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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 September 22nd, 2005, 10:05 PM   #1
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Pardon my ignorance, but....

I'm just wondering what your opinions are.

Canon makes excellent gear. I should know. All of my digital SLR's are made by Canon. Ninety percent of my photo lenses are Canon L glass. I was a diehard Nikonian until Canon released the 1Ds. The light truly did shine down upon me that day.

Now I'm curious. I just bought the 1ZU and JVC just released the HD100. Sony's venerable 1ZU & FX1 have been industry head turners. Now Canon is about to enter the foray with their first detachable lens Hi-Def camcorder. For those more experienced than I in these things, what are your opinions in terms of true video quality between the Canon and the Sony? This is straight video. No 24P or Cineframe24 or anything else. I'm just talking about straight, Hi-definition 1080i video.

I don't intend to buy a Canon Hi-def camcorder any time soon. $10,000 is more than I'm willing to spend, and I'm wondering if you guys think the same. Don't get me wrong, if my wife said "OK, here's 10,000 bucks, go buy yourself a camcorder, then the Canon is definitely in my sights. Unfortunately, I don't make a living with this stuff. I'm just an enthusiastic amateur.

Regards,

James
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Old September 22nd, 2005, 10:39 PM   #2
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I'm in the same enthusiastic amateur boat as you - and since I'm a grad student, most of my money just goes to rent and tuition... so $10k for a camera is really asking a lot. Here are a few choice thoughts:

Because the CCDs are higher resolution and the lens is probalby more expensive, the Canon ought to be a little bit sharper than the Z1U/FX1. Everything else - lattitude, colour, codec implementation, etc. is a wash - no one will really be able to tell until people do side by side tests. However, the improvement won't be "HDV to DV" - it will be more like comparing an XL2 to PD-170 - or some other high end Sony DV cam.

We are also only really in the first generation of HD/HDV cams. The best is really yet to come. So if you stick with your Z1 - not a shabby tool by any means, and wait two or three generations - these cameras we're all excited about now will be old hat, and collecting dust next to their younger siblings.

-Steve
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Old September 22nd, 2005, 11:31 PM   #3
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If you just bought the Z1, I see absolutely no reason to switch to any other HDV camcorder.
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Old September 22nd, 2005, 11:34 PM   #4
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I agree--the Z1 is an excellent camera.

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Old September 23rd, 2005, 11:23 AM   #5
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And what about the FX1? I hear people always talk about how great is the Z1 and seems that the FX1 has gone into a forgotten territory. Is the Z1 really much better than the FX1? Can we compare the FX1 to the XL H1 in certain way?

-EDWIN
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Old September 23rd, 2005, 11:39 AM   #6
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IMHO any compliment to the Z1 is a compliment to the FX1 even moreso - given we paid significantly less for the same imaging technology ;)

-Steve
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Old September 23rd, 2005, 12:11 PM   #7
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My opinion? I don't have one (which those who know me will tell you is not the usual case). It's two weeks after the announcement and I haven't seen a single frame from this camera. For prosumers much will depend on the quality of the HDV and that depends largely on the onboard codec. As no hard data (SNRs, MTF, resolution target results) data is released by the manufacturers no comparisons based on hard data are possible and it all comes down to whether you like the images or not. Yes, you can extrapolate from the fact that the other XL cameras have been well executed that this one will be too but I think I'll let someone else be the first to drop $9K. I'll decide when I've seen some samples of what it produces.
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Old September 23rd, 2005, 12:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd
If you just bought the Z1, I see absolutely no reason to switch to any other HDV camcorder.
Hi Chris, you're right. I really do like the Z1, and I don't intend to change anytime soon. For me, this really gets the job done well.. and anything else would probably be overkill (considering this is not something I do for a living).

I was only interested in the H1 because I almost bought an XL2. This was before I saw the Z1.

Cheers,

James
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Old September 23rd, 2005, 12:34 PM   #9
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The FX1 and Z1's images are the same--we did extensive tests two weeks ago with both cameras.

I always wait and test and read reviews and, after my HD10 issues, I wait until enough cameras are out there and there's enough positive vibes before I commit to purchasing, or even renting, using, borrowing, etc., a camera.

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