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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 February 11th, 2006, 10:47 AM   #31
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You know what Andrew, I think for your purpose the Sony would be the wisest choice. Sound on board any camera is never that great, especially for weddings so I suggest picking up an Audio Technica Pro 88 wireless mic system. What I love about it is the receiver can fit in the shoe of your cam if you want.

Just to help reinforce some of your thoughts, the Canon is expensive and I'm not sure how exactly you'd benefit from it. SDI output for you? Who cares.

Having done weddings myself WAY back as a way to pay my way through my painful addiction to new camcorders I first started shooting with the VX1000, after I went to the XL1, XL1s and now use the XL2, but my use now has shifted from weddings to independent film projects where everything is staged - not like the live coverage I use to do. If I had to do a wedding tomorrow with the Canon 1.) I can say even using it on a tripod is a pain due to it's offset center of gravity and long lens 2.) the widest angle you can get does not suffice - especially for those mornings walking through the brides house. I would likely rent completely different cam if I "had to" shoot a wedding, likely I'd borrow a VX2100, PD150/170 or my buddies DVX. Perhaps it's just me cuz I got use to the smaller sized cams, but hey if versatility is going to make my work look better in the end WHO CARES how it looks on the outside.

At the end of the day when you've crammed yourself into the back of a corner and start to break a sweat because you can't fit everything in the frame and you don't know what to do - the last thing you'll be concerned about is how cool your camcorder looks and what people on this forum were saying about Canon or Sony :) Let's face it the "wide" on the Canon is pathetic, you most certainly would also need to buy a wide angle adapter... all that money.. and it still can't do what you want?

Sony HD: 4.5-54mm f/1.6-2.8 (for 35mm Conversion 32.5-390mm)
Canon SD or HD: 5.4 to 108 mm (for 35mm Conversion 39mm-780mm)

And I don't agree at all with Dennis Robinson that his camera should make him look professional to clients - hopefully it's his work. ; )

As for the JVC? The price is attractive but it has no 60i in HD mode, no stabilzer and no auto focus. This is not a wise choice for you, that's for sure.
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Old February 11th, 2006, 10:59 AM   #32
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To be fair Dennis, I understand what you are saying but I have never done a wedding and dont intend to in the future. Maybe the little toy looking Sonys are easier to use for that purpose, but my work is on TV commercials and coporate DVDs and I only have 3 years experience using a camera so the larger form size helps me provide a professional image to clients.
I have friends in the business with PD170's working for little or nothing and I can buy a new Canon HD camera with less than 3 weeks work.
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Old February 11th, 2006, 11:29 AM   #33
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There's always a Century Optics WA in a pinch. Anyone tried an HDV ready one yet?
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Old February 11th, 2006, 11:36 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Robinson
I just recently saw the JVCHD100 camera but I understand that it doesnt have auto focus and image stabilisation. Does anyone have any thoughts on the lack of these features. I am currently using a Canon XL1s and want to move to either the Canon or new JVC HDV cameras
I suppose it depends on the work. For me I never use auto focus anyway, but I guess for some odd reason when we pay $5k for a camera we expect to have it. :)

As for image stabilisation - I'm on the fence for that one. For filmmaking, interviews or other staged events I don't need it. For live event coverage it really does help.

I use the mini35 alot so I'm use to not having these features and I'd say for most professional use the lack of these features is not a big deal. What I'm completely stuck on as far as the JVC is the fact it doesn't offer 60i HD. Other than for filmmaking, who would buy this as an "HD cam"?
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Old February 13th, 2006, 11:32 AM   #35
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Haven't read the entire thread yet but it seems most of replies are missing one point. Video shot on HDV and downrezzed to DV in post for delivery to the client using something like Cineform delivers a clearer and sharper SD image than shooting DV to begin with. That should be factored into the decision matrix when deciding on whether to go with an XLH1 or an XL2.
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Old February 13th, 2006, 11:55 AM   #36
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I can concur with this statement. I haven't had the privilege of converting to Cineform as I am FCP based, but even HDV converted to DVCPROHD and then downconverted to SD DV or DV50 looks better than starting out with plain-vanilla DV, which is still exceptional on the H1.
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Old February 13th, 2006, 12:06 PM   #37
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Barlow,

