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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 January 11th, 2007, 01:03 PM   #16
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But the 1/4in on the V1 is smaller than the 1/3in chips on the A1 so that isn't correct. Besides they are CMOS chips which act very differently from CCD's

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Old January 11th, 2007, 01:35 PM   #17
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They are CMOS chips and look better that equivalent 1/4" CCD chips, in terms of latitude. But the same thing holds true for low light and depth of field. You can't violate the laws of physics.
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Old January 11th, 2007, 06:19 PM   #18
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I went back and forth between the XH A1 and the V1U for awhile. For me it came down to the color of the V1U image and the extra detail in the XH A1. A mexican stand off that was finally decided by a good price. I'm extremely pleased with the XH A1.
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Old January 11th, 2007, 08:07 PM   #19
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I finally decided on the XH-A! myself because of:

A) My familiarty with the Canon line (I previously had a XL1s)
B) Having a few accessories left over from the old camera (large batteries, chargers, etc)
C) Value per dollar
D) Various research and most importantly

E) The dicussions and advice here. I really feel confident in my decision, and am anxiously awaiting getting a chance to try it out on my next projects.
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Old January 11th, 2007, 08:38 PM   #20
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Also, for some reason the V1 has a ridiculous 62mm filter size... why?
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Old January 11th, 2007, 09:42 PM   #21
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So you'd have to buy all new filters?

The lens is another major issue I have with the V1--it's very difficult to make a wide angle lens for a 1/4" chip camera, and the lens isn't wide enough for most things many of us do. So the wide angle adapter would be a must with that camera, and that adds another 500 bucks to the price, plus makes it more nose-heavy. I think it's a very nice 1/4" chip camera but not in the same category as the 1/3" chip cameras (just as the 1/3" chip cameras aren't in the same category as the 1/2" chip ones, and so on).
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Old January 12th, 2007, 02:12 AM   #22
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You'll love the A1 if you buy it. You'll probably love the HVX as well, if that's your decision. For me personally, I'm using the camera to make films off of which I make no profit -- it's a hobby for me, and thus I'm perpetually on a budget. The A1 is down to around $3600, and that includes everything you need to start filming (sans tapes which can be gotten for as cheap as $3 each). The HVX camera costs around $5300, but then you need P2 media to record anything. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but the statistics I'm finding show that one 8gb P2 card costs $1100 and allows you to record 20 minutes at 720p or 8 minutes at 1080i. That's starting to look like film to me, where you want to be very conservative with your shots, because recording time is expensive. For instance, I recently recorded 90 minutes of footage for a 90 second short, because I wanted to make sure each take was perfectly, and at $3 a tape I didn't really worry about wasting it. I could have done it with much less footage, but I wouldn't have recorded as much variety in the takes to have my pick during post-production, and I really see no reason to stop recording even during practice runs.

Now keep in mind this is just my personal take on the whole thing, because I know there are a lot of people who love the HVX. But say you need an hour of record time at 720p -- the HVX will cost you $8600. You could get two A1's for that price, and a very good audio setup like the AT4073 shotgun, the AT4053 hyper-cardioid and a good boom pole, shockmount, and wind protection. If you only buy one A1, then you can buy a beast of a computer to edit on, and a lighting kit as well. And again, that's only one hour of footage on the HVX

Money saved on one thing is money capable of being spent on another. If the pictures delivered by the two cameras are comparable, which they are, then I personally really can't justify the price difference. Even if the HVX has advantages over the A1, they would have to be some very significant advantages to justify that large of a price gap, to me at least.

Of course, if money isn't an object, then my points are moot. For me personally, money is a huge determining factor.

I'm not trying to start an argument about which camera is better, so I hope HVX users don't take offense to this. I'm really just explaining the reason that I didn't consider the HVX.

And as for the V1, I was torn between these two for a while. The reasons I went with the A1 were the price difference (again, $600 difference for comparable images), the problems the V1 seems to be having with 24p footage not being interpreted properly in different players, and most importantly the hype behind the A1. I've been reading posts for around a month or two, and it just seems that everyone who purchases the A1 is really excited about it. The footage that's been posted looks beautiful, and there's been a lot of footage from excited new owners. The V1 forum is a lot less active, the posts that are made there seem to be more oriented toward problems with the camera than excited posts from new owners, and there isn't much footage to be seen. Again, I'm not bashing the V1 and not looking to start an argument, this is just how I perceived things and why I bought the A1 over the other cameras. Perhaps the V1 turns out to be a much better camera than the A1, but even if that happens, I won't be disappointed in my A1 at all. I know I'm going to be getting a lot of use out of it, and the image it produces is beautiful.
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Old January 12th, 2007, 06:04 AM   #23
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Thanks everyone. I'm off to see a dealer tomorrow morning to try the XH-A1 and the V1E back to back. They have the FX7 in stock, too, but not a demonstrator. I'll let you know how I get on...
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Old January 12th, 2007, 11:36 AM   #24
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Keep in mind, that a retailer may "push" a certain camera that is in stock rather than the right camera to fit your needs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Fry
Thanks everyone. I'm off to see a dealer tomorrow morning to try the XH-A1 and the V1E back to back. They have the FX7 in stock, too, but not a demonstrator. I'll let you know how I get on...
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Old January 12th, 2007, 11:43 AM   #25
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They push the ones they make the most profit on.
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Old January 18th, 2007, 12:07 PM   #26
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Just in case anyone was following this story and wondered how I got on last Saturday, comparing the XH-A1 and Sony V1, let me finish the tale... At one point, I decided that the FX7 was the right choice, and since they didn't have any in stock, left the shop and went off to have lunch. However, I kept thinking of things I hadn't tried, so went back after lunch. I bought the Canon - but don't ask me why! I'm rather afraid the answer is "because they didn't have an FX7 in stock and I wanted to take something home with me". Driving home I kept trying to work it out. I don't regret my choice, but it wasn't completely rational. Just in case it will help someone else, but mostly as therapy for myself, let me try to sum up my opinions:

