Comparing XHs to the Panasonic AG-HVX200 and Sony HDR-FX1 at DVinfo.net

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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 September 13th, 2006, 09:59 AM   #1
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Comparing XHs to the Panasonic AG-HVX200 and Sony HDR-FX1

Comparing XHs to the Panasonic AG-HVX200 and Sony HDR-FX1, which one would you get?
And which one has higher advantage over the other and stuff.
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Old September 13th, 2006, 10:44 AM   #2
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Each one has certain advantages over the others, and certain disadvantages, depending on what particular features or specifications you care to examine. If you're thinking in terms of "which one is better," then you're looking at it in the wrong way. The real question is, which one is better for you, because it is very much a subjective determination that only you can make.

First, determine the format you want to work with (in this case, DVCPRO HD P2 vs. HDV), and then choose the camera. The right one for you is the one which feels best in your hands and the one which produces the most pleasing video image to your eye. Nothing else matters... not technical specifications or magazine reviews or opinions found on internet message boards.

Try before you buy. Make your decision based on how these cameras feel in your hands and how the video looks on an HDTV. Hope this helps,
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Old September 13th, 2006, 04:55 PM   #3
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One of the best factors is to download some footage from the different cameras you're interested in and decide which fits your style the best. I think all of these cameras are great, but each one has it's advantages and disadvantages.
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Old September 13th, 2006, 05:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Liu
Comparing XHs to the Panasonic AG-HVX200 and Sony HDR-FX1, which one would you get?
And which one has higher advantage over the other and stuff.
David, that's a loaded question and in some forums can lead to 10 pages of arguing over cameras (thankfully around here threads usually get shut down before that happens).

Like Chris said, its going to come down to the right camera FOR YOU. Now that doesn't mean that some members here can't give you some solid and useful advice to help out, but you've got to provide some information first! What type of projects do you plan to work on? Narrative film work, documentaries, weddings? Maybe all of them, then what's the priority ("I want to do films first and foremost but need to shoot weddings in the summer", etc..)

And what's your budget? Do you have 4-8K ready to go? If you've got $3500 to work with, that makes the decision making a lot easier, ya know :)

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Old September 13th, 2006, 06:00 PM   #5
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Of the three, I only have FX-1. It is a no frills HDV camera. It is providing me a wonderful education in the HDV world for $3,000.00. I doesn't do 24p, and is definitely interlaced. But 1080i is very nice to look at, and HDV, while having limitations, works pretty good in editing with Premiere Pro 2.0, and Vegas. IF I ever needed to go film out ( I have no idea why, now), I am told, there is a process available to convert. Camera has some interesting features. I especially like the shot transition.
With FX1, you buy it, and you don't have to add a lot to it. I do wish it had 20 x lense, but then, we wouldn't have the FX7 coming along, would we ?...
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Old September 13th, 2006, 11:48 PM   #6
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As others have said, you have to decide what's important to you and then try the cameras to see which one best meets your needs. The Canon XH-A1 sounds good on paper compared to the FX1, and it makes more sense to compare those two to each other than to the HVX200. The latter is good if you want medium-bandwidth HD which has some advantages over HDV due to less compression; HDV is less expensive to use and looks pretty good for the price. But there's no clear answer what's good for any particular person; you have to decide that for yourself.
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Old September 14th, 2006, 10:15 AM   #7
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Price matters too

The price is going to make a lot of difference, too. We know the US list price of the XH-A1 will be $3999, but what will the street price be and how much will it fall in the first 3 months or so? What will the Euro or GB-Pound price be? Was there any pricing info at IBC? (I've not seen any yet.) Personnaly, I'm going to be stretching my budget buying a 3-chip HDV camera, especially since my PC will need upgrading or replacing to edit the footage, so if there's more than, say, 200 difference between Canon and Sony products, my big question is going to be "is it worth the extra dosh"? Indeed, is it worth paying extra for 3 chips vs 1 chip? I won't be able to make a short-list until reliable side-by-side reviews start to appear, and I won't make a final choice until I've played with them myself, but the final cash price could well be the deciding factor.

