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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 10th, 2008, 12:24 PM   #1
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Equipment List for noobs and others

I purchased a XH-A1 slightly used for a 3 week mission trip to South Africa at the beginning of the summer, and then spent approximately $1500 on accessories. I wanted to post what I bought in order to help others who might be in the same boat of buying a camera and then figuring out what else they would need to shoot.

I don't consider myself a top-notch professional who requires the best equipment, but I have been in video production for almost 10 years, and know enough to get by.

Please agree/disagree and discuss what you think, would love to create a place where noobs can get the info they need.

Computer - Already had a 1st gen Macbook Pro with Final Cut Pro
Camera - XHA1 purchased used with two batteries: $2700 (all $US)
Lens Filters - Canon FS-72 Filters $114 (Polarizer, UV, ND filters)
Wireless Microphone - Sennheiser ENG112 - $522
Shotgun Microphone - AT897 - $260 (Used on Ebay with Sennheiser plug-in transmitter)
1 foot XLR cable for shotgun - free, a friend made it for me
Shockmount for camera - Azden SMH-1 - $30
Panasonic DV Head Cleaner Tape - $5
25 Sony MiniDV Premium Tapes - $66
SD Card for Camera - 2 GB SD Card - $12
Tripod - Velbon Videomate 607 - $80
Headphones - Sennheiser CX-300 Earbuds - $46
Extra 500 GB hard drive for editing - $110 (already had a firewire external enclosure)
Bag - Think Tank Antidote $200 (fits in the overhead of a commuter jet) http://www.thinktankphoto.com/ttp_pr...ArprtAntdt.php
Total cost $4145

There were some things that I did not want to cut corners on, like the wireless mics. I have used the ENG112 before, and it works very well. I had to take a plane ride in South Africa on a commuter jet, and the Think Tank Antidote was the bag guaranteed to fit in the overhead, and it did! With the laptop and all my stuff in it, it weighed about 25 lbs. See attached picture for all the stuff in it.

I bought the Sennheiser earbuds because I knew I didn't want to wear big headphones on my head in the hot African sun but wanted something to block out some noise. They worked ok, and they block out some noise but not all. There is an issue though that when the wires connected to the earbud move, there is some thumping noise that you hear. Would I buy them again? Probably not, but they are usable for now.

The tripod was the one place that I cut a major corner that most people won't agree with. I needed something light because I was taking a bunch of other stuff on the trip and only had about 5-7 lbs of space in my suitcase. It was a bit too light, a breeze made the camera shift a bit, but it worked well enough for me, and maybe in the future I'll upgrade to a beefier tripod.

Other things I need to buy:
Lens cleaner/tissue for the lens - it was really dusty!
Dead Cat for the shotgun mic - there was a bit of wind noise

That's it for now, I hope this helps people who are trying to decide what to get. Thanks for having this forum, it was a great help in pulling together this equipment, and preparing me for the trip.

Here's the link to the sample clips thread where I posted the video:
http://dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.ph...865#post918865
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Old August 10th, 2008, 01:08 PM   #2
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Shotgun Microphone - AT897 - $260 (Used on Ebay with Sennheiser plug-in transmitter)

I remember bidding on that on ebay. I feel a lot better about losing know you put it to great use!
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Old August 11th, 2008, 07:05 AM   #3
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Nice buying but I'd get a Sony DV tape head cleaner to go with the Sony DV tapes. The Panasonic is a 'dry lube' type, all Sonys are wet lube type.

Cheers.
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Old August 11th, 2008, 11:13 AM   #4
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I remember bidding on that on ebay. I feel a lot better about losing know you put it to great use!
Ah, so you were the one bidding it up! I figured I was going to buy the shotgun for 267 and the plug in transmitter for another $100 anyway, so my top dollar figure was evidently higher than yours. Sorry about that, I hope you've found another one!

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Nice buying but I'd get a Sony DV tape head cleaner to go with the Sony DV tapes. The Panasonic is a 'dry lube' type, all Sonys are wet lube type.

Cheers.
Thanks Allan, wasn't aware of that, will have another ordered soon.
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Old August 11th, 2008, 12:50 PM   #5
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Other things I need to buy:
Lens cleaner/tissue for the lens - it was really dusty!
Hmmm, that reminds me a discussion I saw here a while ago...

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...ight=explosion and here: http://www.vimeo.com/1325720
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Old August 12th, 2008, 04:24 AM   #6
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Gaffa Tape.

The most usefull accessory I have in my bag.

For those "Oh bugger!" moments. It helps you turn a plastic bag into a rain-cover, turns a monopod into a sound boom, compensates for the lost lavalier clip, the lost receiver clip, the forgotten hot-shoe for the video-light.

Known to many as "flexible, multi-purpose attachment equipment".
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Old August 12th, 2008, 07:16 AM   #7
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I havent used gaffa tape - yet. Does it leave residues on whatever you've stuck it to? And if so, what do you use to clean it off?
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Old August 12th, 2008, 07:43 AM   #8
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I'm very interested in the Thinktank bag you have there. Does the A1 fit easily into it or is it a tight fit? Can you put the A1 in the bag even with the external mic holder attached?

