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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 4th, 2010, 10:47 AM   #1
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Canon XH-A1S - Wireless Mic Questions

I film weddings, and my goal is to safely operate my wireless lavalier microphone with Canon XH-A1S.

Microphone system is Trantec S4.4:-

Trantec | wireless systems | radio microphones | guitar systems

When I relied on my old Canon XM2/GL2, I bought this mic for weddings because the popular Sennheiser kits were out of my price-range. On arrival I was surprised to see the receiver was mains operated - as far as I can tell the receivers with the more expensive Sennheisers (G2 etc) are battery operated. I am far from an expert on voltages etc, and was wary of plugging something mains powered into the 'mic' 3.5 jack plug socket of my XM2. According to some people I asked, it should be plugged into a 'line' socket (which the XM2 does not have).

I went ahead anyway, and this Trantec mains-powered mic has given me excellent results so far plugged into 'mic' of my XM2. However having just taken delivery of a brand new XH-A1S, I am concerned again about plugging the mic receiver into my camera, given that it is mains powered.

The XH-A1S has a 3.5 'mic' socket, and two XLR sockets. A switch next to the XLRs can have '+48v' on or off - I am not sure if this option affects the 'mic' socket. My Trantec must be plugged into the 'mic' socket as the receiver has a 3.5mm jack plug. As far as I am aware I do not want +48v for my mic receiver, as it has its own (mains) power.

Manual for the XH-A1S says, under 'External Mics that can be Connected': "Mic Type - condenser mics with independent power supply, type of plug - 3.5 mm, input impedance 600 ohms, sensitivity - -66 dBV (manual vol centre)".

OK so my main question is... is there any risk of damage to my XH-A1S by plugging in a mains-powered mic? As I say I have asked 'experts' before about plugging this into my XM2, and they told me it was 'line' rather than 'mic' socket I wanted - however those I asked seemed to specialise in audio equipment, rather than video cameras.

The Trantec has worked fine with the XM2 in the 'mic' socket, but I would appreciate some clarity from XH-A1/S users and, if possible, those familiar with plugging mains-powered microphones into this camera.
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Old May 4th, 2010, 11:32 AM   #2
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Phantom power (that is, the 48v power) is supplied only to xlr sockets for powering professional mikes. If you use the 3.5mm socket you need a mike which is self-powered...typical mikes run off a button battery, aaa battery or are the dynamic type that doesn't require a battery....what kind of power operates your mike is relevant here only because the camera does not provide power to the 3.5mm socket. The signal going into your 3.5mm socket is the audio signal, has nothing to do with what operates your mikes.

Most mikes have an output level of between -65 and -35 dbV, which needs amplifying by the camera. Line level signals are about 50 db higher, and can overload a mike input...check the specs for your microphone, if there is a choice select mike level output, if there is no choice, check to see what the instructions say is the output for that unit. I would be surprised to find a line-level mike, but I don't KNOW that there aren't any. If it is line level, you would need to get a line to mike attenuator to bring the audio signal down to what the camera wants to see. But don't confuse the output level of your mike for the power supply that runs it, they are two different things....
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Old May 5th, 2010, 06:11 PM   #3
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Hi Rob..............

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Harlan View Post
As far as I am aware I do not want +48v for my mic receiver, as it has its own (mains) power.
Absolutely correct.

Quote:
is there any risk of damage to my XH-A1S by plugging in a mains-powered mic?
Absolutely not. And it's not a mic, it's a receiver

Quote:
they told me it was 'line' rather than 'mic' socket I wanted
Unless the receiver has a line/ mic switch or setting that affects the 3.5 mm plug, no, it's mic, especially as it worked fine on other equipment as "mic".

Quote:
I would appreciate some clarity from XH-A1/S users and, if possible, those familiar with plugging mains-powered microphones into this camera.
It isn't a mic, it's a receiver and it will be fine.


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Old May 7th, 2010, 08:48 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies.

I was referring to the peripheral as a whole when I say 'mic' - I know the receiver is what plugs into the camera and not the microphone.

Sounds like I have nothing to worry about then so I will go ahead - I'm not an expert in electricity, voltages and inbuilt safety mechanisms etc etc... I was just a little concerned about frying anything inside the new camera with electric power because I couldn't find much information on plugging mains-powered receivers into the XH-A1S. Most people seem to use battery-powered Sennheisers etc.
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Old May 8th, 2010, 07:18 AM   #5
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The wireless system reads like it has line-level output.
Set the XH-A1 audio input level accordingly.
XLR input is arguably the best way to go.
Be sure the 48vdc is off.

Using a wireless system that is powered form the building power source (mains) should not be a problem. However, ground loops are not unheard of. Test before a money shoot to be sure all is OK.
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