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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 April 29th, 2009, 09:44 AM   #1
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What is it with Canon?

Why is it that Canon is so slow in developing and releasing new prosumer HD models that record to solid state media? They are stuck in tape mode while their competitors have moved on with advances in technology. What is puzzling me the most is that we are not talking new / unproven technology here - their consumer line is impressive. Their prosumer line is falling further and further behind the curve IMO.

The new JVC 700 has caught my eye and my $$$ may be going their way as Canon simply has no attractive offering.

What are your thoughts as to why Canon appears to be treading water in this regard?
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Old April 29th, 2009, 09:57 AM   #2
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If they are going to develop a solid state camera, it'll still be some form of HDV I'm sure, much like the EX1. If it takes them a while to get it right, I'm all for it.

Until then, I'm using tape and don't mind it...for now.
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Old April 29th, 2009, 10:03 AM   #3
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Do you have any ideas as to WHY Canon is so slow though? They clearly have a variety of CCD and CMOS capture blocks and tons of proven ability with moving the image to solid state devices in both their DSLR and camcorder lines.
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Old April 29th, 2009, 10:26 AM   #4
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Canon is by nature a conservative company. Search through old threads in the Canon fora and you'll see this theme over and over. Rather than being the first to put out a new technology, they watch the market a little longer than the other companies and try to "do it better." Each of the companies has its own style/personality. That's Canon's.
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Old April 29th, 2009, 10:35 AM   #5
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i love tape. so questions asked. and many people like that over the other. if you ask me canon gives you best of both worlds because you can purchase a firestore or sony hardrive for your system. plus once a P2 card is downloaded, and their drives crash...ill be laughing cause i have my hard copy tape to go back and upload if needed. the only downfall for tape for me right now is the lack of true 1920 1080...but who knows what will be possible in the years to come.

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Old April 29th, 2009, 11:12 AM   #6
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Pete - understood. However - solid state recording is hardly new technology - especially given Canon's expertise in the DSLR world. In the video world - P2 - SxS - Class 6 Compact Flash have been around for some time now.

The competition is releasing second generation products with solid state recording and Canon has yet to even announce a first.

I guess it will happen sometime.......
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Old April 29th, 2009, 11:12 AM   #7
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I think the success of the 5D MII took Canon completely by surprise. As referenced in an interview with a Canon representative at their NAB booth they are listening to the demands of videographers more than ever. Hopefully they are perfecting an ergonomically true camcorder utilizing the DSLR technology and standard 35mm lens mounts. I'm so ready to ditch reception lights for good.

Some reading for entertainment value only:
Canon working on DSLR-based pro video camera?
Canon Rumors Blog Archive New Video Camera?
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Old April 29th, 2009, 11:18 AM   #8
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Daniel - why would I want to pay the extra $$$ for an aftermarket "tack on" product when the current technology is included in the camera by Sony, Panasonic, JVC.

In many years of extensive DSLR, computer and recent AVCHD use I have NEVER had a drive or media failure. It can happen but I have had great experience. Tape will rapidly go the way of the vinyl record - glad you are happy with it but it is not what I and many others are going to spend our $$$ on for a new camera.
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Old April 29th, 2009, 11:55 AM   #9
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Canon

What really amazes me is the desire for many videographers to continually reach out for the latest and arguably greatest equipment. I am more inclined to hone the content of video. Cameras and editing equipment have for the past 10 years given videographers all the tools they need to produce good video. Perhaps HDV is an exception but how much demand is there for HDV? The names of videographers come and go on these forums and its probably because they can't make a living in the video profession and after purchasing much more equipment than they need, the economic wall comes tumbling down. So my question or suggestion is,....... take a serious, long hard look at what equipment you really need to produce quality video! Is it worth it? And how interesting is the video you now produce? Interesting content can never be a result of new equipment.
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Old April 29th, 2009, 12:02 PM   #10
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Joel - thank you for the links. New sensor development would take time - especially if they are trying to boost the bandwidth / offload time on CMOS to reduce the various artifacts.

