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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 September 15th, 2010, 01:14 PM   #16
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Are you saying you don't have a problem with a lot of movement in 30f? I haven't really experimented with it for fast movement (soccer and football) but I maybe I should?
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Old September 22nd, 2010, 10:38 AM   #17
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I always use 50i: 25f is too jerky for fast moving things like trains, I like the smooth motion of interlaced, and I prefer not to deal with different frame-types when editing. I'll switch to progressive when 1080/50P is affordable to shoot, edit and distribute.

I like the Cine Gamma 1 setting (in the Customise menu), which gives slightly more saturated colours than the default gamma setting, but at the expense of perhaps half a stop of exposure. I tried all the presets posted on this forum in the early days of the XH-A1, and rejected them all as being too extreme in one respect or another.

AGC is always off, and I have the gain switch set for -3 dB, 0 dB and +6 dB. In normal lighting, I use the ND filters and the -3/0 settings to keep the iris wider than f5.6. I use the Auto setting, and over-ride with the manual exposure button when necessary. Occassionally I'll use the AE-shift menu function to over expose by 0.25 or 0.5, e.g. when a cloudy sky is dominating the exposure. Black stretch can sometimes help in this situation, to pull a little more detail from the shadows. I may try a graduated ND filter in this situation one day, but haven't done so yet.

The +6 dB setting is for use under street lights, etc., but only after I've switched to normal gamma, black stretch and maybe 1/25 shutter speed. If the XH-A1 has a weakness it is the amount of noise added by the higher gain settings. The only time my colleague's Sony FX1 looks better than my Canon is under street lights.

On dull days, manual white balance can help counteract the blue/grey light, but it can look like you've got a tobacco filter on, which maybe is not what you want. In good daylight, AWB is trustworthy.

Shooting live events, there's no chance for a second take, so the less I have to fiddle with, the better. I prefer to concentrate on composition, panning, zooming, etc. Generally, the auto settings on the XH-A1 are well thought out and trustworthy. The skill is to know when it's OK to rely on them and when to over-ride something - and what to over-ride!
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