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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 December 20th, 2006, 04:26 AM   #16
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Sometimes I'm surprised that people are not more demanding of audio performance ... When the picture is analysed under such scrutiny, you'd think that people would do the same for the audio! But clearly not. Generally I feel that the performance of the pre-amps in this level of camera is largely unacceptable- 'adequate' for docu/interviews so long as you're close to the source and volume levels are good, but certainly not for any critical or cine type work.

Do people just accept that anyone wanting serious sound will be running through an external mixer...? And that the internal pres are only for situations where audio quality just has to be "good enough"?
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Old December 20th, 2006, 04:56 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Mann
Yes, I am.

Nevertheless ... I have finally decided to get the A1 - hissing or not, fringing or not.
The image will please you. You sold your Sony Fx1, how did you do the sound with that cam?

@ Kris, I do feel sound is very important, and the use of a mixer gives you more possibilities and quality, even so the use of good mics, good placement and good mixing. You need to spent some money do get it done, and the sound person will pay out too.

With this A1, the cam and image it self is not expensive, so you should shovel some $ to sound department, but even with a good mixer you end up with mpeg layer compressed sound. If you really want it all: buy the mixer the good mics and a flash recorder.
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Old December 20th, 2006, 05:27 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raymond Toussaint
You sold your Sony Fx1, how did you do the sound with that cam?
I used a Beachtek XLR-Adapter (attached to the FX1) and a Sennheiser MKH 418 (MS-Stereo).

Like I wrote before: The mic preamps of the FX1 were surprisingly silent! My Sound Devices 702 flash card audio recorder (very high quality mic preamps) was "only" about 8 dB lower in noise.
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Old December 20th, 2006, 05:36 AM   #19
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Michael, in this case are the pres not in the beachtek? Noisefloor of a line-level input is a completely different matter, it should be very quiet even at the prosumer level :)
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Old December 20th, 2006, 05:40 AM   #20
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>> ...performance of the pre-amps in this level of camera is largely unacceptable- 'adequate' for docu/interviews so long as you're close to the source and volume levels are good, but certainly not for any critical or cine type work.<<

In general applies to any built-in camcorder mic, or for that matter, any almost mic used more than a few feet from the talent. For critical applicaiton, one should use dedicated audio setup for the venue and applicaiton, and sync in post.

Waiting to hear (well, read) report of any actual tests.
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Old December 20th, 2006, 06:56 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kris Bird
Michael, in this case are the pres not in the beachtek?
Kris, I should have been more precise here, sorry:

No, the Beachtek I used (DXA-6 Phantom Adapter) is passive, that is it has no preamps, it just enabled me to phantom power my Sennheiser 418. So it were indeed the FX1 preamps that I tested vs. the preamps of the Sound Decives.
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Old December 20th, 2006, 07:04 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Palomaki
Waiting to hear (well, read) report of any actual tests.
Don, I think I am going to do a preamp noise test Canon A1 vs. Sound Devices 702. But I need a couple of days to get started.
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Old December 20th, 2006, 07:56 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Mann
I used a Beachtek XLR-Adapter (attached to the FX1) and a Sennheiser MKH 418 (MS-Stereo).

Like I wrote before: The mic preamps of the FX1 were surprisingly silent! My Sound Devices 702 flash card audio recorder (very high quality mic preamps) was "only" about 8 dB lower in noise.
Why using a Beachtek xlr adapter for the Sony FX1 (with unbalanced audio) if you have the brand new (in the EU:this summer) flash recorder SD 702?

But I tell ya, the Sound Device 702 is way beter and more silent than the A1 or the FX1.
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Old December 20th, 2006, 02:29 PM   #24
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The people who market video cameras know that men in general are visually oriented creatures. We are titillated by big breasts, big CCD's, pretty faces, pretty pictures. Picture appeals to a more animal instinct than audio so it is easier to market.
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Old December 20th, 2006, 08:22 PM   #25
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Actually, the recording environment for typical camcorder use is usually pretty dismal - most people do not use a comcorder in a recording studio or TV studio for that matter, with well controlled acoustics and suppressed noise sources - so having high-end audio capability is not important in camcorders. Keep inmind that broadcast audio, even FM radio, is not all that great when you consider the noise floor (S/N) and bandwidth. If high quality sound is important, serious folks use separate audio capability.
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Old December 23rd, 2006, 07:10 AM   #26
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Since I started the thread:

Meanwhile I tested the built-in mic of the A1 myself (just my subjective impression). Result: I cannot notice any unusual hissing noise, even in automatic gain mode. I would even say that the A1 mic (auto mode) sounds better than the FX1 mic (auto mode)

But I am still going to do a precise test of the A1 preamp noise against that of a Sound Devices 702.
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Old December 24th, 2006, 04:22 AM   #27
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Hello Michael,
I have also read the article, it is ridiciolous. Overall, it is biased more to "how do I please my main advertiser?" -in this case, Sony.
Some days later, I checked a G1 one while waiting at a local reseller:
I will definately buy it!
And Kris:
Cinematographic work does not yield better sound - unless you have the abilities to overdub a diologue in the studio, which as one example, was recorded on a crowded street. In my experience, there is no difference between feature/show sound an documentary sound.
But having already sound-designed and mixed a full feature lenght documentary which was shot on the FX-1, recording as close to the headroom as possible results in a better sound. When I have to raise a quiet atmo in post, i hear all the chirping by the encoders. So having a DAT for atmospheres is not wrong - and of course a field mixer with a very good limiter for dialogues, interviews etc.
All the best, Salar
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Old December 24th, 2006, 04:14 PM   #28
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Zee germans again ;)

So what do you think how the audio quality of the A1's mic preamps compares to the ones of a DVX100? Until now I was quite satisfied with the quality I got by directly recording from my MKH416 with the DVX's audio input switched to mic and activated phantom power... would the A1's quality noticeably worse?

I guess I could live with a little less quality... it's the last thing I have to find out before I'm finally sold.. :-)

Cheers,
-Sören
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Old December 25th, 2006, 10:08 AM   #29
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I've been shooting interviews whith the XH A1 using a Sennheiser MKH60, mic input. No problems at all. It all sounds great. Better, actually, than the DSR500 I normally use.
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Old December 28th, 2006, 05:27 AM   #30
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Hi Sören,
well the 416 does some audible hgissing, doesn´t it? - At least mine does.
I use it with a field - mixer from SIE, a now perished German company, which built some thousand units for the ZDF in the seventies. The SIE is like a SQN.
When I plug the mic directly into my Panny, the sound is more weak an lacks at bit of bass compared to the SIE. I did not have the opportunity, to test this mic with an A1 / G1.
Cheers, Salar

P.S: You know, from where MOS comes from?
"Mit ohne Sound"
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