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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 April 20th, 2008, 03:12 PM   #1
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Xh a1 or XL H1A?

I'm planning to buy a camcorder this summer and I know the XL H1A is coming out soon so I was wondering if it will be far superior than the XH A1?
any recommendations?
I will mainly be shooting music videos and short films for film school.
thanks alot,

david
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Old April 20th, 2008, 03:28 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Choi View Post
I'm planning to buy a camcorder this summer and I know the XL H1A is coming out soon so I was wondering if it will be far superior than the XH A1?
any recommendations?
I will mainly be shooting music videos and short films for film school.
thanks alot,

david
Well from what I have read there are a few improvements to the camera. Audio wise they have added a limiter to both channels. You can use the onboard mic as well as an XLR input at the same time. They have also improved the lens to where it can zoom and focus at the same time. The other "big change" is the body style. Do you want the shoulder mount or will the smaller body fit fine? The other question is the added cost and the ability to use an A1 now. In terms of visual quality they will be virtually the same as they still use the exact same imaging block and I have not heard of any visual improvement to the lens.
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Old April 20th, 2008, 03:34 PM   #3
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There is no difference in image quality.

There are differences in the way that audio control is managed, and there are certain advantages to the lens design in the XL H1A over the XH A1. The improvements in the XL H1A make it a better camera in certain respects, but the fundamental concept to grasp is that they both contain the same image sensor block, image processor, and optical quality. The post above from Josh is dead on.
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Old April 20th, 2008, 06:00 PM   #4
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That is really the 2-3 thousand $ question.

The XL is a different form factor with more weight and a few easier to access controls (direct buttons vs multi step menus).

From the footage I have seen, I detect some difference in optical quality. The two cameras do not share the same identical lens.

There are times I really like the smaller Xh but when it comes to ease of use and the ultimate in HDV quality, the XL is tough to beat.
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Old April 21st, 2008, 06:44 AM   #5
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Manual focus+electronic zoom

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Originally Posted by Josh Chesarek View Post
They have also improved the lens to where it can zoom and focus at the same time.
Sorry for my ignorance, but what means this? If I'm doing a zoom I can't adjust focus?
When happens this: manual focus+manual zoom ring or/and manual focus+electronic (buttons) zoom?

Thanks.
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Old April 21st, 2008, 07:20 AM   #6
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The cannon lens for the XHA1 is servo controlled. In the XHA1 lens the servo is shared between the zoom and focus feature. So it can only adjust one at a time. Most of the time this issue does not impact people for day to day shooting but if you are trying to zoom and focus at the same time it wont. The new one can do both at the same time. I usually zoom in and set critical focus and zoom out and I am good.
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Old April 21st, 2008, 07:45 AM   #7
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In the XHA1 lens the servo is shared between the zoom and focus feature.
Only if Canon significantly dumbed down the lens from the GL series, which has separate servo motors for focus and for zoom. The issue goes more to the complexity of sensing, tracking, and controlling both zoom and focus at the same time. That requires significantly more computing power.
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Old April 21st, 2008, 09:12 AM   #8
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If the lens on the new upgrades is the same as the XL H1, then the lens on the XH A1/G1 is significantly wider, which to me makes the camera more desirable. For the types of shooting I do, I'd have to buy the wide angle lens too if I used an XL camera.
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Old April 21st, 2008, 09:48 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Don Palomaki View Post
Only if Canon significantly dumbed down the lens from the GL series, which has separate servo motors for focus and for zoom. The issue goes more to the complexity of sensing, tracking, and controlling both zoom and focus at the same time. That requires significantly more computing power.
If that is the case I stand corrected, but in the end, you can still only do one or the other on the A1. Thanks for the info.
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Old April 21st, 2008, 09:52 AM   #10
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Bill is right: the built-in lens on the XH series has a wider field of view than the stock lens included with the XL series.

Don is right: the lenses have always had separate motors for focus and zoom, but only the new stock 20x lens for the XL H1S / H1A is able to pull focus and zoom at the same time. The XH lens cannot do this.
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Old April 21st, 2008, 09:57 AM   #11
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The XH is wider than the XL. Both are 20X so you will lose some telephoto reach on the XH but gain on wide angle shots. I have noticed more chromatic aberrations (purple fringing) on the XH when opened to full wide. While the two cameras share the same imaging system, the optical end is different. Your application and budget would dictate which will fit your requirements best.
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Old April 21st, 2008, 11:02 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Josh Chesarek View Post
The cannon lens for the XHA1 is servo controlled. In the XHA1 lens the servo is shared between the zoom and focus feature. So it can only adjust one at a time. Most of the time this issue does not impact people for day to day shooting but if you are trying to zoom and focus at the same time it wont. The new one can do both at the same time. I usually zoom in and set critical focus and zoom out and I am good.

I hit this whenever I am trying to dolly in or out while zooming to keep the framing the same. Thats a problem :/
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Old April 21st, 2008, 11:49 AM   #13
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I hit this whenever I am trying to dolly in or out while zooming to keep the framing the same. Thats a problem :/
Ah, they used that in jaws right? Flew in to the girl in the water while zooming out.
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Last edited by Josh Chesarek; April 21st, 2008 at 12:00 PM. Reason: misunderstood
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Old April 21st, 2008, 11:58 AM   #14
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I love that shot, so hard to get it right though isn't it.
I had been meaning to try it with my new merlin and the remote control for my XHA1
in my hand using the zoom button on it at a fixed speed.
It now seems I'll be fighting a losing battle eh.

Last edited by Pete Bauer; April 21st, 2008 at 12:05 PM. Reason: removed profanity
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Old April 21st, 2008, 12:54 PM   #15
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My recollection of the early days of the XH-A1 was the issue of "focus pulsing" when zooming. Thereafter, we came up with the explanation that the servo couldn't zoom and focus at the same time.

I didn't see it at first, until I viewed the frames I could see the focus go out, and then in, during the zoom, pulsing.

But I don't think I saw the zoom itself pulse. And the auto focus doesn't just wait until the zooming stops, it makes stepped movements.

So it doesn't seem entirely true to me, that the lens can't zoom and focus at the same time.
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