Who made the switch from the XL-H1 to the XH-A1/G1? 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 July 23rd, 2007, 08:34 AM   #1
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Who made the switch from the XL-H1 to the XH-A1/G1?

I know that some forum members made the switch from the Canon XL-H1 to the Canon XH-A1/G1. I own a Canon XL-H1 and have mixed feelings. It's a great camera, with great controls on the outside and the image quality is superb. However, I do not like the handling of the camera. The camera is too front heavy which can be corrected by heavy batteries or weight at the back. But when you add a light on top, a matte box and the wide-angle lens it becomes even more front-heavy. So one of the main reasons why I bought the camera was because it was shoulder-mounted. In practice, it does not work out how I imagined it to work. It's really hard to hold the camera for long periods of time. I like the camera best when it is on my Sachtler tripod. Another problem I have is the LCD/viewfinder which I truly dislike. To make things better, I would have to invest like $5000 in the Anton Bauer system, the 6X WIDE and and the FU-1000 monochrome viewfinder.

The other main advantage are the studio connections but I do not think I will use them in the coming years so that's what brings me here. I want to add a second camera to my setup. And when I trade-in my XL-H1, I can get two Canon XH-A1 cameras for the trade-in price of the XL-H1. Together with a fig-rig or something, I think I can work with the XH-A1 more easily.

What are the impressions of those who already made the switch? I know Stephen made the switch. Also, people who hold/used both camera's might comment on the differences in handling. I am eager to find out!
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Old July 23rd, 2007, 12:54 PM   #2
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I shoot with both, and neither one is a good shoulder cam.
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Old July 23rd, 2007, 12:56 PM   #3
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Ok, thanks for your feedback. That's what I expected. But how do they compare? Why should I keep my Canon XL-H1?
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Old July 23rd, 2007, 01:32 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Floris van Eck View Post
Ok, thanks for your feedback. That's what I expected. But how do they compare? Why should I keep my Canon XL-H1?
Although I don't have an H1 and can't comment on the ergonomics, you can at least capture uncompressed HD through the SDI output of the camera, something I don't think is possible with the A1.

This may seem trivial, but should you have fast hard drives and space to capture the uncompressed stream you could achieve faster render times by avoiding the HDV codec.

Or so I understand...
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Old July 23rd, 2007, 01:45 PM   #5
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The problem is that uncompressed HD is very expensive these days and I think it will remain very expensive for a while. Huge file sizes which means a lot of storage space is required and I do not feel like buying 10 harddisks.
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Old July 23rd, 2007, 03:20 PM   #6
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I might suggest you go to Zacuto.com...
They have some interesting base plate configurations for making the XHL1 more ergonomic while handheld - expensive - but top notch stuff.

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Old July 23rd, 2007, 06:37 PM   #7
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Although I don't have an H1 and can't comment on the ergonomics, you can at least capture uncompressed HD through the SDI output of the camera, something I don't think is possible with the A1.
It's possible. I've captured uncompressed with my A1 by using the component outputs via live capture (not from recording to HDV). I can vouch that the image quality and colour is VERY nice.
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Old July 23rd, 2007, 10:46 PM   #8
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I haven't shot with the XL H1 but have shot with the XL2 which is the same configuration but a little smaller and lighter, I think. The XL2 is a real pain to hand hold for long. Actually I'm able to get steadier hand held shots for longer with the XH A1. If you have an XL H1 I wouldn't trade it for the XH A1 unless maybe you want to do a lot more hand held work than you do. The only user advantages of the XH A1 I can see would be the LCD screen and the wider angle lens. And the XL has its own advantages too.
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