FX1 - A1 picture comparisons? 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 23rd, 2007, 12:52 AM   #1
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FX1 - A1 picture comparisons?

Hi!
In the stage to buy either camera, I have done quite much research on the FX1 and the A1, but still haven't found any good picture comparisons between the two on the same web page/stream. Do you know of any, it could be shootouts or color charts, but it must be in daylight also, not only low-light pictures, where the A1 seems to win. And it should also be made with the needed adjustments in the camera so that you really make it a fair battle.

I saw this comparison between the HVX-200 and the A1:
http://www.dvxuser.com/articles/xha1/
and there the A1 seems much worse than the HVX (which is a much more expensive camera though), but I wonder how it compares to the FX1.

I've also seen these shootouts of the A1 and the HVX where I think the HVX wins in daylight but the A1 in lowlight.
http://joesimonproductions.com/shootout/

But I would like to see the A1 and the FX1 pics at each other's side, else you can't compare.
Some people say that the A1 is grainy in daylight, what's your opinion?
Thanks
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 02:11 AM   #2
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A lot of it has to do with getting the most out of manual settings. If you're using the camera right out of the box, then its really not fair to make a judgment. The camera is flexible and I think you'll love it once you find "your" settings.
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 03:11 AM   #3
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You can easily tweak the a1 to have more punchy images than the hvx. Also the canon has way better resolution which is not apparent in those stills.
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 08:59 AM   #4
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Why would you want to get an FX1 and not an FX7?

Either way the A1 has superior optics as well as more manual control, plus you have more buttons on the body of the camera, and there's also true 24 fps(I don't think we need to debate 24f vs. 24p they both look great).

The only major plus that the FX1 or FX7 has over the A1 in my opinion is the LCD size and maybe the built in lens cap(I sometimes need more than one filter on).
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 09:13 AM   #5
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I would take an FX1 over the FX7 since the CCDs are native 16:9 and not 4:3 CMOS chips that stretch the picture more. Honestly the A1 is far superior and will last in the long run. Plus a dedicated Iris ring.
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 09:32 AM   #6
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Though not empirically proved, I am also sceptic to the current CMOS chips.
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 11:58 AM   #7
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I was fighting the same battle as you, Urban.

Although I don't plan on distributing in HD for at least another year, I wanted to get a camera that was capable of it. I do lots of weddings and was leaning toward the FX1 based solely on Sony's reputation with the VX2100/PD170 while keeping in mind that higher pixel density means lower sensitivity. I know that no HD camcorder in my price range would keep up with a VX2100 or PD170 in low light situations.

I researched heavily on-line and found clips from the A1 that were both good and bad. The same thing can be said about the FX1. After reading countless posts on this board, I came to the conclusion that as long as I do your homework and have patience, I can shoot much better images with the A1 because it is so much more flexible.

My A1 will be coming in next week, but I've already read most of the manual in PDF form. That, in addition to the posts of people in these forums, makes me confident that I made the right choice. I'm a manual control freak when it comes to cameras.
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 01:01 PM   #8
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Urban,

Be careful with any article your read on the net. That one is biased towards the HVX200 because it was written for the HVX board. Someone with the A1 will bias their article towards the A1 on this board. In that particular article it looks like they under exposed the A1 intentionally to make the image appear less vibrant and dirtied.

My point is this: The current crop of cameras are all managable regardless of the brand. They will all get you an image of about the same image quality. They all have low light weaknesses. The A1 has a better control layout, xlr inputs, has a great lens, and is a solid camera. But as far as image quality the FX1 can make images that will match the A1 in adequate lighting.

I think that in a shootout you'll only find that both cameras create near identical pictures with a slight difference in color temperature, but not quality. And for color temp you can change that to your liking in post so it's a none issue in my opinion.

It comes down to personal preference. Personally, I want a camera that's easy to use, I would spend the extra money for the A1. If you don't mind "working" to get the image you want, then the sony is a great camera and will save you some money.

Maybe someone else can post some side by side images (properly exposed for each camera) and you can get some type of comparison.

Ben
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 02:15 PM   #9
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Urban, the XH A1 isn't grainy in daylight or low light. There's always some sort of operator error, like auto gain being left on, when you find out more about posts that have said that.

