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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 June 15th, 2006, 09:28 PM   #1
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Canon Pricing???

I'm not sure of the appropriateness of this question but will ask anyway.

What gives with the price on XL-H1?

I've contacted several dealers (one of my favorites isn't even carrying it) and the price is the same -- full msrp.

The HVX is selling for $900 less than msrp and the JVC HD100 is around a $1,000 less. These prices are from authorized dealers.

I called Canon today and the rep. said that it's up to dealers to determine which models they carry and at what price they sell. He did say they are obligated to minimum price advertising.

Anyway -- I just find the whole deal odd. What do others think?
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Old June 15th, 2006, 11:06 PM   #2
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Paul,

My dealer told me that Canon Canada told him, no discounts. So he threw in 2 of the 970 batteries (a couple of hundred each). That was the best deal I could get out of them. The dealer down in Tx was throwing in a Firestore with an H1 (that's a nice bonus).

Personally, I'm glad to hear that it wasn't just me they're doing it to.

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Old June 16th, 2006, 10:11 AM   #3
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I for one am glad that Canon has adopted this policy. This is supposed to be professional equipment (prosumer or no prosumer) and the bargain basement mentality that seems to proliferate in these forums tends to undermine the quality development of products in the long run... from a marketing point-of-view, price war thinking encourages new models with more "Xs" and "Zs" in the name, rather than improvements on existing ones...

For example, in the world of film where I have worked for many years, a camera like an Arriflex or an Aaton is not introduced one month and then price dropped the next - Competition exists, of course, but it manifests itself in the quality and useability of the product, not in the price...

Good cameras are expensive to develop and produce - and improve upon - it is better for us all if Canon continues to feel justified providing equipment to a market that's willing to pay for professional quality - because we need improvements in things like lenses and finders - and that won't happen at grey market prices...
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Old June 16th, 2006, 01:41 PM   #4
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Msrp,list,map,etc

Just to let you know, the msrp for the H1 is $9500USD. The min.adv.price is $8999USD.

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Old June 20th, 2006, 12:02 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Rosen
I for one am glad that Canon has adopted this policy. This is supposed to be professional equipment (prosumer or no prosumer) and the bargain basement mentality that seems to proliferate in these forums tends to undermine the quality development of products in the long run... from a marketing point-of-view, price war thinking encourages new models with more "Xs" and "Zs" in the name, rather than improvements on existing ones...

For example, in the world of film where I have worked for many years, a camera like an Arriflex or an Aaton is not introduced one month and then price dropped the next - Competition exists, of course, but it manifests itself in the quality and useability of the product, not in the price...

Good cameras are expensive to develop and produce - and improve upon - it is better for us all if Canon continues to feel justified providing equipment to a market that's willing to pay for professional quality - because we need improvements in things like lenses and finders - and that won't happen at grey market prices...
I have to respectfully disagree with a lot of what's being said here. I can't understand how one can expect technological advances to occur in a product when said product is effectively priced out of the market. Wouldn't more people own HDTV's if they were cheaper? Wouldn't more widespread adoption of display devices spur on more need for content, thus spurring development of aquisition devices? Wouldn't lower prices on cameras like the XL H1 make it possible for more people to use it? Canon would be making a smaller profit on each unit, but the increased number of units sold would make up for it. And if HD had caught on in large numbers 10 years ago, who knows what kind of technology we'd be looking at today.

I don't pretend to be some sort of economist, this just seems like common sense to me. I could well be wrong. Just wondering if this thinking makes sense to anyone else.
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Old June 20th, 2006, 01:47 AM   #6
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"Canon would be making a smaller profit on each unit, but the increased number of units sold would make up for it"


I would guess Canon has someone much smarter than us doing the numbers on this stuff. You think they just pull these prices out of thin air? :-) If you use the H1 for a while, like I have the past 7 months, you'll see it's well worth the money.

KW
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Old June 20th, 2006, 02:19 AM   #7
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I agree with Kevin. I think you're getting a lot for the money (the viewfinder not withstanding). The HD-SDI, though crippled, is a high priced option and is the key to making this camera somewhat codec agnostic. I also think Canon's implementation of HDV is one of the cleanest and most artifact free of all the new cameras.

