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-   -   Audio and Color Problems (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/canon-xh-series-hdv-camcorders/92888-audio-color-problems.html)

Amie Spiridigliozzi May 1st, 2007 08:11 AM

Audio and Color Problems
HELP!!!! I bought the new Canon XH A1 camera. I shot my first two weddings with them and the audio is NOT GOOD. The color is also not as crisp in certain areas. I had the GL2's and bought new cameras because I wanted HD. I feel like I made a bad decision.
I had everything on Auto with the GL2 and everything was perfect. Both sound and color.

The wedding I shot recently was not as good and the XH A1 is supposed to be a better camera. ANYONE HAVE THE CANON XH A1 that can help me out????

I need to know what all your settings are on your camera for weddings. I called Canon and they didn't help at all. They said the new cameras attached microphone is more sensitive than the GL2 which is why the reception was distorted. It was more distorted when I was closer to the DJ's but I never had this problem before. With the GL2, I could be right next to the speakers, my audio was always set to AUTO and I had no distortion. What are the right settings I should be aware of for this camera? Should I be using manual audio and if so, how can I tell the audio is OK?


Chris Hurd May 1st, 2007 08:24 AM

The color from the XH A1 is intentionally a little flat right out of the box. Do a search for Steven Dempsey's VIVIDRGB custom preset for a more colorful look.

Audio is best handled manually; always, always, always use headphones while shooting and manually adjust audio levels as necessary according to the indication you're getting from the audio meters in the viewfinder or the flip-out LCD display.

Bill Doyle May 1st, 2007 10:59 AM


Hang in there! I had a GL-1 before making the move to HD and I love this camera. Of course, there is so much flexibility with regard to settings, it's much easier to get a bad image and audio. Before commiting to critical material (one-shot interviews, weddings, etc.) you really need to shoot and experiment with the camera. Spend a lot of time looking at these boards, shoot tape of anything and everything and if you have a HDTV, hook up the camera and just see how the image changes with the different settings. Get comfortable with manual everything so that you'll know what the limitations of auto are.

For audio, youll do better with an external microphone (what type depends on what you're recording), but as Chris said you should always monitor through headphones so you know what you're getting.

There are many of us Massachusetts A1 people out there so keep in touch.

Bill Doyle

Bill Pryor May 1st, 2007 11:25 AM

First thing to do is spend some quality time with the manual.

Don Palomaki May 1st, 2007 11:33 AM

As a GL1/XL1 owner/user, and an ocasioanl GL2 user, I can attest that the XH-A1 is much more camera and will produce better results, even in SD mode. But is it a much more complex beast, and users need to learn how to use it to advantage, especially since the audio capability is far more advanced than the GL1, which only offered an AGC mode and limited mic options, and the Gl2.

First, at most wedding receptions, especially with a DJ, the sound is LOUD, so use the MIC ATT setting for the internal mic. This should eliminate the distortion/clipping when using AGC mode in all but the worst situations (i.e., where hearing damage is certain and nearly immedaite). Also, you will probably need to use the MIC ATT setting even in manual level control mode to avoid preamp clipping ahead of the level controls.

If you use an external mic (either XLR or at the 3.5 mm mic jack), you probable will need the MIC ATT setting at receptions as well (depending on your mic) . Be aware that there are different switches for MIC ATT for the XLR jacks and for the Internal mic/mic jack.

AGC can work well at a reception where you run and gun with sound sources at different angles as you dance around the dancing couple on the dance floor, and it can save the effort and distraction of riding mic level controls. However, AGC or manual, do what works for you to achieve the audio effect you desire.

Note that because there are preamps ahead of the level controls, you can encounter clipping in the preamp that will not appear as peaking or overload on the meters. To detect that you need headphones, or a good feel for sound levels and the preformacnce of your gear. (In any case, no such thing as good sound at a reception with a DJ these days, his gear is probably clipping adn distorting as well.)

As to color, as noted above, the A1 has different default settings than the GL series, and you should work with the custom presets to develop configurations that work for you. Preset settings do interact - a lot of creative control available there - so you really should work them up to your satisfaction before a money shoot. The LowLight12 preset settings (see the preset furum for more info) provide a starting point for reception work.

As to auto exposure settings, some folks like them, many hate to use them, depends on what you are comfortable with and what your client's expectations are. You can set up the A1 to give comparatively good results either full auto, full manual, or somewhere in between, with manual settings giving you the ultimate fine control on exposure.

The bottom line is read, practice and experiment to learn the capabilites of your new beast.

Kiflom Bahta May 1st, 2007 12:33 PM

Hey Don, Do i have to worry about the clipping and preAmp if i leave it on auto with ATTN on?

Jerome Cloninger May 1st, 2007 01:10 PM

Another testament to NOT buy a new camera and go shoot a wedding with it and not learn it first...

Amie, there are many threads on here about settings and such... read the manual and spend several hours playing with the camera hooked up to a TV and play play play with it.

Chris Soucy May 1st, 2007 07:57 PM

Hi all....
Just to add my two cents worth........

Having come from my trusted XL1s where you could, with some degree of confidence, leave most of it in auto and still get pretty reasonable results, the XH A1 is a bit of a shock to the system.

As you will find in DVinfo posts eveywhere about this camera - manual everything is the only way to go, and the results are simply spectacular (when it's in focus, of course).

It's a whole new type of camera work, but definately worth it.



Don Palomaki May 2nd, 2007 06:06 AM


Hey Don, Do i have to worry about the clipping and preAmp if i leave it on auto with ATTN on?
With the internal mic, you should be ok in all but the loudest of loud venues, but impulse (e.g., gun shot, door slam) and sudden, major changes in sound (step function, instantly going from relative silence to very loud) can still be an issue. If you have some specific situations in mind, run some tests on these before a money shoot involving them to see what works best for you.

Kiflom Bahta May 2nd, 2007 11:43 AM

Thanks Don, the money shoot is comming this weekend. It is a live event with audio person on board. so i am going to ride on auto with ATTN on.(*__*).

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