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All about using the Canon 1D X, 6D, 5D Mk. IV / Mk. III / Mk. II D-SLR for 4K and HD video recording.


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Old May 31st, 2009, 07:55 AM   #1
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Going from xh-a1 to 5dmk2

now the firmware updates have been announced i think im going to be moving over to a 5d
what will be the draw backs?

what lenses will give me the same range as the xh-a1 ( maybe slightly wider and longer)

is anyone else thinking of the same move? if so what do you think the benefits / drawbacks will be
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Old May 31st, 2009, 10:29 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Kev O'Brien View Post
now the firmware updates have been announced i think im going to be moving over to a 5d
what will be the draw backs?
Shallow DOF is great, but it's also a challenge.

Stabilization is critical. Figure out if you want a great tripod, shoulder rig, slider, dolly, jib, steadycam...

Audio still isn't ready for prime time. We have yet to see if Magic Lantern firmware will be able to reduce the gain - and the hiss.

If you want native 24p, you're out of luck - for now. I'm optimistic that it will come this year, but there are no guarantees.

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what lenses will give me the same range as the xh-a1 ( maybe slightly wider and longer)
Zooms or primes?

In any case, I like having 24 or 28mm to 200mm as a base, giving an 8x range. The 16-35 zoom is probably the best ultra-wide. For anything beyond 200mm with a fast aperture, it's probably best to rent ($50 - $80 per day here), unless you regularly shoot wildlife.

Fast lenses are critical for video. Having f/2.8 zooms is fine, but it's nice to have some f/1.8 and faster primes as well, if you do low light shooting.
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Old May 31st, 2009, 06:48 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Kev O'Brien View Post
is anyone else thinking of the same move? if so what do you think the benefits / drawbacks will be
You'll lose built in NDs, audio control and pro inputs, long record times, flexible lcd, decent autofocus, and most importantly for you in the UK, 25p recording.

You'll also notice moire effect, aggressive noise reduction and the dreaded jello effect.

You'll gain wonderful DOF control, low light performance, and get addicted to lens accumulation.

I've moved from the XHA1 to the 5D myself. My recommendation: for personal projects where no one is paying for your time (and you can painstakingly transfer everything to 25p), the 5D is sweet. If you are in business, shooting interviews and the like, the XHA1 is a more robust option.

I integrate 5D shots into my work, and for particular projects (I'm doing a 90 second web only chroma-key promo this week with the 5D) use it exclusively, but it can't cover every job in the way the XHA1 can.

In sum, are you in business? That will answer your quesiton.
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Old May 31st, 2009, 06:54 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Kev O'Brien View Post
what lenses will give me the same range as the xh-a1 ( maybe slightly wider and longer)
I should add, there's one other thing you'll gain, an amazing still camera.

As for the lenses, there are a million discussions on this, here and all over the web. You'll need to do a little research - there is an abundance of information available.

As Jon said, you'll want some fast primes in your collection. Even after the firmware update, it pays to have a Nikkor-EOS adaptor so you can make use of two or three sharp, fast, dirt cheap Nikon manual lenses of the 70s-90s for low light situations.

Last edited by Josh Dahlberg; May 31st, 2009 at 07:57 PM.
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Old May 31st, 2009, 07:40 PM   #5
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You covered that very well, Josh.
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Old June 1st, 2009, 06:30 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Kev O'Brien View Post
now the firmware updates have been announced i think im going to be moving over to a 5d
what will be the draw backs?

what lenses will give me the same range as the xh-a1 ( maybe slightly wider and longer)

is anyone else thinking of the same move? if so what do you think the benefits / drawbacks will be
The biggest drawback is that the 5DII is not designed as a video camera & ergonomically is less than ideal (to put it mildly) which is why you will see so much discussion on mounts, follow focus, ND filters etc

No single lens will give you the same range as the XH-A. There is no lens even close to the 20x range of the XH-A1. The kit lens is a 24-105mm i.e. 4X. You also have no motor zoom, auto-focus or built-in ND filters.