What are you using for a deck for the H1?
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Old February 13th, 2006, 12:41 PM   #38
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Currently...the H1. I don't batch capture with it, typically. I simply capture entire tapes into DVCPRO HD via Kona SDI, and that's it...until or unless I need to go back to HDV, which I haven't had to yet.
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Old February 14th, 2006, 10:15 AM   #39
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Buy HD. Shoot HD. Edit HD. Give the a DVD and the option of a Windows Media 9 HD DVD for playback on their PC.

To invest in an SD camera today is lunacy. Lunacy I say!
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Old February 14th, 2006, 01:54 PM   #40
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Peter does have a point. But I like the Z1 best.

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Old February 14th, 2006, 04:51 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Goodman
I am starting up a new wedding video business.
this guy is located in england, which means that he'll get taxed to the max on anything he buys, and don't forget, it's a brand-new business.

i say jump in cheap; try to find a good used piece of sd gear that shoots wide screen, maybe from someone on this forum? since you can only deliver in sd, buy what works for now, then step up later, when the business can afford it... the prices for new technology will be much better then.

since sd is your only delivery format, good audio and lighting gear will have a much bigger impact on the quality of your productions than shooting hdv over sd will ever have... cameras and formats come and go, but good audio is an investment that will always pay off.
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Old February 14th, 2006, 05:55 PM   #42
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Decision made… finally!!!

It’s been a long week (far too long!!!) but after a lot of research, headaches, more research, more headaches etc and changing my mind a few times I have finally made up my mind on which camcorder to go for!!!

I am going for the Sony HDR-FX1... after taking a step back and looking at what I wanted, I feel this will be the best camcorder for me at this time. I wanted one which has the option of HD as I want to try and get in on the ground floor of the wedding HD market and try to get ahead. There where a few HD camcorders I considered but I felt that this was the one which is best for me at this moment in time. Possibly two years or so down the line I will change it (or most likely hold on to it as a second Camcorder) as HD camcorders will be much better and I will have a better understand of the world of HD because as far as editing etc goes I know very little at this time. I also looked at the HVR-Z1 but I personally couldn’t justify the big price difference between these two camcorders and will spend the difference on accessories etc.

I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who posted.

Thanks again guys
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Old February 14th, 2006, 06:18 PM   #43
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I can understand your decision. It certainly is the cheapest option. I just couldn't live with the fact that a lot of guests at the weddings would have the same camera. It depends on how much you intend to charge to do the work.
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Old February 14th, 2006, 06:23 PM   #44
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I like the Z1 for the black stretch, personally, plus the color correct, cinematone 2 and 50i/60i.

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Old February 17th, 2006, 06:29 AM   #45
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I'm going into doing weddings also (hopefully starting this summer), and am leaning toward the FX1, but seriously considering the Z1 (primarily for the black stretch). My intention is to shoot and deliver exclusively in HD. Yes, I do realize the challenges, from marketing to production and delivery. I've been working on how to address them for a while now (they are formidable, particularly marketing, since no one that I am aware of is seriously attempting to market for delivery in HD yet). I need to get one, of whatever camera I am going to go with, in the next few weeks, to stay on track for starting this summer (I have an HD10U that I purchased last year, to have something to experiment with, but need to start working now with the camera that I am actually going to be using, to get to know it inside and out).

I would be more seriously considering the HD100U if it had optical image stabilization (I was also rather put off by the price increase - a manufacturer actually raising the price of a camera just plain rubs me the wrong way). I haven't really seriously looked at the XL-H1, simply because it is difficult to believe that the price/performance ratio could really approach the FX1 (or Z1) and boosting the cost of acquisition like that would mean having to charge more (not good when trying to stay reasonably competitive, price wise, with well established SD delivery). Before I commit to purchasing a camera over 3k, I would like to ask though, has anyone directly compared the FX1/Z1 to the XL-H1 in low light?
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