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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 27th, 2008, 03:46 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Fayetteville, GA
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Do you ever find youself missing features from your non-pro cameras?

I was out practicing with the A1 today, trying to master changing focus to create focus/DOF transitions between two subjects. It's easy enough to do if you have time and can "redo", but very difficult when capturing fast moving real life scenes. I'm preparing for shooting a wedding and I'd like to change focus between two subjects and do it reliably and quickly. With the small screen on the A1 I often miss focus in these brief circumstances which makes me want to stick with AF on critical live scenes. I found the preset focus procedure less-than-desirable given it only has one preset, is fairly slow to set up, and using the preset slide/button tends to move the camera when used.

I pulled my trusty Sony HC3 out, which has "spot focus". You just press the display screen where you want to establish focus, and ba-da-bing you have your focus where you want it. Very nice, quick, and seemed accurate. Doesn't always work well on moving subjects (needs a second or so to lock in) but it works amazingly well in most situations.

I'd love to have this "Spot Focus" feature on my A1!


Here's a quick vid on two unsuspecting pine tree's in my back yard:

http://vimeo.com/1418054

Last edited by Roger Shealy; July 27th, 2008 at 04:21 PM.
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Old July 27th, 2008, 05:18 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Belgium
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With my dvx100 it was a piece of cake to shift focus between 2 objects that were further apart from eachother when zoomed in, but the lcd is twice as big as my xh-a1 and the focus ring is more precise. I just have the canon and have been practicing a bit in manual focusing but the tiny lcd doesn't make it much easier but I found it sharp enough, only I'm not so sure if what I see true the viewfinder can always be trusted as the resolution is less. Problem with HD is also that when you are just slightly off focus it will show. You also have the one-push focus button when you are in manual mode to quickly get the right focus. I also noticed that in lowlight condition I will need to go on full manual focus anyway because the autofocus is "hunting", but I intent to use the one push focus button on a regular base to ensure the focus stays spot on.
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