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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 October 22nd, 2008, 01:14 AM   #1
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XH-A1 to MiniDV and Hard Drive...?

Hey guys, quick question here. I'll be using an XH-A1 on a shoot this weekend and I would love to be able to record to MiniDV tapes while the camera also exports via firewire to my mac which could capture the signal in FCP. Is this possible? Or am I stuck wasting a day capturing hours of footage like I usually do.

Another potential option is to only record to the hard drive of my computer, however this worries me and I would really prefer to have a tape just in case.

Thanks!
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 08:01 AM   #2
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This is 100% possible. If you shoot 24F, Final Cut Pro will capture it as 24P without any pulldown (this is layed to tape the same way). So you can just edit right away.

I'd shoot both to HD and Tape so you have a backup in case of HD failure or accidental deletion of footage (I've seen it before).
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 09:41 AM   #3
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Quicktime works pretty well for this too, if you don't want to run FCP for it.
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 01:19 PM   #4
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Thanks a lot guys for the quick replies. I am asking because I have an 8 hour shoot on a Saturday where I will have a rented XH-A1 (I sadly sold mine) and I had scheduled Sunday to just be capturing the tapes. However, if I can avoid importing the tapes, I can enjoy some California sun on Sunday, no pun intended, instead of babysitting the capture process.

I have never captured in quicktime, how is this done? I have quicktime pro v7.5.5 . Do you just set the Video source in preferences and then click file-new movie recording?

Also, if I save these files directly to an external hard drive via firewire, while capturing, do you think there will be bottleneck issues with firewire? The external hard drive is 7200 rpm.

Thanks a lot guys, I really appreciate your wisdom on this one!
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 02:38 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Matt OBrien View Post
Also, if I save these files directly to an external hard drive via firewire, while capturing, do you think there will be bottleneck issues with firewire?
Yes, if the camera and the drive are on the same bus. Been there, done that, never worked.

Of course, if you have a mac with two firewire buses it works if the drive and the camera are on different buses. Or it works with and USB drive.
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Old October 24th, 2008, 03:50 PM   #6
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I've always recorded footage directly to hard disk with an XHA1 daisy chained though a firewire external drive. 3 hour shoots have always worked with my first generation MacBook Pro, DV or HDV. A hard drive connected via USB has worked too, but it seemed like it was pushing the limits a tad too far for my liking.

As for quicktime, yes it works just how you think it does. Make sure the audio and video are selected to come from the camera, set the quality to "native" and then make sure that the destination is set to the external drive. Then hit file--> new movie recording, click the red record button and you're ready to go.

Good luck on your shoot, I think I'd rather have a beautiful day in California too compared to logging tapes in a dark basement!
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Old May 31st, 2009, 09:42 AM   #7
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xh a1 to Hard drive with Quicktime...

Hi am exploring the DV Controll setting on the xh a1 and it gives me the DVZ- - - after switching it on the DV external recording mode. I tried few different harddrives and an external drive, also set it on SD dv mode, but no luck. Are the computers just out of date, powermac G5 2.3 GHz...
What am I doing wrong, that it is connecting firewire to the drive. On the Quicktime the computer recognized the camera, opened a video recording window which is just black, and does record only sound.

???

Cheers,
J
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Old June 1st, 2009, 01:50 PM   #8
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John, a few things:

1. You don't need to set your camera to DVcontrol.

2. Don't set the camera to the "EXT" setting. Just use any of the normal shooting modes on the selector wheel (P, A, S, M, etc).

As long as everything is hooked up firewire and quicktime is recognizing the camera you should be good to go. I think it's the EXT setting that's messing you up.
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Old June 17th, 2009, 09:12 AM   #9
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I'm sorry for any confusion on my post about capturing "directly to hard drive." I should have said capture from camera through a laptop to an external drive.

I hook up the firewire from the camera into a firewire hard drive, then hook up the other firewire coming from the drive into a laptop and record using quicktime pro.
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Old August 7th, 2013, 10:28 AM   #10
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Re: XH-A1 to MiniDV and Hard Drive...?

I know this thread is old, but I'm curious as to whether or not there is any difference in quality between going to tape and going directly to the hard drive (via QuickTime)? Is there compression on the tape that you won't find going direct?

Thanks,
Kevin
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Old August 7th, 2013, 07:22 PM   #11
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Re: XH-A1 to MiniDV and Hard Drive...?

Quicktime records the digital signal through Firewire to the HDV format. Since HDV tape is also digital, the recorded video should be identical. When I needed to go back to tape after a quicktime import failed / computer died / cable unplugged, the tape footage matched the computer footage exactly. There is a good reason to always do both for the backup purposes.

You would need to use a dedicated capture device and the component outputs to get anything "better," which is debatable anyway...
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Old August 7th, 2013, 08:00 PM   #12
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Re: XH-A1 to MiniDV and Hard Drive...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Bayer View Post
.. is any difference in quality between going to tape and going directly to the hard drive (via QuickTime)? Is there compression on the tape that you won't find going direct?

Thanks,
Kevin
No. There is no difference. As stated already, the HDV captured to tape is identical to the HDV captured over FW.
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Old August 8th, 2013, 08:03 AM   #13
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Re: XH-A1 to MiniDV and Hard Drive...?

The only differences I woud expect would be the result of any tape playback drop-outs/read errors (usually rare), or capture problem at the computer (most commonly caused by a slow computer).
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