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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 27th, 2012, 12:45 AM   #16
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Re: XH-A1 = Damn Fine HD Camera

Jonathan, the BlackMagic converter is powered by 12 VDC. It comes with a wall wart, but I use a standard Tekkeon 3450 for power. The BlackMagic Hypershuttle recorder has an internal battery good for about and hour, but still I use Tekkeon batteries to power everything but the cameras.
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Old February 27th, 2012, 02:43 AM   #17
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Re: XH-A1 = Damn Fine HD Camera

Hi Terry

I'd like to know which of the 2 blackmagic's you're using:

Blackmagic Design Mini Converter Heavy Duty - CONVMH/DUTYAAS B&H

Blackmagic Design Mini Converter Analog to SDI CONVMAAS2 B&H

I'm a run and gun guy myself so I'm also wondering how you mount that and the hyperdeck, many options I know, but what have you found to be the most ergonomic?

I'd also like to know much run time you get on either of these from the tekkeon? And if you're not running tape, how do you record audio?

Thanks
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Old February 27th, 2012, 02:16 PM   #18
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Re: XH-A1 = Damn Fine HD Camera

Jase,

I have the second, non heavy duty converter... which was the only one available when I got it. Looks like they are similar except for the rugged case. Also note the converter has BNC component connectors, which will require a RCA adapter for the Canon cable...and stick out a bit.

My typical shoot is 2 cameras on tripods and two run and gun. So I choose the A1 as the master tripod mounted camera, and I made custom adapters to mount the converter, recorder, batteries and a DP6 on the tripos legs. I shoot an HPX250 with monopod for run and gun. If I needed to use the A1 for run and gun, I would consider taping the converter, recorder and batteries together and putting them in a small sound bag. The Datavideo DN60 should be considered here since it is light and easily mounts on the flash shoe. I had some minor reliability issues with the DN60 and never spent the time to work them out. But it could easily be the best practical solution for A1 run and gun.

I would estimate the Tekkeon to power these units for much greater than 4 hours, which is how long I typically last.

You are correct to be concerned about the audio, another plus for the DN60 option. I record sound on a Sound devices 788T, and can feed a line level input on the converter with various options like a wireless receiver output or mixer if necessary.
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Old February 27th, 2012, 04:46 PM   #19
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Re: XH-A1 = Damn Fine HD Camera

Terry

Thanks for the reply. I've considered the DN60 but while the XH is a fine camera, ultimately I want a better codec. In that respect, I've also looked at the Panasonic 250 but reports of it also having an autofocus issue have given me pause.

Not something I use a lot, but there are those times when using the push autofocus is the best way to go. How have you found that in the 250? I noticed that you mentioned the autofocus issue with the 160 but not the 250.
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Old February 27th, 2012, 10:16 PM   #20
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XH-A1s = A slightly better Damn Fine HDV Camera

Hello guys. I have enjoyed my Canon XHA1s (and a Vixia HV30) for almost 3 years now. Tons of good projects that I have accomplished. Lately I have also added a Canon T3i to the mix and for some projects, the T3i has given me a creative edge. I use the A1s mostly for live events and lifestyle videos (ok...some weddings too!).
Now., I'm itching to take my videos to the next level (technically and artistically) and I have been looking around for a better camera at a reasonable price...I think I would like to avoid the AVCHD codec (I edit with an imac and FCP 7 for now-may get Premiere CS5.5) and the Sony EX1r and the Canon XF 300 seem to keep coming up in my searches. I really would like to get a camera that will give me a real upgrade from my XHA1s for live events and lifestyle videos- I usually have to use the A1s with +6DB gain (but I do have nice LED lights). I sadly realize that Canon has indeed abandoned the under $4K market- the FX100 is not a straight replacement for the A1s and I feel it wouldn't really satisfy me.
However, the price of the FX300 (and the Sony EX1r) is a bit much.

