View Full Version : PAL A1 Christmas footage - SD, lowlight, no CC

12-28-2006, 02:38 PM
OK, this is the very first time I've posted my footage, so be gentle on me (also, English is not my main language) ;-)

I just saw some noisy lowlight footage in another post, so I've decided to share my experience in the same shooting conditions. The verdict - the camera is amazing!

When I first got it out the box and walked around my apartment I was frustrated with the amount of noise. Fiddling with the gain switch didn't help a notch. I started thinking I got a faulty unit when a revelation came upon me - the AGC switch!

All new XHA1 buyers - MAKE SURE THE AGC (Auto Gain Control) IS OFF!!!

OK, back to the footage. I have had no experience in event videography (to be honest I haven't really shot anything much in my life), so I was really like a child walking in the fog. I plan to do music videos and indie shorts, where I can have control over lighting. Here I had to work with the available light (mainly Christmas lights and candles) and I did everything intuitively.

The gain was set to -3, no NR. As you can see, the motion in the "moody" parts is a bit videoish - 25 shutter speed (PAL). But I thought my family wouldn't care less about "film-likeness"...

The daytime footage was shot with 100 shutter. You'll clearly see the difference. It's "the look" for me. I prefer the faster shutter motion rendering and 100 provides that look, without getting too strobey.

Don't mind the not-so-perfect editing (I'm not a big fan of transitions, but I just had to use them this time). I was fooling around with the camera, so not all the shots are as they should be - for example the focusing out is too quick the couple of times, etc. I just had a bunch of clips I had to "glue together" somehow to make my family happy (by the way - you're gonna see the clip before they do). There is no CC whatsoever. A shot everything in SD (straight, no downconverting), as I need a new PC to handle HD stuff, but still - the SD out of A1 is soooo much better then my DVX (which I sold 2 months after I got it :-] ) All CC is done inside the camera - I just copied the settings from the 9th preset, leaving sharpening to 0.

OK, here's the footy: http://www.pruszko.com/xmas.wmv

12-28-2006, 10:10 PM
Man, I had the same experience... I was like well, the shot looks kind of good... But at this price I am not paying for "Kind of good"... Then I found that magical switch that made all my worries go away.... I think they should rename that switch "Massacre low light footage immediately switch" : )

12-28-2006, 10:33 PM
You make my day:engel017:

12-28-2006, 11:09 PM
Nice the A1 smokes the dvx in SD as well, especially in the noise department, the dvx was always so noisy, even though I do miss her at times.

12-28-2006, 11:52 PM
Should be called the Auto Grain Control switch.

Stu Siegal
12-29-2006, 07:30 AM
How open were you on each of your setups?

12-29-2006, 09:45 AM
Generally I try to be as open as possible ;-)

Since the aperture changes when you zoom in, the iris was never open to the max in the close-ups.

It's probably the only thing that slightly annoys me - when you zoom out, the iris doesn't go back to the exact position it was before, so if you aim for shallowest possible DOF you have to turn the iris ring back up. But I guess it's just the charm of manual iris rings. Even with iris open the sharpness is great (at least to my eye). Canon did a great job on this lens.

When I was getting my DVX a while ago I was high on the 35mm adapter hype. I even bought a bunch of Nikon primes. I did some shooting with the DIY MY35 adapter (I'm aware it's not the M2). Now, with the A1 and it's fair 20x zoom I'm keen on getting the filmic quality without any adapters (not mentioning the portability). It might not be too apparent in this Christmas footage, as I didn't have much space to zoom in, or to place my subjects further from the background. But in controlled shooting conditions I'm sure it's possible to get great DOF from the A1.

Stu Siegal
12-30-2006, 01:28 PM
I got great dof on my hands on test at b&h recently, at least as good as my dvx, which influenced my decision in favor of the a1 over the hvx.