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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 January 3rd, 2009, 02:45 PM   #16
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It depends what you mean by ENG. Do you mean "e news gathering" or do you mean newspaper video stories? Big big diff.

For me ENG means a cam that supports run and gun, hand-held shooting. That favors to my style a shoulder mount cam with all the buttons on the body of the cam, not buried in sub-menues. The XH is not the worst but certainly not the best. For news shoulder mount is a big deal as you are are shooting from behind other people. Likewise buttons under your fingertips.
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Old January 3rd, 2009, 02:54 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Chuck Fadely View Post

Although it will happily shoot standard 4:3 DV, it does some weird smearing thing that makes the images look out of focus and awful.
Chuck your only referring to when you shoot 4:3 SD not 16:9 SD is this correct.

Rob
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Old January 3rd, 2009, 06:17 PM   #18
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ENG... I mean news gathering.

My current employer uses beta-sx. those cameras are the grand champs of news gathering, no contest. I file stories every day with that thing and I agree the shoulder mounted camera can't be beat. But alas, I don't have 50,000 dollars to buy my own. I am thinking of changing employers and I would like to sell myself as a fully equipped VJ. I primarily use the xh-a1 for corporate gigs in my spare time, and I have never used 4:3. I know it won't compare to the SX, but the news world is a funny place these days, times are changing and when operating out of small bureaus, thousands of miles away from producers, the smaller set-up, including the smaller camera is the way to go.

I think I am currently convincing myself to sell the a1 and jump on over to the dvx200...having to navigate through the menu would certainly be a pain. Impulse is a funny thing when it comes to technology.
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Old January 3rd, 2009, 09:03 PM   #19
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There is a fix, shoot in HDV using 4:3 markers. Get or rent a Sony HDV deck (HD700?) and down convert to 4:3 size, in "squeeze" mode.
There was a thread a while back that made the point that most HD cams when pressed into service shooting SD, come out looking "soft". I have noticed this too, when shooting people. It can be very annoying. I have not noticed the issue as much when shooting landscapes etc--but with faces, yes it can be an issue.
However I must say that I shot an SD project with my A1 and a friends borrowed VX2100, and I thought the A1's footage was better. Not sharper, although here they were not much different--but better overall.
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Old January 3rd, 2009, 10:12 PM   #20
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Well, I just created a new preset and cranked the sharpness to +9...see if it looks worse than a soft picure. I'd rather not do somehting like that but it may help.
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Old January 3rd, 2009, 10:32 PM   #21
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Jay if it really is ENG then I would recommend XL H1 or better. But if it is just shooting filler video then the A1 will be fine
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Old January 3rd, 2009, 10:37 PM   #22
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I would certainly entertain the idea of upgrading to the xl-h1, however, I would fear it would have no better SD picture in the end.

But yeah you are right, the bigger canon is the way to go for better news gathering.
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Old January 3rd, 2009, 11:15 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Doug Bennett View Post
Jay if it really is ENG then I would recommend XL H1 or better. But if it is just shooting filler video then the A1 will be fine
The controls on the XHA1 are much better for run-n-gun than the XLH1, and they're about equal in the "uncomfortable to hand hold" equation - in different ways, of course. The image is the same and they both have sharp 20x zooms. If you want a shoulder mount camera, get a real one... the XLH1 is not really an improvement in the ergonomics department.

Any small camera needs to be on sticks anyway - you can't handhold any of 'em they way you can a betacam. Of course, the small camera AND the sticks together weigh half what a broadcast camera alone weighs!
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Old January 3rd, 2009, 11:39 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Steve Wolla View Post
There is a fix, shoot in HDV using 4:3 markers. Get or rent a Sony HDV deck (HD700?) and down convert to 4:3 size, in "squeeze" mode.
.
This is a great suggestion - I do this sometimes with a M15 deck. The Canon footage shot in 1080i60 is completely compatible with Sony HDV decks and cameras. (Unlike 24F or 30F) It also works using a Sony A1U as a deck, which does the cropped downconvert, as well. I think the $900 GV-HD700 clamshell player does this, too.

The Sonys let you downconvert to "squeeze", "letterbox" or "edge crop." I think you need the edge crop one to get standard 4:3.
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Old January 4th, 2009, 09:00 AM   #25
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Chuck, in what sense are the controls on the XHA1 better than the XLH1?
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Old January 4th, 2009, 01:30 PM   #26
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[QUOTE=Steve Wolla;988416]There is a fix, shoot in HDV using 4:3 markers. Get or rent a Sony HDV deck (HD700?) and down convert to 4:3 size, in "squeeze" mode.


Made a mistake, Chuck is correct, you should not downconvert in squeeze mode, it should be in "crop" mode, as you are using 4:3 guidelines when you shoot.
My apollogies for that glaring error--
SW
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Old January 4th, 2009, 04:51 PM   #27
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Chuck, in what sense are the controls on the XHA1 better than the XLH1?
On the XHA1, the shooting controls are all on switches lined up on the side like a broadcast camera, and the iris is on the lens where it belongs, even if it doesn't have an end stop. You don't need menus for anything during shooting (except turning ois on and off.) Most importantly, you can operate it by touch without hitting something that will screw you up. It even has bars on a switch and tc user bits on a button.
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Old January 4th, 2009, 04:57 PM   #28
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Chuck, the XLH1 is the shoulder cam at the top end of the canon prosumer range. I think you maybe have it confused with something else.
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Old January 4th, 2009, 05:05 PM   #29
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Chuck, the XLH1 is the shoulder cam at the top end of the canon prosumer range. I think you maybe have it confused with something else.
No, I've shot quite a bit with the XLH1. Even though it rests on your shoulder, your right arm still has to support all the weight. It's not a real shoulder mount, like my DSR. And the layout of the controls, even though they're all there, is not nearly as easy to use as the XHA1.
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Old January 4th, 2009, 10:49 PM   #30
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To each his own. The G1 hides the exposure adjustment, and additional gain settings as well as the OIS. But the big issue for me is that the H1 lens is faster and has better stabilization, even without the additional weight and shoulder mount. With a firestore and battery on the bracket it shoulder balances fairly well.

For an ENG-type shoot we fight over the XLH1.
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