Are these two cameras really the only ones that can truly be considered an upgrade to the XHa1s?
I read all I can about the BBC approved coded etc., watched some videos comparing them-etc but I still can't get a qualified and balanced opinion. I will continue to use my Canon T3i for commercials etc, the stuff I can afford to ask my talent to repeat! Can't miss a beat with my long format camera...

I just wish I could get a camera (Canon preferably) that would be better in low light than the A1s, file based and better codec. The XF100 is not quite it.
Suggestions, Reassurances, etc would be appreciated from this thread- we all love our A1s and it has been an amazing tool!
Gracias
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Old February 27th, 2012, 10:22 PM   #21
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XH-A1s = A slightly better Damn Fine HDV Camera

Hello guys. I have enjoyed my Canon XHA1s (and a Vixia HV30) for almost 3 years now. Tons of good projects that I have accomplished. Lately I have also added a Canon T3i to the mix and for some projects, the T3i has given me a creative edge. I use the A1s mostly for live events and lifestyle videos (ok...some weddings too!).
Now., I'm itching to take my videos to the next level (technically and artistically) and I have been looking around for a better camera at a reasonable price...I think I would like to avoid the AVCHD codec (I edit with an imac and FCP 7 for now-may get Premiere CS5.5) and the Sony EX1r and the Canon XF 300 seem to keep coming up in my searches. I really would like to get a camera that will give me a real upgrade from my XHA1s for live events and lifestyle videos- I usually have to use the A1s with +6DB gain (but I do have nice LED lights). I sadly realize that Canon has indeed abandoned the under $4K market- the FX100 is not a straight replacement for the A1s and I feel it wouldn't really satisfy me.
However, the price of the FX300 (and the Sony EX1r) is a bit much.

Are these two cameras really the only ones that can truly be considered an upgrade to the XHa1s?
I read all I can about the BBC approved coded etc., watched some videos comparing them-etc but I still can't get a qualified and balanced opinion. I will continue to use my Canon T3i for commercials etc, the stuff I can afford to ask my talent to repeat! Can't miss a beat with my long format camera...

I just wish I could get a camera (Canon preferably) that would be better in low light than the A1s, file based and better codec. The XF100 is not quite it.
Suggestions, Reassurances, etc would be appreciated from this thread- we all love our A1s and it has been an amazing tool!
Gracias
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Old February 28th, 2012, 03:06 AM   #22
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Re: XH-A1 = Damn Fine HD Camera

Jase,

The autofocus issue was originally tied to the 250,160, and 130 cameras, but now all the attention seems to be concentrated in the 160/130 owner's forums. The lens and sensors are the same, but signal processing and firmware are totally different. I don't know if the autofocus system is shared between the 250/ 160 lines.

My experience relates to the shooting environment. I mainly shoot music events at small clubs, with black backgrounds and musicians lit by overhead stage lights. In this environment, (good contrast), I run and gun with full time autofocus, and the 250 is as good as or better than the XH-A1 or HMC150, (mainly all three are good). I had one occasion to shoot a ballet in a drab rehearsal hall with a grey floor and grey background, and poor side lighting. I found the image to look ok on the monitor, but it was continuously hunting as the focus readout kept changing. I decided to shoot manually, and did not test the environment with a different camera.
Bottom line, I'm happy with autofocus on the 250 for my needs, but I know a lot of 160/130 users are having real problems.
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Old February 28th, 2012, 06:41 AM   #23
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Re: XH-A1s = A slightly better Damn Fine HDV Camera

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erick Perdomo View Post
... the Sony EX1r and the Canon XF 300 seem to keep coming up in my searches. I really would like to get a camera that will give me a real upgrade from my XHA1s for live events and lifestyle videos- I usually have to use the A1s with +6DB gain (but I do have nice LED lights). I sadly realize that Canon has indeed abandoned the under $4K market- the XF100 is not a straight replacement for the A1s and I feel it wouldn't really satisfy me. ...
I felt the same way and upgraded from an A1 to EX1R. You'll love its 1/2" sensors and the DOF/lowlight performance that comes with them that the XF300 doesn't have. Also, the EX1R is smaller and lighter than the XF300 and more the size of the A1. Other 3-ring, 3-mos solid state cameras are the Sony NX5 and Panasonic's recent AC line. But to upgrade above the AVCHD CODEC, you'll have to step up in price. Even still the EX1R is less than the XF300 and it has an SDI output. Assuming of course you aren't producing for the BBC.

