Would you sell a XH-A1 to buy a panasonic lumix DH3? at DVinfo.net

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Old December 29th, 2012, 07:54 PM   #1
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Would you sell a XH-A1 to buy a panasonic lumix DH3?

I have a tascam to take sound and decent mics
I also have lenses that can go on the DH3
Acquiring decent sound is not a problem for me.

So, would you sell the XH-A1 to buy the Lumix GH3?

It's a bigger sensor, it's not tape based and maybe it's better in low light?
I love the XH-A1 but it's a dead horse in low light.
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Old December 29th, 2012, 08:55 PM   #2
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Re: Would you sell a XH-A1 to buy a panasonic lumix DH3?

Short answer, Yes. It's what I did 3 years ago with the EOS 7D and never looked back.

Long answer, what do you shoot? And can you get what you need with a DSLR-type camera?

Bonus: sell the XH-A1 and get the GH3 and a $500 prosumer video camera to fill in the gaps.
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Old December 30th, 2012, 02:31 AM   #3
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Re: Would you sell a XH-A1 to buy a panasonic lumix DH3?

Quote:
and get the GH3 and a $500 prosumer video camera to fill in the gaps.
Depending on what you shoot but getting a second handicam as b-cam is the best advice you can get, dslr's can be a real handfull if you are used to a semi-pro videocamera that has a lot of manual controll.

My advice would be not get the cheap handicams but spend a bit more for the higher end models and preferably one that can match your GH3 in sharpness.
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Old December 30th, 2012, 08:07 AM   #4
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Re: Would you sell a XH-A1 to buy a panasonic lumix DH3?

Hi Larry

Silly question but have you actually used a DSLR on a video shoot..It's a whole different animal and quite tricky to use if you haven't ...Guys like Noa are already skilled in using DSLR's to shoot weddings but there is a LOT more to learn than simply buying a GH3 .. I tried just a photoshoot with my GH1 and literally gave up and I have been shooting wedding for 22 years BUT not on DSLR's

If you have already done shoots on a GH1 or GH2 then you, of course, can disregard the above but if not I would get to grips with one before you sell your Canon.

Because I'm used to shoulder mount cams but like the DSLR features, I need something manageable so I'm going for the new Sony EA-50 which is essentially a hybrid DSLR/video camera and something I could actually manage!!

Chris
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Old December 30th, 2012, 08:19 AM   #5
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Re: Would you sell a XH-A1 to buy a panasonic lumix DH3?

Thanks all of you for your answers

I'm not a pro. I haven't done any weddings. I wouldn't mind actually. But I have no idea how to get into the business, and I do have a full time job.

I've done a full length film in 2009 with the XH-A1. The film went to various festivals etc...
Done mainly for fun and for its message. I was very happy with the Canon, except its low light capabilities, but again in fiction light is control, so that was not a big deal for me.

I'm toying with the idea of doing a documentary about Vegan Athletes. Again, the XH-A1 would work perfectly and since I edit in Vegas with the Cineform codec I can blow it up to 1920 x 1080 and I've found that Cineform does the job very well.

To answer to one of the question: NO, i haven't tried to shoot video with a DSLR, ever! But am I too old to learn and practice?

I want something that can be used for fiction and documentaries.
I know, you're thinking about the Canon C100 or the Sony FS100?
Maybe the blackmagic camera?

I hate to look cheap, but I thougth that maybe the GH3 would do all what I need for only 1300 bucks. Remember I have all the lenses that go on it already and everything else I need to take sound, lights, etc..

I'd love to see a comparison of the Canon C100 with the GH3
Any idea why the GH3 would/could be lights years behind the C100 in terms of quality of image?
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Old December 30th, 2012, 07:54 PM   #6
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Re: Would you sell a XH-A1 to buy a panasonic lumix DH3?

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Any idea why the GH3 would/could be lights years behind the C100 in terms of quality of image?
I bet that image wise you won't notice any difference, there are several comparison videos on vimeo where the gh3 is a part of and from what I have seen it performs very well.
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Old December 30th, 2012, 08:36 PM   #7
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Re: Would you sell a XH-A1 to buy a panasonic lumix DH3?