I wrote quite a detailed description of the sort of things I shoot in my introductory post. I don't think "film look" is important to me. Realism and good rendering of motion certainly are.
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Old September 15th, 2006, 01:20 PM   #8
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Very good advice, as usual. This is DVi after all. What do you want to use it for David?
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Old September 16th, 2006, 12:23 AM   #9
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Hi guys, thanks for all the great advices and the several comments.
I must apologise for not stating clearly what I am going to use the camera for..

Firstly I must say I like many of you already own a camera, and I'm not new to SD stuff....
I own a XL2 and I must say its one hell of solid camera.
I make short documenteries/cover events for The Army. Make shortfilms when I am not in camp, and do weddings when I need extra cash.

Maybe the problem I am having now is I am totally new to HD stuff... For example the stats, and workflow, and exporting the several final products.
(any recommended links?)

Back to the topic, I am like afew of you in a delimma if I should go HD - Its an advantage as there isnt many HD user in my country
Selling my XL2 and printing acouple of hundards isnt a problem.. So I must say my budget is around 4500. No more.

I lOVE my XL2.. and if I am going to change I would want someting similar like my XL2. - I guess the XH A1 is an obivious answer.. 20x zoom is really something really useful. What can the other cameras offer that the XHA1 doesnt offer... 24p/16:9 is my fav mode so far.

Thanks for ur time.. appreciate it..
cheers
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Old September 16th, 2006, 10:04 AM   #10
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I had owned FX1 and HVX200 and when I get to try or own XH A1, I will be tell you my opinion.
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Old September 16th, 2006, 10:26 AM   #11
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Well, if 4500 is the budget, that blows the HVX out pretty quick. The HVX is my favorite, but its pricey to get it going - typically in the 7-7.5K range. In your case (like mine), if you need to be able to do long form recording like weddings, the HVX with a Firestore (or eventually Cineporter) is the best option and that's a solid 7.5K investment.

The FX1 is a solid camcorder and still holds up well even though its a couple years old now. However, its essentially a purely 1080i 60hz camcorder - which isn't a bad thing if that's what you need of course (weddings, news, etc..). Its a bit limited on audio inputs, which is an issue for some users.

But if your favorite shooting mode is 24P/16:9 then you've really only got one choice and it sounds like you're already realizing that: the XH A1. At 4K, its in the budget. Shoots weddings on $4 tapes. 24F mode makes for oustanding film-like video with proper motion characteristics. XLR inputs for high end mics.

Caveats: The XH A1 sounds super cool and is probably certain to be a big hit - but its not shipping. Keep enjoying your excellent XL2 until some user reports and quality video samples hit the net (guaranteed you'll see all that on this board). Also, the new Sony (what's it, is it the V1 ?) with progressive scan is likely worth consideration. I don't know if 24P will be an option, and I'm not sold on 1/4" sensors in a 4K+ camcorder... but the proof is ultimately in the footage and I like what I'm seeing so far.

Whoa, what a ramble. I think I'm trying to avoid the load of weekend work I've got to deal with. Ugh.

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Old September 16th, 2006, 01:29 PM   #12
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Thanks again for ur replies, really appreicate it -

A question for you philip: the hvx gross pixel per sensor is 500K pixel each (Uses pixel shift to achieve higher resolution)
Where else the A1 and XL H1 are 1640k pixel, how significant is the difference...
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Old September 16th, 2006, 05:49 PM   #13
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From what I've seen the difference is not so important in foreground detail, but in background detail the HVX tends to look soft. I had an xl2 and in my eyes they seem to resolve background detail similarly (I now own a HVX). I use the HVX for narrative work, so this is not a real concern for me. Mind you, if the new A1 performs like the H1, I'd love to have one for nature shooting.
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Old September 17th, 2006, 11:27 AM   #14
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Thanks for ur reply steve, but what does

the HVX's 500K pixel each (Uses pixel shift to achieve higher resolution)
really means?

compared to the XH and XL H1 are 1640k pixel
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Old September 17th, 2006, 12:49 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip Williams
I don't know if 24P will be an option, and I'm not sold on 1/4" sensors in a 4K+ camcorder... but the proof is ultimately in the footage and I like what I'm seeing so far.
Hey Philip, good post, but one little notice: the A1 and G1 should have the same sensor block as the XL H1, so that should be 1/3 CCD's.

Best regards,
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