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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 July 2nd, 2008, 05:28 PM   #1
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Mixing XHA1 with GL2 in SD video

Hi,

I've been filming weddings with 2 GL2's using the anamorphic widescreen mode.

I just recently got my first XHA1, however, for the rest of the weddings I have booked this year, I plan to keep using my 2 GL2's and shoot in standard def.

I was thinking of using the XHA1 to shoot SD but I know I have to choose from true 16:9 or 4:3, and of course I want to shoot 16:9.

Will I have any issues editing a wedding video with a mix of the GL2's anamorphic widescreen footage and the XHA1's true widescreen footage? I'm thinking I just have to change the capture settings but I'd rather hear what you guys have to say before trying it out :)

Thanks in advance.
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Old July 2nd, 2008, 05:32 PM   #2
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The XH A1's widescreen footage is just as 'true' as the GL2's. HDV uses rectangular pixels, just at a different pixel aspect ratio than DV Anamorphic. They're both 16:9, you should be just fine.

Why shoot SD with the XH A1 instead of just downmixing in post?
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Old July 2nd, 2008, 05:51 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas Thigpen View Post
Why shoot SD with the XH A1 instead of just downmixing in post?
I could do that too...but won't there be render times to downmix like that?

I'm super new in shooting and editing HDV, so excuse any simple questions :p
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Old July 2nd, 2008, 10:10 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Chris Estrella View Post
I could do that too...but won't there be render times to downmix like that?

I'm super new in shooting and editing HDV, so excuse any simple questions :p
Yes, there will be render times, I suppose the decision would depend on the system you're using; the times are often very nominal. It often results in better picture quality, though, so is worth testing out.
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Old July 4th, 2008, 10:26 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Estrella View Post
I could do that too...but won't there be render times to downmix like that?

I'm super new in shooting and editing HDV, so excuse any simple questions :p
I find that the render time to create an SD DVD from an HDV time-line, an SD time-line, or indeed a mixed time-line, are all much about the same. I'm using Avid Liquid 7.2 on a 2.66 GHz core2quad machine. If you have the time, shoot a short test in both configurations and see which works best.

If you do shoot HDV, and your computer is OK editing HDV, leave the footage in HDV format until the very end. You will get a better SD DVD that way than converting in-camera (i.e. converting the HDV on the tape into SD to send over Firewire to your computer).

I would think that more of a problem will be making the GL2 footage look the same as the XH-A1 footage. The gamma and colour characteristics are a little different. Setting Gamma to Cine1 helps a lot, and you may find that white balancing from the same card brings them nearer, too. As always, try some experiments and see what it looks like. I'm supposed to be working on a custom preset for the XH-A1 to match the XM1/GL1, but I'm not making much progress at the moment, and the GL1 and GL2 look a little different, in any case.
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Old July 4th, 2008, 11:35 AM   #6
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Hello,
in my opinion the A1 is the HDV ONLY camera and it's great for it.

After i bought it i made a terrible decision to shoot SD for a client, before any testing and the quality of the footage i got was very poor, a lot of the stuff simply unusable.

I edit a lot of stuff from Canon SD cameras (XL1 & XM1), and for me the SD footage shoot with A1 looks terrible compared to them.

As i said, this is only my opinion, but i will never shoot SD with my A1 again... ;-)
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Old July 4th, 2008, 11:57 AM   #7
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I shot many interviews for a music documentary with the XH A1, in standard definition, for a friend. He liked the look so much that he sold his XL2 and bought a second XH A1. I also shot some 4:3 footage for another documentary that looked very good. I think if you're getting bad quality in shooting in the SD mode, maybe you had some setting wrong or something. The SD quality of the camera, in everything I've seen, looks better than the XL2, cleaner and sharper.

As far as cutting in the footage with a GL2, it's going to, again, look cleaner and sharper. The GL2 has a nice look but is pretty soft. What you can do is color balance the cameras together, then when you edit, drop in a little softness filter on the XH A1 footage to bring it down to the level of the GL2. Or, use it for wide shots and use the GL2 for closeups. I've done that before with different size chip cameras, using the bigger chip one for long shots where you need the better resolution, and using the smaller chip one for closeups of people, where the softness looks good.
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Old July 10th, 2008, 03:04 PM   #8
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4:3 mode

Bill
When shooting 4:3 SD with the A1 what settings do you use? I used it once before in 4:3 and noticed that it was blurring the edges a little. Otherwise the image looked fine.
Do you ever notice this?

Thanks
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Old July 10th, 2008, 03:48 PM   #9
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No, I just used regular settings. I don't do too much in terms of camera settings, just pressed the blacks a bit and softened the image and warmed the color, all very minimal shifts. Never noticed any problems.
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