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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 5th, 2010, 06:35 PM   #1
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Post Production Software for XH-A1

I have been using the XH-A1 for about a month now and the captured footage quality is fantastic. I have done some outdoor interviews and a couple of sporting events. I have even tried a couple of presets. The playback to an external monitor looks great, but when I capture it to my PC and back up to a file, it really looks different (Not in a good way). My first clue, to this issue, is the software. Iím using Adobe Premiere Elements 8 (Not Adobe Premiere Pro CS4). PE8 lacks some HDV features and chokes about 20% of the time (I would not recommend this software to anyone).

My question is, what Post Production software, under $500, should I be using to maintain the High Quality of the XH-A1? Sony Vegas?
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Old May 8th, 2010, 09:21 AM   #2
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Anyone recommend EDIUS?

I've been reading the posts and EDIUS looks like a good NLE to use? Anyone using this?
Thanks
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Old May 8th, 2010, 10:47 AM   #3
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Your choice of NLE does not affect image quality. It's mainly a question of which user interface you like the best. Download the trial versions of each NLE you're considering, and choose the one you find easiest to work with. The one constant between all NLE applications is that you really should monitor the output with a proper HDTV and not a computer screen. Hope this helps,
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Old May 8th, 2010, 10:37 PM   #4
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John, you've run into one of the most fun things to deal with when working with video - dealing with different color spaces. Here's a simplified explanation.

Video from the XH A1 is in YCbCr. TVs are designed to playback YCbCr video. So if you playback on a TV directly from the camcorder, it will look the way that you recorded it.

But computers work in RGB. This means that on playback, there is a translation going on from YCbCr to RGB. How this occurs depends on the codec you used on capture and the software you are using for playback. So you see how fun that can be?!

The good news is, all major NLEs handle this, you just need to be aware of it. So as Chris said, try out and choose the NLE that works best for you, and keep in mind, if you're video is destined for viewing on a TV keep the video in YCbCr, and if it's destined for viewing on a digital device, then convert to RGB. Either way, it's just a matter of figuring out how to do it in the NLE that you are using.

[EDIT]- The terms YCbCr and YUV are commonly used interchangeably. Technically this is incorrect - they are different. But for the purposes of searching for a solution, it can be useful to search for both YCbCr and YUV when trying to figure out how to convert to RGB.
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Old May 9th, 2010, 08:07 AM   #5
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A number of folks like Edius. There is an Edius Neo 2 Booster that is an entry level product, about $200, and it has the same user interface as the full up editor, Edius, now version 5.5 and runs around $700 or so. (rumor is there will be a special on it sometime this spring, there is one going on now in Europe). And it works well with AVCHD. Check the support forums at Grass Valley Home | Grass Valley, and there is a forum here as well at: Grass Valley / Canopus NLE Forum at DVinfo.net.

I am in the process of trying the free download trial version of Edius, it looks OK to me.
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Old May 9th, 2010, 08:21 AM   #6
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How does Edius compare to Vegas?
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Old May 9th, 2010, 10:24 AM   #7
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I have not used Vegas.
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Old May 9th, 2010, 06:47 PM   #8
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I have been very happy using Newtek's SpeedEdit for editing. It is extremely user friendly and capable of real time editing and effects. It is definitely very speedy, especially the learning curve.
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Old May 9th, 2010, 08:28 PM   #9
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Great Info, Thanks

Thanks Chris, Michael and Don.
Chris, thanks for the tip and given life to this thread. Michael, I can now sleep again, that is a great explanation on what Iím seeing. I just made the leap for SD to HD by jumping from a Sony SD camera to the XH-A1 (more like a triple jump).

I downloaded both Sony Vegas and Edius 5. I have been working with Vegas this weekend and it seems easy to learn. I used Adobe Premiere for over 10 years, but when they split the product between Pro and Elements, I just couldnít see paying extra. Sounds like I need to reconsider, if Iím going to get serious!

Stephen, I will let you know how the 2 compare.
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Old May 9th, 2010, 10:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Rappa View Post
I've been reading the posts and EDIUS looks like a good NLE to use? Anyone using this?
Thanks
I used to recommend Edius to everyone until I came to learn that your NLE is a personal thing. People have different tastes.

One thing I'd say though, it beats everything else in robustness. I have been using it on and off for the past 4 years and continuously for the past 1.5 years. Yet to have a crash... I had installed Edius 4.6 on a machine with 512mb of ram... worked like a charm with SD... struggled with HD but didn't crash.
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Old May 10th, 2010, 05:35 PM   #11
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If you have a FULL, registered, copy of Premiere (not Elements) or Encore, you can upgrade to Premiere CS5 for about $300 (at least in the USA). However, it requires Windows 7. Check the Adobe web site for details.
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Old May 13th, 2010, 06:24 PM   #12
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Your NLE is a very personal thing not only to you but also to your computer - believe it! Just because the label says you can run their software on a PC of a certain spec, doesn't mean it will run smoothly.

I went to every NLE manufacturers website and downloaded the evaluation version - which in most cases is fully functional for about a month. I tried each in turn on a newly set-up PC with nothing other than essential programs installed.

I ended up choosing Sony Vegas Pro 9 my findings where that whilst Edius was in many ways equal and in rendering time better than Vegas there was such a good response from the tech support (I tested all manufacturers support - important!) and there wasn't the compatibility with external plug-ins which I 'may' need in the future.

Adobe Premiere CS4 (the latest at the time) was written off on price, here in the UK - it is criminal!!! (I actually thought they were joking! - they weren't) I like Apple's
Final Cut Pro, which I have on my Macbook Pro, but don't use as much as I should many because I find doing anything for long periods on a laptop is a pain.

Every NLE will have its problems, its annoyances and there will be times when you want to throw the manual at the screen (or worse), it's just a matter of finding the one you like the best and consider the points I raised here
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Old May 14th, 2010, 10:53 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Palomaki View Post
If you have a FULL, registered, copy of Premiere (not Elements) or Encore, you can upgrade to Premiere CS5 for about $300 (at least in the USA). However, it requires Windows 7. Check the Adobe web site for details.
Don,

I believe it actually only requires a 64-bit version of Windows so 64-bit Vista systems should be okay. That's what I have and I'm really leaning towards getting a copy after trying out the trial version next week. (It's a HUGE download!)

Phil
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