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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 August 16th, 2009, 03:48 PM   #1
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fade in/out?

hello, i am going to be doing some videography for a company which has a particular look for all their videos. they want a fade in and fade out at beginning and end of tape, recorded in-camera not done in post. obviously i can use the iris, but it will be difficult if not impossible to simultaneously fade the audio (coming in through a mixer using both XLR inputs). is there a setting on the XH-A1 that i am not seeing which would accomplish this? the head of the company has found this to be typical on other cameras used by other operators, i just can't find a way to do this. thanks!
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Old August 16th, 2009, 08:22 PM   #2
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Are they with you at the time of filming? Is there a tight deadline?

If it was me I'd do it in post, upload it back onto the tape and say nothing.

As long as the result is there, who cares how it's done.
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Old August 16th, 2009, 11:44 PM   #3
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Cynthia you'll need to explain more. What is the program, sounds like it might be a live conference with a fade in and out? Do they want to take the camera tape with them, so no post work is being done by you?
A tape runs 83mins at SP speed, a short conference? You could prerecord the fade in and pause or re-cue the tape to start on record later.

Is the mixer a mix of speech mics? It should have a master volume on it, you might find if you cue the operator he/she can fade it up for you, then out at the fin.

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Old August 17th, 2009, 03:31 AM   #4
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fade in/out and time stamping

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Originally Posted by Allan Black View Post
Cynthia you'll need to explain more. What is the program, sounds like it might be a live conference with a fade in and out? Do they want to take the camera tape with them, so no post work is being done by you?
A tape runs 83mins at SP speed, a short conference? You could prerecord the fade in and pause or re-cue the tape to start on record later.

Is the mixer a mix of speech mics? It should have a master volume on it, you might find if you cue the operator he/she can fade it up for you,
thank you gentlemen,
yes, you're right, it's an event, and i will have to deliver the tapes and dvd backup via fedex almost immediately. so while i can indeed prerecord the fade in, it seems that it would be far more trouble that it's worth, and not doable in the time frame, to capture the footage, add the fadeout, then put back onto tape for delivery and also record onto the dvd. i run the mixer as well as the camera so there is no one to fade audio for me, thus the challenge.

i have another requirement that is causing me problems...they want a time date stamp on the recording. while i can of course get the time/date to display, as per the manual, i find it is not recording onto the tape or dvd. i could use the tv screen feature to get the display to output onto the dvd, but then i am getting unwanted indicators such as the audio, so that's not an option--and i still would not have it on the tape. does anyone know how to do this?
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Old August 17th, 2009, 06:56 AM   #5
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I suspect that your client's previous video producers were using consumer camcorders. The function requested has been available on consumer products since Skippy was a duck. I cannot think of a simple way to do it with the A1.
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Old August 17th, 2009, 07:15 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cynthia Granville View Post
they want a time date stamp on the recording. while i can of course get the time/date to display, as per the manual, i find it is not recording onto the tape or dvd. i could use the tv screen feature to get the display to output onto the dvd, but then i am getting unwanted indicators such as the audio, so that's not an option--and i still would not have it on the tape. does anyone know how to do this?
Step One is to set up only those indicators you want to appear on screen via the Custom Display menu. This is described on page 90 of the operator's manual. Step Two is to activate Character Recording, which will burn your custom display to tape. This is done via the Custom Function menu which is described on page 83 of the operator's manual.
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Old August 17th, 2009, 07:24 AM   #7
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If I could get away with the iris fade in/out, then I'd position the mixer alongside me and fade up the master gain with the mic inputs preset for the voices.

But you need time to try and set all this and practise your moves. Honestly in your position it will be better to just settle for taping the event and do the pix/audio fades in post, along with time/date stamp and DVD. And you say you have 'tapes' to change, you'll have to stop the event to not miss anything.

It should only add 3 or 4 hours to the job (maybe overnight?) and you can guarantee it gets done right. I've got 30yrs experience in this and no offence but you sound inexperienced so I can tell you it's extremely chancy to try winging it and you'll only get one chance. Blow it and they won't ask again.

