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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 March 2nd, 2009, 07:11 AM   #1
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25f Progressive? XH-A1.

Gentleman, (and ladies). Thank you for a wonderful forum. I have just acquired this XH-A1, and am very pleased. I work in TV Journalism, and am used to running with a Z1, which I gave consideration to purchasing, but feel this camera to be superior.

From a creative perspective, I also use a Canon HV30, and made some quite pleasing images using its 25P mode, which I believe produces PROGRESSIVE footage. Despite my occupation, I am actually not too good on technical specifics, and although I understand the difference between progressive and interlaced, I am not exactly sure what 25fps means with regards the XH A1. Obviously, this is 25 frames per second, but I understand that the CCD's shoot INTERLACED?, and if I shoot in 25 mode, I am uncertain as to whether or not I can treat or render the footage as frame based or upper field first.

Apologies for any faux pas, and many thanks in advance for any advice.
Regards
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 07:45 AM   #2
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Mike... Welcome.

Don't get too "wrapped around the axle" about the technical bits here. Yes, they are helpful to understand at some level but in the final analysis both cameras can record progressive footage.

Since I'm in NTSC-land, I don't know if your 25f functions the same way as our 24f on the two cameras. What I do know is that the interlaced sensor creates what is, for all practical purposes, progressive footage. I shoot 24f on my A1 quite a bit and I'm quite pleased with the results.
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 10:05 AM   #3
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Yes, 25f is progressive footage. On the XH-A1, I think the ultimate resolution of 25f images is ever so slightly less that 50i images, but you probably won't notice unless you are really looking for it.

I think that all the major NLEs will handle 25f clips, and treat them as true progressive. There are various threads about the details for different versions of different programs because some of them require different tweaks, or in some case, patches, to make them work. There is bound to be something clever going on inside to make good progressive images from CCDs, but it seems to work rather well - better than Sony's first attempts with the Z1/FX1, for sure.

Have you done any two-camera shoots with the XH-A1 taking 25F and the HV30 taking 25P yet? My guess is that you will notice differences in colour, exposure and maybe lens quality rather than anything related to the different chip technology. Have a go, and let us know what you find.
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 11:23 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tripp Woelfel View Post
Mike... Welcome.

Don't get too "wrapped around the axle" about the technical bits here. Yes, they are helpful to understand at some level but in the final analysis both cameras can record progressive footage.

Since I'm in NTSC-land, I don't know if your 25f functions the same way as our 24f on the two cameras. What I do know is that the interlaced sensor creates what is, for all practical purposes, progressive footage. I shoot 24f on my A1 quite a bit and I'm quite pleased with the results.
Tripp, many thanks for your advice. I have absolutely no intention of getting too technical!! I too, love the look of 25f, shot at a locked 1/50th shutter.
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 11:31 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Mark Fry View Post
Yes, 25f is progressive footage. On the XH-A1, I think the ultimate resolution of 25f images is ever so slightly less that 50i images, but you probably won't notice unless you are really looking for it.

I think that all the major NLEs will handle 25f clips, and treat them as true progressive. There are various threads about the details for different versions of different programs because some of them require different tweaks, or in some case, patches, to make them work. There is bound to be something clever going on inside to make good progressive images from CCDs, but it seems to work rather well - better than Sony's first attempts with the Z1/FX1, for sure.

Have you done any two-camera shoots with the XH-A1 taking 25F and the HV30 taking 25P yet? My guess is that you will notice differences in colour, exposure and maybe lens quality rather than anything related to the different chip technology. Have a go, and let us know what you find.
Hello Mark and many thanks for your input,(Oxford is a stunning place to film in and around, but you probably know that!!).

My concerns were, originally, that 25f wasn't true progressive, that the camera somehow 'cheated'. My 'creative' side, be that it may, made me indulge the HV30 predominantly because I dive, and love its capabilities for shooting underwater in a not too expensive housing. However, top side, it makes for some splendid footage, all of which I shot at 25 fps. (I actually produced a promo video for a Red Sea dive company using the HV30 alone).