Hi Larry

The GH3 image will undoubtable be stunning but I would beg, borrow steal maybe a GH1 or GH2 if you can and spend a couple of hours playing with it. Coming from the Canon the handheld side is pretty darn tricky and it's tough trying to learn to do a slow seamless zoom using the lens barrel ring as opposed to the zoom rocker on your Canon. I found that I tended to twist the camera. The form factor handheld is probably what threw me the most ..having a dinky little body in my hands I found distinctly small and wobbly but then again that's me and years of working with a big camera and expecting things like a zoom rocker near my right forefinger.

Then again if you are shooting on tripod/monopod most of the time and rarely zoom, you will find the GH a really simple camera to shoot with indeed and after seeing your HDV footage the GH3 footage will be quite incredible in comparison!!

Nope we are never too old to learn but I simply decided that going to the DSLR body shape and size was too much of a learning curve hence by choice of the Sony EA-50

Chris
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Old December 31st, 2012, 11:52 AM   #8
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Re: Would you sell a XH-A1 to buy a panasonic lumix DH3?

Noa,
when you have time, would you mind pointing me to these videos?

Chris,
I will most of the time use something like a glidecam or a tripod and I hate zooming. Remember I'm mainly intereted by fiction and docs.

Are you saying the codec used by the GH3 is MUCH MUCH better than HDV from the XH-A1?
Even HDV captured as Cineform Codec?

Thanks
L.
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Old December 31st, 2012, 05:17 PM   #9
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Re: Would you sell a XH-A1 to buy a panasonic lumix DH3?

Hi Larry

In that case the GH3 is going to be a much cheaper option for you and a no brainer. HDV is 1440x 1080 captured on tape on the Canon. The GH3 will capture to card 1920x1080 at something like 70 mbps.

If you don't need the video camera form factor then why go that route? A much smaller DSLR on a stedicam will also be a lot less tiring for you too.

Chris
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 08:05 AM   #10
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Re: Would you sell a XH-A1 to buy a panasonic lumix DH3?

Absolutely, I don't need a form factor at all, all I need is the best results.
Thanks
L.
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 09:06 AM   #11
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Re: Would you sell a XH-A1 to buy a panasonic lumix DH3?

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Originally Posted by Larry Secrest View Post
Are you saying the codec used by the GH3 is MUCH MUCH better than HDV from the XH-A1?
Even HDV captured as Cineform Codec?
It's not just he codec that can make a difference, it's also the sensor, the bitrate, the lenzes used, the way the camera's processes the image etc. The GH2/GH3 are known for delivering sharp images that don't suffer of bad moire and aliasing like the first generation canon dslr's did.

You do have to consider the larger crop factor which is I think 2x so compared to a full frame camera the focal length doubles. But if you use a wide lens on it, it will still be a lot wider then what you are used to on your xh-a1. Also low light, with a fast prime lens, will be a lot better as well then the xh-a1.

About transcoding hdv to cineform codecs, this doesn't make the image better, just easier to edit and it maintains quality better if you export to adobe AE and import back into your NLE.

About comparison videos, you can easily just do a search on vimeo or youtube, there are many uservideos out there about the gh2 and gh3. Here is one f.i.
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 01:58 PM   #12
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Re: Would you sell a XH-A1 to buy a panasonic lumix DH3?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Secrest View Post
I'd love to see a comparison of the Canon C100 with the GH3
Any idea why the GH3 would/could be lights years behind the C100 in terms of quality of image?
Whether or not it would be "light years" I wouldn't like to say ( :-) ) but it would be likely to be worse.

As for why, it's down fundamentally to the GH3 being a stills camera with a sensor designed primarily for still photographs.

For such, high pixel count is important, taking 50/60 images per second isn't. To read 60fps video from such a chip, it has to ignore ("skip") some of the photosites, and the evidence is that cameras like the GH3 make use of 1 in 4 of the total. That has three possible implications: poorer than hoped for low light performance, lower resolution than in stills mode (not up to true 1080 standard, even), and moire, aliasing etc effects.

The GH series do it in such a way that is much better than in the early DSLRs with video, and in particular the aliasing and moire is not coloured. But it does still exhibit much more monochrome aliasing than such as a C100.

