Comparison Test XHA1, HVX-200, PD170 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 8th, 2006, 02:59 AM   #1
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Comparison Test XHA1, HVX-200, PD170

I bought the XHA1 today because I wanted to get a camera to shoot HD weddings. I already own the HVX 200 which is an amazing camera, but it has been hard trying to shoot run and gun weddings. So I decided why not compare these two bad boys. So I took the cameras out in my backyard and shot some test footage. I did mess it up a bit because I always shoot 720p with my HVX , so this was the setting it was on. Anyway I didn't realize this till after it was dark. Check out this footage here.
(Please right click to download)

www.joesimonproductions.com/shootout/daytime.mov

I just bought the XHA1 today so I only used it for about 1/2 hour before i shot this stuff. I'm sure the settings weren't optimal, and after spending more time behind the camera I learned it has tons of CP settings and you can really match these two up if you needed to. Here is a color corrected version of the footage.
(Please right click to download)
http://www.joesimonproductions.com/s.../daytimecc.mov

I also did a low light comparison between the HVX-200(in 1080/24p), XHA1 and the PD170.
These are the settings -
XHA1 - 24f, 1/24, 1/6
HVX - 24p, 1/24,1/6
PD170 - 60i, 1/30, 1/6
I used settings that I would normaly use when in a low light enviroment.

Here is the link for the small version.
(Please right click to download)
http://www.joesimonproductions.com/s...t/lowlight.mov

HD version -
http://www.joesimonproductions.com/s...owlightbig.mov

I was really impressed by the low light capabilities of the XHA1. When you use the NR1 setting on low it does a great job of cleaning up the grain. But don't set it to medium or High because it makes a ghosting pattern on moving objects as you will see. I hope this will help people out there who have not seen footage from this great new camera. I should have some new stuff shot in the next few days for some more comparisons.

Last edited by Joe Simon; November 8th, 2006 at 11:06 AM.
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Old November 8th, 2006, 03:24 AM   #2
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thanks very much Joe. downing now to check it out. Look forward to more of your testings and footage :)
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Old November 8th, 2006, 04:40 AM   #3
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Wow, that's really impressive. I was expecting the A1 to be more grainy but it holds up to the PD170 really well.

The NR seems to help reduce the grain quite a bit too, mainly on the indoors shot.

Very good info indeed.
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Old November 8th, 2006, 04:44 AM   #4
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thanks for putting in the time joe. showing the camera settings in the video works great.
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Old November 8th, 2006, 05:04 AM   #5
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Do I understand correctly that the PD170 has a 1/60 shutter while the A1 used 1/24th? both had the indicated gain settings (+6 and +12) and iris (1.6/f)?
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Old November 8th, 2006, 06:46 AM   #6
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Thanks Joe -- if you find yourself needing more bandwidth, just drop me an email. I'll be happy to help host these clips for you on our media server.
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Old November 8th, 2006, 08:51 AM   #7
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very cool tests, showing the settings along with the footage is really helpful. thanks joe...
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Old November 8th, 2006, 09:01 AM   #8
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After using both cameras I think that the HVX still has many advantages. With the variable frame rates to the many recording formats and 100mbit recording you can do almost any job. Also having to go back to tape again sucks, especially when the HVX separates each clip.

The A1 is very nice, I picked up 2 of them yesterday at Precision camera here in Austin because I was anticipating them selling out quickly. They will be a great camera to film weddings with especially since I can shoot in 24 or 30f.

Out of the box the cameras footage looks very similar to the FX/1, but it is when you go in to the CP menu that the magic happens. There are so many settings even more then the HVX like separate color gain and color matrix controls. With these you can tune the picture for the look you want. The HVX's controls go from -7-+7 while the A1's have a -30-+30 variation(on most of them, Ped and a few others are less, but color controls are -30-+30) which I think will give you a bit more to play with.

I found the low light on the A1 amazing, inside and outside. If you watch the smaller version of the low light test it does better job of giving it justice because of the compression. On my computer in FCP You can barely see any gain in the 12db setting with NR1 on low. Did I say amazing! Also I feel that it looks less grainy then the PD170 when its settings were 1/6f, 1/60frame rate 12db, and the pictures are pretty equal in brightness!

I have a documentary that I will be shooting this winter that I think I can use both of the cameras and it would be very hard to notice. I'm going to have a great time with this new camera shooting events and I will be sticking with my HVX to shoot commercials and short film work.
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Old November 8th, 2006, 09:18 AM   #9
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Joe, thanks for that comparison footage and your assessment!
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Old November 8th, 2006, 10:11 AM   #10
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Joe- very nicely done- thanks....should help allot of "ponderers."
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Old November 8th, 2006, 10:13 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Palomaki
Do I understand correctly that the PD170 has a 1/60 shutter while the A1 used 1/24th?
Yes could someone definitively confirm all shutter-speeds used here please? thanks
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Old November 8th, 2006, 10:20 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Holmes
Yes could someone definitively confirm all shutter-speeds used here please? thanks
The shutter speeds are posted on the video clips. But the here they are.

XHA1 - 24f, 1/24, 1/6
HVX - 24p, 1/24,1/6
PD170 - 60i, 1/30, 1/6

EDIT !!!

OK I must have been to tired last night...I just went and looked at the data code on the tape and the PD170 was at 1/30th!!!!!! Sorry for the misinformation I am reuploading the video clip with the correct stats.
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Old November 8th, 2006, 10:25 AM   #13
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I'd like to see the comparison with the PD170 at 1/30 shutter speed, which would then be closer to the other two. Did you shoot any 24F at 1/48?
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Old November 8th, 2006, 10:26 AM   #14
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Thank you Joe. These images are worth thousand words. XH A1 keeps up with PD170 very well. One more reason to be happy about new Canon. I agree. NR1 Low does the best job.
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Old November 8th, 2006, 10:37 AM   #15
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I am impressed and very thankful that you took the time to administer these tests. They are the most objective ones that I have found so far and they seriously blew me out of the water. The color was impressive at 12db.
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