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Old June 26th, 2007, 12:38 PM   #1
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Discussing HD110u VS XH A1

Hello everyone,

Lately I've had my eye on the XH A1. I chose it simply because it is a compact HDV and seams to be highly sought after. However, recently Iíve been looking at the JVC HD110u and really like its "studio camera" style. Unlike the XH A1, its lenses are interchangeable but unfortunately are they are exceptionally more expensive than the Canon line of lenses. Its other con is that its not as compact as the A1. I've also noticed that the lense mount (area where the lense fits onto the frame) is small which leads me to believe that it is probably not very durable and needs supports.

Other than these observations, I don't know much else about either camera. I am just getting into Digital Video and have had little to no experience with professional cameras. What I am encouraging is a discussion about the pros and cons of these two cameras. I also apologize if this thread has already been started and I have not seen it yet.

Thanks everyone!
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Old June 27th, 2007, 09:30 AM   #2
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Terry, the lens support, 1/3" bayonet, is perfectly adequate for the lens. I used 3 of these cameras for more than a year and we have moved them everywhere without too much "pampering" and they are all still running. The removable lens require only one attention: check the back focus before every shot.
Compared to the A1, which is a decent camera for the price, the HD100 has much wider latitude, progressive scan (the A1 is interlaced), and the lens works in a predictable way. This means that you can have repeatable focus and zoom points. Something that you cannot do with the servo-based rings of the A1.
In my opinion also the ergonomics of the HD100 are superior.

Hope this helps.
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Old June 27th, 2007, 01:05 PM   #3
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Terry,

The 110 will not give you the same temporal motion as the A1- I'm talking about the reality TV look that people generally associate with video. This is because it shoots 24p or 30p but no 60p (like the 200, 250). This is a great thing if you intend to shoot narrative style projects (short films, music videos, commercials). Not so good for handheld run and gun event work like corporate events, weddings.

Just be prepared to work as a film-maker, not a point and shooter.

I hear a lot of stories of folks who buy the 110 and then complain about the judder because they didn't know anything about working with slower frame rates.

Best.

Last edited by Justin Ferar; June 27th, 2007 at 06:56 PM.
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Old June 27th, 2007, 03:56 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Paolo Ciccone View Post
Terry, the lens support, 1/3" bayonet, is perfectly adequate for the lens. I used 3 of these cameras for more than a year and we have moved them everywhere without too much "pampering" and they are all still running. The removable lens require only one attention: check the back focus before every shot.
Compared to the A1, which is a decent camera for the price, the HD100 has much wider latitude, progressive scan (the A1 is interlaced), and the lens works in a predictable way. This means that you can have repeatable focus and zoom points. Something that you cannot do with the servo-based rings of the A1.
In my opinion also the ergonomics of the HD100 are superior.

Hope this helps.
Wider Latitude? Can you explain this a little bit more?
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Old June 27th, 2007, 06:47 PM   #5
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Wider Latitude? Can you explain this a little bit more?
Sure, the HD100 can record a wider ranger between highlights and dark tones in a single scene. The A1 is about $2000 cheaper and narrower latitude is one of the things that you get for the lower price. More sophisticated CCD cost more money. If you look at a scene with the A1 and open progressively the iris from the close position you'll see that the highlights get blown out faster than doing the same with the HD100.
Also, I found the A1's iris control to be harder to control than the one in the stock Fujinon lens. It suddenly goes to the close position without much of a transition.
It's not that the A1 camera is bad, for the money I think it's actually pretty good, it's just that HD100 is better.
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Old June 27th, 2007, 10:24 PM   #6
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Terry,

This is a great thing if you intend to shoot narrative style projects (short films, music videos, commercials). Not so good for handheld run and gun event work like corporate events, weddings.

Best.
Justin, are you not using the HD100 for your wedding work (which looks great btw)? I'm upgrading from my XL2s at the turn of the year and was putting serious thought into the JVC line. I switch between auto-focus and manual on the XL2, but the auto-focus is about useless half the time without good light.
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Old June 28th, 2007, 12:24 PM   #7
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Pete,

The demos on my wedding website were all with our GY-DV5000U standard def cameras and some super8 film.

