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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 February 12th, 2007, 06:11 AM   #16
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Remember that camcorders like the XH A1 hold a fairly good resale value. If you buy one and use it for even one gig and sell it you'll probably not lose a dime.

Unfortunately, the reality is that it can be difficult to get paying gigs with a camcorder like the HV20. In every other technology sector the typical consumer has embraced the fact that products get smaller, better and cheaper. Unfortunately, that mindset simply has not translated to people's perceptions of camcorders. Show up at a wedding gig with an HV20 and the last thing you want to hear from the bride's parents is "Hey, we've got one of those." At that point, its an uphill battle. People don't understand that the PERSON behind the camera is what they're paying for.

I witnessed this when I went to the Atlanta aquarium with my XH A1. When I go somewhere with my Optura people just jump in front of me and no one notices or cares that they might be totally blocking my shot. When I had my XH A1 with me, people were moving out of my way, ducking and even dragging their kids out of the way.
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Old February 12th, 2007, 07:15 AM   #17
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No regrets over XH-A1 purchase

I have no regrets over buying the XH-A1: Lovely pictures, understandable controls, sensible auto settings that are easily over-ridden. However, it was a close call between it and the Sony FX7 and V1. It is worth trying the Sony, especially if you think the Canon may be a bit too big. There are a few small features on the Sony that are missing from the Canon, such as HDMI and S-video output (Canon has Firewire, componant and composite), which may or may not be important to you. On the other hand, the Canon has a choice of balanced or unbalanced audio, stereo mics that are surprisingly good for built-ins, bigger chips and other advantages. There are lots of posts discussing the relative merits. My best advice is to get your hands on them both.

Given that there are issues with the progressive-mode of the Sony V1 (discussed at length elsewhere on DVi), if progressive is not important to you, you should be able to haggle the price down. OTOH, if progressive is your thing, you may prefer to leave this cam alone. At least be sure you understand what the problems with the Sony are and whether or not you can get them fixed later. Last I heard, there was confusion, but I'm not up-to-date.

If you like the sound of the Canon HV20, also consider the new Sony HC5 and HC7 (I think those are the correct numbers) and the current HVR-A1 ("pro" version of old HC1 with balanced audio, etc.) I'm guessing that the Canon will have the edge, but none are in production yet (except the HVR-A1). The current Sony HC3 is probably not "serious" enough for someone attracted to the XH-A1 - IMHO!
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Old February 12th, 2007, 07:41 AM   #18
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Deflecting Thread A Little - HV20

Seeing as we are all making nice noises about the HV20/HV10, how well do they comapre to a normal SD 3 chip prosumer camera?

Me personally, I have a Panasonic GS400 that I love. Would I see much of a difference and if favour of which camera?
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Old February 12th, 2007, 08:18 AM   #19
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if you seriously plan to try weddings or any event video, you'll most likely want the audio features and tweakable low-light capabilities of an A1. also, its nice, fat wide-angle lens... if you're just wanting a consumer-grade camcorder with some flexible features, then the HV20 would be an awesome choice, and there is no point in paying up for features you would not really use.

another idea: used FX-1s seem to be coming available periodically at prices between the A1 and the HV20. which, minus the progressive feature, is a lot of camera for an excellent price.

if you can pinpoint your identity as a video producer, you can probably pinpoint your camera. are you a high-end consumer, or are you serious about getting paid? if you can definitively answer that question, then the camera choice should follow the question, not the other way around.
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Old February 12th, 2007, 08:22 AM   #20
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I bought two, and no regrets.
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Old February 12th, 2007, 01:42 PM   #21
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I didn't mean "Did anyone wish they spent $1000 on a consumer cam instead of $4000 on an A1".

I decided I "needed" a semi-pro/pro camera. Maybe I do, maybe I don't - We'll find out in 6 months or a year at the latest (my wife is very good at finding all the things I bought and didn't need).

I intended - Do you wish you had the FX-7 for the HDMI or the HVX200 for the more customizable audio or the G1 for the extra's or the "..." for the Low light performance or I should have saved for a 2/3" sensor camera.

From the responses of this tread, I think I should have asked the "FX-7 Guys" the same question - and see how many answered an A1 with an HV20 for HDMI out.
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Old February 12th, 2007, 02:17 PM   #22
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Haven't had a chance to use the Sony, but I have shot with the HVX. Here is why I chose the A1 over the HVX.

With all features aside, the bottom line is that I prefer the image quality of the A1 over the HVX. This isn't to say that the HVX is anything to sneeze at. It's a great camera with amazing pictures. But two things that kept me away from it (actually three). #1. the picture, 'though less compressed is soft compared to the Canon. To be fair, you would have to 'up-res' the image from the HVX and then compare THAT DVCPro HD codec with the full res Canon hdv-compressed image. When all is said and done, the Canon has a superior image in terms of clarity and aesthetics (aesthetics is subjective, but I prefer it, especially the film-like 'grain'). The HVX is not far behind though. Again, I'll hire a great DP with an HVX over a lousy one with an A1 #2. The P2 workflow is both an advantage and a disadvantage. In the not-too-distant future, this is the way to do it. Right now, I don't want to carry an extra laptop or harddrive to my locations. For production, it's a hassle. For post, it's a dream. #3. Bang per buck. Even if the two cameras were the same price, I would still get the A1. My only 'regret' is that I wish I had the cash to get the XL H1, but the money I save from that will go towards production. So, no regrets.
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Old February 12th, 2007, 02:23 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Barry Gribble
I bought two, and no regrets.
Hey Barry, did you buy the two to go with a third(other model cam)? I have a Sony Z1u atm, and am looking at that A1, two of them actually, to give me the three angles I like to use. Btw, if you get to Richmond, I'd love to see one. :}
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Old February 13th, 2007, 06:45 AM   #24
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I sold my H1 and bought an A1. I promptly sold the A1 and bought a used H1. I could not live with the ergonomics of the camera and the lack of certain features that are buried in menus on the A1. I would have felt the same for any of the "handy cam" format cameras. So that is not Canon's fault. I just thought I could live without the form factor and all of the controls at my fingertip. But I couldn't.

I still read how people love the A1 because it has so many manual controls. Maybe compared to the SOny offerings, but in comparison to H1 it seems limited.

And, just to clarify, a large part of my bias is because I still do not particularly care for Canon Servo lenses. I use the 16x manual a large amount of the time and I rely on the tactile feel of a real manual control focus too much to give it up.

and one more note......I'd love to have an A1 to complement my H1. But I could not "replace" my H1 with an A1.

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