A few months in-Areyou still In LOVE? - Page 2 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 January 13th, 2007, 11:30 AM   #16
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I see what you're saying, David. I used to work DV play-through, but as you say, you cannot monitor HDV in the same way.

Currently I use a MacBook Pro with an second display (23" Apple Cinema Display). I use Digital Cinema Desktop to preview on the MacBook's screen and work on the other as my main screen.

Since this isn't totally color accurate, I've spent time learning about the scopes, etc. Most of our work is for DVD output, so my final check is to burn a DVD and go and watch it on my TV!

We capture straight from the camera into the system. I'm thinking about an HV10 as a deck, but I'm getting a MacPro and a BlackMagic Intensity (plus some sort of reasonably accurate HDMI flat screen) and my ultimate workflow is likely to be recording to a Focus FS4 HD, capture as m2t and transcode to DVCProHD (no loss of resolution at 25p - which is what I'm working at).
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Old January 14th, 2007, 07:02 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alastair Brown
Just interested to hear current owners opinions, which will help me and others about to start "going steady" with an XH-A1.
My only complaint is the ergonomics. I do a lot of handheld and I've gotten tendonitis in my elbow from it. Canon needs to hire some specialists to revamp the grip and side of the camera for the A1n. You can't hold the camera loosely because it's not well balanced -- you need a death grip to keep everything under control. 'Course if I used a tripod like I should, it wouldn't be a problem.

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Old January 15th, 2007, 01:24 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Morgan
My understanding is that you can't monitor HDV in this fashion (using Final Cut).
Have you tried iMovie HD? It will monitor (and record) the A1 firewire output in real time. There's a small lag between the camera and the MBP, but still useful for monitoring sharpness and color.
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Old January 15th, 2007, 01:36 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Alastair Brown
Are you still head over heels in love with it, or have the rose tinted glasses slipped any, and little things she does, are starting to irritate you?
I haven't worked with an A1 a few months yet, but enough to realize that it's a great camera. I miss a way quick to edit black press and color gain (etc) on the fly (without using Custom Presets), and find the size and placement of certain buttons a bit awkward (push AF and exp. lock in particular)... 720p would have been nice, and the LCD is too small in my opinion, but other than that, it's a great camera.
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Old January 15th, 2007, 10:19 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Morgan
...However, the HDV format is proving to be more troublesome that I expected. Seems I don't have the hardware and the cost is very high to play in this league. I'm using Final Cut Pro and can't monitor it in real time from my macpro laptop...
Hey David, your laptop's 5400 rpm drive is gonna have probs keeping up with playing large hdv clips. More ram should help your situation. Or the real solution would switching out your 5400rpm drive with a 7200 rpm drive, that will be like night and day.
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Old January 15th, 2007, 10:26 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Jack Jenkins
Hey David, your laptop's 5400 rpm drive is gonna have probs keeping up with playing large hdv clips. More ram should help your situation. Or the real solution would switching out your 5400rpm drive with a 7200 rpm drive, that will be like night and day.
Actually I've found that my 5400 rpm drive could support dual stream HDV - although I mostly use a FW800 external 500GB hard drive (so I haven't pushed the internal drive particularly hard).

But you're right about the RAM. And the Core Duo architecture only supports 2GB of ram - which really isn't enough. 3GB on the Core 2 Duos might be okay, but personally I think 4GB is a must for FCP.
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Old January 15th, 2007, 11:04 AM   #22
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That is a good solution also, and probably the easiest: the external firewire drive. Especially if its firewire 800.
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Old January 15th, 2007, 11:14 AM   #23
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Ole

Haven't tried it with imovie HD. Considering that imovie it built to basically capture to your local drive, I would expect that it might have trouble keeping up. I've had a fair amount of trouble in the past trying to use an external firewire drive with imovie. The program crashes randomly. The other thing about imovie is that when your project starts to reach 45 minutes or so, the program starts to choke. My projects are generally 1-1/2hr.
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Old January 15th, 2007, 11:34 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Jack Jenkins
Hey David, your laptop's 5400 rpm drive is gonna have probs keeping up with playing large hdv clips. More ram should help your situation. Or the real solution would switching out your 5400rpm drive with a 7200 rpm drive, that will be like night and day.
HDV is has a throughput of less than 4 megs/sec. Pretty much any hard drive that isn't fragmented to oblivion should be able to play that back without a hiccup. The problem with the super low bandwidth video is the CPU power to decode the heavily compressed stream.
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Old January 15th, 2007, 11:49 AM   #25
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5400 rpm isnt impossible, but if the computer is doing anything else with the hard drive you are gonna feel it during playback. Its a little too close to the performance max. Most NLE's are scratching lots of little previews etc. during their operation so the hard drive is getting hammered.
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Old January 16th, 2007, 11:14 AM   #26
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If you are planning to edit HDV natively, or even playback full screen HD, it makes sense to plan a PC/Mac upgrade. I recently built a new editing box using a Core 2 Duo (E6400 2.13Mhz running nice and cool at 3 GHz) and two RAID arrays using inexpensive SATA II HDs. It's cut rendering times 70% from the "old" P4 2.8 Ghz, and running from a RAID 5 array doubles drive throughput. This doubling of drive output has an effect on everything you do on the PC, from bootup on. My wife was working on the old P4 2.8Ghz machine with single boot drive (same SATA II spec) and was wondering what was wrong with it. There's nothing wrong with it...she's just used to the RAID PC's performance.

Coming from the viewpoint of someone who works in the IT industry and built/tweaked hundreds of PC's, the new system is the single biggest performance jump for the least money I've seen yet. You don't need to budget a whole lot to do this.
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Old January 17th, 2007, 08:24 PM   #27
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I'm still in Love...

Like every man-made object, there are things to get used to, and I am fully able to accept every aspect this camera brings. I just shot 5 hours at a film festival in Nevada City, CA. and I had minimal fatigue when shooting. When holding with one hand, I would like to see camera makers mold the tape door differently- I would like the upper part of the door stick out more so I can have more leverage when holding the cam with one hand and pointing a hand held mic in the other. Overall this thig works great. In a run and gun situation in low light, I would want a preset that works nice and fast, but I have grown to allow for small adjustments of the low light situation.

peace, larry
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