Finally opened the box on my A1....A few questions at DVinfo.net

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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 11th, 2008, 10:34 AM   #1
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Finally opened the box on my A1....A few questions

After having it for a week now I finally found time to open the box and have a look at things (self employed, need I say more?) I even played with it, this thing is cool man! Okay, I have a few lame new dude questions if you all don't mind?

Tapes-
How many times can you record over a tape before it degrades the image quality?
Do you just record over existing footage or erase it first, what is suggested?

LCD-
Is what I see on my LCD a "Live View" Meaning if I have not changed the default settings on the LCD, is it a decent representation of what my exposure and actual footage will look like?

Hope these rediculous questions aren't causing too much laughter, I am here to learn.

Thanks,
Tim
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Old July 11th, 2008, 10:40 AM   #2
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About your tapes questions:

Since it's all digital, the image quality will not be decreased if you reuse the tape. But you may experience some dropouts or artifacts if you reuse the tapes frequently. Since blank tapes are somewhat inexpensives, it is recomended to not reuse them at all to ensure a greater degree of safeness.
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Old July 11th, 2008, 11:00 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Tim Cee View Post
Is what I see on my LCD a "Live View" Meaning if I have not changed the default settings on the LCD, is it a decent representation of what my exposure and actual footage will look like?
It's a viewfinder, meaning you can frame the shot with it and check focus reasonably well (peaking provides more of an assist). Exposure is another issue. The answer is "it depends." You just have to go out and shoot some footage to see how it works for you.
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Old July 11th, 2008, 12:38 PM   #4
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I never adjusted the LCD from how it came out of the box and it does a decent job - but I always have the zebra option showing and use the exposure meter on the display to gauge as well.

I've found in really bright outdoor conditions, the video looks better if I stop down one from what the light meter is showing I need (so a bit under the middle indicator)

Trish
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Old July 11th, 2008, 12:55 PM   #5
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I adjust my viewfinder and LCD to color bars, but there's not a hugh amount of adjustment as on professional viewfinders. Still, it's close so you know you're in the ballpark. I use zebras at 80%.

Usually it's not a good idea to try to judge exposure from the LCD because the way the picture looks depends on whether your eyes are exactly in line, or up or down off axis just a bit. Exposure can be fine but look too light or dark. Also, you have to adjust the brightness level depending on ambient light conditions. Learn to use the zebras--they are nothing more than a method of reading the reflective meter in the camera. Adjust the viewfinder to color bars so you're close. I use the LCD only for shooting long interviews where I need to stand away from the camera and talk to a person, or for when I can't get to the VF, like if the camera is way up high, or back in a corner.

I never reuse tapes and only use the best quality available, which I consider the Sony PHDVM-63DM.
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Old July 11th, 2008, 03:03 PM   #6
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Thank You for the help everyone. I am now reading up on the Zebra.
One more question on the LCD and exposure. I get that while filming it is not representative of my exposure. What about play back? Is what I see on the LCD during playback close to my actual exposure and footage results?
Thanks again folk's!!!
Tim
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Old July 11th, 2008, 08:39 PM   #7
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I've never tested this but I imagine it will show you the same as how it looked when you filmed it.

It's best to review the video on something much larger as you won't notice the little imperfections, camera shake, focus issues, grain etc with the tiny LCD.

Ideally a calibrated video monitor is the way to go

trish
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Old July 12th, 2008, 08:47 AM   #8
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I've never tested this but I imagine it will show you the same as how it looked when you filmed it.

It's best to review the video on something much larger as you won't notice the little imperfections, camera shake, focus issues, grain etc with the tiny LCD.

Ideally a calibrated video monitor is the way to go

trish
Thanks Trish, the calibated monitor is on my list of to do's.
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Old July 12th, 2008, 08:55 AM   #9
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All our camcorders show us a WYSIWYG view in the viewfinders and side-screens. So you're seeing the image at taking aperture, shutter speed, with the white balance and progressive scan as you've set and so on. It shows you the actual dof, unlike DSLRs that give you a v'finder image at the lens's max aperture.

Of course your LCD TV will be a lot sharper than the camcorder's screen (hopefully) and will most probably show you the HDV footage without overscan (make sure your next TV does this).

As J-P Archibald notes, new tapes are very cheap indeed. With that in mind don't assume that every one you buy will be perfect - as a 'very cheap indeed' microphone wouldn't be. So having tried and tested a Mini DV tape, treat it as better than new.

tom.
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