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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 February 17th, 2011, 01:01 AM   #1
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Canon XH A1 vs Canon 7D

Hi
I've searched for this topic before and I found this thread:
XH-A1 with Letus vs Canon 5D Mark II
And I've read everything but its still is a difficult to make here are my concerns:
1.I've manged to make enough money to buy a XH A1 over summer to buy (I'm 16) and I dont have money to buy microphones, tripods ,ect. So if I was to sell my XH A1 I would have some money left over to buy some accessory.
2.Its getting really heavy (with wide angel lens)
3.I really love DOF but XH A1 wont do much without adapter.
Here's my pros:
1.No rolling shutter.
2.With a DSLR people wont take you as a film maker as much as if you had a handycam.
3.Only like 12 minutes of recording time.

So what should I get?
Also correct me if im wrong on anything.
Also should I sell my XH A1 and wait for a new DSLR that is meant more for filming?
Also my purpose for filming is skits and music videos on YouTube.(While some poeple think I should be using a Flip, because its just YouTube. I believe other wise I believe in Quality and because its on the internet* that should be even more of a reason to make your videos looks good.)

*internet-Everyone can view it and judge it.w

And lastly thanks :D
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Old February 21st, 2011, 08:49 PM   #2
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Re: Canon XH A1 vs Canon 7D

I'm a big Canon fan; but agree with you on DOF completely. I am hoping that Canon will release a 4/3 HD cam with interchangeable lens .... soon! In the meantime, you may take a look at the NEX-VG10 (ugh... Sony)

I have 2 XHA1s Cams, really wish I had been able to go with one of the XF series, as the tape based cams are rather frustrating. Looking at Firestore's units for Canons (FS-CF), or selling these, and upgrading slightly.
Still will have to look at DOF adaptor, or upgrade.
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Old February 21st, 2011, 09:16 PM   #3
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Re: Canon XH A1 vs Canon 7D

Dominik,

Unless you plan on using a monitor, go with the t2i and save $800 on the 7D (I have both). If you have enough light you can get by with the cheap kit lens which will probably still outperform the A1 in low light. Just be aware that the kit lens has variable aperature, so if you zoom while shooting it will snap to different apertures (looks bad). Otherwise you'll need to spend a little cash for better, faster glass with constant F-Stop. If you want better glass and don't mind going with primes, you can get old SMC Takumar lenses off ebay for pretty cheap that have a great look. The 50mm f1.4 is pretty awesome if in good condition and not yellowed. If yellowed, leave it in the window for a few weeks and you'll be fine.

You'd be in great shape if you can keep the A1 and scratch up $1,000 for the t2i, lens, and 2 batteries. You can mount the A1 on a cheap tripod for wide cover shots and use the t2i hand held or on a inexpensive tripod. By the way, the Velbon 607 produces really smooth pans and tilts for $70 for short edited clips with lighter cameras like DSLR's where you can edit out the start and stop of pans. It's lousy for continuous footage like covering a wedding non-stop because of its spring-back tendencies when you let go. It's borderline for the A1, but I used one for 2 years.

By the way, most here will tell you to spend all your money on a great tripod because they will outlast your camera. Given you are 16 and figuring this out, I don't think you want to spend $1,000 or more on one just yet! Just think twice before you go "intermediate" on the tripod. When you get serious, go all the way for a really good one.

Last edited by Roger Shealy; February 22nd, 2011 at 01:29 PM.
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Old February 21st, 2011, 09:44 PM   #4
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Re: Canon XH A1 vs Canon 7D

Hey Dominik,

I'm 16 as well and know what its like to spend a lot of your hard earned money on a cam. For a while I was dead set on the XH-A1, but then realized that tape is starting to die out. That pretty much turned me away from the camera.

I would get the 7D, or t2i. I've used the 7D before, and its stellar. The low-light as you know is amazing, and if you were using a Letus and the XH-A1, your low-light wouldn't be as great. Also, it uses CF cards, so theres no log and capture, you just download the footage off the cam and your set. In addition, the footage looks amazing. Also, you can take pictures, which is an added bonus.
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Old February 22nd, 2011, 09:21 AM   #5
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Re: Canon XH A1 vs Canon 7D

So I decided I'm going with the dslr but now the question of which one to get 7d or ti2
I am going to buy a 150-200$ monitor so it won't be super sharp but I don't know if there is a big difference in the 2 dslr's. Sry for bad spelling and such I'm typing this on my phone
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Old February 22nd, 2011, 10:11 AM   #6
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Re: Canon XH A1 vs Canon 7D

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dominik Brandys View Post
but now the question of which one to get 7d or ti2
I am going to buy a 150-200$ monitor so it won't be super sharp but I don't know if there is a big difference in the 2 dslr's.
add to your list 60D, it is almost 7D but cheaper, but 7D is the only one I believe that has 1080 HDMI out and no monitor blackout when start recording
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Old February 22nd, 2011, 01:44 PM   #7
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Re: Canon XH A1 vs Canon 7D

I have the Small HD DPx monitor, which is quite nice. The problem is, I really don't use if very much as I've learned to use the cameras without it and much prefer the nimbleness of a simple camera. If you are shooting complex scenes with people moving towards and away from the camera you'll benefit from the monitor. If not, consider spending the money on other things.

