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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 July 27th, 2006, 08:32 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Shaw
For people who already own the Sonys that's true, but for someone just moving into HD the Canons look like a clear winner. Better resolution, better zoom range, decent 24f mode and XLR inputs for $3999? That would be an easy choice over the Z1U unless Sony knocks at least $1000-1500 off their price.
It seems to me that according to Canon, they are going after the Indy and Event Videographer market with these 2 cameras, which I am exstatic about, since I am an Event Videographer.

However, the big question here, is how will the low light ability be with the new Canon's? Even though their latest HDV cameras FX1/Z1U have been alright and not spectacular, this is an area where Sony has been the king for some time.

If the new Canon's have just as good or better low light capabilaties, then they will have a slam dunk.
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Old July 27th, 2006, 08:48 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Michael Liebergot
However, the big question here, is how will the low light ability be with the new Canon's? Even though their latest HDV cameras FX1/Z1U have been alright and not spectacular, this is an area where Sony has been the king for some time.
Based on my tests and other user reports of the Canon XL-H1, I'm hopeful that the smaller Canons will be tolerable in all but the worst lighting. In my experience XL-H1 footage looked grainy in low light compared to the Sonys, but others find it to be preferable so long as the gain is controlled. Provided the small cameras are similar, I think the features and price of the base model Canon will make it an easy pick over the Z1U for event work. I only wish Canon had made this announcement a year or two earlier so I could have thought about it then - I've already bought Sony cameras.
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Old July 27th, 2006, 08:52 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Liebergot
It seems to me that according to Canon, they are going after the Indy and Event Videographer market with these 2 cameras, which I am exstatic about, since I am an Event Videographer.
<snip>
If the new Canon's have just as good or better low light capabilaties, then they will have a slam dunk.
Here's a quote from the Canon site:
"widescreen HD image that is made for your HD broadcast and theatrical projects."
That's pretty confident talk about a $4,000 camcorder, even by over zealous marketing standards. I think Canon is clearly going to pursue HD100 and even HVX buyers that are looking to enter digital cinema. And with 1080i and 36db of gain, they're clearly targeting the news and event shooters too.

The versatility of this cam is going to sell this thing like crazy. The only way this could flop is if Canon used a poorly engineered lens thats too soft and/or has too much chromatic aberation. This is Canon, so the lens isn't the first place I'd look for trouble, and the CCDs and DSP are already proven in a $9,000 camera.

On the low light front, I wouldn't expect better than the Z1. There are some low light XLH1 clips floating around, and they've looked adequate, so I think these will perform alright for event and wedding videography. Honestly, the HD cams just need more light and even Sony's offerings don't match their PD150/170 in the dark.

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Old July 27th, 2006, 08:59 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Shaw
Based on my tests and other user reports of the Canon XL-H1, I'm hopeful that the smaller Canons will be tolerable in all but the worst lighting. In my experience XL-H1 footage looked grainy in low light compared to the Sonys, but others find it to be preferable so long as the gain is controlled. Provided the small cameras are similar, I think the features and price of the base model Canon will make it an easy pick over the Z1U for event work. I only wish Canon had made this announcement a year or two earlier so I could have thought about it then - I've already bought Sony cameras.
This is the reason that I switched to Sony's in the first place though, as the GL2's I was using had a bit too much grain for my taste in low light, while the PD170 and VX2100, was much cleaner.
In, very low light situations, I always use an on camera PAG C6 35 watt light system while shooting. But the light is only used on 1 cam, while my 2nd or third cams use no lighting. This is why I chose Sony over Canon, as the other 2 (Canon) camera's couldn't hold up in low light situations.

I really did preffer the Canon's color reproduction over the Sony's, much more accurate and richer.

I haven't bought any Sony HD cams yet, as I still preffer my VX2100 for low light event work, although the FX1/Z1 holds the blacks well in low light, the image is still dark.

I'll have to wait and see what the feedback from event users will be, expecially those who already own Z1's and are seriously considering picking up at least one of these Canon's.
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Old July 27th, 2006, 09:01 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip Williams

On the low light front, I wouldn't expect better than the Z1. There are some low light XLH1 clips floating around, and they've looked adequate, so I think these will perform alright for event and wedding videography. Honestly, the HD cams just need more light and even Sony's offerings don't match their PD150/170 in the dark.

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I agree, which is why I haven' switched to HD yet.
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Old July 27th, 2006, 12:09 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Liebergot
...I'll have to wait and see what the feedback from event users will be, expecially those who already own Z1's and are seriously considering picking up at least one of these Canon's.
I have a few jobs next month that will require renting the Sony's. I'm going to be all over those camera's before I can get my hands on the Canon A1, (I hoping my local canon guy gets a few rentals in and get's off his Pany HVX kick).

