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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 March 11th, 2009, 10:12 AM   #16
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I don't think the future in broadcasting lies with HDV. With the 2/3" Scarlet coming up and the impressive EX1 & EX3 series currently in use, in two years time there will little reason to use HDV for broadcast productions for budgetary reasons - the driving force behind the drive towards the PD150s. Although, I expect HDV will still continue for some uses, the shorter the working life and relatively low investment in a HDV camera means that the kit wouldn't linger working away like the Beta SP or the still extremely busy Digi Beta cameras.

Personally I don't like artefacts, even on digital SD channels they can be bad and if I'm watching supposedly high end HD really I don't want to see them.

There are documentaries that really suit the small 1/3" cameras with one or two person crews living with the subjects. Unfortunately, they also got used on a lot of main stream programmes which had/have some pretty poor camera work shot by producers/directors/researchers without any great visual sense or technique.
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Old March 11th, 2009, 11:37 AM   #17
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I don't think the future in broadcasting lies with HDV.
It's not intended for the future; it's intended for right now. It is an immediate-use format by virtue of its ubiquity and very low cost.

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HDV camera means that the kit wouldn't linger working away like the Beta SP or the still extremely busy Digi Beta cameras.
As comparatively cheap as HDV is relative to those more expensive systems, it doesn't need to. Five years at the most, I'd say. HDV gear should pay for itself immediately. Then the 48 months (preferably less) that follows is pure gravy. Then sell it and move on.

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Personally I don't like artefacts, even on digital SD channels they can be bad
But that's a by-product of low bandwidth for distribution, not the acquisition format.

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There are documentaries that really suit the small 1/3" cameras with one or two person crews living with the subjects. Unfortunately, they also got used on a lot of main stream programmes which had/have some pretty poor camera work shot by producers/directors/researchers without any great visual sense or technique.
Fully agreed, but that's not the camera's fault... are you suggesting that the bar for entry be set at a higher price? I don't think that would go over well. You've identified one ignominious aspect of the democratization of inexpensive acquisition, but the cure lies elsewhere. My vote would be compulsory media education at the teenage level.
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Old March 11th, 2009, 12:20 PM   #18
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It's not intended for the future; it's intended for right now. It is an immediate-use format by virtue of its ubiquity and very low cost.

As comparatively cheap as HDV is relative to those more expensive systems, it doesn't need to. Five years at the most, I'd say. HDV gear should pay for itself immediately. Then the 48 months (preferably less) that follows is pure gravy. Then sell it and move on.

But that's a by-product of low bandwidth for distribution, not the acquisition format.

Fully agreed, but that's not the camera's fault... are you suggesting that the bar for entry be set at a higher price? I don't think that would go over well. You've identified one ignominious aspect of the democratization of inexpensive acquisition, but the cure lies elsewhere. My vote would be compulsory media education at the teenage level.
HDV is very much a current format and its low cost has advantages. However, as IT technology has come increasingly into the picture, other formats do offer cost and performance advantages for broadcast productions, even for "The Deadliest Catch" right off a few cameras along the way variety.

The 48 months of gravy means that the cameras just won't be used for the up to 10 years that the Beta SP cameras can last, so a HDV camera will be out of the system in a shorter time frame. Basically, the format cycle is moving faster.

True it's not the the acquisition format as such that may cause them initially, but HDV does need care in post and distribution otherwise you can gather artefacts along the way.

The upcoming 2/3" Scarlet appears to be priced in the current HDV price range, so there is no price bar in that regard. Even the current EX1 is still in the high end HDV price range. What I'm saying is that these are the future for lower end budget broadcast productions rather than the previous generation HDV format, which is perfectly fine for what most people wish to use it for.

There's nothing to stop people making their own productions, it has never been easier.
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Old March 11th, 2009, 12:28 PM   #19
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...the cameras just won't be used for the up to 10 years that the Beta SP cameras can last...
Er, *could* last (past tense). I would say *can* no longer. Beta SP has been dead for awhile, and the days of an acquisition system lasting ten years in a broadcast market are done and over with. At the rapid pace of format development recently, I don't think any current acquisition format will be viable for a full decade with the exceptions of HDCAM and DVCPRO HD (neither of which has much beyond five years left, in my opinion).
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Old March 11th, 2009, 01:13 PM   #20
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Er, *could* last (past tense). I would say *can* no longer. Beta SP has been dead for awhile, and the days of an acquisition system lasting ten years in a broadcast market are done and over with. At the rapid pace of format development recently, I don't think any current acquisition format will be viable for a full decade with the exceptions of HDCAM and DVCPRO HD (neither of which has much beyond five years left, in my opinion).
I was surprised to read recently on a professional forum that Beta SP is still going in the US, perhaps not in large numbers, but it was termed as in surprisingly high numbers.

