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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 June 11th, 2008, 12:59 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Travis Cossel View Post
I really like the idea of recording to solid state memory and not having issues with moving parts that wear out or break down. Plus I'm using a Merlin and adding a HDD to the camera will put it over the weight limit.
Well, lets see how that new Sony Flash recorder pans out when its released later this year (I thought I heard Sept/Octish??). By all means it should be fully compatable with the XH-A1's HDV output since Sony now uses progressive 24fps HDV recording (just like 24F). I'm really hoping the introduction of the Sony Flash recorder gets some of the other companies in the tapeless business to explore similar devices.
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Old June 11th, 2008, 01:00 PM   #17
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I'll have to keep an eye out for that. That would be cool if it was 100% compatible, although I have my doubts.
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Old June 11th, 2008, 01:53 PM   #18
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I'll have to keep an eye out for that. That would be cool if it was 100% compatible, although I have my doubts.
So far it appears that its essentially just a firewire based solid state recorder. Not sure if you've seen the thread, but its being discussed here: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=116520

I think someone actually tested this with their Canon and it was working. Hopefully the only hurdle will be mounting it, since its designed to specifically attach to a specific model only. If Sony is smart they'll sell this with a hot shoe mounting bracket and move boatloads of them. Assuming its priced competitively, what FX/V1/Z1/XL/XH owner in the market for a tapeless system wouldn't want this over a hard drive based recorder?

I'm mostly afraid of the final pricing on this thing... we *are* talking about Sony after all...
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Old June 11th, 2008, 01:53 PM   #19
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Travis,
I chose the A1 over the FX1 because I plan to use it for more than weddings, and may need up to 4 XLRs. I have used the VX2100 over the last 3 years and was comfortable with Sony, so the move to Canon was a hard one for me. I have found this camera to be very deep, very capable in every situation and feels like a pro cam. I've used the FX1, the Z1 and the HVX for other companies, and find in every case that I miss the A1 alot. The HVX is great and has a great look to the footage and is as tweakable as the A1, but you can only shoot HD to P2 or Hard drive and that would be no good for me. It also has a very grainy gain. The HVX200a does look promising thoug and may be one to consider. I have 2 A1s now and may add an HVX200a as a primary camera. Anyway, I am very pleased and compared to the Z1/FX1 this is a real workhorse, and very worthy of pro work.
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Old June 11th, 2008, 01:59 PM   #20
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So far it appears that its essentially just a firewire based solid state recorder. Not sure if you've seen the thread, but its being discussed here: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=116520

I think someone actually tested this with their Canon and it was working. Hopefully the only hurdle will be mounting it, since its designed to specifically attach to a specific model only. If Sony is smart they'll sell this with a hot shoe mounting bracket and move boatloads of them. Assuming its priced competitively, what FX/V1/Z1/XL/XH owner in the market for a tapeless system wouldn't want this over a hard drive based recorder?

I'm mostly afraid of the final pricing on this thing... we *are* talking about Sony after all...
Yeah, I've been keeping tabs on that thread, but it's still a bit of a pipe-dream for me until I hear that it officially is 100% compatible. Like you I'm also a bit worried about the final price for the unit and for cards. Any word on where that might end up at?
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Old June 11th, 2008, 02:01 PM   #21
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Travis,
I chose the A1 over the FX1 because I plan to use it for more than weddings, and may need up to 4 XLRs. I have used the VX2100 over the last 3 years and was comfortable with Sony, so the move to Canon was a hard one for me. I have found this camera to be very deep, very capable in every situation and feels like a pro cam. I've used the FX1, the Z1 and the HVX for other companies, and find in every case that I miss the A1 alot. The HVX is great and has a great look to the footage and is as tweakable as the A1, but you can only shoot HD to P2 or Hard drive and that would be no good for me. It also has a very grainy gain. The HVX200a does look promising thoug and may be one to consider. I have 2 A1s now and may add an HVX200a as a primary camera. Anyway, I am very pleased and compared to the Z1/FX1 this is a real workhorse, and very worthy of pro work.
Bill
Thanks for the thoughts, Bill. Although I shoot primarily weddings, I do shoot other projects so having those other features is nice too. The 3 things I wish it had were solid state recording, overcranking option and a larger LCD screen. But in the grand scheme of things it sounds like those are options I might be willing to live without. Heck, I can always mount a larger screen on the camera and maybe add on a tapeless workflow, so it's really just the overcranking that I wish it had. Certainly not a deal-breaker.
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Old June 11th, 2008, 04:06 PM   #22
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I chose the XH-A1 for it's CCD's, I do a lot of events where flash is constant and I was not pleased with how the CMOS handles flash. The price tag is also very attractive and so is image quality. The camera is plastic though and the tapes don't always feed perfectly, this camera will break if you drop it however professional features make up for the built quality issues. Built in light meter(!) auto zoom to a set point, total image control, blah, blah.
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Old June 11th, 2008, 04:12 PM   #23
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I chose the XH-A1 for it's CCD's, I do a lot of events where flash is constant and I was not pleased with how the CMOS handles flash. The price tag is also very attractive and so is image quality. The camera is plastic though and the tapes don't always feed perfectly, this camera will break if you drop it however professional features make up for the built quality issues. Built in light meter(!) auto zoom to a set point, total image control, blah, blah.
The CMOS is the big thing that is keeping me away from other cameras. I shoot a lot of weddings and so there are flashes going off constantly, and I think a CMOS would look pretty bad. I suppose the plastic design keeps the weight down, but I would like a more rugged build. I have that complaint with my GL2's, but then again they haven't ever failed me so I shouldn't complain about the plastic.

