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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 November 16th, 2011, 03:06 PM   #1
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Out with the old and in with the new

With the advancement of technology in the video world, I find myself constantly asking the same question over and over. Should have continue to shoot what I have or has technology advanced so far that it is inevitable that I upgrade? Currently, my setup consists of an XHA1s, an XHA1 and a HF S20. If I upgrade, I actually considered replacing the HF S20 and the XHA1 with the XF100 x 2 and the XHA1s with the XF300. Again, I just don't know if the technological advances are worth the investment at this time. Of note, I shoot weddings, church functions, birthday parties, etc. Other than the WD-58 on the HF S20 and the Rode Mics that I have purchased, I don't have any attachments. Thanks in advance for your interest and comments regarding my thread.
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Old November 18th, 2011, 06:51 AM   #2
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Re: Out with the old and in with the new

No responses?

I'd say that it becomes a business decision. The cost to move to the XF line can be significant compared to your current gear.

Tapeless is great for capture workflow, not as good for reliable long term archiving of shot footage. In many respect the newer dear gives a better image ad improved features - but only if you can take advantage of them in your work. For example I rarely use chroma key, so the FX series 4:2:2 color space is not as valuable to me as it may be to someone else.

If the delivery medium is DVD, it probably makes no significant difference in the final image on disc. Moving up from HDV might have some benefit if you are delivering Blu-ray to well-equipped customers.

BTW: To my thinking the XA10 is a nice compact package for a second (or third) camera at events at a more modest price point.

I would probably phase in new gear as the old ages out or needs servicing. Read what other say, try undestand where they are coming from and evaluate whether or not it fits your situation, and take any advice given as being worth about what you paid for it , at least as it applies to you.
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Old November 18th, 2011, 07:29 AM   #3
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Re: Out with the old and in with the new

No responses until now. You're the first one.

Don your comments are greatly appreciated. Currently, the clients that I work for don't request Blue Ray disks. Thus far my jobs have only required DVD's. It's an interesting comment that you make regarding the lack of need to upgrade to the XF line based on the media usage. This is a big part of what I. was hoping to get some input on. Right now I'm really frustrated that I don't know how to effectively make the manual adjustments necessary to get the imagery that I've seen all over YouTube and Vimeo. My initial response is to always upgrade with hopes that somehow I'll magically get right this time or at least look good trying. That being said, is this what you would consider an acceptable professional setup for lower budget events? Lower meaning around $2,000.00?
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Old November 24th, 2011, 04:08 PM   #4
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Re: Out with the old and in with the new

Hallo Maurice,

I'am also at the point of upgrading my gear and have similar questions in mind. When I bought my trusty XHA 1 five years ago, it was really state of the art and the results where highly appreciated by my customers - mostly broadcasters. It's still fine for SD productions, but more and more clients demand 'Full HD' - even though the result will end up on a website or a dvd. Also some clients start to dislike tape based systems ("what? still using these old tapes?"), even If I try to explain, that tapeless workflow
doesn't necessarily produce better results. What I want to say: Also marketing aspects play a role when you think about upgrading your gear or not. What do your clients expect to see on location?

I'll probably get the Panni HPX 250 that is somewhat cheaper than the XF 300 and seems to produce a similar quality. It should be fine for the news stuff I sell, even in HD. But If I'd be in your position (doing weddings, etc.) I'd probably get the XF 100 and/or just attach a tapeless recorder like a DN 60 to my XH a1.
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Old November 25th, 2011, 07:44 AM   #5
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Re: Out with the old and in with the new

Quote:
...to get the imagery that I've seen all over YouTube and Vimeo
Lighting, camcorder settings (the XHA1 allows a lot of them), and effects/filters in post coupled with skilled shotting and editing. A new camcorder will not likely provide a magic bullet that will make the rest unnecessary.

IMHO: the #1 benefit to the tapeless work flow is time saved in capture, #2 is avoiding the occasional tape drop out, #3 is saving the time needed to change tape every ~60 minutes, and #4 is fewer moving parts in the camcorder to wear out/give problems. But CF and SD media have their own, different issues.

The newer camcorders often do better in poor light (depends on which you compare so try before you buy to be sure), and be sure to understand how they are achieving their apparent performance interms of how the DSP is stroking the raw image to reduce noise, bump up apparent sharpness, or color saturation.

Blu-ray look excellent on a large sceen HD set or projected on a screen. But so does a good DVD, and if you avoid side-by-side comparisons many folks will not notice the difference.

If going tapeless saves you 1 hour per week that you can bill out at $60 per hour, that pays for the XF100 with change to spare. The DN-60 has had mixed revierws - works well for some folks, other do not recommend it. Read carefully, evaluate how it fits your work flow, and run the numbers before you invest. It is a firewire connected device

(Ever wonder how Sony makes the Blu-ray ads look so good you want one - when the ads are running on a DVD, not on Blu-ray?)

Funny thing on media chages.

When CDs replaced LP records, in the 1980s the price jumped from $6 for LPs to $12 for CDs. Quality change is still being debated, but CDs are much more convenient and durable.
DVD replaced VHS tape at a modest price increase, major quality and concvenience inprovement.
With Blu-ray replacing DVD, the DVD prices have dropped and Blu-ray are at the old DVD price point.
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Old November 25th, 2011, 08:10 AM   #6
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Re: Out with the old and in with the new

It may help if you look at Sony and Panasonic lineups. They provide interesting modern solid state alternatives that don't have the limitations of the Canon line. Obvious ones that come to mind are that you can replace the A1 cameras with a 3-ring solid state full HD camcorder at a lower pricepoint than the XF300 and not have to compromise to the 10x single ring XF100. You don't require the broadcast designed Codec of the XF so that's money you can spend on things that you DO require or just plain save spending it.

Staying with tape is also a viable strategy as long as you are putting money aside for the inevitable repair decision. But recognize you are missing out on having the advantages features, technology and function that you WILL appreciate and that WILL improve your product. YMMV
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Old November 26th, 2011, 08:34 PM   #7
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Re: Out with the old and in with the new

Les,

I saw your response a little late. Yesterday, I went out and purchased the Canon HF-G10. I figured I might as well see what the hoopla is about. Honestly, the imagery is great but, it doesn't do anything more for me than my HF-S20. I was able to do a side by side comparison during my son's basketball game using the two.

I think that this little one is going back and I'll take a look at your suggestions.
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