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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 14th, 2008, 09:31 AM   #1
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My first post and help needed

I have a new canon xha1 and want to get footage from that to my pc.
What is the best hardware to do this smoothly ?
My pc has NO firewire at the moment.

Ive played with my canon 400d camera over the past 6 months and this gave me the urge to buy a camcorder.
My skills are just above those of a 3 year old trying to play scrabble but im willing to learn.

I decided on this camcorder after being told it was the best for the money and my aim is to get some decent family footage and maybe manage to do some sort of advertisment for my company on our website.
Im not after doing weddings or promo events as I have a business that takes all my time, but I would like to promote my own company with footage if I learn some new skills which is why im here.

Can anyone help me in my quest.

My setup so far is:

XH A1
UV filter
UV polariser
USB2 - firewire cable
Tripod
2 x 7.2ah batteries
Creator 10 video editing software (ordered online)

I need to be able to get data off the camcorder and onto the pc in the best way and also software to be able to edit the footage.
Again, im totally new so something that is at least within my reach of inteligence is a must.

Cheers in advance.

p.s) was my camera choice correct ?
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Old July 14th, 2008, 09:43 AM   #2
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hi jayson,
just buy a firewire 400 pci card for the pc and then connect the camera via firewire(make sure camera is off when you connect, save blown firewire port)
its the only way to get the footage across.
all the best, john
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Old July 14th, 2008, 09:56 AM   #3
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hi jayson,
just buy a firewire 400 pci card for the pc and then connect the camera via firewire(make sure camera is off when you connect, save blown firewire port)
its the only way to get the footage across.
all the best, john
Cheers John :)

I also have a laptop, are the pcmcia slot firewire cards any good for data transfer ? and do you recommend any decent cards for laptop and desktop ?
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Old July 14th, 2008, 10:03 AM   #4
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hi, dont really know much about the laptop but if its firewire 400 it should be fine.
as far as pci cards go i recently built a 2nd pc for live capture and i purchased a belkin 4 port pci card..works fine, capturing and saving to external hard drive but any should do.
as for software there is a discussion going on just now about that..personal choice and depends how much you want to spend and what features you want.
me im a sony vegas fan.. because its easy.
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Old July 15th, 2008, 11:25 AM   #5
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It's not just a matter of buying a Firewaire PCI card. Just connecting your XH-A1 to the computer via Firewaire will not just immediately render it able to download off the camera. You need to ensure your editing software will link with the Canon.

