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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 April 22nd, 2007, 01:48 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Khoi Pham View Post
They do not look like mush, sound like you have bigger chips camera and just looking down on these small chips camera, what you recommend is only good for day time, what would you do shooting something at night or indoor? avoid going below f4 will leave a pitch black scenes if you don't have thousand of watts of lightning, the A1 has very good picture quality even at f1.6 and they do not loook like mush, of course not as sharp at the optimum midrange apperture but for sure not mush, also there is no need to buy any ND filters, it already has 2 level built in, and a -3 db gain and shutter speed control, buying ND filters for this camera is a waste of money.
Oh yes they do - and I don't mean just the A1. With the V1 I'm using now, with aperture any smaller than 5.6, I can see a very evident softness due to diffraction. During a sunny day in April (Poland), ND2 is barely enough to always keep iris tighter that F5.6; before full summer sunshine comes I'm definitely buying some good UV/polarizing filter, and - if this is not enough - some neutral one as well. In the Sony, ther is an option in the menu to limit the aperture in auto mode; one option is 5.6 and the other 11 - I bet at F11 I'd never get a picture as sharp as it could be with wider aperture!
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Old April 22nd, 2007, 01:48 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Piotr Wozniacki View Post
C'mon guys - Paul is talking about picture shortcomings that have nothing to do with the monitor in question! It may not be the best model on the planet, but if it's picture is too saturated (and I can imagine that - my Fujitsu Siemens also needs some adjustment in this respect, when fed from the component output of my ATI graphics) - then how can it contribute to the A1 video being "wishy washy"?
This model is very noisy, or slow refresh rate, alot of movement will leave a trail and looks blur, this is probably why he said it is wishy washy or he could also means it is washout from over exposed picture, either case it is not the camera fault, it is the fault of either the monitor or the user not familiar with the camera.
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Old April 22nd, 2007, 02:26 PM   #18
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Khoi: Stopping down means closing the aperature, not opening it...

Canon lenses are all pretty good wide open (in low light).. unfortunately the A1 doesn't allow you to hold the stop through the zoom range, so you're limited to wide angle shots.. it stops to 2.6 and 3.4 as you zoom in -

But, again, outdoors or in bright situations, don't stop down below f4 if you can help it - and there are plenty of tools available to make that possible.
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Old April 22nd, 2007, 02:34 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Dave Mody View Post
I have the Dell 2407 and I find when I have the camera connected via component video inputs the colours are too saturated as compared to when I have captured the footage and view it. I'm not sure how to calibrate this monitor for a more realistic image. Would love a few hints.

Dave
You will need a blue gel filter like a Kodak gelatin filter #47b.
1. turn on the color bars on your camera and feed it to your monitor.
2. turn the color all the way down until it is black and white
2. adjust the brightness until you can barely see the difference between the middle and the last bar on the right (pluge bar, they are 3 small black bars in the bottom right corner next to black square)
3.turn the contrast all the way up and then turn in down until you see it stop blooming (using the white square near the bottom left)or until you see a smooth gradient of gray of all the vertical bars
4.put the blue gel fiter over your eyes and bring the color up until the first bar (white) and the blue bar (right below the white bar) has the same shade.
5.adjust the tint until you see the cyan bar (third from left) and the magenta bar (right below the cyan bar) has the same shade.
Now that your monitor is calibrated. (-:. If whatever you feed to it does not look right, you know it is the operator or camera fault and not the monitor.
BTW if you are using the Dell, turn off the video mode.
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Old April 22nd, 2007, 02:41 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Piotr Wozniacki View Post
Oh yes they do - and I don't mean just the A1. With the V1 I'm using now, with aperture any smaller than 5.6, I can see a very evident softness due to diffraction. During a sunny day in April (Poland), ND2 is barely enough to always keep iris tighter that F5.6; before full summer sunshine comes I'm definitely buying some good UV/polarizing filter, and - if this is not enough - some neutral one as well. In the Sony, ther is an option in the menu to limit the aperture in auto mode; one option is 5.6 and the other 11 - I bet at F11 I'd never get a picture as sharp as it could be with wider aperture!
The sun in Texas is I think as bright as the sun in Poland (-: I have no problem keep it at f5.6 with the built in ND filter and -3db gain at shutter speed around 250th of a second. I never disagreed with you that f4 to 5.6 is the sharpest, I just disagreed with you that it looks like mush at below f4.
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Old April 22nd, 2007, 02:48 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Steve Rosen View Post
Khoi: Stopping down means closing the aperature, not opening it...

Canon lenses are all pretty good wide open (in low light).. unfortunately the A1 doesn't allow you to hold the stop through the zoom range, so you're limited to wide angle shots.. it stops to 2.6 and 3.4 as you zoom in -

But, again, outdoors or in bright situations, don't stop down below f4 if you can help it - and there are plenty of tools available to make that possible.

