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Canon VIXIA Series AVCHD and HDV Camcorders
For VIXIA / LEGRIA Series (HF G, HF S, HF and HV) consumer camcorders.


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Old November 12th, 2009, 04:42 PM   #16
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Robert,

BH surprised me and delivered the GH1 today. I have a ton of post work for clients, but blew it off and fooled around with the camera all morning. Initial impressions:

1. Build quality is ok, but not great. I read a review where the clip for the neckstrap broke off and I can see how that could happen. I would expect that the HF-S100 will be much more durable for travel due to the shape (a Coke can vs a pint size SLR) and general sturdiness.
2. It is really small and light, it feels only slightly heavier than the HF-S100 to me.
3. The picture quality and video quality are both quite good, but neither blew me away. Having both combined with the form factor will be hard to beat for travel.
4. Sound quality seems similar to the HF-S100.
5. Haven't had a chance to test low-light, but how can it be worse than the Canon?
6. The 720 smooth mode is the way to go based on this morning.

I'll probably take this instead of my HF-S100/S90 combo for my next trip and see what happens...
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Old November 16th, 2009, 12:01 PM   #17
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I ended up returning the camera after more testing. As I film travel videos I get a lot of trees in my video, which do end up really muddy.
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Old November 17th, 2009, 08:04 PM   #18
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Hi Dan, thanks for posting . I have been without internet for a week and just read your comments about the GH1. Besides mudding what other reasons for returning it and does that mean that your travel cam will be the HFS100?
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Old November 17th, 2009, 10:52 PM   #19
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I tried some different resolutions but settled on 720/60p.

Based on my experience the GH1 takes incredible video of buildings, people, my dog, etc. but really fell apart whenever there was trees, bushes or anything with subtle differences in color requiring a lot of detail. It was reasonable panning, but I wasn't happy when a car drove by as it didn't seem to handle the motion well.

I really, really liked the ability to toggle between manual photo mode, and full auto video mode with a press of a button. Manual video mode was just one step away from manual photo mode, so that was great too. Size and weight were terrific of course, the battery life was fine as well.

I thought it took outstanding photos for what I needed and actually preferred the color from the jpg images to the raw images. I read about some barrel distortion issues with raw, but didn't see any.

What I liked the best out of the whole thing was the evf, which is awesome. With the evf and the stabilization I wouldn't have needed to use a monopod, which I have to with the HF-S100.

The mud issue I may have lived with, but I really had concerns with the build quality. I travel to at least one location a month to film and I just wasn't sure if it could have held up for long. If you google around you will find that a number of people have had the rivet holding the neck strap break off and based on my camera I can say that I am sure that I would have broken mine off.

I ended up getting a Sony XR-520V. In many ways it isn't as good as the Canon, but I tested the active stabilization and it is fantastic. Being able to travel without a monopod or tripod would is really going to make my day. I like to travel light and be as unintrusive as possible. I also preferred the stills that the Sony takes to the Canon.
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Old November 17th, 2009, 11:30 PM   #20
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Great analysis Dan, I feel we have the same kind of concerns. I will certainly look at the Sony, wich was not on my list.
I will come back from my assisgment in India at the end of December and I will have a lot of post to do so I probably will not be on the road before May.
I plan to sell my 2 HDV kits (XHA1 and HV30) when I am back but I may wait a bit to see what Canon, Sony and Pana will announce.
My ideal travel cam would be an Hybrid, with very good stabilization. A zoom with a 28mn and of course tapeless. Low light is great but in very low light situation (caves, temples and museum) the LX3 allow me to shoot some nice stuff, otherwise I use my vidled.
Robustess and reliability are really my main concern, and my biggest fear with the GH1. Let us keep the conversation alive.
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