/co...&modelid=14061
(Never Twice the Same Color)

http://www.canon-asia.com/index.jsp?...=dv&country=SG
(Perfect At Last)
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Old February 24th, 2008, 06:35 PM   #3
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Make a pot of coffee (or whatever) and spend some quality time with the manual, step-by-step.
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Old February 24th, 2008, 07:38 PM   #4
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1. Learn how to
- a. use the Magnify & Peaking features
- b. manually set your AGC
2. Check out Steve Dempsey's VIVID RGB preset
3. Get the VASST XH A1 DVD
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Old February 24th, 2008, 11:19 PM   #5
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Practice, practice, practice. Take your time, have fun experimenting and trying diffent things. The best advice I would give is to find someone near you who is experienced with an A1 and who's work you find that you like. If they are willing to give you some pointers it would be great or better yet if you could watch them in action with the camera it would be better.

There are so many things that the camera can do and you can get such stunning results it's amazing that they came from a camera that you can get for $3500. With all those options you can also get some realy realy bad footage too. Experiment with each variable one or two at a time. See what the changes are and decide for yourself what works best. Aso, take lots of notes. I keep a notepad in my equipement box and write down my settings for each shoot so I can go back and reproduce what I liked and throw away what I didn't.

I've had mine for almost a year now and I still learn something new everytime I use it. Welcome to the family of A1 shooters and have fun.
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Old February 24th, 2008, 11:45 PM   #6
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Thanks for the reply!

Do any of you have any Custom Functions set that you find useful when shooting?

Thanks,

Scott
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Old February 25th, 2008, 12:26 AM   #7
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Always use the same tapes.

This may seem like a no-brainer, but I've found the two A1's that I use to be very, very sensitive to changing tape types. Everyone knows not to switch brands, but I normally use the Panasonic HDV tapes from Best Buy (AY-DVM63HD2) and I've had "Heads dirty" messages and dropped frames from both of them when I tried different Panasonic tapes (Master series) in them. Stick with one model of tape.

Also, I'd suggest making a lens hood cap instead of using the lens cap. I think it's a slight blemish in this otherwise shining star of camera-hood. Congratulations!
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Old February 25th, 2008, 01:08 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Alex Chamberlain View Post
Also, I'd suggest making a lens hood cap instead of using the lens cap. I think it's a slight blemish in this otherwise shining star of camera-hood. Congratulations!
Alex, did you make your own lens hood cap? And do you have a picture we can see of it? What a great idea.
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Old February 25th, 2008, 08:25 AM   #9
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Not yet, Mark Rook is the guy to ask about that. I've been gathering advice about doing so at this thread:
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=115214

and Mark was nice enough to post pictures.
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Old February 25th, 2008, 01:53 PM   #10
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I've had the A1 for about a week now.

I loaded up four of the custom pre-sets from the pre-sets sticky at the top of the forums.

Actually, Steven Dempsey's VividRGB isn't there, you'll have to find the thread on that one, but I also loaded the black and white preset and a few more.

I've found the "Peaking" button to be great. Just get outside, or inside, wherever and shoot. If you run into a problem, grab the book and see what's going on.

I was out yesterday evening, shooting video at the park. It was just trial and error.

Oh, it's too dark here, well, let me open the aperture up. Ok, still too dark. Let me try slowing the shutter down. Aah, now I've got good light. Doh! I can't move the camera now because I get lots of blur. Ok, let me play with the gain now...

I was only out for a few hours and I feel 10x more confident with the camera. Man, just go for it. You'll be out there and go, damn, I wish I knew how to mess with such and such. Look it up when you get home and you probably won't forget again.

It's a blast!
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Old February 25th, 2008, 03:49 PM   #11
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The only thing that I can think of that seems to be pretty common is,
If you go to turn it on one day and it will only operate in the VCR position
don't panic YOU DIDN'T BREAK IT. Check both standby locks, you probably
knocked one of the standby locks into the locked position while putting it away in it's case or while taking it out to use. Take a deep breath check the standby locks and unlock the one you accidently locked , then Smile turn it to record mode and start shooting.... Seems to happen to a lot of us a least once :-)
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Old February 26th, 2008, 10:51 AM   #12
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Thanks for the post everyone!

I've read the manual several times and it's starting to sink in. I think I've learned the most from these forums. The exchanging of ideas and results is just amazing.
Thanks again,

Scott
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Old February 26th, 2008, 01:11 PM   #13
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Man, and don't forget about the image stabilization! I just checked and most of my footage from the park is crap because I had the damn image stabilization on! All of the smooth pans I was practicing are all jumpy and twitchy because the camera is trying to compensate for my pan.

Now I'm going to check in the book and see how to assign image stabilization to a custom button. I don't want this ever happening again.
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Old February 26th, 2008, 01:55 PM   #14
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I've already tried. It's horrible that you can't assign "image stabilization" off to one of the custom buttons, I hope they make that possible in a future firmware update.

Scott
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Old February 26th, 2008, 03:03 PM   #15
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That was the Number One item on the list we all voted on last year if the firmware upgrade capability ever became more than just marketing hype.
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