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Old February 5th, 2008, 10:50 PM   #1
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Camera? XL-H1 or HD200U

Hello,

Let me first introduce myself. My name is Josh, I'm a junior in high school, I've worked in local television, and am currently in the process of producing and directing a micro-budget feature length film. This brings me to my problem, I currently own a Canon XL1 and though I love it; I feel it's the right time to upgrade to a new Camera and High Definition. I've been looking at the Canon XL-H1 and the JVC HD200U. I'm attracted to the H1 because it's so similar to my current camera and I would be able to use the same accessories. At the same time I am reluctant to jump right on the XLH1 band wagon because I am worried that the XLH1's EVF will cause my shots to be slightly out of focus and I don't want to have to spend an extra (≈)$1000 for a better viewfinder. The HD200U (as far as I know) doesn't have that problem and I would -much- rather have a manual lens. The only downsides I can think of for the HD200 are A.)No OIS B.)Size C.)only 720P. I hear only good things about the HD200's 720P as far as clarity goes and the fact it offers so many more frame rates is a plus. However, I'm not sure I want to "skip out" on 1080i resolution for a camera that may or may not be a better buy.
Basically...I would be using the camera for mostly cinematography, light sports, and light event or studio news broadcasting.

Oh yeah, almost forgot, I have a flexible budget of around $8000

Sorry if I started to ramble on a little bit, I have low short term memory when it comes to writing. Heh, and I'm sorry if you read all of that.

Thanks in advance for any and all responses.

Josh Rudy

Last edited by Josh Rudy; February 5th, 2008 at 10:53 PM. Reason: addition
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Old February 6th, 2008, 12:33 AM   #2
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Decisions, Decisions

Josh,
There are two paths to go here: with that $8000, you could rent a camera package and still have a good chunk of budget to actually make the feature. If you feel like now is the time for a new camera purchase than price becomes a big issue in choosing between these two models. A new XLH1 still runs around $9500 which is you budget and then some. The HD200 has gone down some in price hitting even $5600 new at B&H. If the price difference hasn't sold bear in mind what you plan to use a new camera for. If you're shooting broadcast material and cine stuff on the side, the HD200 is going to be better bet with its ENG-style body and progressive scan recording giving you a camera that can work in both worlds. As far as image quality goes, the XLH1 performs better than most 1/3"chip HDV cams with its great stock lens and superior encoding hence the price difference.
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Old February 6th, 2008, 12:38 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Josh Rudy View Post
I'm attracted to the H1 because it's so similar to my current camera and I would be able to use the same accessories.
That's the idea behind the XL line, but actually there isn't very much that carries forward to the XL H1. Sure you can use your old XL1 lens but it's way too soft for HD. Yes you can use your old batteries but they won't last nearly as long. In my opinion you're better of with the JVC Pro HD camera, the HD200.
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Old February 6th, 2008, 01:04 AM   #4
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Thank you Bryan and Chris for your replies, I should have specified that the $8000 is just for the camera, I have another $6000 for the movie provided by the state (school board). I guess the only real reason (compatibility) is not such a good reason to stay with Canon. Again, Thank you both for helping me decide.


Josh Rudy
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Old February 6th, 2008, 01:06 AM   #5
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Don't forget to budget about $2000 to $2500 for a decent tripod (sticks and head, and lens controls) worthy of that camera.
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Old February 6th, 2008, 01:10 AM   #6
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Yeah, It's about time I got a new support system. Heh, I'm using a setup that can just barely hold the XL1, it does help in a way for fluid movement...but that's besides the point.
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Old February 6th, 2008, 07:57 AM   #7
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Have you considered the Sony EX-1?

It might work better with your tripod and it has 1/2" chips for $8,000 including memory cards.
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Old February 6th, 2008, 07:03 PM   #8
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I would seriously

consider the EX1 if you mainly are going to mainly shoot tripod mounted stuff, an amazing bit of kit for the price. If you are happy to work fixed lens and use solid state you can't go pass this camera, very impressive. I own a JVC HD251, which is a great camera, but hats off where its due!

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Old February 9th, 2008, 10:59 PM   #9
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Gosh, I have to agree with Tim. If you have the budget, the EX1 is really an attractive camera. The JVC hd200 shoots very clear and colorful images, but the motion artifacts are noticeable with any kind of quick movement, not only camera pans and tilts but even subject movement.

1/2 inch chips for better dof and low light performance, not to mention the variable frame rates for under and overcranking, I think it is the best camera for your needs. However the hd200 wouldn't be a bad choice either if the EX1 is too rich for your budget. Good luck with whatever you choose.
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Old February 26th, 2008, 01:01 AM   #10
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I am in pretty much the same situation here. I own a XL1s and feel its time to upgrade and have been eyeing the JVC HD110/200. I mainly shoot sports to pay the bills, so I felt that the 60p offered by the 200 would help quite a bit in keeping things smooth. Ive heard many different things about the camera -many of it conflicting - but I think overall its what Im looking for.

My only hesitation in making the jump to HD is my current computer, a 1.9GHz PowerPC G5 iMac...probably is not going to be able to handle the footage.

Im a complete HD virgin so I have no idea what I could be getting myself into and I must say its a bit overwhelming.

Would it even be worth getting the HD200 if Im not going to be able to take full advantage of its HD capability at first? I would of course rather not spend the money, but my XL is just old and doesnt cut it anymore.
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Old March 1st, 2008, 03:59 AM   #11
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IMHO, if you are going to be changing lenses go with the XL-H1; otherwise you're paying a lot more money for nothing better than a XH-G1. If you are not capturing out of the HD-SDI port and don't need timecode, then save another $3K and buy an XH-A1.

I know you have $8K budget, but why not use the extra $ on something like 36mm adapter with some nice lenses. Good mics, lights. I realize you have another $6K, but you can use that to pay a sound guy, actors, food, etc..

There is no limit on the money that can be spent on filmmaking.

As for the JVC, I think 720 is deal killer.
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Old March 1st, 2008, 05:16 AM   #12
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My limited experience with the XL-H1 (a couple of weeks) was not very good, I had issues with the image quality in certain instances, and while I've not shot with an EX-1, I think that you'd be better off going that route than the XL-H1.

Plus, you save a little money, and it's XDCam which is a robust enough recording format for ENG as well.

Just my .02

Dave
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Old March 1st, 2008, 10:59 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Moretti View Post

As for the JVC, I think 720 is deal killer.
I wouldn't call 720P a deal killer at all. I've seen some fantastic images shot with this camera and 60P is very attractive from a filmmakers perspective.
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Old March 1st, 2008, 04:26 PM   #14
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David, I didn't mention the EX1, but I wholeheartedly agree. If you're going to spend that much money, then get the EX1 instead, unless timecode is needed and the vignetting problem hasn't been fixed by Sony.

Greg, I've seen great 720P pictures from the JVC. I guess I had in mind rumors I've read that JVC will be moving on to a higher progessive HD resolution. But from an image point of view, I agree with you.
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Old March 1st, 2008, 04:55 PM   #15
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Greg, I've seen great 720P pictures from the JVC. I guess I had in mind rumors I've read that JVC will be moving on to a higher progessive HD resolution. But from an image point of view, I agree with you.
Moving on to higher progressive hd resolution... That's interesting. What rumors? Are we talking 1080P?
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