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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 December 9th, 2007, 05:05 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Colorado
Posts: 288
New user: Okay, now I'm happy

I took delivery of the Xh-A1 on Friday and have been learning how to use the settings, presets, and controls. I was initially disappointed with the amount of fine grain noise on landscape images (daylight). After hours of reading various posts on the subject I decided to use the "natural" custom preset. Months ago, Piotr said he liked to use AGC off, gain limited to -3 db, and shooting in Tv mode. He adjusted exposure by pushing the exposure lock button which makes aperture controllable in Tv mode.

Using his method, I am now able to keep the aperture in the "sweet zone" of about f2.8 to f5.6 for max detail (if I want) and control aperture on the fly as I pan slowly across a snowy, sunny, early December landscape (neutral density filters engaged.) The resulting images are clean, smooth, sharp, colorful, and free of any grain.

I actually liked the feel (ergonomics) of the FX-7 a little bit better, but the lens on the Xh-A1 is fantastic, sharp and contrasty across it's entire range. I have seen what looks like the dreaded chroma sampling fringing while filming at wide angle in the snow (cloudy conditions) yesterday, but I think white balance issues may have exascerbated this. Today I saw what looks like true CA, purple fringing, in the corners when filming trees and sky at wide angle. When I stopped down a bit, it went away. I have to manage this occasional problem on my Canon 17-40 F4/L SLR lens, and I don't think it's going to be a big issue for me

Before I knew what I was doing (well I probably still don't) the video was no better than my HC-7 or HV20. (In some ways this says a lot about these two little cameras.) But now I can capture footage that easliy surpasses these.

Thanks to all the experts, pioneers, and former new users who have left a nice record of problems and solutions here!

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