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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 October 22nd, 2007, 05:14 AM   #1
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question before i buy

hi all, a very simple question before i go on an buy the camera.
how reliable, trustworthy, resistant, whatever the XH A1 is?
i came to hate my XM2 with it's head and zoom rocker problems while i never experienced any problem with a DVX100 or a Z1.
how do you feel with the canon, would you bring it with you to the wild, in another continent, would you ever mistreat/abuse it the same way you would with a sony or a panny?
thanks

pietro
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Old October 22nd, 2007, 06:39 AM   #2
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get a zoom rocker like the Libec ZC3 or manfrotto 521 to solve that problem. All camera zoom rocker are never as good as external ones. because as you zoom you tend to move the camera too. with an external zoom control and a tripod. it works so much better.

Any way the XHA1 is a good camera, the best part that I like about this camera is the ability to customized the controls and the fine tuning of the image that you want to get.
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Old October 22nd, 2007, 09:23 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pietro Jona View Post
hi all, a very simple question before i go on an buy the camera.
how reliable, trustworthy, resistant, whatever the XH A1 is?
i came to hate my XM2 with it's head and zoom rocker problems while i never experienced any problem with a DVX100 or a Z1.
how do you feel with the canon, would you bring it with you to the wild, in another continent, would you ever mistreat/abuse it the same way you would with a sony or a panny?
thanks

pietro

I am producing a television series for the Sportsmen's Channel that is being shot with two A1's and an HV20. They are constantly bounced around in boats, up in trees, in ground blinds and pretty much outside every day since they were purchased 8 months ago. None of the three has ever failed to operate as required. That said, I never abuse or mistreat them and if I notice any of my hires not treating them like the precision instruments they are, I bring it up pronto. I guess when you are the person who actually pay's for all the equipment and the success of the series hinges on everything working, the words "abuse or mistreat" makes me shudder! (I see you are from Italy so it may be translation difference) When not in use they reside in their hard cases and I'm a stickler for acclimating them to varying conditions. (Such as taking them from a warm vehicle to outside where moisture can instantly develop) I have never owned a Sony or a Panny so I cannot make a direct comparison, but I can attest to the fact that the Canon's take amazing footage and will give you hundreds of hours of service when properly cared for. Good Luck!
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Old October 22nd, 2007, 10:37 AM   #4
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david: no doubts about the picture quality and so on but honestly i would never accept as normal behaviour a zoom controller in a multik$ camera not working..

and david: thanks for your info about your two XH A1s. i never deliberately abuse or mistreat my gear but in the last half a year i spent 4 months in sudan and 2 in afghanistan. the Z1s we used went through long dusty 48c shooting days, dirt, long trips in bad roads and so on, this is what i call mistreating.. i might have said professional use, anyway that i what i meant!
thanks

pietro
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Old October 22nd, 2007, 11:56 AM   #5
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Hi Pietro,

the A1 is a wonderful camera, best bang for the buck: I bought it a couple of months ago to shoot reports and docs in the US for Swiss TV (I'm currently on a shoot in Iowa) - but no, it's probably not the most resistant camera on the market. It's mainly plastic, and it doesn't look and feel particularly sturdy
(first thing you probably want to do: unscrew & remove the mic holder). But so far, absolutely no problems with the rocker.
You mentioned Afghanistan or Sudan: well, I'm not sure the A1 is the best camera for those locations, when it comes to sturdiness; on the other hand, it's extremely lightweight (to carry around on long treks) and relatively cheap (to replace, in case it gets destroyed or stolen or whatever).
My two cents? Go for it, and get yourself a good case (& maybe a camera body armor: http://portabrace.com/productB-CBA-XHAG1)
Good luck

Vasco
(BTW: my mother tongue is Italian; if you need more info, let me know)
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Old October 22nd, 2007, 01:01 PM   #6
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A friend of mine who teaches film bought 2 XH A1s for the school recently. If they hold up to student abuse, they'll hold up to anything. However, a professional video camera is an expensive and delicate piece of equipment, regardless of what brand. If you don't take care of it, you'll have problems.
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Old October 23rd, 2007, 03:38 AM   #7
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However, a professional video camera is an expensive and delicate piece of equipment, regardless of what brand. If you don't take care of it, you'll have problems.[/QUOTE]

that's a fact, and as i said i take care of my gear!
one last question: did any of you ever worked with the camera at freezing temperatures?

vasco, thanks a lot. i might write you in italian if i decide to go on and buy the canon.

pietro
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Old October 23rd, 2007, 07:50 AM   #8
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Pietro,

Late last winter I used the cameras in freezing weather and they worked great. The cameras and tapes were kept outside locked in a vehicle so they were always at the ambient outside temperature. The batteries were kept warm and there seemed to be a slight loss of battery duration due to the cold. I use Panasonic "dry" lubricant MQ tapes and they worked flawlwssly. One camera was brought inside by mistake and was unusable for hours getting it dried out and reacclimated to the cold. Another point is that if you are traveling around in a vehicle keep the inside temperature as close to the outside temperature that you can stand and keep the windows open to let out as much moisture generated from the people inside and travel with the camera in a case. Good luck and stay warm!
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