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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 10th, 2007, 10:29 PM   #1
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documentary interview

A couple quick shots w/the A1 on a cheap dolly...

shot of my daughter (who was sick, and not too happy at the time) which was part of a test for an interview setup,

and then two shots from a 2-camera interview I shot yesterday.

The interviews are dark, and in need of correction, especially the second one...not thrilled w/the results -- that is, not thrilled with my lighting, too dark. But I'm on the learning curve, and the ones I'm shooting next week will be better. Am monitoring using an SD broadcast monitor which doesn't do 16x9, not ideal, but my mother always says a good workman shouldn't complain about his tools...

http://www.mostlymagic.tv/demo/interview_960.mov
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Old February 11th, 2007, 12:02 AM   #2
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I thought the first interview shot looked good, but the second one has a weird hard light on the side of his face. I didn't think it was too dark though, just some weird angles on the lights. Maybe your background should be further away and not lit as much, but that's just my opinion.

One tip I got from a photographer though... On your backdrops, you can see obvious creases where it was folded up. She says always just crumple them up in a ball and throw them in your bag, completely wrinkled without folding. Then, next time you use them, it looks more natural; instead of having the vertical and horizontal folds in the fabric you just have random wrinkles.

I agree with you though, your daughter really didn't look happy to be there :)
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Old February 11th, 2007, 12:14 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Weeks
...the second one has a weird hard light on the side of his face. ... Maybe your background should be further away and not lit as much, but that's just my opinion.
Yeah, the background was overlit, and the kicker light on him way too hot. I probably need a light meter because I have a hard time judging from the viewfinder or the reference monitor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Weeks
She says always just crumple them up in a ball and throw them in your bag, completely wrinkled without folding.
Thanks, that's also on the card when you buy the muslin, have done that now. Couldn't get the b.g. further away from them though. Thanks for the comments.
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Old February 14th, 2007, 08:58 PM   #4
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A1 Clips

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Nelson
Yeah, the background was overlit, and the kicker light on him way too hot. I probably need a light meter because I have a hard time judging from the viewfinder or the reference monitor.



Thanks, that's also on the card when you buy the muslin, have done that now. Couldn't get the b.g. further away from them though. Thanks for the comments.
The lighting was great, in my opinion. I cant believe the quality of this camera.
May I ask: are these posts HDV converted to SD? I would like to buy this camera but I need to downconvert because of processing power. Can I expect the same results?
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Old February 16th, 2007, 02:12 PM   #5
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Hi Michael: Just saw your post. This is from an HDV timeline downcoverted to Quicktime h.264 using compressor (in FCP). But this downconverts nicely to SD. I tested out a number of presets in my lighting setup, and downconvered to SD onto a DVD to look at them. The stuff from this camera to SD looks nice.
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Old February 17th, 2007, 11:24 AM   #6
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Hey, I thought it looked good. What were you're settings?
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Old February 23rd, 2007, 08:54 PM   #7
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A1 Clips

Jeff,

You will have to forgive me. I am well versed in this stuff when it comes to SD but the HDV thing is brand new to me. I have Final Cut Express HD. I also have compressor. Can I downconvert to H.264 if my processor isnt fast enough to handle HDV natively? I have an imac G4 flat panel.

The other thing I just don't yet understand is whether I can film in 24f and then downconvert to 60i (at least until I get FCP which now supports 24f).

I am coming out of retirement to do a wedding in August and may be leasing the equipment before I buy. Hopefully I will have the A1 before that. I am not sure if I can handle the downconvesion properly with my current system & will only have a day with the leased cameras to do the downconvert.

I really do appreciate your help and expertise.
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Old February 25th, 2007, 07:18 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Nelson
Yeah, the background was overlit, and the kicker light on him way too hot. I probably need a light meter because I have a hard time judging from the viewfinder or the reference monitor.

Thanks, that's also on the card when you buy the muslin, have done that now. Couldn't get the b.g. further away from them though. Thanks for the comments.
The first shot wasnt bad, but that kicker was still spilling onto her cheek, but not as much as second. I expect that may have been fallout from lack of space in the rear of the shot.

While a light meter isnt a bad idea, you should be able to get away with using a production monitor alone.

I didnt like the use of muslin for these interviews. There was no texture to the background. Just my personal opinion but I like something in the background that rounds out the shot. Throw a light on the black and use a cookie to break it up, flag it so it falls off etc. I also like to see some boke in the background, easily acheived by once again giving yourself more space in the rear and front of the shot.
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