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General HD (720 / 1080) Acquisition
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Old October 4th, 2008, 07:28 PM   #1
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XH A1 or HVX200

I know this probably has been posted before and I am not sure it goes in open discussion but which camera would you buy and why. Keep in mind I am going to buy the Letus Extreme 35mm adaptor to use with this later on down the road (sooner than later if I go with the canon).

Here are 2 links to both cameras on vimeo using a letus extreme that both blow me away. This is the look I want to achieve. (and I know they did some post stuff and nice lighting, and the player is small etc etc etc)

Canon XH A1
Istanbul Cymbals on Vimeo

Panasonic HVX200
Letus Ultimate on the HVX200: First Test on Vimeo

To me and from what I have read, the HVX has richer colors, more cinematic looking, and the XH A1 is more clear and sharp. The P2 card is somewhat of a problem for me as I shoot documentary stuff. I would have to have AT LEAST 2 x 16GB cards and a laptop with me at all time while shooting.
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Old October 5th, 2008, 04:11 AM   #2
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Don't jugdge by those films. They all depend on the operator and the post-production process and what look they wanted.

First decide your workflow. That is the biggest difference between these camera's. If P2 isn't for you, go for another camera than the HVX200. If the tape workflow isn't for you, don't go for a XH A1.

From there on, you can decide for other things, features, ergonomics, price/budget, ...
All these camera's can make a good image. Of course there is an image difference between camera's, but with good lighting for instance, it doesn't matter all that much anymore.
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Old October 5th, 2008, 09:36 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Oliver Darden View Post
The P2 card is somewhat of a problem for me as I shoot documentary stuff.
Then consider the Panasonic AVCCAM AG-HMC150. It's similar to the HVX200 but uses common, inexpensive SDHC cards as recording media.
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Old October 5th, 2008, 02:05 PM   #4
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good info guys, thanks. Another question.

The HVX200 says it will shoot in:
1080/60i, 30p, 24p
720/60p, 30p, 24p
480/60i, 30p, 24p

And the XH A1 in:
1080i/60i
1080i/30f
1080i/24f

Whats the difference in 30p and 30f?

Will both cameras give me that slow mo / over cranked look? Shooting at 60fps does that right (this look www.vimeo.com/1238869)

Also, the canon only shoots in interlaced and the panny does progressive correct?



* sorry for the noob questions, I am just starting to understand HD and these formats. I looked some info up on Wikipedia and its super confusing.
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Old October 5th, 2008, 02:59 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Oliver Darden View Post
Whats the difference in 30p and 30f?
There is no difference between 30p and 30F.

Quote:
Will both cameras give me that slow mo / over cranked look?
This is easier to do with the HVX200, at 720p60.

Quote:
Also, the canon only shoots in interlaced and the panny does progressive correct?
Incorrect. Both cameras will shoot 60i, 30p and 24p -- interlaced and progressive.

You need to understand that the *primary* differences between these two camcorders is their recording format (DVCPRO HD for the HVX200, and HDV for the XH A1) and recording media (P2 memory card for the HVX200 and HDV cassette tape for the XH A1).
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Old October 5th, 2008, 05:04 PM   #6
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nice. Thanks Chris!
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Old October 6th, 2008, 11:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oliver Darden View Post
I know this probably has been posted before and I am not sure it goes in open discussion but which camera would you buy and why. Keep in mind I am going to buy the Letus Extreme 35mm adaptor to use with this later on down the road (sooner than later if I go with the canon).

