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Old August 6th, 2011, 11:36 AM   #1
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1st Prosumer Camera: XH-G1, FS100, or EX1?

I will be buying my first prosumer camera around March of 2012 and I need to know which one is a good start.

Originally, the plan was to get a used XH-G1 and pair it with a NanoFlash. However, seeing some productions being not seriously affected by the rolling shutter problem, (including a 3D VFX video I saw recently that had decent tracking despite rolling shutter artifacts) I may also consider the NEX-FS100 or the PMW-EX1 to pair with my NanoFlash.

The benefits of CCDs is that there is no rolling shutter, but I do fear for hot pixels. (considering JVC cameras have numerous hot pixel problems) Though on the other end, the rolling shutter is still a plague when it comes to motion tracking, flash banding and etc.

The TL;DR: Out of these three, which would be a good choice for a first time prosumer camera owner?
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Old August 6th, 2011, 12:57 PM   #2
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Re: 1st Prosumer Camera: XH-G1, FS100, or EX1?

I had an XH-A1, now have an EX1R, and had a 1 on 1 demonstration of the FS100 by Doug Jensen. For what it's worth, this is my opinion:

All are fine but get the EX1R not EX1 if you can.

I was frustrated by the low light performance of the A1 and the design of it's audio block. I am estatic about the improvement in low light in the EX1R, the audio block and the ergonomics. For me, it solves numerous frustrations I had with the A1 and adds some features I've wanted but the A1 lacked. You wouldn't know about those types of things until you climbed the prosumer learning curve tho. I also have a 5DM2 and love it so the FS100 is a dream outside my price range for a second camera.

All three will challenge you (in a good way) to learn how to take good video. I would guess that the FS100 will challenge you the most. Remember that the FS100 does not have a zoom. That's done manually using the ring on whatever lens you choose.

You didn't say what type of video you shoot, so it's hard to advise further.
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Old August 6th, 2011, 02:17 PM   #3
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Re: 1st Prosumer Camera: XH-G1, FS100, or EX1?

I'm currently not really a cinematic shooter, but more of a documentary/ENG style shooter, but I'm completely open to cinematic shooting later on down the line.

Another camera in consideration is the NX5U. One of my friends uses the NX5U and I've used it too, but I currently prefer non-rolling shutters over rolling shutters.

My current first choice is the XH-G1, followed by the EX1, followed by the NX5, and lastly, if I were to shoot an indie film, I'd consider the FS100.

I would get a used XH-G1 at the moment if there are any available. (and it's the cheapest out of all the options) If I can't find one, I may bite the bullet on a higher priced camera like the NX5, the FS100 or the EX1.
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Old August 6th, 2011, 04:44 PM   #4
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Re: 1st Prosumer Camera: XH-G1, FS100, or EX1?

I have the Canon XL H1S paired with the Nanoflash and I have been very happy with the video performance that comes out of that system. It is my main workhorse camera and use it the most of the wide range of broadcast productions that I do.

I also have the FS-100, which is very well suited for digital cinema production and puts out an amazing picture, but needs to be treated like a cinema camera in terms of how you shoot.

For your purposes, I think the G1 w/nanoflash will do great as you may want the type of lens control and flexibility that a smaller chip/large focal range lens camera can do.

I found one used at Adorama for a good price... if you are looking at buying soon. But I'd advise to get the G1S version if you can.
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Old August 6th, 2011, 04:48 PM   #5
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Re: 1st Prosumer Camera: XH-G1, FS100, or EX1?

I don't see people selling used G1S models anywhere though. Plus I'm in Canada. Our local camera shop "Leo's Camera Supply" just sold the last G1 they had. And I'm not expected to get one until March 2012. (budget is pretty tight at the moment)

Also, am a little concerned whether the used model I will eventually buy has had the servicing for the hand grip issue. How can I tell?
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Old August 6th, 2011, 06:50 PM   #6
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Re: 1st Prosumer Camera: XH-G1, FS100, or EX1?

I had an XH A1 and XL H1 which I sold to get the EX3. Currently I run the EX3 capturing to the SxS cards and NanoFlash simultaneously. I can tell you that the image from the EX1r native will be very noticeably better than the Canon's even paired with the NanoFlash. I compared my Canon + NF to a fellow shooter's EX1 and there was such a striking difference that it prompted me to make the decision to sell two cameras to get one. Not that the XL and XH cameras are slouches, they are very good. It's just that the EX is that much better.

As for rolling shutter it is not that much of a problem. You most likely won't have any issues if you shoot as you conventionally (i.e. avoiding whip pans and crazy moves). If you're shooting a red carpet where the paparazzi is going crazy with flashes you would have a problem, but there are many wedding videographers who use the EX1/r without issues.

The FS100 is another very good camera but definitely requires more work. The NX5U is another very good camera and I would say it is a better overall camera than the XH-G1. You could also pair that with the NF via HDMI and you'd get a very very good picture.

