Harp video shot on my 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 16th, 2007, 12:42 PM   #1
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Harp video shot on my XH-A1

Hi all,

Thanks largely to this forum I took the plunge and bought one of these beasties. I'm doing a big music project using this, so I'm thrilled. I also bought the LibecH58 tripod and a Dedolight kit, Sennheiser mic and other stuff. So I feel I have a really nice shooting kit.

I took the camera into the woods last week and shot a music video of me playing the harp. I've uploaded to Stage6 which allows you to show DivX movies. Editing was in Premiere Pro and Adobe Audition. Only video tweaking (apart from my custom preset in the camera) was correcting black/white/gamma for each shot. As a musician I would like to offer music videos to people so this was one to cut my teeth on.

Hope you enjoy - please be gentle!!

http://stage6.divx.com/user/Mark_the_Harp/video/1241068/Si-Bheag-Si-Mhor---Harp-tune-by-O\'Carolan

Mark

Last edited by Mark Harmer; May 16th, 2007 at 12:44 PM. Reason: wrong link
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Old May 16th, 2007, 01:01 PM   #2
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In all honesty, that was really lovely. I'm not a harp music sort of a guy, but found myself really enjoying that. Nicely put together.

Mark.
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Old May 16th, 2007, 01:03 PM   #3
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In all honesty, that was really lovely. I'm not a harp music sort of a guy, but found myself really enjoying that. Nicely put together.

Mark.
Thank you! I meant to say this particular one was shot in SD.
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Old May 16th, 2007, 02:43 PM   #4
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Looks and sounds good! I felt there may have been too much sharpness on the encode. It looked like "fake" sharpening. The only other thing I noticed was some tripod jitter. When you have the shot, take your hands off the tripod.

Sounds REALLY good. Some slow glidecam footage would be awesome coming from behind a tree or whatnot.
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Old May 16th, 2007, 03:30 PM   #5
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Looks and sounds good! I felt there may have been too much sharpness on the encode. It looked like "fake" sharpening. The only other thing I noticed was some tripod jitter. When you have the shot, take your hands off the tripod.

Sounds REALLY good. Some slow glidecam footage would be awesome coming from behind a tree or whatnot.
Hi Jerome, thanks - I really appreciate your comments. The encode is sharp and I'm not sure why - the source .avi didn't look quite like that. I'll have a think about how to use the tripod better. It has a floor spreader, and of course it's sitting on a load of (squashed!) bluebell plants. When we left the tripod alone that looked more stable. The very low angle stuff was the tripod lying along the ground and the camera using it as something to prop it up.

You mention the sound: thanks! This was recorded on 2 x KM100 mics through a Saffire pro audio interface, about a week before we shot the video (gave me time to get used to my improvisation to play it back in sync on the harp), and the birdsong was recorded on the camera mics the following afternoon.
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Old May 16th, 2007, 03:30 PM   #6
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Good stuff... Did you use a preset or correct in post? Did you render divx out of your NLE or convert it on the web? What codec?

Looks and sounds great!
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Old May 16th, 2007, 03:34 PM   #7
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Good stuff... Did you use a preset or correct in post? Did you render divx out of your NLE or convert it on the web? What codec?

Looks and sounds great!
I used DrDivx for the conversion to divx, converting the original .avi as exported from Premiere pro - I've tried to render divx out of premiere pro but can't make it work - I'm sure more experiement will help me get this working.

The preset was my own, using Canon Console and also an HD monitor connected to the component output. Preset has a bit of sharpening and a bit of chroma gain, otherwise pretty flat. No correction in post apart from black/white/gamma tweaking.
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Old May 16th, 2007, 03:46 PM   #8
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That video is smashing. Clear, vivid and absolutely sharp. Good stuff. Thanks for the post.
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Old May 16th, 2007, 06:50 PM   #9
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Nicely done!
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Old May 16th, 2007, 07:43 PM   #10
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That was so nice.

Well done Mark!
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Old May 16th, 2007, 08:08 PM   #11
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Just wondering

Mark,
As a real newbie at this stuff, I wondered how many takes you made to make this happen. I can see the wide shot, close-up of hands, shot from front and the "flowers".

Wonderful
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Old May 16th, 2007, 08:17 PM   #12
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very nice! ..and you're a ninja on the harp!
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Old May 17th, 2007, 02:43 AM   #13
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Mark,
As a real newbie at this stuff, I wondered how many takes you made to make this happen. I can see the wide shot, close-up of hands, shot from front and the "flowers".

Wonderful
The audio recording was done in one take with the odd "repair", a few days before shooting the video. I used a pair of mics through a firewire audio interface and edited that in adobe audition. I also created a version with some vocal count-ins, which I saved as an mp3 file onto a portable player.

We didn't plan the shots so we did 10 takes of the complete music, of which five didn't make it into the final thing - and they didn't make it because the shot sizes were too similar to the others.

The other five were the very long shot of me, two of the harp seen from the front (different sizes - one with fingers on strings, one head / shoulders / sometimes wider), one of the harp low down amongst the flowers, and one of close-ups including that intriging pull-focus shot between the strings and the flowers behind. All of those were done to the playback of the recording - using a portable amp and mp3 player just behind me. In order to sync the start and end (for example, where I put my hands on the strings to stop them sounding) I used the voice count-ins to the playback. I used a gun mic on the camera just to pick up the amplifier sound so I could sync the tracks back in Premiere pro.

We could have done it with fewer takes and more planning - but in a way the more takes I had the more I got used to syncing to the playback. Also it was an excuse for my wife to get used to the camera as we were about to embark on this big project.

The main problems we had were focus ones (the push-AF button isn't in an obvious place, as many people have pointed out!) and the viewfinder, despite being on the shapest setting, still isn't very good for focussing.

I've done a couple of pieces of "multicamera" now - syncing to playback or occasionally, using more than one camera simultaneously. Premiere Pro is my editor of choice because you can sync up the shots and then choose them on the fly using something a bit like a vision mixing gallery, just pressing the keys for the appropriate camera. That makes for quite a good starting-point and saves a lot of time producing an initial rough-cut.
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Old May 17th, 2007, 01:54 PM   #14
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very nice! ..and you're a ninja on the harp!
Hi Eric, I've never been called a "Harp Ninja" but will write that into my publicity from now on - if you're not copyrighting that phrase!!
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Old May 17th, 2007, 02:28 PM   #15
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proceed!!!!!
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