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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 21st, 2008, 06:06 PM   #31
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Too much public attention may not be very good and therefore I am considering a Canon 5D Mk II SLR camera instead of a big HD camcorder for shooting personal video. The retail price of both (5D body only) are almost the same in HK.
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Old December 23rd, 2008, 02:47 PM   #32
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Here in the thriving metropolis of Abilene, Texas, people always call me "the news guy" and can't wait to get in front of the camera. People bring their kids up to me and hold their hands and make them wave. Young kids all get in front of me and start talking "cool" so I'll take their picture. Older folks smile and make sure their hair looks good. Its an advantage for what I spend most of my time doing -- freelancing for the local newpaper's video website. It makes getting the story much easier.
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Old December 23rd, 2008, 04:57 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by David Marker View Post
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.
Hey David I am going to Sicily (vacation) in a few weeks and taking the Canon HV30 and possibly the XH-A1. Anything I shouldn't miss while my wife and I are there?
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Old December 24th, 2008, 08:13 AM   #34
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Hey David I am going to Sicily (vacation) in a few weeks and taking the Canon HV30 and possibly the XH-A1. Anything I shouldn't miss while my wife and I are there?
Kale,

Piazza Armerina has some Roman ruins that are interesting to see. I used to live in Italy and took several trips to Sicily. One of the most intriguing points for me was that the Sicilians used to put house facades on top of caves in the side of mountains. In some cases, the facade has partially fallen and you can see the cave in the back of the facade. My personal experience with the Sicilians is that they are a warm people. Yes, many of the older ones speak a dialect but many of the younger ones will speak a better Italian and some of those will speak English. They really like to speak English.

Anyhow, have a good time and enjoy the beauty of the island.
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Old December 24th, 2008, 10:15 AM   #35
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Thanks David, I think I will just take the HV30 as to not bring that much attention to myself.
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Old December 24th, 2008, 11:13 AM   #36
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We shoot lots of events in my hometown, and we also are hired by the local football team to film all the games every year, home and away. We printed up cheap "press passes" and laminated them, put them on lanyards. Every single stadium we go to, when we carry in the A1s, they just open the gate and smile. The best was at the Alamodome, no one even batted an eyelash, just asked if we needed anything and showed us in for free.
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Old December 24th, 2008, 07:51 PM   #37
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We printed up cheap "press passes" and laminated them, put them on lanyards.
I've found, in former careers, that the people who get access look and act like they belong there. Yours is a good twist on that approach. I'll have to try that sometime.
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Old December 25th, 2008, 12:59 AM   #38
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Kale, What part of Sicily will you be visiting? It's such an interesting place that if you have a good eye you can find something beautiful almost anywhere you go. You will probably find the best stuff to film away from the tourist areas. I suggest renting a car and driving to some small towns. If you are in Eastern Sicily, take a day trip up to the top of Mt. Etna, the volcano. Or if you are near Palermo go to Mt. Pellegrino(pilgrim). If you are in one of the big cities like Palermo or Catania there are some really interesting open air markets. Make sure you visit the Cathedrals in Monreale as they have the best mosaics in the world. You might want to ask permission before you film someone (but they almost always say yes). There is tons of beautiful architecture everywhere. The vegetation is great, lots of old olive and other fruit trees. Basically, I could go on and on - you won't have a problem finding fun stuff to film.

Regarding Language. Yes everyone speaks standard Italian (only the old people only speak dialect - it's sad to see a language die). I was way off the "beaten path" when filming my documentary so I expected this. If you are on vacation you will probably be in tourist areas where people will speak English at hotels and restaurants. I had to speak Italian because I was with my relatives. From my experience, outside of tourist zones, Italians generally have very little interest in speaking English.
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Old December 26th, 2008, 01:58 PM   #39
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David M, We are going a cruise to quite a few ports and this will be in Palermo. I will definitely check out the places you have recommended but as I don't know a word of Italian I will probably try and stay somewhat close to the tourist areas. Thanks
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Old December 29th, 2008, 06:50 AM   #40
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My first project with my A1 was to shoot and edit a short film of my son's little league baseball team's season highlights. After a few games, folks got used to my setup and me around the fields, and generally paid me little attention after awhile.

Then one day between innings, two moms (I think) from the opposing team walked up with not-so-nice expressions on their faces. They said I looked awfully professional and mentioned not having signed any kind of release form. I assured them that my video was strictly "home video"; that I was just one of the dads. They walked off without further ado.

I was a little surprised that two apparent lay people thought to ask about release forms. This isn't Hollywood, but it is the nation's capitol, so I figured folks are maybe more savvy than I give them credit for. The funny epilogue is that I was so startled by the moms' appearance that I forgot to stop taping; although they aren't in the frame, the audio of our conversation came through perfectly.
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Old December 29th, 2008, 10:51 PM   #41
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My XH-A1 gets a lot of attention from me. I've had 3 prior camcorders, but this is the first one that I will (almost daily) take out of its bag and admire. I've had the camera for 6 months now too so it's a fairly serious relationship at this point.

Today I didn't have a great day, but after 10 seconds of holding my XH-"Steaksauce" in my hands I was right as rain.
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Old January 7th, 2009, 04:42 AM   #42
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Every time when IŽm filming in the City (Germany, Munich) with my XH-A1 +Tripod, I get 80% of the time questions like "Where will it wo shown/broadcasted?". I always say "YouTube.com and VIMEO.com". Love the look on their faces ;-)
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Old January 10th, 2009, 09:20 AM   #43
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I'm about to take delivery of an A1 next week- it's been a lengthy process of deliberation, because out here in Springbok-land an A1 costs as much as a good overseas holiday. I took the liberty of going to another dealer in another town and chatting about prices, and pawing the A1 they were offering, rather lustfully! (I'm ashamed to confess I was also looking at some competitive offerings from other brands, but of course you'd understand!)
By the time I had found out what it costs to buy an A1 from these guys, I'd had two charming women initiate conversations with me, and the impression I get is that the overall effect of being seen with A1 is rather like driving a red Italian sportscar: one gets noticed by all the right sorts of people!
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Old January 11th, 2009, 03:39 AM   #44
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FWIW I wish my XHA1 was invisible......

Far too often i get too much attention when shooting in public with the XHA1, particularly when it's set up on a tripod and has either my WD-H72 wide angle adapter on it or my Letus Extreme. People galk and stare, many people come up to ask questions about what television station I'm shooting for and on at least 2 occasions I have been asked by security to move along. In the cases of security persons, one was on a sidewalk outside a financial building. I was not shooting the building but rather across the street at clouds moving on a mirrored office building to use as a timelapse...I was asked what I was doing and asked to leave. The other was on a sidewalk shooting closeups of chemical plant stacks. A worker driving by stopped and said I should move along as security persons will detain me and have me charged by police for tresspassing. In both cases I could likely argue my right to shot from public spaces but I do not see the value in taking a chance when I could stand to have issues that could result in loss of thousands of dollars of video equipment.

Conversely there are times when it can be beneficial. I have been able to do shoots from many non-typical locations such as free use of a bar for shooting a music video, walking tours with national park employees and often meet and talk with people that otherwise would likely never happen. There are also some very amusing reactions from people but generally it tends to be curiousity.

It's always something when going out in public with such a visible camera and for a majority of what I do (stock footage mainly) I would love to do it as nochalantly as possible.

All the best,
James Hooey
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Old January 12th, 2009, 04:35 PM   #45
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Such is the Italian way. I sent my son to Italy as a graduation gift from college. His video is nothing short of remarkable!!

Luigi Antonio Bruno


Quote:
Originally Posted by David Marker View Post
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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