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Old February 19th, 2011, 10:32 AM   #1
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Editing Footage between Canon XHA1 and HG20

I've spent the last few days trying to figure out what to do here and I'm hoping you guys can help...
I just had a gig drop on my lap where I need 2 HD camcorders. I currently have a XHA1, and a friend is selling her HG20 and I want to use it as a B cam on a fig rig while the XHA1 is locked into place on a tripod. I'll be filming a 50th birthday party tonight with around 150 people half of which are flying in from all over the world and I'm stressing! lol
Will I be able to blend the footage? I've never done 2 camera editing before and I use Pinnacle Studio Ultimate 14 which I know well, but with one camera being HDV (tape) and the other being a HD I don't know what to expect issue wise if any, plus aren't they different sizes and frame rates?

Thanks Guys!!
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Old February 19th, 2011, 12:20 PM   #2
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Are you asking about whether it is possible to blend AVCHD from the HG20 with HDV from the XHA1? Sure. I regularly do multi-cam shoots using as many as 3 AVCHD cams and 4 HDV cams including an XHA1. I don't know about your Pinnacle Studio, but PPro, Vegas and Avid MC5 have no trouble putting these formats on the same timeline. Don't be confused by the specifications that say that HDV is 1440x1080 while and AVCHD is 1920x1080. Those are just differences in pixel shape; HDV uses non-square pixels. They all translate to 1920x1080 in the computer without any visually noticeable difference in resolution.

They won't be difference in frame rates unless you choose to make them so. For indoor shoots, I would generally go with 1080i. If the room gets very dim, I might consider going to 24f and stopping the shutter down on the XHA1. Will the HG 10 also shoot 24f?

On the XHA1, I would try to keep the gain switch above "H" but sometimes that is what you have to do to get the shot. You might also try using the PFvision preset for the XHA1?

If I were doing your shoot tonight, I would use the HG20 as the locked-down "b" cam and do my main shooting with the XHA1. Maybe there is some reason you are going th other way? Maybe your fig rig is setup for the HG20 rather than the XHA1? Or is the XHA1 just too heavy or the quarters to tight to carry it around? Personally, for an indoor shoot like the party --- which I'll guess will be like the wedding receptions I shhot --- I would be reluctant to give up the adjustability and control of the XHA1 for the HG20 which (I believe) is basically adapted to auto modes much like the HV20. I also use external mics and need the XLR inputs. Plus, in moving around, you will be getting significant shifts in audio levels. For that, I would find it important to be able to use the volume dials on the side of the XHA1. I would run the levels higher when in a corner of the room interviewing or recording conversations. I would dial them down to avoid clipping when I was over by the DJ or band. Even without external mics, I think the XHA1's onboard mic is significantly better than the one on my HV20.

For color, I found that my HV20 blends very well with XHA1 footage. I've rarely needed to do any color matching between them. I've never worked with any of the HG cams but imagine that they probably have the typical Canon color cast and should match pretty well. Do a manual white balance on both cameras before you start shooting.

Because AVCHD is much more compressed format than HDV, it imposes a much heavier processing load on computers. Some programs deal with this better than others. I know next to nothing about Pinnacle Studio as an editing program. I recall that some versions had problems with AVCHD files or maybe they had problems with large AVCHD files.

To avoid that problem, you might want to check out a trial version of Cineform's NeoHD or NeoScene. These are fully functional programs which will work for 30-days. Cineform can capture from your XHA1 and will convert HDV and AVCHD files to high-definition *.avi. Although these files will be much larger than the original AVCHD and HDV, they also will be more easily edited format. I believe the NeoHD trial also includes Cineform's First Light program which is a good thing if you need to do some color matching. The adjustments are done in the metadata of the converted Cineform files. That means you will have no color-matching rendering to burden your editing program.
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Old February 19th, 2011, 05:26 PM   #3
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I think that cineform avi's don't work with pinnacle studio.
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Old February 19th, 2011, 08:47 PM   #4
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Well, I did say I knew next to nothing about Pinnacle Studio and Noa has just demonstrated how little I know.

Cineform's web site does mention that 2009 and earlier versions of Pinnacle Studio seem to use a non-standard avi and will not read Cineform AVI files. See this link.

Cineform Tech Blog Blog Archive What NLE (non-linear editors) are compatible with Neo Scene?

A quick google search did not turn up any more recent information about whether or not Pinnacle Studio 14 has corrected the incompatability with Cineform AVIs.
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Old February 20th, 2011, 05:38 PM   #5
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Thanks so much for the words of advice. I'll find out tomorrow when I start capturing...hopefully Pinnacle's fixed the glitches...

I'll be back soon...
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