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General HD (720 / 1080) Acquisition
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Old October 16th, 2006, 11:05 AM   #31
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Join Date: Aug 2006
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I recently sold out my business of 20 years to become a documentary filmmaker and I appreciate your wish to get out there and start filming - although a couple of months doesn't seem quite that long for me after waiting over 20 years...

I'm also on the XH-A1/HVR-V1 fence. For the kind of run and gun, "one man band" documentary and event videography work I want to do, the factors that seem most likely to differentiate the two cameras for me are: 1. low-light ability, 2. auto-focus and 3. dynamic range. We won't really know low light ability until people start reporting back with more extensive tests. For other people, auto-focus doesn't seem to matter but for me the innovative fast auto-focus on the Canon could be extremely useful if it allows me to easily snap on the auto-focus when needed, then automatically revert to manual focus. Everyone wants more dynamic range and an extra stop of range is a big deal. The discussions about DOF in other threads have been really interesting too, but for the kind of work I want to do, it doesn't seem that critical.

I'm leaning towards waiting for more reports from the field, but if Sony pushes the ETA past mid-December, I might just have to jump on the Canon train. As others have noted, this choice represents an abundance of riches, and either camera should serve you/us well.

Good luck!
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Old October 16th, 2006, 03:07 PM   #32
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For low light, you are maybe better to look at a Sony Z1...
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Old October 21st, 2006, 04:12 AM   #33
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I am still puzzled. Although I pre-ordered a Canon XH-A1, I can still cancel that pre-order and pick any other camera. The HVX-200 is definately a no-go. I did some research, and it's just not the right camera for me. I have also decided to pass up on the HVR-Z1. The V1 will likely be a better choice.

So that narrows it down to the following camera's:

- Canon XH-A1 (4000 EURO)
- Sony HVR-V1E (4500 EURO)

- Canon XL-H1 (9000 EURO)
- JVC GY-HD200 (Probarbly 9000 EURO with 16x stocklens)

As you can see, I am ordered them so they compete on price/features. With the Canon XL-H1... I am not sure if I need the professional jack pack. But on the other hand, for an investment that I will use for at least three years it's nice that the option is there to start doing blue screen work. Also, the price for HSDI work and cards will likely come down in the next year or so. At this moment, all the cards and raids are not in my budget.

My main question about the XL-H1 is if the stock lens is adequate enough, and if not, which other lenses (and their price) I will be looking at. The wide-angle seems pretty bad... what are my options there?

About the handling in general. The XL-H1 and JVC GY-HD200 have a more professional style handling. I am not sure if it's difficult to swap from a handheld style camera to a shoulder-mounted style camera. Although I think the JVC is not the prettiest, for me it is the camera that mostly reflects the image I have from a professional broadcast/cinema camera.

The GY-HD100/110 did not have 720p/60 and 720p/50 which I believe is necessary for ENG and event videography. The HD200 fixes that major shortcoming. And that makes it look like a great package. I also understand that the Fujinon lens is the only true "manual-zoom" lens.

The only doubt I have with the JVC is 720p vs 1080i (in 24F or 24P mode). Are the differences very obvious or hardly noticeable?

I really want to thank everyone who replied to this post for all the feedback. I will go to a store and try the camera's out but I want to make sure that I go there with as much pre-knowledge as possible. People in stores also take into consideration their margins and personal preference. On these boards, I get objective feedback from many different perspectives. Thanks everyone!
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