The other big drawback is if you keep your XH-A1 & try to mix footage from the 5DII & XH-A1 together as the latter will look like crap compared to the 5DII. Not that it is crap but the look with HDV is so different to the hyper-sharp, shiny look of the 5DII that it is all but impossible to combine footage & certainly not in the same scene.

Last edited by Nigel Barker; June 1st, 2009 at 11:24 AM.
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Old June 1st, 2009, 10:53 AM   #7
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If you can purchase the 5dMkII without having to sell the XH-A1 that would be ideal. Since purchasing the 5d I've still used the XH-A1. Once I told the client that the 5dII had a way better image but he needed the "Show" for his clients so he wanted the XH-A1 based ONLY on the fact that it looked like a video camera.

Of course, I'll use the 5dII on my personal projects.
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Old June 1st, 2009, 11:56 AM   #8
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...Once I told the client that the 5dII had a way better image but he needed the "Show" for his clients so he wanted the XH-A1 based ONLY on the fact that it looked like a video camera...
Of course, if you had rails, follow focus, a big matte box, large monitor and steadycam, he wouldn't even notice that you had a still cam in the middle of all that gear. ;)
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Old June 1st, 2009, 01:22 PM   #9
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This is a fascinating thread for me, since Iím also contemplating swapping these cameras.

This clip blew me away.

Vincent Laforet : photos : Reverie- powered by SmugMug

Ideally, Iíd hang on to the XHA1, but Iím coming to the conclusion that if I rent a big ďprofessionalĒ looking shoulder camera, I get taken more seriously and can charge the extra cash to pay for it. I think Jon Fairhurst backs up this point in his previous post.
Consequently, the XHA1 is not out of its case as much as it should be, so unless I get an unexpected windfall, it has to go.
The other factor of course, is that sooner or later Canon are likely to bring out a superb solid-state competitor to Sony, Panasonic and JVC, which will hit the used value of the XHA1 and XLH1 hard.
In the meantime it seems this is an amazing camera for more personal projects, that donít necessarily involve Pans and tilts etc, as from what i've seen, this camera falls to bits if you move it.

Unfortunately, with the lens's thrown in it starts to look like the price of an EX1.

Hmm...
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Old June 1st, 2009, 03:57 PM   #10
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Unfortunately, with the lens's thrown in it starts to look like the price of an EX1.
My approach has been to buy mid-level primes (28 f/1.8, 50 f/1.4, 85 f/1.8) with the intent to rent longer/wider/faster/closer/tilt-shiftier lenses, depending on need. Buy the meat and potatoes. Rent the luxury items. Fast primes and wide zooms cost about $30 a day/weekend here. Big white telephotos can run $50 to $80. It's cost effective, when you consider that you can get most any lens you want, rather than than buying only one or two.
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Old June 1st, 2009, 04:28 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Kev O'Brien View Post
now the firmware updates have been announced i think im going to be moving over to a 5d
what will be the draw backs?

what lenses will give me the same range as the xh-a1 ( maybe slightly wider and longer)

is anyone else thinking of the same move? if so what do you think the benefits / drawbacks will be
Kevin,

I'm thinking about adding the 5DMKII as well and I have the 5D(as well as a 1DMKIIn and 40D still cameras) However, I won't sell my XH A1...not yet; not until Canon merges still and video...professionally.

As many folks have mentioned....they are still two different beasts.

Video is a combination of sight and sound. Apparently the 5DMKII really has the sight thing down...not the sound; so I'll keep my A1.

I do a lot of wildlife photography where visual is more important than sound and therefore the 5DMKII just might work and I would like the video capability here since sound is not as easy to do with wildlife.

By the way. There isn't a zoom out there for the 5DMKII that does what the A1/A1s does for reach.

Check out the cost of a 600mm+ Canon.

The day is coming when an all in one camera is available. Just not yet.

Rog Lee
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