A1 no better than GL2 when shooting SD 60i? 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 17th, 2006, 06:35 PM   #1
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A1 no better than GL2 when shooting SD 60i?

I got the A1 that I ordered from Amazon this morning. I was shocked that the UPS driver just left it under my mailbox, which is at the end of my driveway, not visible from the house.... sheeesh... I could just tell them I never got it! :(

Anyway, I immediately took the A1 out and started shooting. I used one of the old batteries from my old GL2. The A1 is really heavy... more than I expected, but that's okay... :)

I played back the HD footage on my 120" front projector and the picture was simply amazing. I couldn't keep my jaw closed for quite a while!

Next I took out my old GL2 and fired it up. I switched the A1's mode to SD 60i in 4:3. Went back outside and used both the A1 and the GL2 to shoot a bunch of different scenes.(sunset, leaves, dog, and my cars)

I came back inside and played back both tapes. To my amazement, the A1 didn't produce much better picture quality than the GL2 in 60i mode.

I needed some objective opinions. :(

Just then my friends arrived to check out my new A1. Before I let them play with it, I played back both tapes for them, but did not tell them which camera shot which tape. The three of them couldn't decide which is which, while watching the outdoor footage. (!) However, in the indoor scene with average lighting, they all could tell the A1's image quality was slightly better at close range.

So here's my $3799 question: ($3799 is what I paid Amazon)

Does my old GL2 still produce really good videos? Or is the A1's SD capability so-so? (or perhaps both are at the limit of the SD mini-DV format?)

The reason I'm asking is that I will probably still shoot in 60i SD with my new A1, around 70 percent of the time. That's how most of people getting my videos will be watching it one... On my own personal videos, I'll probably still shoot in HDV. :)


Thanks for any opinions!
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Old November 17th, 2006, 06:54 PM   #2
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The Sony FX1/Z1 is the same ...

When shooting in SD with the Sony FX1 ... the picture is not as good as the PD150/170. You get a noticeably softer picture with the FX1 in SD mode than the PD170 shooting the same thing.

So the general consensus among FX1/Z1 owners is, if you want SD, then shoot HD, and downconvert later, either in camera while capturing, or after editing in HDV. the picture is much better when shot in HDV and downconverted later.

So the same thing may be happening with the Canon ... perhaps the rule of thumb with these HDV cams is to always shoot in HDV, and then downconvert later if necessary.
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Old November 17th, 2006, 07:02 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Lammey
When shooting in SD with the Sony FX1 ... the picture is not as good as the PD150/170. You get a noticeably softer picture with the FX1 in SD mode than the PD170 shooting the same thing.

So the general consensus among FX1/Z1 owners is, if you want SD, then shoot HD, and downconvert later, either in camera while capturing, or after editing in HDV. the picture is much better when shot in HDV and downconverted later.

So the same thing may be happening with the Canon ... perhaps the rule of thumb with these HDV cams is to always shoot in HDV, and then downconvert later if necessary.
I ve got to disagree with this one to the extent that FX1 is being compared to VX2000. I have both, and have shot both side by side.

First you have to determine what you are going to shoot in. If its 4:3, then the two are close. In 16:9 mode, because of the VX/PD peudo 16:9, the FX1 outshines VX.

Back to the question at hand:

I think the best benefits over the GL2 will be the additional controls to improve the picture.
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Old November 17th, 2006, 07:24 PM   #4
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Good point Chris, I neglected to consider shooting in 4:3. I haven't compared the FX1 in 4:3 to the PD170 in 4:3, but the FX1 shooting in 16:9 DV mode is noticeably softer than the PD170 in 4:3. (the PD170 or VX2000 shooting in widescreen mode is VHS-like garbage so not even worth considering).
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Old November 17th, 2006, 07:56 PM   #5
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if I use A1 to shoot 16:9 SD and then convert it to 4:3,
wouldn't I have to crop the left/right sides?
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Old November 17th, 2006, 08:10 PM   #6
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I think you've answered your own question... both the GL2 and the A1 (in SD) are at the limit of the standard definition DV format.
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Old November 17th, 2006, 08:12 PM   #7
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The GL2 produces an extremely high quality 4:3 SD video (within this size/price point). It was built for and optimized for that purpose. I wouldn't expect the A1 to be much, fi any, better at all for 4:3 SD.

Shoot some 16:9 video on the GL2, then upconvert that to 1080i and you'll see what that $3800 got you :)

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Old November 17th, 2006, 09:12 PM   #8
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If you're shooting 4:3 with a camera that has 16:9 chips, like the A1, then you're cropping in from the sides significantly and, in effect, using chips that are smaller than 1/3". If 4:3 is your main format, then you're better off using a camera that has 4:3 chips. This is even true with a 2/3" chip camera--I notice a significant difference in quality between 4:3 and 16:9 on the DSR500.
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