I didn't realize the A1 had a built-in light meter. Interesting.
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Old June 11th, 2008, 05:11 PM   #24
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Overcranking is more possible than you might think. I can get great results in Vegas by taking 60i footage shot with a 1/180 shutter and slowing it down to 24p with the resampling feature. It is smooth, very cool looking. That's a universal trick, by the way, not limited to the A1. I shot my first feature with my former camera, a Z1U, and utilized that trick for a few shots that came out beautifully crisp, smooth, and ever so slow. :)
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Old June 11th, 2008, 05:33 PM   #25
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Overcranking is more possible than you might think. I can get great results in Vegas by taking 60i footage shot with a 1/180 shutter and slowing it down to 24p with the resampling feature. It is smooth, very cool looking. That's a universal trick, by the way, not limited to the A1. I shot my first feature with my former camera, a Z1U, and utilized that trick for a few shots that came out beautifully crisp, smooth, and ever so slow. :)
Well, that's not really overcranking, but it achieves a similar effect. True overcranking, however, gives you many more options. For example, you could shoot at 48fps and reduce to 50% speed and have perfect slow-motion footage, or you could reduce the speed even more and follow your workflow and have REALLY slow slo-mo footage that still looks good. If you try to reduce footage to a very slow speed (say 10%) and you haven't overcranked it's not going to look nearly as good no matter how much software you run it through, as far as I know.

I use FCP, but I just recently discovered that Motion has a resampling option and supposedly gives great results for slo-mo footage. I haven't tried it yet myself, though.

In the end, it's not a feature that will keep me from buying a camera. It's on my dream list, but not my must-have list. Thanks for the tip for Vegas, though.
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Old June 11th, 2008, 08:25 PM   #26
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Chris--I didn't know about the HVR-M35! Thanks for that, it's great news. Now there's no reason smaller production houses can't go with the XL or XH series.
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Old June 11th, 2008, 10:51 PM   #27
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Travis,
The A1 may be plastic but it's not plastic the way the GL2 is plastic. This thing is a piece of machinery and it feels like it.
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Old June 11th, 2008, 11:26 PM   #28
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Any word on where that might end up at?
Well, Evan King (in the aformentioned thread) was told by Sony that it would be around $1,000 in Canada. Looking at some of Sony's Canadian vs US pricing I'd guess that would translate into around $800-850 US. If they can get this out for an $800 MSRP with online sale prices in the $700 range I think this thing will sell like hot cakes.
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Old June 12th, 2008, 12:51 AM   #29
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Travis,
The A1 may be plastic but it's not plastic the way the GL2 is plastic. This thing is a piece of machinery and it feels like it.
Bill
Well, that's good. The GL2's aren't bad, but I would like something that feels a bit more rugged.
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Old June 12th, 2008, 12:54 AM   #30
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Well, Evan King (in the aformentioned thread) was told by Sony that it would be around $1,000 in Canada. Looking at some of Sony's Canadian vs US pricing I'd guess that would translate into around $800-850 US. If they can get this out for an $800 MSRP with online sale prices in the $700 range I think this thing will sell like hot cakes.
Yeah, for a true solid state recording device I would pay $700-800 for sure.
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