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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 January 18th, 2013, 10:52 AM   #31
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Re: is the Canon XHA1 still a good camera?

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Originally Posted by Tony Davies-Patrick View Post
I even used to use the Canon XL HD 6X zoom lens on my old XL2 and it was a huge improvement over the XL 3X lens. The 6X lens was definitely the top of the hill for the XL line of cameras and it was such a pity that the XL-H1/s/a line of exchangeable lens camcorders eventually came to a dead-end.
Yeah I agree. It's too bad the XL line came to an end... it really was a refined system. One can only hope that they are redesigning it into a new interchangeable lens system that maybe uses 2/3" chips. This would be a natural progression for their pro HD camcorder lineup. They could bill it as a small form factor shouldermount HD camcorder that has a dedicated line of lenses for it, but can also use any 2/3" broadcast lens out there.

A huge jump up while still differentiating it from the Cinema EOS line.
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Old January 18th, 2013, 11:04 AM   #32
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Re: is the Canon XHA1 still a good camera?

I was thinking the same thing. Canon overreacted to the DSLR market and failed to realize that the traditional camcorder is as alive today as ever. I have the XLH1 camera and I am desperately searching for the 6x wide lens at an affordable price. I've tried to shoot with the 5D Mark III and have done so successfully but as I'm sure most of you know, the DSLR's have their limitations; especially if you're doing a lot of moving shots.
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Old January 18th, 2013, 01:19 PM   #33
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Re: is the Canon XHA1 still a good camera?

I've seen several Canon 6X lenses in as-new mint condition over recent weeks sell for well under 550 on Ebay, which is an absolute bargain compared to what they sold for originally. I would have bought another one if I wasn't so heavily involved with DSLR systems. The XL 6X & 20X lenses are now covered with two of my DSLR full-frame f/2.8 zoom lenses on the 5D.

I don't think Canon will ever update the XL range or sell anything like it in the near future. There just isn't enough buyers out there to make it viable. The larger sensor cameras such as video capable DSLRs and C100/C300/C500 seems to be the road they are taking into the future.
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Old January 20th, 2013, 10:57 AM   #34
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Re: is the Canon XHA1 still a good camera?

We still regularly use the original XLH1 recording out to a CD flashXDR with both the 6x and 20x lenses.
If you remember, the HD-SDI out port opened up Pandora's Box and allowed this camera to still be highly relevant to this day by shooting XDCAMHD422 at higher data rates than many current cameras.

It was a ground breaking tool that is often forgotten that opened up the world of HD-SDI possibilities at was then an unheard of price point.

And it still is a very useful tool.
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Old January 20th, 2013, 12:32 PM   #35
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Re: is the Canon XHA1 still a good camera?

How can I take advantage of the HD-SDI out? Is this what the Nanoflash is for and, if I'm just finalizing my finished product onto a DVD, does it really matter?
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Old January 20th, 2013, 03:32 PM   #36
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Re: is the Canon XHA1 still a good camera?

Videocameras are a tiny fraction of Canons market, still cameras are their main product.

Their DSLR models created a real storm in the video market and shook up their videocamera guys.
The 2 divisions haven't and probably still don't communicate with each other.

On a Caribbean cruise last Nov. with 270 passengers, 90% of shooters used iPads and iPhones,
there were only 3 of us shooting with videocameras. I asked around, the iPadders don't download anything, they just email their stills.
That won't encourage Canon.

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Old January 22nd, 2013, 09:47 AM   #37
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Re: is the Canon XHA1 still a good camera?

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How can I take advantage of the HD-SDI out? Is this what the Nanoflash is for and, if I'm just finalizing my finished product onto a DVD, does it really matter?
The XL H1 was the 1st low cost HD camera to offer this along with timecode and genlock ports.

The HD-SDI port streams out the uncompressed video signal with 4:2:2 color space. So by using a recorder like the Nanoflash, you can bypass the HDV codec and record to a much higher bitrate, less compressed codec, giving you much higher quality out of the camera. It's given the XL H line much more longevity when compared to other camera back then, along with a simultaneous tape/tapeless workflow solution.

Then original H1 only passed video through its HD-SDI (the latest H1S version passed video/audio/timecode) so keep that in mind.
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Old February 26th, 2013, 10:34 AM   #38
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Re: is the Canon XHA1 still a good camera?

