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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 August 4th, 2008, 10:22 AM   #1
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XH-A1 Companion Camera?

I have two VX2100s and plan on keeping them becacause I do a lot of dark inside events. I want to move into HD because I do some lighted studio jobs in front of a green screen.

I've pretty much decided on getting the XH-A1 and as much as I'd like two, its not going to happen. Any reccomendations on a $1000 range HD companion camera for the XH-A1? My only other HD cam experience has been with a Sony HC3. I didn't like its lack of audio inputs and will probably sell it to a friend. However, I did try it in front of the green screen in SD mode and I couldn't chromakey its footage as well as I did with the VX2100s. So of course I'm wondering if a recommened companion for the XH-A1 would be condusive to chromakeying?

Thanks
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Old August 4th, 2008, 10:49 AM   #2
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The Canon HV30 would be a good thing for you. Lots of people buy it to use for loading footage (it will play your XH A1's 24 and 30f modes), and it is a decent "b-roll" camera for situations where you don't want to use the bigger one, or need a second camera, such as mounted on the dash of a car, etc. I know one person who keys footage from a Sony A1U, which has a 1/3" single chip, as does the Canon HV30, so I'm guessing the 30 would do equally well, assuming you're picky with your lighting and all.
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Old August 4th, 2008, 11:19 AM   #3
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Canon HV30 is the route I went to accompany my XH-A1 and when I don't need it I switch it to "Auto Mode" and my wife uses it for both video and stills with some very nice results, and when we get home we plug it straight into the TV via HDMI and she can watch her raw video in wonderfull HD


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Old August 4th, 2008, 11:50 AM   #4
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Thanks. The HV-30 is the one I've been looking at.

What about tapes? I didn't do a lot of HD on my HC3, but I knew I could record in HD mode to either inexpensive standard tapes or expensive HD tapes. Is there a difference in using these tapes?
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Old August 4th, 2008, 12:09 PM   #5
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I use Panasonic AY-DVM63AMQ in both and have done since new and all the time they are available I will use them, Canon HD tapes were too expensive here in the UK by about 3x the Panasonic AY-DVM63AMQ's when on "special".


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Old August 4th, 2008, 10:02 PM   #6
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It's a good idea to always use the best tape stock you can get. I tried out Panasonic AMQ and was happy for awhile but then started having serious dropouts from two different XH A1 cameras using tape from the same case. I switched to Sony PHDVM63 tapes and have had zero trouble. They cost almost double but worth it in my opinion. Others have used Panasonics and had no trouble at all. I guess it's just the luck of the draw.
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Old August 5th, 2008, 09:06 AM   #7
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Still Not Understanding Tapes

What I'm still not understanding about the tapes is:

I understand that when you shoot HD onto the HD tape, you wind up with real HD footage.

Does this hold true when you shoot HD onto a regular $2.75 Sony SD tape?

The question is important to me because:

What if I'm out one day shooting SD footage on regular sony tapes (because I have some VX2100s) and a great HD footage opportunity pops up, but I don't have any expensive tapes.

Do I forgo the HD opportunity and shoot SD on the cheap tape, or do I pop in a cheap tape and shoot in HD?

Thanks,
Scott
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Old August 5th, 2008, 01:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Routt View Post
Does this hold true when you shoot HD onto a regular $2.75 Sony SD tape?
Yes, it is exactly the same.
Some people, like me, use the cheap sony's all the time. Other people use expensive tapes.
Expensive HDV-tapes should have less or no dropouts, but that isn't for sure.
So, it is no problem to use the same tapes.
On the other hand, it is recommended to use the same tapebrand all the time. So if you want to use the cheap sony's, stick with them.
If you don't like them for whatever reason, use a tapecleaner and swith brands.
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Old August 6th, 2008, 08:50 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Pryor View Post
It's a good idea to always use the best tape stock you can get. I tried out Panasonic AMQ and was happy for awhile but then started having serious dropouts from two different XH A1 cameras using tape from the same case. I switched to Sony PHDVM63 tapes and have had zero trouble. They cost almost double but worth it in my opinion. Others have used Panasonics and had no trouble at all. I guess it's just the luck of the draw.
Hey Bill,

How long did you use the Panny AMQ's with your A1's until you switched to Sony? I too am seeing lots of dropouts, even after cleaning the heads... and I've been using the AMQ's. I'd like to switch over to Sony's tapes, but wasn't sure if it would gunk up my heads considering I've shot AMQ's with my A1 for about 40 tapes. Thanks for any help.
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Old August 6th, 2008, 07:59 PM   #10
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I also use HV30 as b-roll. Then a second HV30 mounted on merlin.
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Old August 6th, 2008, 09:42 PM   #11
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I don't mean to hijack the thread, but what are you guys doing to match the footage. I like some of the "less video" custom presets for the A1 and don't want to have to use A1 factory defaults just to match the HV20/30.

In other words, what can I do to the HV's settings when shooting (I always use full manual).

Thanks,

Bill
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Old August 6th, 2008, 11:11 PM   #12
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I have done some color matching of HV30 to Xh-A1. The result is quite good.

http://dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=116560
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Old August 10th, 2008, 12:52 AM   #13
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I've got an HV20, two, in fact. I'm thinking about selling them off to get some money back for an XH-A1, but I'm wondering if I can use the HV20 as a companion cam.

I'm not sure though - if I shoot 24F on the XH-A1, can I capture from the HV20 without needing to do an inverse telecine?

What about the HV30?
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Old August 10th, 2008, 01:08 AM   #14
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XH-A1 24F stores as 24fps on tape. Unlike PF24 in Hv20 and Hv30 that you need to remove pulldown.
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Old August 10th, 2008, 04:43 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Taky Cheung View Post
XH-A1 24F stores as 24fps on tape. Unlike PF24 in Hv20 and Hv30 that you need to remove pulldown.

Right, but what happens if I shoot on the XH-A1 in 24F, and want to capture using the HV20? Would that work? And if it works, can it be done directly in Final Cut Pro, or is there an intermediate step, like there is with the HV20 and inverse telecine?
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