I'd offer that and bow out if they won't come to the party.

Cheers.
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Old August 17th, 2009, 11:09 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
Step One is to set up only those indicators you want to appear on screen via the Custom Display menu. This is described on page 90 of the operator's manual. Step Two is to activate Character Recording, which will burn your custom display to tape. This is done via the Custom Function menu which is described on page 83 of the operator's manual.
Chris, my problem is that I cannot find a way to monitor the audio levels on the camera display and yet not burn them in with Character Recording along with the time and date. I am seeing all display or no display, and I need the audio level meter. Is there a workaround for this?

Allan, I am not experienced doing this type of event recording...I am shooting docs and narrative. I was surprised that the company is requiring things which to me, like Tripp, sound like consumer camcorder options, such as the fades and the time/date stamping. But as some of these may go 12 hours, I don't feel that capturing, adding fades and date stamps in post, and outputting back to tape is a realistic option. Possibly I'm just being lazy not to want to spend 36++ hours on a 12 hour job. But I am curious as to how I would add a time stamp in post-production, as I have not run across the ability to do that in any of the editing I have done without massive labor. Date, of course. But titling every 60 seconds manually? Can you briefly explain how I would do that without far more labor than seems to make sense?
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Old August 18th, 2009, 01:46 AM   #9
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Cynthia, this job gets bigger with every post :) What audio mixer do you have, it should have an audio meter on it, so if you calibrate its output correctly to your A1, then you don't need to see audio levels on your A1.

Twelve hours! good grief! no one watches 12 hours of anything, well maybe Star Wars or the complete Harry Potter madness.

But if it's going to run 12hours, I'd investigate outputing directly to your computer editing program in grabs long enough to fill each tape. Then you could do your pix/audio fades and cut out the event potty breaks.

If you daisy chained 2 laptops with external drives, you should be able to alternate edit each one as the event goes along, together with transfering back to tape on another small camera (HV20?) and dubbing your DVDs on the laptops. You'd need to have your setup alongside your camera and use headphones.

But as I've never actually done that exactly I can't help you further, except to say you'd need another person to run camera and swap duties if you undertake it.

There's plenty of info on post time/date stamping. This comes up, never used it though.

Video2DV

If my client wanted a finished 12hr set of DV tapes and DVDs immediately after the curtain came down, I'd be charging like a wounded bull.

Cheers.
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Last edited by Allan Black; August 18th, 2009 at 07:17 PM. Reason: more thoughts.
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Old September 12th, 2009, 09:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cynthia Granville View Post
Chris, my problem is that I cannot find a way to monitor the audio levels on the camera display and yet not burn them in with Character Recording along with the time and date. I am seeing all display or no display, and I need the audio level meter. Is there a workaround for this?
Hi Cynthia, you already have an audio levels meter available on the left side of the camera in the middle of the power dial. Position yourself to the left of the camera a bit so you can see the levels meter and the flip-out LCD. This way, and by wearing headphones and using them as your primary feedback for audio monitoring, you can just turn off the levels indicator in the LCD display.
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Old September 12th, 2009, 11:11 AM   #11
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To be honest Cynthia IMO all this should be done in post even though it may be achievable in real time.

It sounds like you're gonna be a little overworked with all this. Unless they want this tape at the end of the meeting I would strongly suggest to them that their product will look better and more professional if you do all this in post. I can't imagine that all this is gonna look great without being able to rehearse it all several times before hand for consistency.

I hope you're getting well comphensated for all this no matter how you chose to do it;)
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Old September 12th, 2009, 05:39 PM   #12
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This might not be perfect, but you could hold a sheet of white paper in front of the lens, and then remove it at the start of taping for the "fade in", and then for the "fade out", move the sheet of paper to the front of the lens as you finish taping.

If you make a "smooth move" it will simulate a fade from white and then a fade to white. I know, it's not the greatest, but it's not any dumber than their request. And if they want fade to black, use any opaque object.

At least this method leaves the timecode intact.
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