Canon A1 for sports and fast motion? at DVinfo.net

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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 24th, 2006, 05:55 PM   #1
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Canon A1 for sports and fast motion?

Hi,

last week i sold my GL2 and now im loocking for a new cam. I think i will go for the new A1. Is this cam good for sports (mountainbiking, snowboarding) and fast motion?
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Old November 24th, 2006, 06:28 PM   #2
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No different than any other HDV camcorder; it has a maximum shutter speed of 1/15,000 if that helps.
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Old November 26th, 2006, 11:17 AM   #3
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I often read that the FX1 is not the best choice for sports. On the other side you see a lot of Fx1 and Z1 at sportevents. I need a good HD(V) cam with a good 24f mode.
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Old November 26th, 2006, 02:51 PM   #4
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If you want a 24 frame progressive mode, the FX1 and Z1 are not it.
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Old November 28th, 2006, 03:15 PM   #5
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Shooting in Hockey Rinks

Have migrated from GL2 to XL2, and now own an AH1. I do extensive video work for our local youth and high school hockey programs. I miss the Sand and Snow AE mode found in the GL2. I found that it provided the perfect correction for the low light/high contrast conditions in most ice arenas. Any suggestions for AH1 custom settings that would mirror those programmed within the Sand and Snow setting?
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Old November 28th, 2006, 05:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Schuster
I often read that the FX1 is not the best choice for sports. On the other side you see a lot of Fx1 and Z1 at sportevents. I need a good HD(V) cam with a good 24f mode.
I'm surprised you want to use 24f for filming sports -- the slow frame rate may be great for mimicing film, but doesn't capture motion as well. Posts on this forum seem somewhat split on whether 30f or 60i is better for sports (60i has more temporal resolution, so you can get better slow motion). Of course, an A1 doesn't lock you into a frame-rate decision, so you can experiment (and let us know what mode you decide to use!).

-Terence
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Old November 28th, 2006, 06:12 PM   #7
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so if you were using 60i for sports would you de-interlace in post to get away from artifacts? With de-interlaced footage (60p) would you be set up to use a plugin like twixtor for slow motion affects?
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Old November 29th, 2006, 11:37 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Stebbins
so if you were using 60i for sports would you de-interlace in post to get away from artifacts? With de-interlaced footage (60p) would you be set up to use a plugin like twixtor for slow motion affects?
I think it depends on what you're filming and who your audience is. A few things to keep in mind:

1) we're all used to watching sports at 60i (although I don't know if HD sports programs are filmed/aired progressively)
2) We (the videographer) may notice interlacing artifacts, but your audience will be watching the action which probably has few/no artifacts so they won't notice a thing
3) deinterlacing (and 30f) has trade-offs -- decreased temporal resolution (which may become more noticable with fast camera movements), decreased vertical resolution, and extra processing time.

In my case, I'm filming dog agility (with a Sony VX2100) which has lots of obstacles with hard diagonal lines that definitely show interlacing jaggies as I pan the camera to follow the action. But I've discovered that my clients are so used to bad video that they probably couldn't tell the difference between a $500 or $10000 camera (with the exception of low light environments) without side-by-side comparisons. I had one client who had a friend shoot a run that we also had sold to him, and he asked if we could put both onto the same DVD. It was shot on an analog camcorder, with the date stamp on (!), transferred to video tape, and passed on to us to make a DVD (yes, that's analog->VHS->DV->DVD). It looks horrible, in my view, but it had a better angle for the finish so he liked it. And he hadn't even noticed the date stamp on the screen (!). He previously had said he had a critical eye for video.

The lesson I learned -- it would be a waste for me to upgrade to HD right now, except for the cachet value, because my clients have low expectations.

As far as slow motion -- deinterlacing 60i to 30p gives a great 50% slow motion. If you want slower, Twixtor is probably the way to go, although I haven't made that investment yet (we sell lots of slow motions, but we only use 50% so a bob deinterlace works great for me). If you go that route, I'd love to see the results (especially during camera pans).

-Terence
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Old November 29th, 2006, 02:35 PM   #9
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There is one more important advantage of Canon's approach to HDV in F mode: it uses progressive compression for recording and it's more efficient than typical 50i/60i stream method. The only disadvantage of Canon's F mode is incompatibility with HDV hardware made by other manufacturers.

