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Canon XH-A1 HD Work Flow

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David BerrentCanon XH-A1 HD Work Flow
by on Jul 28, 2008 at 7:42:01 pm

I recently shot an event using the Canon XH-A1. The camera was set-up for HD 1080i 24p.

I'm about to start importing tapes into Final Cut but I'm confused about the proper project set-up.

A) HDV 1080i 50
B) HDV 1080i 60
C) HDV Apple Pro-Res 422 1080p24
D) None of the above

To add to the confusion, there were other tapes shot at the event with other cameras - some HD some SD. I'm not sure I want to use any of these tapes, but I'd like the option.

Final product with be either a HD Quicktime and/or HD DVD.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.


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Chris BorjisRe: Canon XH-A1 HD Work Flow
by on Jul 28, 2008 at 9:19:53 pm


do you mean 24f?



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David BerrentRe: Canon XH-A1 HD Work Flow
by on Jul 28, 2008 at 11:43:31 pm

Yes. 24f.



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Chris BorjisRe: Canon XH-A1 HD Work Flow
by on Jul 29, 2008 at 12:04:56 am


If you have other HDV 1080i content to include then I would use "HDV 1080i" as your easy setup.

That way you can mix the 24f with the 60i and not have any problems while retaining a sort of 24p look on the 24f footage.



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David BerrentRe: Canon XH-A1 HD Work Flow
by on Jul 29, 2008 at 12:08:26 am

There are two choices for 1080i 50 or 60. Which one?

Thanks,
DB



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Will GriffithRe: Canon XH-A1 HD Work Flow
by on Jul 29, 2008 at 1:16:07 am

Neither...

Choose HDV-1080p24

If you shot it in 24f then you need to use the progressive setting, not 1080i.



Will Griffith
Producer


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Chris BorjisRe: Canon XH-A1 HD Work Flow
by on Jul 29, 2008 at 2:47:36 am

[Will Griffith] "Neither...

Choose HDV-1080p24

If you shot it in 24f then you need to use the progressive setting, not 1080i."


the small problem there is that 24f throws away resolution/fields to attain that.

I would agree but mixing it with 1080i could end up being a workflow problem. Capturing it all 1080i 60 or 50 should not pose any problem/complication.

as for 60 or 50, you use whatever the footage was shot at.



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David BerrentRe: Canon XH-A1 HD Work Flow
by on Jul 29, 2008 at 3:20:33 am

Thanks, that helpful. The only problem now is Final Cut will not recognize the Canon when the project is set-up for HD. However, no problem with the Canon if it's an SD project. Any thoughts?

Best,
David



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Will griffithRe: Canon XH-A1 HD Work Flow
by on Jul 29, 2008 at 11:04:36 am

[David Berrent]
"The only problem now is Final Cut will not recognize the Canon when the project is set-up for HD"

Refresh your video preview in FCP, restart, trash preferences, open and close iMovie with the A1 on, and then try getting up form your desk and dancing around on one foot. One of those solutions or a combination of a few will fix it. :)


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Chris PoissonRe: Canon XH-A1 HD Work Flow
by on Jul 29, 2008 at 1:54:26 pm

David,

The playback standard must be set to HDV for FCP to see it. Change the setting BEFORE you plug in the FireWire to the camera, set the capture preset to HDV or ProRes, and device control to FireWire HDV. It doesn't matter what your project settings are.

Have a wonderful day.


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Will griffithRe: Canon XH-A1 HD Work Flow
by on Jul 29, 2008 at 10:59:54 am

[Chris Borjis (Borjis)]
"the small problem there is that 24f throws away resolution/fields to attain that."

That's not really the issue if you read the first post.
He has already shot the footage and just needs to capture it.

24f looses some resolution and you MUST use a Canon 24f playback device to even
read the tape. No Sony deck, or anything else for that matter, will read it.

If you want to be safe then use 60i/50i



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Chris BorjisRe: Canon XH-A1 HD Work Flow
by on Jul 29, 2008 at 4:00:32 pm

[Will griffith] "That's not really the issue if you read the first post.
He has already shot the footage and just needs to capture it.

24f looses some resolution and you MUST use a Canon 24f playback device to even
read the tape. No Sony deck, or anything else for that matter, will read it.

If you want to be safe then use 60i/50i"


yep, just pointing it out to him.



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Jan BliddalRe: Canon XH-A1 HD Work Flow
by on Jul 29, 2008 at 1:58:49 pm

I found the following on Apples website
HDV Workflow Improvements
The following HDV Easy Setups should be used specifically for capturing footage in Canon HDV 1080F24, 1080F25, and 1080F30 formats:

HDV - 1080p24 FireWire Basic
HDV - 1080p25 FireWire Basic
HDV - 1080p30 FireWire BasicHDV Workflow Improvements

it seems like 1080p24 FireWire Basic is the way to go acording to the release note.

