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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 January 19th, 2010, 05:46 PM   #1
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Recording directly to disk

Hi all, a newbie here.

We love our XH-A1 but its a pain playing the tape real time into Creative Suite to capture it. Has anyone successfully plugged a portable hard drive to the camera for direct to disk capture? We're a PC shop, and a laptop between the camera and the hard drive wouldn't be too much of a problem for classroom stuff. Understand it won't work in the field. Any assisstance is much appreciated.

George
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Old January 19th, 2010, 10:41 PM   #2
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The only option is a FireStore. Because the XH-A1 doesn't have SDI out, the nanoFlash is out of the running (unless I missed something.) There's no way to just plug any old drive into your camera and record video, except using a laptop in between as you've already figured out.
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Old January 20th, 2010, 08:20 AM   #3
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I've successfully captured from my A1 to laptop with Avid Liquid, Studio 12 ultimate, and HDV split. These were just short tests. I've seen capture to Avid Media Composer demonstrated at a meeting by another videographer, who says he does it all the time. If the laptop has a fast enough harddrive, and fast enough processor, you may be able to get away with capturing to the laptop's internal hard drive. I don't know about the Premier Suite of programs.
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Old January 20th, 2010, 02:21 PM   #4
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Options for direct capture

There are other options. Serious Magic had a program (which I Have) that permits capture directly to a hard drive. Then Serious Magic sold the software to Adobe. I'm not sure what Adobe calls the program now, but I have used it a lot capturing with a Laptop to an external HD. I have two batteries for the Laptop which allows several hours of continuous shooting/capture. The program also allows you to fine tune the video by doing various things (white balance etc) within the program while you are shooting.
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Old January 20th, 2010, 06:33 PM   #5
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The program Phil is talking about is provided as part of the Adobe Production Suite, called OnLocation now....still, you have to record to the program on a computer, not just to a hard drive alone...../Battle Vaughan
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Old January 21st, 2010, 07:07 PM   #6
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Recording to a hard drive

You record through the computer to a hard drive. The software allows you to do that. You simply designate where you want to record the video to and thats it. External drive(s) or the lap top hard drive. You don't have to make any adjustments if you don't want to, just simply record through the lap top using the software. Now that Adobe has the program, as I understand it, there are certain provisions for recording HD.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 06:30 AM   #7
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Yeah, you do record to an HD and you don't have to use tapes. But you do need a computer of some sort. Whether you have a full sized desktop tower or mini laptop, you will always have a firewire running out the back of your camera. What I think George is going for is a completely portable HD recording option. I haven't really been looking into that per sť, but I have tried OnLocation, and it works great, very versatile. Also, when Story gets it's final release, it will easily work together with OL and Premiere Pro (or so I'm told).
But I digress.
My point is: As far as I know, recording to a harddisk is not possible without a computer involved, which is a shame, because I'm also losing valuable time capturing my HDV material off my A1.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 11:31 AM   #8
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I know this is a sub par suggestion, but i tried this with iMovie 09 and was able to record direct to disk on my mbp. Although the codec may not be the best.
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Old January 27th, 2010, 02:57 PM   #9
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Yes - Adobe OnLocation allows you to capture direct to disk via a laptop only. It is actually very useful, as it has a waveform built in (something you'd have to spend lots of $$$ for on a field monitor.) But the caveat with OnLocation and HDV is that the timecode does not come through and you'll have to convert the M2T files into quicktime if you are using FCP. But then you don't have to waste time or head wear on capturing, you can transcode directly to any flavor of ProRes, and you can batch process many hours of clips overnight. My interview footage and post production workflow have all around improved as a result of OnLocation. Is it perfect? No. But it is a useful tool for some situations.
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Old January 29th, 2010, 06:50 PM   #10
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Yeah, next week I'm shooting 30+ hours of training seminars. So instead of spending a boat load on tapes, I'll be using OnLocation (with 1-2 backup tapes being re-used). This will save time with capturing to my pc too.
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Old February 1st, 2010, 01:11 AM   #11
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Would it be possible to capture direct to ProRes format using the IntensityPro card within an external PCIe slot? Or you could use a small tower and keep the hard drive in there with the card. You could then use the camera's component out for potential un-compressed, but realistically, 4:2:2 low compression captures.
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Old February 2nd, 2010, 01:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Currie View Post
Yeah, next week I'm shooting 30+ hours of training seminars. So instead of spending a boat load on tapes, I'll be using OnLocation (with 1-2 backup tapes being re-used). This will save time with capturing to my pc too.
I would be careful about not having a tape backup. Out of the 30 interviews I have recently shot with OnLocation, I found that on two of them the sound and video were out of sync. I had to recapture from tape on those. No idea what caused the issue, so I always shoot to a tape backup.
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Old February 2nd, 2010, 09:54 PM   #13
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I guess I could have worded that better. I am recording to tape as backup. At the end of the day, I check what I've captured with OL and if it's all good, I re-record over the tapes the next day, using only a handful rather than a case. Shot 2 days so far and all is good.
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Old February 3rd, 2010, 03:18 PM   #14
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Makes sense. That is a good way to save tape and not take a big risk.
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Old February 5th, 2010, 07:25 AM   #15
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You might want to check out Firestore FS-CV this baby rocks with the A1, record SD and HDV. then just drag and drop. That is my workflow and no issues at all. I purchased it like 6 months ago for a 40+ hour project, well I didn't get to do the job but still not having to waist time capturing in real time is glorious... I believe you an also edit from the disk, but I never tried this.

Alex
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