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Old September 13th, 2007, 03:44 PM   #1
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HD110U or the XH A1

Hi all,

I normally don't post these types of questions but I'm really in a tough spot here. I have the money to purchase a JVC HD110U camera, but I am also looking at the Canon XH-A1 as well. I will be using the M2 35mm adapter so the lens considerations are not too important.

Portability isn't a concern for me. I will be using the camera for only short films - no events.

The Canon has a higher res, but runs at a higher bit rate and a Macbook can handle the JVC's data better (or at least that's what I understand).

Any reason why, in my case, that I would need the JVC instead of the Canon???
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Old September 13th, 2007, 04:27 PM   #2
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JVC is better for handheld work,(shoulder mount ergonomics) otherwise they're probably pretty close in quality.
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Old September 13th, 2007, 04:32 PM   #3
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I think my main concern is that 1080 is just so much bigger than 720. I could even afford to cut the ratio down to 1:2.35 and still have a ton of info in there.

I've just heard amazing things about the HD110 so that's why I'm wary to choose yet. Just watched this film though and it's amazing filmed on the A1 so I think I know my answer now after seeing it.

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?p=743942
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Old September 13th, 2007, 04:57 PM   #4
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If you primarily want to make short films you should research carefully the progressive scan format of 720p versus the interlaced 1080i format. It's not simply a case of 1080 lines is more than 720.
Progressive scan is far more suited to film out and conversions from interlace to progressive are less than perfect.
A progressive frame shows all 720 lines every frame 1080i only 540 lines each interlaced frame.
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Old September 13th, 2007, 06:05 PM   #5
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Yeah but the Canon has the 24F mode which turns it's interlaced frames into full progressive frames too so I'm also not really worried about that either... this is why I'm in a quandry.
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Old September 13th, 2007, 07:05 PM   #6
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Yeah but the Canon has the 24F mode which turns it's interlaced frames into full progressive frames too so I'm also not really worried about that either... this is why I'm in a quandry.
The 1080 is interlace not progressive, so the vertical resolution will be pretty similar to 720p. You should compare which camera gives the look you want. The JVC is often regarded has having a more filmic look, but you should compare both cameras and have a play with them and see which works best for you: the ergonomics are very different.

There's more to deciding which camera than looking at the numbers.
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Old September 13th, 2007, 07:43 PM   #7
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This has been kicked around a bit, but as I understand it 24F is not exactly the same as 24P Canon does label some cameras as 24P and some as 24F, so if there were no difference I don't think they'd use two different descriptions.

I may be as wrong about this as I am about everything else, but I thought the Canon Frame mode combined two interlaced fields into a single frame, but with some reduction (maybe around 25%) in vertical resolution compared to a true progressive frame. Regardless, it looks good on my SD GL-2 and I like it. I haven't made the big jump to HDV yet myself, although I might do it in the near future.
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Old September 13th, 2007, 07:52 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Brian Drysdale View Post
The 1080 is interlace not progressive, so the vertical resolution will be pretty similar to 720p. You should compare which camera gives the look you want. The JVC is often regarded has having a more filmic look, but you should compare both cameras and have a play with them and see which works best for you: the ergonomics are very different.

There's more to deciding which camera than looking at the numbers.
According to one well-respected reviewer, Scott Billups, the 24F of Canon (which the XH-A1 has) is the most film motion looking of any of the video cameras in this class:

"Billups had special praise for the 24 F feature of the XL H1 as well. “Canon’s 24F system produces an output that looks and feels like 24-frame movie film,” he says. “While the technology is a closely guarded Canon secret, the proof is in the image. When digitally projected or printed to film, the image from the XLH1 compares more closely to those of ultra-high-end HD cameras than it does to the growing assortment of consumer HDV camcorders."

Here is a link to the complete article:
http://blog.broadcastengineering.com...tion/#more-138

This article is a good outline of the XH-A1 features, with comparisons made to the XL-H1, XH-G1, XL2 and GL2. Well worth reading to get a good feel for the XH-A1 and how it sits in the Canon line-up:
http://www.dvinfo.net/canonxh/xhfaq.php
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Old September 13th, 2007, 08:15 PM   #9
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I think my main concern is that 1080 is just so much bigger than 720. I could even afford to cut the ratio down to 1:2.35 and still have a ton of info in there.

I've just heard amazing things about the HD110 so that's why I'm wary to choose yet. Just watched this film though and it's amazing filmed on the A1 so I think I know my answer now after seeing it.

