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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 19th, 2006, 10:17 PM   #1
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gearing up; need advice

Budget approved. Done deal. Time to go shopping.

I'm getting two A1s, cineform licenses, and on camera HDmonitors (deciding between the Marshall or new Varizoom swit) .

I'm looking into a matte box for shade and filters. Any recommendations? (I know about negating the instant focus issue).

Anyone using the new console software with the A1?

Thinking about the AT-897 shotgun mic.

Hows the new focus firestore working on these? I've read issues with other models/cameras.

I'm sure to have more questions, and I'm willing to take the plunge. If the A1 serves me as well my five-year old XL1s, then it'll be worth it.
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Old November 20th, 2006, 01:31 PM   #2
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Matte boxes, looking at:

Fromatt MBFM-500

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...re_accessories

Century DSMB-44-XLW

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

I can assume that whatever fits the XL1 would work for the XH-A1?
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Old November 20th, 2006, 06:30 PM   #3
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I have the Formatt FM500, It's *excellent* for the money ... unfortunately you guys in the US pay slightly more for it (very unusual ;), but it's still a great deal.

That century box looks very overpriced in comparison, it looks like it doesn't offer anything the formatt doesn't.

I just thought of something though- has anyone had any problems with Matte boxes not being 'wide' enough for the A1's wide angle?

I don't own an A1 yet, so I haven't tested the A1 with the Formatt.
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Old November 20th, 2006, 06:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kris Bird
I have the Formatt FM500, It's *excellent* for the money ... unfortunately you guys in the US pay slightly more for it (very unusual ;), but it's still a great deal..
Well, it didn't say "Mattell" or "Fisher Price" on the side. The Century is also plastic, but maybe it's 'expensive' plastic, or stronger plastic. Who knows. I'm not impressed. Metal ones I've seen are 3x the cost and size. Plastic doesn't agree with me, it breaks in my hands. So, I'm still looking. However, I agree, if it's plastic, then the Formatt looks like a bargain.
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Old November 20th, 2006, 07:18 PM   #5
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the century is actually a re-branded vocas, which has a pretty solid reputation as far as matte boxes go. i like that the century isn't a clip-on and comes with rod support. once you add a couple of glass filters to the matte box, it can quickly turn into a lot of weight up front for the lens to support (might not be a problem with the a1, but front weight was an issue with the xl cameras). also, if you're looking in the price range of the century, you should look at chrosziel, vocas and petroff as well. as budget matte boxes go, i like cavision. i had their bellows kit when i had my xl1 and it was pretty solid for the price. also, redrock micro will be releasing a matte box shortly that looks like it will be a steal at around $500 (16:9, accomodates 4x4 and 4x5.65 filters, and will possibly have swing away function up front).

most of the newer matte boxes offer a 16:9 flavor, which alludes to what kris was mentioning. my feeling is that the "wide angle" matte boxes are not enough to accomodate the 16:9 of the a1 at full wide. cavision, chrosziel, vocas, and others make matte boxes that are specifically for 16:9 cameras, so i would suggest looking at those.

anyways, let us know which one you decide to choose. i'm personally waiting to see what the redrock looks like.
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Old November 20th, 2006, 07:31 PM   #6
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Redrock is making a Matte Box? Then it would be worth a look as they may include it as part of their kit, (at least it would fit). I was looking at their M2 Indie HD for Nikon F lens, (our manager was a cartographer for National Geographic. He has a few F lens' gathering dust that he's willing to offload).

I don't shoot features, but I do alot of interviews and some glamour shots for the company. Such times when I can control the lights make for nice setups. We have a Canon EOS with a true 35mm sensor, and the images from that and the DOF are fantastic. I always wanted to shoot some video, even corporate stuff, that way. Now it looks possible.
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Old November 21st, 2006, 07:49 AM   #7
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Update:

1. Korrey Kramer of schneider optics (formerly Century) recommends The DS-MB44-XLW which was designed for the XL1 (available at B&H).

2. Bernie at Cavision recommends the following kit (available at B&H):

"These are the basic matte box configurations for the XH-A1:

MB4169H-2M – 16:9 Hard Shade Matte Box - $485.00
MBF-5P – French Flap - $50.00
ARR1385 - Rubber Adapter Ring - $10.00
AR85-72 - Conical Adapter Ring - $35.00
RS15IIM - Mini-DV Rods Support - $200.00
Subtotal - $780.00 USD


MB413B-2 - 4x4 Bellows Matte Box - $445.00
MBF-5P – French Flap - $50.00
ARR1385 - Rubber Adapter Ring - $10.00
AR85-72 - Conical Adapter Ring - $35.00
RS15IIM - Mini-DV Rods Support - $200.00
Subtotal - $740.00 USD

Optional accessories include, side flaps (MBF-4S - $60 pair), dual handgrips (RS15HD - $89), shoulder pad (RS15SP-3 - $119.00), follow focus (RFF15B - $899), glass filters (FTG4X4SET – five 4x4 filters for $200), French flap for MB410H-2 (MBF-4H - $35) and more…"

3. Finally, Brian Valente of Redrock informed me of plans to add a matte box to their indie kits, it's apparently of the same design they used for the panavision cams. Possibly in mid-January 2007.

The Century looks to be a complete kit in one, while the cavision is combination but less expensive solution.
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Old November 21st, 2006, 08:26 AM   #8
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Peter,

Congrats on the budget approval! Two new A1's sound great! Just curious, what are you gearing up for?

Mike
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Old November 21st, 2006, 10:35 AM   #9
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I'm just upgrading to HD and planning on taking on all those hi-end jobs we've hired out to other firms in the past. I used to do the simple DV jobs for in-house training, etc. Now I want to raise the quality of our work.

It's not any particular production. I'm an employee working in-house. Still I do take some ownership in what I do as I love my job, and given some liberty to run it as such. (Having three kids and a mortgage it's nice to have steady employ).

I may get both and A1 and G1. I do shoot occasional green screen for skits and promotional work. Having the G1's SD-HDI will benefit in regards to pulling difference and color keys, (goodbye garbage mattes, well at least 90% of them).

After playing with my HC1 and using it professionally on some jobs here, just to qualify the HDV image. I can see where the A1/G1 will provide the controls I need to get the shot.
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Old November 21st, 2006, 10:40 AM   #10
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Peter,

Sounds great, have fun and let us know how you like them.

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