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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 November 18th, 2007, 05:44 AM   #1
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H1 vs. G1 vs. A1 for feature

Hi everyone.
I'm a old time XL-1s user looking to upgrade for a feature film early next year. Thinking HD with a redrock m2 in front of it. Which camera should I be going after? With the redrock I really don't need H1's lens changing ability (to tell you the truth I never used anything but the stock on my XL-1s) and I'm not going to try capturing uncompressed video from an HD-SDI output. So should I just save the money and pick up the A1? Since they are using the same chips would there be any difference?
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Old November 18th, 2007, 06:47 AM   #2
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sounds like you already answered your own question. But think of the future as well. Will you ever need to use SDI capture? I would say the A1 is superior to the H1 in usability for a few reasons (yes I use them both). The A1 is smaller, light, easier to carry and transport. It has Instant Push Auto Focus, an aperture ring which i find more convenient and easier to manage, a flip out LCD, and a closed battery compartment. All things the H1 doesn`t have. And for me those are things that for the price, make the A1 a much better deal than not having them and paying 3 times the price.
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Old November 18th, 2007, 09:11 AM   #3
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If interchangeable lenses and HD-SDI out is not important to you, then it's a no brainer to get the A1.

I would urge you, however, to do a lot of research on what adapter you buy. Setup times and edge to edge sharpness, etc. are important factors to consider.

Also, I have posted my reel in the samples section of this forum and it is a mixture of XLH1 and XHA1 shots and the footage from both cameras intercuts beautifully. The resolution is the same for both but the ability to tweak color, etc. on the XHA1 is far superior.
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Old November 18th, 2007, 09:45 AM   #4
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Go for the A1.
You clearly don't need the other ones, and the money you save can go to better things (adapter, mic's, tripod, production design,...)
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Old November 18th, 2007, 10:56 AM   #5
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Heh, if you were really adventurous, I'd say just get an HV20 and a Beachtek. I'm basing this on the photo on the Redrockmicro site showing the fully configured HV20 in their new shoulder rest setup they're working on. Looks really nice. =)

But the HV20 isn't in the running, so the only other choice among those that makes the most sense would be the A1, of course. However, I don't know if you've been keeping up with the developments of the Convergent Designs compact flash recorder or not. The compact flash recorder allows someone to record out of their camera's HD-SDI outputs for a completely tapeless workflow using four CF slots. Also, you can record to tape at the same time for backup purposes a'la the Firestore and the recorder is powered by the camera's battery. Initially it will cost about $5,000 but I would imagine prices would go down on it over time.

If the possibility of getting a device like that in the future is of any importance to you, then perhaps the G1 would be the better buy at least for now.
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Old November 18th, 2007, 02:12 PM   #6
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Over the H1, the A1 size (and the great autofocus) gives you some shooting options not available (at least easily) with the other cameras:

1: Inside small places. Very wide lens, inexpensive Canon wide-angle lens, and great Century fish-eye and .6x lightweight lens.

2. Great to use with the Steadicam Merlin (and vest). (Or get the Pilot).

3. Easy to attach to objects for moving shots.

And there is a lot more. With the money you save you can get the accessories you need. Of course, with the Redrock adapter, my points may be pointless, but you can still shoot shots w/o the adaipter.

The G1 and A1 are identical except for the Jackpack (SDI) so the answer is easy between these two.

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Then again, if you're doing the film next year and you can afford the H1 or G1, I would consider the new Sony EX. Higher quality with the 1/2" sensors, good work flow and features for a project using "takes," better depth of field control, better low-light performance, etc. Here is an interesting "First Look" piece on the B&H site:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/find/n...ny-PVW-EX1.jsp

You have the relatively small size and can use it with the redrock. Of course if you must use the Redrock and 1/3" sensors, the A1 would seem the logical choice.

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Old November 18th, 2007, 02:51 PM   #7
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The A1 size (and the great autofocus) gives you some shooting options not available (at least easily) with the other cameras:

1: Inside small places. Very wide lens, inexpensive Canon wide-angle lens, and great Century fish-eye and .6x lightweight lens.

2. Great to use with the Steadicam Merlin (and vest). (Or get the Pilot).

3. Easy to attach to objects for moving shots.

And there is a lot more. With the money you save you can get the accessories you need.

There is a lot already posted on all these features and many more.

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Then again, if you're doing the film next year and you can afford the H1, I would consider the new Sony EX. Higher quality with the 1/2" sensors, good work flow and features for a project using "takes," better depth of field control, better low-light performance, etc. Here is an interesting "First Look" piece on the B&H site:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/find/n...ny-PVW-EX1.jsp

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Old November 19th, 2007, 03:23 AM   #8
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Great help from some great guys...

Thanks so much guys. You're really giving me some things to think about. I've been happy with the camera I got working on Wedding and small creative things and feel like getting back up to date can be tough, so thanks again for all of your input.

I'm going to have to look wider and take a look at the HV20 that Jack talked about and the Sony EX sounds great too. Although I've always been a Canon guy.

With the Sony EX would I even need a M2 since the 1/2 chips would mean shorter focus?

What about the Frame modes? When shooting with the A1/H1 what modes do you really like. Mostly I don't play around with going to that film look in camera. Instead I'll run it through a program. Should I rethink that?
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Old November 19th, 2007, 01:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Doyle View Post
T
With the Sony EX would I even need a M2 since the 1/2 chips would mean shorter focus?
That's very possible. However, since only a few people have used the camera, it's hard to say. The article I linked above is the most information from a user point of view I have seen.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Doyle View Post
What about the Frame modes? When shooting with the A1/H1 what modes do you really like. Mostly I don't play around with going to that film look in camera. Instead I'll run it through a program. Should I rethink that?
The frame (progressive) modes are excellent, and if you are shooting a movie/narrative story, I think they (specifically 24) may be best. However, it's easy to test when you get the camera.

There is a lot written on this on the forum, with a lot of factual information as well as a lot of opinions.
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Old November 19th, 2007, 06:32 PM   #10
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The 1/2 chip on the Sony will give you ever so slightly a decrease in depth of field that you will not notice. Even a 2/3" chip, which has a shallower DOF still, does not allow for the filmic shallow DOF you can get with a 35mm adapter. So for that reason, I would not look at the Sony as an improvement. That said, there are probably other reasons....

As far as 24p(F) the Canon does a great job and you can save yourself a headache as well as probably an improvement in quality by letting your camera do the work. I only shoot 60i when the client requests, but otherwise I always (and prefer) to shoot in either of the F modes.
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