Tag Archives: Canon XH-A1

first real 550D shooting

21 Mar

Well i “just” got back from a one week shooting for a new corporate film project. My new “toy” just came in the right (last) minute to test this thing in a real shooting / work scenario.

We went to all different kind of locations and situations: daylight, lowlight, indoor, outdoor … you name it … only thing we didn’t shoot this time was any kind of interview or something …

Just big or small machines and people around them, landscapes, buildings … stuff like that.

Fist of all i have to admit i did not have any kind of DSLR rig, so that was a “big” problem in some situations … but a sachtler Video 20, a Manfrotto monopod and even a “magic arm” did it in the meantime … but “handheld-kinda”stuff was almost impossible to shoot without getting a rather shaky picture …

Anyway… the 550D was not our main cam, we used the XH-A1 most of the time.

550D just became our “atmospheric” DOF-film-like tool … for our beauty-shots, so to say.

I used the canon 50mm 1.8 most of the time, cuz all the photo zoom lenses had quit a problem with the “adjustable” aperture turing “zooming”. i did get some kind of short flicker. i don’t know if that kind of problem comes with all HD-DSLR’s or just with the 550D ?!.

right now i’m rushing through all the footage we shot on XH-A1 and 550D … after that i can say more about the usefulness for this project …

I will post some “examples” soon … even if i know i wont get full permission to post all the footage we shot.

here is our “gear-list” and some BTS snap-shots … to be continued

One word about the SD cards and Batteries …

Well, Batteries are empty quite fast … two of them are a must have … better of with 3 … if you can charge them at  / over night (if not, better get more) … charging take a few hours but that is ok.

About the SD cards: You cant’ have enough of them. If you are shooting a lot for B-Cam  2 or 3x 16 GB is ok … even class 4 is working good in normal situations… can’t say anything about 32GB SDHC-Cards … didn’t get one yet …

About my Data-Backup routine: Every night i took my SD-Cards and transferred the data to my external 250GB Hard-drive (on a MacBook) i made new folders for every day (named with the date) even sub folders called card one, two and so on  … i did a quick check on the footage, compared number of files in the  folder and folder-sizes and formated the SD-Card within the Cam. Thats it pretty much.


Right now i’m in post (FCP) with this … first things first … i transcoded all footage with MPEG Streamclip to 1920×1080 ProResLT (HDV and h.264 footage).  Everything will end up in a HDTV1080i timeline … (yes interlaced – better for slowmo and stuff) … i will generate a “progressive” version in the end so the 550D footage will not “generate” any trouble (i hope) … right now i just can say: 550D footage looks really awesome … i will have to face some “smoothcam” work and even some “overexposed” trouble … but my goal is to make a beautiful film (literally) so a blown out sallow depth of field will help with that anyway

… stay tuned for more background info during my render times 😉 …



Canon XH-A1 (2x battery)

550D (2x battery, 2x 16 GB SDHC class 6 and 4, 1x 8GB SDHC, 1 ND 4 filter,

lenses: Canon 50mm 1.8, Canon EF-S 18-55mm 3.5 – 5.6 (kit lens), canon zoom EF 28-90mm 4-5.6

Sachtler Video 20 tripod

manfrotto Monopod

steady bag

6m jib (astro crane)

Zoom H4

Rode NTG1 & NTG3 (boom & stuff)

2x Arri 1.2 k HMI

3x 650W tungsten Kobold set

and more suff (Manfrotto 035 Super-Clamp & Magic Arm … things like that)

MacBook Intel Dual 1,83 GHz

ScanDisk ImageMate Multi-Card USB – SD-Card reader

XH-A1, 550D and some “lousy” coffee it the field

550D on a Manfrotto Magic Arm fixed with a Manfrotto 035 Super-Clamp on a simple microphone tripod