My review from 1 hour session 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 November 2nd, 2006, 03:23 PM   #1
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My review from 1 hour session

Well, unfortunately I don't have the XH-A1 myself yet, but I did get to have a go with one this afternoon for around an hour.

Some of my thoughts and observations - mostly in use rather than of the footage as I didn't have access toan editing station;

Nicely built. Good weight, not too heavy or light. Very well balanced considering the big lens on the front. If I held it in my hand as normal, then I found the EVF to be a little far back to view comfortably compared with the LCD which was perfectly positioned.

Also tried it on a fig rig which worked really well as it was light and well balanced. Tried it with the wide angle converter on and it was seriously front heavy.

The LCD was bright and crisp, maybe a little small.

Plenty of physical buttons for things, except zebras! There are custom buttons that you can assign them to though, so you can choose what is important to you.

The instant focus things was cool, very fast. Only downside is you can't use it with a regular matte box or the wide angle converter as they get in the way of the little focus window. The preset zoom/focus thing seems quite cool too.

I liked the 3 rings on the lens. Good feel, maybe a little sensitive - you need a light touch. Obviously completely servo and no stops like you would get on top end lenses or dSLRs. But it seemed that it would be fine to be completely manual. The special peaking function made it quite easy to get accurate focus - otherwise it would be tricky without a very large monitor. Zoom speed is constant or variable (Switchable), the slowest is really slow, but I though the fastest setting could be faster.

I looked all through the menu settings - and there are loads. I could not find an LCD/monitor flip! But you can have guidelines on for different aspect ratios and so much information on the screen you can hardly see the picture - thankfully this is configurable so you can choose what you want.

I liked having the audio levels on the little lcd panel in the round selector too, so you don't have to have them on screen.

25F - there was a canon guy there, a kind of inbetween technical and sales type person, and he said that the 25F WAS NOT PROGRESSIVE. He said that it used a single field and halved the resolution. Having looked at footage on this site, I'm not convinced by this, but this and other things made me realise that even the Canon guys don't know everything about these cameras.

Overall I really liked the camera and will probably get one when they're available.

Hope that helps some people.

Cheers

Simon
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Old November 2nd, 2006, 03:42 PM   #2
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Good info, thanks. I guess you can have the audio meters in the VF if you want. I always like to be able to see them when I'm shooting.
About the use of a matte box...seems to me it wouldn't be too difficult for matte box manufacturers to punch out a hole for that AF sensor. Maybe just cut out a little piece.
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Old November 2nd, 2006, 04:43 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Pryor
Good info, thanks. I guess you can have the audio meters in the VF if you want. I always like to be able to see them when I'm shooting.
About the use of a matte box...seems to me it wouldn't be too difficult for matte box manufacturers to punch out a hole for that AF sensor. Maybe just cut out a little piece.
if you are using a matte box, don't you think you would be in a situation where you would be in manual focus anyways? I hear so much grief about the sensor being covered up but how often do you guys use AF? 'Cause personally I never have it engaged on any cam I have ever owned...
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Old November 2nd, 2006, 04:48 PM   #4
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I've found that with most electronic lenses it's easier to get critical focus by using the auto focus button. Hit the button and let the camera find focus, then fine tune it if necessary, but don't shoot with auto focus turned on.
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Old November 2nd, 2006, 05:05 PM   #5
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Yep, I agree. Just push the AF button to get a quick focus and then continue manually. The distance measurement on the screen (in metres) also seems to be linked to the instant focus thing. Not sure exactly how that works yet.
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