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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 January 9th, 2007, 12:21 PM   #61
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Audio limiter exists already?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Mann
- Soft clipping / limiter in manual audio mode
There is a suggestion in another thread that this is effectively what happens when you select auto-level, select MIC ATT (-20 db?), and dial in some gain (the example given was +12 db, effectively -8 db). How many people have tried this yet? Does it give the desired effect? If not, how would the behaviour be different?

Looking at the way auto-level works in my old XM1, it has a fixed starting level that it calls 0db, and when the audio gets too loud, it attenuates it by a varying amount. What is missing is a way to select the "starting level", other than MIC ATT, which is rather drastic at -20 db. From the description given in the other thread, it sounds to me like that's just what the XH-A1 gives you.

BTW I'm yet to make a decision about which HDV cam to get: FX7 or XH-A1? I think I've ruled out the V1E... This "best of both worlds" adjustable audio auto-level seems like a big plus point for the Canon.
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Old January 9th, 2007, 12:49 PM   #62
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-20 dB IS the only attenuation the A1 has, but I have tried the -20+12=-8 combo & seems to mimic somewhat what a soft limiter circuit would do & is my workaround for now until/IF one is added in a firmware update.

My main gripe audiowise is Canon's choose "all or none" method regarding auto gain or manual audio for both channels only, instead of being able to selectively choose ch.1 or ch.2 or both ourselves. And like I've said in a previous post somewhere here, it seems to be that way with the whole Canon product lineup.

I don't get it :-\

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Old January 9th, 2007, 01:01 PM   #63
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Mark, I tried this (AGC, -20 db, + 8dB) with my external Sennheiser. It is definetely no professional solution but it does sound quite acceptable as a workaround - with the following limitations:

(1) You are still recording audio with automatic gain control, which means that unwanted audio "pumping" due to compressing may occur anytime. A "true" soft clipping feature or a true limiter (run under manual gain control!) would leave the audio uncompressed and compress only unhearable peaks - which sound awful if not limited.
(2) The "sensitivity" (there is a better technical term ... ) of your external mic has to be adequate.

It is a pity: The A1 has professional XLR inputs, a surprisingly low-noise mic preamp (meanwhile I tested it!) plus two channel manual gain control - great! But without soft clipping/limiting feature you can't take full advantage of it, since you have to go to low in your manual gain to prevent possible clipping.

That's why I'm hoping for this update.
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Old January 9th, 2007, 01:47 PM   #64
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Well said, Michael. I tried out nearly every combination of the three audio features - attenuator, gain, and auto, using my k6/me66 & evo wireless lav, and in the end decided that right now, the most acceptible solution is to simply stay with manual and watch levels closely. Sure do hope this poll get some notice.

I know Chris mentioned that Canon does not have a product manager, similar to pana's Jan Crittenden or Avid's Marianna, due to corp. policy - maybe it's time they re-think that. When I had problems, Jan was an enormous asset, Canon should find a way to do the same.
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Old January 9th, 2007, 04:15 PM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Siegal
I know Chris mentioned that Canon does not have a product manager, similar to pana's Jan Crittenden or Avid's Marianna, due to corp. policy - maybe it's time they re-think that.
That's an interesting point, Stu. Maybe there lies the answer to our question: Product management simply FORGOT to implement such an essential audio feature when designing this professional cam. I can't imagine it the other way round: Leaving it out intentionally (why?) or because of the budget (it costs almost nothing!).
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Old January 9th, 2007, 04:42 PM   #66
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Well, this is essentially at the core of all my observations about this cam - nearly all of the issues on this wish list point to that fact that the A1's design has one foot in a consumer mindset, the other in a pro set. Examples include the missing audio capabilites, xlr/internal switching, OIS accesibility, inclusion of specialty modes like fireworks, night, shutter priority, etc. None of the missing features are big selling points for consumers, and many of the included features have no value for pros. Yet the spectacular image controls are at the top of class among its counterparts.

This is a pro cam, in the same way its Pana and Sony peers are, and as is the H1, but the bulk of Canon's camcorders are consumer, unlike Sony or Pana, which have long established professional product lines. I hope as the popularity of the A1 soars, and I think it will, Canon will bring in product designers who understand a pro mindset. A product manager with a strong on-line presence would be an outstanding first step toward that... after, of course, our FIRMWARE UPDATE!
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Old January 9th, 2007, 07:48 PM   #67
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Latest update of our wishlist:

