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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 30th, 2011, 09:34 AM   #16
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 4,487
Re: ? about exporting XHA1 footage

The current common consumer/prosumer image capture formats (AVCHD, HDV, etc.) are not lossless. Every time you transcode you lose something, even if slight.

Economical encoding software is, well, economical, and while typically very good these days, it not as good as the high end stuff Hollywood uses that we would like to afford. Multi-pass encoding is important for good VBR recordings but what really counts is what is done during each pass. If your encoding software is more than a couple years old, check the new stuff. ( BTW, IMHO the downconvert from HDV to SD firewire output in the XH-A1 is not all that great.)

The captured original sets the limits on resolution. In post you can apply various effects to improve image white balance, sharpness, brightness noise, gamma, etc. to make it "prettier to the viewer." But a better original will give a better final result.

In this day of upscaling DVD and Blu-ray players, HD TV sets,HD home theater projectors, etc. the viewing system and how it is set-up will have a significant impact of the quality the end user sees, and may compensate for overly hot, or unduely flat material on a DVD.

My approach is to shoot the higest available native resolution, use a NLE that allows editing in the native formats I shoot (I use Edius), and do the downconvert to DVD or what ever delivery format at the end of the process.

In the end it boils down to meeting the customer/client/end user's expectations.
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