I think Canon's marketing department did the camera a great disservice by renaming 24P to 24F because the lawyers were "iffy" on terminology. I find it ironic that Sony would release XDCAM cameras using the same method of clocking interlaced chips at 48Hz and deinterlacing them to a progressive final AND they still call it 24P and 30P. Sony must've gotten the idea from Canon since Sony sells Canon the CCDs for the H1. I think this is ultimately what hurt Canon's H1 image within the community.

In the end I'm thrilled to have a Mini-F900 at my disposal whenever I want to run and shoot something. Which is often. For less than $9K. Damn that's a good proposition. Which is why I bought one fully decked out!
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Old June 20th, 2006, 10:29 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Wild
I would guess Canon has someone much smarter than us doing the numbers on this stuff.
Again, I made a special point of not claiming to be a marketing or economic genius. I am most definitely neither. I know it's very easy for me to sit here and ask why the camera isn't cheaper without fully understanding all the costs involved.

Still, I think the cost of this camera is going to hurt the extent to which it is going to find widespread use. It would be different, I think, if Canon offered a "GL-H1." All the other big camera manufacturers have both consumer and more pro-level units. Yes, some of this is the "added x's and z's" phenomenon discussed earlier, but I also think that in practical terms, what's actually happening is that the vast majority of people buying into HDV right now are going for the lower-priced options. Canon is getting left behind. And by the way, don't get me wrong--I love Canon's products. I'm an old-time Canon owner. My first camera was a GL1. I still use it to this day.

Steve's point was that Canon has to make money to continue development of the cool cameras. My point was that they aren't going to be making very much money if no one is buying their HDV cameras because of the high price.

Above all, this is all obviously just useless commentary on my part. Canon doesn't care what I think. But I can say that I would be a lot more likely to buy an XL-H1 if it were a bit less prohibitively expensive. So there's at least one lost sale. And for every lost sale, there's one fewer person using the technology, which to me means that that technology is going to develop more slowly. HD isn't really going to go much of anywhere until it's a part of everyone's everyday life. And that isn't going to happen until things are affordable to those of us who don't spontaneously excrete $1,000 bills from our pores without thinking about it.
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Old June 20th, 2006, 10:29 AM   #9
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Jarrod: What seems to be misunderstood in this discussion is that there is a HUGE philosophical difference between the marketing mind and the R&D mind, and they often dislike each other intensely.

Marketing these days is almost always oriented toward the NEW product with the CATCHY name..

R&D is, or should be at least, oriented toward the needs of the end user - sometimes these R&D people actually ASK professionals what they need in the design of a piece of equipment - rare, I admit, but nice when it happens..

Meanwhile the marketing people are more interested in what the product looks like in an ad layout, and what buzz words they can use to describe it - because they want their charts to reflect big numbers in the board room...

Professional cameras, for instance, in the past have had a name that reflects the use and/or the model number.. for instance Eclair NPR (noiseless portable reflex); Arri SR (silent reflex) with a model# I, II or III added; Aaton LTR 54 (top frame rate, 54 fps) etc...

Lately the marketing mentallity has become dominent because these things are now produced in such large numbers of units with such silly letter confgurations (like the names they put on cars).

The Canon XL H1 is considered a "prosumer" camera, true... But because experienced professionals are using it, Canon has to maintain the integrity of the model. A company that wants to make a profit in a competitive environment has two ways to go... cut the price and try to beat the competion that way, or try to make a better mousetrap and price it as fairly as possible to allow for improvement.. Personally I chose the better mousetrap...

I only hope that my confidence in Canon's moustrap is rewarded with improvements to the spring...
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Old June 20th, 2006, 10:41 AM   #10
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Steve--

Very well put. I don't disagree with you, really, when it all comes down to the basic point. But I do still think $9,000 is maybe just a tad high. I know that price will come down at some point, however.

In the meantime, I still think a "GL-H1" would likely sell quite a bit better, and those profits could be directed into improving Canon's overall HD technology.

