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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 5th, 2007, 08:43 PM   #1
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Who has the G1

I haven't seen much traffic go buy on people who have the G-1. Can anyone speak up about it and what they think?

I am looking at buying two A-1's or two G-1's to do multi-camera shooting with. I'm weighing the notion of shooting with the A-1's, claping the slate with a $25 clapboard and snyching manually in post, versus shooting witht the G-1's and a $1200 timecode slate.

Is there anyone out there doing this with the G-1 who can speak to what kind of time I'd be saving in post? Any advantages there I'm not aware of? The $7500 price difference for the combo looking tough to recover.

I know it also has the un-compressed output, but I'm not likely to use that any time soon.
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Old January 5th, 2007, 11:34 PM   #2
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Go here and you can some of your questions answered. http://www.dvinfo.net/canonxh/xhfaq.php
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Old January 5th, 2007, 11:39 PM   #3
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Unless you're keying or want colors to be dead on, then the A1's hdv compression will resolve an excellent image. You could take advantage of free-run timecode and not worry about sync if you're just wanting the two cams to match. Do a search here on free run timecode.

I shot a test interview with my new kit on the G1, in hdv, and I'm impressed. One of our designers wore a red shirt so I interviewed him and was surprised at how accurate the colors looked onto tape. There was a slight hue shift (only noticeable to picky me), but it was still a red shirt. I used skin detail and was surprised to see how well I could mask the skin without bleed/selection into the red shirt. I used a 1/4 classic soft that adds some warmth and was still able to pick out the skin in the shot.

I only picked up the G1 to have access to HD-SDI for keying, and will most likely shoot HDV, as in A1, for more than half-my stuff. For straight video, two A1's would do nicely.
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Old January 5th, 2007, 11:50 PM   #4
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Thanks for your input, guys.

Peter - yeah, I have read about the free-run time code, which sounds like it scores a close second place.

Anthony - thanks, I have definitely gone through all the technical specs and differences.

Mostly, I'm looking for someone who has used the G1 for synching a multi-camera shoot to speak to the advantages of that over the free-run or clapboard approach. I know that on all big pro shoots they are running timecode, and there must be strong reasons for it, I just don't think I know what they all are.

Maybe nobody here is doing it... maybe that says enough, I don't know.
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Old January 6th, 2007, 12:17 PM   #5
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The reason for it is that it will be exact. I do two camera shoots all the time with a clapboard, and that's fine too. Just depends on what you think it's worth to have genlock.
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Old January 6th, 2007, 09:02 PM   #6
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Beware of free run timecode if you will be stopping and starting the cameras often! With freerun code, it is a timecode break if you start & stop and will take longer to capture...much longer if it's a lot of quick cuts. Much better to let the camera run and run.

We do multicamera stuff all the time with regular preset code. Syncing these days isn't too tough if segments are long.

Good luck.

Kevin
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Old January 6th, 2007, 09:13 PM   #7
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But the whole point of Free Run TC is that you *can* start and stop, power down, power up, eject, etc. as much as you like *without* losing sync. The internal clock is always running, and remains in sync w/other cams as long as they were all set together, even when the camera is completely powered down. See http://www.dvinfo.net/canonxl2/articles/article11.php
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Old January 6th, 2007, 09:17 PM   #8
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Kevin, with free run TC it keeps going. It's Record Run that stops and starts. That's why you use free run when you do multicam shoots.
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Old January 7th, 2007, 12:22 PM   #9
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Does this mean the screen on each camera will be written at the same instant, as with Genlock? Would this be good enough to do Stereoscopic 3D?
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Old January 7th, 2007, 12:34 PM   #10
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So I will take this all to mean that no one on this board is doing multi-cam shoots using the G1 and Genlock. Good info. But I'd love to see a multicam shoot with timecode in post to understand the tradeoffs (or hear about it)... ah well.
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Old January 7th, 2007, 03:53 PM   #11
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Well... I'm filming live concerts with a friend with 2 A1s so I can give you an idea of the trade-offs involved.

For the last concert, we had 3 sets of 40 mins each with about 20 mins pause in between. So 3 hours + total, the cameras used free-run time code and were synchronized before the concert using the remote.

We had the following problems:
-the cameras were not in sync for the last set (after 3 hours), the difference was about 1 sec (yes!), so it appears that the internal clocks are not very accurate. Resyncronizing in post is relatively easy, though (using final cut).
-we had some dropped frames on the tape. Each dropped frame creates a new track, and sync problems.
-the sync cannot be really frame accurate, obviously (camera 2 frames are timed somewhere in between camera 1 frames) (we see that from the soudtrack, which is recorded and sync externally)
-indeed each recording pause creates a time code break using free-run time code. The reason is simple: the time code still runs when the tape is paused. I can imagine that this complicates capture (I did not need to check into that since we do not pause during sets). The problem would be the same with a G1 using external sync, BTW.


All this being said, for us the A1 is still the better choice. The minor time code annoyances are a better choice than having to run a sync cable between the cameras, and of course the extra cost of 2 G1s + an external sync. The choice may be different if you film in a studio (no cable problem) and are under a strong time pressure (which means the minor sync problems will be a real annoyance).

Hope this helps,
JM.
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Old January 7th, 2007, 04:55 PM   #12
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Thanks for the input... very interesting. Yeah, I am usually shooting full days, so that would argue for re-synching for every set-up.

So you would actually need cables run between cameras for the whole time? I thought if they were both synched with a timecode slate that they would hold individually... I guess I know less than I thought.

The only big shoot I did using timecodes was a 3-5 camera Beta shoot, and I know they were only physically synching the cameras once or twice a day tops.
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Old January 7th, 2007, 05:11 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry Gribble
So you would actually need cables run between cameras for the whole time? I thought if they were both synched with a timecode slate that they would hold individually... I guess I know less than I thought.
Well... I don't know about that either, I don't own a G1. All I know is that 2 A1s can be synchronized using the remote, but that ours drifted apart after 3 hours.
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Old January 9th, 2007, 09:29 PM   #14
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hi there!

got our g1 today..

we want to do keying so we're going to use sdi and cineform.

we also use the M2 35mm adapter, so as much resolution we get out of the camera the better. better hope its not too much for the M2's groundglass.. got some artefacts using h1 and mini35.

another reason would be that with this camera we may not be outperformed that much when the next generation of "hd" cameras come out. downside on the whole sdi thing is the loss of flexibility when it comes to camera movement.

it works great with the fs-4 but i'm sure the a1 does too.

cya
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Old January 10th, 2007, 12:40 AM   #15
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Your margins are going to be higher than cost in the cam's alone. You'll need another $3000 for hardware ingest (if going Prospect PC route). If you're just wanting to match TC on two cameras for HDV workflow, and avoid the hassle of manually syncing all those clips, the Freerun TC on two A1's seems like a deal.

I only purchased the G1 for 4:2:2/keying via HD-SDI. I can rent extra A1's from a local shop if needed, and I can see the advantage of freerun TC for those jobs. Especially when I don't have to be tethered to sync/house and can move around freely.
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