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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 November 2nd, 2008, 10:07 AM   #16
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Haven't been out in the deep cold with my XL2, but I've shot 35mm still frames for years in all weather. The rules are basically the same for video.

#1: Avoid sudden camera changes in temperature, particularly when going from cold to warm. Moisture will condense on the cold camera when you bring it into a warmer environment. A well-padded equipment case will help slow the change in temperature.

#2: If you're shooting in the cold, keep the camera cold until you're through for the day. If you're moving locations, stow the camera in the car's trunk (unless it's a very short move).

#3: It's less of a sin to go from warm to cold than from cold to warm. It's unlikely anything will condense on a warm camera.

#4: The chemical handwarmers are a good idea, especially near the tape transport. Lubrication works better when warmer, and there are a lot of moving parts in the transport.

#5: When you're through shooting for the day, seal the camera in a large zip-lock plastic bag BEFORE going inside, and allow it to warm up to room temperature before opening the bag. This eliminates moisture condensing on the cold camera.

#6: The tape will be the slowest thing to warm up, because it's plastic and doesn't conduct heat as well as metal. If I was in a hurry, I'd pop the tape while out in the cold, seal it in a small zip-lock bag, and then put the bag in my shirt pocket underneath my outer gear. That way, it can warm up faster on the way home.

#7: Mittens work better than gloves for situations where you can pull them off briefly to make adjustments. For really cold work, I'd use a pair of mechanic's gloves with the fingertips cut off underneath the mittens.

#8: The pain in your feet WILL go away when you're standing barefoot in calf-high icy water to get the perfect shot. Be aware that when it quits hurting, it's time to get out and put your socks and boots back on.

Martin
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Old November 3rd, 2008, 09:30 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Catt View Post
#8: The pain in your feet WILL go away when you're standing barefoot in calf-high icy water to get the perfect shot. Be aware that when it quits hurting, it's time to get out and put your socks and boots back on.

Martin
haha True Dedication
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Old November 3rd, 2008, 10:14 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Martin Catt View Post
#3: It's less of a sin to go from warm to cold than from cold to warm. It's unlikely anything will condense on a warm camera.

Martin
But watch out for dew condensing on the camera bag while you're busy shooting in the other direction. Make sure the bag is closed and zippered.
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Old November 9th, 2008, 06:00 PM   #19
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Low temperature problems

Here is a calibration point on low temperature problems with the A1.
I was shooting wolves in the snow in Yellowstone last month. The temperature was somewhere between 17 and 20 degrees F. I was shooting with a bare camera, much easier to operate and sometimes you have to be very fast. Anyway, everything looked fine, but when I played the tape back the first minute or so was blank. The tape was moving, but nothing got recorded. After that everything was OK. I guess it just needed to warm up a little, but a little scary that there was no indication that it wasn't recording properly.

The portabrace mitten and rain cover are good products. I used the mitten on by GL-2 in Antarctica with the hand warmers in the mitten and on me :)

Although, I didn't have a problem with battery life in the cold, the hand warmers (or is it foot warmers) can be just stuck to the back or side of the camera since one of them has an adhesive back.

The other option for keeping the battery warm is to use the Canon 2 battery adapter and just keep it under your jacket and run the cord to the camera.

Rick
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Old November 9th, 2008, 06:35 PM   #20
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haha True Dedication
I'd taken several shots from that position every time the seasons had changed. I wasn't going to let a foot of fast-flowing ice with snow keep me from getting a matching shot (it rarely snows heavily enough to stick around here, and we'd gotten four inches overnight). My photographic projects (and likewise my video projects) have timelines that run years to finish.

Martin
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Old November 22nd, 2008, 09:50 PM   #21
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I shot today around 12 F and the camera had a horrable trail behind fast moving footage. I was using a portabrace rain coat but not the winter set up. I got some hand warmers today and will be trying it out tommrow. It almost seemed as my framerate was not fast enough but i had it set as fast as possible.
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Old November 22nd, 2008, 10:18 PM   #22
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Low Frame rate

Craig-
Interesting. Try the hand warmers inside the rain coat. But it still doesn't make sense. When you find out more, please let us know. I know I will be there some day.

