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Are there any XHA1s still in use?

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    Are there any XHA1s still in use?

    In 2008 I bought an XHA1 and made a couple of web videos. I enjoyed it but needed cash and sold my camera about a year and a half later. About 2 months ago, I came across an Xha1, hv40, redrock e2m 35mm adapter, and a AT897 mic. All for a killer price in mint condition. After that i upgraded my computer, bought CS6 production suite, then got Barry Green's light and sound DVDs. I have been studying this forum and now I am ready to make some short films.

    The problem is I feel like I have a Ford model T in a modern NASCAR race. I know my equipment is old, but can I still produce a decent product? (By today's idie standards, I am not talking PL lenses and big budgets) Do people even use these cameras anymore? This tread has only had a few entries over the last couple years.

    I want a Canon 7d to round off my equipment and give me some DOF but even that is old technology! Should I just cash out and go another direction?

    Thanks guys.

    #2
    I made a grand today using my xha1, In fact, I still use these cams frequently. Here's why, I feel thats it's not worth even selling at this point. I have an xha1, and xha1s. Their worth about a 1,000 each, give or take a few quid. So for old tech, it's still bringing in a decent day rate, the final is going to dvd as a training video.

    I have some dslr's, but their not always the right tool for the job, I couldn't even imagine using a dslr for my gig today, I needed long record times, aprox 1 hr per take, broken into three segments, I also needed good audio, and utilized the xlr's going to an avantone hyper mic. I had very little setup time, so the pro features of the cam made it possible just by having access to real buttons and switches. Didn't have to look in one menu, there's something to be said just for that.

    So as far as your gear, yeah it's a bit long in the tooth, but it's not an issue if your any good at your craft. I actually like the look of the redrock encore, gives a nice organic image. You just need to spend more time lighting due to light loss from the dof adapter, but not to much as thats a good adapter. That movie monsters was made with a sony and letus dof adapter, it looked great. It's about story regardless.

    So use what you have, pick up a t3i or 7d for low light stuff, Now you will have most scenarios covered. One thing to remember, the xha1 out resolve the 7d all day long, and with out aliasing, plus the ccd's can make or break certain jobs.

    If you do end up selling your gear let me know what you want for the hv40, my daughter want one to go with her hv30.

    Comment


      #3
      I'm going to use mine today.

      XH-A1 got:
      - 3CCD global shutter 1/16000
      - constant f3,6 at 20x zoom
      - Pro features
      - looks cool
      Igelkott Film is Hedgehog Film
      www.igelkottfilm.com

      Comment


        #4
        My XH-A1s works regularly to capture old Super-8 films transfers.
        A perfect cam for me !
        (And maybe a MRC1K or a DN60 for its future...)

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Gargamel View Post
          My XH-A1s works regularly to capture old Super-8 films transfers.
          A perfect cam for me !
          (And maybe a MRC1K or a DN60 for its future...)
          I haven't used a dn-60, I have read there's some issues with the a1 with it,( maybe a firmware upgrade fixed it though.) But I do have and use a citidisc cfr on a regular basis, I also have a firestore, which I would not recomend, they have terrible service rediculous service prices, and their just tough to deal with. They don't respond to emails or phone calls, I will never recomend or buy another focus enhancement product ,EVER!!

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            #6
            Originally posted by maranfilms View Post
            I haven't used a dn-60, I have read there's some issues with the a1 with it,( maybe a firmware upgrade fixed it though.) But I do have and use a citidisc cfr on a regular basis, I also have a firestore, which I would not recomend, they have terrible service rediculous service prices, and their just tough to deal with. They don't respond to emails or phone calls, I will never recomend or buy another focus enhancement product ,EVER!!
            Thank you for sharing your experience.
            Yes, I read too these DN-60 / XH-A1 issues (especially in Europe); there is now a DN-60a, maybe a little more reliable ?
            I don't know the CitiDisk CFR; it works right with your XH-A1 ?

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Gargamel View Post
              Thank you for sharing your experience.
              Yes, I read too these DN-60 / XH-A1 issues (especially in Europe); there is now a DN-60a, maybe a little more reliable ?
              I don't know the CitiDisk CFR; it works right with your XH-A1 ?
              Yes, the citidisc is made by shining technology, it's very small, records to cf card and works well with the xha1. Around the same price as the dn-60.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by maranfilms View Post
                Yes, the citidisc is made by shining technology, it's very small, records to cf card and works well with the xha1. Around the same price as the dn-60.
                Well, OK, thank you maranfilms !

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by maranfilms View Post
                  So use what you have, pick up a t3i or 7d for low light stuff, Now you will have most scenarios covered. One thing to remember, the xha1 out resolve the 7d all day long, and with out aliasing, plus the ccd's can make or break certain jobs.
                  Truth.

                  I use an XLH1 for a lot of corporate type stuff, for certain reality style documentary work, and for wildlife filming. I have even sold footage from it to news networks (when paired with a nanoflash).

                  I use the 5Dmk3 and T3i for all the glam shots and low light work.

                  A used XHA1 and used T2i will cover most scenarios.
                  http://vimeo.com/channels/guerrillafilms

                  Comment


                    #10
                    it's wonderful to know that this camera still find its existence in today's time. i really like its image quality. but now i want to move to tape-less format and am considering to sell this off. i have xh a1s. i am in dilemma whether to sell this off or get myself datavideo dn-60.

                    this camera is absolutely wonderful in terms of picture quality and features. besides, i don't find any other camera currently which i feel worth buying. there are some good cameras but they come at a high price.

                    i want to stick to my xh a1s but want to have a card recorder. if it can record on cards, there is no need to find another cam.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      capturing film transfers

                      Originally posted by Gargamel View Post
                      My XH-A1s works regularly to capture old Super-8 films transfers.
                      A perfect cam for me !
                      (And maybe a MRC1K or a DN60 for its future...)
                      Gargamel, I have inherited a bunch of old family movies, how do you accomplish a transfer with the A1? I would love to do it myself and save all the cash outlay to have someone else do it.

