Can a Canon AH-A1s do what the Canon t2 can? (video wise) at DVinfo.net

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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 31st, 2010, 01:21 PM   #1
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Can a Canon AH-A1s do what the Canon t2 can? (video wise)

Can the Canon XH-A1s pull off those magnificent shots that I see a lot of people doing with their dslr camera? The shots with the background of Foreground out of focus then it pulls in focus, seems like a lot of wedding videographers are using this style. The color in all the videos I see for the Canon t2 are amazing- Can I achieve the same style with a Canon XH-A1s or do I need to think about Dslr?
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Old July 31st, 2010, 03:01 PM   #2
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You can get an adapter to screw on the end of your lens to give a shallow depth of field, but it's very finicky and difficult to use. You can get the t2i and a decent zoom lens for about $1,400 which would be my suggestion so you have a good dedicated camera (the XH-A1) for moving shots or wide coverage and a dslr for the spontaneous highlight shots where it excels.
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Old August 1st, 2010, 02:56 AM   #3
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In general you can the say that, like Roger stated, you need some add-ons and color tweaking to come closer to what a DSLR can achieve but the same applies for a DSLR, before that is able to get that same "all-round" use (audio is the first thing that comes to mind) you need too invest in several accessors as well.

I have a 550d in addition to my xh-a1, do I use it more then my xh-a1? no. I only use it for creative shots because I can add a very wide angle lens or get that realy shallow dof. Also when it gets very dark and when audio is not that important I use the dslr with a 50mm 1.4 lens.

I see it as an addition to my bag of gear, my xh-a1 stays my main workhorse as it gives me the best realtime performance in situations where I need to get a good image and sound right from the first time and where there is no prep time. I"m very sure I will not loose any client because I don't use a dslr for all my shots, they have their purpose and if used right they can complement your work a great deal.

Also bear in mind that a dslr is difficult to operate in realtime, I would not dream of covering an important "you only get one chance" event with a dslr alone, that would only happen if I was together with at least 2 other dslr operators.
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Old August 1st, 2010, 01:45 PM   #4
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I realize some of you guys know this but for those who don't...you can get a shallower dof by doing the following:
Turn gain down to -3, open your lense all the way (even if you have to use ND) and shoot subject from a distance of 30-40 feet (zooming as necessary).
It's impractical at times but it works.
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Old August 1st, 2010, 03:42 PM   #5
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That will get you going, you don't even have to zoom in completely, if you are very close to your subject and manage to open up the iris completely (adjusting the incoming light with the nd filter or shutter) you can get some nice soft background as well.

But, with a dslr you can get real crazy, below a framegrab of a butterfly I filmed with a 550d/nikon nikkor 50mm 1.4
Settings where iso 100 and shutter 50, I control the incoming light with a fader ND filter that allows gradual exposure changes between ND2 and ND400

This gives a dof of maybe 2cm from about half a meter from your subject. (just guessing here but think I'm not that far off.)

http://www.fotograffiti.be/vlinder.jpg
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Old August 2nd, 2010, 09:33 PM   #6
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XHA1 vx t2i

I have both of these cameras, and the answer is pretty simple.

No. You can't. Not really.

But there are things you can do with the A1 that you can't do with the DSLR -- like shoot all day without the equipment overheating, or pull off beautiful handheld/moving shots that would turn a t2i shot to jello.
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Old August 2nd, 2010, 10:11 PM   #7
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Jay, you mean like the shots in this collection?

I walked in with a camera and tripod. Plenty of blurred backgrounds and racking focus without being far away. Colors are also good with only a polarizer for the sky shots. Also, there's shots you just couldn't do with just your DSLR and tripod let alone the slow smooth steady zooms.
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Old August 3rd, 2010, 07:43 AM   #8
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A good way to get a pretty shallow depth of field with the XHA1s is to use the magnify setting and shoot in manual mode. Depending on the distance from the camera, "in-focus" can be just a couple of inches.

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Old August 5th, 2010, 08:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Chilson View Post
A good way to get a pretty shallow depth of field with the XHA1s is to use the magnify setting and shoot in manual mode.
Correct me if I'm wrong (it's quite possible that I am), but isn't magnify only supposed to be a focusing aid? I'm pretty sure it won't record to tape the way you see it on the lcd in that mode...
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Old August 6th, 2010, 07:24 AM   #10
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I could be wrong too but it seems I read somewhere that the XHA1S model will record it to tape but the older XHA1won't.
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Old August 6th, 2010, 04:46 PM   #11
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Well I wouldn't know lol. I've only ever used the plain old XH-A1 model. But it does seem like something unusual for the camera to do because from what I understand it's essentially an electronic zoom, which you would never want to use anyway.
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Old August 6th, 2010, 05:08 PM   #12
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Good point David
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Old August 6th, 2010, 06:00 PM   #13
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i tried it with my xh-a1. have to stand back to zoom in.


steadicam shot is with hv30.
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