XH-A1 as replacement for DSR-300 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 October 20th, 2006, 01:08 PM   #1
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XH-A1 as replacement for DSR-300

I hope this is not off-topic but I need to replace my Sony DSR-300 which has served me well. Looks like the new Canon A1 would be a good replacement with the 20X lens and picture quality. Only downside is the 60 minute load. Any advice?
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Old October 20th, 2006, 01:26 PM   #2
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I think the XL-H1 is more of a direct replacement than the A1 due to interachangeable lenses and larger form factor.
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Old October 20th, 2006, 01:36 PM   #3
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I have never changed lenses on the DSR-300 and the XL series cameras are uncomfortable to hold and shoot. (I do lots of handheld). I am comfortable with my HVX-200 and DVX-100 but their lens is not tele enough.
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Old October 20th, 2006, 02:27 PM   #4
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If you need more continuous recording time than you can get with tape, how about a disk device like Firestore and an XH A1? Total cost is still in the range of the HVX and less than the XL H1.
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Old October 20th, 2006, 02:39 PM   #5
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Joe, if you're willing to forgo the larger chips of the DSR300 and their advantages, then the A1 might make you a happy camper. There are definite advantages in using a smaller handycam type camera over a larger shoulder mount one. At the same time, there are advantages of the bigger camera over the smaller one.

As others mentioned, the Firestore can solve your need for longer tape runs. About the only time I've needed longer tapes has been in shooting seminars and the occasional job like that.

With the A1 you'll get lighter weight, longer battery life, optical stabilizer, longer lens, higher resolution, 24F capability, and 16:9 chips.

With the DSR300 you have better depth of field control, better low light capability and the speed of setting up shots (I find that I'm a lot faster using the DSR500 than I am with the DSR250).

I normally shoot with a DSR500, with a 250 for use in certain circumstances (like when I need long battery life). I've also been considering getting the XH A1 for personal use for a documentary I've been working on, simply because the camera is smaller, lighter and less intimidating for people I'm interviewing. For quick and dirty interviews, when necessary, I can go in with a camera like the A1 in its bag with wireless mic, a small light tripod on top of the bag, in one hand, and a Lowel Caselight 2 in the other hand, and I'm there. And, there are also times I'd like to look like a tourist instead of a TV camerman to avoid getting thrown out of places.
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Old October 20th, 2006, 03:13 PM   #6
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Thanks Bill that's what I am thinking. I have gotten pretty proficent using the DVX-100 and HVX-200. Since we own all 3 models I know the strengths of each. But the DSR-300 is heavy with a brick on it and I'd love to go lighter and be less obtrusive. I just don't want to give up too much SD picture quality and I'm thinking the A1 would fit the bill. The DVX-100 is a little soft compared to the DSR-300 and the HVX-200 has limited record time with the 2 8gig cards.
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Old October 20th, 2006, 03:25 PM   #7
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I agree on the P2 cards. I really liked the look (in HD) of the HVX but can't live with the limitations. One thing that's made me consider the A1...I've been shooting lots of interviews for a friend using his XL2. I've been shooting 24p, 16:9 with it. I think the camera is awkward to use and difficult to hand hold because of the lousy balance. However, the picture quality is pretty damn good, and it's SD. Several people around here think the interviews I've shot with that camera look better than similar ones I've done with the DSR500, even though the 500 is, of course, cleaner.

I've also shot some with a Z1, which is a very good deal if you don't want a 24 frame progressive mode. Until Canon announced the A1, I was pretty hot on the Z1. From what I've read about the H1 (same thing should apply to the A1), the progressive, or F, mode may eat just a little resolution, but the resolution is high enough so it still looks great.

With the DSR300 you would have been shooting 4:3, and presumably with the DVX100 too. The A1 has 16:9 chips, so if you shoot 4:3 with it, you will, in effect, be using smaller chips; but if you're looking at new cameras, I assume you're going to be shooting 16:9, so that's probably a non-issue. Any of the 1/3" chip HD cameras is going to be the same way since they all have 16:9 chips.
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