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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, 07:24 PM   #1
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Hiking (overnight) with XH-A1

As part of my family's summer vacation, we will be hiking up to the lodge at Mt. LeConte in the Smokies and then hiking back down after spending the night. I am debating whether or not to take my XH-A1 on the hike with me.

I have a Gregory backpack (don't recall the model) that I was planning on carrying with water, rain gear, snacks, etc. I am not sure if carrying my A1 in that backpack is a good idea or not.

Has anyone else done any overnight hiking with their A1? If so, what did you use to carry it?

What about raingear for the A1?
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Old February 15th, 2009, 07:40 PM   #2
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Some folks were talking about bags a while back and back packs were mentioned.....here's the post
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/873802-post7.html

There is also a recent post about the "raincoat" for the xh a1. Check the post about "muffling the sound of the xh a1" I think it is referred to in there also.

Hope this helps
Michael
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Old February 15th, 2009, 10:52 PM   #3
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Taking the A1 hiking with you to go hiking....how old are you, what kind of shape are you in?
Seriously, I took my A1 with me to Yosemite once, to film the waterfalls. I wanted to take it up the Mist Trail with me and perhaps up to Nevada Falls. Those trails were too steep to safely carry the A1. although I did get some very nice footage of the valley.

My experience was that it's awfully heavy to take on any truly serious hikes, it would really be better to take a more compact cam.
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Old February 16th, 2009, 01:40 AM   #4
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Seriously, now; I hiked to the summit of Kilimanjaro with XH-A1 in my pack, it is not that heavy. The only problem was the last day, there was bad rain at the end of the day and my pack got soaking wet. I had wrapped a plastic bag around the camera in the pack, but it still refused to function because everything was so damp. Fortunatelly it recovered after it dried out in the hotel room. Lesson learned: have a good raincover for the pack, and a large ziplock for the camera.

Last day: up at 1 am, start climbing at 2 am, 1300m/3900ft climb to almost 5900m/19700ft, then 3200m/11000ft down, hit the camp at 5 pm. And I suffer from osteoarthritis in the hip...

I have also carried the said camera through China and Tibet for 3 weeks (a 34 liter Osprey Stratos pack, a normal large daypack, spare clothing used as padding for the camera) and I am going to take it with me to Nepal for 7 weeks of solid trekking, crossing, hopefully, 4 passes over 5000m/16500ft.

That propably sums up my views about the "hikability" of XH-A1...
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Old February 16th, 2009, 04:26 AM   #5
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Same experience here. Last year I went through the rain forests of the Philippines, going through some serious dense forests, crossing rivers, waterfalls, and climbing steep mud paths. If the humidity is very high the unit controls can go haywire. Luckily it will regain its sanity if you let it dry out. Make sure you never reach this point by stuffing your camera in some sort of zip-loc bag in your camera back-pack. For good measure I also include some silica gel packets. When my camera is out I wrap it in a portabrace cover so it can handle the constant drizzle, mud, and heavy foliage I drag it through.
And yes, if you drag a lot of equipment (camera, monopod/tripod, supplies, etc) it pays to be fit.
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Old February 16th, 2009, 05:26 AM   #6
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For really wet conditions and if fording rivers etc you might something like this more reliable than a ziplock:
SealLine Dry Bags
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Old February 16th, 2009, 06:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Gooderick View Post
For really wet conditions and if fording rivers etc you might something like this more reliable than a ziplock:
SealLine Dry Bags
Which one would you recommend for the A1?
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Old February 16th, 2009, 06:22 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Wolla View Post
Taking the A1 hiking with you to go hiking....how old are you, what kind of shape are you in?
Seriously, I took my A1 with me to Yosemite once, to film the waterfalls. I wanted to take it up the Mist Trail with me and perhaps up to Nevada Falls. Those trails were too steep to safely carry the A1. although I did get some very nice footage of the valley.

My experience was that it's awfully heavy to take on any truly serious hikes, it would really be better to take a more compact cam.
Older than I used to be, and not in as good as shape either! But still in good enough shape to carry the A1. I'm thinking I should take my monopd rather than my tripod, however.

Side note: Yosemite is one of our favorite places to visit, and the Mist Trail is definitely one of our favorite hikes!
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Old February 16th, 2009, 06:31 AM   #9
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For those of you who took your camera backpacking, if you took a tripod - what did you take?

I have a lightweight one that will handle the camera, but the head is not great so smooth pans are probably out of the question. Steady shots wold be more likely.

Also, some hiking poles have camera mounts on the top which makes them monopods, but I haven't really cared much for my monopod before. While useful and convenient at times, I greatly prefer a tripod.

Any ideas?
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Old February 16th, 2009, 07:27 AM   #10
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I have had Manfrotto/Bogen carbon tripod & lightweight (Magnesium?) video head once with me. While it works ok for steady shots, forget pans at long focal lengths and smooth starts with the same. Actually I just bought a 2000 Sachtler kit as even 701 and 703 Manfrotto heads are not fluid enough for smooth starts. But I am not going to take that with me on a trek!

Solution: light monopod with light video head (the manfrotto thing mentioned above). With just a monopod or a trekking stick with screw on top you can do fairly fluid pans, but not tilts. With monopod/cheap video head you can do both and aim down and up much easier.
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Old February 16th, 2009, 08:00 AM   #11
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Hi Stephen
I'm sorry. I don't know which bag would be most appropriate for use with the A1. I have used one of these bags with my Sony A1 which is why I recommended it. The one that I have is heavy duty and a lighterweight version may be more appropriate for use with a backpack.
If you are in a situation where total immersion or extremely wet conditions are possible I would recommend one of these bags for peace of mind.
For use in a pack when hiking they may be overkill ie because there is some bulk and weight to them. However even then I think that I would use one in preference to a ziplock for multiday trips as they are more durable and are easier to handle ie when rolled up the top forms a secure handle and they have D rings on them in the event that you need to do anything fancy like lower them down a cliff or hang them on hooks etc.
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Old February 16th, 2009, 08:18 AM   #12
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Hi Stephen,

Last time I hiked with my XH A1 at some point taking the camera in and out of the bag I inadvertently switched the sound to manual and moved the one channel to max and the other to nearly minimum; disaster for my live sound.

Since then I've stuck a small piece of insulation tape over the switch to stop this happening again. For active shooting I leave the camera in auto mode except for exposure, I find constant attention is needed here, particularly the ND filter to maintain around f4 to f6 aperture.

Have a good holiday. Alan in the UK.
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Old February 16th, 2009, 09:46 AM   #13
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I actually use a "space saver bag" for my camera. It is one of those plastic bags to stuff your clothes in and save space in your suitcase. They are airtight, just as light and thin as a zip-loc bag, but a lot more sturdy. Since they are relatively light and thin they fit easily in your backpack.

Naturally, if you expect to potentially submerge your backpack (camera included), I would definitely go with one of those bags Richard proposes.
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Old February 16th, 2009, 10:23 AM   #14
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I use a 'Tamrac' backpack and haven't looked back - highly recommended...although I haven't actually used it in the rain! :o)
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Old February 16th, 2009, 03:12 PM   #15
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What distance are you covering and how much other gear are you carrying?

"An ounce in the AM is a pound in the PM."
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