XH A1 in cold outdoor temperatures 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 December 15th, 2006, 07:52 AM   #1
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XH A1 in cold outdoor temperatures

Hey guys... I do a lot of outdoor videos but have never done any during the cold winter months. Is there any dangers associated with shooting video outside in freezing temperatures? I know you have to be careful about condensation in/on the lens and components (I will place the camera in a monster ziplock bag when moving from cold->warm, etc... but didn't know if these cameras are safe to operate in cold wintry outdoor conditions. Any advice on this matter would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.
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Old December 15th, 2006, 09:35 AM   #2
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You can try the Porta Brace Polar Bear to protect your Canon XH-A1 in the cold. http://portabrace.com/pdfs/class_c/pol-mxh.pdf
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Old December 17th, 2006, 09:28 AM   #3
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Great Case

I am really pleased to see Porta Brace making a version for the A1.

I recently shot with a Porta Brace on a GL2 in Antarctica. It is a very good design. My camera was probably the only thing that was really warm! The only limitation is if you are shooting below say -10 or -20F on a tripod. There is a double/triple zipper on the bottom, but it can't close completely around the tripod mount. Very minor point, but if you plan to shoot at, say -40F, you might want to patch the remaining opening.

Rick
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Old December 17th, 2006, 03:20 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deke Ryland
...Is there any dangers associated with shooting video outside in freezing temperatures?...
It depends on what you mean by cold weather. I wouldn't worry much if temperature didn't go below 20F. Today my XHA1 was outside without cover for seven hours. Temperature was about 28F (-2C). That didn't shorten battery life at all. But this wasn't a real cold weather, yet. Have to wait and see how A1 works when there is really cold. I will definitely consider A1-Porta Brace.
Some shots from today: http://www.aavekammari.com/icesky.html
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Old December 18th, 2006, 01:05 PM   #5
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Poppe,

Although you say the A1 performed well in the cold weather can you report if the LCD began to lag? My experience has always been that the LCD gets slower and slurrier when it gets cold out. In particular the XL-h1 and XL2. I never got to try the A1 in cold weather.

Thanks.
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Old December 18th, 2006, 01:40 PM   #6
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Poppe

Did you shoot that ice at stock settings? If not could you share what the settings were? My neighbor "Bob Howe" was the founder of the Porta Brace. Really love your nature scenes
John
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Old December 18th, 2006, 02:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty Hudzik
Poppe,

Although you say the A1 performed well in the cold weather can you report if the LCD began to lag?
Thanks.
I didn't notice it yesterday. I used tripod all the time and shot pretty still scenes.
But actually I noticed minor lagging today when the weather was about 20F / -6C. First I thought that NR1 was set on, but the reason was cold. So I think it's also there with A1 when the weather gets colder. Battery life was still surprisingly normal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Huling
Poppe

Did you shoot that ice at stock settings? If not could you share what the settings were?
Gain was at -3dB. All controls were set manual except white balance (in last lake shot it was set outdoor).
Auto white balance gives a little bit warmer picture than stock outdoor setting. But no CC was added afterwards.

Mainly color was boosted in camcorder. Settings from Customize menu:
CAM N * KNE L * BLK P * PED -1 * SET/SHP 0 * HDF M * DHV/COR/NR1/NR2 0 * CMX 1 * CGN 25 / CPH/RGN 0 * GGN 3 / all rest at zero
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Old December 18th, 2006, 03:11 PM   #8
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Thanks! Is nature primarily what you shoot or was this just some quick grabs?
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Old December 18th, 2006, 04:51 PM   #9
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The XL H1 shows strobing in the VF and loses timecode the lower the temp. goes. At 10F it starts to show and at 30 below is quit apparent, creating a problem in focusing. The Porta Brace raincover helps, and with the addition of a heated (with handwarmers) blanket, hopefully will solve the problem. I will know more after a trip to Yellowstone in Feb.

Ron

www.ronsrail.com
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Old December 19th, 2006, 01:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Huling
Thanks! Is nature primarily what you shoot or was this just some quick grabs?
I would vote for quick grabs. Although shooting nature is serious hobby for me :)


"Third test day"
Today the temperature was 10F/-12C and I must say that LCD really got slower. It was possible to use it, but slow. Again, battery worked normally (that's really great). I was outside for 4 hours and there were no problems. So I would say that there's no reason why A1 shouldn't do the job in the cold weather. Other thing is how bad it is for tape mechanism or other mechanical parts. I think today's temperature is the maximum (or shoud I say minimum) for me to shoot without a decent cover.

Clip from today (H.264/98Mb)
http://rapidshare.com/files/8167401/Haukkajoki.mov
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Old December 20th, 2006, 05:40 AM   #11
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Poppe

I was not able to view your clip for some reason.
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Old December 20th, 2006, 09:02 AM   #12
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Wow, great shots.

That water looks cold!
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Old December 21st, 2006, 12:32 AM   #13
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This is my first post here on this great board, although I've been reading and learning for quite some time. I'm in the market for either a Canon A1 or the Sony V1. As a result, I've been reading everything I can about the two trying to make my choice (like many people on this board).

Anyway, I ran across this posted earlier today (on this board under the General HD / HDV Acquisition thread) and found it intersting (not that I'll every use my camera is such cold weather). However, it maybe something to consider as he apparently had some sort of cold weather related issue with his A1 based on the translation.

http://translate.google.com/translat...language_tools This is a broken English conversion (if you can read the German orginal you can click that option at the top of the page) or maybe try babblefish translation.

Hopefully this it is just an isolated single camera issue, but worth following up on.

Mark
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Old December 21st, 2006, 05:39 AM   #14
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All I can say that I didn't have that kind of problems, nor single drop out with those cheapest sony tapes. And I spent seven hours at -2C/28F and four hours at -12C/10F. Only problem was slower LCD.
Maybe there's something wrong in his A1 or I was just very lucky ;)
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Old December 21st, 2006, 08:33 AM   #15
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A1 and cold weather

Not real cold but I have recently shot two soccer games with the temp. in the high 20's and a stiff wind with no problems and no cover.
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