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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 March 18th, 2007, 05:14 PM   #1
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Wedding Evening Reception Observations

Filmed an evening reception on Friday Night. It was my first outing with the camera and thought I would post some observations:-

Onboard Mic - Have to admit to being very un-impressed with how it coped (SOLUTION NOW FOUND READ BELOW) with the live band. It has really struggled with the low end and is breaking up, which is something I never once got with my XL1. The band were pretty loud(for a wedding band), however, it was an un-expected and un-wanted surprise. The mic sensitivity was set to normal gain (only other option is High which would have been worse).

Battery Life-WOW....I'm impressed! The standard battery was still going strong at the end of the night.

Low Light - Took some brave pills and went on Manual and loaded in the Custom Preset No 18 Panalook. Set the Gain to +6 and the Shutter Speed to 1/25. They had all the lights off apart from the disco type ones. I don't claim to be expert in these matters but, I think the results were very good.

Last edited by Alastair Brown; March 19th, 2007 at 04:24 AM.
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Old March 18th, 2007, 07:06 PM   #2
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dont forget, HDV audio isnt the best and a weak assed mic doesnt help matters...

did you have your audio set to auto? even with manual levelling, sometimes if you overload the capsule, it might puke itself (thats with any camera in fact)

Ive never taken this camera out, so im looking at all its nuances before i decide..
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Old March 19th, 2007, 04:23 AM   #3
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Doh......looks like I should have read (and re-read...then understood fully) Page 49 of the manual!

It was set on Auto. I did think it was a bit strange that the only settings available in the menu section seemed to be Mic Sensitivity Normal or High.

The Auto/Maual selection is via a switch just below the audio level dials on the side of the camera.

In my defense, the XL1 handled loud audio fine and this did come as un-expected.

Hopefully someone else can learn from my mistake.

I'm sure I'll make a few more along the way!
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Old March 19th, 2007, 07:54 AM   #4
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Hey Alister did you set the attenuater to 12dB. i am very curious how it handle. i do a lot of live bands and they are loud. So are you guys saying set it at manual and it works better. thx
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Old March 19th, 2007, 06:35 PM   #5
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I did an evening reception on Friday night also. The band were not too loud but loud enough. I was fairly close to the speakers - only place I could get.

I selected the MIC ATT switch (beside the WHITE BAL PRESET switch on top of camera) to ATT and had no problem with distorted sound or break up etc.
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Old March 20th, 2007, 05:45 AM   #6
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Oh the shame!

Not only have I already admitted to having it in Auto, now I also have to own up to missing the Mic Att button.

Both have now been burned into my mental notebook.

I guess the xl1 spoilt me.
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Old March 20th, 2007, 07:56 PM   #7
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Anyone have footage from a wedding that you can post?
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Old March 21st, 2007, 02:57 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alastair Brown View Post
Oh the shame!

Not only have I already admitted to having it in Auto, now I also have to own up to missing the Mic Att button.

Both have now been burned into my mental notebook.

I guess the xl1 spoilt me.

Alastair, not a A1 owner - YET! - but still wth my XM2s. The Mic Atten on the XM2s is phenomenal. I have been reading your posts with much interest and your "experiences" are adding to my knowledge base. Keep on submitting your way through.

I have been hoping that the neat tools-set that IS on the XM2 has transferred to the A1 - as of yet you haven't disappointed me in reassuring me that this is true.

Yup! Mic ATT in high noise areas is a great and simple method of getting the audio in.

Alastair? Keep posting!!!
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Old March 21st, 2007, 05:32 AM   #9
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Graham, I second that. I had the XM2 for two years and I never found an onboard mic with comparable quality since then. Even the A1 onboard mic I find less good, in terms of fidelity and stereo spread.
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Old March 23rd, 2007, 10:30 AM   #10
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Audio problems recording VERY loud band

I recently used my XH-A1 to shoot live footage of a very loud rock band performing on stage. I was shooting in HDV format and using the A1's onboard mic hoping to capture some audible sound and mainly get the audience. I also had a DAT recording off the soundboard. I had the mic levels set to manual and had set the levels based on the previous band. I set the levels a bit lower than normal to avoid unexpected peaks and I must say, the audio was Horrible. The announcer was fine, the audience sounded good and even the singer and guitar unaccompanied are ok but as soon as the bass or drums kick in...its curtains. An almost indiscernable wall of low end noise. Apparently the diaphram in this mic just can't handle that much noise. I have recorded similarly loud bands before with a little Sony palmcorder in the past and gotten better results. I ended up taking the audio off the board and mixing in the audience between songs from the video mic and it sounds alright. Anyone who shoots loud live music with this camera and the onboard mic should be warned to use an alternative mic. Next time I plan on having twin shotguns mounted on camera with a 30 degree spread for best stereo. Anyone else have any comments? By the way, the club was dark and I had the gain up at +18. The images look grainy but fantastic. I don't mind the grain and find that it looks very film-like. Of course I have not watched it on a large monitor yet.
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Old March 23rd, 2007, 12:52 PM   #11
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William: Did you use the MIC ATT setting?

I've been in a band room with a drum line (louder than a Def Leopard concert) with the GL1. With MIC ATT off, there is no way the camcorder would not clip. With MIC ATT on, it did OK. I did some measurement and the GL1 woudl overload at about 110 dB SPL with noticeable waveform distortion. With MIC ATT setting the wave form was clean (not sure at what point it would overlaod the mics them selves). Same no doubt applies to the A1 although the level may be different.

I suspect (but cannot confirm) that there are preamps ahead of the manual level controls that may go into saturation/clipping with very loud sounds if not using MIC ATT setting. The MIC ATT setting probably reduces the input to the preamps to prevent clipping for most (below the threshold of pain) sound.

Also, if I recall corrrectly, the A1 manual warns that relying on the meters alone in manual gain mode may not pevent distortion, probably due to the possibility of saturation in the preamps discussed above.

Note that microphones, espcially condensor microphones, have maximum sound pressure levels ratings above which distortion becomes excessive. These can be found in the specifications and can range from rather low numbers (e.g., 110 dB SPL) to rather high 135 dB and above.
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