XH A1 flame and heat exposure 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 14th, 2007, 09:16 PM   #1
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XH A1 flame and heat exposure

Would any of you expose your camera (even if it's not an A1) to the following conditions:

In a 20' x 20' room with testing equipment that directs 12 propane-driven flame jets onto a mannequin wearing specialized fire resistant clothing. The flames are very intense, aimed only at the mannequins, and are on for 3 seconds. The radiant energy from this flame can easily be felt through the glass viewing window. No people are allowed in the room during the tests.

The lab personnel claim they often use mini DV camcorders in the room for videotaping the tests. I'm NOT comfortable bringing my A1 in there and running it remotely. If I don't setup in the room, I must shoot through a glass window. That's not ideal, but seems preferable to exposing the camera to the intense thermal blast.

Maybe it's s dumb question, but would you risk the camera for these 3 second exposures? Amazingly - I'm getting pressure to do just that from the client.
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Old May 14th, 2007, 09:28 PM   #2
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I would not.

I've shot some quality footage from behind glass. If the room glass is in bad shape, that could be your lens from 3000 degree blasts too.
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Old May 14th, 2007, 11:49 PM   #3
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hell no.

polarizer.
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Old May 15th, 2007, 12:06 AM   #4
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Sure I would. Just make them sign a contract that says if your camera receives any negative affect from the heat that they'll pay for repair or replacement. If they say no, then you say, "then why would I stick my camera in there?"
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Old May 15th, 2007, 12:46 AM   #5
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Old May 15th, 2007, 02:37 AM   #6
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Steve and Allen seem to have the right idea...

Not long ago I decided to see just how good the A1 was in close up shots. Set up a 500 watt "blazer" either side of the lens hood and shot a rotary fly wheel from a dinky little carriage clock from about 150 mm.

Those lights were HOT! I didn't realise it, but after 10 minutes the plastic on the hood and lens barrel were too hot to even touch, in fact I got a pretty good burn off the hood.

No lasting damage (as yet) to the camera.

If you wrap the camera in a good foil coat (double wall, heavy duty insulation type stuff) and run it from the wireless remote, it should be ok, especially if they have put cameras in there before.

BUT - I'd still get the client to sign a waiver to the effect that: bust camera equals big bickies on his part.

Cheers,

Chris
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Old May 15th, 2007, 07:48 AM   #7
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The damage could be subtle and not noticable until a ways down the line. And you'd have no way of tracing it back by then. The A1 has alot of non metal material.

I'd convince them to shoot through the glass. The A1 has a big zoom on it. I shot a ton of footage thru glass enclosures and zoomed in you wouldn't know. Assuming the glass isn't completely scratched and opaque of course.

Trish
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Old May 15th, 2007, 09:17 AM   #8
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I agree with the glass. If you get right up to the glass, lens hood touching, you can do it with no glare. Also, if you can turn off the lights in the room, that would help; if you can't turn off the lights, tape up a piece of black cloth to the glass and let it form a hood over the camera. Obviously clean the glass on both sides. If you can feel the heat through the glass, that's too damn hot for the camera. Just because they've done it with cheaper cameras doesn't mean you can get by with it. As a post above mentioned, you could have damage that might not show up for a long time.
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Old May 15th, 2007, 01:26 PM   #9
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If really wanna film something that hot, I suggest setting a cheap camera in there and have it connected to a laptop (if you have one) using an extension cable (if you can) and import it straight to the computer. I think that could work. If it's only 3 seconds the quality shouldn't be that important, so a cheap camera would be your best bet. I don't know if this is a personal question, but how much are you getting paid for this?
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Old May 15th, 2007, 06:32 PM   #10
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Problem solved! It turns out that some of the fires create HIGHLY acidic smoke (pH of 1). There was no way my camera was going in there. Bill, your idea is exactly what I did. The footage came out great - no glare, no heat damage, and no endless worrying about what might have happened. The client was completely understanding about my decision. After seeing the footage, they were even happier.

There are no portals into the room, so being tethered to a laptop was not an option.

Thanks for all your suggestions.

Stuart
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