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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 28th, 2008, 11:56 PM   #1
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Time Lapse with the Canon XH-A1

Is there any device or product that will work with the Canon XH-A1 for time lapse photography?

I've been studying the pros and cons of both the Canon XH-A1 and Sony HVR-V1U and I've decided to go with the Canon however the time lapse feature on the Sony is something that I would like to have.

Any suggestions?

Thanks!
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Old February 29th, 2008, 02:09 AM   #2
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A hard disk recorder is a good option if you got the cash, suggest something like this: http://www.nnovia.com/products.php?id=47

Otherwise just record an hour of footage and then speed it up, I've done that a few times with the A1.
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Old February 29th, 2008, 06:17 AM   #3
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The old DVRack (now part of the Adobe premiere CS3 bundle) can record at any speed slower than 25 frames/sec (PAL). It does that without a tape in the camera. Possibly also Canon Console can do the same. They both require a PC or laptop to work, of course. It is not possible to use tape based recording medium for true time lapse, as it can not be started and stopped continuously.
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Old March 2nd, 2008, 10:32 PM   #4
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I haven't used it yet, but the shareware stop-motion program FrameThief (www.framethief.com) can do programmed time lapse captures. It's Mac only though.
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Old March 3rd, 2008, 01:44 PM   #5
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I've actually used iMovie to do some time lapse work. It makes it easy with a laptop
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Old March 3rd, 2008, 02:30 PM   #6
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Actually the best way to do timelapse is to use digital SLR with a laptop.

I have used Canon EOS-1D and EOS-1Ds with Canon's PC and Mac based control programs (EOS capture).

Better video editors like Premiere Pro and FCP have a feature where you can import numbered sequences which turn themselves automatically into a timelapse video.

Shooting at higher resolution than HDV or SD allows pans and zooms during the timelapse.

The only downside is that the fastest rate with EOS capture is one picture per 5 seconds, which means you must speed up the video at least 125X (PAL) to use this method. But nice for flowers opening, construction sites etc.
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Old March 3rd, 2008, 10:35 PM   #7
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Flickering When Using A DSLR

I have been using a Nikon D70 to do timelapse, but have discovered that there is flickering in the footage. I believe that this is caused by a slight variation in the exposure picture from picture. Do you have this problem with the Canon you are using? Any suggestions on the flickering?
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Old March 4th, 2008, 12:01 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan M. Christensen View Post
Any suggestions on the flickering?
What camera setting are you using? I ask because I had the same issue when doing time-lapse with my Canon Rebel XT and I realized it was because I had it in Aperture-priority mode meaning the camera was still making exposure decisions/variations via shutter speed on its own.

The smoothest time-lapse effect for me, therefore, comes only when I'm on full Manual mode so I can make sure ALL camera settings are identical from shot to shot.

-Brendan
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Old March 4th, 2008, 01:12 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan M. Christensen View Post
I have been using a Nikon D70 to do timelapse, but have discovered that there is flickering in the footage. I believe that this is caused by a slight variation in the exposure picture from picture. Do you have this problem with the Canon you are using? Any suggestions on the flickering?
What file type are you using for the stills?

JPEG's seem to give a flicker effect.
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Old March 4th, 2008, 02:08 AM   #10
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There is some flicker. Some say this is caused by uneven aperture mechanisms in modern cameras. The problem is that with an everyday timelapse you do need some kind of auto exposure anyway. Only if you have a lighted set you could run the camera on manual, and with these new cameras even then the aperture is not even.

I have read about a plug-in for correcting this kind of flicker.
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Old March 4th, 2008, 02:27 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Petri Kaipiainen View Post
There is some flicker. Some say this is caused by uneven aperture mechanisms in modern cameras. The problem is that with an everyday timelapse you do need some kind of auto exposure anyway. Only if you have a lighted set you could run the camera on manual, and with these new cameras even then the aperture is not even.

I have read about a plug-in for correcting this kind of flicker.
I have tried a plug-in for Premiere and After Effects from Granite Bay Software.

http://www.granitebaysoftware.com/Pr...deflicker.aspx

While it helped a bit, it is not a solution for me. It only minimized the flickering. To my eyes, flickering breaks the sense of seamless continuity that the best time-lapse offers.

Good point on the auto exposure-- the changing light from clouds or the position of the sun can cause a manually set exposure to become over or under exposed over time. However, I have discovered that when you set the camera to auto- the leaps in exposure cause significant flickering.

I have tried setting my aperture wide open to minimize aperture variation. That has helped, but clearly there is something else causing the flickering. I have been shooting in jpg mode, the idea that that may cause some of the flickering is interesting. Worthy of experimentation for sure!

Has anyone tried using a point and shoot? I think this may be my next step as a point and shoot does not have a mechanical shutter. However I must be able to have the camera set to manual white balance and exposure.
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Old March 5th, 2008, 11:28 AM   #12
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i wouldn't recommend using a point and shoot unless it has FULL manual mode. you want to make sure that the camera doesn't attempt to take control of say, the shutter speed, iso or aperture. some consumer cameras do this by default, it's annoying and in a situation like this it would definitely result in flicker.

also, Ryan is right, if your light source is the sun, many things can change the light in your shot, like clouds, planes, birds, and i think it would be unrealistic to expect the light to remain constant all day. with that being said, some light flickering would be natural and if it bothers you too much, just take out the frames that are either too bright or too dark that are causing the problem. ..or spend hours manual adjusting their levels with something like photoshop, haha.
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Old March 6th, 2008, 03:57 PM   #13
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The Canon A640 point and shoot has full manual mode. It takes fabulous images for a pocket camera. I took it to Italy this summer and left the XHA1 at home. The lens is small, so more light is better. The Canon S5-IS has a bigger lens. I recommended it to my in-laws. It is more forgiving in lower light situations.
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