                      Thanks,
                      Jon

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by payal_choksi View Post
                        it's wonderful to know that this camera still find its existence in today's time. i really like its image quality. but now i want to move to tape-less format and am considering to sell this off. i have xh a1s. i am in dilemma whether to sell this off or get myself datavideo dn-60.

                        this camera is absolutely wonderful in terms of picture quality and features. besides, i don't find any other camera currently which i feel worth buying. there are some good cameras but they come at a high price.

                        i want to stick to my xh a1s but want to have a card recorder. if it can record on cards, there is no need to find another cam.
                        There's some good options for you now, here's a few, datavideo dn-60, citidisc has a few flavors, I use the cfr model, you could also go from> component out>component to hdmi convertor> to hdmi recorder.

                        and get uncompressed, analog equivalant of 4:2:2 color space. I think the convertors are around 50.00, then the black magic intensity is under 400.00 but it uses ssd cards.

                        MY ONLY ADVICE*****STAY AWAY FROM FIRESTORE recorders*******

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Noj View Post
                          Gargamel, I have inherited a bunch of old family movies, how do you accomplish a transfer with the A1? I would love to do it myself and save all the cash outlay to have someone else do it.
                          Hello Jon,

                          I transfer my old Super8 silent films to burn some DVD for my children: those adults now are very happy to see the babies they were ;-)

                          In my PAL world:
                          - projection at 18 f/s,
                          - with a 3W LED light in the projector,
                          - through a 70mm lens (from a 16mm projector).

                          Concerning the XH-A1s:
                          - the cam works in SD 25f, 16:9, with ClearScan;
                          - "No-preset", but KNEE = "Low", BLK = "Stretch";
                          - AGC = "Off";
                          - AWB = "Off" -> WHITE BAL = "PRE" -> WHITE BAL PRESET = "K" (5500 for my LED);
                          - GAIN = "L", set to -3dB.

                          The captures are recorded on a PC, through a FireWire connexion and the freeware VirtualDub.
                          Bad and dubbed frames are deleted, then the clips are stabilized and cleaned using AviSynth scripts (based on those by "videoFred" and "johnmeyer", thanks to them); final projection rate is 25 f/s.

                          Finally, that stuff feeds a basic NLE, which adds music etc and burns DVDs.

                          If you want, you can see some extracts on Vimeo:
                          http://vimeo.com/user3885557/videos
                          Last edited by Gargamel; 02-14-2013, 04:56 AM.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I love my XH-A1 (og model, not the "s"). Thing is I've also now got an Panasonic AC-130. I think it is time to sell my A1 as it is just getting old dealing with tape. I do event videos, mostly weddings right now. This past summer we had some really hot summer weather. I had about three weddings where I had issues with the heat. On one instance it was so hot it affected the CCD's on the A1 and I had like 6-7 dead pixels through major portions of the recordings. I had to go in and use a filter to repair the pixels. Everything worked out pretty well in the end (had long render times). I sent the camera in to Canon, got it fixed just fine. I mention this not to say that other cameras will not also have their image sensors affected by heat, but to illustrate just how freaking hot it was for me on some wedding shoots this last year. Some real scorchers.

                            The thing is, with tape I've also had some extremely hot days this past summer where when I went to capture into my editing computer, the tapes had trouble on playback. It was mainly the tapes that I had shot either outdoor stuff with... post ceremony running around Chicago in the afternoon heat, or B-cam (HV20) up in the balcony in a hot church (hot air and humidity rising into the tall ceilings). Then the tapes from those days where I recorded stuff like the reception in a less hot environment, were just fine and dandy. So while it isn't specifically a scientific test, it is pretty apparent that tape can be affected by heat and humidity.

                            I'm also moving towards using my GH2 more, and getting a GH3 soon, so I figure it makes sense to go fully tapeless. Otherwise I hate to sell my XH-A1.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Agreed ^ we run A1 and A1s cams, the A1 updated replacement strap support is still available.

                              Last November I travelled on a cruise up the Amazon river in Brazil and shot tape on a HV40.

                              The outside temp ranged between 30 and 38c. The humidity was the worst I've ever experienced, around 98% for the 11 days.
                              We came back from 4hour jungle walks dripping wet.

                              With 50years pro tape experience I know about rapid changes in operating temperature but even leaving the camera out on deck for an hour didn't help.

                              I got the 'remove tape' and 'moisture detected' warnings more than once and one time the tape wouldn't roll on record at all.

                              But in most 'normal' heat/moisture cases, leaving the camera in the operating area for an hour, out of the sun, should help. It's called acclimatizing the tape.
                              Ampex used to recommend leaving their new rolls of 2" tape overnight in the control rooms, before use the next day.

                              Also before you change tapes, thoroughly clean the top of the camera, to stop dust and grit dropping down into the open transport.
                              On the HV20/30/40 cams run a damp cotton bud down that groove on the top of your cam. Then you'll see how dirty it is.

                              That's one of the major causes of tape dropouts.

                              Cheers.
                              35yrs with our own a/v production company and studios.

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