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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 22nd, 2007, 11:43 AM   #1
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advice for fast action..

I am looking for advice in shooting an airshow with the A1..

I had a show last weekend that I used the A1 and was disappointed in the color saturation (very flat) and the focus for the camera. I have used some advice by getting the panalock preset and will use that this weekend. But the focus is an issue that I am not sure how to fix except with playing with it.

I mostley use automatic settings for the camera. I had to constantly manually adjust the focus on every pass. I had it in the instant focus mode. I have turned it off and hopefully that will help. Anyone have anything else I can try to get a good crisp clean video?

I will be using a decent tripod (80deg movement or so) with the ZR1000 remote as well as a hood on the LCD to help me see.

Should I stick to 60i or 30f? I am looking for crisp and clean and not so much a movie look. I did some testing with 60i this weekend and the video imported with premiere elements looked very broken up (thinking its a codec issue) yet on the TV looked beautiful.

Thanks for any help. It is appreciated.
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Old May 22nd, 2007, 02:08 PM   #2
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I would shoot 60i based on what you want your end result to be.

And autofocus will be an issue unless you're focused on the passing plan the entire time. When you drift away it will try and re-focus. I never use autofocus though.

Get the Hoodman with the 2x magnifier in it and you'll be amazed at how easy catching good focus in manual is... BEST $30 you'll spend for an accessory.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=294332&is=REG

Good luck.
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Old May 22nd, 2007, 02:18 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blake Calhoun View Post
I would shoot 60i based on what you want your end result to be.

And autofocus will be an issue unless you're focused on the passing plan the entire time. When you drift away it will try and re-focus. I never use autofocus though.

Get the Hoodman with the 2x magnifier in it and you'll be amazed at how easy catching good focus in manual is... BEST $30 you'll spend for an accessory.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=294332&is=REG

Good luck.
Thanks... I actually ordered the Hoodman 2x magnifier and hood on friday. It came in today and is missing the magnifier from the packaging.. BH is also closed now till friday so will not have the magnifier by the show. UPS delivered it 1 hour after BH closed.. Bad timing I guess. hehe
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Old May 22nd, 2007, 05:54 PM   #4
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Air Show

Steven, Work in Manual setting
60I with as quick a shutter speed as you can. Try 1/120 and adjust the iris to what is needed for the shot. As for the focus, you should be able to pre-focus on something near the runway. Then use that focus (should be near infinity) for the shots. I have noticed that the auto focus has a very narrow aim point. I had a shot the other day that had two people talking to each other that were about a 1.5 meters apart and 15 meters away. When I centered the shot between them, the focus went to the trees 100 meters in the distance. To get them in focus I had to go manual. Unless you are above everything else, the auto focus will probably find something closer and you will loose your airplane shots.
shutter speed will be important. If you photograph something fast you would use a fast shutter speed.. same applies for video. If the day is bright you will do better because the combination of shutter speed and F Stop can be smaller. Good luck
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Old May 22nd, 2007, 09:55 PM   #5
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Steven, I just shot some air-to-air and ground-to-air video this weekend. I used Steven's Panalook/24f/48sp settings behind a Hoya Circular PL filter. The results were very good. The 48 setting for shutter speed was perfect for prop arcing and rendered some impressive footage of aerobatics performed by the Pitts SB-2 that I was videoing with no ghosting. After the pilot landed the C-172 camera plane, I got out near the runway and shot a high speed pass and the landing of the Pitts. It is very difficult to shoot fast moving planes, composing the shot, while looking at or through the view screens when they are off in the distance. You will probably like the results of your footage more if shot while using a tripod. This camera does not like being moved. Auto focus may be a bit slow connecting with a small soon to be large plane as it speeds by. On my old GL-1 I could set a manual focus at the far end of a zoom shot and that would be enough for shooting an air show. I have not tried this technique with my A1 so I can't say for sure that it will work. As a suggestion, go to your local airport and shoot some test video and review the results before the big day. If you want to get next to or close to the runway, ask permission from the FBO, definitely. Let us know how it went.
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Old May 24th, 2007, 05:57 AM   #6
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thanks for all your advice.. I will try playing around with different settings. I am not used to manual settings at all so I may play around with it early at the show during some of acts that I'm not worried if are messed up or not. If I feel comfortable then I will stick with it. If not then I will pop back over to auto and try to get it to work best I can.
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Old May 27th, 2007, 06:42 PM   #7
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Again I want to thank you all for your advice.. I can not believe the difference automatic is compared to manual. I had no clue what I was doing in manual mode but the quality difference is like I used a different camera. Other than being a little shaky on my end, I had very little issues with the focus in manual mode compared to automatic and the image quality can not compare..
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Old May 28th, 2007, 12:41 AM   #8
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Thanks! I am getting one for myself. Much cheaper than field monitor, although I might eventually need one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blake Calhoun View Post
Get the Hoodman with the 2x magnifier in it and you'll be amazed at how easy catching good focus in manual is... BEST $30 you'll spend for an accessory.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=294332&is=REG
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Old May 28th, 2007, 10:37 AM   #9
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I also shoot at air shows and also do a lot of RC aircraft video's. Manual focus is definatly the best to use. I usually set the focus to manual, zoom right in to something in the far distance, focus on that (usually infinity), then zoom back. Everything should now stay in focus. The only time you'll get into trouble is when you try to zoom in on something pretty close, say around 50m or closer. I also use a VariZoom support instead of a tripod. These work very well for keeping everything silky smooth. Here's their link http://www.varizoom.com/products/sup...VMediaRig.html

Mark
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