A1 users unite! at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Canon EOS / MXF / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Canon HDV and DV Camera Systems > Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders

Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old January 10th, 2007, 11:27 PM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Ransomville NY
Posts: 239
A1 users unite!

Ok I want an A1 but im hinging in the HVX. Price is an issue but I want to make sure and hear it from the horses mouth that its not just "the poor mans HD." Heres my take:

1) I owned an XL2 before that im selling so I know Canon
2) Its basically an HD XL2, shuved in a solid GL2 body, with more manual control and some other things
3) Its $3538 from a trusted seller I use
4) Its got XLR, even though it records HDV MPEG1 audio :/
5) Image is simply gorgeous
6) I can't zoom and focus at the same time, gah.
7) Eye piece sucks (fixable for cheap)
8) Its tape, but firestore could be possible later
9) Its stuck at 1080 and at 60i, 30, or 24p (f, whatever)
10) I also need a new tripod and mic

I think A1 is the right choice, maybe not the best choice if I had 10000 but point being, I dont. It will last me a bit I think. So what do you really love about your new camera, your likes and dislikes? Difficulties I should know about, etc. TELL ME EVERYTHING.

Btw, I have a MacPro so computer power isn't an issue.

- Kyle
__________________
Online Portfolio | Feature Film on XHA1
Kyle Prohaska is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 11th, 2007, 12:18 AM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Coalville America
Posts: 244
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.
Holly Rognan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 11th, 2007, 12:48 AM   #3
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 49
I think the important question is, what do you plan to shoot? You should start from there. I have both the HVX and the A1 and I love them both so you probably can't go wrong either way but again it will probably depend on how you intend to use it.
Juan Diaz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 11th, 2007, 06:00 AM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Snellville, Georgia
Posts: 614
Recommending any camera without knowing the intended use is pretty difficult.

Having said that, for 3.5K the XH A1 can fill just about any shoes. 60i on 1 hour tapes for weddings or event gigs and 24F for film style work. The lens is extremely wide and offers a nice tele reach so you rarely - if ever - need an add-on. What can I say, for the money I just don't see a down side.

Hey, I wanted an HVX too, but at double the price for a working rig... couldn't do it.
__________________
www.philipwilliams.com
Philip Williams is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 11th, 2007, 06:29 AM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Northampton, England
Posts: 500
I love:

1. Overall feel of the camera - it's solidly built and nicely balanced.
2. External controls - all of the controls you most frequently access are well placed physical switches on the outside of the camera.
3. Lens range - it's nice and wide at the wide end and the 20x zoom is more than enough for most things I'm doing.
4. Built in microphones - surprisingly good sound quality.
5. Image customization - from the factory the image is a little "lacklustre", but you can tweak it every-which-way and there are loads of pre-made customizations available (on this forum) which look really good.
6. Zoom speed - slow is really slow and fast is pretty quick
7. Resolution - there's a LOT of detail in the A1's image.
8. "F" mode - the "sudo" progressive scan looks great, only losing a tiny bit of resolution from interlaced modes.
9. HDV - the A1's HDV looks very good (no real compression issues). And recording to tape is a handy backup even when working direct to disc.

I dislike:

1. No simultanious zoom and focus - you cannot zoom and focus at the same time so no dolly-zooms or reframing and refocus.
2. CA/Fringing - Red/Green colour fringing is an occasional problem on high contrast edges under certain lighting conditions. It's certainly no worse than the V1 and much better than the HD100 stock lens, but for some reason I really notice it on this camera. I'm sure it's there on my FX1 too, but I never notice it - possibly because the image is much softer?
3. No OIS button - really a very minor niggle, but it's annoying all the same turning the OIS on and off in a menu everytime the camera goes on or comes off the tripod!

Overall score:

Personally I give this camera 8/10.
__________________
Alex
Alex Leith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 11th, 2007, 08:16 AM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Dallas
Posts: 747
It will not focus and zoom at the same time in manual, but it will focus and zoom at the same time if you use auto focus like the push AF.
__________________
Khoi Pham
www.proeditproductions.com
Khoi Pham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 11th, 2007, 08:29 AM   #7
Trustee
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Wyomissing, PA
Posts: 1,141
Images: 57
I've rented the HVX and have a G1. I do mostly corporate video, interviews, and much of it standing up in the OR shooting proceedures. The HVX is built like a tank, and not a good solution for long form, and adds much frustration to post.

The G1/A1 is more suited to my needs, and I don't mind tape. I had many issues with digital capture and it was a backup tape that saved the day. In the last five years I've only had one tape fail me. In which case I was able to recover much of the day by mending it. So don't knock tape yet.

