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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 10th, 2010, 10:06 PM   #1
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Capture device for XH-A1

I own a Canon XH-A1 and I'm considering buying a HV20 to do all the uploading of video for editing.

All the normal reasons, to save the wear and tear on the heads, and have a solution for an editor to upload footage without the camera.


My question is are there any drawbacks to capturing using the HV20 compared to the XH-A1?


Thanks in Advance
Jeff

PS: if there already a thread(s) with this exact question I apologize
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Old July 10th, 2010, 11:12 PM   #2
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Welcome Jeff.

That's a popular way of doing it for sure .. I use a HV20 for HDV and there are no drawbacks just a few more advantages.

It's a smaller footprint on the editing desk than the A1 and you're not repeatedly plugging into the A1 (frail) firewire socket. I haven't found any problems connecting the HV20 to the computer with its power on, I leave a FW cable permanently connected to the computer .. but ALWAYS do it with the HV20s power OFF.

Use the HV20s remote to shuttle the tape about. Saves reaching over to press those buttons on its LCD and saves wear there. I rotate 4 batteries to avoid any ground loops.

You didn't mention your NLE but don't downconvert HDV in the HV20 I find it looks awful. Have fun.

Cheers.
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Old July 11th, 2010, 01:29 AM   #3
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Another advantage to getting an HV20 is that you still have a reasonably compatible second camera when you want to do a multi-cam shoot or when you want a back-up camera available.

If you are still shooting in SD-LP mode (as for longer events), be aware that there can be problems when shooting LP on one camera and then capturing thorugh a different camera. As cameras age, sometimes you can run into slight differences/changes in recording head alignments. This can result in glitching and skipping when the tape is captured from a camera different from the one on which the footage was shot. That said, I've never run into that problem in the three years I've been using my XHA1 and HV20. Didn't have problem when I was shooting SD-LP. I wouldn't expect any problems with HDV tape, either, and I haven't seen any..
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Old July 11th, 2010, 08:36 AM   #4
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I originally purchased an HV-20 to use as a tape rewinder, but as others have posted, also started using it to upload to my computer. It makes more sense to use an inexpensive, refurbished cam to save the wear and tear on the more expensive device.
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Old July 12th, 2010, 06:08 AM   #5
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Save your money, you will upgrade to a newer camera long before you wear out the heads in your XH-A1.
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Old July 12th, 2010, 08:30 AM   #6
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Why do many people seem to want to avoid capturing using their more expensive cameras?

Aren't the playback heads different to the recording heads? I was under the impression that no amount of playback use will affect the recording mechanisms as such - well I would hope not.

I tend to capture entire tapes in several chunks, so there is very little rewinding/forwarding involved in my case - I put the tape in, let it play out, rewind and forget. Some people are even using lesser cameras to rewind their tapes?

What is the official line on how using the playback mechanisms on the XH-A1S might ever affect the recording mechanisms, or is the fear just about wearing out the playback?
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Old July 12th, 2010, 11:58 AM   #7
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Years of using VCRs, the thing that failed most often was the motor from frequent rewinding.

I bought the HV-20 to preserve the XH-A1 motor for as long as possible.
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Old July 12th, 2010, 12:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Harlan View Post
I was under the impression that no amount of playback use will affect the recording mechanisms as such
You are absolutely correct -- the notion of "wearing out the heads" from excessive playback and rewinding is an internet myth that we've worked hard to dispel here at DV Info Net. The primary reason why you'd want to use an HV series camcorder for these duties instead of your XH or XL is pretty simple -- it's to keep the camera free for shooting. It's not making money for you if it's tied up in the editing suite on playback duty. You want it out in the field working, and that's how a little HV can pay for itself rather quickly by doing playback / rewind duty. Hope this helps,
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Old July 12th, 2010, 03:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Roo View Post
Years of using VCRs, the thing that failed most often was the motor from frequent rewinding.

I bought the HV-20 to preserve the XH-A1 motor for as long as possible.
Yep early Sony Betacams were bad news Ed but the current generation of camcorder motors are great .. and the last of the line too. :(

Head wear is not a problem with any of the current camcorders but with the A1 there's another one.

With my workflow I do a lot of selective capturing. We'll shoot for a day sometimes up to 60mins but I never want to xfer all of it to the archives. So there's a lot of tape shuttling and cueing to keep the captured material to a minimum. A lot of wedding shooters do the same.

The problem with the A1 is its very frail 4 pin Firewire socket. Tired at the end of the day having to make sure I line up the cable properly to not break that socket is a perpetual pain .. and it's very expensive to repair. So I use the HV20 which is mostly sitting there ready to go.

I bet Canon used the 4pin jigger to save costs and it's probably one of the first things they updated on the A1s with its 6pin FW socket, after many complaints.
Cheers.
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Old July 12th, 2010, 09:11 PM   #10
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Thank You

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
You are absolutely correct -- the notion of "wearing out the heads" from excessive playback and rewinding is an internet myth that we've worked hard to dispel here at DV Info Net. The primary reason why you'd want to use an HV series camcorder for these duties instead of your XH or XL is pretty simple -- it's to keep the camera free for shooting. It's not making money for you if it's tied up in the editing suite on playback duty. You want it out in the field working, and that's how a little HV can pay for itself rather quickly by doing playback / rewind duty. Hope this helps,
This is the best explanation I have heard. Thank You!
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Old July 14th, 2010, 05:13 PM   #11
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Thanks guys, learned a lot.

I guess I don't need that option unless I have someone else do the editing for my footage.
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