How does one properly hold the XH A1 ? at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Canon EOS / MXF / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Canon HDV and DV Camera Systems > Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders

Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old July 16th, 2008, 09:35 AM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Argos, Greece
Posts: 70
How does one properly hold the XH A1 ?

I recently bought the XH A1 after wanting one since it came out.
I want to be sure I am holding it right. Do most people just let it hang on their right hand while the 5 pounds are tipping to other side?
I feel I need to keep my other hand underneath too. Which doesnt leave a hand for manual controls (focus, zoon, iris rings).
thanks much
gz
George Zabetas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 16th, 2008, 09:49 AM   #2
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 101
ive noticed when i hold it with my right hand under the strap, my left hand keeps it as level as possible when messing with the focus and zoom rings, i mainly use the handle per my recording activities

i also do hold it like i am hicking a football, hope you can picture this, i use the viewfinder during this, i will have the zoom and focus and all tht other shit set
Janson Williams is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 16th, 2008, 10:27 AM   #3
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Argos, Greece
Posts: 70
thanks janson, seems like the way i am doing it too.
good luck with the fisheye lens.
George Zabetas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 16th, 2008, 10:46 AM   #4
Trustee
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 1,241
I probably look like a complete idiot when I "cradle" my A1, but it sure does seem to work well! Here's how I do it:

- Right Hand snugly in the hand strap
- Butt of camera pressing back on the top part of my shoulder (like shouldering a rifle, only i put the battery door a little higher right on the bone of the joint)
- Right Cheekbone pressing against the viewfinder
- Left Hand on ring controls

This leaves the LCD about 4-5 inches from your face. The method works even better with a LCD hood, move your head forward a little bit and you'll be in your own little theatre. Again, look like a total idiot, but laugh in the end when your video is super steady.
__________________
Nate Haustein PXW-FS5 / iMac i7 / FCPX
www.flightcreativemedia.com
Nate Haustein is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 16th, 2008, 11:44 AM   #5
Obstreperous Rex
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: San Marcos, TX
Posts: 26,900
Images: 513
There's nothing at all wrong with a method that works...

Both hands is the way to go for *any* camcorder though.
__________________
CH

Search DV Info Net | DV Info Net Sponsors | A Decade (+5) of DVi | ...Tuesday is Soylent Green Day!
Chris Hurd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 16th, 2008, 01:46 PM   #6
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Argos, Greece
Posts: 70
sounds like a 2 handed approach.
thanks all
George Zabetas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 16th, 2008, 03:21 PM   #7
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Chuluota, Florida
Posts: 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
...Both hands is the way to go for *any* camcorder though.
Agreed! It's possible something could break or become loose...
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=125680
Lee Small is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 18th, 2008, 11:43 AM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Warwickshire
Posts: 207
I too have been pondering this question and trying all manner of ways to hold the A1. One of the best ways I found to hold it - believe it or not - was using an old Bell & Howell pistol grip accessory that was once used on an old 16mm cine camera - I am not joking when I tell you my shots were so still you'd have thought I was using a steadicam!

The problem..... you have to use the top zoom & stop/start or the RC, I haven't quite mastered this nitty-gritty aspect yet!

It makes you wonder why camcorder manufacturers ingnored the cine camera design of a pistol grip. All 8mm and 16mm cine cameras had a pistol grip, if only as an add-on. After producing cine cameras for many many years surely the camcorder lot must have thought the pistol grip must have a good deal of merit.

I think the hand-thru-strap method, adopted by most - if not all - camcorder manufacturers, is a legacy from the old full VHS camcorders which were massive heavy great lumps that sat on your shoulder - like professional XDCAM et al cameras. It is not necessarily the best way for the modern smaller camcorder
Philip Younger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 18th, 2008, 11:51 AM   #9
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Argos, Greece
Posts: 70
yeah the strap method does definitely feel awkward. when i placed my hand in there and let the whole camera hang on my right palm i felt like i was spending some time to keep my palm straight rather than concentrate on the shot.
i added the second hand as most others.
George Zabetas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 18th, 2008, 10:51 PM   #10
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 2,933
I generally have my right hand in the strap, and my left underneath the camera so I can use my middle finger to adjust the focus/zoom/iris rings. I have a Steadicam Merlin plate attached at all times and it can really hurt my left hand because of the of the edge of the plate. A trick I learned back when I started filming was to use a lightly-padded weightlifter's glove on my right hand to prevent pinching of nerves in my palm. I might have to pick up another set so I have a glove for my left hand again, lol.
__________________
Black Label Films
www.blacklabelweddingfilms.com
Travis Cossel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 18th, 2008, 11:31 PM   #11
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Menasha, WI
Posts: 88
I don't have an XHA1, but...

