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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 January 10th, 2009, 03:12 PM   #31
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Wow, I've checked the price on that one and it's about $900, is this correct? Is there any cheaper option with good quality? I'm not sure I'm ready to give that kind of money for a steady cam...
You can get an Indicam for about half that, it's similar to the small Glidecams but with a better gimbal.

The design of the Merlin is somewhat unique and amongst its attributes is that it will be less fatiguing to operate, due to lighter weight and positioning of the handle under the gimbal.
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Old January 10th, 2009, 11:15 PM   #32
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Charles,
Do you prefer the Merlin over the Indicam?
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Old January 11th, 2009, 04:15 PM   #33
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I've got a Spiderbrace too and never use it. It's a completely different piece of kit to a Merlin.

The Spiderbrace is not bad but if I am doing that kind of shoot I prefer my Fig Rig as it let's me do a wider range of shots.

I haven't tried any of the other stabilisers but I'd say the Merlin is worth the money - especially if you are trying to make a film.
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Old January 13th, 2009, 10:42 AM   #34
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...I was thinking of the most important things I need to buy when I go to London...
When will you be in London, David? Do you know about the Broadcast Video Expo at Earls Court, 17th - 19th Feb? It would be a good chance to try out the cameras you are interested in and the various accessories, and maybe find a few bargins. For example, you won't know whether the weird-looking Fig Rig is useful to you until you try it. Don't be put off by the "Broadcast" tag - it's for anyone serious about making videos. (Used to be called Video Forum.) Entry is free if you register in advance.

What are you going to do about audio? As others around here will tell you, it's at least as important as the pictures. Personally, I'd spend my budget on good quality audio equipment before I'd consider a 35mm adaptor or a steadicam. Have a good look at the DVi audio forum. There's lots of good advice there, and it applies whatever camera you use.
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Old January 13th, 2009, 10:54 AM   #35
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I'll second Mark's views on the London Video Expo. It is the place to go if you want to contrast and compare. Loads of camera bags in all colours, prices and sizes. Video lights galore. Tripods big and small. Want a wide converter? Take your cam and shoot through all of them, decide at your leisure back home. Lanc controller? Loads to choose from. Steadycam thingies? There's all varieties from the sensible to the dorkish. Seminars, bargains, real experts and the day won't be long enough. I go for three days on the trot every year.

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Old January 15th, 2009, 07:07 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Mark Fry View Post
When will you be in London, David? Do you know about the Broadcast Video Expo at Earls Court, 17th - 19th Feb? It would be a good chance to try out the cameras you are interested in and the various accessories, and maybe find a few bargins. For example, you won't know whether the weird-looking Fig Rig is useful to you until you try it. Don't be put off by the "Broadcast" tag - it's for anyone serious about making videos. (Used to be called Video Forum.) Entry is free if you register in advance.

What are you going to do about audio? As others around here will tell you, it's at least as important as the pictures. Personally, I'd spend my budget on good quality audio equipment before I'd consider a 35mm adaptor or a steadicam. Have a good look at the DVi audio forum. There's lots of good advice there, and it applies whatever camera you use.
Actually I'm going to London in the first weekend of April, so unfortunately I won't be able to be at that Expo :( Seems like an excelent place to try out everything. I think I'm going with the A1. As for audio, I completely agree with you. It's very important. I have two mics that I use with my band (yes, I have a rock band), one of them is the Shure SM57 used to capture guitar amps and the other is a Shure SM58 used to mic the voice. Are these any good to use on a film? What other important gear should I get for good quality audio?

As for 35mm adapters it seems important but it's kind of a new world for me that I'm still entering. Seems like it's not just the adapter, but some other thing to flip the imagem, the lenses, etc. I will start doing some serious reading about it, any good links to start with?

Thanks!

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Old January 15th, 2009, 11:53 AM   #37
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...As for audio, I completely agree with you. It's very important. I have two mics that I use with my band (yes, I have a rock band), one of them is the Shure SM57 used to capture guitar amps and the other is a Shure SM58 used to mic the voice. Are these any good to use on a film? What other important gear should I get for good quality audio?...
Hi Dave,
The audio forum is really the place for this discussion, but briefly, no, the SM57/SM58 are not really suitable except perhaps for interviews or voice-overs. They are dynamic mics and need to be very close to the sound source. That's brilliant for a rock band on stage (avoiding feed-back, etc.) but limiting on a film set. Capacitor/electret mics have much more reach than dynamic mics but need a power supply. This is usually 48v "phantom power" on proffessional mics. The good news is that the XH-A1 provides phantom power on the XLR sockets.

Part of your choice is the pick-up pattern, which affects where you place the mics. Popular choices include short shotguns or hypercardioids for picking up actor's dialogue from 2 - 10 feet away, tie-clip mics (also called lavaliers) if you want to get in close, cardioid or stereo pairs for ambience and sound effects, and lots more....

Then there are questions of mixers with limiters vs. running straight into the camera, and using a different person to monitor and record the sound from the one operating the camera.
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