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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 6th, 2008, 07:18 PM   #1
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XH-A1 during night Weddings

I am planing this year to change to HD, please I whant your honest opinion
about this camera at low ligths SCENARIO.My weddings are during the night
but we are allowed to use ligths during the church an reception people don't
care about that.
Of course on camera lights are with me all the time.


I am coming from the pd-170



Thanks in advance
Franklin from (nice weather),Dominican Republic
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Old July 6th, 2008, 08:05 PM   #2
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Franklin... HDV cameras, from all I've read and experienced, are more likely to fall over shooting in low light than standard definition cams. The chief problem is grainy footage. If you search the A1 forum you'll find a lot of comments on this topic and many guidelines on how to mitigate it.

I shoot auto races at night on a track that has marginal lighting. I get acceptable results shooting at 1/60 with the iris wide open and the gain at +6. I tried +12 but it was way too grainy. It's interesting that when I down res for DVD, the grain at +12 is imperceptible. Can't say why the grain is worse in HD than it is in SD but the axiom of "gain = grain" is definitely true in my experience. You can see the track footage at: www.vimeo.com/oxfordplains. Select "On Pit Lane" episode 1 or 3 and you will see that the grain really isn't a problem. I suspect that down resing to 720p and the compression will mitigate the graininess too.

In a poorly lit situation, don't look at the meter but watch your zebra stripes to get the best exposure. And as always, there's no substitute for enough light.

One more thing. You might want to shoot in 30p. This will let you shoot at 1/30 and will allow more light into each frame.

Last edited by Tripp Woelfel; July 6th, 2008 at 08:07 PM. Reason: Added afterthought
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Old July 6th, 2008, 08:36 PM   #3
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Hey!! thanks for this value information.My escenario is 10% day light the rest 90% is mix
by location lights and on camera lights...........

Franklin
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Old July 7th, 2008, 01:17 AM   #4
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I made the switch from VX2100 to XHA1.
Using the XHA1 in 25F at 1/25th shutter and +12db is a very close match. The VX was a little brighter, but the colors are also more washed out. Overall the A1 does a pretty good job.
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Old July 8th, 2008, 10:40 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hubert Duijzer View Post
I made the switch from VX2100 to XHA1.
Using the XHA1 in 25F at 1/25th shutter and +12db is a very close match. The VX was a little brighter, but the colors are also more washed out. Overall the A1 does a pretty good job.
That is usually the best solution. I have used 24f at 1/24th sec with good results at dimly lit receptions. At 12db of gain the results are close to the PD-170. Of course you will see grain (I typically shoot at 6db max), but if you are doing nighttime weddings without additional lighting you won't have much of a choice. The presets that you use can make a difference. Try a few of the custom presets that are posted on this forum. The only consideration is that some of these can looked washed out or lacking in detail (usually as a result of use of the noise reduction settings).

I have found that I have not had to make too many changes in switching from the PD-170 to the XH-A1. But then again, my ceremonies are usually during the day, and I always use a light at the reception.
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Old July 8th, 2008, 01:17 PM   #6
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Hey ! Alan thanks for your coments.
A good thing in my situations is that we are allowed to use ligths during the church an reception so that hepls alot during the weeding.

Question??? what about the audio in this camera?? what microphone are suggest??

Thanks again Franklin
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Old July 9th, 2008, 01:57 AM   #7
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I use them both, and do not see such a big diff between them in low light, at least in indoor settings with any kind of semi-decent light. The VX2100 is a little brighter, but its color reproduction cannot match the XHA1's. I also find the XHA1's auto focus to be more responsive overall.
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Old July 9th, 2008, 04:13 PM   #8
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Use Stephen Dempsey's VIVID RGB preset. It works wonders in low light.
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Old July 10th, 2008, 12:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Franklin Bencosme View Post
Question??? what about the audio in this camera?? what microphone are suggest??

Thanks again Franklin
It depends on what you are doing. For ceremonies you should at least be using a wireless mic. To capture the audio properly you HAVE to have the microphone close to the subject. A lavalier mic connected to a wireless transmitter is perfect. The problem is that there are usually multiple places that people will be talking. My solution is to put the wireless on the groom, and use separate lavs connected to small mp3 recorders (iRivers) for the priest, and anybody doing a reading. Other than that, the built in mic is fairly good for capturing ambient sound, although it is preferable to have a directional microphone for dialog. A decent shotgun (I have a Sennheiser ME66) will help in this case.
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