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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 February 24th, 2014, 04:16 PM   #1
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Can't Import video in HD

OK, so I recently got the Canon XH-A1s. For some reason whenever I try to import whatever video I shot with it, the only way I can even get it to import is if I down convert the video into 480 standard definition instead of 1080 HD. when I get to the capture screen I can see that it connects to my camera because the tape can play, rewind, fast forward...etc. The only problem is that the screen is black and I get an error message every time I try to import. Now as far as I'm aware all the settings on my camera are set up for HD and not SD, but the only way I get any response is when down convert is on. Really hope someone can help me figure out a way to import my video into 1080 instead of just being able to get 480.

I have tried this on both Premiere Pro CC and Final Cut X.
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Old February 24th, 2014, 06:52 PM   #2
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Re: Can't Import video in HD

[insert sound of clearing out cobwebs] I think we all went through this. Turn Downconvert off then connect the firewire.
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Old February 24th, 2014, 07:44 PM   #3
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Re: Can't Import video in HD

Hi Eric,

I also have an XH-A1S. Follow the instructions on page 88 of the manual.

If you want to capture HDV material to your computer, set PLAYBACK STD to HDV
and set HD DOWN-CONV to off.

These are both under the SIGNAL SETUP menu.

This works for me on a PC. Premiere and Final Cut users will have to help with any software issues/settings you may have on your Mac. I'm running Avid on a PC.

Hope this helps.

Roger
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Old February 24th, 2014, 08:20 PM   #4
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Re: Can't Import video in HD

OK, a little more additional details. when trying to export I do have Playback STD on HDV (not Auto or DV) I have Comp. Out on 1080i/480i instead of just 480i and HD Down Conversion is off. With my camera settings like this I get a black screen when I try to capture the footage and when I esc I just get a message saying unknown recorder error.

I have been able to capture video, but only when the Down Conversion is ON.

Hopefully this is a little more helpful
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Old February 25th, 2014, 07:31 AM   #5
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Re: Can't Import video in HD

I assume you are speaking to capture via FireWire (IEEE1394) of a tape shot in HDV format from the XH-A1 to either Premiere or FCP on an Apple MAC? (I use Edius Pro on Windows - cannot speak to FCP specifics or PP.)

As staed above, there are the two settings on the XH-A1 that have to be specifically set to export HDV, but it souinds like that is already met. Note that any camcorder settings should be made BEFORE connecting the camcorder to the computer, otherwise they might not take effect.

Some NLE/Capture program require configuration for the input signal type. If they are set to expect a SD signal and receive a HDV signal they will not capture.
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Old February 25th, 2014, 09:12 AM   #6
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Re: Can't Import video in HD

Yes. It's mandatory to connect the firewire cable AFTER you set the settings in the camera. I don't know how FCP X handles tape. iMovie is typically more robust and may help you narrow down if it's the capture software or possibly something wrong with the camera (since it is new to you). If it's software, the FCP X community is a better place for help.
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Old February 25th, 2014, 11:52 AM   #7
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Re: Can't Import video in HD

OK thanks, I just wanted to check to make sure that I wasn't missing a setting on my camera. Hopefully I can figure out why my computer isn't capturing in HD.
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Old February 25th, 2014, 04:09 PM   #8
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Re: Can't Import video in HD

Have your tried re-setting the camera?
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Old June 4th, 2014, 01:32 PM   #9
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Re: Can't Import video in HD

I am not trying to necro this thread but am wondering if you've had any luck. I recently dusted off my A1 for a wedding shoot after it sat unused for several years. Well I am now in your shoes and can't seem to get any recent OS to recognize my A1.

I've been trying to get it to read on one of those HP media center PCs running Windows 7 with no luck. I've set the camera in VCR mode to HDV and no downconvert and still no dice. I've verified that my GL2 is recognized without a problem so I don't suspect it's a windows7 issue.

Here's an oddity that I notice though... When the camera is on and in VCR mode the LCD shows CH[1/2] in the upper left corner and HDV along the top center area. As soon as I plug the firewire into the computer the CH[1/2] starts blinking off and on in opposition to "HDV/DV IN" in the mid-right side.

I've tried various 4-to-6 pin cables but as stated above I am using the same cables on a GL2 and having no problems... if only the GL2 could pull HDV.

Any ideas? Should I start a separate thread perhaps?

Thanks,
KK
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Old June 4th, 2014, 01:50 PM   #10
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Re: Can't Import video in HD

On some system, if using Win 7, you may need to revert to the legacy firewire (IEEE1394) driver for some capture software to work.

The HDV IN message may indicate that the camcorder is seeing an incoming signal from the PC rather than looking to output a signal to the PC.

