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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 November 6th, 2010, 08:15 PM   #16
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Tans,

Here's the first video that I shot with my A1. I had no idea what I was doing. It was shot hand-held because I went to the local zoo just to test my new camera, but ended up catching a really cute scene.


Is it sharp enough for you? I didn't do any color correction at all -- just added some music, a title, and some simple cuts.

The sharpness that you will get from the A1 is very good. Don't let that concern you. And it seems as if you have a good background to quickly begin using it to do great work.

Phil
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Old November 7th, 2010, 06:01 AM   #17
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Les, Phil:

These sharpen are okay for me, thank you for the samples!
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Old November 7th, 2010, 01:53 PM   #18
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the Alaska clip was beautiful...
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Old November 7th, 2010, 01:56 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Murray View Post
Tans,

Here's the first video that I shot with my A1. I had no idea what I was doing. It was shot hand-held because I went to the local zoo just to test my new camera, but ended up catching a really cute scene.

Lions at the Fort Worth Zoo on Vimeo

Is it sharp enough for you? I didn't do any color correction at all -- just added some music, a title, and some simple cuts.

The sharpness that you will get from the A1 is very good. Don't let that concern you. And it seems as if you have a good background to quickly begin using it to do great work.

Phil
GREAT LOOKING SHOOT....thanks
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Old November 10th, 2010, 07:17 AM   #20
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Good looking video

I, too, like the video from Alaska. Great composition, nice nat sound and editing. I liked how you used a tripod. Thanks for sharing.
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Old November 10th, 2010, 01:38 PM   #21
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Great clip. The lion family were very entertaining.
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Old November 11th, 2010, 05:29 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hank Ebert View Post
I, too, like the video from Alaska. Great composition, nice nat sound and editing. I liked how you used a tripod. Thanks for sharing.
Just to be clear, the Sitka Alaska clip is the work of DVInfo member David Rice. His collection of video on Vimeo is of some really stunning stuff. Some of it was shot right out his back door. As I understand it, clips produced before Sept 2010 were using an HV20, afterward an XH-A1.

The point of the clips was to illustrate the A1 can be as sharp as a tack. As in all of media production, the equipment alone is insufficient. Great results come from skill and/or fortuitous accidents.
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Old November 11th, 2010, 11:45 AM   #23
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I'll echo Chris from earlier in this thread. Video that's been (highly) compressed by YouTube (or Vimeo) is simply not going to tell you much (if anything) about how sharp an image you can expect to get out of a camera. I like the A1, and it records quite respectably sharp images (was basically the best of it's class when it came out - 4 years ago), but nowadays there are plenty of camcorders that can record more image detail (but you won't see that difference after it's been compressed for internet delivery on a video sharing site).
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Old November 11th, 2010, 12:22 PM   #24
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Canon A1

Thank's for the nice comments on the Alaska Video. I have been using the A1 for a couple of months now. It's capabilities are amazing. I do break a few rules though. Due to eye problems I am now forced to use only the "auto focus" function. I know that's a no, no, but I have no choice, and so far the auto focus has worked for me. I do shoot in manual only. Which allows me to still be creative. I only use the vividcolor preset. I never change it.

Here's a video I shot a week ago in very difficult "low light" early morning, and poor weather conditions, including wind and rain. When I shoot on a tripod I leave the image stabilizer on to counteract the wind gusts. Which works great.

The capabilities of the A1 are only limited by the experience of the operator. I'm having fun. Even in the rain & wind.


Dave Rice
Sitka, Alaska
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Old November 12th, 2010, 12:34 AM   #25
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Totally agree, I have two A1's and had them for a number of years and yes they produce great images.

In fact I am actually doing a job at the moment and working with HDV from a Z1, HDV from an A1, 7D footage and Ex1 fooatge and I can safely say that the Z1 stuff looks pretty average, the A1 and EX1 stuff is alot closer than you would think and the 7D stuff looks good due to the DOF but nowhere near as sharp as both EX1 and A1....

