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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 25th, 2006, 08:00 AM   #1
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Choose XH A1 or GL2?

Hi All,

Apoligies if i've posted in the wrong place.

I posted a few question's on the GL1 a few day's ago, the one i brought was in mint condition, a couple of days use later, a "Hot Pixel" had appeared, i was gutted, i knew how much it was going to cost to fix it, but luckily the guy i brought it of gave me my money back.

Anyway, i've completely been put off by Buying Secondhand gear, i'm going to dive in and buy brand new.

My Question is, Which one, at the minute i don't need HD, but in the long run i'd like to know it was there, but the GL2 still does a brilliant job?? That's my predicament. I've never had a Prosumer camera, so i'd rather buy one that could last me a fair few year's.

Any Input or Info off you guy's would be much appreciated.

Cheers

- Mike
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Old November 25th, 2006, 08:32 AM   #2
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The A1 is sorta like the GL2 but on HD steroids- if you can swing the money I say go for it! You can shoot SD and even have true widescreen which is not possible with the GL2 (unless you buy a pricey adapter).....it's really a no-brainer- go for the A1.
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Old November 25th, 2006, 08:41 AM   #3
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Money is really the only thing deciding it, i've got no trouble going for the GL2 but the A1 will be a stretch, hence the "Keeping it for Years" scenario.

Thanks for the input.
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Old November 25th, 2006, 11:09 AM   #4
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I would say that the A1 would be far more useable for the next few years to come. Regular DV is still alive but over the next few years we are gonna see major resolution advances in both color and size so the A1 will at least keep you in the mid range for awhile. I am about to update my GL1 with an A1, I loved my GL1 and got great pictures from it, but the A1 is not only an advancement in image resolution but it also has a ton of the things I really always wanted on my GL1. I think though in the end it depends on what you are gonna be doing with this cam? What are you gonna be shooting? Whats your final release format?
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Old November 25th, 2006, 11:19 AM   #5
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Hi Jack,

As i said in the first post, i had a GL1 for a few day's, those few days i had it really impressed me. I've been using normal point and shoot for the last 5 years, i'm more into the editing side of things, but i've been snowboarding the last 3 years, and i've been filming everything and anythng to do with it, so i thought it's time to setp up the quality and adjustability.

Also i only output to DVD.

That will be the main use of the camera, hopefully at some point i will start doing weddings, birthdays etc.
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Old November 25th, 2006, 11:25 AM   #6
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Go with the one that your budget most comfortably allows. $2250 vs. $4000.
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Old November 25th, 2006, 11:30 AM   #7
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The GL2 is a 1/4" chip camera; the A1 has 16:9 1/3" chips, so you're really comparing apples and oranges. I believe the GL2 is the only 4:3 1/4" chip SD camera currently in production, isn't it? It probably would be good for your snowboarding shooting because it's smaller and lighter than any of the 1/3" chip HDV cameras.
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Old November 25th, 2006, 11:50 AM   #8
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I wouldn't suggest the gl2 at this point.

If you want to save money and have a portable solution while snowboarding, I would highly, highly suggest the gs400 or gs500 over the GL2 in this environment any day of the week.

However, I own the XH-A1 and it is stellar. I wouldn't want to snowboard with it though.

The Gs400 has a killer 16:9, is very portable and cheap. Try it out. I would take a gs400 over gl2 in almost any filming environment, except nature or sports.
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Old November 25th, 2006, 11:54 AM   #9
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Chris mentioned to go with what your budget allows.

I picked up a Gs500, new on ebay for $640, and believe it or not it, I will occasionally use it for b-roll in 16:9 SD, along side my XH-A1, and it matches up well. I am very impressed.

I used to have a dvc30 (I would suggest before a GL2 as well) and the gs500 was significantly better in 16:9.
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Old November 25th, 2006, 11:54 AM   #10
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Oops, I overlooked those Panasonic 1/4" chippers. Good recommendation there. I've never seen one in the flesh but have read good things about them. You do get more for your money in that category of camera. It seems to me the A1 is a bit heavy and awkward for snowboarding, not to mention the cost if you trash it.
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Old November 25th, 2006, 12:01 PM   #11
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Well, I don't mean to sound negative or anything, but it really doesn't matter whether you "only need SD" or not. All of these HD(v) cameras can do SD, they don't do only HD. What it comes down to is what quality do you want and what price are you willing to pay?

My first prosumer camera has been the GL1, I've used that for the longest time and it is still a great camera. I've fairly recently started using a DVX100B now that I've moved up to the higher production classes at my college and I've gotta say that the DVX100B really beats the heck out of the GL1 in every way except weight (the GL1 is lighter of course). If you asked me which I would rather have, I'd definitely go for the DVX all the way.

Since the argument now is usually the DVX100B or the A1, why would you consider the GL2? The A1 will give you the best SD performance between the three, the DVX is right behind it, and the GL2, in my opinion, would be even lower because the Sony VX2100 does a much better job in many ways.


So altogether, here's my list:

1. Canon A1
2. DVX100B
3. Sony VX2100
4. Canon GL2

Really, I don't think you'll be getting years out of the GL2 at this point in time, maybe if you're doing just home videos, but since you want to do other stuff, you'll be much better off.
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Old November 25th, 2006, 12:36 PM   #12
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I second what Jack Felis said. I own a GL1 and a DVX100a. The DVX produces a much better image than the GL series cams, and has true 24p and 30p. I go for the cameras with the most options in my price range. The A1 is at the top of my list right now because you can shoot great HD, SD, 16x9, 24f, 30f, and 60i. So I would say A1 or a DVX.
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Old November 25th, 2006, 12:57 PM   #13
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To turn this discussion in a completely different direction, here are some remarks that may influence the direction you want to take.

IMO you would be unwise to invest in a SD camera at this moment. The future is with HDV, at least with your budget considerations.

You use the camera often while snowboarding. From that perspective, you may consider investing in the HV-10 for around $ 1.400, taste the benefits of HDV in comparison to SD and if you are convinced of the benefits, you can always trade it in to go to the A1. For snowboarding you have a much smaller camera and the video quality is not significantly lower. The price may better fit your budget. Just my 2 cents.
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Old November 26th, 2006, 05:26 AM   #14
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Thanks for all your comments.

At this point in time, i think it's best to get a camera for my needs, and at the moment that is just snowboarding. In the future, plus when the UK fully embraces HD i'll step up, and a get a HD cam.

The reason i chose the Gl1 originally was for the 20X lens and Optical stabilizer also the Handle is very handy when riding. Which brought me to the conclusion to get the GL2 or A1.

As holly mentioned the GS500, that would save me lots of money, but i'm losing a high powered lens and alot of manual control.

I'm stuck in the middle at the moment.
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Old November 26th, 2006, 10:40 AM   #15
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In that case it appears the GL2 or the XH A1 are back in the picture for you. The GL2 also has a 20X lens, doesn't it? One nice thing about the XH A1 is the lens, because it goes wider than most. I personally would try to finance the A1 if I were in your shoes (on your snowboard:)) because of the 16:9 chips and the lens. But if the price is prohibitive and you don't need to shoot 16:9, then the GL2 may be best. Just because HD is coming on doesn't mean SD is automatically obsolete.
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