I put my right hand into the strap and then I grab onto my lens hood with my left hand. I get much more stability from that than with the cradle method. I compare it to aiming a rifle... if your hands are close together it is much harder to aim steady than if you move your left hand down the barrel (away from your right hand).

My camera is very front-heavy, which puts a lot of strain on my right wrist. Again, by moving my left hand to the front of the camera (gripping the lens hood), I am able to take the majority of the weight off my right wrist.

If I need to be a little more active on the focus, zoom, and iris... rather than "grab" the lens hood, I put the fingers of my left hand under the lens hood for support, then reach back with my thumb to control focus/zoom/iris.

The downside to this is that I can't necessarily always keep my left elbow close to (or against) my body, so after a while my left arm can get a little tired.

Also, you'd [obviously] want to make sure your lens hood is secure and that you aren't putting any unnecessary strain on the lens.
Andrew Kufahl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 19th, 2008, 12:49 AM   #12
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Makati, Metro Manila
Posts: 2,706
Images: 32
I usually grab the handle with one hand and use the other hand for support - there's 4-5 different ways to do this depending on how you grab the handle.
__________________
"Ultimately, the most extraordinary thing, in a frame, is a human being." - Martin Scorsese
Michael Wisniewski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 24th, 2008, 05:10 AM   #13
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Warwickshire
Posts: 207
Further to my earlier post on this subject, I have since acquired a secondhand fairly substantial Libec monopod - which I thought would be handy and less trouble to carry around than a tripod.

Anyway, what I did discover (by chance) is that the monopod is like a better extended version of a pistol grip. If you attach the monopod, but leave it closed (the one I have is approx 20inches long when closed), I find it really comfortable to slide my hand thru' the strap for on/off & zoom control whilst gripping the monopod approx 4 inches below the camera body. I am getting really smooth stable pictures, I guess in the very broadest sense of the term I have 'almost' created a poor man's steadicam.

Can this be further imporved? I've been asking myself. Well, it has occurred to me that if I were to obtain (or make) one of those holsters that flag bearers wear, the monopod leg could sit in it, that may have some merit..... watch this space.
Philip Younger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 25th, 2008, 07:42 AM   #14
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Pembrokeshire, Wales
Posts: 734
Philip - I've used this method for filming from a boat - though at the time I had a Canon XM2. It worked fine when the boat was steady, but on a smaller rocking boat it was necessary to hold onto a rail with one hand. Not sure if I could do it with the XH A1. I think I prefer stills from a boat.
__________________
Canon XH A1; Canon XF100; Nikon D800
Annie Haycock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 25th, 2008, 08:22 PM   #15
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Allentown, PA
Posts: 61
I just purchased a Canon XH A1 last week for my birthday and was surprised by the overall weight - mainly because it's my first "prosumer" camcorder. Like someone mentioned earlier in this thread - because of the weight it actually feels slightly awkward holding this beauty like you would a normal/consumer camcorder. Having access to machine shop I took an old Sunpak monopod, removed about 4 inches [collapsed] so that overall length is about 8 3/4". I also removed a "thread" of the mounting screw so that it only takes one and a quarter turns to fasten/unfasten it. It's sort of a pistol grip/mini monopod hybrid. If I need to maintain a steady shot or if fatigue starts to set in, there is enough length there so that I can lower my hand and tuck my elbow up against my side for additional support. In the next week or so I'll mount a Manfrotto quick change head to it so that I can go from this monopod, the full size monopod and tripod with a certain amount of ease.
Laurence Scott is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Canon EOS / MXF / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Canon HDV and DV Camera Systems > Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:50 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network