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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 March 26th, 2011, 12:07 PM   #1
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XHA1s footage quality better when captured?

Hi all,

Bit of a strange one this so I wanted to double-check with you all...

I'm now the proud owner of an xha1s :)

Literally took out of the box to shoot some footage today, got home and watched on TV (via AV component lead supplied) but was a little disappointed with quality. Looked a little more SD than anticipated.

I put this down to me having had the camera on full auto mode throughout, but I've just downloaded the tape footage via Firewire, and am now watching the same footage through my TV (via my PC media centre) but this time as digital files (played with windows media player) and the quality is far superior - and much more what I expected.

Great news of course! But why would this be? I assumed playback via the DV tape through an external monitor (in this case my widescreen home tv) would have shown the raw, full quality footage?

Thanks all and will post some footage soon once edited. Jim :)

EDIT: Aha, I've just worked out what it could be... does viewing through the component cable view in SD? Or perhaps I've got that as the factory setting? I'm looking at the difference in quality again and it's actually huge!
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Old March 26th, 2011, 01:03 PM   #2
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Re: XHA1s footage quality better when captured?

With the camera powered to VCR / Playback mode -- Menu > Signal Setup > Comp. Out > 1080i / 480i
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Old March 26th, 2011, 06:30 PM   #3
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Re: XHA1s footage quality better when captured?

I am sure someone will correct me if I am wrong, but when you capture it via firewire you are getting HDV footage. When you watch it through the AV cables, you are only getting an SD signal and thus not viewing it at the same quality.
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Old March 26th, 2011, 08:20 PM   #4
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Re: XHA1s footage quality better when captured?

James, to expand a little bit, I'm wondering if you are aware of the difference between the A/V cable and the component cable?

Your camera comes with two sets of AV cables. There is the standard old AV with yellow, red and white RCA connectors. The other end is a single 1/8th inch/3.5 mm mini-plug (with triple rings) that inserts into the yellow "A/V1"jack on the back of your camera. (At least, that is the set-up on my XHA1).

The yellow video cable, called a composite cable, does not carry a full hd signal. A composite video connection simply does not have the bandwidth for HD signals. (It is not the cable; it is the circuitry in the connections.)

If you used that yellow cable for your video signal, your video was down-rezzed to SD signal..

For full HD, you need to use the component out which can carry an analog HD video signal to the tv. . This is the cable with red-green-and blue RCA plugs on one end and a rectangular connector on the other end that matches the vertical, rectangular connector on the bottom right of the back of your camera. (At least, that is the layout on my XHA1).

To to use the component cable for sending HD video to your tv, there are three steps: (a) go into the camera menu and follow the steps that Chris recited, (b) run the A/V cable from your camera to the audio -in jacks on the tv (i.e., hook up the red and white RCA plugs for audio but not the yellow one for video); and (c) run the component cable from the camera to the corresponding jacks on your tv..
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