Trade two XL1s cameras for a 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 June 14th, 2007, 11:51 PM   #1
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An XH-A1 and a GL2?

I'm a video producer who does a lot of wedding videography, among other things (commercials, other event shoots, small college sports, etc.) I am currently working with two Canon XL1s cameras and one GL2.

I've got an offer to trade my two XL1s cameras for a brand new Canon XH-A1. The offer exists because a church purchased the XH-A1 not realizing that they have no need for HD at this point because they are shooting for a Christian broadcast television station that only broadcasts SD and has no plans to upgrade to HD.

The church needs two cameras, however, and is willing to trade their brand-new never-used XH-A1 for my two XL1s.

Is this a deal I should accept? I've been researching the XH-A1 for a while and it's definitely a camera I would love to have - but is it worth giving up two XL1s for? I can see many many benefits with having an HD camera like the XH-A1 and I'm dying to start using it (for weddings and for other projects) - but would you consider it a bad idea to give up the 3-camera setup that I currently have now and be left with the XH-A1 and a GL2?

And can anyone speak to how well the XH-A1 (in SD mode) and the GL2 match up?

And ultimately, would you make this trade if you were me?

Last edited by Carrie Cannaday; June 15th, 2007 at 01:32 PM.
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Old June 15th, 2007, 12:07 AM   #2
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To offer a bit more information, I do 3-camera shoots occassionally, but I do not currently have any booked - and it's not uncommon for most of my wedding shoots to be one or two camera deals. So, not having a 3rd camera is not critical to me - although it certainly is a nice option to have.
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Old June 15th, 2007, 12:33 AM   #3
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Hi Carrie...........

I suppose the question YOU have to ask yourself is: "Am I ready, able and prepared to go HD?"

I guess from what you're saying the answer would seem to be no.

Getting an A1 just to shoot SD at this juncture would seem to be a strange move, given that the A1 is well into it's first years release, and if the H1 / A1/ G1 release sequence is continued there will be another high end option available in the next 6 - 12 months, if not sooner.

I suppose the best way to look at this is money. That's why you do what you do. Is it worth it financially to lose two good cameras to get one better one?

I'll leave it to others to comment about cutting SD from the A1 into your remaining SD camera flow - I know nothing about it.

Guess you'll have to do some hard thinking.

Hope that has helped a bit.


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Chris
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Old June 15th, 2007, 01:34 AM   #4
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Here's a link to three used XL1s cameras on Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Canon-XL1S-Min.../dp/B00005NKXS
They are listed at $2100 to $2500.

Depending on the condition of your cameras and the accesssories you will give up or won't be able to use anymore, you may be slightly on the short end of the deal. The XH-A1 is going for about $3250 after rebate.

Myself, I'm waiting for the Canon 40D EOS camera to come out before I need to buy the 30D.

I also wonder if the current rebate on the XH-A1 is because there is an XH-A2 around the corner.

If the XL1s Canons do what you need and you are very familiar with using them, the XH-A1 in exchange may not be right at the moment. It will have it's own learning curve and will give you different results than what you have now. However, on the good side, the HDV cameras all seem to produce better SD video than the SD cameras.

I don't have an answer for you, but I do recommend going through in detail exactly what you will need to do your work (what additional you may need to buy) and figure out the total cost of the swap.

At the least, I would try out the XH-A1 and see how it works for you.
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Old June 15th, 2007, 02:24 AM   #5
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Upgrading electronic equipment

Apologies up front, but this reply is not based on any in-depth knowledge of the XH A1 (I am just about to purchase my first HD Camera), but has been prompted by Jack's response which mentioned the EOS 40D. I bought the EOS 30D at the end of last year, and have been very happy with it ...but the main point is I will still be happy with it even when the 40D comes out! I have long wrestled with the question of whether or not to upgrade my electronic gadgetry now, or wait for the new model to come out! A very knowledgable friend of mine who is a whizz on computers once told me that when you have decided on your 'level' of use all you can do is buy the highest spec option available at the time, in the full awareness that it will always have an upgrade 'just around the corner'. I took that advice every time I bought a computer, and have recently applied it to all my other equipment. It helps me to remove doubt about my way forward and really only gives me a single option with every purchase I make. Obviously I have not considered the financial aspects of this though.

Based on these thought processes, I will buy the A1, and if I had the opportunity to take the offer you have, then I would go for that as well. The way I see it, you must be aware that you will make the move to HD eventually, and that your existing cameras will depreciate significantly as the switch to HD becomes more popular (I liken this to the move from film to digital stills cameras ...very few professionals still rely on film, regardless of what they said in the beginning!). So, you will probably end up with two cameras which will be of little use to you, of little value, and a requirement to buy HD to provide for your clients. What you seem to have here is an opportunity to upgrade to HD at no financial cost to yourself, and (as you have said) little need for the 'extra' camera anyway. You also still have the option with the A1 to deliver in SD if you need to.

This is a no-brainer - I say go for it :)

Colin.
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Old June 15th, 2007, 03:37 AM   #6
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So I will contribute a little more. I just about completely agree with Colin.

There will always be something better.

I'm in the waiting game right now because I don't knew the new video camera until September or October. I own a PD150 and JVC HD110 already.

