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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 July 21st, 2009, 04:29 PM   #1
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If you were going to upgrade?

If you were going to upgrade to a nicer camera, $6000.00 or less, what would it be.
I will probably keep one XH A1, but considering the Sony XD Cam?
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Old July 21st, 2009, 10:50 PM   #2
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anyone ever thought about upgrading at all?
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Old July 21st, 2009, 11:21 PM   #3
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Why now?

Canon will be releasing their next range in the next X months (X could be quite some time), so unless you were really unhappy with your A1, why jump ship at this point?

For all I know the next Canon iteration will murder the comparable priced Sony'e etc, else it won't.

As I'm not unhappy enough to bail for systems that have more than their own fair share of issues (unless I was seriously thinking of pushing the boat out and doubling or tripling my camera budget) I'll wait and see what Canon come up with and decide then.

Seems like a plan to me.


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Old July 22nd, 2009, 02:43 AM   #4
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Yeah it's funny... the Ex1 is still in my mind but now I might as well wait and see what comes out in the next year.

My biggest gripe with the A1 is the LCD... it is just crap! even the EVF is pretty average...give me 1/2 chips, a good LCD, great lens and record to SD card, with 24, 25, 30, 50 and 60p....under $6K and you'll make me a happy camper
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Old July 22nd, 2009, 04:26 AM   #5
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For all I know the next Canon iteration will murder the comparable priced Sony'e etc, else it won't.
I also am curious what canon has up their sleeve, with their 5d mark II succes I wouldn't be surprised that they will use that technology and build a videocamera around it. Then you can have all a videographer can ask for; best low light, limited dof (if that's what your after), one set of lenzes that you could use on a photo and videocamera, good audio and manual controlls, compact flash recording and that at a prizepoint below the ex1. lets hope Canon reads this :)
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Old July 22nd, 2009, 06:57 AM   #6
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My biggest gripe with the A1 is the LCD... it is just crap! even the EVF is pretty average...
Or... You could purchase an HD LCD field monitor that would take care of your monitoring issues. Far less expensive than buying a new camera, and you could use it with any camera you should purchase in the future.
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Old July 22nd, 2009, 10:02 AM   #7
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...give me 1/2 chips, a good LCD, great lens and record to SD card, with 24, 25, 30, 50 and 60p....under $6K and you'll make me a happy camper
Wow! That would be sweet. A cam with those specs at that price would become the standard for event, ENG, and budget digital cinema. It would destroy any competition out there.

I've got no foreseeable need to upgrade right now - unless something disastrous were to happen to my equipment. In that case, I'd probably stick with the XH-A1s. Anything else in the competing market right now would be like more of a lateral move than an upgrade. The only real differences (for my purposes, anyway) are workflow and recording media.

If you double your budget, on the other hand...
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Old July 22nd, 2009, 10:20 AM   #8
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Wow! That would be sweet. A cam with those specs at that price would become the standard for event, ENG, and budget digital cinema. It would destroy any competition out there.

I've got no foreseeable need to upgrade right now - unless something disastrous were to happen to my equipment. In that case, I'd probably stick with the XH-A1s. Anything else in the competing market right now would be like more of a lateral move than an upgrade. The only real differences (for my purposes, anyway) are workflow and recording media.

If you double your budget, on the other hand...
The Sony XDCam EX1 has those specs and is $6100.00
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Old July 22nd, 2009, 11:56 AM   #9
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The EX1 is a very nice camera, and it does indeed meet the criteria listed. However, the CMOS chips are a deal breaker for me.

Camera flash + CMOS sensor = bad. Of course, that's just my opinion. Most "normal" people (yes, all us camera geeks are abnormal) never seem to notice, but I do.