The Sony has a number of advantages:
- 500 cheaper (FX7 - not V1)
- Bigger LCD;
- Wrap-around eye-cup;
- Smaller size and a little lighter (the Canon won't go in my old LowePro knapsack);
- The display shows the shutter, aperture and gain even when you are in full- or part-auto, whereas the Canon only shows you the settings you have control over at the moment, so if you are in shutter priority (Tv), for example, you can't see what effect your shutter-speed choice has on the iris.
- No problems with cover flaps over headphone & LANC sockets (the Canon is not very well designed in this respect).

So why buy the Canon?
- Although it was quite hard to do straight A/B comparisons (only one HD monitor, had to keep swapping component cables), the Canon's picture looked better: clearer and with better colours, though I guess there's an awful lot you can do to make either one look "better" or "worse". I took the salesman's word for it that they were both using factory default settings

- Bigger chips have to be better (don't they?) not withstanding the claims for CMOS, e.g. better exposure latitude. Though I thought I could see this effect, I wasn't certain.

- Likewise, the Canon "L" lens is the pick of the bunch, isn't it?

- More functions were controlled by buttons on the side of the camera, and I found the Canon menu easier to navigate than the Sony. In particular, I think that the 3-position gain and white-balance switches (both customisable) could be very handy. At the moment, I have the gain switch set for -3, 0 and +6 db, though I've only used 0 so far. (The Sony does not offer -3 db, though you can set an upper limit for auto gain.)

- I don't have an XLR microphone at the moment, but I intend to get one. The Canon has both balanced and unbalanced audio inputs, allowing me to upgrade easily when I'm ready, without having to buy a Beechtek box or similar.

- I already have a couple of batteries that will fit (though my largest one, non-Canon unbranded from Keene Electronics, got stuck as predicted. I told the salesman not to push it all the way. Happily, he managed to get it out by shaking the cam. gently!)

- The slowest zoom speed is slower than the Sony, and I understood how to select speeds straight away, whereas I got a bit confused with the Sony.

- My Canon ZR-1000 LANC remote control worked with both cameras, but it worked better with the Canon, especially when selecting fixed zoom speeds.

- I'm replacing a Canon XM1 and somehow I feel more comfortable sticking with what I know.

- When I thought of it as an XL-H1 without the coax sockets and a fixed lens it started to look like excellent value. I'm also getting extra toys (25F, all those picture profile tweaks). I know, the V1 has them too, but that's even more expensive!

Anyway, the agonising choice is over, and having got the angst out of my system with this post, I'm going to concentrate on getting the best out of the camera. One thing that I good do with is some help with what the various "tweaks" can do for me. The manual tells me only how to change each one, in a very bald fashion. I need something like a FAQ that explains what all the parameters do and when they are important. I've seen some of them mentioned around here in passing (in relation to low light?) but nothing that puts it all in one place. I'm going to do some searching and reading, but can anybody recommend a good starting place, please? I'll wander over to the XL-H1 forum later and see what's been left lying around over there...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou Bruno
Keep in mind, that a retailer may "push" a certain camera that is in stock rather than the right camera to fit your needs.
To be fair, the salesman didn't push either camera. I think they were quite new to him, and we both learned a lot.

By the way, I'm very grateful to the dealer I went to see, who let me play with the cameras for hours (literally). I shaln't mention the name, since they are not a DVi sponsor, but suffice to say that my visit to Studley, Warwks. was not wasted.
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Old January 18th, 2007, 12:15 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Fry
<snip>
I bought the Canon - but don't ask me why! I'm rather afraid the answer is "because they didn't have an FX7 in stock and I wanted to take something home with me". Driving home I kept trying to work it out. I don't regret my choice, but it wasn't completely rational.
<snip>
Congrats on the purchase. Yes, its pretty tough to pick these days with some of the manufacturers releasing cams that spec out almost identically.

Don't worry, the XH A1 is awesome, you'll certainly be happy with it. The choice between the XH A1 and the Sony V1 is tough... those cams are REAL close. But between the FX7 and the XH A1, if you've got the couple extra bucks the Canon is well worth it. The XLRs, the image control, the progressive video, the wider lens. Lots of pluses.

Besides, think how much cooler you'll look when you walk up to a gig with the Canon ;)
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Old January 18th, 2007, 01:03 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Holly Rognan
The A1 is a great camcorder, apparently you have already done your research and already know the ins and outs of the specs, so from what I can see you just want somebody to push you to make the decision.

I am an A1 owner, and suggest it. I love it tremendously. If we can get the firmware fixed, then for the price, consider it a perfect cam.

If you have more money and dont care about p2, Get the HVX.

If you have even more money wait for red.

But if time is of concern, and you already have the funds allocated, by all means get the A1, you probably wont be dissapointed.
What is red?
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Old January 18th, 2007, 01:04 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Davis
What is red?

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Old January 18th, 2007, 07:48 PM   #30
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Congrats--you won't regret it (until, perhaps, your first payment is due). And, you'll be glad you with with bigger chips and the much wider and longer lens.
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