More Durable than the GL2? at

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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 18th, 2008, 06:17 PM   #1
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More Durable than the GL2?

Is the XH A1 better built than the GL2? I'm seriously considering the SonyHVR-V1U instead of the XHa1 just because of all the tape drive problems with the GL2 and its lack of a durable shell. The GL2 camera power switch also gives me the feeling it could brake anytime. The GL1 was a tank compared to the GL2. Is the XH A1 comfortable to use or is it real front heavy like the XL1... One last question, are the manual audio level controls on the XHa1 any bigger or easier to get your hands than the GL2? I have a heck of a time with my big fingers trying to turn these dials without shaking the cam when shooting hand held.
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Old August 19th, 2008, 03:10 AM   #2
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My GL2/XM2 took a few good knocks in its time - I wouldn't deliberately subject any camera to the same knocks just to find out if it would survive too. But the A1 feels fairly robust to me.

The XH-A1 is bigger and heavier, but I wouldn't say it is front heavy

The power switch is completely different - I don't know if your "big fingers" would find it any easier to use.

But those manual audio level controls are definitely no bigger, and no easier - if anything, I'd say they are worse.

I'd hate to put anybody off buying what I think is a fine camera, so I'd recommend trying one - even just handling it in a shop would be better than nothing. I went a hundred miles to a video convention to try one out and compare it with the Sony before making my final decision.
Canon XH A1; Canon XF100; Nikon D800
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Old August 19th, 2008, 08:35 AM   #3
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I've got HUGE hands and I have no problem whatsoever with the A1... the power control is very easy to use and feels very sturdy. The audio level adjustment knobs are hard to move when doing handheld, but if its on the sticks, it's fairly easy to adjust them without moving the camera around.

It's very well balanced, very robust, and I don't feel like its fragile at all... the most fragile feeling part of it is the shockmount for an external mic, and that's not even that bad... It does tend to drop a little to the front and right with the standard battery installed, but with a long-life battery installed, the balance is perfect.
David Beisner
Media Specialist, Bryan College, Dayton, TN --
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Old August 19th, 2008, 03:26 PM   #4
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I agree that the A1 seems much more durable and well-built than the GL2.

I disagree that it is not front heavy. Honestly, the front-heaviness was the first thing I noticed when I picked up my brand new A1's. I don't think it's a problem, really, but they ARE front heavy (even with the larger batteries). It's a testament to the better lens I believe.

The audio controls feel fairly similar to me, but I never really had an issue with the GL2 audio controls (skinny fingers I guess).
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