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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).


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Old August 11th, 2007, 01:30 AM   #16
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I shoot corporate (medical) and some religious, travel, all but travel is SD. Very nice cam, very reliable, well built, flexible to a fault. Does quite well with skin tones, too. I need another, will likely have to wait though.
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Old August 11th, 2007, 10:20 AM   #17
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My normal camera, ie., in paid work mode, is a DSR500. I bought the XH A1 for personal documentary work, both for my own documentary and shooting for another producer. In most cases the Canon is looking better than the DSR500, a 2/3" chip camera, so I find myself using it for more corporate things too. I'm shooting mostly 24f, editing in FCP, capturing 1080p24, editing in a 24p timeline. I get better QT exports that way, without the pesky interlace artifacts.
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Old August 13th, 2007, 06:45 AM   #18
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I still ponder the same thing from time to time, when I purchased it came down to the V1 or A1 and I actually preferred most things about the V1 over the A1, form factor, build quality, LCD, Sony standards etc etc. In the end though the reason I went for the A1 was that I kept find lovely progressive footage online from it, whereas I struggled to find anything from the V1 that was as pleasing, at least to my eyes.

I don't regret my decision although sometimes I do wish the camera was a bit smaller. With a mic holder in place and the wide adapter fitted the A1 is a beast to use handheld.

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Old August 13th, 2007, 07:56 AM   #19
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should keep in mind that the smaller/lighter the camera is the more shaky the footage will be.. or atleast the more difficult it will be to keep it steady.. the canon OIS is likely better as well.
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Old August 13th, 2007, 09:45 AM   #20
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Also, the V1's lens isn't wide enough for lots of things, and I think most people would want the wide angle adapter, which would make it more nose-heavy. So far I haven't run into a situation where I really needed a wider angle on the XH A1. I wouldn't want anything smaller than the XH A1. In fact, one of the things I liked about the Sony Z1 was that it's a little bit bigger.
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Old August 13th, 2007, 09:54 AM   #21
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The WA adaptor for the V1 doesn't really give much extra.

FEI I've put my full review of the V1 including the addendum that first appeared in Showreel Magazine (thanks to Steve for letting me reproduce the articles) up on my website http://www.simonwyndham.co.uk/sony-hvr-v1-review.html
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Old August 14th, 2007, 04:15 AM   #22
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If you look in Simons article and check out the bridge picture, you'll see a great image. I found the V1 shoots great images when there is little contrast in the shot, overcast day - perfect to shoot in. The V1 LCD is great and of particular note the peaking function was extremely easy to use.

SO adversely, when I had a lot of color between mids and blacks I had trouble with the V1, I would find blocks in amongst certain part of the picture. That was the deal breaker for me.

In contrast to some others I didnt like the V1 being as small as it was. I'm not a fan of true hand held and like something on my shoulder. So throwing a larger camera on a shoulder mount is more comfortable for me.

I shoot on a few cameras, up until a few months ago the xdcam, now Ive moved over to the HPX for 2/3" camera needs. Used to be a regular on the HVX mainly due to clients wanting DVCpro 4:2:2 originated footage, with the HPX on the scene though Ive used it once in two months.

What I have used the A1 for, anything you can think of virtually. Live music shows, corporate, music video, narrative, documentary. Anything I can get away with really in a sense of non specific client requirements as far as codec. I love the images from the A1 and I guess that's what your clients want so for that I can deal with it's few shortcomings.

I do shoot one wedding a month and always use the A1. Why only one? Well here in Tokyo they pay exceptionally well, thus the incentive to do so. But the truth is I'd rather leave it to the truly professional wedding videographers.
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Old August 14th, 2007, 10:22 AM   #23
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I've been using my XH-A1 since January. I mostly shoot steam trains, which involves rather a lot of walking to locations. Always outdoors, always using available light and always using a tripod, because I cannot hold any camera still enough. ;-) Also, I always shoot HDV, even though I can't edit it at the moment, so that I have the best quality archive for future use.

I had to decide between the Sony FX7 or V1E and the Canon XH-A1. The only testing I was able to do was between the V1E and XH-A1 indoors at a dealer's showroom. In low light, on a componant HDV monitor, it was very hard to tell the two cameras' images apart. The Sony is smaller and lighter, which would be a plus when hiking, and had a larger (though not necessarily clearer) screen. On the other hand I found the Sony controls, particularly their menu, more confusing than the Canon.

The Canon was cheaper than the V1E, more expensive than the FX7, and offered the choice of balanced/XLR or unbalanced/mini-jack microphone inputs. Sony make you choose one or the other - it's the most obvious difference between the "pro" and "consumer" versions. At the time, I only had unbalanced mics so buying the Canon allowed me to take my time to try out a few balanced mics.

I was swayed a little by the theory of 1/3" chips (Canon) being better than 1/4" (Sony), even though the Sony CMOS chips have other advantages claimed and I'd never been conscious of my old XM1's 1/4" chips being inferior to friends' VX2100s with 1/3" chips. I like lots of depth-of-field...

If I'm honest, the deciding factor was that the XH-A1 was in stock and known to work well, whereas the only V1E in the shop was the demonstrator and the PAL models were being recalled because of problems with progressive-mode recording. Since I shoot moving objects and use a lot of pans or zooms, I stick to 50i, so the various debates over 25F/25P weren't that important to me. On the other hand, if 25P wasn't working properly, what else might be wrong with the PAL machines...?

Disappointing aspects of the Canon: SD output, even over firewire, is a little fuzzier than a DV camera, and over the composite cable is really not much good - shame the down-convert chip isn't better and an S-video option would be nice. I'm told that the Sony is no better in this respect. Also, I'd like it tell me the apperture/shutter settings it's using when I'm in auto mode (though you can get the reading by pressing the exposure-lock button).

The wide end of the lens is plenty wide enough, and there will always be days when I want more reach at the long end, no matter which camera I choose.

When I'm carrying it, I wish it were lighter, but once it's up on the tripod, it's actually easier to use than my old XM1.

I hope these slightly random thoughts are helpful...
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Old August 14th, 2007, 03:00 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Pryor View Post
I'm shooting mostly 24f, editing in FCP, capturing 1080p24, editing in a 24p timeline. I get better QT exports that way, without the pesky interlace artifacts.
This is the main reason I went for the A1 over the Sony, not that I don't like Sony, my VX2000 was brilliant.
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