Photographic ability of the A1 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 26th, 2006, 07:44 PM   #1
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Photographic ability of the A1

I'm going to buy the a1 as soon as i can,also for the good reviews read in this forum.
Was wondering if the A1 as the capability of producing a photographic file of acceptable quality for reproduction in magazine.
Does anybody have some photographic file at the maximum possible quality to post?

thanks
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Old December 26th, 2006, 11:24 PM   #2
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See our XL H1 clips forum for some full-size still photos (they are the same as the XH A1). The images are two megapixels, at 1920 x 1080. Hope this helps,
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Old December 27th, 2006, 12:03 AM   #3
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Here is a quick shot I did with XH A1 and Speedlite flash:

http://mysite.verizon.net/vze58h83/

For 4x6" print size, quality is more than fine.

Last edited by Bogdan Tyburczy; December 27th, 2006 at 03:14 AM.
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Old December 27th, 2006, 12:01 PM   #4
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Manuel, I think the A1 produces ok photo files for casual use but a simple point and shoot $199 camera will likely produce better images.

The photo feature is good to have for certain situations- for instance a "car" show where you might just want to shoot some quick stills of various models- other than that I find it's image quality weak.
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Old December 27th, 2006, 01:27 PM   #5
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Thanks everybody.

I have to agree with Steve,had a look at some samples and actually the photo quality is weak.

Thanks again
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Old December 28th, 2006, 08:29 AM   #6
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Kind of a trade-off.

I like grabbing stills from video to get the "perfect" shot. "See, - when she raises her left eyebrow because she was surprised by the monkey and when the milk spills all over shiney car hood and we accidentally caught the reflection with Elmo in the background? Perfect, - no, two frames forward, one more, no, no, one back, - there!"

Did it with SD, much better with HD, still weak in the quality department compared to a dedicated still camera, but - "How did you get that shot !??"

Maybe, if I was just a better photographer to begin with.
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Old December 28th, 2006, 11:23 AM   #7
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No camcorder is here to compete with DSLR cameras or even small gadgets that carry all those megapixels, but in my opinion photo quality of XH/XL camcorders can be found very useful, just as long we remember to set low gain, max size jpeg and superfine quality.

Of course, 2 megapixels is not enough for the cover of Time magazine, but surely enough for daily newspaper if you capture that perfect moment in a game, for example.
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Old December 28th, 2006, 08:05 PM   #8
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The on board camera would be good enough to capture some action shot or grabs for a website. If you want to print it out into a bigger sized "poster", a dedicated SLR would be better.
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Old December 29th, 2006, 11:07 AM   #9
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Just this morning, New York Post printed a beautiful moment of action from college football game (Texas vs Kansas). It looked like taken with 1 megapixel camera, but not even a bit less amazing despite that.

I think photos and screenshots from new Canons will be published more often than we realize.
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Old December 29th, 2006, 11:22 AM   #10
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From what I can tell so far:
A picture from a decent digital camera will likely be better.
A picture from an XH A1 will certainly be better than no picture at all.
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Old December 30th, 2006, 09:29 PM   #11
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"A picture from an XH A1 will certainly be better than no picture at all" - that's obviously correct statement :) but I'd like to add my final 2 cents in this thread:

"If you don't have your digital camera with you, don't give up. A1 can help with up to 30 frames/second *"

* - in video mode.
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Old December 31st, 2006, 03:16 AM   #12
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I have long used still capabilities of various cams for capturing off the video while in playback.
Granted, this is not going to be the best quality in the world, but more often than not, its just the ticket for inclusion in reports, presentations and DVD labels and covers. Here you are not dealing with large prints, and having the ability to capture that right moment to graphically make a point really can make a difference.
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Old December 31st, 2006, 10:56 AM   #13
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Resolution doesn't mean anything to me in such as the "industry" obsesses over it. I have been using SD video grabs for publication for years, a cover just recently (vertical of course) cropped from a horizontal SD frame. So I started with a 480 x 300 or something like that. Sure I manipulate the hell out of them at times, but that is what art is to me.

Often I will knock down the res to get certain effects to look better.
A pro-photographer that I know shot with a sony 2MP cam, the image bank wouldn't take his pics, so he up-resed them cleaned up the noise & now he sells about $400 a month with them.

The bottom line is, that if you think in terms of the numbers your creativity is squashed. If you think in terms that these are the numbers, so then I can work with it like this, your creativity is almost boundless

I for one can't wait to start using HD frame grabs.
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Old December 31st, 2006, 11:24 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Korrow
if you think in terms of the numbers your creativity is squashed. If you think in terms that these are the numbers, so then I can work with it like this, your creativity is almost boundless.
Man, that's brilliant. You've just said in two sentances what has often taken me four paragraphs. Do you mind if I add this bit of wisdom to the official DV Info Net party line? It's a perfect response to those annoying measurebators. Thanks,
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Old December 31st, 2006, 01:13 PM   #15
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When using the photo capabilities, please be advised that the jpeg image size (and thus the image quality) is best when you take the shot live, when you are recording or not.

When you take a photo when playing back a tape, the jpeg image size is much smaller.

Under the right conditions, these cameras can take great photos.
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