I have the european version of the same camcorder, but havenĀ“t filmed in 1080F yet only 1080i But I am planing on testing 1080F to see how it looks compared to 1080i on a LCD display.




Let the machine work for you. Not you for the machine


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Randy LeeRe: Canon XH-A1 HD Work Flow
by on Jul 29, 2008 at 3:15:46 pm

I just worked with a Canon camera this weekend, and you need to sit down and make sure that you've got every setting correct before you start plugging things in. With Final Cut off, and no firewire cable plugged into the camera, switch it to VCR mode, so you can watch the tape with the controls on the camera. Then go into the menu, make sure that you're not set to down-convert to DV. Get out of the menu. Shut the camera off, plug in the firewire cable to both the camera and computer, and turn the camera back to VCR mode. Open up Final Cut, and go to Easy Setups > HDV > 1080P24 Firewire Basic. (this should be the correct setup, but it really depends on how you shot. Cmd-8 to open up the log and capture window, and you should be good to go.

I had to digitize from the Canon camera with Firewire Basic, but when laying back to tape, it wanted a standard firewire, not basic, but this could be because I laid back NTSC DV material.

If this doesn't work for you, post back and we can see where we have to go from there.


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Chris BorjisRe: Canon XH-A1 HD Work Flow
by on Jul 29, 2008 at 4:02:43 pm


another thing someone mentioned and I've experienced myself
is to set it for HDV mode as it defaults to DV. I can't remember if it has an auto mode like the sony decks but that doesn't work either.




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David BerrentRe: Canon XH-A1 HD Work Flow
by on Jul 29, 2008 at 5:23:57 pm

I got some bad advice from Canon helpline. Following their advice I set the camera to playback in Down Convert mode. Once I switched back to HDV Final Cut had no problem recognizing the camera.

The advice from this board has been amazing helpful. Thank you everyone for all you input.



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Chris PoissonRe: Canon XH-A1 HD Work Flow
by on Jul 29, 2008 at 11:52:09 pm

Chris,

I believe it defaults to Auto.

Have a wonderful day.


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Javier MontufarRe: Canon XH-A1 HD Work Flow
by on Aug 6, 2008 at 5:35:02 pm

Hi everyone,

I have been reading your postings and trying to figure this out for two days and up to now nothing has worked for me. I have tried everything you have posted and nothing yet. I have a Canon XH A1 camera and trying to import some footage to FCP but the software just won't recognize the camera and says it is either offline or that the settings are wrong. I would really appreciate any help I can get with specific settings in either the camera or FCP.

Thank you all


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Will griffithRe: Canon XH-A1 HD Work Flow
by on Aug 6, 2008 at 5:43:44 pm

can you give us a few clues as to what kind of system, fcp version, and A1 settings you shot in?

Will Griffith
Producer


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Javier MontufarRe: Canon XH-A1 HD Work Flow
by on Aug 6, 2008 at 5:49:15 pm

I have final cut 6 and about the the settings for the shooting I really don't know because I didn't shoot it. I'm just trying to digitize it. But I know it was HD 1080.


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Will griffithRe: Canon XH-A1 HD Work Flow
by on Aug 6, 2008 at 5:52:16 pm

Play back the tape on the A1 in VTR mode. Does it say "24f" on the screen?

Will Griffith
Producer


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Javier MontufarRe: Canon XH-A1 HD Work Flow
by on Aug 6, 2008 at 6:26:00 pm

No, it says 60i.



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Will griffithRe: Canon XH-A1 HD Work Flow
by on Aug 6, 2008 at 6:50:29 pm

make sure your menu settings are set to HDV and not DV.
Try different firewire cables.
Try a different mac.
Trash FCP prefs and make sure the 1080 60i HDV preset is selected.

In other words...use the process of elimination to narrow down
what is causing this issue.

Will Griffith
Producer


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Randy LeeRe: Canon XH-A1 HD Work Flow
by on Aug 6, 2008 at 7:00:45 pm

When you're testing it again, take it from the top. Final Cut off. Camera in VCR mode. Firewire Cable not plugged in. Check your settings in the menu, set Playback Std to HDV if it was shot HDV, or DV if it was shot DV. Check your Downconvert setting to make sure that it is off if you want it off, or on if you want it on. Shut the camera off, plug in the Firewire cable to both the camera and the computer. Turn on the camera in VCR mode. Open Final Cut.