Does the camcorder show up in the Device Manager?
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Old June 4th, 2014, 01:56 PM   #11
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Re: Can't Import video in HD

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Palomaki View Post
On some system, if using Win 7, you may need to revert to the legacy firewire (IEEE1394) driver for some capture software to work.

The HDV IN message may indicate that the camcorder is seeing an incoming signal from the PC rather than looking to output a signal to the PC.

Does the camcorder show up in the Device Manager?
I tried both with the system detected firewire driver (this is an add-in card) and then also tried with the legacy driver setup. I did a clean reboot after switching to legacy. In neither case does the system recognize the camera. I don't hear the standard Windows sound that I hear when connecting other devices nor does the camera show up in the DM.

For the sake of sanity I also tried this on the lates version of Ubuntu Studio using dvgrab and Kino but again they don't see the camera at all but have no problem with the GL2. I'm thinking of dusting off an old XP machine as I'm running out of options at this point.

-----

Addendum... I was looking through the menu while connected to the PC in VCR mode and notice that some of the options in the various menus also have settings that blink in and out of usefulness so long as I keep the camera connected to the PC. As soon as I disconnect the firewire cable, they act as expected. Really odd.
I will say that I seem to remember this camera always being very touchy when it was in heavy use. Also based on one of the the prior posts I went ahead and reset my camera and again endured that it was set to HDV and no down conversion and then reconnected to the PC after a camera power cycle and still no dice.

This camera really doesn't have many hours on it but I'm wondering if I might just have a defective firewire port on the camera at this point.
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Last edited by Kevin Kimmell; June 4th, 2014 at 01:59 PM. Reason: Additional info
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Old June 5th, 2014, 07:42 AM   #12
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Re: Can't Import video in HD

If you are able to export SD from the camera through the firewire like you said in your first post, then I would suspect something other than the firewire port.

My A1 is in the shop right now getting the firewire port replaced for the second time. I've had the camera five years. The 4 pin port is fragile and easily damaged. My A1S has the six pin port which is much more robust. Also, I don't trust that claim of firewire ports being "hot-swappable" and always power down both devices before plugging or unplugging.

It took me a while to get my Windows 7 machine to load the right drivers for my A1 and my A1S. Now it correctly recognizes whichever camera is plugged in under device driver. What does device driver show when you are able to import the SD footage? Does it show Canon XH-A1 or A1S, or something else?

One final thought, is your PC connected to the internet so that Windows can download the proper driver when you plug in the camera?
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Last edited by Roger Van Duyn; June 5th, 2014 at 08:02 AM. Reason: typos
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Old June 5th, 2014, 08:04 AM   #13
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Re: Can't Import video in HD

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Van Duyn View Post
If you are able to export SD from the camera through the firewire like you said in your first post, then I would suspect something other than the firewire port.

My A1 is in the shop right now getting the firewire port replaced for the second time. I've had the camera five years. The 4 pin port is fragile and easily damaged. My A1S has the six pin port which is much more robust. Also, I don't trust that claim of firewire ports being "hot-swappable" and always power down both devices before plugging or unplugging.

It took me a while to get my Windows 7 machine to load the right drivers for my A1 and my A1S. Now it correctly recognizes whichever camera is plugged in under device driver. What does device driver show when you are able to import the SD footage? Does it show Canon XH-A1 or A1S, or something else?
I pulled SD from my GL2, not the A1. I have also tried a non Windows OS. I'm going to throw a FW card into a winXP machine just to see if I get lucky but I'm really starting to think this is the port on the camera. I'm now curious... if I find a $99 used miniDV camera on eBay or something that shoots HDV, could I use it as a playback/capture deck? Are there any caveats to that line of thinking -- like does the A1 do something special in it's writing method that another HDV miniDV camera wont handle for capture purposes?
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Old June 5th, 2014, 08:23 AM   #14
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Re: Can't Import video in HD

Hi Kevin,

If your HDV recordings are all 1080i, then you should be ok using other HDV cameras for playback. However, when getting into the 30p and 24p HDV modes, some cameras are incompatible with others, since each manufacturer has their own "scheme" for recording progressive.

I see a lot of the Canon HV20/30/40 units on Ebay for a couple hundred bucks. I have an HV20 and it's been a real workhorse for years and plays tapes from my Sony HDV.
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Old June 5th, 2014, 09:10 AM   #15
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Re: Can't Import video in HD

Which chip set does the firewire card have? Some were probloematic.
The TI chip sets were generally the most trouble free.

I've also used HV20 and HV40 to play noth with XHA1 SD and HDV recordings.

Can you capture SD recordings from the XHA1?

What capture software are you using?
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