Rick
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Old November 22nd, 2008, 10:23 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Craig Stay View Post
I shot today around 12 F and the camera had a horrable trail behind fast moving footage. I was using a portabrace rain coat but not the winter set up. I got some hand warmers today and will be trying it out tommrow. It almost seemed as my framerate was not fast enough but i had it set as fast as possible.
Was the trailing on the actual downloaded footage, or just on the LCD viewfinder? I know LCD's "slow down" when they're cold, so it may just be the apparent "trailing" was caused by the cold viewfinder, and may not be on the tape itself.

Martin
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Old November 22nd, 2008, 10:28 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Craig Stay View Post
It almost seemed as my framerate was not fast enough but i had it set as fast as possible.
Can you give the particulars? Frame rate, shutter, iris? Also, how long were you in the cold before you got this shot?

I've been out in 15-20F weather for a couple of hours, shooting intermittently with nothing on the camera but a PortaBrace rain cover. No heat applied. No problems.
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Old November 22nd, 2008, 10:33 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Rick Llewellyn View Post
The temperature was somewhere between 17 and 20 degrees F. I was shooting with a bare camera, much easier to operate and sometimes you have to be very fast. Anyway, everything looked fine, but when I played the tape back the first minute or so was blank. The tape was moving, but nothing got recorded. After that everything was OK.
Sounds like tape or head issues. Same question as for Craig... sort of. How long was the camera dormant and cold before you started shooting? Could be that the tape was too stiff to mate properly with the heads. Am I grabbing at straws? You betcha.
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 02:37 PM   #26
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I've found the PortaBrace rain cover keeps the A1 motor heat inside the unit on a very cold shoot.

But I left my A1 sealed in its Pelican 1510 case overnight in the car trunk last winter.
Next morning the cam was very cold, couldn't unscrew the filter. I let it warm up in the car for 30mins before powering it up and spooling the tape.

Same with the RODE NTG-3 in the Pelican, its aluminium black tube was literally frozen. Going to be the reverse here this coming summer.

Cheers.
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Old November 24th, 2008, 08:19 AM   #27
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ok so an update. there was no specific framerate as i changed it alot to try to get it correct. i used Auto and full manual neither fixed the problem. After everything warmed back up i put the tape back in and tried to review the footage and there was nothing recorded. That being said i went up Sunday to film again this time armed with a bag of hard warmers and duct tape :) and when i first got there i started filming and noticed it happening again slightly. so i put more hand warmers on. in total i had 5 once i had 5 on there and kept the rain jacket tight things smoothed out and it starting working well. Now when i reviewed the footage from Sunday. the first bit i recorded would cut in and out only small chunks recorded and once the camera warmed up it worked great. These are probably some of the worst conditions i will ever film in being COLD Windy and standing under Snow Guns and getting soaked.

Here are some stills to give u guys an idea of the conditions.
Attached Thumbnails
Shooting in the Cold-n1467196445_30139910_3082.jpg   Shooting in the Cold-n1467196445_30139909_1805.jpg  

Shooting in the Cold-n1467196445_30139920_3982.jpg   Shooting in the Cold-n1467196445_30139903_1797.jpg  

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Old November 24th, 2008, 02:49 PM   #28
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XH-A1 better in the cold because . . .

I selected the XH-A1 over some other units because it actually has a feature that makes it better suited to cold weather use - the enclosed battery compartment. I saw a review that complained about the door because it made changing batteries slower. That's a consideration. However, the two Digic processors and the closed battery compartment help those batteries do better in the cold!
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Old December 9th, 2008, 07:36 AM   #29
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After using it more now it is fine in weather down to about 15 degrees F. But once your footage starts looking slow or there are trails behind fast moving objects its time to warm up your camera. When your footage looks like that chances are you are not getting any footage recorded to tape. I wonder if using a lubricated tape makes it worse? The lubrication gets to viscus and wont record well?
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Old December 10th, 2009, 07:55 AM   #30
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Cold weather shooting with XHA1

I was shooting some footage in 17 degrees a few nights ago and my footage had some spots that looked like freeze frames and when i play back the tape the counter stops moving on those same places, not sure if this is from the cold. Now one time i got a message in the view finder in red font but it went away so fast I didn't get to read it . and the camera kept recording.
I'm using a battery belt that batteries plus built for me. and its full charged, now canon told me that the XHA1's perfect conditions are 32 degrees - 104 degree Fahrenheit. anyone have any thoughts on the message i could have got?
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