Here are 2 links to both cameras on vimeo using a letus extreme that both blow me away. This is the look I want to achieve. (and I know they did some post stuff and nice lighting, and the player is small etc etc etc)

Canon XH A1
Istanbul Cymbals on Vimeo

Panasonic HVX200
Letus Ultimate on the HVX200: First Test on Vimeo

To me and from what I have read, the HVX has richer colors, more cinematic looking, and the XH A1 is more clear and sharp. The P2 card is somewhat of a problem for me as I shoot documentary stuff. I would have to have AT LEAST 2 x 16GB cards and a laptop with me at all time while shooting.
Oliver:

I have the XH-A1 and recently got the HMC150. Both are fine quality cameras and are capable of great images. Im a little biased in liking the Canon more because I have had it a long time and like it's control set better. The HMC150 is very similar to the HVX200a because they have the same sensor block and mostly the same image processor. However, the HVX has variable frame rates for over and undercranking which neither the HMC or A1 has. The HVX is a different price point camera than the A1.

In a nutshell differences:

You are exactly correct about the images. The A1 has a sharper, clearer image and generally has a warmer, less contrasty look. I would say the A1 has the Discovery Channel HD 60i look. The HMC150 has a much more contrasty cinematic look and the output is very smooth and filmlike. It has a more movie theatre look to the images. The A1 is a 1080 camera and the HMC/HVX are considered 720 native cameras that will also shoot 1080.

The HMC150 lens is wider at 28 vs 32.5, but the Canon is much longer at 20X vs. 13X on the HMC150. BTW, those few mm on the wide end make a bigger differance that I would have thought.

The Canon onboard mic and ALC controls are a little better than the Pana for onboard sound applications. Using XLR mics they are equal.

The HMC150 has about 1.5 stops better low light sensitivity and significantly less noise than the A1.

The tapeless workflow, once you have tried it even for a day, is absolutely the way to go. It makes it seem crazy to baby sit a camera playing a tape to the computer. This alone will save you a lot of time.

With that said, I tend to prefer my A1 at the moment. That is because I shoot almost exclusively outdoors in bright light, with distant subjects and want the 60i maximum detail, low contrast look (like a tweaked vivid RGB preset gives).

However, if I were to shoot an indoor stage recital or play (which I do twice a year), the HMC150 handles the lower light much better and I prefer it's filmic look better for that application too.
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Old October 7th, 2008, 02:19 AM   #8
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Jeff, thanks for the info as I am leaning more toward the canon also. Mainly becuase of the price difference and the P2 work flow. Like I said I shoot 90% documentary stuff and I cant imagine using 1 16gb P2 card; and if I want another one, I would have to shell out almost a thousand bucks. So I guess for me it comes down to price.

Letus must think it works pretty well as they have it on there page as the demo camera for the adapter...=)
Letus35 Extreme*::*Letus Adapters*::*LetusDirect
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Old October 7th, 2008, 07:44 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Oliver Darden View Post
... I cant imagine using 1 16gb P2 card; and if I want another one, I would have to shell out almost a thousand bucks.
That's exactly the reason why I mentioned Panasonic AVCCAM earlier. The AG-HMC150 camcorder is similar to the HVX200, but records on inexpensive SDHC memory cards instead of P2.
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Old October 7th, 2008, 10:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oliver Darden View Post
Jeff, thanks for the info as I am leaning more toward the canon also. Mainly becuase of the price difference and the P2 work flow. Like I said I shoot 90% documentary stuff and I cant imagine using 1 16gb P2 card; and if I want another one, I would have to shell out almost a thousand bucks. So I guess for me it comes down to price.

Letus must think it works pretty well as they have it on there page as the demo camera for the adapter...=)
Letus35 Extreme*::*Letus Adapters*::*LetusDirect
I missed that you shoot documentary stuff earlier. The look of a Pana might be better for that, but that is your call. Is your end product delivered in 720X480 SD or some form of HD? I think the

The P2 or the SDHC (HMC150) workflow is absolutely the way to go and all cameras (including the future A2 Im guessing) will go this route I believe. The second a tapeless A1 is out, Im getting it, it would be perfect (along with a little better low light).

Like Chris said, you should carefully evaluate the HMC150. The cost of it's media, the SDHC card, is literally dropping every day. The cost of a 16 GB SDHC card ($31 today @ Newegg) will soon be the same cost as a high end DV tape.

