Went Crazy, picked up an XH 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 29th, 2006, 09:55 AM   #1
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Went Crazy, picked up an XH A1

Wow, I finally did it....took the plunge and got the XH A1 plus the .8 wide angle, Petrol bag, and a box of Sony "Excellence" tapes yesterday. Will be doing a lot of shooting this weekend with it, testing it out.
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Old December 29th, 2006, 10:58 AM   #2
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Congratulations on your new purchase. =D
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Old December 29th, 2006, 07:06 PM   #3
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Which Petrol bag did you get to go with it?
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Old December 29th, 2006, 07:42 PM   #4
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Enjoy & Have Fun!
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Old December 30th, 2006, 12:23 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Sobel
Which Petrol bag did you get to go with it?
I got the petrol PWR-HDV. It's a "wing bag" they call it, that is it is split into 2 halves along the length. One side is for accessories, one side for the A1. It also has rollers and a collapsable handle on it for easier transport.
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Old December 30th, 2006, 08:56 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Steve Wolla
I got the petrol PWR-HDV. It's a "wing bag" they call it, that is it is split into 2 halves along the length. One side is for accessories, one side for the A1. It also has rollers and a collapsable handle on it for easier transport.
Does the camcorder fit in it with an add-on mic attached? or with the wide angle? I'm interested in getting a bag myself, and I'd like to know how this one is working from people actually using it in the field.
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Old December 30th, 2006, 11:29 AM   #7
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I got the Petrol PCUB 1-N. The camera fits with an attached mic. I also leave the wireless receiver attached to the hotshoe.
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Old December 30th, 2006, 04:30 PM   #8
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The Canon WD-H72 wide angle that I got is rather large (no--IT'S HUGE), so no, I must remove it before putting it in the bag. As to the mic....I can easily leave the Sennheiser wireless on it, and still fit. But some mic's and shock mount systems will be tough to fit, as the bag closes in towards the top. For those instances,Petrol does include a separate bag for a mic.

I like the bag due to its ability to carry the most essential gear with me relatively painlessly. It will carry a full 2 or 3 mic wireless system, plus several batteries, tapes, filters, the H72 wide angle, etc. How much more it can carry, I am not sure, as much depends a lot on how strong I am feeling that day. Video gear can add up weight-wise! That's why I like the wheels.

If what you are looking for is a good bag to get your gear on-site, I think it's worth a look. Its strengths lie in its portability and easy access to your stuff as opposed to being able to carry all your gear.

Last edited by Steve Wolla; December 31st, 2006 at 12:58 AM.
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Old December 31st, 2006, 08:49 AM   #9
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I also went crazy and just picked up an A1 in Japan. =) (And after my wife found out how much it cost, I started to regret it a little. :p )

I was almost tempted to save money and go with an FX7, until I discovered that the Japanese model FX7 cannot be switched into English menus. Since every other region FX7 has multiple language choices, I can see no logic behind this decision by Sony. Maybe they wanted to push foreigners towards the pro version (which have all button labels in English), but instead they lost a sale. I was willing to forgive Sony for a lot of their recent mistakes, but not this one.

Less than 12hrs after picking up my new toy, having not slept at all that night, I took the first 5am train down to the beach hoping to get a glimpse of Mt. Fuji illuminated by the orange sunrise. Unfortunately, the weather was a little hazy and since I was still learning my way around the camera, I missed some potentially good shots, but I will be going back again next chance I get. :)

I come from a background of using mostly Sony prosumer camcorders, so here are my impressions about the Canon.

First off, I thought I'd love the gain switch, but actually so far I hate it. Having only 3 possible selections at a time feels really limiting. I could live with 0/6/12/18, but 0/6/12 or 0/9/18 seems awkward to me, especially since you can't just bypass the switch and dial in a different value from somewhere else. Or I could live with AGC, if only the camera would tell me what gain it had selected. I hope I'll get used to this or find another way around it.

The next issue I have is that I wish I could see what aperture/gain/shutter speed the camera is choosing when those values are in auto. I like to use auto on some settings sometimes, but I would like to keep an eye on what the auto system is doing too. For example, if I'm in AGC I'd like to know what gain the camera has chosen, so that I can set a similar gain before switching into manual. That way there isn't a jarring jump when switching. Or if I'm in auto shutter, I'd like to know if the shutter is outside of a certain range so that I can adjust the iris or gain to keep it around where I want it (without the rigidness of a single shutter speed i.e. Tv mode). As it is, you can hit exposure lock to see the current shutter & iris, but then they aren't in auto anymore, and if you quit the exposure lock there may be a sudden change as the auto system picks a new exposure.

I suppose these may be normal and rather mild frustrations for anyone moving to a new camera. If anyone has some tips to share about the above issues, please let me know. Thanks! :)

P.S. I'm sad that HDVSplit doesn't work with Canon-recorded tapes, but that isn't Canon's fault and I'm sure I can find another way around it.
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Old December 31st, 2006, 09:26 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Jason Livingston
P.S. I'm sad that HDVSplit doesn't work with Canon-recorded tapes, but that isn't Canon's fault and I'm sure I can find another way around it.
I seem to remember from the boards that he's got a version that does. Go to his site and email him.

(The downloadable one works OK for capture, just not splitting I'm told.)
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Old December 31st, 2006, 01:25 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Brad Tyrrell
I seem to remember from the boards that he's got a version that does. Go to his site and email him.

(The downloadable one works OK for capture, just not splitting I'm told.)
I too am in dire need of of HDVSplit to split Canon HDV, my workflow is seriously suffering otherswise.!
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Old January 3rd, 2007, 09:20 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Wolla
Wow, I finally did it....took the plunge and got the XH A1 plus the .8 wide angle, Petrol bag, and a box of Sony "Excellence" tapes yesterday. Will be doing a lot of shooting this weekend with it, testing it out.
Who did you purchase your camera with?
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Old January 3rd, 2007, 03:14 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Luke Sabala
Who did you purchase your camera with?
I recommend calling Scott from Tapeworks Texas.
1-866-TAPEGUY
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Old January 4th, 2007, 07:01 AM   #14
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Who did you purchase your camera with?
B&H... They even gave me a rebate when the price dropped the week after I purchased it.
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Old January 6th, 2007, 06:40 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Wolla
Wow, I finally did it....took the plunge and got the XH A1 plus the .8 wide angle, Petrol bag, and a box of Sony "Excellence" tapes yesterday. Will be doing a lot of shooting this weekend with it, testing it out.
I just took the plunge myself and bought the XH A1 for my work just a couple days ago.
I sweated over this purchase for months. Hopefully, I'll be happy with the XH A1, and and get some good use out of it.
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