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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 August 22nd, 2011, 10:14 AM   #1
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What is the best monitoring solution for the XH A1

I have the XH A1 camcorder and I have had it since 2007. I have recently bought the Vinten Vision Blue tripod for it and that has enabled me to do tighter focusing than ever before. The problem though is that I can't trust the LCD screen when I do focusing.

I found a thread mentioning smallhd monitors, but that thread is about 2 years old. What would be the best attachable monitor for my XH A1 today?

Best regards Jan
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Old August 22nd, 2011, 10:37 AM   #2
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Re: What is the best monitoring solution for the XH A1

Follow up information. I have a Sennheiser Wireless mic installed on my hot shoe and I would like a solution that enables me to have the monitor and the wireless mike installed at the same time.
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Old August 22nd, 2011, 11:02 AM   #3
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Re: What is the best monitoring solution for the XH A1

"Best" is what's best for you. There are price, features, etc that only you can trade off.

I thoroughly enjoy the Marshall VR70P monitor. It has peaking and 1:1 view to help you with focus and false colors to help you with exposure. False colors will change the way you expose.

The Marshall unit is designed and manufactured in the USA if that matters to you. I mount it on my tripod using a superclamp and an iKan 3" Israeli arm. Westside AV sells a nice mount point that attaches to your tripod head's rosetta. Cine Arm Bracket

For the A1, you would want the Marshall model that supports Component Video. You'll need RCA to BNC adapters to use the cable that comes with the A1. In addition to the AC adapter that comes with a right angle XLR connector, it also works with your favorite camera battery manufacturer, You order the model you want.

Lastly, there's a $30 accessory that adds 1/4-20 mounts on the sides and top which makes it versatile (for me). YMMV
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Old August 22nd, 2011, 11:27 AM   #4
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Re: What is the best monitoring solution for the XH A1

Have you had a look at this section of the forum:
The View: Video Display Hardware and Software Forum at DVinfo.net

I recently bought a monitor for my XHA1 based on what I read there. I eventuallly bought a 7" Lilliput 667GL-70NP which I clamp onto my tripod. It's ideal for focussing and framing, and the price for my purpose - serious amateur - suited me; £170 for monitor, battery and clamp.
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Old August 24th, 2011, 12:51 AM   #5
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Re: What is the best monitoring solution for the XH A1

Hi, Jan.................

Just found your thread and felt it worthwhile putting my twopence in.

I shoot an XH A1 as well, and tried the external monitor route, and realised very quickly that it really didn't add a great deal to the production value but a great deal to the cost and sheer buggering around that using it entailed.

In desperation, I investigated Laser Range Finders, and to my utter suprise discovered that it solved 95% of my focus problems.

Using a LRF to tell me exactly the focus distance I needed and the A1's ability to show that distance on the viewfinder using manual focus, meant that anything from 10 metres to 1000 metres was spot on, first time, every time.

Check them out (there are a few threads that talk about them here) and see what's currently available commercially - I use a Nikon 1200, but it's getting on for 4 years old, so new stuff may well be available.

When shooting, it lives in a holster on my belt and is pulled out for any shot over 10 metres (it doesn't measure below that, though there are units that will).

The external monitor route will always be hog tied by the fact that they simply can't cram the pixels required into such a small screen to make it a valuable focusing tool, the LRF replaces the good 'ol fashioned "focus puller" of yore, only a damn sight faster and with a lot less leg work.


CS
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Old August 24th, 2011, 06:58 AM   #6
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Re: What is the best monitoring solution for the XH A1

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Soucy View Post
The external monitor route will always be hog tied by the fact that they simply can't cram the pixels required into such a small screen to make it a valuable focusing tool,
I have to disagree. The Marshall does cram them in and becomes a valuable focusing tool and in the case of the Marshall, it has a 1 to 1 mode which is a spot on focussing tool. Then there's peaking to also assist with focus.

Last edited by Les Wilson; August 24th, 2011 at 10:17 AM. Reason: clarity
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Old August 24th, 2011, 10:04 AM   #7
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Re: What is the best monitoring solution for the XH A1

After about a year of mind wrangling, I sprang for the SmallHD DP-6. I don't regret it. The 4x+ increase in viewing area more than makes up for the cost. I am in my mid-50's, so the natural diminishing of vision continues to take its toll. Having the large monitor makes all the tasks associated with videoing the varied events I shoot (indoors/outdoors, action/stills, day/night) so much easier.
I use a Bracket 1 to attach my Focus Enhancements FS-CF Pro and two Sennheiser G3 wireless receivers. The DP-6 attaches to the hot shoe of the XH-A1.
I can also use a hot shoe extender and attach the DP-6 and a shotgun mic with suspension to the hot shoe.
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Old August 31st, 2011, 10:13 AM   #8
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Re: What is the best monitoring solution for the XH A1

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Soucy View Post
The external monitor route will always be hog tied by the fact that they simply can't cram the pixels required into such a small screen to make it a valuable focusing tool
My experience has been quite the opposite. My SmallHD DP1x has 1280x768 resolution, which is more than adequate for me to focus well even when using a Letus Extreme with a 50mm lens at 1.4.

The DP6 mentioned above runs at 1280x800, and I've used it on DSLRs with great success.

I think the trick is to get a monitor that's actually HD. Some companies fudge a little on the numbers by calling something HD because they have an HDMI input but still have less than HD standard resolution (1280x720 minimum). One example is the Ikan VX9. It claims to be HD, but only has 1024x600 resolution.

As far as mounting options, I use a Manfrotto Super Clamp and an Ikan 10" arm to mount mine. I can clamp it to the tripod legs, rods supports, just about anywhere. Great setup for what I do.
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