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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 7th, 2006, 11:44 AM   #1
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What about ergonomics?

I'd like to hear what those who have the camera find about it's ergonomics... how it feels on your hands...how easy is it to shoot handheld...and how it compares to the DVX and the FX1/Z1.
Thank you all!
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Old November 7th, 2006, 11:45 AM   #2
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Also how good is the zoom rocker? is it sensitive, stiff or just right?

How good is battery life, if anyone has used it for a day shot yet?
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Old November 7th, 2006, 11:51 AM   #3
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Just a quick note....I found the rocker to be not sensitive enough. I could barely pull off a slow creep zoom in or out. It just seemd too jumpy... Compared to my H1 that is.
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Old November 7th, 2006, 12:28 PM   #4
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Set the zoom speed switch from "var" (variable) to "con" (constant), dial in a zoom speed value of 1 or 2 on the zoom speed dial behind the rocker, and get a slow, creeping zoom no matter how hard you press on the zoom rocker.
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Old November 7th, 2006, 01:08 PM   #5
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Compared to the Sony Z1U, the Canon XHA1 is nearly the same ergonomics. When you pick up the Canon, the grip does not feel as nice as the Sony, but after shooting for a couple of hours, they're about equally uncomfortable. The Canon balance makes it tilt to the left a little more, but it's not bad.

Shooting handheld, though, the Canon wins hands-down. The image stabilizer in the Canon is miles better.

The Sony viewfinder and LCD are much better than the Canon, though.

No clear winner here, just personal preference.

Chuck


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sergio Barbosa
I'd like to hear what those who have the camera find about it's ergonomics... how it feels on your hands...how easy is it to shoot handheld...and how it compares to the DVX and the FX1/Z1.
Thank you all!
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Old November 7th, 2006, 03:04 PM   #6
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I agree with Chuck. XH A1 offers similar ergonomics to other cams of this size.

Focus, zoom and iris rings have very nice feel.

One more plus for Canon is internal battery compartment. That's one great idea imo. It will keep battery and cam warmer in cold weather and away from your nose. It's really worth extra 1 second it takes to remove or insert battery.
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Old November 7th, 2006, 03:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd
Set the zoom speed switch from "var" (variable) to "con" (constant), dial in a zoom speed value of 1 or 2 on the zoom speed dial behind the rocker, and get a slow, creeping zoom no matter how hard you press on the zoom rocker.
Chris,
I am aware of that feature. Simply put, my limited experience with the A1 has me thinking the rocker on the H1 is a little better. I have never used the constant option on the H1. I never had to. The feel of the H1 variable let me access all of the zoom speeds with relative ease. I found the A1 would suddenly accelerate although I felt as though I had not applied any more pressure. It may just take some getting used to.
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Old November 7th, 2006, 04:05 PM   #8
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Chuck--you said the stabilization is better than the Z1? I thought the Z1 was the best I'd seen, so I'm very interested in seeing the A1 in person.
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Old November 7th, 2006, 04:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty Hudzik
I found the A1 (zoom) would suddenly accelerate although I felt as though I had not applied any more pressure.
Marty -- the XH cameras have a High Speed Zoom feature not found on the XL. Sounds like it's turned on in your camera. Go into the menu and choose Customize > Custom Function > C.Fn1, and from the matrix you see there, select Tune at the bottom. Go to position 02 (High Speed Zoom). Set it to option 00 (off). Select Return, choose Apply This Set, and exit. You should notice a difference in the zoom speed responsiveness while in Variable zoom mode.

See the operator's manual, pages 83 and 87.
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Old November 7th, 2006, 06:11 PM   #10
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I agree with Chuck and Marty. The image stabilization with only 1 setting is better than my Z1U that had 3 settings.

But the zoom rocker on the A1 is not as good, not as controllable and flimsy. For that reason as Chris suggested, I just have it set on the constant position setpoint #3, and use the zoom ring with my thumb from underneath until I'm almost out of reach with the thumb, cross over to the zoom rocker while I reposition the thumb. The zoom ring with thumb control is nice for tracking a moving object, like my dog going in circles.

Overall the ergos are similar. Because the Sony has the tape mechanism on the left side, they can put a little more contour into the right side hand grip. The A1 is heavier.

The LCD is hugely better on the Sony, the viewfinder I think on the Canon is better by a small margin.

Though I'm getting sharp images out of the A1, I still haven't found the secret to the saturated colors of the Sony, the Canon is pale in comparison.
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Old November 7th, 2006, 06:13 PM   #11
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I've owned both the DVX100A and FX-1 and the Canon is a tad bit smaller and more rounded. I never liked the length of the FX-1 as I found it just too long but I did like the form factor and handling of the DVX's. I do like the ergos of the Canon better but if it were a tad bit smaller like the JVC HD10u or GRD1 it'd be perfect! Of course ergos are something "personal" and every user has different likes and hand size so each user will find handling different- it's a matter of personal taste and is subjective- but I do personally score the A1 high on my "likes" list!

Try to handle one personally before committing if possible.
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Old November 7th, 2006, 06:14 PM   #12
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On a side note- is everyones mic a bit loose or bouncy? My mic moves up and down a slight bit and just seems generally loose- anyone notice this? Can this be tightened?
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Old November 7th, 2006, 06:27 PM   #13
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You're joking about the bouncing mic right? I've been asking questions about that since day 1, even started a thread about it. I'm relieved, misery loves company.
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Old November 7th, 2006, 06:33 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd
Marty -- the XH cameras have a High Speed Zoom feature not found on the XL. Sounds like it's turned on in your camera. Go into the menu and choose Customize > Custom Function > C.Fn1, and from the matrix you see there, select Tune at the bottom. Go to position 02 (High Speed Zoom). Set it to option 00 (off). Select Return, choose Apply This Set, and exit. You should notice a difference in the zoom speed responsiveness while in Variable zoom mode.

See the operator's manual, pages 83 and 87.
Thanks Chris but I chacked that already and that wasn't even turned on. THere is just something different about the A1 rocker vs. the H1. You could get used to it but it definitely will take a little time.
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Old November 7th, 2006, 06:37 PM   #15
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Tom, well I guess it was in the design- it looks like it might have been done purposely to reduce shock- but who knows?
If others have this same "looseness" then perhaps it's 100% normal.

(We could always put a slice of paper in the gap to tighten it up??)
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