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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 29th, 2006, 08:45 AM   #1
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Admin's Note: This thread was split from the "Battery Compartment Revealed" discussion at http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=75699, in response to my statement about having access to the A1 and G1 for a short time.

Hey Chris, I also started out with a Canon A1 digital. It was a great little camera and I often wish I had hung onto it. I traded it in when I bought my first XL1 in '98 and it seemed like a deal at the time.

Anyway, since you will be seeing the new cameras in person can you take a few minutes and check out the LCD and how much lag or lack of lag it has in direct comparison to the H1, especially in 24f? Also, is there a way to have peaking on and still see the zebra patterns? That would be nice. Finally, any feedback on the iris wheel on the lens. How does it feel in relation to the H1 on the body. And one more if you please.......can you see if the new Canon Instant Focus or whatever it is called works just as fast in 24f? I am hoping that since it is external and not through the CCD directly that it can sample at a faster rate, even when the image processing in the camera is at 24f.

Thanks!

If I think of anything else I'll let you know!
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Old September 29th, 2006, 12:33 PM   #2
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I would love to see some full res HDV video up, but who wouldn't?

Chris, can you actually try hooking up a dummy battery plate and let us all know? I am trying to decide if I want to sell my Ch910 or not...

Thanks.

Matt
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Old September 29th, 2006, 03:57 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Nayman
I would love to see some full res HDV video up, but who wouldn't?
Well... there will be plenty of that soon enough.

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can you actually try hooking up a dummy battery plate and let us all know? I am trying to decide if I want to sell my Ch910 or not...
I did that; pics are on the previous page, see http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showpost....1&postcount=30

Unless I'm misreading what you're asking. Working on a reply to Marty's questions above.
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Old September 30th, 2006, 01:58 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd
Canon USA has asked me to demo these cams today for a group of college / university video program coordinators (as I do for CUSA and other companies from time to time at various trade shows and other events), so I have access to the A1 and G1 for a short time. So let me know what else I can show you.
Tell us EVERYTHING! As full a personal review as you can. Kinda like people were doing for the hv10.
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Old September 30th, 2006, 05:20 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty Hudzik
check out the LCD and how much lag or lack of lag it has in direct comparison to the H1, especially in 24f?
Yes, like the XL H1 there is a bit of lag in the LCD when shooting at any frame rate. It's more pronounced in 24F. Seems about the same as the XL H1, which I had here for a direct comparison.

Quote:
Also, is there a way to have peaking on and still see the zebra patterns?
Nope. Sorry.

Quote:
iris wheel on the lens. How does it feel in relation to the H1 on the body.
No contest... I think most everyone will prefer the iris ring on the XH lens over the iris wheel on the XL body (the new XL lens though has an iris ring as well).

Quote:
see if the new Canon Instant Focus or whatever it is called works just as fast in 24f?
Hmm, it seemed like the response time in 24F was just a smidge longer than 60i, but even so, it's still amazingly fast... it's by far the quickest AF I've ever seen no matter which frame rate.
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Old September 30th, 2006, 05:25 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Evan C. King
Tell us EVERYTHING! As full a personal review as you can. Kinda like people were doing for the hv10.
Nah, I really can't do that. I'm not much of a reviewer and I spent more time learning the thing rather than evaluating it. Specific questions, those I can answer. There will be plenty of reviews forthcoming, no doubt about it.
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Old September 30th, 2006, 07:26 AM   #7
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Thanks for the beedback Chris! Here are somethings I want to know:

- Can you use both the viewfinder and LCD at the same time (both on)
- Does it have the same settings as the XL-H1?
- The size: is it similair in handling to the GL2, or bigger, something like the Z1 (I have never seen/hold a XL-H1, so sorry for the Sony comparison)
- How is the low-light performance?
- Can the viewfinder be set to black & white?
- Does the camera have AV-out?
- What is the exposure range (how many stops till F/...)
- Does it have the "Boosted digital cinema functions
Total CINE control includes new Gamma and Color Matrix settings that are suited to direct transfer, by matching the characteristics of film." that are listed in the XL-H1 feature list?

24F... what does it mean? Is it something like the cineframe on the Sony's?
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Old September 30th, 2006, 11:13 AM   #8
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ok I'll pile on...things I am interested in:

1) Is iris ring notched per stop?

2) Is iris ring movement mechanical feeling (ie:like a normal lens) or is it servo assisted?

3) what about weight balance? does the camera feel front heavy or back heavy or just right?

4) Do the viewfinder and lcd seem very high-res? (as referred to in the japanese review)

-thanks for your camera investigation
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Old September 30th, 2006, 11:17 AM   #9
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Thanks for the replies. So....in your own opinion, if one doesn't need SDI out and interchangable HD lenses aren't in the budget, why would I want to keep my H1 and not get an A1 to replace it? Honestly.....now that you have seen it and know what it has to offer, what features of the H1 other than SDI and interchangable lenses would make you say "I'd still rather have the H1 because it has "X" features?

I ask because while I love my H1, I really streatched my finances to get it. And now, I am, well.......broke! To be able to achieve the same quality images at less than 1/2 the cost and get some of that cash back sounds really appealing. Plus I could afford a few extras....

Thanks,
Marty


Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd
Yes, like the XL H1 there is a bit of lag in the LCD when shooting at any frame rate. It's more pronounced in 24F. Seems about the same as the XL H1, which I had here for a direct comparison.

Nope. Sorry.

No contest... I think most everyone will prefer the iris ring on the XH lens over the iris wheel on the XL body (the new XL lens though has an iris ring as well).

