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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 August 29th, 2013, 09:37 AM   #1
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XHA1 is still a good camera

So I have been shooting with a dslr for a while, along with a few of the other new cameras. For some reason I had my self convinced that the XHA1 is no longer a viable choice. Well last week I shot with it for the first time in about a year. Theres been so much talk about the newer cameras that some of us forgot that this camera still produces a grerat picture under good lighting. As a matter of fact, it kind of has that same flat picture that allows for color correction in post. Its no different than when most of shoot with a flat setting on a dslr so that we can grade in post. I think I will hold onto this camera especailly since the resale value of it has dropped significantly.
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Old August 29th, 2013, 10:34 AM   #2
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Re: XHA1 is still a good camera

I just saw a local add for wedding videographers and it required experience with the XHA1. I'm sure it will still be a workhorse for sometime in several fields. I know technology marches on but I think there are several cameras that will hold a position for work regardless of what technology does and the XHA1 is definitely one of them.
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Old August 29th, 2013, 02:07 PM   #3
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Re: XHA1 is still a good camera

I really like both my XH-A1 and my newer XH-A1S. Having a matched pair of cameras to shoot with makes it so much easier color matching in post. The three control rings and all the buttons have really spoiled me. To get two ergonomically comparable card based cameras would have been prohibitively expensive for me right now. So, I've recently added two DataVideo DN-60s to my kit, along with several CF cards, rechargable batteries and charger (8 AAs at a time). Plus, the M2T files will work on my older editing PC that I keep for a spare, not just the main editing PC.

To get a pair of new XF 300s or 305s, with a wide angle adapter, rain gear, and batteries, or something comparable from Sony, JVC, or Panasonic would have been around $15K. As it is, my upgrade for the two A1s came to under $15 hundred.
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Old August 29th, 2013, 03:07 PM   #4
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Re: XHA1 is still a good camera

I sold mine beginning this year, realy enjoyed the camera, only not when the lights went down. :)
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Old August 30th, 2013, 03:32 PM   #5
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Re: XHA1 is still a good camera

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Van Duyn View Post
To get two ergonomically comparable card based cameras would have been prohibitively expensive for me right now.
+1

Same for me! Even if I could afford it, the filming I do couldn't justify it.

Cheers,
Peter
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Old August 31st, 2013, 08:03 AM   #6
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Re: XHA1 is still a good camera

Agreed... I have two XH-A1s cameras, and my XL-H1A that I shoot recitals and community theatre with and they produce amazing images once you master them!


For me I really cannot see spending the $$$ for the XF series... (although don't get me wrong I would love to... ) when these cameras are still working fine...

The only thing I worry about is tapes... I wonder how long till they cease to be available? ....
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Old September 1st, 2013, 03:05 AM   #7
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Re: XHA1 is still a good camera

Dave, if getting tape becomes a problem, don't you think a CompactFlash recorder could be a good solution for you?

FWIW, I haven't had any information from my tape dealer in The Netherlands that Panasonic AY-DVM63AMQ is running low. I usually buy 10x5 cassettes at a time.

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Old September 2nd, 2013, 02:32 PM   #8
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Re: XHA1 is still a good camera

Hi Pete -
Yes you are correct..... next logical step would probably be the Focus Enhancements FS-CFpro or whatever its called ... (specifically for the Canon cameras) .

I really like tape though... the instance archiving and the piece of mind are priceless! :)
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Old September 3rd, 2013, 06:06 AM   #9
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Re: XHA1 is still a good camera

Quote:
I really like tape though... the instance archiving and the piece of mind are priceless! :)
Amen. Started to re-edit a 2-hour project shot in 1994 on Hi8 and VHS. No problem capturing once I ran the VHS through a TBC (actually use a Videonics MX1-Pro) to clean it up.
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Old September 3rd, 2013, 11:59 AM   #10
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Re: XHA1 is still a good camera

Kevin, I still have my XH-A1, too! I shot a wedding a few weeks ago and was pleasantly surprised how well the footage from it matched with the footage I shot with my Lumix GH2. The ceremony itself was outdoor and the two cams together worked great. When I went into a tent for the evening parts of the day, however, I had to let the Canon go, and shoot with 2 GH2's.

Re tape: I have plenty of tapes...bought 50 of the Panasonic AY-DVM83AMQ's (I love that extra 20 minutes of tape!), and another 50 AY-HDVM63AMQ's, as I figured they'd get scarce, once the move to SD and CF cards gained momentum. I may, though, look at the DataVideo recorder, as it seems to get good reviews from the gang on this forum.
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Old September 3rd, 2013, 09:51 PM   #11
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Re: XHA1 is still a good camera

I'm editing my very last project that I shot on my XH-A1. Daylight footage looks gorgeous, but early evening and on it just falls apart, and NeatVideo can work miracles only to a point. It is a bittersweet experience, but I've moved onto a Sony NEX FS-700. Hardly a fair comparison of cameras, yet I'm still impressed with the images from the A1.
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Old September 4th, 2013, 08:06 AM   #12
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Re: XHA1 is still a good camera

I shot a destination (beach) wedding over the labor day weekend with my two XH's and DN-60s. Around sundown while shooting the reception under the pavilion, I did need to use my Z 96 LCD lights. Since they had dimmers, no one complained. Looking at the footage, it's fine. In my experience, just adding a little light is all that's necessary.
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Old September 4th, 2013, 10:00 AM   #13
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Re: XHA1 is still a good camera

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Originally Posted by Steven Reid View Post
...early evening and on it just falls apart
Steven, I am afraid I have to agree. I shot some footage of a community meeting in a poorly lit basement last night with my XH G1s. Even when adding an extra light source, a Dynacore DTR-800W (dubbed "mandarine" in French), and shooting at gain +3dB, I was constantly underexposing a stop or so.

The footage is not unusable, but I was a bit disappointed when I watched some of it directly from the Blackmagic HDS2 after the meeting. And I also think the video looks way too grainy for being shot at only +3dB. Maybe it has something to do, also, with the "TRUECOLOR" preset I was using...

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Old September 6th, 2013, 11:03 AM   #14
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Re: XHA1 is still a good camera

Download Black Magic's Resolve Lite (free) and try pulling up the Highlights and Midtones.
It might make the footage very usable - worth a try.
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Old September 6th, 2013, 02:14 PM   #15
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Re: XHA1 is still a good camera

Thanks, John, I will definitely give this a try. Is pulling up highlights and midtones particularly recommended because of my use of the "TRUECOLOR" preset (much discussed in several other threads) or because of the +3dB gain?

Regards,
Peter
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