Bottom line: The camera is just a tool, so use the tool that works for you. For my work, CMOS chips are a no-go. If you have better control over the shooting environment, the EX1 will produce beautiful images.
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Old July 22nd, 2009, 04:56 PM   #10
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Or... You could purchase an HD LCD field monitor that would take care of your monitoring issues. Far less expensive than buying a new camera, and you could use it with any camera you should purchase in the future.
Agreed, except when you have light, wireless mic receiver, WA lens.... there aint much space to chuck a monitor on... I have been looking at them but just am not sold on the idea as yet. If you can think of an ingenious way to attach it, I'm up for ideas.

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Old July 23rd, 2009, 03:08 AM   #11
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Take it from someone who bought an EX-1 and sold it 2 weeks later. Don't waste your money. Sure it's "around" 6k but the price of media is outrageous. To have enough cards to shoot a single wedding you'd need another 5-6k.

Additionally I found dealing with white balance frustrating on the EX-1. You can do a manual "push" white balance but if you want to tweak the setting there is no easy way to do it. The settings are buried under menus. Not very ergonomic at all- especially from someone who's shooting in mixed lighting situations and constantly riding the Kevin temp for different shots.

I shot one wedding with the EX1 and XH-A1. The EX1 did indeed look sharper (full raster HD vs HDV) but the colorimetry of the A1 was much more pleasing. Additionally, while the EX1 had a lower dof, and resolved more detail it didn't "blow away" the A1. I was amazed at how well it stacked up (especially at 1/2 the price not counting outlandish media costs).

If you really want an "upgrade" give the 5DmkII a shot. It's been compared on several occasions to the mighty RED. To me even if it loses the comparison it's amazing that it's being matched against a cam of that caliber.
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Old July 23rd, 2009, 07:06 AM   #12
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Agreed, except when you have light, wireless mic receiver, WA lens.... there aint much space to chuck a monitor on... I have been looking at them but just am not sold on the idea as yet. If you can think of an ingenious way to attach it, I'm up for ideas.

Cheers
Mount your camera to a base plate w/15mm mini rails & use a Noga arm to position the monitor. You can even mount an IDX battery to the rail system, and power your camera and monitor from the same battery. I even mount a Kinoflo Kamio light to the front of the rails when needed. A base plate/rail system is very versatile way of adding accessories to a camera without putting additional stress on the cameras body.
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Old July 27th, 2009, 07:39 AM   #13
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You know, with the level that these cameras operate at, I'm not sure I'd bother "upgrading" my XH-A1 to something else. With an increased budget I think I'd probably add one of those 7-8" HD monitors, mics and the Sony CF recorder. That would get me a cheap solid state workflow and proper HD monitoring.

There are cameras that produce a better image (the EX comes to mind), but frankly I already have a hard time exploiting the XH-A1's maximum potential so once again it really boils down to the operator instead of the camera. Personally I haven't run into any footage where I thought "gee the Canon HDV codec really failed" or "gosh the 24F just isn't crisp enough for me". What I *do* get is "I can't believe I bumped the tripod during the vows", "why didn't I shoot with the sun behind me", "OMG I can't believe I left the ND filter on in there" and so on and so forth. A super hot $6K cam probably wouldn't fix those problems :)

On the general subject, I'd probably consider the Panasonic HMC-150 for the tapeless workflow. Unfortunately, and I know I'd get trashed by a lot of folks for saying this, the AVC codec *still* doesn't look quite right to me. Even at up to 24mbps every piece of footage I've seen from the cam just has a weird sort of.. smeary MPEG4 look to it. Its hard to describe, but Canon's HDV implementation still seems tops in this price range.
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Old July 27th, 2009, 08:37 AM   #14
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I will tell you what I ended up doing.
Sold 1 xh a1, purchased an EX1, am keeping the other XH A1 with 160 gig focus enhancements DTE, and also keeping the HV30. I now feel I can pretty much keep a tapeless workflow unless something goes wrong, then I have the tapes from the A1 and HV30.
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Old July 27th, 2009, 08:39 AM   #15
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Sold 1 xh a1, purchased an EX1, am keeping the other XH A1 with 160 gig focus enhancements DTE, and also keeping the HV30.
Well sounds like you're all set :) Really, thats a nice group of cameras to cover all sorts of requirements.
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