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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 December 17th, 2008, 10:17 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colin McDonald View Post
In Disneyland Paris in October, I found I could use an HV-30 without attracting attention which will not surprise you, (my family refused point blank to let me take my A1 - just as well) but I could add a monopod, support bracket and Sennheiser G2 on-camera receiver to the HV-30 and still not get a second glance. However, the minute I started to wear headphones, then the "A1 effect" described here kicked in. I might as well have had a shouldermount camera, soundman with boompole and a producer with a clipboard. Don't tell Ty Ford, but I ended up not monitoring the audio a lot of the time so that I could fit in with the crowd. The oddest thing was that in shops, even although one or other of my kids was quite obviously tooled up with a radio mic with bodypack fully in view, people noticed it but didn't react.

The other trigger to attracting attention was anything grey and furry on the camera, so no shotgun outside.
I think it's just hysterical that your family members wore wireless mics. Like some kind of family reality-TV show...that isn't on TV. My wife and kids are used to having a camera monitor their movements, but I think they'd draw the line at being wired up. Anyway, great idea -- I'm sure your video sounded great as a result.

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Old December 17th, 2008, 12:18 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Benjamin Steeples View Post
Have a cop see you and you are explaining it is a home movie to avoid a ticket.
Why would you get a ticket for shooting video in a public place? Or did I just read that wrong....

-John
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Old December 17th, 2008, 01:46 PM   #18
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Welcome to LA

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Originally Posted by John B. Nelson View Post
Why would you get a ticket for shooting video in a public place? Or did I just read that wrong....

-John
John,

In LA as with most cities you have to have a film permit to do just about anything. Any filming above and beyond a home movie or a news oriented shoot, i.e. web news cast street interviews, or actual broadcast news, requires a permit. This extends beyond just public places to include private as well. If you are shooting a short film in your buddies house in LA you are required by law to have a film permit, which mind you cost over $300 a piece. Now if the shoot is small and the neighbors don't notice or mind, then keep it quite and do your thing. But once it spills out onto streets, people care, especailly cops.

I produced a short film for film school where we attained permission and permit to shoot in the park area along the Venice Beach boardwalk. I was perfectly legal, the crew was legal, and we didn't interfere with traffic, parking, or the houses lining our location. Yet I spent the majority of the day on the phone with Film L.A. aka the film permit office, answering complaints from the house owners because they didn't feel it was right and it was distracting. Mind you if we had not been there all nice and neatly setup that grassy area would have been populated by homeless bums, go figure.

Welcome to LA.

I know probably way more answer than you were looking for in that question.
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Old December 17th, 2008, 02:30 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Geoffrey Cox View Post
Well yes I agree people take you more seriously with the A1 but it's not always a good thing as I realised when shooting in Toxteth, Liverpool recently - all I can say is I was glad I was not on my own and had a car to get away in. The camera does look very cool and EXPENSIVE!
That's why I keep my HV20. It's great for B-rolls (it's used on a lot of pro HD shoots) and it looks like any crappy consumer camcorder.


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Old December 17th, 2008, 03:26 PM   #20
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This is a slight diversion but reading this thread brought back some memories of when I started in TV news. This was back in the 80's we did a local nightly newscast, had a huge Sharp camera (they were all huge back then) tethered to the VTR. These were the days before one piece units. so a crew of 3, camera, audio and reporter. We're out covering various events, and would get people commenting "WOBM is here" "You're from WOBM?"

Now WOBM had a great reputation for local news, I worked there years later, but WOBM was a local RADIO station. Why these people thought the RADIO station would need a TV camera is beyond me. I would just smile and tell them where we were from and got quizzical looks like "there's a local tv newscast?"
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Old December 17th, 2008, 05:52 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Colin McDonald View Post
The other trigger to attracting attention was anything grey and furry on the camera, so no shotgun outside.
The closest I've gotten to any type of attention I was shooting fall foliage with the full kit and someone in a group of bicyclists yelled, "hey look, that guy has a badger on his camera."
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Old December 17th, 2008, 08:20 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Benjamin Steeples View Post
I know probably way more answer than you were looking for in that question.
No, not at all. I was unaware that you needed a film permit, even for amateur productions. A good thing to know if/when I do some serious film work. Thanks for your answer, I found it very interesting.