We didn't shoot HD until this year and only a few of those have been edited. Right now there are no HD demos but they are definintely on the way as they will have some indicator that they were shot in HD.

We are shooting with 2 HD200's at 720p60. So far I'm pretty floored by the results. Can't wait to put one online.

At this point I wouldn't shoot a wedding at 24fps because I hate the look of it unless used in a controlled situation with proper lighting and direction. Weddings are such a track meet. The judder becomes overwhelming. Of course if I knew we were shooting in 24fps I would change the way we shoot- not so much movement. But that's just me.

What's more important is the JVC's form factor. Perfect for run and gun. The cool thing is that if your nervous about shooting at lower frame rates you can always put in in 60i for standard def. It's still 16 x 9 and georgeous!
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Old June 28th, 2007, 01:26 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Justin Ferar View Post
Terry,

The 110 will not give you the same temporal motion as the A1- I'm talking about the reality TV look that people generally associate with video. This is because it shoots 24p or 30p but no 60p (like the 200, 250). This is a great thing if you intend to shoot narrative style projects (short films, music videos, commercials). Not so good for handheld run and gun event work like corporate events, weddings.

Just be prepared to work as a film-maker, not a point and shooter.

I hear a lot of stories of folks who buy the 110 and then complain about the judder because they didn't know anything about working with slower frame rates.

Best.
Perfectly concise Justin. Follow that and this camera will suit you well.
I have the HD100 and have in fact shot footage for coporate vids using the 25p frame rate. It looks fantastic in bars/restaurants/street traffic/buildings (often already lit for you), but for the fast pans you see on some corporate vids/commercials 24/25p doesn't work (aforementioned judder). For the most part I've had very good results within a context with this frame rate occasionally having to resort to 50i.

Quote:
We are shooting with 2 HD200's at 720p60. So far I'm pretty floored by the results. Can't wait to put one online.
Looking forward to seeing footage shot in 720p50/60...it's a look I can't quite imagine at the moment (being neither interlaced or the film look of the lower frame rates....don't suppose you could describe it 'verbally'??!?!)
The weddings you shot on the GY-DV5000U (they look fantastic by the way) - were they shot in 60i (50i for me)?

Down the line I'll probably look at another/second camera and have been overjoyed with the JVC so far (Apple FCP drop outs aside)...perhaps the 200/250 is an option. This camera has forced me to learn the mechanics of 'professional' camera's (coming from a very basic camcorder).
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Old June 28th, 2007, 08:07 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Justin Ferar View Post
Pete,

The demos on my wedding website were all with our GY-DV5000U standard def cameras and some super8 film.
Justin, have you had to adjust your approach considering the difference in sensitivity between the DV5000 and HD200? On paper there's a pretty large difference that I imagine would take some adjustment for how to handle low light situations.
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Old June 29th, 2007, 02:36 AM   #10
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Justin, have you had to adjust your approach considering the difference in sensitivity between the DV5000 and HD200? On paper there's a pretty large difference that I imagine would take some adjustment for how to handle low light situations.
Good God yes- whole new ball game. I'm lucky to be able to view everything on the new JVC 20 inch HD production monitor (via Black Magic Intenity Pro) so I can see everything right and wrong.

Gain is not a good solution if the final product will be viewed in HD. I never used to mess with shutter speed before but now we dial down the shutter speed to 1/30th for low light situations. At 1/30th the camera is pretty much as sensitive as the GY-DV5000 at 1/60th. I've since fallen in love with the look of 1/30th and am considering always shooting at this shutter speed. Not very practical for full daylight though.

We recently shot a blow out wedding at the Clift hotel in SF so that one will go online soon...

Thanks for praise regarding the demos- I wish I could put up some of the celebs that I've shot!
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Old June 29th, 2007, 07:13 AM   #11
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Good God yes-
Gain is not a good solution if the final product will be viewed in HD.
At 1/30th the camera is pretty much as sensitive as the GY-DV5000 at 1/60th.

