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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 12th, 2009, 11:36 AM   #1
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Where are we going?

As I read these forums, and as I have read other forums for many years back, I wonder where we are headed and what are the driving forces. Though I had several VHS and SVHS cameras when I first started producing video, my first "real" camera was a JVD GYX2B. I still have ir and I also have a JVC DV500 which is practically the same camera with a different media for recording. I have two HD cameras including the Canon A1. But let me tell you that I still will place the quality of that original GYX2B camera along side anything else I shoot with. The lighting has to be good of course, but the video is outstanding. I produce Nature video for the most part and the ability of the older JVC to record remarkable video is in my opinion, unparalled. So I have to ask, are the issues of changing formats simply driven by hardware producers? I believe so. How does one justify the expense of new, new, new! Chris said to use the equipment for a few years, then sell it and climb up to the next notch in the tree. There are no economic principles involved in that. And then we have all the Codec's that are being touted and used. The consumer must feed the manufacturers if they want to expensively use their products. Why can't there be standard Codecs? I have more but I will wait to see if this thread brings any interest.
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Old March 12th, 2009, 08:07 PM   #2
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Still waiting for the snow to melt, eh? (grin)

IMO, what drives the development of new cameras and the ancillary bits are three primary elements; new technology, cost reduction and consumer desire. Since we are a society of consumers, the manufacturers rush in with new products on a regular basis and we run out and buy them. Truth be told, this ongoing cycle has given us tools that can do more than we could in the past. Not necessarily better, but more.

As for codecs, the production/editing codecs would never work as delivery codecs, and up until recently (and that's debatable) the reverse was also true. There might be a convergence someday, but until there's an intraframe codec that's smaller than h.264 there will continue to be a bunch of them. And even then, something will come along and throw it all into a cocked hat.
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Old March 12th, 2009, 08:52 PM   #3
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They are like auto manufacturers. They come out with a new model as often as they can and generate buzz to make people buy new gear. It's a fairly mature market, so the way to make more money is to change things and cause people to want the newest new toy. As far as I'm concerned, there are only two good reasons to upgrade--one, my old gear is wearing out or getting so old and rundown that it's no longer reliable or would cost too much to fix (example, I converted to DVCAM from Betacam because the BVW300 was 12 years old and in need of it's third head job plus a new viewfinder, for a total of over $5K...like an old rusty car, it was time to trade); and two, I can make more money with something new. I guess a third reason might be that you can't use the old gear anymore because things have changed too much. If you're still shooting Betacam, for example, and do your editing at a commercial facility and that place no longer has Betacam capability, then you'd have to do something different.

OK, maybe four reasons, I just thought of another one. The type of work you do changed, for example, you now need to shoot lots of run and gun hand held things and your camera package weighs 30 pounds and you have to lug around another 20 pounds of batteries and charger to get through the day. Then it would make sense to get a "handycam" type camera that runs all day on a $200 battery and you can put enough tapes in your coat pocket to shoot for a week.

The point is, to rush out and buy into something new just because it's there is a bit of a waste, unless you have money to spend frivolously. It's a waste of brain power to worry whether something is "the standard" or not because there isn't a standard anymore. Twenty years ago you pretty much had to shoot on Betacam if you wanted to go to an editing studio to get your work finished. Today it doesn't matter as long as you can load it into your own system or get it into somebody else's system. Nobody even needs master tapes anymore, for the most part--give 'em the files on hard drives. Last time I did a tape to film transfer, I never even made a master tape, just exported the show and sent a portable drive to the lab. The only tapes I've made of shows in the past couple of years have been for festivals. Clients get DVDs or web compressons or files put up on a server.
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Old March 12th, 2009, 10:23 PM   #4
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The great thing about standards, is - there's always a new one to choose from.
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Old March 13th, 2009, 02:42 AM   #5
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i love the rapid advances and newer products being perpetually released: i swim happily in their wake and buy up the 'last' generation gear at great prices.
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Old March 14th, 2009, 02:50 AM   #6
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Nice. A 'philosophical' thread ;-) Recently there came a guy into the network with the newest-of-new-state-of-the-art-cam - and had really big problems to simply play out his HD stuff to Digibeta, which is still a broadcast standard here. This is the problem with 'happily swimming in their wave'. You may swim out too far. My principles regarding new equipment/standards:

-Never buy the very 'first generation' of something. You'll end up as a Beta-tester.
-Buy only what you really need, what fits into your workflow (and the workflow of your clients).
-Buy only what you can amortize within a defined period of time.
-Test it before you buy.

It would be great, if there was a kind of modular camera system one day that you buy once in and just upgrade it constantly for a reasonable price. May be, RED does that job. But I doubt it.
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Old March 14th, 2009, 12:21 PM   #7
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Where are we going?

What disturbs me most is the fact that video viewing has been very good for the past 8 or 10 years now. Many preach that HDV is sooooooooo much better than SD but I have to say I just don't see a world of difference, some.........but not a huge difference. As I view my own video in both formats SD seems to be very close to HDV. When considering the costs associated with keeping up with newer technology, ist it really worth it? Look at Super Bowl video and the BETA SP stuff was great. No huge improvement here! Then ther is the baggage that accompanies HDV, one of which is the clamor for more make up artists to hide the skin imperfections made more obvious by HDV.

And now the cost to the consumer for viewing is creating havoc in the hardware marketplace. Bluray ain't going to cut it. Middle and low income households can no longer afford the hardware that will make viewing possible and statistics show their disdain for the road television viewing is taking.
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Old March 15th, 2009, 07:31 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Pryor View Post
Nobody even needs master tapes anymore, for the most part--give 'em the files on hard drives. Last time I did a tape to film transfer, I never even made a master tape, just exported the show and sent a portable drive to the lab. The only tapes I've made of shows in the past couple of years have been for festivals.
UK broadcasters expect their programmes to be delivered on tape as in the contract, rather than hard drives. This may change in the future, but one advantage of tape is that is a standard that can be understood by the signed parties.
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Old March 16th, 2009, 01:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jan Luethje View Post
'happily swimming in their wave'. You may swim out too far.
what i meant is that i buy proven, 'older' generation products in the 'wake' (wake: noun, a trail of disturbed water or air left by the passage of a ship or aircraft. figurative used to refer to the aftermath or consequences of something) of the newest, and at a better price. ie: thank you HV 40 for making the HV 30 cheaper!!!!!

and, to my eyes at least, i find HDV significantly better than DV... depending on how well i shoot it... it's like putting on glasses with the proper prescription.
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Old March 16th, 2009, 11:12 PM   #10
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brian...loved the comparison of the glasses haha.

i think this is a great discussion but i also do believe you might be looking too far into it. i personally love hdv and have had no problems shooting/editing it. the price difference was not significantly drastic for me either. though i will have to admit i have not touched on some of the formats earlier mentioned. however, do you not think that it might get boring always shooting the same thing in the same format same resolution same camera? i think the advancements made in video are a great plus whether it be quality or workflow. though some is drastically blown out or proportion(ie. i do not think P2 cards are worth it, just my opinion though...love my library of tapes!).

all in all, i do not agree with the point of view on the discussion. i love the fact that there is many different formats, cameras, equipment etc to choose from as well as the advancements of technology. some may be not needed though still. life span of equipment ive seen so far is 3-4 years give or take, and i think you will get your moneys worth in that time before you might need to upgrade. good idea for discussion though. change is good sometimes.
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