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George Mizzell
Canon XH A1 newbie questions
on Jan 3, 2008 at 6:03:13 am

I have just bought a new Canon XH A1 and was quite excited about it but I have yet to be impressed by it. Yes it is nice to have the XLR input directly in the camera and the ability to actually record 2 separate channels independently. I love the lens and the way the images look on the LCD display. However importing the images into FCP on my MacPro has not been too impressive. My previous experience was 7 years of operating my Canon GL1 and I loved its picture sharpness and how crisp all the edges have been at the points where colors transition from one to another - like a bright blue shirt against a yellow background. However the XH A1 still in original setup from the factory looks quite fuzzy and all footage looks like it has had a photoshop gaussian blur - 0.5 pixel blur applied to it. I have been searching for some form of info about what might be causing it. It is more than likely one of the 100+ settings that can be set manually if you know which one. I just ordered the DVD - Canon XH A1 XH G1 XHA1 XHG1 Made Easy Training DVD - but I am not sure how detailed it will get.

I really have only one requirement - sharp crisp clear images. I am not into a lot of cinematography exotic settings. The closer it gets to a Nikon photo the more I like it. I have a Sennheiser g2 lavalier mic and audio is great, I just need a good image. I am just capturing video normally in FCP and it could be that I am not using the best setting or importing with the best setting on the camera. i had to try several things to get FCP to even see the camera, so it is possible that i am not capturing correctly and the camera is working great. just don' know.

Thanks
George

George Mizzell
The SupermagnetMan


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Jeffrey B.
Re: Canon XH A1 newbie questions
on Jan 4, 2008 at 6:33:50 am

Are you shooting HDV or DV?



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George Mizzell
Re: Canon XH A1 newbie questions
on Jan 4, 2008 at 7:08:01 am

Actually I want to do both but DV is the main interest at this time because all I am doing is compressing the final clips to 320x240. The subject is just a single person explaining things. I am developing an online training site that will be all video but everything will be a series of lots of 2-10 minute videos. Ultimately I have a lot of other projects I will be doing in HDV. It seems as if my problem might be related to the cameras auto focus feature and since I am teaching and using a white board the focal length might be varying that 1 foot distance back and forth and it is not enough to really look out of focus but not good enough to look sharp. The camera is on a tripod and really is not moved during any of the filming.

Hope this helps. I just tried 30fps - DV and it seems to look a little better than the 60i did. I improved the color by using a piece of bright white paper and doing a manual white balance every time.

Thanks
George

George Mizzell
The SupermagnetMan


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Jeffrey B.
Re: Canon XH A1 newbie questions
on Jan 4, 2008 at 9:33:36 pm

Ah, well then is seems to be a problem more with operating the camera than with any inadequacies with the camera itself. For focus, there is a focus assist (I forget the actual name) that magnifies part of the frame you can get perfect focus. There is also a "peaking" button that over-sharpens the image so you can make out the focus. Also make sure it is on manual focus so it doesn't constantly try to re-focus the image.

I suggest you learn as much as you can about how to use the camera and familiarize yourself with all the settings and features, particularly using the manual controls. I would turn off all of the automatic settings and really take control of the camera. Make a list of all the things you should check before you hit the record button, like framing, white balance, exposure, and focus.



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