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Old November 12th, 2008, 03:43 PM   #1
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Going Tapeless with a Canon Xh-A1

I have a Canon XH-A1 and would love to go tapeless. I haven't really researched it all that hard, and would love to hear about my options.
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Old November 21st, 2008, 11:04 PM   #2
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I am in the same boat. I have been looking at this one. Does anyone have any pros ans cons on the Focus Enhancements FS-4?
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Old November 22nd, 2008, 01:22 AM   #3
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best bet is the sony flash recorder. see the thread below

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/canon-xh-...non-users.html
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Old November 24th, 2008, 12:01 AM   #4
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Canon | FireStore FSC-HD60 60GB DTE Recorder for XL | 0884V781

My XH A1 work flow is : MacBookPro 2.4 , FCS2 (student edition - its cheaper) and FSC-60 DTE , I love it. QT files drop in to FCS2 and Im ready to work. I can have a project out in no time.
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 10:20 AM   #5
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I have an A1 and an FSC-60. As you can see from the specs in the BH link above, the FSC is specific to the Canon XH and A1 cameras. It is capable of all of the frame rates, file types etc. I also use the FSC with my HC1 and DVC 30, I just can't get the tapeless option with those two cameras.
I am curious what the advantages of the Sony CF recorder are. I believe it is close to the same size and weight. You have to buy a couple of 32 gig cards to get the capacity of the FSC-60. One advantage of the CF is no moving parts but the Firestore has been built to handle movement and shock. Some FSC owners have replaced the 60 gig drive with a larger drive so even if the HD fails for whatever reason you can replace it with a laptop drive.
BTW although the FS4 apparently will work with the A1 some features will not be available. FSC is the best choice for an A1.
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Old December 10th, 2008, 09:59 PM   #6
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Jake - I don't have the Canon unit, but I do use a Focus hard drive with my Sony FX7. For the most part I give the Focus (FS-4 HD Pro in my case) a thumbs up. I do wildlife work and so going tapeless saves me a lot of tape which would otherwise be filming the animal doing nothing. What I really like is the cache or pre-record feature which allows me to hit the record feature and capture the previous 6-10 seconds (when the animal suddenly did something interesting). Now for the downside. Keep the units away from your microphone because they do make a noise (after all they are a spinning hard drive). Secondly, and I don't know if this applies to the Canon, the firewire cable use to disconnect from the 4-pin firewire port on my Sony at the worse times. I've learned the hardway to wrap the wire around the camcorder handle a few times to lessen the change of it coming out of the port. That's my 2-cents worth.
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Old December 16th, 2008, 09:01 AM   #7
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Sorry but I am confused. The Product name specifically says it's for the XL series (not XH). The B&H specs don't mention the A1. Just some person's review.

Can anyone describe what features work on this special model of the FS4 for Canon that don't work on the stock FS4?

Does the FSC variant work on the A1 with all the features or does it act like the FS4?
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Old December 16th, 2008, 09:15 AM   #8
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The tapeless operation of the A1 / FSC combination is one feature that works with the FSC and not the FS4. Also I believe the Canon's 30p and 24p are unique to the FSC.
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Old December 16th, 2008, 11:33 AM   #9
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If you don't record to tape, but to CF or hard disk instead, can you record in a less compressed format on the XH A1? Can you record 4:2:2 instead of 4:1:1 for instance?
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Old December 16th, 2008, 11:42 AM   #10
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Not if you are using the FireWire output to record from.
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Old December 17th, 2008, 07:02 AM   #11
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Is there another output from the XH A1 that you could output less compressed footage from?
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Old December 17th, 2008, 10:24 AM   #12
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I don't believe there is an uncompressed out on the A1...that is actually what the XHG1 is for with it's hd-sdi output. I might be wrong, but I think that is the only difference between the A1 and G1.

Using a FSC or firestore will save a bunch of time with the capturing and I've thought about going that route with my HV20. Are you interested in saving move time or more so the wear on your A1's heads from capturing? Another alternative could be getting an HV20 or HV30 to be your capture device. Then you would have a B camera as well and for cheaper than getting a portable harddrive.

Best,
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Old December 17th, 2008, 10:37 AM   #13
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Thanks Andy

I'm not worried about saving wear and tear on the camcorder just want to increase capture quality. I think you're right about the G1 having HD-SDI out but the A1 not, beter check my A1's manual.

Do you think there's much difference between an image captured at 4:1:1 and one captured at 4:2:2 or even 4:4:4 etc?

I've never seen a comparison before.
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Old December 17th, 2008, 10:54 AM   #14
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There is quite a bit of difference between 411, 422, and 444 because it represents how much color information is recorded. 422 and 444 give a whole lot of flexibility in color correction because there is so much more information to work with. There are most differences but you'd probably be better off googling that info since I'm not an expert on it.

However, I don't know if the average person would notice the difference unless the images of each were displayed next to each other.

Also, by the way, the A1 in HDV recording only records 4:2:0. The DV mode will yield 4:1:1. I don't know which one is really better though.

I heard with shooting HDV its good to get the color and look of your film right in the camera because once you get it into editing you won't have much flexibility with the color because of the HDV codec not holding up well. You can transcode it to a 4:2:2 codec like DVCPROhd or Prores, but it won't be the same as recording 4:2:2 to begin with.

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Old December 22nd, 2008, 07:10 AM   #15
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Thanks again Andy

Didn't realise the A1 records 4:1:0 in HDV mode.

I also didn't realise that it's better to get the video look you want in camera, especially in HDV. I shot my latest film in HDV with neutral settings to do the adjustments in post. Nevermind, too late now. I'll know for my next film.
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