But now I guess I'm off on a tangent and not particularly on topic any more...
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Old June 20th, 2006, 10:53 AM   #11
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FWIW my own take is that Canon priced the XL-H1 at this level, not as a fair price for what it offers, but because they knew they had missed the boat in terms of large sales (long since taken by the FX1 and Z1).

They priced it at this level to get the maximum income from the relatively small number of people who want the features which distinguish the XL-H1 from other affordable HD camcorders.
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Old June 20th, 2006, 10:56 AM   #12
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Small market broadcast stations are gobbling the H1 up to meet their legal requirement to convert over to the new standards. The H1 is an economic godsend to them as they could not afford the economies of the other HD system offerings.

I think when you look at the traditional cost of 3 items; HD resolving lens, HD-SDI capability; genlock/timecode jamming/CCU emulation .... the H1 cost is a huge bargain.

There will be lower-priced/less capable Canon solutions such as the GL line coming to market soon that may be more in line with some people's budgets. (and they would also fill the vacuum of the lack of a 24f - 30f deck temporarily so we don't have to wear out the H1's transports and tie it up in the edit bay ...)
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Old June 20th, 2006, 11:48 AM   #13
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Since I ordinarily shoot wildlife video simply as a sport with the hopes of someday perhaps doing more, it was difficult to justify to the purchase of an XL1s, when the old Canon L2 wore out, but it was impossible to resist, as the ability to use the long telephotos was greatly needed. Now four years later and this camera is hopelessly dated.

Obviously Canon is not in business to satisfy someones personal whims, but the point is that they ignored their previous customer base and brought out a camera that someone in my position has extreme difficulty in justifing purchasing. Also in less than four years it will be hopelessly outdated too.

That being said, if they offer the body alone at a price under $5,000.00 then I may purchase it, so that I can use the long telephotos.

I think it safe to say that they have lost a significant market segment at this time, but one can almost be certainly that they will launch a conteroffensive with more high definition products in the near future, but it is unlikely to offer a cheaper interchangeable lens version.

Bottom line: They basically deserted their existing customer base which purchased the XL1, XL1s, and XL2, and are now catering to a different market group entirely.

My level of user did not desert Canon, Canon deserted us.
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Old June 20th, 2006, 01:27 PM   #14
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Willard: I do agree that Canon should have offered a body only sollution for people like you and others who want lens options - I also wish, wish, wish that they had offered it initially with a manual lens - especially if their customer base truly consists of small TV stations needing to upgrade to HD - those people (I hate the term "shooters") pretty much know how to use manual lenses - and if they don't, they should be ashamed of themselves...

For others who don't need all the Canon offers there are many options - I'd go with the JVC myself for the true progressive, despite the split screen fiasco. And there are plenty of good looking projects being shot with the Sonys. And, as was mentioned, Canon will undoubtedly offer something GL1-like - Panasonic with P2s is no cheaper, so it doesn't factor in to this issue...

Fact is, as I said before, with the H1 we got what we got - I have just shot my 84th tape for my current documentary - the image quality of the camera with the 20X is superb in real life shooting - in my case the camera has already paid for itself - and I have not had one of those dreaded and predicted 15 frm GOP dropouts - knock on wood... Steve Rosen
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Old June 20th, 2006, 02:04 PM   #15
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Not that I want to wade in too deep but...

I looked seriously at JVC before I bought the H1 and given the need to upgrade immediately the JVC batteries, and the lack of SDI out, Canon pricing was levelled out.

The new JVC 250 is reportedly $8500 US (due out October) for the body only. It has SDI out. The new HD200, effectively replacing the HD100, has a price bump of nearly 2k, for essentially the same unit, sans problem areas.

Bottom line, there is no perfect cam for everyone. I wish there were more lens options, and a deck for 24f, and hell while we're at it let's cut the price in half, and throw in a Wafian recorder too.

I bought the H1 because I saw it as a camera that will still be relevant in 5 years and beyond. I know I spent a couple of grand more than I needed to. Hell, I started out shopping for the XL2 and decided to buy up to the H1.

I think it's obvious to all that if it were priced lower, they would sell more but
I don't think Canon brought out the H1 as a cash cow. I heard that they have over 50% of the digital still market. (cha ching $$$).

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