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I really like the Sony look, I am still looking, you know anything about the Sony FX1?
The FX1 is inferior to the XH-A1. The newer FX1000 (consumer version of Z5) is a much closer match, but I would still choose the Canon, especially the later "s" model. It has significantly better zoom controls, audio quality (especially the auto control) and auto-focus. The image-stabaliser is more intrusive on the Sony, too. The FX1000 has quite intrusive motor noise, and the plastic body is less rigid than the Canon, and occassionally creaks, especially when hand-held. The only thing the Sony does slightly better is low-light, and that's because it disguises the noise at high gain by "smearing" the image quite a lot. I've spent a lot of time editing footage from XH-A1, XH-A1s, FX1 and FX1000, and know their foibles rather too well.

Some of us still need tape cameras. If you want to retain an archive of your shots, tape is still a simple and effective way to do this. The XH-A1 is a very usable camera and is probably the best HDV camera - with the possible exception of the XL-H1 if you need interchangable lenses and don't mind the extra weight.

I've been thinking about my upgrade path from the XH-A1s, too, but can't see the way to go yet:
- AVCHD needs a change of NLE and major PC upgrade (Avid Liquid doesn't support AVCHD). I'd go this way if it gave me a really good and usable camera;
- PMW-200 and XF300 are a class heavier and more expensive than I want.
- XF100 only has a x10 zoom, and doesn't have the excellent zoom-speed thumb-wheel that I've got so used to using...
I want an "HD XM1" but for the moment, I'm sticking with the XH-A1s with a Sony CF-card recorder.
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Old February 27th, 2013, 06:53 AM   #39
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Re: is the Canon XHA1 still a good camera?

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(Avid Liquid doesn't support AVCHD).
FWIW: I switched to EDIUS when Liquid was killed off a few years ago - at that time the learning curve was modest. EDIUS does a great job with AVCHD. Give it a look if you haven't already.
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Old February 27th, 2013, 07:20 AM   #40
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Re: is the Canon XHA1 still a good camera?

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The only thing the Sony does slightly better is low-light, and that's because it disguises the noise at high gain by "smearing" the image quite a lot.
That's the only part I don't agree with :) I do have a xh-a1 and also have access to a fx1000, at equal gains there is an advantage to the sony but the sony has a much finer grain enabling it to have a "usable" image at much higher gains then what would be acceptable for the canon. To today's standards the fx1000 is still very noisy at 12db + but when it came out I wished I had that camera instead of my Canon, but then mainly for it's much better and more usable higher gain footage. The xh-a1 looks plain ugly at 12db gain while 12db was perfectly usable on the fx1000. In a dim church I have often been swearing silently because I refused to go above 6db knowing my footage would be underexposed and still contained grain but I rather would fix it in post then pushing the gain to 12db. Other then that I think it's one of the best camera's from it's generation, back in a time where Canon charged normal prizes for their camera's ;)
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Old February 27th, 2013, 07:25 AM   #41
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Re: is the Canon XHA1 still a good camera?

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EDIUS does a great job with AVCHD.
+1 for Edius, my 2 year old I7 950 with edius 6.5 can handle 3 streams of native avchd 2.0 1080p 50p footage with colorcorrection in realtime when doing a multicam and that without any hardware acceleration and with a high quality preview window.
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Old April 11th, 2014, 03:48 PM   #42
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Re: is the Canon XHA1 still a good camera?

I have an XHA1 that is in very good condition, with the Canon Aux wide lens and pretty much all the accessories that came with it, plus four batteries. I have an FS-FC 200Pro mounted to the top with the oem bracket. I love it, but have transitioned to shooting HD with my 1DX/D800 bodies and lenses. I'd ship it out to someone today for $1,500.00, fob their doorstep.
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Old April 11th, 2014, 04:31 PM   #43
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Re: is the Canon XHA1 still a good camera?

At that price one can purchase a new HF G30.
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Old April 11th, 2014, 04:37 PM   #44
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Re: is the Canon XHA1 still a good camera?

What would that combination be worth in today's market? I just don't use it anymore, and really never used it in any kind of production capacity. I have four 1DX bodies and three D800's with just about every lens Canon and Nikon make, so that is the direction my video capture has taken.
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Old April 11th, 2014, 04:49 PM   #45
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Re: is the Canon XHA1 still a good camera?

I don't know the value of everything but if I had to guess, I'd say not more than $1,000.00. I really like your equipment and like you, I sometimes find myself shooting both Nikon and Canon. I have shot weddings using DSLR's but for me, it is sometimes just to much work unless I'm using them for those special shots with a more cinema feel.
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