OTOH - their current ccd block is pretty impressive - I'd love to see the XH - A1s with ssd recording and the $$$ would be headed to Canon's coffers.

Who knows - maybe they plan to leapfrog the competition with...........
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Old April 29th, 2009, 04:18 PM   #11
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Hi Phil,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Taylor View Post
What really amazes me is the desire for many videographers to continually reach out for the latest and arguably greatest equipment. I am more inclined to hone the content of video.
I understand what you're saying and I totally agree. I held off on shooting on HD as long as I could in the interest of R.O.I. But the light gathering capabilities of the Canon DSLR's so far surpasses anything I've seen that its has the potential of breaking the rules as far as wedding videography goes; the rules being that event videographers need bright lights. That single fact has scared more potential clients away than we can even guess at. Lighting at receptions is one of the stigmas we deal with in bringing what we do into the 21st century.
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Old April 29th, 2009, 06:28 PM   #12
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Phil,

My views are very much in line with yours. I have seen some very detailed technical discussions - some praise about the video - and almost passed out looking at out of focus, jittery, Blair Witch skateboarding clips - yikes. Content, composition, flow, focus & exposure, the basics are oh so critical :-)

That said - when the time comes to purchase new gear we naturally want that which we think will serve us best.

I am going through the purchase analysis now and am a big Canon fan from many years in the DSLR world. The L glass is impressive - so the rumored new camera would be of real interest to me (except it is CMOS). Canon has great technology - for some reason they have simply not put it into a more "current" model - or so it appears to me.
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Old April 29th, 2009, 07:14 PM   #13
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Sony just came out with a new HDCAM SR model. Tape.
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Old April 29th, 2009, 08:42 PM   #14
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Interesting discussion. I am now just crossing the tape/tapeless threshold. I just ordered a Canon HF100 for unattended capture for several hours using a 32GB SD/HC Class 4 card. It'll be interesting to see how it works out.

I did a lot of research into AVCHD in the tapeless world. Whilst AVCHD has the potential for less intrusive compression and better ultimate images than HDV, the gating item is data rate. Until the faster SD/HC cards came out, cameras output data rates were limited. Camera manufacturers have been slowly upping their data rates. Canon have done this with their consumer products, raising the data rate above that of HDV (or DV for that matter). That's the beauty of the ACVHD/tapeless combination. The data rate restriction of IEEE 1394 is removed from the equation.

Ponder this for a moment. The XH A1s is arguably one of the best cameras in this price/demographic segment. I don't have access to the numbers, but I suspect that Canon moves more units at this price point than Panny and JVC. Don't know about Sony, but it could be a horse race. Why would Canon want to announce and release a product until they have one that is significantly improved over the XH series? Once a new product is announced, sales of exiting products would all but halt. They've just released the "s" versions of the XH and XL series and they need to make some money on that. Canon's actions, to me, are completely logical.

If a next-gen product is in the offing, I'd expect announcements prior to the next NAB or IBC (if they still have that). Expect that new product to offer significant improvements like full res HD, better controls, similar optics (or better) and a significantly higher data rate than JVC and other, and especially the consumer Canon flashcams which have the highest data rate in class, the last time I checked.

Canon's become the successful company they have by being conservative, as others have said, but also by delivering consistently high quality product. That's how they stay in business. And I for one want them to stay in business.
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Old April 29th, 2009, 09:33 PM   #15
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Tripp - timing is part of the equation though. I have a Canon HF 100 and the image quality on a 50" HD display is impressive. Some "artifacting" with pans but still stunning.

I think JVC has a 35Mb/s data rate in the new 700 - not sure where the point of diminishing returns on data rate sets in.

The downside for Canon would be those who move over to the competition for NLE & solid state recording and don't want to move back. The XH A1s may be new but it was a pretty minor - IMO - update - they may have an ROI covered.

I was hoping for something like the XH A1s but with sold state recording.

As I mentioned earlier - perhaps they are just going to swing for the fences and release something spectacular - but the competition has a lot of impressive cameras out there already
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