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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 March 29th, 2009, 12:47 PM   #1
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Frame Rate Question

I am using a Canon XH-A1S and an XL-1 to film a Church service. What frame rate do I use on the XH-A1s? 60i? and can I film in HD and let the camera convert it to SD?
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Old March 31st, 2009, 07:10 AM   #2
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Can you give a little more detail on what you are trying to do?
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Old March 31st, 2009, 08:21 AM   #3
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Where is the final version of the video going... to DVD? To the web?

Yes, you can record in HD and capture SD by setting a menu option for the camera to automatically downconvert over FireWire.
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Old March 31st, 2009, 08:40 PM   #4
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Sorry I didn't give enough info. I plan on filming an Easter service that is 2.5 hours long with 2 cameras. One is a Canon XL1 and the other is a XH-A1s. I want to burn the edited movie to regular DVD (not HD/Blue Ray). So I want to film in HD and downcovert to SD so it can be used with the SD video from the XL-1. Most of the footage will be from the XH-A1 and some from the XL-1.

Thanks for the help!
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Old April 1st, 2009, 07:27 AM   #5
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Hi Don. You know that the XL-1 shoots native 4:3 aspect ratio and that HDV is 16:9? I think it would be a good idea to decide what your final DVD aspect ratio is and plan accordingly.

One option is to shoot SD 4:3 on both cameras. This is probably the simplest but may not give you the effect you want (on the other hand it may be exactly what you want).

Another is to shoot HDV on XH-A1 and pseudo 16:9 on the XL-1. I expect this will really show a quality difference between the footage from the 2 cams though, because the XL-1 will lose vertical resolution this way, and it doesn't really have any to spare to begin with. Even after downconversion to SD, I would expect the XH-A1 footage to be a lot sharper.

Yet another is to shoot HDV on the XH-A1 and frame for 4:3 using the guide bars on the display. This will let you crop the footage to 4:3 during editing and match the 4:3 footage from the XL-1. And you will still have the original HDV footage if you need it for any other reason.

Of course there are other options like letterboxing HDV footage to make it 4:3, or pillarboxing 4:3 footage to make it 16:9 but personally I would not recommend these unless you are trying for a deliberate contrast between the 2 lots of footage.

And again for ease of matching, I suggest you shoot 60i on both cams.

Richard
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Old April 1st, 2009, 10:32 AM   #6
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What program are you planning on using to import/edit? You can actually convert to SD with your editing software. I suggest shooting in HD then converting after you are done editing.
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Old April 1st, 2009, 06:22 PM   #7
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The XL-1 can also shoot 16:9 aspect ratio.

I plan on using Adobe Premier Elemets to edit.
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Old April 1st, 2009, 08:16 PM   #8
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An XL1 or XL1S set to 16:9 mode loses a certain amount of vertical resolution, of which there is not very much to begin with. As soft as the resulting image is, it won't be a good match for an XH A1, unless the A1 is dialed down in sharpness quite a bit and also set to SD 16:9. Still not a good mix in my opinion, sorry.
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Old April 2nd, 2009, 10:16 AM   #9
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The resolution of the XL1 is so low that it looks soft compared to the XH A1, so what I would do is definitely shoot both cameras in 4:3. The 16:9 mode only makes the XL1 look even softer and also gets noisier. I would crank up the softness and saturation of the XH A1 to try to match it to the XL1. Or, an alternative would be to shoot a wide shot with the XH A1, still in 4:3 but leaving it sharp, and then use the XL1 for closeups--it looks pretty good on closeups of people. If you cut from a wide shot to closeups, nobody will notice the difference because there's such a difference in the shots.

Some years back I intercut XL1 footage with another camera (not HD) and all I did was soften up the other camera a little, increase color saturation and use it for the wide shot, then used the XL1 for closeup and medium shots, and it all worked OK.
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Old April 11th, 2009, 12:04 PM   #10
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Thanks for the information!
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Old April 11th, 2009, 08:10 PM   #11
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Don,

Given your two cameras, I would keep the XH-A1 in HDV, 16:9, then crop it to 4:3 in post. You can use the extra pixels to frame your picture and pan/zoom in post, keeping above 700 vertical lines on the XHA1's footage. I know you should be able to go to 480 or so, but it starts to show when you get much below 700 for reasons I don't fully understand.

If you don't have a good tripod or an experienced camera man, this will really help your end result look better as you can keep the camera much more stationary and follow the action in post with virtual pans and zoom. I do this all the time when going to SD.

You can probably post close to an hour of the service on Vimeo if you convert to 4:3 SD and compress to .wmv or H.264.

Last edited by Roger Shealy; April 12th, 2009 at 06:09 AM.
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Old April 11th, 2009, 08:20 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the help!
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