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General HD (720 / 1080) Acquisition
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Old March 1st, 2006, 12:41 AM   #16
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If the costs of the two cameras had been closer, I'd have looked quite a bit harder at the XL-H1 before making a purchase decision, but for my purposes, to shoot weddings, I pretty much reached a conclusion that spending twice as much for the Canon just wouldn't be nearly as cost effective for me. I really don't have the luxury of a budget, at this point, that would give me the room to spend that much more on cameras without having a VERY compelling reason. I need those dollars for a second camera (probably A1U at this point), mics, more software tools, faster processors, hard drives, batteries, you name it. A pretty sweet deal came my way on an FX1, so I scouped it up.
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Old March 1st, 2006, 12:53 AM   #17
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Where do you get that info Spike? As I just posted to Robert, the only shootout done with all HDV cams +P2 cam, showed that the Canon clearly had superior low light performance. Buy what works for you. Just curious as to why you think Sony has better low light performace, or as you put it "possible" low light performance?
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Old March 1st, 2006, 02:21 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos
For what its worth:

Rating from Canon: 60i, 1/60 shutter speed = 7 lux; 30F, 1/30 shutter speed = 4 lux; 24F, 1/48 shutter speed = 6 lux

Rating from Sony: 3 lux @ 18db, F1.6, normal shutter
This note from Chris was posted earlier in this thread. I'm not sure where he got those numbers, but if they are accurate, it would seem to indicate better low light performance from the Sony. Again, I don't know the original source of the info, and there's no mention of what gain (if any) was used on the Canon to arrive at these ratings, so it's not hardly what I would call conclusive.
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Old March 1st, 2006, 09:13 AM   #19
 
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Based on my experiences with both, Sony is lesser in low light than the Canon, but more clean at identical settings. With the gain added, the Sony stays clean whereas the Canon does not. With the substantially better lens, I'd expect the Canon to do better in low light as it does, but wish the gained-up image was as clean as that of the Sony.
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Old March 1st, 2006, 12:01 PM   #20
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Ditto what DSE said. I recently tested all four brands of affordable HD video cameras, and while the Canon was more sensitive in low light it also produced the grainiest images. (So much so that my brother was very concerned about the resulting image quality.) And absolutely it's better to get similar cameras for matching in post, so if you can afford a Z1 and an XLH1, why not buy three Z1s instead? (Or a Z1 and two FX1s and have a few thousand left over for accessories.)

By the way, both the Canon and the Sony record HDV at 1440x1080 resolution using a non-square pixel size, which is then stretched to the equivalent of 1920x1080 during playback. The Canon also offers full 1920x1080 resolution via the HD-SDI output, but that's basically just interpreting the sensor data which is 1440x1080 native. Both cameras produce fine 1080i video.
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Old March 1st, 2006, 12:41 PM   #21
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Okay, my question to Douglas and Kevin is, if you had to choose one camera or the other to shoot a wedding reception in poor lighting, which camera would you use?
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Old March 1st, 2006, 12:45 PM   #22
 
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Well.....the Canon can produce better images in some conditions, but low light isn't one of them. I'd go with the Sony. We bought one of all the HDV cams, and yet we own several Z1's. (and an A1u as well)
I'd go with the Z1 if you're working in low light. many, many wedding folks have not regretted that decision.
The SDI of the Canon is outstanding, but not really useful for field work, IMO.
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Old March 1st, 2006, 01:17 PM   #23
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How do you like working with the A1 Douglas? From what I gather, it's a bit unconventional for controlling image acquisition (shutter/iris).
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Old March 1st, 2006, 02:11 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert M Wright
if you had to choose one camera or the other to shoot a wedding reception in poor lighting, which camera would you use?
I have two FX1s and get by with them in poor lighting using ~10-40 watts of diffused on-camera light. After seeing the graininess of the XLH1 images in low light, I would be reluctant to buy that camera without investigating further, especially given the high price tag. Plus the XLH1 is very difficult to hand hold for more than a minute or two, and doesn't have a proper LCD screen (other than the little one you can see by flipping up the viewfinder).

If you already own an SD camera which is good in low light situations, consider getting an anamorphic lens adapter for that and using it as your 'B roll' camera when lighting gets too tough for the HDV cameras.
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Old March 1st, 2006, 03:11 PM   #25
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i think a fleet of z1s would be better, now that I think about it, as the stuff we intend to shoot will be very "on the go", and also glidecam candidates. I think the h1 will be a hassle, for portability, etc. Thanks for all the info!
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Old March 1st, 2006, 03:44 PM   #26
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Why not get one camera first, and see how well it suits your needs, before making a decision on the second camera? (unless you're just plain downright wealthy, and it does sound like you might be I guess)
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Old March 1st, 2006, 03:52 PM   #27
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hello, no i am not wealthy in any way shape or form (at the moment), its just that my company might be signing a deal with the Travel Channel for a brand new series, and we proposed to shoot in HDV, so i'm taking care of all logistical challenges and attempting to figure out our workflow.. We are also cramped for time, so I'm trying to come up with a foolproof method..
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Old March 1st, 2006, 04:50 PM   #28
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The thing that I'd be afraid of most, would be potential difficulties matching the footage between the two cameras coming back to bite you. I would think you could take a quick trip to SF and find a dealer that has both cams in stock, to get a hands-on with both of them. One thing that really sucks about being as far out in the boonies as I am, is getting a hands-on with any of these cams is pretty difficult (other than that, I love living here in Small Town, MN USA). My FX1 arrived today! (I live so far out in rural Minnesota, it wouldn't surprise me all that much to find out that I have the nicest cameras in a 20 mile radius!)
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Old March 1st, 2006, 07:28 PM   #29
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i've had the nightmare of matching footage from a vx2000 and a Canon GL1 so I know a bit about getting the settings/right cameras for a dual camera job. The Z1 certainly seems to fit the bill, and since theres a dedicated deck out from Sony for the footage acquired from the z1, I think we're set...
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Old March 1st, 2006, 07:49 PM   #30
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What kind of series are you trying to land for the Travel Channel? (obviously something about travel)
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