I suspect HDCAM won't last longer than 5 years, although its demise has been shouted many times in recent years.
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Old March 11th, 2009, 02:04 PM   #21
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This 1997 article puts a historical perspective to the issue, "DV vs. Betacam SP: 4:1:1 vs. 4:2:2, Artifacts and Other Controversies":
DV vs. Betacam SP
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Old March 11th, 2009, 03:26 PM   #22
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This 1997 article puts a historical perspective to the issue, "DV vs. Betacam SP: 4:1:1 vs. 4:2:2, Artifacts and Other Controversies":
DV vs. Betacam SP
Here, for higher end production work Digital Betacam replaced Betacam SP. News used the old Betacam until Betacam SX came in.

I suspect it was the introduction of 16:9 that killed off the analogue Betacam formats a couple years earlier than would otherwise be the case. The BVW series of cameras were a much better build than the DVCAM cameras and they were amongst the nicest hand held cameras to use (Certainly a lot better than the Digibeta).

The only thing you can learn from this perspective on the past stuff, is that format change can come very quickly. The old Betacam only cameras became useless anything other than news once Betacam SP was introduced - that happened within weeks.
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Old March 11th, 2009, 03:37 PM   #23
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There are no professional cameras, only professional operators...

There are however cameras with a wide array of features and capabilities, and now the difference between the "consumer cam" like an HV20/30/40 and a "pro cam" may be pretty small in terms of image quality under many conditions!
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Old March 11th, 2009, 05:33 PM   #24
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For sure! The XH-A1 picture quality would be readily accepted by any major television company. A professional camera it often characterized by 3 ccd, and the ability to manually adjust all the settings. The real question is, is the operator professional quality?
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Old March 11th, 2009, 07:14 PM   #25
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It used to be easier but nowadays, I dare say there is no "definition". But a way to look at it might be to ask "what are the basic must-have features that a pro would want any camera to have?"

Three CCDs used to mean significant boost in image quality but that went down the tubes in recent years and you can get lousy DV from a 3-ccd camera and some good stuff from some single CCD ones.

Generically, having manual controls is definitely a must have but there are so many features these days that some have to be in menus. But things like audio volume, onscree VU meters, gain, white balance, shutter speed, iris and focus are mainstay features most would consider "must-have". How about a histogram on the EVF?

Additionally, in this day and age, I'd add XLR audio, phantom power, LANC, HDMI out, SDI, and the all important top handle with it's own secondary controls. The Battery system is another one that some might use to demarcate pro from consumer. And removable lens might be another.

Keep in mind image quality is a moving target. Pro cameras of yesteryear can be beat by $1500 cameras today (in the right hands).
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Old March 11th, 2009, 09:57 PM   #26
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This article is a few months old but may shine some light on the professional uses of the HDV format.

CANON U.S.A. PROFESSIONAL HD CAMCORDERS SERVE A WIDE RANGE OF VIDEO-PRODUCTION NEEDS FOR DIGITAL CONTENT CREATORS | The Briefing Room
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Old March 11th, 2009, 10:50 PM   #27
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Guiding Light Short Video
From Broadcast Cameras to Canon XH-G1

Guiding Light Switches to Hand Camera : BuzzFocus.com


Another article:

"The Canon XH G1 camcorder’s low-light capabilities add to its portability in that it can capture broadcast-quality images without the need for extensive and cumbersome lighting equipment."

CANON U.S.A. XH G1 HD CAMCORDERS HELP REVOLUTIONIZE THE LOOK OF AN ACCLAIMED DAYTIME DRAMA | The Briefing Room
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Old March 12th, 2009, 04:26 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Les Wilson View Post
Keep in mind image quality is a moving target. Pro cameras of yesteryear can be beat by $1500 cameras today (in the right hands).
It's very much a matter of selecting the tools needed for the job in hand. The image quality has improved all the way up the range and the camera that's good for following the action on programmes like "Deadilest Catch" or "Ice Road Truckers" probably won't be suitable as the main camera on a high end glossy documentary with sweeping landscapes on a HD channel.

Discovery seem to have sensible range of standards with their Bronze, Silver and Gold technical requirements.
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Old March 12th, 2009, 07:16 AM   #29
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There are no professional cameras, only professional operators...
BINGO!

I learned this years ago while trying to get great sounds out of what I thought was a POS guitar. ... Can I see it for a second, asked an old man. Sure, but it's a crap guitar I replied. Then Magic! The guitar came to life, and sounded every bit as good as a guitar costing 100 times more than what I paid for it. The old man handed me the guitar and said, your guitar is fine, you just need to learn a bit more.

In the same way, a professional videographer can make magic with the least of cameras.
While a person given a high end camera with all the trimmings, but lacking the skill set shoots something you wouldn't want to watch.

This is the case more than not. Just look at the majority of the postings on DVi for example. Someone buys an expensive camera then wonders why what they shoot does not look professional.
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Old March 12th, 2009, 07:22 AM   #30
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''Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst'' - actually it wasn't - it was posted by me (#8). But glad to hear it brings forth a Bingo.
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