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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 29th, 2006, 02:38 PM   #1
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Picture comparison

The XL H1 and the XH A1 are equipped with the same type of ccd's and with slightly different lenses. Has anyone compared the picture of H1 with that of the A1 ? Is the image quality (colours, crispness etc..) the same for both cameras or does one surpass the other ?

Adrian Paul Spiteri
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Old November 29th, 2006, 03:15 PM   #2
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They are in all respects identical. The XHA1 has a little better custom settings for fine tuning color and settings.

They do have different lenses but that accounts for negligable amount of difference in picture quality.
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Old December 1st, 2006, 01:47 PM   #3
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So, when it comes to comparing the picture of the A1 to that of the Z1 which is the best at grainless lowlight and vibrant colours ? (Which one has the best picture overall)
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Old December 1st, 2006, 01:53 PM   #4
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It is all subjective. People will argue both sides until they are blue in the face. For all respects consider them identical, and look for features that are relevant for your production.

Do you want a longer zoom, and 24f? What about lcd screen size?

What are you willing to spend?

I would choose the A1 any day, over the z1, but my opinion is biased.
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Old December 1st, 2006, 02:10 PM   #5
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Why would you choose the A1 and why are you biased?

I prefer the lcd of the z1 but I would like to have the 24f and longer zoom too.

Do you know of a place where I can find a comparison of the z1 and a1 ?

The z1 lowest lux is 2, what is the A1?
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Old December 1st, 2006, 02:37 PM   #6
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I don't have a side-by-side comparison, but I've used the Z1 and edited footage from it. I was all set to buy one when the A1 was announced, and I waited and bought the A1 because I wanted 24p and I like the lens better.

Each camera has strengths and weaknesses over the other. In 60i, I'm confident you could tweak them to match very closely. In my initial checking-it-out shooting with the A1, it seems to me it is maybe just a little better under low light than the Z1, in terms of gain needed. That's just a subjective judgement because when shooting with the Z1 I didn't have an A1, and when shooting with the A1 I didn't have a Z1 handy. I think for all practical purposes they are the same. Basically, where I shot at a +6 with the A1, I think I would have been at a +12 with the Z1. On the other had, the +12 gain on the Z1 is excellent. I didn't look at +12 on the A1 yet; I have my presets at -3db, zerodb, and +6db. I don't shoot in the dark a lot, so it doesn't bother me to go into the menu for the rare higher gain positions. I do go between -3 and zero quite a bit when I want to use an ND and keep the aperture open for shallower depth of field.

While the LCD of the A1 is smaller, it's also very clean and sharp and I have no problem with it.

The main things I like better on the Z1 include the position of the LCD on top, the more adjustable shot transition, and I think it may be just a little better balanced in that the hand grip feels a little better...not really much at all, but there is a difference in the way it feels.

The reasons I bought the A1 over the Z1 include the lens and the 24/30F modes. The Z1 is maybe half a pound heavier, but the A1 feels more solid and compact, probably because it is a little bit smaller. Actually, the main thing I liked about the A1's lens is the wide angle, but I went out last week and shot some exterior gargoyles on old buildings and I came to really appreciate that 20:1 range. I think if the A1 did not have the 24F mode, I still would buy it over the Z1 based on the lens alone. However, I'd be very happy with either one. Both cameras give you a better looking image than deserved for the price. Remember when the VX1000 first came out, it was more expensive than the A1 and not even in the same ballpark as today's HDV cameras.
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Old December 1st, 2006, 02:49 PM   #7
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I agree with Bill on all of the points. Go to a camcorder distributor and test them out for yourself.
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Old December 1st, 2006, 03:21 PM   #8
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Thanks, just what I needed Bill. Holly, easier said than done, in my country I can't see them along side each other as each dealer sells 1 brand only in my country (Malta) + they are only available on order. This is why I have to rely on forums.
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Old December 1st, 2006, 04:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Pryor
I don't have a side-by-side comparison, but I've used the Z1 and edited footage from it. I was all set to buy one when the A1 was announced, and I waited and bought the A1 because I wanted 24p and I like the lens better.
Same here Bill. Almost had my hands on a rental Z1 when the schedule changed. Would have made an influence, but reading the facts and experiences here alone sold me. Both those cameras will earn a paycheck. It's just personal preference.
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Old December 1st, 2006, 04:52 PM   #10
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Holly why do you say that the lens has a negligible impact on picture quality?
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Old December 1st, 2006, 04:58 PM   #11
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That's not what Holly said. The exact words were "they do have different lenses but that accounts for negligable amount of difference in picture quality." And I agree withe that statement completely. These two particular lenses have more things in common with each other than they have differences. In fact that's hardly any difference at all between them. Therefore no significant impact on picture quality. Hope this helps,
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Old December 1st, 2006, 07:00 PM   #12
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Chris so you can confirm that there is essentially no difference in picture quality between an A1 and an H1? Does that apply across the board at different focal lengths and in different lighting conditions?
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Old December 1st, 2006, 07:33 PM   #13
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The lenses for XH-A1 and XL-H1 actually start at different focal lengths. So they aren't "equal, in fact the are very different lenses. However the quality production standards will be very similiar.

Even two XHA1's that came off the production line one after the other will have differences in their lenses. Not a noticeable difference. But if you want to get out the microscope and do incessant testing you will find that they are different, and while your at if, if you take a gander at the ccd's they might have a miniscule amount more sensitivity than the other one.

Basically, they pair up very well together and you shouldn't be worried about negligable deviation.
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Old December 1st, 2006, 07:38 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Holly Rognan
However the quality production standards will be very similiar.
Fully agreed. In fact, so similar as to be virtually indistinguishable in most cases.
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Old December 1st, 2006, 11:26 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd
Fully agreed. In fact, so similar as to be virtually indistinguishable in most cases.
From the clips I've seen it looks like the XH-A1 has much less CA ( to the point it's negligable) than the H1, certainly much less than the H1s I received. The XH-A1 has a much wider lens too which is very attractive.

The more I see of the XH-A1 the more the choice between the XH-A1 and the Sony V1 becomes a real difficulty. A nice problem to have though...

TT
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