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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 May 5th, 2015, 12:03 PM   #16
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Re: Alternative to wonderful XH-A1

hi everyone...I too loved my XHA1s for nearly five years...even with a broken handstrap! with decent lighting ,a nice picture preset and low gain it sure gave me rich footage- then I got anxious about an upgrade...I looked at the Sony EX1r but the thought of changing all my batteries and using Sony's proprietary recording media discouraged me even if the EX1 footage was better..
finally I bought a used XF300 nearly mint and I can say that with decent lighting and a good picture profile it gives me better footage than my XHA1s- I even used them both in a wedding and the XHA1s footage was a lot softer but I only used it on a wide angle..
But honestly the XF300 is now low light champion but I always use some light-no way around that.
I also got a XF100 and again with a picture preset and low gain it can give good footage. I even found a preset on the net that would match very closely a canon XF300 to a XF100 (XF match?) and that has helped me a lot for those 2 camera shoots (concerts for example). In fact, I will shoot a chorus concert with both the Canon XF300 and XF100 and also a Canon 70D (with the 18-135mm STM lens) this weekend- the stage lights should give me room to use f5.6 or higher on the 70D and if I set it to a wide angle then I can use the XF100 for a medium shot (only 10X zoom) and the XF300 for the close ups (18X zoom)...I just place the XF cameras side by side and leave the 70D unmanned aftter setting up at the beginning...wish me luck!

I have been eyeing the Canon C100- I have used it a few times at the TV station I work for in Toronto and I found the footage crisp and vivid for sure...I just don't like the AVCHD workflow at all... I wish it was
easier to use (I still use FCP 7 but I have Premiere 5.5 on my imac)...
I just can't justify a new camera for my part-time business but if I had to "upgrade" I would go for the Canon C100 mkii with the autofocus and maybe a Ninja recorder...big expense really...can't say that it would increase my business income...it would be awesome!!! oh yes...
so that's my experience...myXHA1s is on my shelf...may try to sell it...doubt I would get much for it...
E
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Old May 5th, 2015, 12:55 PM   #17
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Re: Alternative to wonderful XH-A1

Eric let us know how you do with the 70D. I just got one but haven't attempted video yet.
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Old May 5th, 2015, 01:47 PM   #18
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Re: Alternative to wonderful XH-A1

Hi Greg.It will be at a theatre so it should have decent stage lighting-not ultra low I hope...I will lower the saturation on the 70D and keep some sharpness so that I have a chance to match the XF cameras.I'm mostly a one man band but may have an assistant this time. The XF codec with the XF300/100 doesn't require transcoding for editing but I will transcode the H264 from the Canon 70D to Pro res LT so that I can edit the 3 cameras easier.
I guess there's a lot of use for small sensor cameras in events but cameras such as the Canon C100/300 may useful for events AND narrative which is awesome but I don't get many narrative projects yet.
The cost for a new C100mkii is a bit much for me now...not sure I would get better paying clients to justify the cost But it would be FREAKING AWESOME!
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Old May 11th, 2015, 09:31 AM   #19
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Re: Alternative to wonderful XH-A1

hello everyone...well..My concert shoot went well! It was 2 sets of 55 minutes each part.
I used the Canon XF100 wide and the Canon XF300 for CU (longer zoom) and also the Canon 70D for medium shots of the band mostly and outdoor shots...also a my gopro hero 3 for some short timelapse etc...
I got the XF300/100 to match very close but not perfectly but close and mouted them on tripods side by side so that I could operate them-some reframing etc-these cameras worked flawlessly as always- I shot at 1080 30fps and there was enough lighting on the stage-some portions of the concert were dimmer but I never went over 6db gain...
The Canon 70D had the 18-135 lens on it at f5.6, 1080p 30fps at 1600ISO. Also mounted on a tripod.
About the 70D- it worked fine...mostly. It recorded for 30 minutes(created 2 files that match frame perfectly) then I hit record again and it recorded for 20 minutes or so before turning off due to a bit of overheating! yep...it got a bit hot even with the LCD in the open..but I didn't lose footage-Now I know it won't record non stop! No problems...the XF cameras gave me enough coverage and the footage from the 70D is enough to add some variety to the concert.
I also had a friend bring his Canon XHA1 for some stage level footage. I tried to adjust it as much as possible but the footage I reviewed looks more grainy than the XF cameras and a bit over-exposed-could be the videographer...hmm...I may or may not use some of it..

Here is a short intro to the Concert-needs some work but I like it so far..not bad for a one man band I think. Not time to do some multicamera editing...

Ambiance Singers
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Old May 11th, 2015, 11:09 AM   #20
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Re: Alternative to wonderful XH-A1

I am impressed. Angles, speeds, musical clarity and variety. The customer should be impressed.
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Old May 11th, 2015, 02:06 PM   #21
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Re: Alternative to wonderful XH-A1

thank you Greg. This short intro doesn't have any of the audio recorded during the concert as this is just a quick opening montage so I used some stock music to do the montage.
I recorded the live audio via XLR directly from the audio set up at the Theatre and they did a decent enough job but not CD quality...I will do my best to make it sound good but my actual videotaping looks good. I think some minor colour correction might be useful but i got good angles with the main 2 cameras and some alternate shots with the 70D. I don't think my XHA1s would have done any better...my friend's XHA1 needed more calibration but even under the same lighting conditions the footage looks too contrasty and definitely more grainy...I do set the noise reduction on the XF cameras to level 2..and I use custom pics on both cameras to get them close. Might consider the C100 mkII in the future for production work such as this. A longer lens 55-270mm might be neeed for closer shots.I have effectively retired the XHA1s. May try to sell it for cheap...
erick
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Old May 17th, 2015, 10:25 PM   #22
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Re: Alternative to wonderful XH-A1

Hello all,

I too love my Canon XH-A1. I've had it since November of 2006.

While I have zero complaints about the picture quality I am done with using tapes.

I've sent the camera in to Canon twice for a tune up but the drop frames are just too annoying for words anymore.

I've tried the Canon XA10 and in good light the performance is actually great for me. But once I get in lower light situations I want my XHA1 again.

Seems like the Canon XF300 is the obvious next camera for me. But then I saw this Sony HXR-NX3.

Anyone else considering that camera?
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Old May 18th, 2015, 07:25 AM   #23
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Re: Alternative to wonderful XH-A1

I just edited a dance video with three XH-A1's. I cleaned all cameras before the shoot and got NO drop outs. Ironically I have always used dry TDK tapes since 06. I also have never had any break downs.
I kind of wished it hadn't acted so well!
I see no point. In putting money into an XF300. Their way too old. If I want old I'll stick with my XH-A1's for now.
Plus having the DN60 backups gives me a secure feeling.
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