Oh yeah, you are right, I just got up from a late night shoot, and just took a quick glancd at your post and assumed that is what you said because that is what I have heard so many time in the past, you meant closing and not opening, yeah I agreed, closing it past f5.6 making it pretty soft. My bad.
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Old April 22nd, 2007, 02:53 PM   #22
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Great info here! Has anyone posted some video on the sample clip section?
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Old April 22nd, 2007, 07:54 PM   #23
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Keep in mind that video is intended for viewing things in motion, not static images with lots of fine detail. As you zoom out, fewer and fewer pixels are available in the image to resolve the same detail. With motion, the brain-eye system compensates for this loss of detail.

Any delivery system that requires high compression can only make things look worse.
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Old April 22nd, 2007, 10:05 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Khoi Pham View Post
I think your problem is your Dell 2407, it is pretty bad, in contrast the previous model the 2405 is exellent, for sure it is not the A1, I think it has the best picture quality compared to any camera under 5G.
Agreed on both points regarding the 2407 & the A1. I was extremely disapointed with the 2407 video quality re: colour saturation.
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 01:58 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Mike Gorski View Post
Great info here! Has anyone posted some video on the sample clip section?
I have posted a clip some time ago that illustrates this phenomenon; it's shot with the V1 but I tested A1 as well, and it isn't different:

http://rapidshare.com/files/18138889...rpness3_ND.m2v

Please note that it was recoreded with sharpness at 3, while the default is 7 for the V1. It looks mush at the beginning, but watch on...
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 02:00 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Khoi Pham View Post
The sun in Texas is I think as bright as the sun in Poland (-: I have no problem keep it at f5.6 with the built in ND filter and -3db gain at shutter speed around 250th of a second. I never disagreed with you that f4 to 5.6 is the sharpest, I just disagreed with you that it looks like mush at below f4.
With the shutter speed at 1/250th, I would never have diffraction problems with the Polish sun, either:). However, I was talking about trying to keep aperture above F5.6 *AND* the shutter speed manually fixed at 1/50th (for PAL; would be 1/48 for NTSC).
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Last edited by Piotr Wozniacki; April 23rd, 2007 at 06:23 AM.
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 05:50 AM   #27
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Very interesting reading indeed thanks for all the informative posts. I had read that you need to understand this camera to get the best out of it, and I can now confirm that this is totally correct. I'm really please with the footage from my xh-a1 now, and the more I get to know it the better it's getting.

There's actually something quite satisfying about knowing that you need to work the camera to get the best out of it.

regards

Paul.
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 07:26 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Piotr Wozniacki View Post
With the shutter speed at 1/250th, I would never have diffraction problems with the Polish sun, either:). However, I was talking about trying to keep aperture above F5.6 *AND* the shutter speed manually fixed at 1/50th (for PAL; would be 1/48 for NTSC).
Ok so now we know that your sun is as bright as my sun. (-:
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Old April 24th, 2007, 01:28 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Khoi Pham View Post
They do not look like mush, sound like you have bigger chips camera and just looking down on these small chips camera, what you recommend is only good for day time, what would you do shooting something at night or indoor? avoid going below f4 will leave a pitch black scenes if you don't have thousand of watts of lightning, the A1 has very good picture quality even at f1.6 and they do not loook like mush, of course not as sharp at the optimum midrange apperture but for sure not mush, also there is no need to buy any ND filters, it already has 2 level built in, and a -3 db gain and shutter speed control, buying ND filters for this camera is a waste of money.
I think you got his statement confused. Either you did or I did, but I thought he was talking about having a lower f-stop (f16,f22, etc). I haven't gotten this camera yet, so I don't really have that much room to talk, but ND filters are usually a good investment for any camera. When you try to get good lighting using the camera's electronics, the quality is usually less than if you buy a filter. Now I did try out the XH-A1 at a camera store in Tampa a few weeks ago, and by playing with the settings and everything, I saw nothing wrong with this camera. Then I checked out Sony's excuse for a $4000 HDV camera, and I got lost in the settings. Even the people at the Sony store didn't know how to work it. So for customization and quality, I still think the XH-A1 is fine.
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Old April 25th, 2007, 02:21 AM   #30
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I don't know if this helps Paul, and I know it sounds kind of obvious, but I've found that the image quality can vary greatly just with different combinations of zoom, focus, shutter, aperture, gain, and custom preset. The particular shot itself in terms of color and lighting is also important -- just walking outside and turning the thing on can result in some pretty dull shots IMHO.

I had that complaint for a little while after I first bought mine -- it seemed I wasn't able to get the clarity and vividness of some of the samples I'd seen -- but as I've gotten to know the camera better, the quality's been improving.

You could post some screenshots or a sample video of something you've taken as well, in which case others more qualified than myself might be able to tell if the camera seems to be in good working order.

Keep at it!

Jared
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