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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 July 10th, 2007, 07:10 AM   #1
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Buying a secondhand XH A1

Can anyone offer any tips for what to check out other than obvious wear, tear, lens damage, functionality etc...

Is there any way of showing hours of head use on the A1?

I'll probably quickly check capturing over firewire with iMovie also.

Cheers

Steve
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Old July 10th, 2007, 07:37 AM   #2
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Set presets to neutral, set gain to 0, +6, +12, and +18 dB, at 1/60 shutter or slower and at each setting shoot the inside of the lens cap in a dark room (dark room because the lens cap may have light leaks), then play back looking for hot pixels. if 0 dB gain is clean, you are probably within spec. You will likely see some hot pixels and dark current grain by +18 dB gain.
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Old July 10th, 2007, 08:08 AM   #3
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before you try the above, make sure the AGC switch is set to OFF.

additionally, here are a few things i would personally check for:

put the camera in manual mode (M on the dial), set focus to manual, and make sure the iris, zoom and focus rings all work and operate smoothly. check the dial on the base up front and cycle through the shutter speeds. make sure the push autofocus works.

put the camera in shutter priority mode (TV on the dial), and make sure the exposure lock button works by pressing it, then manually adjusting the aperture by turning the iris ring.

check all the inputs/outputs to make sure there aren't any bad contacts anywhere. this includes component out, composite out, headphone jack, and xlr ports (would be handy to have 48v condenser mic on hand).

i would also make sure the white balance checks out properly, only because i got a bad xl1s one time, and both daylight/tungsten presets were reading about 1000K too warm. but never had this problem since.

hope the second hand xha1 works out for you.
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Old July 10th, 2007, 09:31 AM   #4
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Adding to what Henry said - check the back focus. That is, in manual focus mode, zoom all the way in on an object- properly focus - then zoom out. The object should remain in focus. If it doesn't stay in focus the camera has a backfocus problem.
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Old July 11th, 2007, 04:33 AM   #5
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Thanks very much you all... I feel well armed to approach this now!
If anyone has any more tips that would be great.
I'll let you know how I get on.
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Old July 11th, 2007, 07:21 AM   #6
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Check for DEAD PIXELS: Bring GAIN up to highest setting...think it's 36. Place the AGC ON with the cap on the lens. Let it heat up for at least an hour.
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