So far my experience (which, granted isn't much) suggests that the Canon is not the easiest of cameras to mate with software and even when the software manufacturers say it will work, it may take a bit of tweeking and certainly the very latest update
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Old July 15th, 2008, 12:28 PM   #6
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Thanks for the post philip, I tried today to connect the canon too my pc and it wasnt having any of it.
Its a lot hard job than I first thought.
Where in warwickshire are you ?
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Old July 15th, 2008, 02:17 PM   #7
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well I have to say, i have never had any issue connecting to my canon xh-a1..hdsplit (think its called) is freeware , cineforms hdlink...vegas..adobe..all recognise no probs
both 50i and 25p so i say again buy a firewire card otherwise you will never get the footage in.( no other way realistically) sony vx also connected , pd170 also connected.
maybe ive been lucky (or good pc builder haha) but i have never done anything else but simply pop in a firewire card...software, even the free stuff works fine
and if your gonna edit hdv then the nle will almost certainly be able to connect.
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Old July 15th, 2008, 03:40 PM   #8
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After connecting your XH-A1 to your PC via the Firewire card (not USB!), download and run HDVSplit (use Google to find it). Turn off the preview function of HDVSplit and let it capture your footage. It'll create a series of files, one for each scene (IE. one file each time the RECORD button was activated on the A1). You can then import the files into your chosen editing software and do with them what you will!
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Old July 18th, 2008, 11:54 AM   #9
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After connecting your XH-A1 to your PC via the Firewire card (not USB!), download and run HDVSplit (use Google to find it). Turn off the preview function of HDVSplit and let it capture your footage. It'll create a series of files, one for each scene (IE. one file each time the RECORD button was activated on the A1). You can then import the files into your chosen editing software and do with them what you will!
I had never heard of HDVSplit - thanks for that because I've had a lot of problems trying to get my PC / software to download easily. I found Adobe Premeire CS3 confusing / irritating / annoying and a whole host of swear words! Avid Media Composer just wouldn't see the Canon (I later learned that only version 3 will) Final Cut (on my MacBook) will sometimes connect OK, other times not, you do a lot of switch on/switch off...I was running out of options!
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Old July 18th, 2008, 12:28 PM   #10
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HDVSplit is a godsend! On my Dell XPS-720 QuadCore with WinXP and 4GB RAM, HDVSplit still crashes when I use the preview window, so I simply turn the preview window off. I record 20-30 seconds of camera bars at the beginning of the tape and after the final shot, and when I'm done, I rewind the tape. When HDVSplit starts capturing, the first clip (#0) is the bars at the front of the tape (which I discard), and the last clip is the bars at the end (which I also discard). Easily stuff! Thanks to DVi Net member Brian Brown for pointing me to that software.
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Old July 18th, 2008, 12:35 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Julian Frost View Post
HDVSplit is a godsend! On my Dell XPS-720 QuadCore with WinXP and 4GB RAM, HDVSplit still crashes when I use the preview window, so I simply turn the preview window off. I record 20-30 seconds of camera bars at the beginning of the tape and after the final shot, and when I'm done, I rewind the tape. When HDVSplit starts capturing, the first clip (#0) is the bars at the front of the tape (which I discard), and the last clip is the bars at the end (which I also discard). Easily stuff! Thanks to DVi Net member Brian Brown for pointing me to that software.
Well I just downloaded it and it captured footage first time no trouble...but what do I do with a .m2t file

I've tried clicking on it and open with... adobe Premiere but when Premiere opens it just asks for a project name then nothing. Similar with Avid Media Composer.

also on HDVSplit is defaults to frame size 1/16 is that correct for HDV I'm not sure what it refers to?

Sorry if I appear a plank!
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Old July 18th, 2008, 12:58 PM   #12
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In Premier...

File ==> Import

Browse to the folder where you put the captured M2T files, and double click on the clip you want to import. Or, go to that folder's parent folder, and "Import Folder," it'll import all the files and place them nicely into a new Bin for you. Select those files and drag them onto a timeline inside Premier and you're ready to edit.

Edit: The Frame size of 1/16th is the size of the video preview (which I turn off, as it's not needed... use the LCD on the camera)
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Old July 19th, 2008, 05:52 AM   #13
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Quote:
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In Premier...

File ==> Import

Browse to the folder where you put the captured M2T files, and double click on the clip you want to import. Or, go to that folder's parent folder, and "Import Folder," it'll import all the files and place them nicely into a new Bin for you. Select those files and drag them onto a timeline inside Premier and you're ready to edit.

Edit: The Frame size of 1/16th is the size of the video preview (which I turn off, as it's not needed... use the LCD on the camera)

Thanks Julian - one thing I like about this forum is the patience and helpfulness of members to answer the most basic 'newbie' questions for us start-up guys
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Old July 19th, 2008, 05:58 PM   #14
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I am chuffed I came here also, after spending the day buying and then building a very fast pc I have managed to connect to the pc with the canon and all looks superb.
Im knackered now so am off to bed but I reckon there is plenty of hard work ahead.

Cheers for the help guys !
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Old July 20th, 2008, 07:17 AM   #15
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I agree with Phillip and Jayson's comments regarding this forum.....you all are great to us newbs. Thanks!
On another note, I managed to get my A1 talking to my Dell XPS 720 just fine using Vegas Pro 8 but it took a few settings changes in Vegas to recognize my A1.
HDV split, I was told, is what you need to grab 24p as Vegas will not do it. Any truth to this?
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