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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 February 15th, 2009, 08:11 AM   #1
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Interesting First Shoot with HVR-MRC1 (need help)

I purchased two of these units, one for each of my A1s. Yesterday was my first wedding using them and I ran into one big problem and found one small snafu.

First the small snafu. If you let the camera sit for a while, it is run down the tape mechanism and then later auto power down. Well if the tape mechanism shuts down and press the record button, the unit will start recording and but then stop as the tape mechanism "wakes up" but then the unit will stop and not continue recording. I think this is due to the fact that the time code starts rolling as the camera "wakes up" but then stops rewinds a few frames and then continues on. The solution to this is to press the record button twice, which wakes up the camera, let it do its thing for about 3 seconds, then hit record again. This first happened to me during the toasts. It was hard to press the two record buttons with the camera on a monopod. Luckly, I have the tape backup.

Secondly, and this one I need help with, the unit thinks my second camera is a computer. For about 20% of the day yesterday it worked fine, but the rest of the time I would turn on the unit and it would give that "I'm connected to a PC" screen. Does anyone have a solution for this? Sort of a huge problem as you can imagine. I have gone through all the trouble shooting steps. It is definitely the camera. I have another wedding next week and then I am sending the camera back to Canon for other repairs. I will tell them about this and see what they say.

Overall, the HVR-MRC1 is a great little unit. The added weight was noticeable but worth it. We had about an hour and a half to pull off a Same Day Edit and even with one of the units not working (we captured that cameras footage the "old fashioned" way) it still came together on time. Once we figure out all of the kinks, these units and this workflow will be indispensable.

BTW... for all of you on the mac platform. I wrote a tiny Automator plug-in for finder that renames all the files in my typical naming convention. Adds a step but worked really well.
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Last edited by Brian Morris; February 15th, 2009 at 11:05 PM.
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Old February 22nd, 2009, 06:38 PM   #2
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I turn off my power save with Custom Function 16 (see page 86), problem solved. Keep in mind the drum stops spinning after 4 minutes and 30 seconds so when you hit the record button it takes a few seconds to spin up and start recording (indicated by the blinking red light in the viewfinder).
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Old February 22nd, 2009, 07:26 PM   #3
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I turn off my power save with Custom Function 16 (see page 86), problem solved. Keep in mind the drum stops spinning after 4 minutes and 30 seconds so when you hit the record button it takes a few seconds to spin up and start recording (indicated by the blinking red light in the viewfinder).
Very nice tip. Thanks
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Old September 30th, 2010, 12:24 PM   #4
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Sony HVR-MRC1

Dear Brian,

I appreciate your insight into this Sony unit. I'm looking for something like this to solve a unique challenge. I do a lot of air to air and air to ground videography/photography. As you probably know, nothing with a CMOS sensor is very well suited to this application and especially if you add tape to the equation. The end product requires Dramamine at the very least. I currently have an XHA1 and am thinking about a direct to digital solution to take tape from the set up. Is this the unit I need? Will I get the full quality of my 3 chip camera without the distortions I've been dealing with? I'm hoping that you answer yes on all counts and this is an answer to prayer.

I found the Focus Enhancement unit on the web and it looked good, although 300 or so higher than the Sony, but I've attempted several times to contact the company and they seem to be one of those corporations who have everything designed to run you around in circles and get what you need off their website. Near as I can tell, no humans actually work there! I don't think I want to begin a relationship with a company that I can't talk to.

Thanks in advance for you expertise!

Sincerely,

Jim Wilson
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Old October 1st, 2010, 11:54 AM   #5
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There's a thread just a little ways down on this very forum that has help for your problems, "Turning Canon XH-A1 Sony MRC1K Into Reliable Tapeless Kit"

Pretty informative.
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Old October 1st, 2010, 01:02 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Brian Morris View Post
Yesterday was my first wedding using them and I ran into one big problem and found one small snafu. * * *
Secondly, and this one I need help with, the unit thinks my second camera is a computer. For about 20% of the day yesterday it worked fine, but the rest of the time I would turn on the unit and it would give that "I'm connected to a PC" screen. Does anyone have a solution for this? .
I run into this every so often and got this tip last winter from the first thread on using the MRC with the A1. When you get the computer indication, turn both the MRC and the A1 off. Turn the MRC back on and let it boot up. Switch your A1 back on by turning the dial all the way to M. Sometimes, it takes a couple of tries. When you've got the MRC talking to the A1, you can move the A1 dial to whichever setting you want to use.
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Old October 1st, 2010, 01:47 PM   #7
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A lot of this has been discussed in this thread....I believe it even includes a "how to" video in the thread.

Turning the Canon XH-A1 and Sony MRC1K into a reliable tapeless kit

Hope this helps.
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Old October 5th, 2010, 05:53 AM   #8
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Tapeless XHA1

Thanks Guys! I think this might be the ticket to getting the airborne video I've been hoping for.

JW
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Old October 13th, 2010, 10:29 PM   #9
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James....Like I said in the video, when you pop the CF card out, be careful as the eject can send it flying...which in your case it already will be...but you get the idea....LOL
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Old October 14th, 2010, 02:19 AM   #10
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did anyone using one of these units also consider the DN-60?
Videoguys.com - Datavideo DN-60 DV/HDV Solid State CF card recorder
i've seen posts praising both, but not seeing comparisons. i like the price of the DN-60 and am wondering how those using the Sony decided between the two.
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Old October 14th, 2010, 09:20 AM   #11
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You get what you pay for with these things. The most important thing is reliability (both sync and recording).

The Datavideo is late to the party and I don't recall it even being an option. That said, the Sony is narrower but deeper, uses batteries for which many already have chargers and batteries for, seems to have superior ways for mounting in terms of options and positions where you can see the screen, has real tactile feedback buttons, more buttons and gives you the option of a fully integrated solid state rig if you upgrade your camera to a Sony Z5. I don't know if the Datavideo has all of the same sync modes of the Sony but that could be another factor. Another feature I think the Sony has but I can't recall for sure, is that you can record to tape then auto roll over to CF. Another mode is to keep recording to CF across tape changes. It's something to look at....I just can't remember as I sold my A1/MRC1K kit and can't check it.

The Datavideo and Focus devices are always going to be Frankenstein rigs. If you don't know what your camera upgrade path is, then the Sony at least gives you an integrated future option with the Z5. That's the way it was two years ago anyway, there's other factors today....YMMV
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Old October 15th, 2010, 11:04 PM   #12
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The DN-60 has a nice feature that constantly "preserves" the file being recorded so that there is a failure of some sort (power, for example), you don't lose everything you recorded before the failure. Do all of the Sony units have this feature?
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Old October 16th, 2010, 10:20 PM   #13
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No. The Sony battery runs the unit for 4 hours. But I can see it being an issue with an AA powered device. I never had a power failure and I wouldn't let the lack of that feature it stand in the way of getting the MRC1k. YMMV
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