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Old January 1st, 2009, 09:30 AM   #1
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XH-A1 vs FX1000

I am trying to figure out which one of these two cameras is a better choice. I plan on ordering it this week. I have a good idea about which one I will probably order, but wanted to get an opinion from you guys. The pros :-)
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Old January 1st, 2009, 10:10 AM   #2
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I'd recommemd the Canon XHA1, it's a great cam. Rather than list off attributes, have a look at the XH Series Sample Clips in the XHA1 section to see what this cam can do under a variety of shooting conditions.
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Old January 1st, 2009, 12:01 PM   #3
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Asking to compare any two cameras is dependent on what you want to shoot and what features you consider important. Overall the XH-A1 is arguably a more advanced tool, but the FX1000 looks impressive in some low-light comparisons. Plus the way each camera handles and how the controls feel to you may be more important than other considerations, so getting your hands on them in person before buying is worth doing if you can arrange that - no one else can tell you which is "better" for you personally.
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Old January 1st, 2009, 02:04 PM   #4
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I want to do stock video... so there will be many different things I will be shooting. Low light would be nice, but if that is the only thing I gain from the fx1000 and lose better video quality that the xh-a1 delivers, then I'd want the xh-a1.
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Old January 2nd, 2009, 10:12 AM   #5
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To me, the FX1000 looks like it has the more advanced set of features, higher resolution viewfinder, pseudo slo-mo, and solid state memory option. I could be wrong, I was looking at the specs for the Z5.

But in the more fundamental sense, the XH-A1 has the full HDV spec 1440x1080 CCD blocks while the FX1000 are 960x1080 CMOS.

The way the CMOS photosites are aligned at 45 degrees, and the way Sony scans them, could make up for the resolution disadvantage, while offering low light improvements.

The XH-A1 has been utterly dependable and always stunning for me. I think you have to factor the current price into the purchase decision between these two.
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Old January 2nd, 2009, 12:11 PM   #6
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I think from what I saw of the cams at HD Expo (Z5U, XHA1S, HMC150) and DV Expo (Z5U, HMC150), the Z5 is the one to compare the A1 to, especially if we are talking about the A1S.

That's a good point about the difference in CCD's too, I had forgotten about that. I would expect that the Canon would continue to have a little better resolution, but there may be more important factors than that.

One thing that really impresses me about the Canon is the ease in which the presets can be used and the quantity and depth of presets available. A lot of very talented videographers have spent a lot of time developing dozens of presets for a number of different conditions.

In your case you say its for stock video files, if that is primarily landscapes and such, go for the most resolution and best lens. Between these two, that likely means the Canon. The best bet would be to try and rent them both (Z5 should be available and has same chips/lens as the FX1000) and see which best suits you application.

If a lot of motion is involved, like sports work, etc....I would suggest that you also look at the Panasonic HMC150, due to its AVCHD codec being better than HDV in handling motion. Its new low noise chip set produces a cleaner image in low light as well, many say on par with the EX-1 in terms of low noise. And its certainly price-competitive with the FX1000 and XHA1.
That's what I settled on, after looking at the new Sonys and Canon.
Just something else to think about....
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Old January 2nd, 2009, 06:55 PM   #7
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The most difficult aspect of transitioning to HD shooting, for me, has been getting the focus spot on. I have talked to other shooters and they have felt the same way. And believe me, HD will glaringly display it if you have missed the focus. The new Sonys have EVFs and LCDs that are 4 to 5 times the resolution of the competition. That one feature alone is a potential deal maker for me. I want to be able to shoot with confidence and KNOW I have nailed the focus. I really dont want to have to tack on an external 7 or 8 monitor and spend extra $$$ so I can see what picture I have.

In addition, from what I have seen posted on this forum, I feel confident that the FX1000/Z5 will shoot better video in low light than the Canon, JVC and Panasonic. And I think it will easily shoot as good video in abundant light. As for the CMOS/CCD debate, I have been shooting with CMOS (Sony V1) for over a year and I am loving it. Awesome results and the only negative so far has been occasional banding with photo flashes. And that is not a deal breaker with me. I have shot a lot of very fast moving subjects with NO visible negative artifacts, from motorcycle racing to car racing to aircraft including jets. I just wish the V1 had the high resolution EVF and LCD that the new ones have.
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