Bottom line, what kind of nut (work) are you trying to turn will determine the proper wrench (camera) needed.
Peter Ferling is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 11th, 2007, 09:06 AM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Northampton, England
Posts: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Khoi Pham
It will not focus and zoom at the same time in manual, but it will focus and zoom at the same time if you use auto focus like the push AF.
You're absolutely right - I hadn't thought about that... You can knock #1 off my dislike list.
__________________
Alex
Alex Leith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 11th, 2007, 09:23 AM   #9
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Canton, Ohio
Posts: 1,770
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Leith
You're absolutely right - I hadn't thought about that... You can knock #1 off my dislike list.
I wouldn't knock it off your list completely....are you really going to trust autofocus for critical shots? It seems like a potential workaround at best. I personally couldn;t stand to not be able to focus as I am slowly zooming in or out.
Marty Hudzik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 11th, 2007, 09:40 AM   #10
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Northampton, England
Posts: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty Hudzik
I wouldn't knock it off your list completely....are you really going to trust autofocus for critical shots? It seems like a potential workaround at best. I personally couldn;t stand to not be able to focus as I am slowly zooming in or out.
Well certainly I would have thought twice about the A1 over the V1 had I known that you couldn't zoom and focus manually at the same time (I've used Sonys and Panasonics for as long as I've been using these smaller prosumer cameras - so it never occured to me that a manufacturer might not give you zoom AND focus as an option). However, really it's once in a blue moon that I need to zoom and focus, and they're usually repeatable shots, so I'm happy that I can work around the issue to my satisfaction.
__________________
Alex
Alex Leith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 11th, 2007, 10:16 AM   #11
Contributor
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Kansas City, MO
Posts: 4,449
Kyle, I went through a lot of research trying to make the HVX200's P2 format work for me because I really liked the camera (mostly for the slomo capability and the fact it was fairly big and heavy compared to other "handycam" style cameras). I had seen some good looking footage from it, but overall, from that famous Texas Shootout, I liked the look of the XL H1 footage better (the A1 wasn't out yet when they did the tests, but it's the same image).

I normally shoot with a 2/3" chip camera (DSR500ws), but I wanted a lightweight HD camera for a personal documentary project. After rejecting the HVX200, I decided on the Sony Z1 and have shot a few things with one, as well as edited footage others have shot. The only thing that camera lacks is decent 24P. Then the A1 was announced; I waited for it, and I'm incredibly pleased with it. I'm shooting everything 24P (Canon calls it 24F--same thing), capturing with FCP with the 1080P24 setting, and the stuff is amazingly good. In fact, everybody who's seen the footage says it looks better than the exact same types of shots I do with the 2/3" chip DSR500. That's how good HDV is.

For interviews I normally use a Sennheiser MKH60 and sometimes a Sennheiser G2 wireless. Sound quality seems as good as the DSR500; nobody can tell the difference in sound quality. The built-in mic is good enough for ambient sfx, but I mounted an old Sony shotgun just so I could have that in channel 1 all the time, because sometimes I've forgot to switch back to the camera mic after doing an interview, and I like to have ambient sound on everything in case something good happens.

I got a Libec 22 tripod system. It's really lightweight and cheap (about 400 bucks from Zotz Digital, one of the sponsors). It seems sized very well for the A1. I also got a Canon tripod adapter plate for ease of use with other tripods I have.

So far the camera has surprised me with its quality and image control. The LCD screen is excellent with high enough resolution for focusing if you want. I rarely need to use the peaking or zoom up adjustment for focusing, but lots of people use that a lot. I haven't used the autofocus, but did determine you can zoom with it on and it works.

The only minor negative thing for me is that you have to go into the menu to turn on and off the OIS. That should be programmable in one of the custom buttons.
Bill Pryor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 11th, 2007, 11:30 AM   #12
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Ransomville NY
Posts: 239
Thanks for the comments everyone! I have a thread just like this in the HVX General Section at DVXuser. (I like to hear from both ends in the same kind of topic to make my decision) A1 is still my official decision right now because of my money issue, and because it seems suited to do all around camera work as well as film if I want to.

My uses: (in order of personal and not necessarily business priority)

1) Film
2) Wedding
3) everything else ;P

Basically an all around camera, film is my real passion but the HVX is very expensive and I need a new tripod and mic also when I get a new camera.

I do have one issue over all of this....NOBODY WILL BUY MY DAMN XL2. Its 22hrs and practically new and nobody is even biting. I got people on here selling an XL2 over a year old or more for the same price and nobody is jumping on a $3000 22hr XL2, its insanity. Ah well hopefully I can sell it soon.

- Kyle
__________________
Online Portfolio | Feature Film on XHA1
Kyle Prohaska is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 11th, 2007, 11:48 AM   #13
Contributor
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Kansas City, MO
Posts: 4,449
You may have the XL2 a bit overpriced, since you can get the XH A1 for about $3700 now. Your best target would to find somebody who has one and needs a second one for two camera shoots, but you might not get that price for it, even though it is practically new. The XL2 is, in my opinion, the best looking of any 1/3" chip SD camera, probably because it's the only one with 16:9 chips.
Bill Pryor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 11th, 2007, 11:59 AM   #14
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Oxford, UK
Posts: 422
Let me add my thanks for the experiences related in this thread, especially those comparing with the Sony V1.

My short-list at the moment is FX7 or XH-A1, or maybe V1E. I don't expect I'll make much use of 25F/P (I need motion-friendly 50i) but I'm wondering if the extra audio options and all those image tweaks are worth paying 25% more for? I can't see that the V1E is worth a further 20% over the XH-A1, but maybe I'm missing something? (FX7 is selling for about 2k in the UK at the moment, XH-A1 is 2.4 - 2.7, V1E is 3K+.) I suppose I can't make a proper decision until I get my hands on them...
__________________
Steam Age Pictures - videos in aid of railway preservation societies.
Mark Fry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 11th, 2007, 12:49 PM   #15
Contributor
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Kansas City, MO
Posts: 4,449
The V1 is a 1/4" chip camera and the XH A1 uses 1/3" chips, so that's what the major cost difference is. Smaller chips mean lesser low light performance and less depth of field control.
Bill Pryor is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Canon EOS / MXF / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Canon HDV and DV Camera Systems > Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:44 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network