Canon XH A1

The Canon XH A1 is as close to perfect as any camcorder in its price range, with great
resolution, very high contrast ratio, and extraordinary
customizability. I did find the auto-focus somewhat lacking, which may
be a concern for some potential b

Camera controls

You set the main controls via the familiar power dial that toggles
you through VCR, automatic, TV (shutter priority), AV (aperture
priority), full manual, spotlight, night, and easy recording modes. It
took me awhile to get used to the operating c

My tests

I performed two rounds of testing with the camcorder, an extensive
series of lab and real-world testing that revealed an auto-focus
problem that prompted me to return the camcorder for diagnostics. (At
press time, Canon had yet to report the resul

Designing and Checking DVD Navigation

There’s a lot that goes into the perfect DVD, but one of the most fundamental aspects is navigation, or how you control the way the viewer moves through the content on the DVD. In this tutorial, I identify which aspects of the user experience you can control, and how to do so in two leading…

Editing Without Stressing Your Back

On January 14, 2006, I had surgery for a herniated disc. It’s worked well so far, knock on wood. It’s the same surgery Joe Montana had, and he played six weeks later, so the outlook is good. I’m writing this column because better work habits might have prevented the whole problem, and because it might…

Fixing Your Audio

All of us have had audio rise up and bite us in the rear on a project or two, usually when we were focused elsewhere and not paying attention to levels, connections, and the like. Fortunately, with the right set of software tools and a bit of background information, you can eliminate many errors with…

HDV Showdown, GY-HD100U, HDR-FX1, XL H1, HVR-Z1U

It all starts with the camcorder. Not to state the obvious, but whether you’re shooting weddings, concerts, or interviews, or editing in Premiere Pro, Vegas, or Final Cut, each project begins with the shoot. This inescapable fact of videography life, plus a price tag that can approach five figures, makes camcorder selection a critical business…

Working with Multicam in Adobe Premiere Pro

I’ve produced a number of HDV-source projects in Premiere Pro, with generally good results. Recently, however, working with some multicamera projects, I started to notice some anomalies. When panning and zooming inside a clip in the multicam sequence, quality wasn’t what I expected. As you probably know, one of the benefits of shooting in HDV…