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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 15th, 2008, 12:31 PM   #1
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Please Help Review My XH A1 About To Buy List!

Hello all...

So I am finally going to put in the order for my shiny new camera. This is the list of things currently sitting in my B&H shopping cart. I am going to use the camera mostly for weddings and would appreciate any feedback/suggestions that you fine people can provide before I put the order through in the next day or two. Please keep in mind I want good quality equipment, but I do not have an unlimited budget, so the list is an attempt at a happy meeting somewhere between both.

-XH-A1 camera
-Canon WD-H72 0.8x wide angle lens
-Sennheiser Evolution G2 100 Series - Camera Mountable UHF Wireless Lavalier and Plug-On Bundle with EK100G2 Receiver, SKP100G2 Plug-On Transmitter, SK100G2 BodyPack Transmitter and ME2 Microphone (A 518-554 MHz)
-David & Sanford ProVista Airlift Tripod
-some Panasonic AY-DVM63HD tapes

I know I also need an on camera light and a handheld microphone, which I am hoping someone can point me in the right direction to.

Maybe a shotgun mic would be nice, but I really want to hold off on getting one until I can start to spend more money. Or, probably stupid idea, can I just get a shotgun mic and use it in some capacity as a handheld?

Any feedback, positive or negative, would be super appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old December 15th, 2008, 12:38 PM   #2
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You're not going for the latest s version of the camera?

The G2 is a goodie and much loved - the tie-clip mic sounds very good. Of course you can hand-hold a shotgun mic. It's still designed to be used close-up to the noise - the only thing is it's directional - as if it's listening in through a megaphone. Look at the Rode range.

You will need some sort of on-camera lamp as weddings are lots of run 'n' gun. You'll also need a kitbag (look at Petrol for value) and a backup camera. You don't go shooting weddings without backup.

tom.
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Old December 15th, 2008, 12:46 PM   #3
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I am thinking budget, so the s version is more than I want to spend. I am getting a bag, just didn't list it.

You don't think it would look silly having someone hold a shotgun mic when addressing the camera directly?
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Old December 15th, 2008, 12:53 PM   #4
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OK, see your point about price. Fine to hold the shotgun out of view - it's done all the time in run ''n' gun work.
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Old December 15th, 2008, 01:15 PM   #5
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I know you have a tripod on your list but if you are ever going to handhold it, the A1 can be a pain. I acquired one of these
Sima | Video Bracket 1 | SLB-M | B&H Photo Video
so as to mount the G2 receiver, an on-camera light and a Rode NTG-2 all at once, but I actually use it more as an extra support for handheld shots. I'm never without it, and it must be the most cost effective extra support you can get.

I normally use it angled forward so that it clears the LCD. The rather rakish angle doesn't affect the mounting of the receiver but I have to be careful to put the Rode shotgun on the vertical shoe or it points off axis to the shot. The light goes on top of the camera.
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Old December 15th, 2008, 04:14 PM   #6
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Hi Daniel...........

I'm sure you'll get many, many recomendations for mics.

I have the Sennheiser ME64, 66 & 67 (omni, medium shotgun, long shotgun) which suit me fine but are probably a bit long in the tooth now.

However, whatever you eventually choose, two things are a real must:

1. Good quality wind protection for the mics

2. Another Sennheiser wireless receiver.

The latter is worth it's weight in gold at weddings, as it allows you to run both mic's off camera with nary a cable in sight.

So, for example, you can have the groom kitted out with the lav and bodypack transmitter, and use a medium/ long shotgun with the "butt plug" tranmitter on a mic stand somewhere out of frame to catch the rest of the sound.

And many, many other combinations.

Just check that the necessary XLR connect cable comes with a standalone receiver, from memory I had to order one of those seperately.


CS
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Old December 15th, 2008, 07:43 PM   #7
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A couple of little things come to mind. First, get an extra battery. I get about four hours out of the Canon battery and five or more out the big Impact I got from B&H. I don't think they carry them anymore.