Go to Easy Setups and if you aren't down-converting, go to HDV, 60i and under deck control, Firewire Basic. If you're down-converting pick NTSC DV and Firewire Basic. Open up your log and capture window, and let us know what happens. Make sure you follow all of these steps, you can't access the camera menus with a firewire cable plugged in, and Final Cut can be finicky about cameras if it is already on when they're plugged in. Plugging the camera into the computer while turned on can fry firewire ports. Do other cameras work in that port on the computer?

Give us exact details on what else you are doing to try to bring in the footage and we can try to help more. There seem to be quite a few issues with people not checking their settings and then having problems digitizing.


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Javier MontufarRe: Canon XH-A1 HD Work Flow
by on Aug 6, 2008 at 7:58:04 pm

Thanks Randy. This is what I needed a step by step to what to do but unfortunately it didn't work. It keeps on not recognizing the camera. It tells me there is no device connected. I thought maybe it was the cable but I tested it with another camera on iMovie and it did work. Any other suggestions?


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Randy LeeRe: Canon XH-A1 HD Work Flow
by on Aug 6, 2008 at 8:08:47 pm

It can be done, and we've got to be close. You can play back the tape in camera, playback std. set to HDV, right? So it is HDV 60i, and it's not a tape problem?

Could you give us a step-by-step of what you're doing and the settings that you're using? Every setting in the camera and Final Cut, and we can see what we need to do from there.


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Javier MontufarRe: Canon XH-A1 HD Work Flow
by on Aug 6, 2008 at 8:20:01 pm

Ok... the settings in the camera are:
Time Code: Drop
Playback: STD-HDV
Comp. Out: 1080i/480i
HD down-conv: OFF

On FCP:

Sequence preset: HDV 1080i60i
Capture preset: HDV
Device Control preset: HDV Firewire Basic

The cable is workin, I know for sure and it does playback and it says its 60i.

Thanks for your help,

Javier



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Randy LeeRe: Canon XH-A1 HD Work Flow
by on Aug 6, 2008 at 8:29:21 pm

Hmm... It sounds like you should have everything set up correctly. I'm not sure what to say, as long as you've got the camera in VCR mode before you're starting up Final Cut. I guess I would open up Audio/Video settings and try a bunch of the other Device Control Presets, like HDV FireWire, or Uncontrollable Device... I'm not sure if you can use that one with HDV, but its worth a shot. Otherwise you might have to call the manufacturer, or if you rented, whoever you're renting from. I've never used that particular camera, but from what I used, the XL H1, all your settings look to be correct. I didn't realize that the camera records Drop Frame, but that really shouldn't affect capturing at all.

Does anyone else have any ideas? I'm out.


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Regan BrashearRe: Canon XH-A1 HD Work Flow
by on Oct 1, 2008 at 2:16:47 am

Hi all,
I'm having related problems:

Here's my story:
I shot my project on a Canon XHA1 in 24F mode.

I imported it as 1080p24 (but am wondering if it should be imported at 1080i60?).

I am editing on FCP 5.1.4. Can 5.1.4 handle Canon 24F? (I've heard different answers.)

I have one sequence that is set at 1080i60 and another one set at 1080p24.
Both look fine on the computer, but when we try to export problems arise with both. Also when I created a Quicktime mov file the audio was out of sync and the image looked pixelated and blown out.

When we try to print to video, it repeatedly gives us the error message on the camera "Check HDV/DV in" or "Aborted ETT/PTV" in FCP saying "dropped frames".

Should I try reimporting the footage at 1080i60 and see if that makes any difference?

What are the correct capture setting and sequence presets?

Also any ideas around print to video would be great. Ultimately, I need to get this onto Beta-SP.

Lastly, any ideas on export settings to create a Quicktime movie?


If you have any advice on any of this, I would greatly appreciate it!!!
THANKS!



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David BerrentRe: Canon XH-A1 HD Work Flow
by on Oct 2, 2008 at 4:15:52 pm

To import I used 1080p24.

The sequence settings I use are: HDV 1080p24, Aspect ratio 1440x1080.

I have never printed to video, so I unfortunately cannot help in that area.

There are many possible settings for a your Quicktime file. It all depends on what you need it for: DVD, streaming etc.

I've never had the audio out of sync. The audio settings I use are:
48kHz
16 bit

I hope I was helpful.

Good luck.







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Christy EltonRe: Canon XH-A1 HD Work Flow GRAINY FOOTAGE
by on Oct 15, 2008 at 12:07:52 am

I have had almost all the trouble in this post and I finally got the some media captured into FCP.

