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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 June 2nd, 2007, 01:13 PM   #46
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steve dempsey...do you or have you seen chromatic aberration..purple fringing in the high contrast areas
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Old June 8th, 2007, 10:22 AM   #47
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One week into owning the XH-A1, and I am finally starting to feel comfortable with handling it. I've gotten used to the balance of the camera, and I found a good spot to put my left hand without constantly bumping the focus ring. Plus, I'm able to find and press the peaking, magnification, and Push AF buttons without looking. Now it's time to start tweaking.

I was really interested in seeing how 24F looks from this camera, but wanted to be able to shoot good “normal” video before I started goofing around. Yesterday I shot some video at my kids' t-ball game in 60i and 24F (1/48 shutter). When we got home, I watched the footage straight from the camera on my SD 54” RP television. Of course, the 60i footage looked great...just like real-life even on a SD television. When the footage abruptly switched to 24F, the picture seemed to strobe. After about a minute, I guess my brain adjusted to it and the footage looked great. The 24F gave a different feel than the 60i – much more than I was expecting. Suddenly, the t-ball game looked less like a home video and more like it belonged on a prime-time network drama. Even my wife noticed.

For the immediate future at least, the only thing that's going to look like film is film. Shooting in 24F didn't give me what I'd consider a film look, but it certainly did give a “close to film” feel. I would consider shooting weddings in 24F as soon as I get another 24F camera for b-roll. I think I see an HV20 (or maybe another A1) in my future.

The ability to adjust the white balance in degrees Kelvin is another welcome feature. NO MORE WARM CARDS! I perform a standard white balance adjustment, then tweak the image warmer or cooler based on what I want. However, twisting that tiny K dial makes me glad the days of having to adjust iris with a similar wheel are in the past. The big iris ring is the only way to go.

After a week, I can honestly say I like the camera more now than I did when I first fired it up. Enough to look past the CA which should be fixable in post. Next, I'll start messing with custom presets. It's like Canon put Photoshop inside the camera!
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Old July 1st, 2007, 01:54 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Wozniak View Post
I've been playing around with my new A1 ....

I love the picture. It is sharp without the artificial sharpness of the Sony cams. ....

The amount of customizing that can be done on the camera could fill a book. I tweaked picture settings for about two hours before even shooting one second of video....

Speaking of holding the camera, that's something that needs to be done with two hands unless you're on the sticks. Trying to hold it with one hand will make your forearm quite sore, and eventually you'd develop Popeye-like forearm muscles (on your right arm, anyway). The balance is front-heavy, but I think it'll balance nicely with the FS-C mounted out back. I don't have the FS-C yet, but it's on my wish list.

....
A month later, Ken, having presumably tweaked some more, what settings/programmes do you now find useful, specifically outdoors?

I handhold XM2 (GL2) almost all the time but it's a pound lighter than XHA1. Any Popeye-like developments on your forearms?

Is autofocus quick to respond when you lift A1 off the ground and shoot again ?
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Old July 2nd, 2007, 11:03 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by Brendan Marnell View Post
A month later, Ken, having presumably tweaked some more, what settings/programmes do you now find useful, specifically outdoors??
If I'm just shooting landscapes, I really like to use the VIVIDRGB preset by Steven Dempsey. I don't use it if people are in the shot, though as I feel it tends to give their skin too much glow. Indoors in poor lighting, I use LOWLT12 by Alister Chapman at 6db gain. If I have good lighting and will be shooting people, I usually stick with factory settings and tweak the look in post if I want.
As far as program modes are concerned, in 24F I use full manual control. In the interlaced mode, I use Av program most of the time. I'm an old still photo shooter and feel the need to control that iris. Plus, the A1 has that KILLER iris ring and I just gotta use it.

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Originally Posted by Brendan Marnell View Post
I handhold XM2 (GL2) almost all the time but it's a pound lighter than XHA1. Any Popeye-like developments on your forearms?
Hand-holding is easier than I expected. Bear with me while I try to explain this. I use my left thumb supporting the bottom of the camera just under the shutter dial and three fingers to operate the rings on the lens. My right elbow get put against my stomach right below my rib cage. The base of my right hand supports the camera while the strap is really just there to keep the camera from tilting. To me, it feels as if the weight is pretty well distributed between both arms. I've been able to keep this hand-held style for 15 minutes at a time comfortably.
No huge forearm muscles yet.


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Is autofocus quick to respond when you lift A1 off the ground and shoot again ?
I think the autofocus works great in the interlaced mode if you keep the IAF sensor active. I've never used as much AF before as I do with the A1.
Shooting in 24F mode slows the autofocus down quite a bit and I find myself having to help it along by over-riding it with the focus ring and occasionally going to manual focus. All landscapes are done in MF regardless of frame rate. Make sure to keep the IAF sensor clean.
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Old July 2nd, 2007, 04:10 PM   #50
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That is very helpful Ken and very specific, thank you.

I hope you can go further and from your outdoor experience with XHA1 try to visualize how it might turn out footage of big birds in flight, example on this link ...

http://www.hbw.com/ibc/phtml/votacio...?idVideo=15072

How would this sort of footage, shot handheld + autofocus + default settings on my XM2 (GL2) be improved by being shot with XHA1, handheld + autofocus + VIVIDRGB settings?

All thoughtful contributions from XHA1 people welcome.
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 09:57 AM   #51
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Brendan,
I've never shot with a GL2, so I can't really give you a good comparison. However, based on my experience with the A1, that same footage with the A1 on VIVIDRGB, would make the plants on the ground and the blue sky really pop out. I've noticed a great increase in green with VIVIDRGB while shooting.
In addition, you'd of course get the higher resolution and 16:9 of HDV. I think the shot you posted looks great, but in my opinion (and it's just MY opinion), it could look even better in 16:9 to give the griffon more room for his wings.
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 02:08 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by Ken Wozniak View Post
Brendan,
I've never shot with a GL2, so I can't really give you a good comparison. However, based on my experience with the A1, that same footage with the A1 on VIVIDRGB, would make the plants on the ground and the blue sky really pop out. I've noticed a great increase in green with VIVIDRGB while shooting.
In addition, you'd of course get the higher resolution and 16:9 of HDV. I think the shot you posted looks great, but in my opinion (and it's just MY opinion), it could look even better in 16:9 to give the griffon more room for his wings.
Thank you for those observations Ken. Please stay with this one more time.

I now understand what VIVIDRGB would do to the blues and greens. I can also see that 16:9 would have just about accommodated the griffon's wings (though it was really my fault that I didn't anticipate him coming close and zoom out a bit).

What I want to understand is ... exactly what change/improvement on the image quality would be achieved if I had the higher resolution of HDV? The pixel count of your machine compared to mine looks like this:

XHA1 3 x .33" ccd x 520,000 (= 1.56 MP effective pixels - movie)
GL2 3 x .25" ccd x 440,000 (= 1.32 MP effective pixels - movie)

I don't need an answer in the form of pixel measurement. I'm just wishing there was somebody out there with bird flight or horse racing or windsurfing footage on XHA1 who would kindly post 2 tiny clips that illustrated the superiority in image quality of XHA1 over GL2 or even HD over SD?
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 02:26 PM   #53
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Sorry to butt in guys but seeing as this is now completely off topic, I would like to suggest that you open a new post.
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 05:14 PM   #54
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This thread has been moved to:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=98122
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