HVX200 vs. XHA1 - some initial impressions - Page 3 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 June 2nd, 2007, 03:03 PM   #31
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Ok Steven I understand. This was just such a great opportunity to look at both side by side and consider all the variables.

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Old June 2nd, 2007, 04:07 PM   #32
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I've looked at the two clips about 20 times on a 24" monitor. Paying attention to the grass, detail in the moving vehicles, detail in the road, sign and orange bleeding in the sign. Frankly the HXV200 footage looks just a "hair" better to me. What am I missing here since most comments are the XHA1 looks better?

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Old June 2nd, 2007, 05:10 PM   #33
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No preconceived notions here. I own a SD cam but am looking to move up. It dosen't matter to me what the "brand" it is. Just want the best possible image from a cam that fits my budget.
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Old June 3rd, 2007, 10:19 PM   #34
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No preconceived notions here. I own a SD cam but am looking to move up. It dosen't matter to me what the "brand" it is. Just want the best possible image from a cam that fits my budget.
You don't, but the people who own one do.

I personally like the image of my HVX better. The thing is that with the HVX you need a good quality LCD to focus ($1,200) a 2X lens converter ($800), P2 cards or FS-100 HDD ($1,800). That is just to match the A1's better LCD, the 20X zoom, HDV tape recording. The auto-focus on the HVX is totally useless.

At 3 times the price what you get as I said before a better image, 1080p24-30-60i, 720p25-30-60, DVCPRO50 24p-30p-60i, DVCPRO25 24p-30p-60i, DV24p-30p-60i on tape. You also get frame rates from 2-60 for super fast motion to over 2x slow motion at 720p. You also get time lapse, HD at higher color resolution 4:2:2, independent audio channels 1 and 2 plus build in mike on 3 & 4 and no HDV 4:2:0 rendering.

The audio system on the A1 is not very good at all. The auto level is very consumer like. There are some reports in this forum of audio interference from radio or TV stations. I had an interference while using the build-in on the penthouse of a hotel. I didn't notice at first because the music was so clear that I though that is was the original music being played at the party. When I put all 3 cameras sound together is when I noticed.

So the question is, How much can you afford? If you can only afford $3,500 then there is no better camera than the A1 at that price range.

I own both and I am very happy with them. They both have different uses.

I like what I got for the price I got it. If I had $100,000 to spend I wouldn't get any of the sub $10,000 camera.
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Old June 4th, 2007, 12:59 AM   #35
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thank you for the effort.
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Old June 4th, 2007, 02:39 AM   #36
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You also get time lapse, HD at higher color resolution 4:2:2, independent audio channels 1 and 2 plus build in mike on 3 & 4 and no HDV 4:2:0 rendering.

The audio system on the A1 is not very good at all. The auto level is very consumer like. There are some reports in this forum of audio interference from radio or TV stations. I had an interference while using the build-in on the penthouse of a hotel.
Are you saying that on the XH-A1 you cannot record to each audio channel separately? Is it not possible to record a separate mic on each channel?

I am looking at the V1U and the XHA1, and I was leaning toward the XHA1, but if I can't record separate channels on the XHA1, that's a problem. And, if the audio on the XHA1 is unusable, that's also a problem.
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Old June 4th, 2007, 03:12 AM   #37
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Is it not possible to record a separate mic on each channel?
Of course it does.

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Old June 4th, 2007, 05:54 AM   #38
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a colleague just purchased the hvx, and i had the chance to play around it with for the first time outside of a store showroom all week, so here's my two cents. it's definitely a nice camera -- gorgeous image, and the variable frame rates are very cool. having held both in my hands for at least a few days, i find it really would be a tough call between the hvx and xha1, EVEN if the camera packages were the same price. i love the xha1's extra resolution (i know just how much resolution seems to be debated, but the a1's advantage here is pretty clear to my eyes) and tape-based workflow. and i love love love the hvx's variable frame rates. the p2 concept is cool, but it can get so cost prohibitive, especially for casual users and enthusiasts, and the xha1's hdv implementation has been nothing short of great for me. in low light situations, the xha1 has an edge. i had two 1k softboxes and a 500w overhead running, and was still picking up some visible noise on the hvx, tho it wasn't objectionable and the picture was very nice. i find the audio is fine on both cams for the majority of stuff, and would run separate sound anyway, regardless of camera, for anything involving more complicated setups. you hear this countless times, but if i had to choose one or the other, it really would come down to where the majority of my work came from. all costs aside, they both kick out a lovely image. if i was doing a lot of chroma key work and had a requirement for a lot of slow motion stuff, i would go hvx. if i needed a little boost in resolution and wanted to stay tape-based, i would pick up an xha1. also, the xha1's lens goes wider and has almost twice the zoom range of the hvx. in any case, it's hard to go wrong either way IMHO, but, in the pure interest of "getting the shot", each camera has strengths that might make it a better tool for the job.

