Canon A1/G1 notes at

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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 11th, 2006, 10:40 PM   #1
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Canon A1/G1 notes


Once again, thanks to Chris Hurd, I was able to sit in on a Canon press event here in NYC with Pete Bauer. Most of the information they covered is already out on the net, or being discussed here, so I'll just post the information that struck me during the presentation.

[*] Shockless controls - these are settings that allow you to customize the changes between apertures, shutter speeds, etc. so that the look of the video doesn’t “change suddenly” while shooting, even though it actually is changing.
[*] You can customize the direction of the focus/aperture ring.
[*] The ND switch is mechanical - actually moves glass (not electronic)
[*] You can preset a zoom OR a focus point BUT you cannot preset a zoom AND focus point
[*] The settings for the zoom rocker on the handle can be set in the menus. While the settings for the zoom rocker on the body can be set with hardware switches on the body.

[*] The A1/G1 lens was designed as a new lens. It's not just the H1 lens re-packaged.
[*] The official Canon wide angle adapter will be 0.8x / 20mm wide with a 72mm filter. It should retail around $500 and is full zoom through. It was designed at the same time as the A1/G1 and is not an after thought.

The optical stabilization uses two systems which work together:
[*] - Major shakes are handled by a solid state gyro.
[*] - Subtle/minute shakes are handled by a vector based system.

[*] Mic Attenuation is 60db
[*] Plugging something into the mini audio jack kills the on-board stereo mic. A dead plug might be a useful accessory.

NOISE REDUCTION (on board stereo mic)
[*] Noise reduction is done through equalization.
[*] There are two settings, voice and windscreen.

Every Canon camcorder us the exact same frequency for their remotes. Which means your remote will work on any Canon camcorder - a good reason to turn off the remote sensor.

[*]The new Instant AF is really two systems working together. The new distance sensor next to the lens helps the traditional AF by feeding it distance data to get it into the ball park faster. This gets rid of the hunting that can occur with traditional AF.
[*] If you block the new AF sensor with something like a matte box, you need to turn off the new AF sensor in the menus.
[*] The AF button on the side of the camera overrides to Instant Auto Focus.
[*] Focus Assist (magnify) turns off when you hit record.

[*] Changing frame rates in the menus re-boots the cam's software. You can actually see/hear/feel the cam re-boot.
[*] The option to change frame rates was moved from the hardware to the menus because Canon figured it's very rare that you'd change the frame rate while shooting. They used the extra real estate for other things.

[*] The software will only allow you to use features that your camcorder has. So you’ll get different functionality depending on which cam you plug in: XL2, H1, A1, and G1
[*] There is a brief delay when adjusting hardware (zoom/aperture etc). You can use the arrow keys on your keyboard to get a very finely tuned zoom.
[*] The software is PC Only but does work in Intel Macs & Boot camp

[*] Canon took special care to make sure all the G1's jackpack connections are up to SMTP specs.
[*] If you get the $500 upgrade to PAL - they will all be upgraded to IBU spec.
[*] Analog component output is 60i only
[*] Tape output is 60i, 24p, or 30p
[*] Firewire output is 60i, 24p, or 30p

Pete and I tried to clarify what exactly was going on. The answer we got is:
[*] The chips are interlaced but the cam is reading the chip as progressive.
[*] They are pixel shifting the green CCD.
[*] They are slowing down the CCDs as they change the frame rate.

Quote: It's a full frame not 1 1/2 like the XL1s"

They pointed out that Sony's diagonal pixel placement on the V1U is more likely to cause moire than traditional rectangular pixel placement.

DIGIC II processors -
There are actually two DIGIC II processors: one for video and one for photography
[*] If you take a photo while shooting video, it is processed through the video processor, so that you get exactly the same settings, look, and metadata as the video.
[*] The DIGIC II processors were designed for HD at 1440x1080

Canon Speedlite Flashes will work with the hot shoe of the A1/G1.

[*] The XH series uses CCDs because there is s 3-4 year development time for camcorders. But they are leaders in CMOS production, so we can probably look forward to that.
[*] In addition, Canon will only move to CMOS when they can achieve -3db base image with a CMOS chip.

Canon grows their own fluorite crystals for their lenses. They passed one around during the presentation. It looked like something out of Superman. The mineral grows as an octahedron and is extremely clear even in its’ natural state. (yeah okay useless info, but I thought it was cool)
"Ultimately, the most extraordinary thing, in a frame, is a human being." - Martin Scorsese
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