My personal opinion is the DSLR's are great for scripted work (read you can redo it) where the camera movement is very limited. Once you start introducing movement, especially unplanned movement you enter into a new realm of difficulty maintaining focus, maintaining exposure, and the much-hated jello effects. It's fun trying, but don't underestimate the difficulty. There's a good reason film crews have 2 or 3 people running a large format film camera. The DSLR is perhaps more demanding in that it's really not presented in a good form factor for video. Once again, a DSLR for the high impact shots and a small sensor camera for continuous cover shots is a great combination.

You might consider selling the A1, buying the t2i and picking up a Panasonic TM700 or the just released TM900 instead of decking out the t2i with peripherals.

Last edited by Roger Shealy; February 22nd, 2011 at 07:54 PM.
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Old February 28th, 2011, 02:17 PM   #8
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Re: Canon XH A1 vs Canon 7D

It all depends on what you want to do (this isn't aimed at the original poster). If you want to make money from filming then tape based recording is still very much in demand. I do corporate shoots where the client hands you tapes, you record, then hand the tapes back at the end of the gig. Tapes are $2 a piece. If a client doesn't provide tapes, do you really want to be giving out expensive CFC's when you're done filming? btw, if you want a great dslr with unlimited recording time, get the Panasonic GH2. It outperforms the 7D in every respect, and is cheaper.

Last edited by Patrick Janka; February 28th, 2011 at 03:09 PM.
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Old February 28th, 2011, 10:23 PM   #9
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Re: Canon XH A1 vs Canon 7D

Patrick, except for the fact that a GH2 is a micro 4/3s sensor and the 7D is an APS-C sensor (basically s35 mm). Kind of comparing apples to oranges, aren't we? And picture quality is a subjective thing. And let's not forget lenses...
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Old February 28th, 2011, 11:50 PM   #10
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Re: Canon XH A1 vs Canon 7D

Although the selection of native lenses for the GH2 isn't great, due to the mirrorless design you can fit almost any lens on there with an adapter. The Panny also has a better processor, a flip out lcd screen, extended tele mode (which doubles your focal length 2.6x with no image degradation), better control over/non-existing moire/banding/aliasing/rolling shutter/etc., no recording time limit, no overheating, it's lighter, cheaper, easier to navigate and more videographer-friendly menu, yada yada. Imo, the Canon's have been left in the dust, but to each their own.
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Old March 1st, 2011, 07:11 AM   #11
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Re: Canon XH A1 vs Canon 7D

Another option is the new Canon T3i which also has the flip out screen and "crop zoom" feature and it's shipping with the new kit lens for $899, which puts it price wise in the ball park of the Panasonic.

I really like the images from the GH2 but was so heavily invested in Canon glass I went the Canon route but the OP doesn't appear to be in the same boat. Although there is something to be said about sticking with the same manufacturer in that once you get used to certain menus and such, it's usually very intuitive switching models within the same line.

For the stated purpose the dslr would be fine and offer more creative control visually but makes capturing/synching sound of skits and music videos quite a bit more challenging, so take that into consideration. If at all possible, I'm with the earlier poster Roger who said to try and scratch up the cash for the camera and keep the A1.
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Old March 1st, 2011, 05:52 PM   #12
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Re: Canon XH A1 vs Canon 7D

For the record, I'm totally open to the GH2 though I've never used it and it's hard for me to recommend something I haven't used. I like the increased resolution, flip out screen, unlimited record time, and even like the lighter camera body and slightly smaller sensor. I prefer Canon's treatment of color in the limited examples I've seen to date.

Whatever DSLR you decide upon, consider having a small sensor video camera also! In my mind this point is much larger than what DSLR you land on. Most likely the majority of your footage will be viewed over the net, so the bigger issue will be do you have depth of focus when you need it and can you provide continuous footage between highlight DSLR shots. I'm not saying you can't do everything with the DSLR, given enough talent and multiple takes. I do think, however, you will find yourself wanting both sensor sizes in your bag for specific purposes.

By the way, the video community is starting to suffer from rack-focus-itis. Too many people are overusing the DOF manipulation and its like some law was passed that every shot has to have a rack focus. Rack focus is like garlic, a little goes a long way and the effect is good when used in moderation. Same with DOF; sometimes its nice to see what's happening in the background! Focus should reinforce the action/story/dialogue. It shouldn't be just a random trick!

Last edited by Roger Shealy; March 1st, 2011 at 08:24 PM.
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