The only let down for me on the A1 is the chromatic aberration which when for me is a little ugly but not ridiculous.

A1 is still good for a while yet....
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Old November 12th, 2010, 06:20 AM   #26
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The positive recommendations by those who used an A1 are what sold me on the camera. As you can see, I've joined this group and am just as passionate about my camera.

Yes, vimeo quality and sharpness has a lot more to do with encoding than with the camera. If you can go to a store with an XH-A1s and ask them to connect it to an HDTZV, then you can see exactly what the output can look like. (The chip inside is the same as the original A1.)

As for your video from Sitka, David, well....

WOW! Beautiful work!

I use autofocus a lot more than I like to admit, too, but now that I'm experimenting with a Letus 35mm adapter, I use manual focus all the time. This is where I see the limitations of the LCD. While it's not impossible, it's not easy. I have an HD monitor that I sometimes use, but using "magnify" with the LCD makes it beaable without the monitor.

I also use the VividRGB preset most of time time. (I think that's the one you mentioned, David.) I also have a preset that gives a slightly warm look that I like in the winter.

Lastly, I echo the sentiments that equipment is only as good as the operator. That's why I look at others' work as often as possible and daily read all the great ideas that are shared here.
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Old November 12th, 2010, 09:07 AM   #27
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I too shoot in manual on my A1, but use autofocus a lot of the time, especially when I'm shooting sports.

Although my eyesight is problematic, I still use manual focus whenever the situation allows, when there is a minimum of fast action. When shooting indoors with power available, I bring a 22" LCD HDTV to monitor crisp focus.

However, that isn't practical outdoors. What I usually do then is rely on the infinity symbol when using manual focus. The A1s LCD display just isn't good enough to judge whether or not you have good focus, but the distance readouts, and the infinity symbol work well. I can't think offhand of even one instance where I used the infinity focus and had the resulting footage be out of focus.

I really love those 3 rings. Almost always use the zoom ring instead of the rocker.
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Old November 12th, 2010, 09:56 AM   #28
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I'm about to break some more rules. Thanks to a friend, I have just obtained a Raynox HDP-9000EX 1.8x High Definition Telephoto Conversion Lens for the A1. I'm going to use the lens for mostly out of reach sea birds, marine mammals and fishing boats. Glass over glass, I never thought I would do it. Funny how poor health and age changes your perspective about things.

Dave Rice
Sitka, Alaska
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Old November 12th, 2010, 11:40 PM   #29
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Why are there so many expressions of shame about using autofocus? There is no "rule" that says "thou shalt always use manual focus." There is no law saying: "any videographer who fails in his duty to use manual focus will be abused and denigrated."

Auto focus is a tool. It works well for many things we shoot. It is available. So use it. Manual focus is another tool. Use it when appropriate for what you are shooting.

There are times when I find the autofocus gets confused or hobbled, The manual focus is there for when I need it. Sometimes, you use a tool like the Letus and have to work with manual focus for what you want to shoot. The XHA1 is nothing if not versatile.

Here's an example of where I've found manual focus useful.. I regularly video dance recitals and stage performances. Lights often fade to black between scene changes. Sometimes spotlights are used. These things can throw auto-focus out of whack and cause it to hunt as lights comes back up or the spot light shifts. What I do is zoom all the way in on something on stage with sharp lines that I use to judge focus when the lights are up before the performance. Almost invariably, the autofocus finds the correct focus quickly. Then, I switch to manual focus and zoom back out. Everything stays in focus. Same thing for dimly lit wedding receptions. This works well with many cameras besides the XHA1, too.

But, most of the time, autofocus works very well and allows me to concentrate on things like shutter speed, iris, and framing.
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Old November 13th, 2010, 07:18 AM   #30
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I'm with Jay. Autofocus is so much better than I am at finding accurate focus. It immediately knows which way to 'turn the lens' and doesn't need to rock 'n' roll when it gets there. It can get confused during a shot, but for finding focus at the start of each shot it's far faster and more accurate than I ever will be.

tom.
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