Almost bought the HV20, but what about the XH A1? at DVinfo.net

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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 May 15th, 2007, 06:35 PM   #1
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Almost bought the HV20, but what about the XH A1?

Well, I have Canon's HV10 and it shoots fantasatic looking HDV. It has single handedly addicted me to HD video capturing. With that being said, can you guys tell me what the XH A1 has over the HV20?

I know the 20x Zoom for one thing, but what else. I'm looking for the next level to start getting serious about capturing video. I just recently got a job filming a wedding for some friends using the HV10 and Sony's HC7. The footage came out nice, but I really want to get a camera that can offer me more bang for the customer.

In looking at some of the footage it appears the XH A1 produces a fantastic image and the 20x Zoom is really what I need as I film lots of WildLife and 10x just comes up way too short many times.

My wife has actually given me permission to buy an XH A1 and I would like some advice before I spend my summer allowance on one.

I would like to use this in conjunction with my HV10 for my events and wildlife footage. I have been doing videos for years (all SD until now) and now I'm an HDV nut and I want to take my filiming to the next level.

Anyway, can some of you guys tell me how much better this camera would be compared to the HV20?
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Old May 15th, 2007, 06:52 PM   #2
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Other than 24p, I don't think the HV20 will offer much more than your Sony. I like the camera myself, but got it for 24p in particular. So going up the line in price in the two manufacturers after that, you would look at Sony A-1U (a single Cmos, pro level HDV), then Sony FX7 (3 cmos sensors), Sony FX-1 (3ccd sensors, and may be out of production) , Canon A1( has 24p, 3 ccd), Sony V1 U (24 P with 3cmos sensors), Sony Z-1, and the Canon G1, and Canon Xh1 topping out at about $10K....

I just tried shooting wild life with a 1.7 telextender on the HV20, and had mixed results. A1 H 20x will be great, I think, as would the Sony FX7 and V1u 20 x.... Sony actually has a 30x extended electronic zoom that a lot of people say works just great....
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Old May 15th, 2007, 07:42 PM   #3
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you can't really compare the two.

as a cam for pro use, i find the hv20 nearly useless. in fact, if canon made a deck i would probably sell it and just buy another a1.

for non-pro or in-house use, it can produce decent shots but really lacks in image control and low light situations. it also looks and feels cheap.

you'd need balls the size of casaba melons if you showed up to a gig with it as your main cam.

frankly, the a1 is so damn glorious that any rig under $100K is dead to me.
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Old May 15th, 2007, 08:07 PM   #4
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Yeah the A1 is definitely the camcorder to get for film events as big as weddings. You need good low light and you need to be able to make quick accurate fixes to your image to ensure good results in post. The HV20 to the A1 is a big jump when it comes to manual control/image control.
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Old May 16th, 2007, 06:47 AM   #5
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Brad,

I don't think there's really a choice here. I have an A1 and HV20 and love both of them, but they each have their own purpose. As far as the HV10 v. 20, the 20 you gives you better low light performance, HDMI out, 24p and a mic input. Other than that, however, it's not going to give you the creative freedom you're looking for and as others have said, paying jobs with the HV20 are going to be limited to friends and family because it just looks like any other $300 camcorder.

What the A1 brings is all of the manual control. I came from a Canon GL-1 and had no idea how much I had to learn about video until I got the A1. If you're not that familiar with knee, pedestal, coring and color matrices, to name a few, you'll quickly realize that there is seemingly no end to what can be adjusted with the camera. Read these boards and you'll see footage by some excellent videographers who are still discussing what various adjustments might give them.

Because you've already been blown away by the HD quality of the HV10, the 20 just isn't going to give you that much. I use 24p and external mics all the time, but I don't think the upgrade for you is worth the money.

The bottom line is that the A1 will give you years of enjoyment and the HV10 will be an excellent b-roll and deck. I say order one immediately before the furnace goes and your wife changes her mind!
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Old May 16th, 2007, 07:47 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Bill Doyle View Post
Brad,
I say order one immediately before the furnace goes and your wife changes her mind!

Too funny and so true!!!

I better get it while I can!
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Old May 16th, 2007, 10:47 AM   #7
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Brad Im in the same boat as you except my wife has not approved my purchase yet.