We recently shot a blow out wedding at the Clift hotel in SF so that one will go online soon...
Heh, that's pretty much the answer I expected. But at 1/30th, noise is not an issue?

Looking forward to seeing the new demo with the hd100. Keep up the good work.
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Old June 29th, 2007, 09:40 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Justin Ferar View Post
Pete,

At this point I wouldn't shoot a wedding at 24fps because I hate the look of it unless used in a controlled situation with proper lighting and direction. Weddings are such a track meet. The judder becomes overwhelming. Of course if I knew we were shooting in 24fps I would change the way we shoot- not so much movement. But that's just me.

What's more important is the JVC's form factor. Perfect for run and gun. The cool thing is that if your nervous about shooting at lower frame rates you can always put in in 60i for standard def. It's still 16 x 9 and georgeous!
I shoot weddings with two HD100a since Sept. 2005. I always shoot with 720/30p. And yes Justin always with 30 shutter speed. I NEVER had any problems this way with low light. I didn't shoot with these cameras in DV mode yet. I brought this cameras for HD shooting-editing. I love the overall looks and actually from day one all of my costumers love it too. (I was surprised) I shoot several short events with 24p (handheld) and turned out fantastic. I will shot my first 24p wedding two weeks from now, the groom is finished some kine of film school and he want his wedding in 24p.
I gave up my two beautiful Sony DSR-300a for these cameras and I never regret. You guys can check my short demo on my main website. www.star-litevideo.com (Look on the middle of bottom page. This was my first ever 30p wedding. Was shoot Sept. 2005. Need about 4 mins. to download)

Laszlo
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Old June 29th, 2007, 04:01 PM   #13
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Lazlo, good to hear. Too bad for me Feb is so far off :( , which is when I plan on buying new equipment. Hey, on your website, I can't tell which vids where using the HD100, or are they all? BTW, the vid of the 3rd communion kid was hillarious!
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Old June 29th, 2007, 05:02 PM   #14
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I shoot weddings with two HD100a since Sept. 2005. I always shoot with 720/30p. And yes Justin always with 30 shutter speed. I NEVER had any problems this way with low light. I didn't shoot with these cameras in DV mode yet. I brought this cameras for HD shooting-editing. I love the overall looks and actually from day one all of my costumers love it too. (I was surprised) I shoot several short events with 24p (handheld) and turned out fantastic. I will shot my first 24p wedding two weeks from now, the groom is finished some kine of film school and he want his wedding in 24p.
I gave up my two beautiful Sony DSR-300a for these cameras and I never regret. You guys can check my short demo on my main website. www.star-litevideo.com (Look on the middle of bottom page. This was my first ever 30p wedding. Was shoot Sept. 2005. Need about 4 mins. to download)

Laszlo
I don't suppose you could apply this to 1/25 when shooting 25p? I've always kept the shutter at 1/50, but shooting some recent theatre plays there were some pretty dark moments (and very bright too I must add...nightmare to toe the line on this) but never considered 1/25 - I presumed this would give out a very strobe like appearance (anything lower than that certainly does)? 6db (second setting) of gain was used with an almost fully open Iris (12db is very grainy).
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Old June 30th, 2007, 02:46 AM   #15
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Thank you all for posting.

The conclusion that i've come to is that the JVC HD100-200 is more of a tripod stable semi studio camera where as the XH A1 is more for run and gun shots.

I suppose for my uses, the XH A1 would better suit my filming needs. I will mainly be shooting out doors with possible fluxuations in the weather. I will also need a wide angle lens for landscape shots. The wide angle lens for the JVC HD line are 6 grand!!! which is way out of my budget as of now. So for now, The A1 is something afordable and suitabe for my current learning experience. However, I would like to get into higher end cameras further in my film making career. I suppose the HD110 is a good choice but am no expert.

-Terry lee

Last edited by Terry Lee; June 30th, 2007 at 11:12 AM.
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