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Does anyone have any tips for someone new to this camera? I'm filming a short film for a video contest and my school has a few Canon XH A1s we can use. I haven't had too much experience with what you would call a "prosumer" cam aside from a buddy's dvx100b.
Any help is appreciated, with the usual karma bribe of course. Thanks!
i dont have one of those cameras but i do have a prosumer camera and you dont need to do all the tweaking and everything that the top filmers do.. it will film just like any other camera but it has options that you can use for making different effects.. im sure somewhere online there is something about them.
That camera is pretty nice it has 3 rings on the lens. One for iris, zoom and one for focus. It also has zebra stripes on the lcd screen making it pretty easy to get the right exposure. Just make sure you use manual mode and set your white balance and you should be able to get some really nice stuff. You should be able to download the manual online and skim thru it.
I've got an XHA1. A few key things to remember.
1. Keep the gain set to -3. This camera performs terribly if the gain is higher than 6 or so, and best at -3.
2. Don't be afraid to use automatic settings. Of course the camera looks best if you tweak everything manually, but in general, the camera is smarter than you are. Tv(time value) mode is a good 'semi-auto' setting, meaning that you are somewhat in control of the picture, but you're letting the camera do some of the thinking as well. For the 'film look' I like to keep it at 1/48th of a second if I'm shooting in 24p, and 1/60th in 30p mode. Although for skiing, you'd probably want something higher like 1/120th or higher.
3. For outdoor shooting in bright light, use the ND filters. This is a feature that you will not find on consumer cameras. ND stands for 'neutral density" and basically what it does is it puts a gray filter in between the lens and the sensor, causing it to let less light in. This will allow you to shoot at wide apertures without having to have very high shutter speeds, or vice-versa.
I could go on forever, but I won't. PM me if you have any specific questions. I've read the manual several times, and shot a ton with this camera.