Canon XH A1 is my Mac capable of importing?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by NOV, Nov 15, 2007.

  1. NOV macrumors 6502

    NOV

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2004
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #1
    Hi,

    am looking for a new HDV camera and the Canon XH A1 looks really interesting.
    As I work with an older PPC dual 1.8Ghz Mac (4G memory, Iomega Ultramax attached through FW800) I was wondering if my Mac is capable of capturing and importing the ,I assume, high rate data streams from the Canon camera.
     
  2. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    Location:
    Pasadena/Hollywood
    #2
    HDV is the same bitrate (25mbps) as standard def DV. HDV is just compressed more. You're computer will be fine.
     
  3. zioxide macrumors 603

    zioxide

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    #3
    What software?

    FCE and iMovie both transcode HDV to AIC on import, so it might be slow for you.

    FCP edits HDV natively so you'd be fine.
     
  4. NOV thread starter macrumors 6502

    NOV

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2004
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #4
    Yep, FCP. Thanks!
     
  5. trudd macrumors regular

    trudd

    Joined:
    May 27, 2004
    Location:
    Texas
    #5
  6. pdpfilms macrumors 68020

    pdpfilms

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Location:
    Vermontana
    #6
    Hey trudd, just out of curiosity... how do you lock your focus on the A1 onto the ground glass?
     
  7. zioxide macrumors 603

    zioxide

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    #7
    That's awesome.

    I wish I could afford an XH-A1.
     
  8. trudd macrumors regular

    trudd

    Joined:
    May 27, 2004
    Location:
    Texas
    #8
    Zoom A1 into GG until it covers the entire frame. For me, that is about Z72.
    Make sure the GG is not vibrating/rotating (depending on your adapter).
    Stop the 35mm lens down to F/11 or so (your camera needs to see the GG grain)
    The camera will automatically focus to the GG's grain. Switch to MF and you're good.

    I shoot at Z72 focused in at 4.9 feet.
     
  9. pdpfilms macrumors 68020

    pdpfilms

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Location:
    Vermontana
    #9
    Thanks, but I was actually wondering how you literally lock the focus there so that it can't move by accidentally bumping the ring... any tricks?
     
  10. trudd macrumors regular

    trudd

    Joined:
    May 27, 2004
    Location:
    Texas
    #10
    Oh. Just don't do it ;) Or gaff tape.

    I always have my distance and zoom number displayed on the LCD screen so if anything is wrong I typically see it before rolling tape.
     
  11. je1ani macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
  12. seany916 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2006
    Location:
    Southern California
    #12
    HV20 isn't even close, but with well-lit scenes, we get great results from it. Few manual settings though. We splice in (digitally) footage with our A1s and our clients have yet to be able to discern which angles are from which cameras. Again, it's about how well lit your subjects are.
     
  13. seany916 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2006
    Location:
    Southern California
    #13
    As mentioned above, HDV can be pulled in over FW400 quite easily. No problems there.

    Editing in HDV is painful on a Mac Pro given the long GOP structure.

    IMHO, shoot in SD until you have:
    1. a faster processor
    2. a method of delivery that allows you to deliver HD

    Otherwise, your projects will take about 8x longer to complete than if you shot and edited in SD.

    If you do decide to go the A1 route, don't forget to factor in good audio. (personally, I think the audio is more important than the video) Nobody likes to watch a beautiful picture with bad audio. It gets boring quick. It also looks like a high-def Youtube video.

    People are accustomed to seeing sub-par video sometimes (for stylistic reasons), but still expect a great score/soundtrack.
     
  14. zioxide macrumors 603

    zioxide

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    #14
    Yeah the HV20 is good for it's market, but if/when I finally buy a new camera I want something with full manual control. If I was buying something right now I'd probably be looking to buy a used Canon GL or something for around $1000. I'd take that over the HV20.

    Yep, sound is half of the picture. :)
     
  15. trudd macrumors regular

    trudd

    Joined:
    May 27, 2004
    Location:
    Texas
    #15
    If I had to do SD over again, I'd go with a Panasonic DVX100. I had a GL2 for 2 years before I bought my XH-A1 and, while the GL2 produces a decent image, the DVX100 seems to have better manual control, especially in terms of lens control.

    I still prefer the HVX200 lens mechanics over the XH-A1. After shooting on the Sony F900 and F750 for a project, I am in love with mechanical zoom/focus/iris rings. The XH-A1 is still great, though. The reason I didn't go with the HVX200 was the P2 workflow - it isn't so great for low-budget student projects.
     

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