Do some searching here in the A1 forum, there's many threads of A1 owners want to upgrade.
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Old February 28th, 2012, 07:09 PM   #24
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Re: XH-A1 = Damn Fine HD Camera

Thanks for the input Terry.
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Old March 8th, 2012, 05:48 PM   #25
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Re: XH-A1s = A slightly better Damn Fine HDV Camera

EX1r is a great upgrade, you can get a good condition one second hand at a pretty reasonable cost too.
Stick a SDI capture device on the back and you have a small, full spec, broadcast camera. There is still a lot of life left in the EX1's
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Old March 13th, 2012, 12:25 AM   #26
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XHa1s coexisting with a new Canon XF300

Hello everyone. I decided to go for the canon xf300 and I can say that is better than my XHA1s in many aspects: resolution, ergonomics, LCD! etc but they are about the same in low light, but the xf300 has better dynamic range so it looks cleaner and I used it at +9db at a reception.
On recent project, I combined footage from the A1s, a canon T3i(converted to Pro res) and the xf 300 (also converted to Pro res) and with some colour adjustement,the final video looked fine. The A1s looked softer of course but acceptable. I can now use 2 good cameras in my projects.

I still wish I had compared the Ex1 against the XF300 but couldnt. I was able to find a gently used XF300 for slightly more than a used XE1 (no EX1r anywhere in Toronto!) and so I decided to go for the newer camera. I'm sure the EX1 is a bit better in low light but I never forget to use my LED lights.
here is a sample of timelapse taken with the XF300 and graded with magic bullet looks. Just tests..still learning..
Timelapses Vers 1.mp4 - YouTube
but I'm keeping my XHA1s!
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Old March 20th, 2012, 03:33 PM   #27
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Re: XH-A1 = Damn Fine HD Camera

Hey Tony,

I'd be really interested in hearing your review of the XA-10 compared to the XH-A1.

I too love my XH-A1 but am thinking it's time to upgrade away from a tape based camera.

The XA-10 is one camera I've been considering. It'd be nice to hear what you think.

Charlie
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Old March 21st, 2012, 08:23 AM   #28
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Re: XH-A1 = Damn Fine HD Camera

I have an xh-a1 and my work has a xa-10.

I love not using tapes, but I don't think I could give up the 3 ring set-up
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Old March 26th, 2012, 11:02 AM   #29
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Re: XH-A1 = Damn Fine HD Camera

I have the HF-G10 and the XHA1s and have used the XA-10. Having used all, I would have to agree with Paul that, it will be difficult to downgrade from a three ring to a single ring. That being said, the video quality varies between the three with the HF-G10 and the XA-10 being extremely close until you get to some really low light situations. The XHA1(s) doesn't stand a chance in this comparison. Both the newer cameras have an internal hard drive and can take additional SD cards. I actually still prefer tape as an option. Hard drives do go out and cards can always become corrupt. That being said, if you really know how to use the XHA1(s), you can get some really good footage. I am actually still learning and continue to be amazed by what this camera can do. I will typically use it along with an XLH1 for business and I use the HF-G10 when I'm out with my family or a simple interview.
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Old March 26th, 2012, 02:21 PM   #30
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Re: XH-A1 = Damn Fine HD Camera

Quote:
Both the newer cameras have an internal hard drive
Believe that the G10 and XA10 are both internal memory, not hard drives drives. Memory, especially removable memory such as CF and SD cards, can be corrupted by improper handling, and is not archival quality. That said, it is convenient!
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