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Old June 4th, 2007, 08:11 AM   #39
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also, the xha1's lens goes wider
Just to clarify, the wide end of both cameras is pretty much identical.
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Old June 4th, 2007, 10:48 AM   #40
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Just to clarify that audio issue that was mentioned in the long post above, that is not a camera problem when you get interference from a radio station. And yes you can record into two different channels. The only downside I've found in audio on the XH A1 is that you can't record line in to one channel and mic in to the other. You have to be both line in or mic in even when using 2 different mics. That is not a problem for most anybody.

I also compared the two cameras before buying the Canon. I wanted the HVX200 because of the variable frame rate; however, the tradeoffs of other things made it not worth it for me. If I shot nothing but sports, then I would have figured out a way around the P2 workflow. (Sony seems to have that issue solved with the upcoming XDCAM EX.)

I thought the viewfinder and LCD of the HVX200 were adequate. I don't use the LCD all that much. I also think the balance is better than the XH A1 for hand held shooting. Both camera's lenses are equally wide, but the Canon has a 20:1 zoom. I think the HVX is about 12:1. I really like the look of the HVX on closeup and medium shots but it seems softer than the Canon on long shots. I think if Panasonic comes out with some sort of little Bluray burner, as Sony is doing with the XDCAM EX system, and the price of P2 goes down while capacity goes up, then the workflow could improve significantly. What makes a camera like the XDCAM EX good for people like me is that it's fairly easy to transfer your footage from the SxS cards to burn XDCAM discs. So it's just like shooting XDCAM HD except you have to go through the additional step of making the archival disc...not quite as convenient as putting a tape on a shelf, but not too bad, considering the cost.
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Old June 4th, 2007, 11:58 AM   #41
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Just to clarify that audio issue that was mentioned in the long post above, that is not a camera problem when you get interference from a radio station. And yes you can record into two different channels. The only downside I've found in audio on the XH A1 is that you can't record line in to one channel and mic in to the other. You have to be both line in or mic in even when using 2 different mics. That is not a problem for most anybody.
Thank you for the clarification. One situation needing mic/line different on the channels 1 and 2 might be when you are using a mic on one and a feed from a board or sound system on the other. However, in these situations, a mixer would solve the problem and work better anyway.

I suppose there isn't any built-in attenuation on the mic inputs, or maybe there is, but not adjustable independently? In any case, I will check to find out.

The XH-A1 is looking to be the best choice for what I need it for.
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Old June 4th, 2007, 12:04 PM   #42
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...
I suppose there isn't any built-in attenuation on the mic inputs, or maybe there is, but not adjustable independently? In any case, I will check to find out.
...
It's there, independent for each channel.

About P2 workflow, I think things will go slightly different direction in near future with very high speed and capacity CF media. For now, P2 is not practical solution for majority of users.
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Old June 4th, 2007, 12:07 PM   #43
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Are you saying that on the XH-A1 you cannot record to each audio channel separately? Is it not possible to record a separate mic on each channel?

I am looking at the V1U and the XHA1, and I was leaning toward the XHA1, but if I can't record separate channels on the XHA1, that's a problem. And, if the audio on the XHA1 is unusable, that's also a problem.
You can not record to XLR and internal for safety at the same time. You can record to XLR 1 and 2 separately.
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Old June 4th, 2007, 12:18 PM   #44
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Just to clarify that audio issue that was mentioned in the long post above, that is not a camera problem when you get interference from a radio station
I own 6 cameras and never had interference while using the internal mic. How then it is not a camera problem.

I really will like to know what I am doing wrong.
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Old June 4th, 2007, 12:27 PM   #45
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You can not record to XLR and internal for safety at the same time.
Correct, and this isn't possible because the internal mic is stereo and therefore always requires two channels for recording, leaving no other audio track available for an additional source via XLR. This is possible with the XL series camcorders when the option to record four audio channels is enabled via the menu. Four channel recording is not available on the XH series camcorders.
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