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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 May 3rd, 2009, 04:38 PM   #16
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I'm watching tapeless, but I don't see the big advantage yet (the hassle of backing up drives - assuming you back up your drives). I will go tapeless in the future, but its not in your price range. I currently have the equipment below, which should fit your bill almost exactly:

for around $5,500
- XHA1 ($3k)
- Bogen 503HDV ($600)
- Rode NTG-2 with premium dead cat ($300)
- Rode boom pole ($125)
- Kata bag ($160)
- WD72 Wide Angle Adapter ($400)
- Sennheiser G2-100 combo (lavalier, camera reciever, mic radio @ $600)
- Rode SM5 isolation mount ($50)
- Canon on camera light ($60)
- Extra battery for XHA1 ($100)
- A few tapes, lens wipes....

I'll include a frame I grabbed from session last weekend off the XHA1 shooting 30F. It's an incredible piece of equipment for the price.

Tapes aren't a big deal and have many advantages. The bigger deal is getting HD versus HDV, which is desirable - especially if you are shooting for broadcast. The two biggest advantages of solid state in my opinion are: ability to delete files as you go (dangerous but fast) and the ability to begin editing with very short delay for emergency projects. If you are going to deliver you projects beyond a 24 hour window, I think the second advantage is almost mute as you have to eat and rest sometime and you can capture while you do these. Also backing up solid state takes time, so for backup's I feel tapes are the better solution. HDD reliability beyond 5 years are very sketchy, so plan on backing up again and using multiple drives in case one fails before 5 years. I shot the last two weekends generating 2 - 3 tapes per session. I could load the first tape while eating dinner and catch up with the family, then began editing the first tape while the 2nd was capturing. Essentially capturing is "free time" in most cases if you want it to be. Worry about the image quality, the controls, and the ergonomics of the camera you select and focus much less on the storage format.
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Last edited by Roger Shealy; May 4th, 2009 at 06:42 AM.
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Old May 3rd, 2009, 11:24 PM   #17
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Just realized that was a recommendation! Sorry.

Last edited by Michael Robertson; May 3rd, 2009 at 11:25 PM. Reason: i messed up
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Old May 4th, 2009, 10:31 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacques E. Bouchard View Post
Never a good idea to store more than one movie on one drive. Lose the drive, lose all the movies.

If, on the other hand, I'm shooting enough to use up $341 worth of tape, then I definitely have the budget for it - and I'm glad I'm entrusting it all to the proven reliability of tape instead of a fluke that could crash my heads or wipe out static memory...

J.
Except that, for $200, you have TWO 1TB drives, and if you lose one of the drives, you lose none of the movies.

If you lose the tape, however, that movie is gone forever.
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Old May 4th, 2009, 10:33 AM   #19
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I honestly wouldn't buy an XHA1 or XHA1s without some sort of digital backup. I have had enough problems with tape to burn me out on the medium completely and absolutely.
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Old May 4th, 2009, 11:34 AM   #20
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I shot DVCAM for 8 years with Sony tapes and never saw a dropout. In switching to the XH A1, I used some Panasonic AMQ tapes and had dropout problems. Switched back to Sony's PHDVM tapes and have not seen a dropout since. If you use good quality tape and handle it properly, you shouldn't have problems.
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Old May 4th, 2009, 12:27 PM   #21
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Well, I can see that both tape or Solid state have there advantages and disadvantages. But the arguement seems to be split right down the middle which means to me that both options are good and it comes down to personal preference. One question with the XH-A1, when capturing data is the footage all imported as one clip even if it was taken as multiple clips? That could really slow down processing to have to split all the clips.

I like the idea of having tape as backups and I would still have the final edits on mutiple backups, DVD's, HDD, Blue ray. At this point I am leaning towards th XH-A1s, a proven reliable camera. Still researching some of the newer cameras that record to solid state, but I would like to wait and see them prove their worth aswell.

Also, my budget is $5000 Canadian.
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Old May 4th, 2009, 03:09 PM   #22
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The way you capture depends on the NLE you're using. With FCP, even though you may capture an entire tape, your browser will show you individual clips. It detects every time the camera starts and stops and makes that a new clip designation in the bin. I like to archive captured clips and my project files onto DVD so I can reload the whole show at any time easy, so I capture in approximate 20 minute segments; ie., I set an in point at the head of my first clip on the tape, and an out point roughly 20 minutes in, and repeat that two more times to get the whole tape. Or if you're not concerned with file size, you can simply capture the entire tape. You'll still be able to see individual clips and can name them after the fact if you want; otherwise they are given numerical names by the system (ie., name.1, name.2, etc.) If you're using Avid it does something similar. I'm not as up to date on the current version of Media Composer, but the old one used to add markers for every clip, and you could name them after capture if you wanted.
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Old May 4th, 2009, 04:17 PM   #23
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If I may presume to ride on Bill's coattails, FCP's ability to split HDV is user-selectable, although I don't know why anyone would turn it off.

In Premiere, however, you get one honkin' huge clip and can't even see the preview as you capture. PITA. There is a third-party app to handle the split, but not the preview problem, that many people have mentioned over in the Premiere thread which you can find here: HDVSplit utility for HDV capturing with scene split - HDV capture utility ,if you should be so unlucky as to be doing HDV on Premiere...my biased two cents.. /Battle Vaughan/miamiherald.com video tem
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Old May 4th, 2009, 05:39 PM   #24
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Vegas 8 Pro breaks up the XHA1's clips into small segments also.
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Old May 5th, 2009, 08:05 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Shealy View Post
Vegas 8 Pro breaks up the XHA1's clips into small segments also.
Perfect, that is my main editing software. I would like FCP but I dont have a mac.....yet.
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Old May 5th, 2009, 11:04 AM   #26
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For straight editing, color correction, sound, and cropping/panning, Vegas is hard to beat. I find it ridiculously fast compared to other editors. Once you start collaborating with others, using plug-ins, or wanting to add slick text/intro's, FCP is the standard. I'm waiting to see if Vegas 9 closes that gap a bit. I have no idea why Vegas is so deficient in those areas.
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Old May 5th, 2009, 06:30 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Roger Shealy View Post
For straight editing, color correction, sound, and cropping/panning, Vegas is hard to beat. I find it ridiculously fast compared to other editors. Once you start collaborating with others, using plug-ins, or wanting to add slick text/intro's, FCP is the standard. I'm waiting to see if Vegas 9 closes that gap a bit. I have no idea why Vegas is so deficient in those areas.

I really like vegas as well, anytime I needed to use any fancy plugins or slick text intros I used Premiere or AfterEffects and rendered the file lossless before editing in vegas again. I'm not sure if that is the best method but it worked well and I could not notice any extra quality loss.
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Old May 5th, 2009, 08:57 PM   #28
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I have CS4 in addition to Vegas and AE and PS are fantastic programs. Premiere, however, is good if you want to keep the whole project in the family and carry over changes from one platform to the others (change in PS carries over to AE...). I use .wmv files quite a bit and the Vegas renders .wmv faster and the resulting quality is higher than Premiere. As a stand alone editor, I chose Vegas over Premiere.

I'm finding that AE and PS are a world of their own and I let others do this work while I personally concentrate on camera and editing. This is a serious hobby for me, but I can't spend 12 hours a day learning all of CS4! I have, however, signed my kids up with Lynda.com and they are learning it! Parents used to raise kids to bring in the crops, why not to capture, color correct, enhance, and automate images? :)
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