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Details about  2008 Learn The Canon XH-A1 XHA1 training video on DVD

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2008 Learn The Canon XH-A1 XHA1 training video on DVD
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Feb 04, 2012
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Missoula, Montana, United States

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D F Curran Productions



Learn the Canon XH A1



Here is what some of our customers said!

5 ( out of 5) I purchased other DVDs to help me learn how best to use my Canon XH-A1. This is by far the best and the only one that I would recommend.

Mark M.

Dave, I purchased your "Learn The XHA1" dvd and highly recommend it as far superior to several other competing XH-A1 dvd - including the Vasst.

Best regards,
Elliott T


This 2008 video greatly improves on the current VASST video (created in 2007), which was a vast improvement on the current Elite video (created in 2006.)

This video explores aspects of using the XH-A1 in depth. And because the instruction is programmed it constantly builds your knowledge to help you not only understand but remember the myriad of taping and still photo possiblities this camera has to offer. Let's face it, the XHA1 has so many possible setting combinations that it is daunting.

This video is so good, that if you have to shoot a wedding or movie in few days, watching this will make you feel comfortable about your ability to use the camera. Neither of the other two videos can say that.


101 minutes (1 hour and 41 minutes) 42 Chapters.
A * below indicates a chapter heading

This DVD covers:

1 2 3 4

*Accessories--cases, inexpensive lenses to protect your expensive camera lens, and more.
*Getting Started Taping--basics of operation
*Batteries--this is the only video covering battery handling.

a b c d

*Tapes - this is the only video that shows tape preparation.... Along with tapes DROP FRAMES are defined and you'll learn the right way to determine if you should set your XHA1 to DROP, or NON-DROP, something the other videos don't do.
*Emergency Reset - how to reset the camera. This is the only video that covers the CORRECT and SAFE use of the under- LCD-display-recessed reset button.
*Date & Time--how to set up your date and time.

5 6 7 8

*VCR Controls--you'll start using these right away as we finish up tape preparation.
*Camera Settings--how to set up your camera so that you can follow along in the programmed instruction.
*XLR Input - this is the only video to show how to set up XLR connections.
You'll see how to set your camera to 24f if you plan on transferring to film.

1 2 3 4

*ND Filters --discussed with filming examples.
*Standby/lock -how to control taping.
*Auto & Green box --the auto modes compared.
*Tv, Av, and Manual--demonstrated visually.
*Spotlight & Night Modes--the benefits and weaknesses of these modes. This is the only video that discusses these.

1 2 3 4

*Manual & Auto Focus--what they are and how to use them.
*Position Preset--how to set up and use focus and zoom presets.
*Peaking & MAGN & Display - these focusing tools with black & white options are discussed and demonstrated and the display options discussed.
*SD Card Save Experiment - in this inventive first demonstration of how to save to card, you'll learn about direct to computer output.*White Balance-in more detail than you'll find anywhere else. You'll see how to use White Balance and colored gels to get an outdoor/indoor shot.
*Exposure Lock--learn how this tool can help get the perfect mix of light.

2 3 4 1

*Manual Gain Controls--see how gain can be used and how to set values for the manual settings.
*Sound Recording Controls-- how to use the MIC attenuators for problem sounds like gunshots and more.

*End Search &Review--how to preview what you just shot without loosing your place at your last recorded frame.

*Zoom Controls--both the variable and constant speed zooms are demonstrated.

*Still Camera Features--everything you need to know about the fantastic still camera built into the XHA1. Includes everything you need to know about SD card handling.
*Cables--discusses the cables that come with the camera.

a b c d

*Recording & Display Setup --learn about the rest of the recording and menu display items.
And learn about UB tape naming techniques.
*Custom Keys-see how to set up custom keys.

a b c d

*Zebra Pattern-this is the only video that demonstrates how to use the zebra pattern for correct lighting.
*Advanced Time Code-shows how to use REC-RUN PS, why it is better than the UB method of naming tapes, and an in-depth demonstration of what FREE-RUN can do.*Camera Setup Redu--finishes up by demonstrating important camera setup items.

1 2 3 4

*Skin Detail-this is the only video that shows what you can do to teach yourself how to use the skin detail feature on this camera.
*Color Correction --you'll love this in-depth demonstration of color correction. Here it is used to create a black & white world where ducks have pink bills.
*Clear Scan - learn how to tape your television or computer screen.