I want more manual control and Im looking at the A1-FX7-HV20 . In my mind I look at the HV20 and it has more manual control over my HC3 + 24p but will I use 24P most likely not but doesn't have 20x which I really want too.

Im leaning toward the FX7 because it has full manual 20X zoom and is $2600

Then the A1 , with the rebate it is only $650 more then the FX7 so Im spending $2600 whats another $650 for the better cam.

Too many decisions and most likely by the time I make one new cams will be out to add to the list.
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Old May 16th, 2007, 03:14 PM   #8
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For $650 more its justified. Plus your working with 3 Native 16:9 CCDs that don't crop any pixles to give you the 16:9 aspect ratio. Along with all the internal manual adjustment its a killer for the upgrade.
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Old May 16th, 2007, 03:21 PM   #9
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The XH A1 is a lot of camera and fun to use. Consider the $2600 for equipment and the other $650 as entertainment! If you keep the A1 for 3 years, the entertainment value will only cost $18 a month;-)
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Old May 16th, 2007, 07:36 PM   #10
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Hey Joey!!

You will forever be remembered by me as the guy who gave me this HDV addiction!!!

Cool to see you in here!

I'm 99% sure I'm getting the A1.

The 20x zoom would be so nice as well as the depth of controls.

Now as soon as some of my customers start paying their bills and I get some cash on hand...I will be clicking that buy button asap!! Probably within the next 3 weeks anyway!!

Man, I love this HDV stuff.
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Old May 17th, 2007, 11:48 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Joey Atilano View Post
Brad Im in the same boat as you except my wife has not approved my purchase yet.

I want more manual control and Im looking at the A1-FX7-HV20 . In my mind I look at the HV20 and it has more manual control over my HC3 + 24p but will I use 24P most likely not but doesn't have 20x which I really want too.

Im leaning toward the FX7 because it has full manual 20X zoom and is $2600

Then the A1 , with the rebate it is only $650 more then the FX7 so Im spending $2600 whats another $650 for the better cam.

Too many decisions and most likely by the time I make one new cams will be out to add to the list.
Hi Joey - let me give you another reason for prefering the XH-A1 to the FX7: Audio. With the Canon you can use either unbalanced microphones into the 2.5mm mini-jack or balanced microphones (optionally with phantom power) into the XLR sockets. This allows you to upgrade when (if) you are ready. If you want to use balanced mics on a Sony, you've either got to get a converter* for the FX7, or shell out much more money for the V1U, which has balanced/XLR inputs only.

The FX7 has three advantages over the XH-A1, as far as I can see: size, price, and a larger (though not necessarily clearer) LCD. IMHO, all are outweighed by the advantages of the Canon: better image (larger chips, slightly better lens, wider range of DOF, more tweaks), easier menu and controls, 24/25F (the FX7 is 50i/60i only), more flexible audio. If you carry the camera long distances across country, the size and weight saving may be really important. If you have eyesight problems, the larger LCD may clinch the deal... Both are great cameras, and most of us would get by just fine with either. The Canon suits me well and I don't regret choosing it over the Sony.

It's sobering to think what $650 would buy...

(* A balanced/unbalanced converter could be as simple as an in-line transformer in an over-sized connector, or it could be a Beechtek of some sort that mounts below the camera. I'm told that Beechteks have slightly better pre-amps than the camera, which may compensate for the inconvenience. In any case, it's more money and more gubbins to understand, drop, forget and generally mess around with when you should be thinking about your subject.)
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Old May 17th, 2007, 01:45 PM   #12
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How about that dedicated Iris ring. I didn't think much of it till I saw and messed around with it especially making long telephoto shots. Also the imaging and development of an HD picture on the Canon seems to be far superior than the FX7. I don't own both but just from what I've read.

I'm not saying the FX7 doesn't produce solid images, I know it does (haven't seen video from the FX7] But I would rather have larger, native chips especially for more low light shooting thats found at weddings.
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Old May 17th, 2007, 02:02 PM   #13
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Thanks guys, I have ruled out the FX7 and it will either be the HV20 or the A1. I think I would be bummed if I didn't get the A1 and settled for the FX7. If I can convince my wife I will get some more Photo/Video jobs I think I will go with the A1. I paid off my HC3 with some photo/video work since OCT-06 so I think Im good there.


Brad get it!
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