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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 April 16th, 2013, 12:44 PM   #1
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XH-A1 Fail

For the first time in nearly six years my A1 let me down. Bit of a panic really because most of my filming is for local TV and when I went download the half a dozen one minute clips I'd shot this a week the A1 wouldn't play. FF, Rew no worries. No playback. Worse, when I played the tape back on my backup panasonic there was only one (the first) track there, the rest was black.
I had decided a while ago that if the tape transport gave up the ghost I'd go tapeless but a quick search of the forum threads lead me to the old 'if all else fails, remove the battery, leave out for a few minutes, reinstall and try again'. I assume this forces some sort of re-boot? Anyway, it worked like a charm. All good again although I'll be checking each recorded segment as I go for the near future.
Am looking seriously now at the tapeless options so any suggestions would be much appreciated. Or is it maybe time to retire the old A1 and look at one of the new generation. My main reason for hanging on to it at the moment is the 20X Zoom. And the fact, of course, that it has never, until now, let me down.
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Old April 16th, 2013, 02:09 PM   #2
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Re: XH-A1 Fail

Hey Bill,
Nice to hear you got the camera back up & running! I wonder if it was you who filmed me with a nice kingfish I caught there on a charter back in Dec. 2011. I was pretty surprised it actually made the news. Guess there wasn't much happening at the time! :)
Regards,
Bryce
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Old April 16th, 2013, 04:09 PM   #3
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Re: XH-A1 Fail

G'day Bryce.
Yes, that was me. We take our fishing seriously here mate. There were a few good fish weighed in that wee, yours among them. If you haven't seen it, the website report is here: The Noosa Fishing Report, Week Three, December 2011, brought to you by Davo's Compleat Angler.
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Old April 16th, 2013, 04:51 PM   #4
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Re: XH-A1 Fail

Wow that's awesome Bill, thanks.
I hear what you're saying about going tapeless. To be honest, once you do, you'll wonder why you didn't do it sooner. I have kept my XH A1 since I simply won't get enough for it to warrant selling it! I'd rather keep it for when I do need to grab old footage from a tape, (my old HV20 bit the dust on that trip to Oz) or even use it as a backup camera. To be honest though, I keep thinking I will use it, but always simply grab the EX-3 instead. The new Canon XA20 & 25 look like they may be a good little camera, 20x zoom too! Will have to wait & see what the footage is like out of these cams when they become available. I have a Canon HF G10 & it does lack the dynamic range of the EX-3. If that is better on the XA-20 & 25, then I may look very seriously at one.
Regards,
Bryce
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Old April 16th, 2013, 05:22 PM   #5
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Re: XH-A1 Fail

G'day Bill, glad to see you're up and running again. The fact you also had trouble with your Panasonic backup is a worry, I'd be checking that out to.

Another tip is to follow your manuals instructions and hit the reset button on top of your A1. This resets the A1 back to factory settings,
gets rid of any gremlins that have crept into the software but deletes all your custom presets etc.
So make a note of all of those first, and reload them again.

If you've used your A1 on daily basis for eg. the last 5yrs, might be a good thing to do now, but follow the instructions.

And the XA20 looks real good, you could upload your stuff direct from the location, that alone might make it worthwhile.
Watch for the reviews then unload your A1 on Ebay or use it as backup if the Pana has died.

Cheers.
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Last edited by Allan Black; April 16th, 2013 at 07:03 PM.
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Old April 17th, 2013, 06:27 AM   #6
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Re: XH-A1 Fail

A number of folks like the Datavideo DN-60 as a tapeless option starting around US$540. Several threads around here on it. Canon offers a couple based on Focus Enhancement's Firestore at a higher pricepont. Some have reported using a Sony product as well.

In any case it starts to get to be a substantial portion of the price of a G-10/20/30 or XA-series camcorder so it may not be an easy decision with a 6 year old camcorder.
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Old April 17th, 2013, 01:08 PM   #7
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Re: XH-A1 Fail

Cheers Allan. No, my Panasonic is fine but getting on a bit too. Looking at the extra fiddling involved with the Sony CF Recorder or the DN-60, and the cost, is pushing me in the direction of a new cam.

Thanks Dom. Yes, I've been considering the new XA 20/25 or the G30 over the last day or two. Maybe time for an upgrade and possibly keep the A1 as back-up.
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Old May 21st, 2013, 06:45 PM   #8
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Re: XH-A1 Fail

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Watson View Post
For the first time in nearly six years my A1 let me down. Bit of a panic really because most of my filming is for local TV and when I went download the half a dozen one minute clips I'd shot this a week the A1 wouldn't play. FF, Rew no worries. No playback. Worse, when I played the tape back on my backup panasonic there was only one (the first) track there, the rest was black.
I had decided a while ago that if the tape transport gave up the ghost I'd go tapeless but a quick search of the forum threads lead me to the old 'if all else fails, remove the battery, leave out for a few minutes, reinstall and try again'. I assume this forces some sort of re-boot? Anyway, it worked like a charm. All good again although I'll be checking each recorded segment as I go for the near future.
Am looking seriously now at the tapeless options so any suggestions would be much appreciated. Or is it maybe time to retire the old A1 and look at one of the new generation. My main reason for hanging on to it at the moment is the 20X Zoom. And the fact, of course, that it has never, until now, let me down.
The XHA1 is still a really good performing camera, and yes that 20x lens can really bring things in really close. It seems like with some of the newer camcorders out there that its hard to get something with a 20x lens unless you put up some $$$. As far as reattaching the battery it does reset the transport however it doesn't necessarily mean that you're out of the woods. Just keep a close eye on things and do some test shoots before relying on it.
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