The still camera I may need in the middle of July. If that's what's available, I will get it without hesitation or worry. I already have access to the top lenses. I just need the body with 5 frames per second. I am no longer a still photographer, so I'm not interested in the 1D Mark III. I have a specific use.

I am in the planning stages of a video project that has two distinct parts and looks. The first part could be shot with the PD150. For the second part I need an HDV camera about the size of the 150. The first part is the end of July. The second part is in November.

I could, though, use the XH-A1 for the first part, too. However, at this point, it would be easier to use the PD150, then get the XH-A1 when I get back the first time and practice with it for November.

Also, I have the wide-angle adapter, the filters, and other accessories for the PD150 (58mm) that I will also need for the XH-A1 (72mm) and will need to get.

However, again, there are a number of things I have for the PD150 that will work for the XH-A1 and won't have to re-purchase.

But I do have to buy a couple of new things no matter which of the video cameras I use for the first part... including a Steadicam Merlin, a small fluid head, some small carbon sticks, a Rifa 44.

At the moment, from both an artistic point of view and a financial point of view, it looks like for now I will use the PD150 buy a 30D. I will get an XH-A1 for November.

-------------------------------------
And none of this has anything to do with the question at hand, except to discuss some of the kinds of things that can affect a decision.

I agree with Colin that HDV is here, and SD equipment will just lose value as time goes by. I think HD DVDs aren't far off.

If the trade is made, I think it is for the right camera. I have been studying a lot over the past weeks, and the XH-A1 looks to me to be the best HDV choice in its and even somewhat above its price range. I have been most interested in versatility, small size, low-light performance for HDV, dependability, lens quality, picture quality, feature set, and 24f. There doesn't seem to be anything really lacking in what it does that would be automatically looked for in the next version.

I don't know if sound equipment is a consideration or not. The XH-A1 will need XLR mics which you may or may not be using with the XL1s.
------------------------------------------------------------------
I'm sure some people with a lot of experience with the cameras in questions will respond with more practical advice. Meanwhile, here is more on the philosophical considerations.
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Old June 15th, 2007, 03:42 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colin McCaffery View Post
You also still have the option with the A1 to deliver in SD if you need to.
From what I have read, the XH-A1 does an excellent conversion from HDV to SD. Can also be done with no problem in the computer.

(Also, don't know if you capture off the camera or have a deck for the SD.)
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Old June 15th, 2007, 05:04 AM   #8
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Well from what I understand, 2 XL1s cameras are worth roughly the same as 1 xha1 camera at the moment. On the basis that the xha1 is probably going to hold its value better than your two xl1s it sounds like a good idea to me.

I've only heard very good things about the xha1 thus far. The xha1 can shoot SD (and by all accounts will shoot better looking SD footage than your SD cameras, albeit with a need for more light), so I think it would be a good camera to upgrade to.

It really comes down to whether you can live with just one camera for the time being - if so, this trade is about as good a deal as you're going to get for your Xl1s cameras IMO, and will allow you to switch to working with HD as soon as you have the computing power.
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Old June 15th, 2007, 09:42 AM   #9
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Thank you all so much for your feedback. I'd like to highlight part 2 of my initial question in this post though:

I understand that the SD footage from the A1 will be better than that shot with the GL2. Has anyone on here tried editing SD footage from an A1 and a GL2 before - who can speak of how well that might work for situations when I do two camera shoots using the A1 and the GL2?
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Old June 15th, 2007, 09:49 AM   #10
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To add to (and hopefully simplify) the post I just made above - basically my question is this:

If I was to use both the A1 (in SD mode) and the GL2 for a two-camera shoot - will the picture from the A1 be so much better than the GL2 that it will be glaringly obvious, or will it merely be a difference that only a "trained eye" would detect.

I'm particularly interested in hearing from those who have experienced this scenario themselves.

I know that ultimately this is a test I'll need to do myself with the cameras - but I do value the information gained from experiences that others have already had and can share about.
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Old June 15th, 2007, 01:02 PM   #11
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carrie -

I have an XHA1 as well as a GL2. I recently went to a few different states to get corporate footage for a project I'm working on. I had one guy on th eGL2 and I was on the A1... we white balanced to the same card and I'll tell you what, you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference in 'look'. I believe the quality from the A1 was better. I can't post caps because it's of proprietary technology... I'm sure someone can post a comparison though.
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Old June 15th, 2007, 01:31 PM   #12
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Thanks Keith,

Did you shoot in SD mode on your A1 or did you downgrade to SD in post?
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Old June 15th, 2007, 02:34 PM   #13
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Shot in HD and downrezzed in post. That way I would have at least one camera for HD footage down the line.
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Old June 15th, 2007, 07:35 PM   #14
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I bought A1 just before 10 days after I had sold a Sony FX1.Istill got a XM2(GL2).It's very early but I can say that I don't like SD 4:3 from A1.It's well known that A1 's default colours tend to be washed out.That's true.I wish I had Sony's colours,LCD,gentle grip zoom lever and XM2's low light sensitivity.A1's SD 16;9 mode is surely better than it's SD 4:3.I haven't tried HD yet.Just an opinion...
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Old June 16th, 2007, 01:21 AM   #15
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I'd say to take the trade but get some cash in addition. Sure there item is still in the box but can't be called new anymore. Besides, their choice shouldn't make you rush and usually there's a bit of wiggling room as well.
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