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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 July 6th, 2009, 07:56 PM   #1
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AC vs. battery - can it make a difference

I was at a video group meeting the other day and several members made the statement that you get a cleaner picture with battery than with AC - and that you should always shoot only with battery.

Now two of us who shoot quite a bit were taken back by that....so I thought I would ask the group if there is any substance to shooting only with battery ?
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Old July 6th, 2009, 08:21 PM   #2
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There are some situations where you could get electrical interference, but it's very rare. I haven't seen it since years ago, back in the tubecam days...I was shooting computer monitors and there was a desk with a computer in front of me and another one just behind me. I had the camera plugged into the power supply and started getting all sorts of weirdness. Unplugged it and switched to battery and all was well. That was in the old days when monitors were different and so were cameras and power supplies. I doubt the same setup today would cause any problem. If you are running on AC power and see some strange things in you viewfinder, then it would be logical to unplug and go with a battery and see if that fixes it. But as far as the image being cleaner, that won't happen. Either you're getting some obvious interference or you're not. If it's there you can see it easily, if it's not then the picture is going to be the same as with battery.
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Old July 6th, 2009, 08:50 PM   #3
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Here are two anecdotes from my small mine of personal experience. First, I have a Countryman lav mic that generates a hum when my XH A1 is plugged into a socket but disappears when running on batteries. Second, my HV10 and HV30 will sometimes create wavy images, an visual oscillation that I've discussed elsewhere, when plugged in but not on batteries. The lav mic problem happens everywhere when plugged in. The HV problem only happens when plugged into some rather old wiring and even then only intermittently.

In the context of your question, it seems that it's possible but there's a shed load of variables that can effect your image quality.
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Old July 6th, 2009, 10:39 PM   #4
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It's conceivable that, if you have a 'dirty' power supply, it could have an effect. Musicians will bore you half to death with stories (some of them even true) about gigs teetering on a knife-edge because the power supply at the venue created all kinds of problems with amps, decks and whatever else.

Dirty power is usually associated with old wiring, badly shielded cables, bad connections (loose, or badly fitted) and, especially, with amateur, do-it-yourself wiring.

At least the power from the battery is guaranteed clean.
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Old July 7th, 2009, 06:23 PM   #5
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Sounds like rubbish.... Lets face it the interference if it is there due to a dirty power source it will corrupt the whole image not just reduce the quality. You would get total pixelation of the image.
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Old July 7th, 2009, 07:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Shaw View Post
Sounds like rubbish.... Lets face it the interference if it is there due to a dirty power source it will corrupt the whole image not just reduce the quality. You would get total pixelation of the image.
This has been bandied about several times hereabout. Since there are several types of power anomalies there can be several kinds of interference and they can be different on different cameras. As my post in this very thread indicates, pixelization is not the only potential problem.
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Old July 7th, 2009, 08:52 PM   #7
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I noticed duracell batteries give my footage a golden glow.
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Old July 8th, 2009, 01:12 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Doug Bennett View Post
I noticed duracell batteries give my footage a golden glow.
LOL ; )

That's good.
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Old July 8th, 2009, 08:39 AM   #9
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It works for me. I can't use mains power because the electricity here is generated by coal which gives a grimy look to all the footage.
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Old July 8th, 2009, 12:17 PM   #10
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Post houses charge a lot of money to create that look.
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Old July 8th, 2009, 02:48 PM   #11
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Tune in and see if ac works with the XHA1, live

In my somewhat limited expierience running on ac, never had a problem. BUT --- You can see, live, if it works ok, in a few minutes (4:30pm eastern time) as we will be streaming live on miamiherald.com an interview with the embattled head of a Venezuelan television network....it will be spanish, but you can see if I have egg -- or ac power problems ---on my face. Camera and a Sign Video audio mixer are both running on ac, 4 mikes powered by the mixer. Tune in and see what happens.....! / Battle Vaughan/miamiherald.com video team

After the fact: Didn't find any AC problems in our 30-minute stream, audio clean and no problems visible in the viewfinder, anyway. Probably hard to tell in a web-size video in SD,but fwiw AC power worked a treat.../bv

Last edited by Battle Vaughan; July 8th, 2009 at 08:10 PM. Reason: addendum
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