4:3 with the XH A1 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 May 6th, 2007, 10:06 PM   #1
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4:3 with the XH A1

I'm looking at a possible purchase of this camera but I also need to be able to shoot 4:3. Cropping in post is not an option as the 4:3 shoots are live broadcast.

I'm wondering if anyone has used this camera in this way. How good is the resolution? How might it compare to the DVX 100B?

When shooting in this mode what does the view finder show? The full 16:9 image with indicators for where the 4:3 image is, or does it just show the 4:3 image?

Thanks
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Old May 6th, 2007, 10:28 PM   #2
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You have a choice of 4:3 or DV 16:9. Both reflect what's in the viewfinder & LCD

Bill
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Old May 6th, 2007, 11:05 PM   #3
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I have used my XHA1 a lot in the 4:3 mode, and must say that it does quite well. No direct experience with a DVX to compare it to, but it's hard to imagine that the DVX would be much better. It easly beats (in some cases, lowest light an exception of course) /equals my Sony VX2100 that I use at work. It is well qualified for 4:3 SD work. Plus it does HDV.
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Old May 6th, 2007, 11:42 PM   #4
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I just shot something in 4:3 today and it looks fantastic. I think it looks better than the DVX.
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Old May 6th, 2007, 11:49 PM   #5
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Image is sharper than on DVX100, and you get almost twice the zoom. On the other hand you have to tweak the custom presets to get same colors (factory preset is bleak) and loose about 1 to 1.5 stops of low light sensitivity.

Get the Canon.
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Old May 7th, 2007, 01:43 PM   #6
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I think you can only shoot 4:3 in SD. HDV only will work in 16:9. So if you're shooting SD, you can do 4:3 fine.

The only real issue you'll notice from shooting 4:3 with a 16:9 chip camera is that your lens won't be as wide at the wide angle end of the zoom. The reason is that in 4:3 mode you'll be cropping off the sides of the chip's area just a bit (you don't do that, the camera does--what you see in the VF is what you get), so in effect you're shooting with slightly smaller chips, and the lens, therefore, will act like a longer lens. So you have more zoom in, but not as much zoom out. I've been dealing with this for several years shooting with a DSR500ws. My lens on that camera is an 8.5-127, but in 4:3 mode it acts about like a 10mm on the wide end. The nice thing about a 1/3" chip camera versus the 2/3" chip DSR500 is that if you need more width, you can get a reasonably priced wide angle adapter. For a 2/3" lens, the price is about $2500 for a decent adapter.
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Old May 8th, 2007, 10:41 AM   #7
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With SD, you can shoot either 4:3 or 16:9, whereas HD is only 16:9. I've shot SD 4:3 on my A1 and had great results.

Don't forget to download and try out the custom presets (a sticky on this forum) and experiment to find the ones you like best, because, as others have said, the A1's colors out of the box are rather flat, but totally customizable to get all the vibrancy you'll ever need.
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Old May 11th, 2007, 10:21 AM   #8
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I'd like to shoot in 16:9 HDV and import as SD 4:3 DV avi.

Any ideas?
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Old May 11th, 2007, 03:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Weiss View Post
I'd like to shoot in 16:9 HDV and import as SD 4:3 DV avi.

Any ideas?
If your NLE won't do it, Tmpgenc Express will scale and crop an m2t and output an avi.
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Old May 11th, 2007, 03:36 PM   #10
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I shoot everything with the XH A1 as HDV, 16:9. I capture it that way in the FCP 1080P24 setting. If I want to use the footage in an SD 4:3 timeline, I just drop it into the timeline and enlarge and crop with Motion (the Motion tab, not the Send to Motion). It has to render but looks really good. I've done a similar thing with Avid, but getting to the same place is a little different. I'd assume any NLE could do the same.
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Old May 11th, 2007, 04:23 PM   #11
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that's what i've been doing in vegas...and it does look great.

what i'm looking for are some creative ideas on actually importing that 16:9 HDV footage AS 4:3 downconverted DV without the rigamoral.

I've been playing around with the 4:3/16:9 out settings on the HV20
and then changing the pixles in Vegas but there are still black bars
or it looks a bit stretched.

i've been shooting HDV but framing for 4:3 SD. it just seems silly to actually film in SD with this cam.

i guess i'm just wishing for a 4:3 downconvert option on the HV20!
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Old May 12th, 2007, 01:59 AM   #12
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I'd definitely agree with eric wiess on it being the best way to tackle this situation. With the taping in HD, you at least have all that footage not SD on reserve so for making HD demo reels in the future you can have that footage ready.
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Old May 12th, 2007, 11:51 AM   #13
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So this seems to be the "fastest" method I could come up with.

Record 16:9 HDV
Pop the tape into the HV20 - set TV type to 16:9 - DV output to DV
Import as DV (Im using Vegas)
The avi file should be a full widescreen avi ( 1.2121)
Open a 4:3 timeline and pop it in.
Event/Crop to "match output" aspect
Edit away.

It's not as big a drop in quality as you might think.
Well... to people in this group it will be.. but not to your average SD viewer.
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Old May 12th, 2007, 12:29 PM   #14
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Or you could shoot 1080i60 and playback on a sony with SD downconvert "crop" turned on....
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Old May 20th, 2007, 09:19 AM   #15
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I've been away so have only just checked back in. Thanks for all your replies.

What presets would anyone recommend to match with a PD150?
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