It's been widely reported (first by Kaku - thank you again for your reports) Canon's HDV is much more resistant to compression artifacts in fast motion. It's one great advantage for sports. From my experience with XH-A1 I can just say I love the way the images move :)
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Old November 29th, 2006, 02:43 PM   #10
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I should also mention best in class Optical Image Stabilizer and zoom range. It matters when shooting hand-held.
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Old November 29th, 2006, 03:19 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terence Murphy
I think it depends on what you're filming and who your audience is. A few things to keep in mind:

1) we're all used to watching sports at 60i (although I don't know if HD sports programs are filmed/aired progressively)
2) We (the videographer) may notice interlacing artifacts, but your audience will be watching the action which probably has few/no artifacts so they won't notice a thing
3) deinterlacing (and 30f) has trade-offs -- decreased temporal resolution (which may become more noticable with fast camera movements), decreased vertical resolution, and extra processing time.

In my case, I'm filming dog agility (with a Sony VX2100) which has lots of obstacles with hard diagonal lines that definitely show interlacing jaggies as I pan the camera to follow the action. But I've discovered that my clients are so used to bad video that they probably couldn't tell the difference between a $500 or $10000 camera (with the exception of low light environments) without side-by-side comparisons. I had one client who had a friend shoot a run that we also had sold to him, and he asked if we could put both onto the same DVD. It was shot on an analog camcorder, with the date stamp on (!), transferred to video tape, and passed on to us to make a DVD (yes, that's analog->VHS->DV->DVD). It looks horrible, in my view, but it had a better angle for the finish so he liked it. And he hadn't even noticed the date stamp on the screen (!). He previously had said he had a critical eye for video.

The lesson I learned -- it would be a waste for me to upgrade to HD right now, except for the cachet value, because my clients have low expectations.

As far as slow motion -- deinterlacing 60i to 30p gives a great 50% slow motion. If you want slower, Twixtor is probably the way to go, although I haven't made that investment yet (we sell lots of slow motions, but we only use 50% so a bob deinterlace works great for me). If you go that route, I'd love to see the results (especially during camera pans).

-Terence
That is not 100% true. We also watch sports as 60p 720p. ESPN, ABC and FOX are 720p channels and use 60p and not 60i.

Also while live sports are 60 fps there are a lot of movies out there that are 24p and sports related. Pretty much every sport from boxing (Rocky) to Dodgeball (Dodgeball) has been done in 24p for movies and it looks fine to most people. Now of course these are shot with great care to make them look ok. If you are doing sports as more of a narative or story telling piece then 24p would work fine. You may have a hard time selling it to your audience but you could pull it off if you did it right. It is a risk however and you may be better off sticking with 60i.
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Old November 29th, 2006, 03:20 PM   #12
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I just shot a football game with it and any although I had a little concern for compression artifacts and low light noise, the Canon held up. No problem at all with the fast motion, and the lowlight was phenominal. I only needed to use the gain for the half time lockeroom.

Here is a link of what I shot if anyone is interested. It is highly highly compressed and no indicative of what the original source quality.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwvGxvBYRmk

Here is the commercial.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sewqB1j_0U


Sorry I don't mean to hijack the thread. I would like to say that the Canon excels in sports and has a quick lens option in the menu for fast zooming.
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Old November 29th, 2006, 09:51 PM   #13
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Thanks Holly for sharing those. Well done in the locker room - it's interesting to see those moments. On a side note, if you don't mind me asking - how much do you charge for shooting games like that, and what do you base it on - time? And, how much time does it average out to be in editing? Just curious. I love my A1 and have sooo much more playing/learning to do on it.

Thanks,
Dave
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Old November 30th, 2006, 11:18 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas Smet
That is not 100% true. We also watch sports as 60p 720p. ESPN, ABC and FOX are 720p channels and use 60p and not 60i.

Also while live sports are 60 fps there are a lot of movies out there that are 24p and sports related. Pretty much every sport from boxing (Rocky) to Dodgeball (Dodgeball) has been done in 24p for movies and it looks fine to most people. Now of course these are shot with great care to make them look ok. If you are doing sports as more of a narative or story telling piece then 24p would work fine. You may have a hard time selling it to your audience but you could pull it off if you did it right. It is a risk however and you may be better off sticking with 60i.
I had originally questioned the value of 24f for sports from reading other posts on the subject, but you are of course correct that there are lots of sports movies that loook great. I remember being very impressed by "Miracle", given all the very fast motion and moving cameras. Anyone have some examples of fast motion/sports shot at 24 fps that looks crappy because of the slow cadence?

-Terence
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Old November 30th, 2006, 11:57 AM   #15
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So my A1 just arrived a few moments ago.... Battery is on the charger. I am so freaking excited it hurts. I had ordered some PanasonicMQ tapes but of course they have not arrived. Will using this canon tape just for the day then switching back to the Pani tapes hurt?

So it is also sunny, warm and windy. Which means kiteboarding. As soon as the batt is ready to go I would like to go shoot.

any advice on settings?
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