Consequently, the XH A1 I purchased as an upgrade to my 'filmaking' bent, and also to use as a good fly ENG camera, (which even in AUTO mode makes a better job than the Z1, which is pretty much the UK TV industry weapon of choice for 'doorsteps' or fly street filming.

I will, definitely do some tests shortly using both cameras, (HV30 & XH A1), and edit together. I know there are some settings around which can apparently, 'match' the cameras, but whether these are optimal or not remains to be seen.
Best wishes
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 06:39 PM   #6
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Hi Mike,just one point to watch with the xh-a1 is that when in 25p mode the shutter will default to 1/25 as opposed to the correct 1/50.
This could be a problem in auto I think (although ive not checked it as i dont use auto) however when using spotlight mode Im sure the camera defaults to 1/25th although there does not appear to be any way to check it or change it.( the footage looks as though its a 1/25 shutter)this makes auto mode and spotlight mode in 25p unusable IMHO if there is significant motion.
I use 25p all the time and its a pain to have to keep checking the shutter speed as when you turn the camera off and on again it can default back to 1/25.
On the plus side the 25p is true progressive and works better in sony vegas than 50i and is easily converted to 24p
cheers john
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 08:36 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by John Estcourt View Post
Hi Mike,just one point to watch with the xh-a1 is that when in 25p mode the shutter will default to 1/25 as opposed to the correct 1/50.
This could be a problem in auto I think (although ive not checked it as i dont use auto) however when using spotlight mode Im sure the camera defaults to 1/25th although there does not appear to be any way to check it or change it.( the footage looks as though its a 1/25 shutter)this makes auto mode and spotlight mode in 25p unusable IMHO if there is significant motion.
I use 25p all the time and its a pain to have to keep checking the shutter speed as when you turn the camera off and on again it can default back to 1/25.
On the plus side the 25p is true progressive and works better in sony vegas than 50i and is easily converted to 24p
cheers john
Hello John and thank you for the input. I always shoot in Manual, and ensure that the shutter is locked at 1/50th. I am tempted to invest in VEGAS. I have spent a lot of time with Videostudio by Corel, which I think is as good as anything, but there's a debate for another day!
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 06:11 PM   #8
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Hi Mike, sony is offering 1/3 off all its products just now so if you are thinking of switching its a good time.
cheers john
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Old October 16th, 2021, 02:56 PM   #9
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Re: 25f Progressive? XH-A1.

I was going down memory lane today. I still have an old XH-A1 gathering dust on a shelf. It still produces a beautiful image. Actually I'm amazed at how good it is, but because I have better tools now, I can tell you, 24F or 25F is NOT perceived as real progressive footage by Resolve 17. I don't think these cams shoot progressive.
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Old October 17th, 2021, 03:24 PM   #10
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Re: 25f Progressive? XH-A1.

The cameras shoot progressive, but the image is stored in two fields, just like interlaced. Most NLE's identify the footage as interlaced and you have to set it to P to edit. If you think this can cause issues with field order, yes it can. I don't believe Vegas was ever able to satisfactorily handle Canon PsF footage, after an edit you always got combs on fast action. Video Studio and Avid didn't seem to have problems, PsF was before Resolve was a practical NLE but I doubt it would have any problems. Yes, the Canon default shutter speed in those days was 1/25th second, 360 degree shutter would have been the envy of filmmakers most of whom were restricted to simple rotary shutters at something under 180 degrees, nowadays making 1/50th a nice correspondence for 24 fps. Don't be too rigid about sticking to 1/50th, after all, soon as Panaflex and Mitchell came along night shooting at more than 180 degrees became the norm. You might want to experiment with 1/25th second shutter, you'll see it can look very nice and appropriate in some settings, plus you get an extra stop equivalent of light.
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