-John
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Old December 17th, 2008, 09:01 PM   #23
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I shoot a fair bit for the news, and currently have been shooting public drunkenness problems we have in our town. I used to use a Sony HVR-A1 which was small enough (and with the XLR adaptor removed) to pass unnoticed. Now when I set up my Canon, I'm a much more obvious presence, resulting in a few angry drunk people threatening me. However it does make for much more dramatic footage, much to the delight of the reporters!
Also, there were a few reporters who refused to take me seriously with the Sony, although it produced fair images which were certainly better than some of the other reporters cameras, simply because it looked 'too small'. Now with the canon, their fears are relieved.
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Old December 18th, 2008, 08:19 PM   #24
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happened yesterday. Trying to film the snow storm in vegas. I was doing a shot of the roads blocked off and the cops decided it would be nice to put their spotlight on me so I couldn't get the shot. They didn't ask me questions or anything like that. It was just to prevent me from shooting. Just to make them mad I shot a little longer acting like it didn't bother me..LOL
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Old December 18th, 2008, 08:57 PM   #25
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Thankfully New York City has finally codified some clear and reasonable rules on using cameras in public. It's already complicated enough being an NYC police officer without having to worry about every camera in sight, they've got more important things to worry about. I still get the misc. public servant "busy body", who didn't get the memo, so I always carry some official printouts of the rules to hand out.

Funny thing about New York City, nobody really bats an eye if anyone is walking around with a large camera, even the big broadcast cameras don't get much notice. Production teams walking around with a couple of cameras, reflectors, and a sound booms are a daily event. You almost have to have an entire production crew shutting down a block before people even seem to get get mildly interested.

A couple of weeks ago, I was late for a meeting and went running out of my apartment and next thing I know I'm in the middle of one of those "re-decorate the apartment shows". Apparently a PA had cleared the hallway for the talent to come out a door, down the hallway, and out the front door. My apt door was exactly across from apt being renovated. They actually filmed me all the way out the front door, before someone realized I wasn't the "guy" they were supposed to be shooting. Being in a hurry, I didn't pay the any attention to them as I breezed down the hallway, past the camera, crew, and director and right into a cab coming down the street. It was very amusing to hear them all squawking at the PA as my cab drove away.
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Old December 19th, 2008, 04:58 PM   #26
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Great post as I was just thinking of the same.

I have a small Canon HF11 for light, pack and go occasions and usually get nothing more than a glance. I, along with the masses must fight for space to get the shot.

Several weeks ago, I attended a motorcycle show. I had my XHA1 mounted on a monopod and just walked with the photogs to their designated space. I was even asked by security if I was the photographer he was to escort to the private area! The "Progressive" girls stand and take pics with the masses, but "flirt" with the XHA1. Fun!

Last week at the San Diego Wild Animal Park I was capturing video of one of the turtles when the keeper came over and opened the gate so the turtle could walk out. I captures some really nice footage with the A1 sitting on the ground. Another keeper actually gave me a cart ride to one of the viewing areas.

Yes the A1 does get noticed, but in a good way.
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Old December 19th, 2008, 05:29 PM   #27
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I spent 3 days in a small town Scapoli, Molise in Southern Italy filming a music festival and was asked at least 15 times what TV station I was with. I had two condenser mics mounted on top of the A1 and it looked somewhat like the star treck enterprise. I looked more professional than the guys from RAI.

In the town of San Gregorio Magno, Campania a lamb was slaughtered and a fest was given in my honor. I can still taste the hand made ravioli. I was personally escorted everywhere by the town's former chief of police who got so involved with the project that he started directing shots and subjects as if they were actors! (ok he's my cousin's husband).

In Catanzaro, Calabria people started coming out of the woodwork to be a part of the production. I finally had to tell my friends I was done and that I couldn't film everyone Southern Italy.

In Adrano, Sicily, Trying to film one poem turned into a group of Sicilian poets beginning an impromptu competition for the camera as to who could display the most prolific oration in Sicilian dialect. One of the poems was 20 minuets long.

In Catania, a beautiful Sicilian madonna accompanied me to film b-roll in the fish market (well ok, we were dating).

In 5 weeks I never had to purchase a single meal or wash my own clothes. Someone's wife always took care of me. I was offered copious amounts of home made wine, cheese and Salami. I was escorted everywhere. You would have thought I was the pope. At one point I was "kidnapped" by one of my hosts and forced to endure a tour of Salerno when I really wanted to be out shooting b-roll. A tall American (who speaks italian) with a video camera is a big deal in Southern Italy.
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Old December 20th, 2008, 10:58 AM   #28
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A tall American (who speaks italian) with a video camera is a big deal in Southern Italy.
You just about sold me on a trip to Southern Italy. What if I don't speak Italian? ;)
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Old December 20th, 2008, 11:10 AM   #29
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People would still be nice to you but it would be difficult. It's not like other parts of Europe where everyone speaks English. I didn't speak English for 5 weeks. I think my doc would have been impossible if I didn't speak Italian. In fact in some remote areas the older people don't even speak Italian, they only speak regional dialects. Sometimes I would have to have someone translate their dialect into standard Italian for me. Fortunately, I can understand a lot of Sicilian so when in Sicily this wasn't as big a problem.
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Old December 21st, 2008, 12:14 PM   #30
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People would still be nice to you but it would be difficult. It's not like other parts of Europe where everyone speaks English. I didn't speak English for 5 weeks. I think my doc would have been impossible if I didn't speak Italian.
Sounds like greate footage and anecdotes for your DVD extras (or making-of feature).


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