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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 27th, 2009, 11:42 PM   #1
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Taking Stills

I have never used my Xh-a1's to take stills, I do have 2 GB cards in both with presets on them.

I have a wedding coming up this week where I am not the photographer, only doing video, and will need some pics for DVD covers etc.

Do I need to switch from tape to card to capture the still or can it be captured to tape some how? Sorry if it is impossible to capture a still image to tape, but figured I would ask before I eliminated the option.

I ask mainly because my wife also runs a camera, and I can see her forgetting to switch back to tape if I turn her loose taking images and switching from card to tape.
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Old January 28th, 2009, 12:20 AM   #2
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Hi Denny...........

Page 84 of the manual, "Customised Functions" - 08 "Simult.IMG.Rec" - set it to "ON" - 01.

How to set: page 79/ 80.

Strange as it may seem, even having done this, mine absolutely refuses to take stills under any circumstances whilst shooting to tape, come to think of it, it won't take stills under any circumstances, think it's just got the hump as I have a Nikon D80 in tow as well.

CS
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Old January 28th, 2009, 02:07 AM   #3
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Thanks I will dig the manual out and give it a try.
I have plenty of cameras, but when doing video only, and they have a hired photographer, hate to cause any trouble.
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Old January 28th, 2009, 02:56 AM   #4
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Hi Chris

My first attempts also resulted in nothing. Then I discovered the secret - push the button completely down; there is some resistance after the first stage. It's not easy if you're working handheld.

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Old January 28th, 2009, 03:04 AM   #5
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I haven't worked with the XHA1, but would a still image be of any greater quality than a still that you can grab out of the video?

That would save you the trouble of having to take a photo and possibly messing up a shot (especially if the camera doesn't cooperate).
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Old January 28th, 2009, 03:04 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Dalton View Post
My first attempts also resulted in nothing. Then I discovered the secret - push the button completely down; there is some resistance after the first stage. It's not easy if you're working handheld.

David
I thought that a given? Most "point & shoot" still cameras operate the same way (push part way for focus, etc.)
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Old January 28th, 2009, 03:12 AM   #7
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Not just point and shoot, Canon DSLRs are the same.

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Old January 28th, 2009, 03:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Fisher View Post
I haven't worked with the XHA1, but would a still image be of any greater quality than a still that you can grab out of the video?

That would save you the trouble of having to take a photo and possibly messing up a shot (especially if the camera doesn't cooperate).
That's exactly the way i work. I shoot progressive and the stills are made with Vegas. It gives some nice 1920x1080 stills, wich are perfect for cover pics.
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Old January 28th, 2009, 07:32 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Fisher View Post
I haven't worked with the XHA1, but would a still image be of any greater quality than a still that you can grab out of the video?

The XH-A1 can take stills at 1920x1080, whereas frame grabs are 1440x1080. Also, the still should not have the MPEG2 compression which is applied to the video before it is recorded to tape. Haven't done any comparisons myself though.

Richard
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Old January 29th, 2009, 04:43 PM   #10
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The still also has embedded metadata so you can see the F-Stop, focal length and shutter speed. It helps in post if you're doing matchmoving or creating cameras in 3ds or Maya.
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Old January 29th, 2009, 07:44 PM   #11
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Had the same dilemma...

I was never very satisfied with the stills I was getting from the XHA1 (nor the HV30). Some were OK, fewer were good and most were poor.

I didn't want to lug around a D90, so I recently picked up the Panasonic LX3. I have been extremely impressed with the results I can achieve with that little camera. The LX3 is a tad bigger than a typical Point-n-Shoot...but much smaller than an SLR. The LX3 also has quite a few controls + a nice wide, fast lens.
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Old January 30th, 2009, 12:07 PM   #12
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My XHG1 takes simultaneuos still and video OK the results are very acceptable and the only problem I had setting this up was that I kept sliding the lock on the SD card on everytime I inserted it so, obviously, it wouldn't take the photo.

What needs to be addressed is why Canon thought this function needed to be optional in the first place? For heavens sake do you really need to switch such a function on or off? Either you use the still photo button or your don't and it's damn difficult to accidently hit it sufficiently hard enough to take a photo!
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Old January 30th, 2009, 12:46 PM   #13
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Never had a problem taking stills with my XH-A1, you can set the menu so that it won't take a photo unless it is correctly focused which I prefer, the quality in 'card' mode is better than in 'simultaneous tape' mode. The HV20 also takes a better photo than the XH-A1 in 'card' mode ( .. more pixels).
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