Regardless, if the new Canon's don't meet my expectations, then it will just solidify my choosing the Sonys in the first place.

One of the most import issues with event recording is lighting, and that 90% of the time you have no control over it. Especially corporate events with multiple speakers, always bringing up and down the lights when doing their power-points and demos. Walking up to or in front of the projector screens. The guy who stands alongside the podium, rather than behind it, and is no longer in the good lighting. With the wrong camera it's a post nightmare.
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Old July 27th, 2006, 01:50 PM   #37
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To be fair doubters of the XH series quality aren't being completely accurate.

The quaility of the camera isn't up in the air because they aren't anything new, just new packaging.

The same chips and everything as the H1 so we already know everything there is to know about the camera, only the lens is up in the air.

And that's not really true either considering both the cameras use a 20x HD lens that look to have the same filter diameter of 72mm. Size wise based on the pictures the lens itself looks to be the roughly the same length as the XL-H1, so it's essentially just a static version of the same lens with added iris.

All that said the quailty of this is in the bag, other cameras didn't have predecessors but this one does, there is next to no new technology here.

Aside from possibly lowlight the H1 tell us everything we need to know about the A1 and G1.
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Old July 27th, 2006, 02:08 PM   #38
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Well there's at least some new technology... the "Instant AF" thing will be very interesting.
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Old July 27th, 2006, 02:48 PM   #39
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One advantage that Sony has is the gain on the FX1/Z1 can go up to 12db and still be fairly clean. I like that a lot. The Canon XL H1 can go up to around 6db or so before I see grain.

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Old July 27th, 2006, 03:19 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heath McKnight
One advantage that Sony has is the gain on the FX1/Z1 can go up to 12db and still be fairly clean. I like that a lot. The Canon XL H1 can go up to around 6db or so before I see grain.

heath
Yeah, Sony definitely does the low light thing very well. I shoot the occasional wedding with PD150s and they practically see in the dark. I would expect these Canons to do all right in low light, though not spectacularly well. Still, from the low light XLH1 footage I've downloaded, I think they'll cut it for wedding/event videographers that need a "workhorse" cam for the paying gigs but also want a good 24fps for the times they moonlight as "film maker" :)

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Old July 27th, 2006, 04:19 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by Evan C. King
And that's not really true either considering both the cameras use a 20x HD lens that look to have the same filter diameter of 72mm. Size wise based on the pictures the lens itself looks to be the roughly the same length as the XL-H1, so it's essentially just a static version of the same lens with added iris.

All that said the quailty of this is in the bag, other cameras didn't have predecessors but this one does, there is next to no new technology here.

Aside from possibly lowlight the H1 tell us everything we need to know about the A1 and G1.
The specs on the 20X attached to the XH cameras show it to be a bit wider and less telephoto so it could conceivably give better lowlight performance because as you know, a wider field of view takes in more light. Whether it will be enough to be noticably better than the H1 remains to be seen (sorry for the pun).

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Old July 28th, 2006, 11:21 AM   #42
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If it was better (Heath said 6db the H1 can do well no problem, so maybe 9db?) that'd be incredible.
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Old July 30th, 2006, 09:39 AM   #43
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Evan,

I saw a very clean image with gain settings of 6db on the Canon XL H1, 3db on the HD100 (JVC) and 12db on the Sony.

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Old July 31st, 2006, 10:40 PM   #44
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Forgive the digression (post elsewhere if wrong)

I have a M.F.A. in film, but my technological knowledge is dated (graduated 6 years ago) and hoped you guys could provide some feedback to a kind of video newbie (writer switched to filmmaker). In light of the aforementioned discussion, if you gurus were to start brand new with the Sony or Canon line, which one would it be? I know to some this is a brand loyality issue, but I'm interested in what will get me the best results (and eventually the most business) in the future. To be specific, I own two VX2100s (bought for their low-light capabilities) and already have potential buyers for both of them. I figured that, if necessary, I could switch over to a GL2 and then plan on adding to the arsenal by selling a kidney in the near future (hoping within a year) in order to do decent multi-camera shoots. In the past I have progressed from Sony after Sony and after reading this thread am now seriously considering switching over to Canon (if only the low light hadn't been an issue I would have been shooting on them a long time ago) and figure this would be the perfect time to do it if I were going to. Any thoughts? And does this question even make sense? I've been editing for the last 10 hours and it doesn't make much sense to me, so please don't yell at me if I'm being unclear :-)

Thank you so much,
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Old July 31st, 2006, 10:56 PM   #45
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While I haven't had a chance to use the XL-H1. I am an owner of an XL2. I've gone up to 6db gain on the XL2 and still had satisfactory results.
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