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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 February 1st, 2007, 08:29 PM   #1
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So how complicated is the A1 ?

I hear lots of talk that the A1 is more complicated then it needs to be. What would make it more complex then the V1u? Does anybody know a good instructional dvd that explains the A1 ??
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Old February 1st, 2007, 08:32 PM   #2
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You might want to download the PDF manual from canondv.com and take a look at that.
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Old February 1st, 2007, 10:30 PM   #3
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Not complicated. Just comprehensive.
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Old February 1st, 2007, 11:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Sinista
I hear lots of talk that the A1 is more complicated then it needs to be. What would make it more complex then the V1u? Does anybody know a good instructional dvd that explains the A1 ??
Tom's right, it's comprehensive. But like a digital SLR, it has fully automatic idiot modes so even if it's your first camera you can start take excellent shots right away, and as you become more adept at using it you can switch more and more aspects of its operation over to manual. Almost everything can be toggled between auto and manual.

But it's not difficult to operate, no. I received mine earlier today, took me half an hour to figure everything out - haven't opened the user's guide yet. Granted I've owned similar cameras before - DVX, XL2, H1 - but this would have to be the easiest of the bunch (when you start digging into the menus it becomes more comprehensive, as Tom points out, but that's a good thing - there are heaps of customisable options for those who want them).

Last edited by Josh Dahlberg; February 1st, 2007 at 11:03 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 12:27 AM   #5
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There are so many buttons and connectors all over the place! I'm wondering where they hid the Pez dispenser!
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 07:34 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James R. Leong
There are so many buttons and connectors all over the place! I'm wondering where they hid the Pez dispenser!
That's a menu toggle for the tape eject slider. Be a little careful though, - trying to change tapes quickly during a shoot and ending up with a handful of pez can be somewhat embarrasing with clients around. (Been there)
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 08:17 AM   #7
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The only thing really complicated it the massive amount of customization that can be done via the menus. It is not always clear how some of the setting will affect you. You can turn off certain display attributes and not realize you are disabling an item you might need. It took me a while to get comfortable with this. Worst case is you realize later tha something you thought would be on the screen for info isn't because you disable something else. It can be a bit tricky.

At least these options are available though. No other camera has this level of optimization. You have ultimate control over how you like it set up. But, with great power comes great responsibilty. The more options they put in your hands, the more confusing it gets. Obviously you can get "option anxiety". That's where you get caught up in the settings and customization features of your equipment and become obsessed with tweaking it instead of using it for what it was intended. You can easily get sidetracked.
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 09:19 AM   #8
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All those buttons are to 1) impress clients, giving justification for larger fees, and 2) To prevent gawkers from asking questions in fear of becoming entrapped in a long technical dissertation.
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 02:27 PM   #9
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The A1 is as complicated as you want to make it. If you want to just go out and shoot like any other camera, put the dial on "A" and go.

If you want to go for full control of things, use "M" + manual focus, and tweak away using presets, gain settings, etc., etc., etc.

I personally think that the custom presets (while maybe a lot of options to set up your own from scratch) take the complexity out of this camera when compared to others. Once you have a few presets you really like, flip to a different preset, get an entirely new look without changing anything else. I downloaded the presets on the "sticky" for this forum and it was really all I needed to get going with them.

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