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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 May 30th, 2010, 08:33 PM   #1
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Can't decide

Between the xh a1 and the xl h1. I currently own an xl2, and my oly complaint is the small lcd. That being said, the xha1 shines with the bigger lcd. Which one would you recommend and why? Thanks - the size doesn't matter to me all that much, as I almost appreciate the large size of the xl 2 due to the shoulder mount = steady shots. Thanks again
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Old May 31st, 2010, 06:24 AM   #2
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If you want a smaller form factor and don't mind a fixed zoom lens, and the one on the XH-A1 fits all your shooting requirements, then go for that. If you need a far wider choice of lenses and prefer the larger form factor and filming from the shoulder, then go for the XL-H1.
Seeing that you already have worked with the XL2, and prefer that type of shoulder mount, then the XL-H1 is probably the wiser choice.

Me? I'd opt for the XL-H1 every time.
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Old June 2nd, 2010, 07:02 AM   #3
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Yeah, it seems like the XL H1 would be a better fit for you.

If at all possible, I'd highly recommend looking at the update XLH1(s)(a) cameras.

As someone who had upgraded from the original XL H1 to the XL H1s, there are many, many operational upgrades in the updated version that make it so much more worth it in my opinion.

2 levels of variable peaking on the newer cameras are immensely better than the original peaking option on the XL H1. It'll help you with focusing.

The XL's are fantastic cameras.

Hope this helps.
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Old June 4th, 2010, 11:08 AM   #4
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Jon,

If you have the money in the bank, so to speak, I would opt for the xlh1-s version. I have the A version and I regret that to some degree!!!
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Old June 6th, 2010, 09:17 AM   #5
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Let me emphasize though that the only difference between the 'a' and 's' models is that the 's' model has the Pro Jackpack.

For me, thats a big deal as I shoot using the uncompressed HD-SDI to a Nanoflash for much higher image quality and use timecode in/out for slaving devices.

But if you think you won't be using these ports, then save the money and get the 'a' version.

But yes, the 's' is the way to go if you ultimately want the highest quality (at a substantially higher price).
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Old June 9th, 2010, 01:27 PM   #6
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I'm using the "a" with a FS-CV hard-drive and wondering how much "better" the quality could be using nano flash? I will have to admit when I jumped from tape to HD, it was substantially better. Almost like I fixed a focus problem on the camera. But to be honest I'm having a hard time believing that the minimal compression the firewire port applies would be worth the HUGE investment in not only the "s" version but the additional solid state drives etc ..

Have you been able to compare firewire vs. HD-SDI?
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Old June 9th, 2010, 01:49 PM   #7
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Well the thing that you need to realize is that what is coming out of the firewire port is the same image quality that is being laid to tape. The video has already been compressed to the HDV spec.

HD-SDI is precompression, so what is coming out of that port is the pure uncompressed video from the DSP.

My comparisons definitely show the difference: HD-SDI captured footage to a high quality/high bitrate codec shows better sharpness and detail, and the colors 'pop' a little more. But the real difference will come in post production, where you can do far more grading/pushing to the image without it degrading.
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Old June 9th, 2010, 03:06 PM   #8
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would you mind if i asked what set-up you're using? IE: the converter and memory cards and how they connect to the camera?

Thanks!
MS
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Old June 20th, 2010, 01:07 PM   #9
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Yes, I have a Nanoflash which I have piggyback on a Anton Bauer Dionic 90 which is mounted on the back bracket on my camera. I have the Anton Bauer XL Gold Mount which allows me to power the camera using the Dionic along with powering the Nanoflash via the D-TAP port.

The Nanoflash takes the uncompressed HD feed from my camera's HD-SDI port and records the video to compact flash cards at the bitrate I specify (up to 280mbps).

I love this system as it allows me to not only record the uncompressed out of my camera, but I dual record, allowing me to shoot both tape and tapeless. This is great for me as I still have a lot of clients that I just hand tapes too.
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