I have a Pelicase for my A1, but I would consider getting one of these bags if it will securely transport the camera and its associated equipment, could be just the thing for avoiding the nervewracking check-in process with the Pelicase (never checked in my A1, just the case - but it's always a worry!)
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Old August 12th, 2008, 01:33 PM   #9
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Annie, proper "gaffa" tape shouldn't leave any deposit on walls, painted surfaces, clothing or skin. That's the beauty of the stuff. Make sure it is "gaffa" tape though, best bought from a reputable photo shop or rental house. Some firms sell "duct tape" as gaffa. It's not the same at all. Gaffa has a cloth-like feel to it whereas duct tape is more shiny and plasticky.
Duct tape often leaves a horrible residue which can usually be removed with white spirit. Gaffa tape peels off without a sign that it has even been there!
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Old August 12th, 2008, 03:40 PM   #10
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Gaffa Tape.

The most useful accessory I have in my bag.
Also known as gaffer's or gaff tape is quite useful. You're right about that, usually I'm able to swipe some from somewhere. I take a sharpie and wrap the tape around it just so I don't have to carry a whole roll all the time. You can buy it anywhere and comes in a bunch of colors. http://tinyurl.com/5khss4

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I'm very interested in the Thinktank bag you have there. Does the A1 fit easily into it or is it a tight fit? Can you put the A1 in the bag even with the external mic holder attached?...could be just the thing for avoiding the nervewracking check-in process with the Pelicase (never checked in my A1, just the case - but it's always a worry!)
I actually removed my external mic holder and slide my shockmount into the hotshoe. But the XHA1 fits fine with the holder still attached. I've attached more pics of the bag below.

This bag worked out well for me as a backpack, and it doesn't look like a camera bag, and you can keep the lens hood still attached inside the bag. The laptop bag goes on the outside, and to me seems somewhat unsecure, like someone could lift it out at anytime. While carrying it at the airport, I would lock the laptop strap to one of the rings on the bag. There was no problem carrying this bag on any size plane and fitting it under the seat or in the overhead.

Also, if you're taller than 6' this bag won't fit very well on your back, it would be a little small. I'm 5'9" and the bag fit me very well. It was nice to be able to attach the tripod to the side of the bag and walk around with it.

If I had seen this bag before I bought the Think Tank I would have bought it, just because I'm a sucker for cool looking backpacks, but the Think Tank will be just fine. http://dvinfo.net/conf/showpost.php?...2&postcount=38
Attached Thumbnails
Equipment List for noobs and others-xha1-antidote.jpg   Equipment List for noobs and others-bag-packed.jpg  

Equipment List for noobs and others-bag-laptop.jpg   Equipment List for noobs and others-shooting-bag.jpg  

Equipment List for noobs and others-bag-tripod.jpg  
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Old August 13th, 2008, 03:12 AM   #11
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Excellent, thanks for the extra pictures. That's certainly given me some food for thought.
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Old August 13th, 2008, 09:07 AM   #12
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Awesome thread. I'm hoping to get an XH-A1 over the next couple months (hope it will still be smart too and that there's nothing new and more exciting out). I had been wondering for a while what other accessories I should plan on getting in addition to my XH-A1 when I first get it so this thread helps.

I think I'm probably going to get the AT822 microphone though because that's the advice I received over on the Minidisc forums (I use a Sony MZ-RH1 Minidisc recorder). Here's the thread recommending the AT822 in case anyone's interested:
http://forums.minidisc.org/index.php...opic=15910&hl=
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Old August 13th, 2008, 09:21 AM   #13
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Personally I'd highly reccomend springing for a Sennhierser K6 kit http://www.sennheiser.co.uk/uk/icm.n...hones_k6_03279

You choose from a variety of different heads, and expand your kit over time, so it will give you a lot more versatility than that AT822 seems to offer.

Very expensive, but worth every penny.
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Old October 6th, 2008, 01:01 PM   #14
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hi,
how did your tripod work out? I didnt see ay panning in your film. I also need a lightwieight tripod for a combodia trip..

do you think that a second pair of lavs wouild have been more practical?

grtz
niels
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Old October 7th, 2008, 09:47 PM   #15
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hi,
how did your tripod work out? I didnt see ay panning in your film. I also need a lightwieight tripod for a combodia trip..
Well, you get what you pay for! Could I have panned with it? Yes. The head movement is somewhat smooth, and you can adjust the drag on both the tilt and the pan.

It is a light tripod, and is subject to being blown in the wind a bit. I did some shooting by the ocean in South Africa, and noticed it shifting in the wind.

I will use it again when I go back, just for the fact that if I have to carry it around on my back by myself, this is a better alternative. But, if you have a grip or a sherpa who can carry equipment for you, and you can stow it away in your luggage to fly with it, then get a beefier tripod. The Libec 22 is on the edge of being big enough for the XHA1, the Libec 38 should work well, but is more weight and more $$$.

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hi,
do you think that a second pair of lavs would have been more practical?
If you are referring to a wireless lav, no, because I never shot two people on a mic at one time. I had the lav on one channel, and a shotgun mic on the other. If you are going o be doing interviews with say a host and an interviewee, then yes, two lavs would be practical.

The fact of the matter is that a second lav would cost twice as much money! (Meaning I bought one for $500 US, two would be $1000 total. And that was 500 more than I wanted to spend!

Best of luck on your shoot, I'm sure Cambodia is lovely that time of year!
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