1 4 2 3

*Custom Display & Custom Functions -- learn how to save the custom display settings discussed earlier in the video and more on what you can do with custom functions. (Also discussed, as needed, earlier in the video.)
*Custom Presets -Finally, you'll learn how to save, name, change, and find these wonderful settings that can give your video a film look, or any other look you want.

3 2 1 And Much Much More!



Who is Dave Curran? For one thing he is the author of the bestselling Amazon short: How to Make a Low-Budget Digital Movie based on his experiences making the low budget feature film, KNAPTID: Four Days after the First Abduction. Although not everyone wants to make a movie this Amazon short has mostly remained in the top 100 out of 3,500 Amazon shorts since it's publication and even reached #3.

Curran's short, THE MAILBOX, was the most watched video on THE LOT filmmaking competition website for the entire length of that FOX television show.

Curran, who was invited to join MENSA based on his Graduate Record Exam scores, has been a longtime innovator as a teacher. For example, when (as a substitute) he taught an Advanced Algebra class for three months at one high school, every student in all his sections (about 120 students) but two got A's. (The other 2 got B's.) When the regular teacher got back, one student said to her, but we like the way Mr. Curran teaches.

Curran, who has a masters in interpersonal communication as well as creative writing, believes teachers should approach teaching from the point of view of someone who has no knowledge the subject to start out with. That is, introduce a subject step-by-step remembering your own learning experience and how you made discoveries. He believes it is the teacher's responsiblity to make the subject understandable enough for everyone to understand it, and believes that if the teacher is good enough, everyone will. (As opposed to far to many teachers who think: This is the material, I understand it, the smart ones will get it and the others not as much.)

Says Dave Curran

I created this video because frankly I needed to learn how to use my XHA1. And I found the available instructional video's lacking.

I purchased both competing videos. I watched Vasst's INSIDE THE XHA1 XHG1 and learned a few things. But INSIDE THE XHA1 XHG1 is a talking head video, and although a vast improvement on Elite Video's "Canon XHA1 Made Easy," I felt the same way as other reviewers. When the subject matter got more complicated Douglas Spotted Eagle used more jargon. And when I got done watching his discussion of skin detail, for example, I wasn't sure I had learned anything. (Spotted Eagle has many DVDs out and is so knowledgeable about so much, perhaps if you bought all his videos you'd know what all his buzz words mean.) I just had this feeling after watching INSIDE THE XHA1 that there was some body of knowledge out there that I wasn't privy to.

As I said, the Spotted Eagle DVD is much better than XHA1 Made Easy. The Elite crew, obviously never called or emailed Canon Tech Support. They tried to figure out stuff on their own, and consequently got things wrong. For example, their description of how to use the recessed-reset button under the LCD screen, isn't even close to how Canon says it is to be used, and could possibly damage the button. Basically, the "Canon XHA1 Made Easy" is a quick button list with a few highlights made by some guys who quickly moved along to other camcorder videos. (In fact, they have a not too bad example of how they set up to tape their video as an extra feature. The only thing is the camera they show set up for taping that extra feature doesn't look like a Canon. )

But the major concern for me was to organize the material in a way that I could remember what everything is for, not only the buttons, but the menus and features. So instead of listing buttons, I start out with the basics, including those not even covered in the other videos, like preparing tapes and the battery(ies) (because this may be your first camcorder). And then get to actually taping right away, showing what things are for as we use them, giving examples along the way. And by the way, only my hands are in this video. All you can learn from a talking head is perhaps the head's mood. Every frame of this video is camera examples, graphics or both. Thus, there is a lot more packed into this 101 minutes than in either of the other videos.

This is, in fact, programmed instruction. I show how to set the camcorder to the factory settings ( there are setting that can conflict with one another) so we start out on the same page, not only with the internal workings of the camcorder, but also all the external switches. Then we get to actually taping, covering everything step-by-step, learning as we go.

By the time we get to the complex stuff, like skin detail and color correction, which are presented in a way that you'll understand, you'll feel like you know you camcorder. And just so you know, this is the camcorder/digital-still camera I use. This is not just a video about a camcorder I've looked at, and will not use again after this video comes out. This is the camcorder that is the most important to me in my own video projects, the one I needed to learn well, and the one I'm best able to teach you about.

In fact, if you had a wedding to do, and had three camcorders, say two XHA1s and one XL1. and I asked, 'how would you set up for the ceremony,' you would be able to answer after watching this video.

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