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?p=743942
I'm sure you can easily find HD110 footage that looks at least that good. I'd base your choice on other factors. Price? Ergonomics? is the stock JVC lens wide enough? do you need interchangeable lenses?
Difference in picture quality are going to be incidental.
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Old September 13th, 2007, 10:12 PM   #10
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Thanks all for your responses. Again, I don't need interchangable lenses because I'm going to use the M2 adapter. Also, regarding the interlaced format and progressive issue - I know all about that, but like it was stated, the 24F turns the interlaced into a full progressive image. I've seen both, I like the look of both of their looks, but the Canon has a higher res.

I think I'm sold on the Canon actually. It's a thousand dollars cheaper, looks amazing (specially for the price!), it's super mobile (which does have its advantages), and I just sold an XL2 so I'm already familiar with using the Canon controls.

:) Thanks again all. I think I'll grab the Canon.
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Old September 14th, 2007, 12:25 AM   #11
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Use it in good health, as my uncles used to say.

Wish you the absolute best of luck with the Canon. All of my digital cameras (still and video) to this point are Canon and I'm a real Canon fan.

But I think I'm going to go in the JVC direction this time for - who really knows what reason. In the end I think it's like buying a circular saw. Any reputable brand will cut wood and build an equally beautiful house, but how the tool feels in your hand and how it will fit with your style of working and how you think it will help you realize the dreams you have in your heart about what you want to build in the future are of paramount importance.

Enjoy your new camera!
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Old September 14th, 2007, 12:32 AM   #12
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Use it in good health, as my uncles used to say.

Wish you the absolute best of luck with the Canon. All of my digital cameras (still and video) to this point are Canon and I'm a real Canon fan.

But I think I'm going to go in the JVC direction this time for - who really knows what reason. In the end I think it's like buying a circular saw. Any reputable brand will cut wood and build an equally beautiful house, but how the tool feels in your hand and how it will fit with your style of working and how you think it will help you realize the dreams you have in your heart about what you want to build in the future are of paramount importance.

Enjoy your new camera!
I'm a JVC owner, and I believe the JVC is better. But it sure isn't $1000 better. Were I in the market, I'd get that canon and take the thousand bucks to Vegas or maybe get some beer.
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Old September 14th, 2007, 02:30 AM   #13
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I have the Canon XH-A1, the JVC HD-110 and just got a lightly used HV20.

I use the JVC for 60p SD and it's great. I have also used it for other things, but I don't use it shoulder mounted and to set it up and operate is quite a production (to coin a phrase).

I started a documentary that we well be taping for for the next 3 years or so. I needed a camera that could travel well. Can be setup instantly. Can fly on a Merlin, and so forth. I needed HDV, but also 1080i for some things and 24 frame progressive for others. So I got the XH-A1.

I think both cameras have their place. But I must say that if I had just one for all around use, I'd get the Canon XH-A1. Here the decision is the size, the quality of the image (which is comparable to the JVC) but also the automatic controls that the JVC doesn't have (and some would never use) but I need sometimes for what I'm using it for. The iris ring and the zoom ring on the barrel have also proved to be phenomenal for me, as has the quality of the autofocus the way I am using the camera.

Then the HV20 lets me get video for the documentary project when I'm not allowed to use the other camera or I want people to think I'm not making the real video. And also, to carry around to have instantly ready in situations where the other camera couldn't be gotten out.

I think the right choice of the camera is how it's going to be used.
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Old September 14th, 2007, 02:39 AM   #14
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ive used both and was really impressed with the A1- its size and weight are good and i liked how wide the lens was. but trying to work with it is so different as a camera operator than using the shoulder mounted HD100. base your decision on that alone. your best work will be done on the camera that feels good- no, NATURAL, in your hands. better yet, buy both!

like Jack said above- the xh-a1 is ALOT more discreet than the HD100, and Ive experienced this first hand. Then again it depends on where you are, what you are shooting- etc, etc.

good luck!

Last edited by Alan Ortiz; September 14th, 2007 at 01:58 PM.
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Old September 14th, 2007, 10:41 AM   #15
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Very cool responses. So basically it really doesn't come down to picture quality - as from what it seems like, they are pretty similar. I also only use my cameras on a tripod or a stabilizer (can't afford a crane yet! haha) so no shoulder mount is actually needed. I can totally see where the JVCs ergonomics would come into play if someone where to need an on-shoulder camera, but I don't need that either. Yep, I think I'll save the 1000 bucks, go with the Canon, and spend that extra 1000 on the FCP 2 upgrade and some other parts. :)
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