Resolution wise, don't expect much better than you'd expect from a 720p camera, even in 1080 mode. It may record a 1920 signal, cf the 1440 of the XHA1, but it won't have 1920 resolution. And for raw sensitivity, not using 75% of the photosites will mean it'll be 2 stops down compared to what you'd expect from a single chip of that size. Add to that that the C100 has an s35 chip, which is twice the area of the GH3, and that's why you'll find it intrinsically 3 stops less sensitive than a C100.


You get what you pay for. For what is first and foremost a still camera, the video is better than anybody has a right to expect. But don't expect it to be anything like as good as from something like a C100. (Which is much more expensive, after all.)

I'd agree it would be a very good idea to try out a GH1/2 before making a purchase. And the front end differences will be more significant than differences in codecs.
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 02:13 PM   #13
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Re: Would you sell a XH-A1 to buy a panasonic lumix DH3?

How comfortable are you with HDSLR's? have you used one before? even for photography; its experience. I sold my XH A1 for a pair of T2i's, and i miss the XH A1 for various reasons on almost every shoot. Mostly having to drag a case of accessories, adapters, etc. While image quality is great, they are a pain to use at times.

I shot for about 5 months with a T2i and XH A1, and had them decently matched. Frankly, i wish i would have kept the XH A1 and NOT purchased the other two T2i's. I will post some comparison footage of the XH A1 with a Letus and Canon FD 50mm f1.4 vs T2i's with 35mm f2 and 50mm f1.4 Nikkors; shot same day, default settings on both; TOTALLY different looks. I prefer the Letus/XH A1; resembled film more, but the T2i stuff really pops, and most people prefer that.
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Old January 3rd, 2013, 07:52 AM   #14
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Re: Would you sell a XH-A1 to buy a panasonic lumix DH3?

Very nice feedback
Thanks
I guess, if my primary interest is to make narrative, I should save and focus more on getting either a C100 or a Sony FS100, or at least a EA50.

David, you're saying the GH3 record a 1920 signal but won't have 1920 resolution?
I guess my limited understanding of the technology here keep me from fully understanding what you mean!

Noa, thanks for the video, I'll check the later parts to it.

Panagiotis, I'll certainly keep in mind your experiences.
L.
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Old January 3rd, 2013, 04:15 PM   #15
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Re: Would you sell a XH-A1 to buy a panasonic lumix DH3?

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Originally Posted by Larry Secrest View Post
David, you're saying the GH3 record a 1920 signal but won't have 1920 resolution?
I guess my limited understanding of the technology here keep me from fully understanding what you mean!
OK, an analogy! You ask me for a drink, I go to pass you a (opaque) one litre flask. How much am I giving you?

Simple answer is you don't know how full it is. You know it can't be any more than 1 litre, but you don't know if it's full or half empty until you feel the weight or look inside.

And it's the same principle here. Think of the 1920x1080 signal as a "container". It sets an upper limit on the maximum resolution you can get, but you'll only reach it if the equipment producing it is up to it.

Same principle with motion film. You're given a reel of 35mm motion film - what do you think the resolution will be like? But what if I told you it had originally been shot on 16mm and printed to 35mm stock? It's not going to be as good as if originally shot on 35mm.

And the same here. Same as if you intercut true 1920x1080 video with upconverted PAL or NTSC standard definition. The upconverted material isn't going to magically improve in definition, in spite of the fact it's now a 1920x1080 signal.

And unfortunately, it's the same for the majority of DSLRs in video mode. Because of the high number of photosites on the chip, they have to cheat to read out fast enough. Typically this may mean grouping in blocks of 16 (4x4), a block on the chip forming a single resolution element in the final picture. Do the sums, and this typically means a final resolution roughly corresponding to the 720 system - even though the output signal is 1920x1080. It's like shooting 720 and upconverting to 1080. You'll get a 1080 signal, but still 720 resolution.

The point about the C300 and C100 is that their chip is designed for video and has exactly the right number of photosites - less than in chips designed for stills. (4x1920x1080) This may seem at first a bad thing - but it means it can work on 2x2 blocks instead of 4x4, and produce an output from 1920x1080 blocks. In other words, full 1080 resolution.
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