It's too bad that almost no stores stock these cameras for a hands on evaluation (except the big ones we all know). That would make it a lot easier to make a decision.
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Old October 17th, 2008, 05:13 AM   #11
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Why is it easier to get the smooth slowmotion look with HVX? and espcially why in 720?
I have a XHA1, and I've just learned it really well, so I feel im ready to go out and actually try to produce something now..

Also, the shutter must matter in these kind of situations, right? If I attempt to get a smooth slowmotion I should just get my shutter as high as I can without getting dark footage?

And, recording in 25f indoors isimpossible for me(super dark) do I have weird settings (I really dont think I do..) or is a very big light loss normal?

Thanks
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Old October 17th, 2008, 08:22 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Stefan Alexander Linde View Post
Why is it easier to get the smooth slowmotion look with HVX? and espcially why in 720?
the HVX allows overcranking (shooting at framerates higher than 24/30) When played back you have better slo mo because you have more frames playing back. With the Canon, you're slowing down 30fps maximum.
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Old November 5th, 2008, 05:39 PM   #13
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the HVX has variable frame rates for over and undercranking which neither the HMC or A1 has
I believe the HMC can shoot 60fps but it doesn't play it back slow like the HVX does, you have to capture it to the computer and drop it in a 24p timeline....which is basically what the HVX does in camera.
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Old December 18th, 2008, 09:25 PM   #14
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different cameras, different purposes.

So what was your purpose for the camera?

A friend asked me the same question, but he was looking for a camera to shoot a pilot for the Outdoor Life Channel. One of their formats was DVCPRO-HD. They did not accept HDV format. I suggested the HVX-200 for that reason. Shoot, edit, export DVCPRO-HD. (1080i). Since then Discovery/History channels have declared (in general) that only 10% or 15% of footage may be from HDV source (with exceptions, but as a general rule) They have since declared the HVX-200 to be equal to HDV unlike the HPX-500 cameras to be considered DVCPRO-HD. On top of all of that, (to beat a dead horse) it was expensive ($300 a tape) to have the footage taken from the Hard Drive and duped to full sized DVCPRO-HD tapes. (they didn't accept hard drives in the mail for some reason). He also has short recording times due to the cost of P2 cards. However he landed a contract and is now being broadcast coast to coast withonly a few hiccups along the way.

I shoot 24p and need hours of recording time while out in the field. The P2 systems are out due to cost of P2 Store devices and cost per hour of P2 cards. I also prefer a ENG style camera. So I picked the JVC HD110. I think the footage is equal or better than the Panasonic HVX-200 even considering it's HDV. I didn't consider the Canon since it's 24f and I need turn around time. Exporting 24f in a 1080i timeline takes me 2x to 3x longer than from a 720p 24fps source. So for me Canon was out for me. It does not need to be (OUT) for you.

Sony and Canon HDV are more similar to each other.

So the question is, what exactly is your purpose and use? If it's general use and maybe some indie work down the road, the Canon is a great choice. If you are needing a more broadcast friendly format (less compressed from start to finish) the Panasonic HVX-200 or HPX-170 or if you can swing it HPX-500. Yet at that point you are up to Sony's XD-Cam price range and so forth. JVC's 24p/60p cameras are not to be ignored either. Good solid cameras that compete very favorably with $10k and up cameras. Lots of networks are picking those as well for location, usually with DTE drives and microwave as well. Often these are the B cameras for more and more network NFL broadcast. I think all are fine choices today, and I think more has to do with the individual person using it. I do say I prefer a ENG style camera, but there are many times I wish I had a little Sony HDV A1u type of camera in a bag and not have to drag out the 3 foot beast.
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Old January 8th, 2009, 11:54 AM   #15
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HD-8 Z 1080p

Has anyone seen this camera in action why so cheap? they are selling them on ebay

Thanks Shawn
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