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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 24th, 2006, 10:22 PM   #1
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Question For Kevin Shaw

How did you like working with the Canon XLH1? Were you able to get to any of the test requests you had asked for? The footage that everyone has been displaying has been excellent, but is still lacking some of the cinematic feel to it. Most of the footage looks like more of a run and gun style instead of a scene set up. I am interested in seeing some of the footage you took. Thanks once again for being open to the requests.
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Old February 25th, 2006, 01:29 AM   #2
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I liked the Canon in some ways but not in others, and I'm still working on pulling together sample footage I shot on this and other cameras. My main concern with the Canon is that the recorded HDV footage seems excessively grainy in low light, so much so that my brother thought maybe we did something wrong when he was capturing sample clips. Sensitivity is higher than the Sony HDV cameras, but the Sony images are so much cleaner you can use more gain and still have a better result. The Canon is also uncomfortably front heavy and awkward to hand-hold, even more so than its SD predecessors. I liked the physical controls for most camera functions but wished the camera had a flip-out LCD instead of the flip-up eyepiece.

Overall this didn't strike me as a camera I'd pay almost $10K for -- at that price I might consider the Panasonic HVX200 with a Firestore hard drive instead, in spite of my reservations about the P2 workflow. And that's after seeing first hand that P2 is a challenge under current conditions, so neither the Canon nor the Panasonic really grabbed me. The JVC HD100U also disappointed in several ways, so after doing my tests I still like the Sony cameras for their basic overall design. But I'm seeing more clearly now that the Sonys aren't very sensitive in poor lighting, so that's a limiting factor for them. Bottom line is that none of the current low-cost HD cameras are quite what I'd really want, but the Sonys will do for now. In 2-3 years or so P2 cameras may be a more appealing alternative, or maybe we'll see something else to give all these cameras a run for our money.
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