Took my A1 for a spin: I felt like a newbie again! at DVinfo.net

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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 27th, 2007, 03:06 PM   #1
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Took my A1 for a spin: I felt like a newbie again!

So I finally got some spare time to get to know my A1 today. And I have to say: It hasn't been easy!
I downloaded most of the presets on this forum and had planned to go through all of them. I didn't get very far, because there were so many things to take care of. Maybe it was the crappy tripod, maybe it was the unbelievably picky and easily triggered manual focus, which made it impossible to track any object. Or maybe it was my newfound hyped-up obsession with a low DOF, that made that I zoomed in on a subject way too much.

I don't know. I knew that this -being my first hefty prosumer camcorder- wouldn't exactly be a picknick. I worked with an FX-1 before, and maybe watching some of the footage posted here gave a wrong set of expectations.

Now I know I've got a new challenge. And I will get better at the A1-rodeo :)
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Old April 27th, 2007, 04:06 PM   #2
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First thing to do--go into the menu, customs settings I think, and turn that pesky fast focus to slow. That'll solve your manual focus problem. I don't know why it defaults to the fast mode, but it does.

For settings, I use the CF1 and cranked up the saturation just a tiny bit and softened the image. Then I made another setting exactly the same but with the blacks pressed. In 24F, those give me a standard look that works for most everything.
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Old April 27th, 2007, 04:13 PM   #3
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Nice! I'll get on that straightaway. Luckily I have another day tomorrow (hope I have the entire day this time) to go in and be a bit more systematic. I was filming sportrowers (just to make things even more difficult) - who, I found out, are really difficult to track, because they move in jerks and not at a steady speed.

Anyhow, I'm gonna read and re-read some of the threads. Should give me even more clues. And maybe I'll go and pick up that Libec TH650 tripod. I've got this Sony tourist-cam-tripod, which I think has a bit of difficulty of holding the A1. (Don't know how much it weighs, but I think the tripod's limit is at 2-3 kg).
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Old April 27th, 2007, 04:20 PM   #4
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I got the Libec 22, which is good up to around 8 lbs. It works fine but isn't idiot-proof. Like all the cheap ones, there's some bounceback at the end of a pan if you let go of the handle, unlike the more professional ones where you can pan and let go and it stays there. But with a little practice you can make it work very well.
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Old April 27th, 2007, 04:35 PM   #5
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Thanks for the tips - I'll post another report tomorrow!
(Other feedback is soooo welcome, by the way) ;)
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