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Canon XL H Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XL H1S (with SDI), Canon XL H1A (without SDI). Also XL H1.


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Old August 23rd, 2007, 04:48 PM   #1
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XLH1 or HVX200?

Looking at them both I see that a HVX with 2 16gig cards and a 60gig backup for the cards would run about 5200+900+900+1600= 8600 and an XLH1 is just about 8000 so the price is comparable and thats with 32gigs of p2 that can be backed up to a 60gig drive in the field allowing for a theoretical 90 gigs of shooting before needing to back up, which could be done to a laptop and external if needed.

So price out of the way, are there reasons to favor one over the other? Is the panasonic a real 1920x1080 it does not say anywhere I saw so far. I know you can get uncompressed hd out of the XLH1, doubt I ever would, but can you also get it from the HVX through the composite out or is that already a compressed signal?

Is the 24 mode better on the hvx than canons 24F ?

How much better is the P2 standard over hdv?

Can vegas handle the P2 format?

Thanks for any help in deciding.
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Old August 23rd, 2007, 05:40 PM   #2
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This is such a loaded question and the answer really depends on what you want to do with the camera.

Is 24p on the HVX better than 24f of the Canon? - Not necessarily.

How much better is the P2 standard over HDV? P2 is a storage medium while HDV is a standard. You can choose to record different formats to P2 while to tape on the Canon you get HDV or DV. DVCPRO HD which the HVX can record to P2 has arguably better specs than HDV but will you see a difference in the real world - depends what you're doing.

Can't help you on the Vegas question but I'd bet the specs can be Googled.

If you don't need uncompressed HD, you could buy 2 XHA1s plus a tripod, mics, lighting, etc. for the same money and potential get a more versatile system than with just one cam.

With this equipment, it's all about the operator.
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Old August 23rd, 2007, 07:27 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Klidonas View Post
Is the panasonic a real 1920x1080 it does not say anywhere I saw so far. I know you can get uncompressed hd out of the XLH1, doubt I ever would, but can you also get it from the HVX through the composite out or is that already a compressed signal?
DVCproHD records 1280x1080 in 1080p and 960x720 in 720p. Canon captures HDV to 1440x1080. These are format resolutions and are not indications of true TVLines captured resolution.
HVX has uncompressed analog component out., XLH1 has Digital out.
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Old August 23rd, 2007, 08:36 PM   #4
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XL H1 also has uncompressed analog component out.
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Old August 23rd, 2007, 10:09 PM   #5
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So the panasonic is interpolating up to get the resolution? But saving a less compressed format. What about the 24 frame mode is it progressive and is there a noticable difference over 24F

I am mainly going to work in 1080 as its the highest output so 720 or sd does not really factor in to my decisions on this.

Thanks.
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Old August 24th, 2007, 01:36 AM   #6
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Chris -- everything mentioned here is really old news that has been discussed countless times before -- nevermind what's interpolated or scaled or downconverted or upconverted. None of that makes a shred of difference. Here's the short version of what you need to know: it's DVCPRO HD recorded on flash memory vs. HDV recorded to tape. It's workflow, ergonomics, form factor, feature set. That's all that really counts.

If you don't need interchangeable lenses, consider the Canon XH G1 instead of the XL H1 because it's $2000 less than the H1 and better in several respects than the H1.

DVCPRO HD recorded to P2 flash memory or HDV recorded to tape. Both are 1080i60, 1080p30 and 1080p24.

Forget 24F vs. 24P, because 24F becomes 24P when it goes into the computer.

Forget about tech specs, resolution, pixels, etc. and get your hands on both camcorders. The one which *feels best* in your hands, is the right camera for you. The one whose image most appeals to you when properly viewed on an HDTV display (not a computer monitor), is the right camera for you. Don't buy anything without holding it in your hands and viewing its video output on an HDTV.

How does the image look on an HDTV? And: workflow, ergonomics / form factor, feature set.

Hope this helps,
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Old August 24th, 2007, 02:56 AM   #7
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I agreed with Chris Hurd in this matter. You have to try out whats best for you. I bought my Canon XLH1 one year ago, but I nearly bought me a HVX because I had some experiance with the DVX camera. The reason I chose Canon was changable lenses as I mostly film wildlife. I think both cameras are great, so after a "hearing" on a norwegian videoforum I went to the store and tried out for myself.
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Old August 24th, 2007, 07:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
If you don't need interchangeable lenses, consider the Canon XH G1 instead of the XL H1 because it's $2000 less than the H1 and better in several respects than the H1.
True. The H1 should not be compared to the HVX. Apples and oranges.
Form factor and lenses makes more sense to compare the G1/A1.
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Old August 27th, 2007, 03:11 PM   #9
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The thing about the HVX that the other cameras don't have is variable frame rates, so you can shoot slomo. This is nice if you're doing sports. The P2 workflow would be a serious tradeoff for that, however. Also, Chris K mentioned transferring the cards' contents to a hard drive in the field. This would work but only if you have time to do it. It takes quite awhile to transfer all that data.
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Old August 27th, 2007, 06:38 PM   #10
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I usually disdain Ford vs Chevy discussions, but let me put in my 2 cents, since I own both cameras, as well as an A1 and an HPX500.

I trundled along happily with my H1 until a funder specifically requested DVCPRO HD for a long term project I'm making, so I bought the Panasonics.

Personally I very much dislike the "P2 workflow".. I find tape as fast, maybe faster (I make documentaries and I've already shot over 40 hours with the HPX500, which I've only owned for 2 months, so I do have some experience with it). And I miss the tape as backup - I'm already getting tired of filling redundant hard drives...