- OIS mappable to custom key
- XLR/ camera mics mappable to custom key
- 1/50th default shutter speed in 25F
- Remember the previous selected shutter speed
- Exposure lock acts as 'Push auto exposure' in Manual mode
- Soft clipping / limiter in manual audio mode
- Peaking and zebra together
- Magnification that works during recording
- Exposure override via iris ring in TV mode
- Custom presets select via shutter scroll wheel
- Image flip on LCD
- Image flip on CCD
- Exposure lock disables AGC adjustments
- Improvements of NR1, NR2
- Additional stop(s) between 1/25 and 1/50 (1/33 and/or 1/40)
- Intermediate steps in gain
- Remaining battery time in real minutes
- Improvement of the "night" mode
- Conversion 50i to 25f (playback)
- setting for "end play" button to allow for a long push
- white balance settings below 2800 K
- photo buttons to be used as a possible custom preset button
- option to disable AF during zooms (to prevent focus pulsing when filming in AF)
- ability for custom preset to be displayed on screen by name (as opposed to just number)
- option to allocate AWB switch as OIS Switch or XLR mic / onboard mic switch
- ability to fine tune the LCD and CRT viewfinder to match colors in menu settings
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Old January 9th, 2007, 09:00 PM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Siegal
I know Chris mentioned that Canon does not have a product manager, similar to pana's Jan Crittenden or Avid's Marianna, due to corp. policy - maybe it's time they re-think that.
Woah, I never said that! Of course Canon has a product manager. What they don't have is a policy which allows them to post on internet message boards. Kind of understandable, too, considering how easy it is to be mis-quoted or misunderstood on an internet message board.
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Old January 9th, 2007, 09:18 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd
Woah, I never said that! Of course Canon has a product manager. What they don't have is a policy which allows them to post on internet message boards. Kind of understandable, too, considering how easy it is to be mis-quoted or misunderstood on an internet message board.
Meant online (of course there's a product manager) which goes to show, point about being misunderstood well taken. :)

Still, Canon has a huge opportunity with the A1 to take the high ground it's category, and product managers posting to forums online is pretty common within the industry. The benefits for them (and us) would far outweigh the risks.
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Old January 9th, 2007, 09:21 PM   #70
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No argument there -- here's hoping that they'll reconsider their policy.
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Old January 10th, 2007, 02:16 PM   #71
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I thought of another possible inclusion in a firmware update. It isn't necessary, but probably easy to implement.

A digital zoom in SD. I KNOW DIGITAL ZOOMS ARE BAD, but in this case you could get probably a 40x zoom with 0 degredation due to the extra rez of HD. This would be a useful feature for many people I would think in sports and nature. People would go nuts for a 40x zoom with no loss in visual quality.

I wouldn't mind seeing it as a feature, and I would use it on occasion.
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Old January 11th, 2007, 03:16 AM   #72
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Latest update of our wishlist:
(Position in list does not correspond to importance of wish. The result of our final poll will indicate the average importance of each wish.)

- OIS mappable to custom key
- XLR/ camera mics mappable to custom key
- 1/50th default shutter speed in 25F
- Remember the previous selected shutter speed
- Exposure lock acts as 'Push auto exposure' in Manual mode
- Soft clipping / limiter in manual audio mode
- Peaking and zebra together
- Magnification that works during recording
- Exposure override via iris ring in TV mode
- Custom presets select via shutter scroll wheel
- Image flip on LCD
- Image flip on CCD
- Exposure lock disables AGC adjustments
- Improvements of NR1, NR2
- Additional stop(s) between 1/25 and 1/50 (1/33 and/or 1/40)
- Intermediate steps in gain
- Remaining battery time in real minutes
- Improvement of the "night" mode
- Conversion 50i to 25f (playback)
- setting for "end play" button to allow for a long push
- white balance settings below 2800 K
- photo buttons to be used as a possible custom preset button
- option to disable AF during zooms (to prevent focus pulsing when filming in AF)
- ability for custom preset to be displayed on screen by name (as opposed to just number)
- option to allocate AWB switch as OIS Switch or XLR mic / onboard mic switch
- ability to fine tune the LCD and CRT viewfinder to match colors in menu settings
- additional digital zoom in SD


Alright, fellow users, what do you think? Shall we stop here and signal Chris that we are ready for the poll? (As soon as Chris finds time to program, of course!) Or still wait and collect wishes for another couple of days?

Another suggestion:
Maybe one of our native English speakers, who is good in precise and comprehensible technical phrasing, works over our final list, before Chris starts to program the poll. Good phrasing is essential for a successful comminication/presentation of our final results to Canon. This would also save Chris a lot of time. Is that okay with you, Chris?
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Last edited by Michael Mann; January 11th, 2007 at 08:37 AM.
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Old January 11th, 2007, 04:17 AM   #73
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*this is a long stretch, but...*

Can we add a umm... ahemm... "hardware" update to this list?

This is, in my opinion, is certainly viable & wouldn't seem to be that big of a deal at all to do.... here goes... that LAME LENS CAP!

How about something similar to Sony's Z1, etc. with the shutters on top & bottom integrated into the lens shade! Surely Sony hasn't patented that design :-\ ) We need something, anything, that's better than what we've got now! Not only is it cumbersome to even get it to lock in place (I have to try several times most of the time), but we also have to keep tabs on where we keep it.

I don't know about anyone else... but I'm about to take a hammer to mine!

I recall seeing something years ago similar to a shower cap (for lack of a better description) that was for this purpose. Anyone know what I'm talking about? If so, anyone recall the name of that product?

Bill
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Old January 11th, 2007, 05:31 AM   #74
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Quote:
Custom presets select via shutter scroll wheel
I've set one of the custom keys to switch between custom presets, but the names that have been given to the customs preset don't show up in the display (only CP1 etc).

Is there a way to change this? If not, it would be nice to see this implemented in a firmware upgrade.

As a more dramatic change, it would be nice to be able to access to the most important custom parameters (black press, color gain, NR) without having to use/edit custom presets. IMO quick access to editing each of these parameters would improve the recoding workflow a lot.

Last edited by Ole Vik; January 11th, 2007 at 06:10 AM.
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Old January 11th, 2007, 05:45 AM   #75
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it's in the list... near the bottom. And I think it's a must have.
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