Hmm, it seemed like the response time in 24F was just a smidge longer than 60i, but even so, it's still amazingly fast... it's by far the quickest AF I've ever seen no matter which frame rate.
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Old September 30th, 2006, 05:54 PM   #10
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Two-other questions I just thought of:

- Can you manually overrule the auto-focus?
- Can you place the viewfinder in a 45 degrees angle (can you tilt it up)
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Old September 30th, 2006, 06:15 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floris van Eck
Can you use both the viewfinder and LCD at the same time (both on)
Yes, you can have both the CVF and LCD on at the same time.

Quote:
Does it have the same settings as the XL-H1?
Which settings are you referring to exactly?

Quote:
The size: is it similair in handling to the GL2, or bigger, something like the Z1 (I have never seen/hold a XL-H1, so sorry for the Sony comparison)
I put it next to a Z1 and they seemed to be practically the same size. It's larger than a GL2 but smaller than an XL2 / XL H1. Comparison photos coming up shortly in a different thread.

Quote:
How is the low-light performance?
I have a hard time qualifying that. The maximum aperture is f/1.6 at full wide, f/3.5 at full telephoto. Gain goes up to +36db but of course that's pretty noisy. Shutter goes down to 1/3rd sec in 24F but of course that's pretty stroby. It's at least on par with the XL H1 if all other things are equal (XL H1 max gain is +18db).

Quote:
Can the viewfinder be set to black & white?
The flip-out LCD, yes. The color EVF, I'm not sure.

Quote:
Does the camera have AV-out?
All camcorders in this price range have AV output.

Quote:
What is the exposure range (how many stops till F/...)
Like the XL H1, it closes after f/9.5 in order to avoid diffraction issues common to very small f/stops.

Quote:
Does it have the "Total CINE control includes new Gamma and Color Matrix settings... that are listed in the XL-H1 feature list?
It has the exact same custom preset features as the XL H1, but the range of adjustment for the color control parameters are more extensive (-50 to +50 on the XH series compared to -9 to +9 on the XL H1).

Quote:
24F... what does it mean? Is it something like the cineframe on the Sony's?
It most definitely is not Sony CineFrame. Canon's 24F and 30F Frame Mode technology has been discussed and debated extensively here at DV Info Net; please see our XL H1 forum for all you care to read concerning Frame Mode.

Quote:
Can you manually overrule the auto-focus?
With AF turned on, you can manually override it simply by turning the focus control ring. When you let go of the focus control ring, AF snaps the image back into focus.

Quote:
Can you place the viewfinder in a 45 degrees angle (can you tilt it up)
It can be tilted through a range of 270 degrees (from the normal position it goes to +180 and -90 degrees). Hope this helps,
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Old September 30th, 2006, 06:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Jenkins
1) Is iris ring notched per stop?
No. It's not notched at all, there are no detent positions between stops. The iris ring movement is very smooth and quiet throughout the control range.

Quote:
2) Is iris ring movement mechanical feeling (ie:like a normal lens) or is it servo assisted?
Servo assisted. There are no hard stops at either end of the control range and the ring will simply continue to spin if you move it past the wide open or fully closed positions.

Quote:
3) what about weight balance? does the camera feel front heavy or back heavy or just right?
It's not as light as the Canon GL2 but not as heavy as the XL H1. There's a bit more weight to the front than to the back, but nothing at all like the front-loaded XL cameras have always been. Ideally I would want to use both hands (left hand under the lens) as well as a shoulder support with this camera but I feel that way about all other camcorders in this class (HVX200, Z1 etc.).

Quote:
4) Do the viewfinder and lcd seem very high-res? (as referred to in the japanese review)
Definitely. The individual pixels in both LCD panels don't leap out at me like they do on the XL H1 color EVF. Hope this helps,
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Old September 30th, 2006, 06:50 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Marty Hudzik
Honestly.....now that you have seen it and know what it has to offer, what features of the H1 other than SDI and interchangable lenses would make you say "I'd still rather have the H1 because it has "X" features?
Marty you've established that you don't need SDI or interchangeable lenses, so there are two things that still give an advantage to the XL H1. Four channel audio is one of them. You're limited to using two channel audio on the XH cameras. If you need three or four audio inputs than the H1 is the way to go.

The other thing, and this is hard to put a concrete value on, is the swank factor. The XL H1 has a much more bodacious appearance than the XH series. If you're in a business in which your client is directly impressed by the size, shape, sophistication and perceived coolness of the gear you're using, then the XL H1 will always trump the XH cameras. I mention this because it's actually a critical factor in some business environments, they want to look at your reel and see your gear. Show up with an XL H1 and there's no mistake, everybody just automatically knows what a "serious professional" you must be because your camera looks like something out of Star Wars and it sits on your shoulder. In some working environments this means everything... but that's a subjective situation that you'll have to evaluate for yourself.

If the XL H1 doesn't pay for itself within 180 days tops, then you should consider getting rid of it. Hope this helps,
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Old October 1st, 2006, 05:04 AM   #14
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[QUOTE=Chris Hurd]

"...If the XL H1 doesn't pay for itself within 180 days tops, then you should consider getting rid of it..." QUOTE]

Ha ha! Love that one, Chris!
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Old October 1st, 2006, 08:39 AM   #15
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I agree completely with Chris on the "Swank Factor".

I was recording a school's second grade performance on Tuesday for a friend. Many people came up and wanted to purchase a DVD since they thought the camera "had to take wonderful pictures".

Personally, I was very surprised at the number of people that had these feelings! Everyone assumed it was a professional camera. I assume that most of these people did not even know, or care, that it was a HD camera, they were just impressed with the appearance of the XL H1!
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