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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 1st, 2006, 01:56 PM   #1
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freerun timecode for unconnected multicam?

I do independent multi-camera where 2 or 3 cams are all shooting simultaneously, but are not connected to a switcher. Are either the A1 or G1 able to sync (free-run) timecode before a shoot and then keep this sync while being remote and unconnected (like the free-run timecode ability of the Z1 & V1)?

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Old November 1st, 2006, 02:35 PM   #2
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Semi-educated guess, since I haven't seen the XH cameras yet. The XH G1 should be able to receive a timecode from another camera, presumably in the same way as the XL H1.

I doubt the XH A1 can be the timecode receiver, though, since it does not have the jackpack to recieve an external timecode. But I'd imagine it could be a source of timecode for another camera (eg XL H1 or XH G1) that can set its timecode from another cam's composite NTSC signal. What I don't know is if the A1 has free-run in all shooting mode, so that you don't have to run tape continuously. I'd like to think so, but that isn't certain...I just looked it up and the XL2, for example, has free-run in 60i and 30p, but NOT in 24p.

Otherwise, dust off your clapper board!
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Old November 1st, 2006, 07:28 PM   #3
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Actually, I suppose the main thing I'm looking for is just free-run timecode. I don't mind so much having to sync up a few cameras ONCE in post. Though the Z1's ability to set several cams with one remote is great, the main thing I want is just to be able to have free-run period, yes even with 24f. If you can set 3 A1s to the same timecode with the remote, AND if they can free-run in 24f, that would be bliss. Apparently, according to the manual, the XL H1 is NOT able to do free-run in 24f.

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Old November 1st, 2006, 11:28 PM   #4
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Yes the XH series camcorders have Free Run TC. Refer to my article "Using Free Run Time Code as an External Sync Substitute for Multi-Camera Shoots" located here: http://www.dvinfo.net/canonxl2/articles/article11.php -- it was written for the XL2 but the same principle applies to the XL H1 and both XH cams.
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Old November 2nd, 2006, 01:20 AM   #5
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Any idea why they don't support 24f?
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Old November 2nd, 2006, 09:11 AM   #6
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The XL2 doesn't do free-run in 24p; I can only guess that is because it is embedded in a 60i pulldown (either 2:3 or 2:3:3:2) so the timecode is really based on 60i. The XL H1 actually does do free-run in all modes, including 24F (recorded to tape at true 24fps, so no pulldown). I would GUESS that the XH cameras both can do free-run in 24F, but I just don't know it...perhaps folks who get their hands on their new A1's over the next few days can check it out for us?
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Old November 2nd, 2006, 03:02 PM   #7
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That's good to hear that the H1 can do free-run in 24f HD. I just reread the manual that I downloaded, and I realize that I misread it. It only says it doesn't do free-run in 24f SD:

"When recording in a mode other than 24F in SD mode, you can select from record run (REC-RUN), record run preset (REC-RUN PS.) and free-run (FREE-RUN) time codes. In 24F (in SD) mode, you can select from record run or record run preset. With record run, the time code runs only when you are recording. With free run, the time code runs regardless of the operation of the camcorder."
http://www.usa.canon.com/app/pdf/dv/XLH1_manual.pdf

Excellent. So if the A1 can do free-run in 24f HD also, then I will probably get that one over the G1, since I won't be needing the sdi/timecode/genlock for a while. When I do, then I'll get an H1. However, one caveat is that it will be a while before I get any camera, and by then I will have a chance to check out the V1. Sounds pretty sweet, and with HDMI, allows some support for vague potential future studio uses.
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Old November 3rd, 2006, 01:06 AM   #8
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Since free run TC is available in 24F on the H1, you can count on it being the same for the A1 and G1.
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Old November 3rd, 2006, 07:12 AM   #9
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Just took a quick glance at the A1/G1 User Manual. Confirmed that it does Free Run in 24F HDV. And of course Thomas' quotes are correct, 24F in SD don't do free run...I just never shoot SD anymore and forget to check the SD caveats.

BTW, I also noticed one other little tidbit some folks will like. When dubbing from one camera to another, you can choose to copy the timecode from the source as well as the image and sound.
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