Get a rain cover. If you plan to shoot outdoors, you will need it.

You don't need to get HD tapes. Search on HD or HDV tapes and you'll find that most who shoot HD don't use them. The pro Panny or high quality Sonys (Red?) seem to do well.

Oh, and I couldn't live without my LANC controller. I have the Varizoom VZ-Rock and it has good basic functionality but there might be better ones out there for the A1. BTW, the VZ is not waterproof. Mine literally drowned when a tarp blew off my sticks during a storm. Good news is that after I took it apart and dried it completely it's as good as new now. I, on the other hand, will never be the same.
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Old December 15th, 2008, 08:37 PM   #8
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Are these the Sony tapes you are referring to?

Sony | DVM-80PR Mini DV Video Cassette | DVM80PRL | B&H Photo

And do you think 2 batteries will be enough for all day if doing a wedding?
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Old December 15th, 2008, 09:09 PM   #9
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OK, so this is my (hopefully) final list. Once again any suggestions/ comments more than welcome...

-Rode NTG-1 Condenser Shotgun Microphone (comes with windguard)
-Rycote Furry Windjammer for Lavalier Mic
-Bescor MX-601 On Camera 6 VDC Light
-Bescor X672ATM 6 VDC Battery with ATM - Automatic Charger
-2 20 watt Replacement bulbs
-Canon BP-970G Lithium-Ion Battery
-some Sony DVM-80PR 80 Minute Premium Mini DV tapes
-Sima video bracket
-Canon WD H72 Wide Angle lens
-Sennheiser wireless mics
-David & Sanford ProVista Airlift Tripod
-camcorder bag
-and of course the Xh A1 camera
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Old December 16th, 2008, 01:12 AM   #10
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That's a decent list, however I would lighten up on the 80 minute tapes and go with 60 to 63 minutes as much as you can, as the 80 min's tape is thin and less reliable.
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Old December 16th, 2008, 01:58 AM   #11
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Agree with Steve - keep to 62 min tapes and stick to one brand. You started off talking Panasonic and now you're talking Sony. Don't mix them in camera if at all possible.

I always take 4 big batts to a wedding, but then my Sony 20-DW2 lamp runs off them too. The Rycote Softie is the industry biz for wind-shielding. Your wide-angle lens is a must too - is that a bayonet fit on the Canon? If there's the option, go for the bayonet. Every minute you're fiddling with kit you're missing precious moments at a wedding.

tom.
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Old December 16th, 2008, 08:07 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Fessak View Post
Are these the Sony tapes you are referring to?

And do you think 2 batteries will be enough for all day if doing a wedding?
I'm not certain about the tape as I use Panny, but it looks right. I'll also say that the 63 minute tapes are the way to go. Price and fragility relegate the 80 minute tapes to the bin for me.

Two batts should get it if you're not powering lights off of them too.
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Old December 16th, 2008, 09:53 AM   #13
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Thank so much for all your advice. You have no idea how much you are helping me.

No one has said anything about the shotgun mic and that is really my biggest concern, so maybe that means people think it's good. As far as using it as a handheld, would that one be a good choice?
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Old December 16th, 2008, 10:10 AM   #14
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Daniel, if you want to use your Rode as a hand mike, get the NTG2 wich is self powered and can be used with the Sennheiser wireless adapter wich you can get as a complement of your Evolution system.
I have been using the Sony Premium 63 for a year now and no problem at all.
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Old December 16th, 2008, 04:22 PM   #15
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It is not a good idea to use the NTG1 or 2 handheld. You get lots (and i mean LOTS) of whistles while doing so. You can work around a little by handholding the shockmount, wich isn't ideal. A pistolgrip is what you need for handholding such a hot mic.

What you really need to ad to the list: a Rode SM5 or something like that shockmount, a 1 ft cable and a longer one for handholding.

And finally you really need some good windprotection, the foam that comes with the mic will do next to nothing outside, check out Rode's WS-6. I heard some good things about it and it is cheap.
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