But the media is is very grainy. I am capturing from Canon XLH1. I have the VCR setting set to HDV but when I batch capture my capture preset HDV is grayed out (so I cannot change it) and says:

Using HDV for video input
XL H1 using NSTC

What is the NSTC? My footage looks a bit like NSTC and nothing like HDV. I did change the camera settings to HDV while not plugged into my mac. I have it set not to down convert. I have connected to the mac using the HVD/DV on the front of the camera. I rented the camera and do not have the manual.

PLEASE HELP!



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David BerrentRe: Canon XH-A1 HD Work Flow GRAINY FOOTAGE
by on Oct 15, 2008 at 12:16:57 am

Did you set the camera to shoot HD or NTSC?

If you're sure you shot HD, do not downconvert the video during playback. If you shot it in HDV, play it back and import it as HDV

Make sure your video playback is set to HD? Your HDV might be greyed because it's only getting an NTSC signal from the camera?



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Christy EltonRe: Canon XH-A1 HD Work Flow GRAINY FOOTAGE
by on Oct 15, 2008 at 1:23:12 am

thanks
We shoot HDV from a another canon camera.

"play it back and import it as HDV " -- I think I was doing this, is there a trick?

How do I check to see if the playback is HD? Again, I do not have a manual and cannot find it on line. There is mode select on the outside and that is set to HD. How do I check to make sure that the camera is sending an HD signal. THANKS SO MUCH. I think this that the camera must be sending an NSTC signal but cannot figure out how to change it.



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tim morrisRe: Canon XH-A1 HD Work Flow GRAINY FOOTAGE
by on Jan 31, 2009 at 5:45:32 am

I am having the same problem, and also asked canon their opinion. (waiting)

I bypassed final cut altogether, and was just capturing video with qt pro. It seems that the output of the live camera is outputing 1080i HD through the firewire port, but not the VTR. Any tape shot in HD is playing back in SD. - When a firewire cable is plugged into my mac

In VTR mode, I open the signal setup menu, and adjust the playback STD option to "HD" but I noticed that if you keep that menu open it grays out as soon as you plug in a firewire cable. I've tried multiple cables, ports and even looped it out of my ext. HD.



macpro 2.66 dual, 7Gb ram, osx 10.5.6,



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Dan WagnerRe: Canon XH-A1 HD Work Flow GRAINY FOOTAGE
by on Mar 12, 2009 at 8:04:04 pm

Looks like I'm not the only one having this issue cause I thought I broke the camera.

I've tried the exact steps as well on both Tiger and Leopard with no avail. I've attempted in Final Cut as well as IMovie 08,09.

One thing I did notice though is that it looks like the systtem just doesn't recognize the camera. If you go to Apple> About this Mac> and look at the Firewire settings it doesn't even detect the camera as a device. I know this works because I tried this with my GL2 and it connects fine.



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Tim SmithRe: Canon XH-A1 HD Work Flow GRAINY FOOTAGE
by on May 9, 2009 at 11:24:46 pm

Iv read alot of the same problem, which I am also encountering.
Has anyone found a cure for this??
I cant find anything across forums that has had an answer.

I have a slight twist to the tale.

After many days of testing/playing about, I was able to capture my HDV footgae fine. It looked great and it captured as it should.
ONLY, the next day same settings, back to how it was....not recognising my Canon XHA1 atall.

Capture in SD, that works also, so why not HDV.
I have read many articles surrounding faulty firewire ports. Could this be related. I shouldn't see why as SD captures fine.

grayed menus are also odd on insertion of firewire cable, is canon not telling us something??
I spend 80% of the time sitting, looking knowing there is no menu option I haven't tried.

Recorded in: HDV 25F 1080i
Capturing at: HDV firewire basic/ HDV/ 1080i 25f
FCP: 5
OSX: 10.5.10


I may take your advise tim and try qt to get the process moving.


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Frank PretoriusRe: Canon XH-A1 HD Work Flow
by on Mar 3, 2010 at 9:39:07 am

Thx Randy, your post helped to solve my problem.



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Rachel NanstadRe: Canon XH-A1 HD Work Flow
by on Apr 19, 2009 at 1:17:59 am

Hi

I connected by Canon XH A1 to my iMac with a 4 pin 4 pin firewire with 400 mbps data transfer speed, but there is a slight delay in the transfer. Is that normal? Or should I use a 800 mbps cable? Any info is greatly appreciated!

Rachel


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Will GriffithRe: Canon XH-A1 HD Work Flow
by on Apr 20, 2009 at 12:18:38 pm

Yes Rachel, that is normal. The A1 only communicates at the 400mbs firewire anyway.


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