I've comared the XH A1 to the Sony Z1, and I like both cameras a lot. The FX1 should have the same image quality, but it doesn't have the control or tweakability of the XH A1 and Z1, nor does it have XLR inputs. However, you should be able to achieve excellent quality footage with either camera.

In addition to the features the XH A1 and Z1 have that the FX1 doesn't, the XH A1 has a nicer lens and also shoots "real" 24fps nicely. In addition to the wider zoom range of Canon's lens, it has a real aperture ring where it belongs, instead of the little knob on the side. You also get distance readouts so you can follow focus in a dolly shot. The Z1 does this too, but I don't know about the FX1.
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 06:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Lynn View Post
Urban,

Be careful with any article your read on the net. That one is biased towards the HVX200 because it was written for the HVX board. Someone with the A1 will bias their article towards the A1 on this board. In that particular article it looks like they under exposed the A1 intentionally to make the image appear less vibrant and dirtied.

My point is this: The current crop of cameras are all managable regardless of the brand. They will all get you an image of about the same image quality. They all have low light weaknesses. The A1 has a better control layout, xlr inputs, has a great lens, and is a solid camera. But as far as image quality the FX1 can make images that will match the A1 in adequate lighting.

I think that in a shootout you'll only find that both cameras create near identical pictures with a slight difference in color temperature, but not quality. And for color temp you can change that to your liking in post so it's a none issue in my opinion.

It comes down to personal preference. Personally, I want a camera that's easy to use, I would spend the extra money for the A1. If you don't mind "working" to get the image you want, then the sony is a great camera and will save you some money.

Maybe someone else can post some side by side images (properly exposed for each camera) and you can get some type of comparison.

Ben
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikko Lopponen View Post
You can easily tweak the a1 to have more punchy images than the hvx. Also the canon has way better resolution which is not apparent in those stills.
The article seems to be bias, but as an owner of the FX-1, HVX 200 and the A1 I can attest that what is said in the article is all true.

If you want can't afford an HVX or you need 20X zoom or you want to record to tape then buy the A1.

I also think that the A1 is the best camera for the money. If you do weddings and want to get into HD the A1 would be my choice.

I just finished an infomercial yesterday were I used the A1 and the FX1 for the interview part. They match much better than the HVX would with any of them. The brilliance and sharpness is just to much for either one of the HDV cameras.

I got mine because it was the best inexpensive camera that would complement my other cameras without spending extra on accessories like HDD recorders and tele converters.

I also like that it is light weight and easy to hand hold. I also bought the little HV20 that I use to capture HDV.
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 07:15 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas Villalba View Post
The article seems to be bias, but as an owner of the FX-1, HVX 200 and the A1 I can attest that what is said in the article is all true.

If you want can't afford an HVX or you need 20X zoom or you want to record to tape then buy the A1.

I also think that the A1 is the best camera for the money. If you do weddings and want to get into HD the A1 would be my choice.

I just finished an infomercial yesterday were I used the A1 and the FX1 for the interview part. They match much better than the HVX would with any of them. The brilliance and sharpness is just to much for either one of the HDV cameras.

I got mine because it was the best inexpensive camera that would complement my other cameras without spending extra on accessories like HDD recorders and tele converters.

I also like that it is light weight and easy to hand hold. I also bought the little HV20 that I use to capture HDV.
Douglas, What do you think about the HV20?
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 07:16 PM   #12
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That article is bias, Panasonic fan boy, I have nothing againts Panansonic, I have use 1/2 inch ENG camera DVCPRO in the past and like it alot. I had compared the Z1 side by side with the A1 on a 1080 monitor and Z1 is no match, after a couple of shoot I still can not get the 2 camera to match, I finally had to sell all of my Sony, 2 FX1 and 1 Z1 and got all 3 A1 so I can have consistency in picture quality. I am no fan boy of any brand, I just buy whatever is best for the price and work with my workflow.
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 07:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian G. Thompson View Post
Douglas, What do you think about the HV20?
It is a good little camera as backup camera, deck or for family use. It has a fantastic image for the price, but little control.
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 07:55 PM   #14
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See a clip of the A1 and FX1
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 10:36 PM   #15
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In my opinion, the Canon XHA1 is now what the Sony FX1 was a couple of years ago: "the best video camera--for the money".
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