However since you're not going to get the camera until 2012 I wouldn't make a decision now. I'd suggest renting the various cameras or find someone you know who has them and test them. I'd also look into the Canon XF300/305. I haven't gotten to play with one yet but from the test shots I've seen they are very good and have much better low light capabilities than the XH series.

For reference of where I'm coming from I shoot dramatic movies and documentaries and the occasional live event, but most of the money comes from corporate shoots. The EX is ideal for most of the documentary shoots I do and for most of the movies I shoot when I provide equipment the EX3 produces an exceptional picture. Hopefully my next camera will be the F3, but even then I'll keep my EX3 for ENG and documentary work.

That's just my take on it.
-Garrett
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Old August 7th, 2011, 07:56 AM   #7
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Re: 1st Prosumer Camera: XH-G1, FS100, or EX1?

Yeah, I guess I can hold off on deciding since I have access to my friend's NX5, It would be better if there was a global shutter CMOS camera announced sometime between now and NAB.

The Global Shutter CMOS may be more viable now thanks to back-illuminated sensors, this may cut the noise down enough to make an affordable global shutter CMOS possible without poor dynamic range and high noise and etc.

This all depends on my budget too. Most likely I will have to buy used to not break the bank.
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Old August 7th, 2011, 09:11 AM   #8
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Re: 1st Prosumer Camera: XH-G1, FS100, or EX1?

Hi Jack,

I don't think there will be a global shutter CMOS sensor in the near future. I haven't heard of any. What exactly are you shooting that you feel rolling shutter will be that much of an issue? If you haven't already tried it I would recommend asking your friend if you could use test his NX5u and to some test shots of those situations to see if it exhibits the rolling shutter effect you're trying to avoid. I've shot some pretty extreme types of footage (sports, dances, from a moving car) and not had an issue with rolling shutter.

-Garrett
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Old August 7th, 2011, 12:31 PM   #9
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Re: 1st Prosumer Camera: XH-G1, FS100, or EX1?

Handheld matchmoving, like the beginning of this video:

‪Sentry Sabotage (TF2 For Real!)‬‏ - YouTube

Rolling shutter is clearly present on this video and that's what I want to avoid. I think this was shot on a FS100.

Viimagic did come out with a Global Shutter 2/3'' CMOS sensor: http://image-sensors-world.blogspot....fps-video.html
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Old August 8th, 2011, 08:19 AM   #10
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Re: 1st Prosumer Camera: XH-G1, FS100, or EX1?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Zhang View Post
I will be buying my first prosumer camera around March of 2012
NAB is in mid April, so I would strongly advise you wait for another month, but out of three I'd pick EX1
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Old August 8th, 2011, 11:21 AM   #11
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Re: 1st Prosumer Camera: XH-G1, FS100, or EX1?

My budget constraint regardless would be no more than $4000. I'll probably have to pick up a used EX1. I have no choice when it comes to the G1 though, I have to pick that up used.
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Old August 11th, 2011, 07:20 PM   #12
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Re: 1st Prosumer Camera: XH-G1, FS100, or EX1?

Thanks for all the input, in the end, I'm choosing to bite the bullet with a EX1R as soon as March comes along. Hopefully prices for new EX1Rs will come down by then.
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Old August 13th, 2011, 09:05 AM   #13
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Re: 1st Prosumer Camera: XH-G1, FS100, or EX1?

For what it's worth, perhaps you'd consider a Panasonic HMC150 in that price range. CCD's (no rolling shutter), tapeless, etc., and prices should be low once it's "replaced" by the AC130. The EX1R is a better camera, but might not be as easy to find used in your price range.

For that matter, you might consider the forthcoming AC130 or 160, which are "supposed" to have less rolling shutter skew than the EX series. Not sure what those are costing new once they're released later this year.
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Old August 13th, 2011, 01:31 PM   #14
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Re: 1st Prosumer Camera: XH-G1, FS100, or EX1?

Not a fan of AVCHD or pixel shifting. My friend's NX5 still in 30p experiences numerous problems even at 24mbps with rapid changes in brightness. (not flashing) I also really am not keen on the pixel shifting to increase resolution.

Plus, they're still 1/3'' sensors. 1/2'' sensors should serve me better since I shoot a lot of low-light at times.

Another key point is that the majority of places of employment I'm seeking shoot on EX1s. If I'm fluent on a EX1R, the work I may get will hopefully pay for the camera in time.

I'm hoping Sony does intro a new cam so that EX1Rs go down in price. I've also found out I may have a much more delayed purchase date than expected. (more like June 2012)
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Old August 16th, 2011, 07:21 AM   #15
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Re: 1st Prosumer Camera: XH-G1, FS100, or EX1?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Zhang View Post
I'll probably have to pick up a used EX1.
Right choice, you'll never regret it, I absolutely agree what Doug Jensen said about EX3 in another thread:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Jensen View Post
The EX3 is still the best bang for the buck of any camera in history. Period.
if you OK with the fixed lens and don't need genlock you won't find better camera in the same price range than EX1/R
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