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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 14th, 2008, 11:52 PM   #1
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time lapse

Hello
I would like to shoot flower opening on time laps with my XH-A1 , what setting do I need to use ? I think it will be about 40 minute continuous shooting.
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Old November 15th, 2008, 12:00 AM   #2
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Sorry there is no time lapse setting on the XHA1.

Regards Alan
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Old November 15th, 2008, 12:14 AM   #3
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Sorry there is no time lapse setting on the XHA1.

Regards Alan
Thanks Alan;
So XH-A1 can't do it ?
Actually I'm thinking of getting the Sony EX1 as a second cam.
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Old November 15th, 2008, 01:36 AM   #4
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If it's only 40 minutes, why not just shoot it and then speed it up in post?
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Old November 15th, 2008, 09:28 AM   #5
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There's no special setting necessary, but it is best to ensure that the light is constant. Shooting outside on a partly cloudy day will lead to problems, as the changes will be abrupt and not pretty.

For best results, use as solid a tripod as you can find. If you have control over the lighting, lock the exposure and roll for the 40 minutes, then increase the speed in post. If the light is variable, lock the aperture somewhere between f1.8 and F5.6, and let the camera adjust the shutter speed (Av on the dial). With the aperture locked, at least the depth of field won't be constantly changing.Make sure that automatic white balance and automaic gain are both off.
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Old November 15th, 2008, 11:17 AM   #6
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For time lapse I use a fully manual setting.

To reduce the jerky look you can speed it up in steps, adding a little motion blur each time.
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Old November 15th, 2008, 12:32 PM   #7
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What If you tried doing it in your house, where you can control the lighting?
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Old November 16th, 2008, 02:54 AM   #8
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Some related thoughts:

- tape cameras like XH-A1 can not do time lapse because the recording mechanism can not record individual frames to tape accuratelly enough. Also the constant starting and stopping of the tape would wear out the system fast. Memory card cameras can do it.

- One possiblity of doing time lapse with XH-A1 is to use Canon Console or DVRack type software, where the individual frames are recorded to laptop. As this system is fully software based with no moving parts, the frame rate can be anything from 30 fps to 1 fph.

- Second, very popular and flexible system which gives best results is to use a dSLR either with built in intervalometer (new Nikons), remote intervalometer (at least Canon has one), or laptop control software (comes with Canons). Shots are taken at set intervals, imported to the editing system which can turn numbered sequences automatically into video. The positives of this is higher quality and initial resolution (possibility to make slow pans & zooms inside the frame). Usually the smallest JPG size and quality is good enough for video.

I have used the last system several times for flowers (also building projects). The shooting times have been 2-3 hours (12 to 72 hours for buildings), and the best results with flowers I got by shooting at midnight with halogen lights (Ianiro readheads). Steady light and faster bud opening. Frame rate has been one frame/10 seconds, which is fast enough and usually I have to speed up the video in post about 200-400%. Try to shield the fowers from the wind.

Hope this helps.
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Old November 19th, 2008, 03:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Petri Kaipiainen View Post
Some related thoughts:

- tape cameras like XH-A1 can not do time lapse...
the sony vx2000 does time lapse. not positive but I think the dvx100 does as well.
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Old November 19th, 2008, 05:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Petri Kaipiainen View Post
Some related thoughts:

- tape cameras like XH-A1 can not do time lapse because the recording mechanism can not record individual frames to tape accuratelly enough. Also the constant starting and stopping of the tape would wear out the system fast. Memory card cameras can do it.

- One possiblity of doing time lapse with XH-A1 is to use Canon Console or DVRack type software, where the individual frames are recorded to laptop. As this system is fully software based with no moving parts, the frame rate can be anything from 30 fps to 1 fph.

- Second, very popular and flexible system which gives best results is to use a dSLR either with built in intervalometer (new Nikons), remote intervalometer (at least Canon has one), or laptop control software (comes with Canons). Shots are taken at set intervals, imported to the editing system which can turn numbered sequences automatically into video. The positives of this is higher quality and initial resolution (possibility to make slow pans & zooms inside the frame). Usually the smallest JPG size and quality is good enough for video.

I have used the last system several times for flowers (also building projects). The shooting times have been 2-3 hours (12 to 72 hours for buildings), and the best results with flowers I got by shooting at midnight with halogen lights (Ianiro readheads). Steady light and faster bud opening. Frame rate has been one frame/10 seconds, which is fast enough and usually I have to speed up the video in post about 200-400%. Try to shield the fowers from the wind.

Hope this helps.
That's not true. The XL-1s used to have a time lapse function.
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Old November 19th, 2008, 05:43 PM   #11
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I have been doing 20 hour timelaps recordings in the past with a dv camera attached to a harddisk videorecorder and captured the whole thing afterwards to my pc with a pvr350 card and speeded up the footage. I"m not sure if this wil work with a HD cam though.
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Old November 19th, 2008, 06:33 PM   #12
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What's funny is that the Canon GL2 has a time-lapse feature, but when I "upgraded" to the XH-A1 I no longer have that feature. I love my A1, but why take out a feature like that? I don't get it.
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Old November 19th, 2008, 10:01 PM   #13
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Travis, I just started to post a reply but hit the TAB key - a habit from using Eudora for email - and I don't know whether the reply was deleted or what, so here goes again!

As far as I know the GL2 doesn't do single-frame captures but it does have a feature called "Interval Timer" that can be set to take a burst of frames every x seconds (etc). However, according to page 69 of the GL2 manual, the minimum burst is half a second, i.e. 15 frames, which is probably not ideal.

If you are happy to work in SD, you can connect the XHA1 to a Mac via the FireWire port, and use a program such as SecuritySpy to capture single frames at whatever interval you choose. The program can present them to you as a movie. You will need to deactivate the Power Save function on the XHA1 or else the camera will turn itself off, even with the tape removed or the camera set to card. The simplest way seems to be to use the mains power adapter in place of the battery, but I see that you can deactivate the Power Save function via the Customize menu also.

I have just finished digitizing a number of old 8 mm standard 8 home movies that date back to 1937 (when I was one year old), and in a sense this was like a time-lapse capture. However, for this I used a modified projector, a Vivitar VHE enlarging lens, and a Sony DXC-950 3 CCD color camera. The program of choice for this was CaptureMate, which captures one frame for each (automated) push of the mouse button. If you have an interval timer switch, you could use a similar setup with the XHA1. But again, you would need to work in SD.
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Old November 20th, 2008, 03:22 AM   #14
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The GL2/XM2 interval recording feature doesn't give smooth results - even at its shortest time settings, you get a jerky result because it records the equivalent of several frames each time.

This is a problem with digital cameras using tape. The Sony A1 has a time lapse or interval feature, but you are recording a series of stills to the memory card.

I suspect that several editing programs offer a time lapse feature when the camera is connected to the computer. Premiere Elements 4 does it under the heading of "stop motion" - and it works fine if you're working indoors with a suitable power supply - my laptop battery dies too quickly for it to be of much use outside (where most of my subjects are).
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Old November 20th, 2008, 05:43 AM   #15
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Interval feature offered by some cameras is NOT a proper time lapse, they take bursts of frames precisely because they can not record single frames to tape reliably enough. Like I said, and true.

The best and most flexible results are obtained with a DSLR and "import as a numbered sequence" function in the video editor.
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