I do like the HVX/HPX slo-mo capabilities (although there was an article recently on pulling 60fps from Canon 60i HDV footgage). I much prefer the layout of controls etc of the HVX over the A1.. notice I said A1.. because it's true, the form factors are different, and since I handhold, shoulder mount is essential - so back to the H1...

As for image, my impression, which is confirmed elsewhere, is that the Canon at 1080i blows the doors off of everything in it's field, including the HPX, which is twice as much dough..

BUT, the HPX and HVX DO simulate the elusive Holy Grail of "film-look" better than the Canons, if that's important to you - it is occasionally to me - Although the HVX is noisier than it should be (again, confirmed elsewhere by many forums).

And, for your information, in order to save card space, I am shooting DVCPRO HD at 720/24pn, so my resolution opinions are truly apples and oranges - - BUT those are the settings you must use to take advantage of 60fps and keep your file sizes below 1g per minute...

It's convoluted and extremely subjective.. personally I'm amazed by the stunning image that comes from the XL H1, and I love the external swithes to set shooting modes... BUT I like the creamy, albiet lower rez film-like image and the external scene file wheels on the Panasonics, so you don't change settings by accidentally bumping a button (I do that all the time on the H1)...

Oh yeah, and on the Pannys I really miss my favorite of all H1 features, the abilty to manually dial in white balance numbers.. that is extremely useful...

And I've edited HDV on a G5 Quad with a DeckLink card for over a year and was just like editing DV - and not a single drop-out... so dispel that HVX-lover myth forever...

But, unfortunately, I am forced by circumstances to sell my Canons - I wish it made sense to keep them...

I've probably just confused the issue, but it's a confusing issue..

Last edited by Steve Rosen; August 28th, 2007 at 10:19 AM. Reason: forgot something that annoys me
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Old August 28th, 2007, 08:51 PM   #11
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Wow! Great review. so thrilled to see something like that.

Tell me do you have a preference between the XHA1/G1 or XLH1? I hear from several sources that the XHA1 is better in several aspects than the XLH1, would you agree or disagree? I realize that the camera layout on the XLH1 is better in several ways, but the size/weight and fact that I do not like the aperture on a little dial rather than the XHA1 aperture ring style. But I am also looking at another camera and the XLH1 or HVX were the main considerations so while the canon would stay all canon, I am not afraid to have multi systems if there is a benefit in some aspect even at the possible expense of extra work in matching if ever needed.

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Old August 28th, 2007, 09:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Eastwood View Post
I hear from several sources that the XHA1 is better in several aspects than the XLH1...
Sorry, but the proper comparison to the XL H1 is the XH G1, and not the XH A1.

See my post detailing the advantages of the XL H1 over the XH G1:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showpost....62&postcount=5

And my other post detailing the advantages of the XH G1 over the XL H1:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showpost....81&postcount=6

Hope this helps,
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Old August 28th, 2007, 11:53 PM   #13
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Thanks Chris, but I am more interested in the HVX vs XLH1 and used as a secondary example the XHA1 since that is what the previous poster had used and has reference to compare it to. I am fairly certain that the XHA1 and G1 have the same quality/features with the genlock, timecode and hd-sdi as the only variable.

But knowing from someone who has worked with and spent some time with all three cameras would be great to hear. Especially when considering that price wise a XLH1 and HVX with P2 cards is roughly equivalent in pricepoint.
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Old August 29th, 2007, 12:32 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Stephen Eastwood View Post
I am fairly certain that the XHA1 and G1 have the same quality/features with the genlock, timecode and hd-sdi as the only variable.
Yes, and that's exactly my point. The A1 and G1 differ only in those three features: SDI, GenLock and TimeCode. That's why the G1, which has these things, is the proper one to compare with the XL H1, which also has these three things. The A1 does *not* have SDI, GenLock or TimeCode therefore it is not the one to compare with the XL H1.

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Especially when considering that price wise a XLH1 and HVX with P2 cards is roughly equivalent in pricepoint.
Once again, as has been pointed out above, the proper comparison to the Panasonic HVX200 is the Canon XH G1. Not the XL H1. If you're considering how they equate *only* by price point, then you're turning a blind eye to several other considerations that are just as important if not more so: form factor, ergonomics, workflow etc., and doing a serious injustice to yourself in the process.

Once again: it's still very much an apples to oranges comparison, but it's the HVX200 vs. the XH G1. Not the XL H1. But ultimately what you need to do is get your hands on whichever ones you're considering and try before you buy. That's far more crucial than reading test reports on an internet web site.

The one which feels best in your hands, is the right one for you. Nothing else matters nearly as much -- except perhaps the workflow and the appeal of the image when properly viewed on an HDTV display.
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Old August 29th, 2007, 01:04 AM   #15
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What else is in the same 8000.00 pricepoint and HD that should be considered? It seems there may be some advantages to the HVX not only workflow but quality, or disadvatages to it, just as I see there must be some disadvantages to the XHG1 over the XLH1 which keep them both in the lineup. I have used an XLH1 and XHA1 and dvx100b and on a boom, tripod, jib, crane they are all basically the same, handheld the differ a lot. But assuming no handholding the main differences will be in settings, customization, post workflow, file quality, noise, characteristics of each. Many of these things cannot be fully explored in a brief tryout and I am not a huge fan of buying each and accessories and returning them just because its not easy to find them all in rental, so some real world experience of what people who use them for some time would be great in pointing out, if nothing else little things to try or look for when doing a brief tryout.
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