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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 3rd, 2006, 11:32 PM   #1
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XH-A1 SD capabilities

Hi everyone, I'm new to the forums. I am looking into buying the XH-A1, and was wondering if anyone could tell me what its SD capabilities are like. Should I get a standard DV camera as well, or does the Xh-A1 suffice?
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Old December 4th, 2006, 12:35 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Allan Liang
Hi everyone, I'm new to the forums. I am looking into buying the XH-A1, and was wondering if anyone could tell me what its SD capabilities are like. Should I get a standard DV camera as well, or does the Xh-A1 suffice?
Allan, I don't have the XH-A1, but the XL-H1 which has almost identical picture quality.

I also have an XL2, and just intercut SD footage from a conference - some footage from the XL2, some from the XL-H1. Rather surprisingly (given the higher pixel density) the H1 performs better in low light. The picture is cleaner, and personally I prefer the colours.

So, I think the A1 will not only suffice but do a really good job in SD. By the way, I previously owned a couple of DVX100a's and the H1 just murders that camera in SD... way way cleaner and of course 16:9. So for the money, I doubt you could find a better camera to shoot SD than the A1 (given that it shares the H1 chips).
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Old December 4th, 2006, 09:50 AM   #3
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The A1 has incredible SD quality. Surpasses the XL2 easily.
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Old December 5th, 2006, 10:28 PM   #4
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The XHA1 gives you multiple choice in SD.

You can shoot 4:3 SD and also 16:9 SD.

You can also shoot in HDV and downconvert out of the camera.

And the av out gives you SD no matter what your'e shooting.
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Old December 6th, 2006, 04:18 PM   #5
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Is it true that the footage of the SD Mode looks better than the downconverted (from HDV to SD). For me that woud be a negative point of the A1, because you have to choice everythime (HDV or SD). For example, the downconverted footage of the Z1 /FX1 looks better than the material shot directly in sd mode.
I read this in a test of a magazin.
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Old December 7th, 2006, 02:28 AM   #6
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Mike,

I would say this all depends on how a person transcodes their footage (what software they use, what settings they use). One issue I have with the A1 (and H1) is the flicker/line twitter I get when down-rezzing via software. I'm going to need to do some more tweaking (anti-aliasing, soft blurring) to correct this because it's a distraction to me and I'm sure to my viewers.

Perhaps someone can post some SD-originated XH A1 footage to put this to rest?
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Old December 7th, 2006, 08:11 AM   #7
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As yet, I haven't actually done an objective test of SD vs HDV-to-SD, but I have a hard time imagining a problem. I have done DV AVI files and DVDs originated from the XL H1 and edited in HD, and they looked great.
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Old December 7th, 2006, 09:19 AM   #8
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It all depends onj how you do your downres. A direct downres out of NLE will often look soft and desaturated. It helps to export to a program Tsunami (tmpgenc) encoder which will make a raw, 1440X1080 AVI file. It can then downres this 720X480 anamorphic with almost no artifacting, and then encode to DV through procoder or your NLE.
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Old December 7th, 2006, 09:43 AM   #9
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HDV---(decompress)--->
Cineform Intermediate avi -->
Virtual Dub ----(downsized with no artifacting)--->
Procoder/Tmpgenc (tweak ur settings output to dvd).

That will give you the BEST SD DVD (if thats what you will plan to deliver to.
If your lazy (like me), just throw hte m2t/hdv/25mbs mpeg into procoder and render to dvd format. Altho u will notice some jaggies if watching on the computer without a good deinterlace and thus not retain as much details as u could have, when deinterlaced by a dvd player (for progressive display) or viewed interlaced on a crt the picture quality will still be EXCELLENT. I have tested this via 20 inch crt screens vs a 90" wvga projector, in both cases the image looked fantastic.
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Old December 7th, 2006, 01:26 PM   #10
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I've been shooting HDV with the H1 and placing the footage on a 720 x 480 timeline in FCP and it looks great- better than Xl2 footage, plus I don't see any flickering or artifacting.
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