XH A1 or something else? - Page 3 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Open DV Discussion

Open DV Discussion
For topics which don't fit into any of the other categories.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old July 29th, 2009, 04:30 PM   #31
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Fayetteville, GA
Posts: 772
Now that I've invested in Neat Video noise suppression, footage from my A1 is even better than before. One of the nits of the A1 is it has a little more noise in lower lighting than some of the more expensive cameras. With Neat, I'm able to take that away and the well lit areas absolutely sparkle. It does slow down rendering a bit, but I've eliminated my need to reinvest in a camera by spending $99 on noise suppression software!
Roger Shealy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 29th, 2009, 05:01 PM   #32
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Minnesota (USA)
Posts: 2,171
The MSU Denoiser Filter (free) can work very nicely too:

MSU Denoiser Filter
Robert M Wright is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 29th, 2009, 08:56 PM   #33
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Buffalo, USA
Posts: 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Shealy View Post
Now that I've invested in Neat Video noise suppression, footage from my A1 is even better than before. One of the nits of the A1 is it has a little more noise in lower lighting than some of the more expensive cameras. With Neat, I'm able to take that away and the well lit areas absolutely sparkle. It does slow down rendering a bit, but I've eliminated my need to reinvest in a camera by spending $99 on noise suppression software!
Are you a commercial? :)
Jackie Morton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 29th, 2009, 09:08 PM   #34
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Buffalo, USA
Posts: 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Heath View Post
It depends what you mean by "customizable", but the styling (esp shouldermount, albeit quite small) helps a great deal. Much easier to add camera light, radio mic, matte box etc without ending up with a package that's difficult, if not impossible, to hand hold.

Here you have to extremely wary. Many cameras accurately claim to make a 1080p recording - but few for under $10,000 are able to come even close to doing it justice. The EX cameras do - they have 1920x1080 sensors - but every 1/3" camera (with the exception of the Panasonic HPX300) is not able to deliver equivalent resolution. If you equate 1080p recording with 35mm film, it's like blowing 8mm or 16mm originals up. The end result is a 35mm print, but it still looks like 8 or 16mm.

You get what you pay for - pay for a 1/3" camera and you're likely to get 1 megapixel resolution or less. That doesn't mean they are "bad", but don't be fooled that a 1080p recording mode will necessarily get you 2 megapixel resolution.

Pay a bit more and you may be able to move a little up the JVC range - the HD200 series offered "true" 720p frame rates - 50/60 fps - but if you want film-look motion anyway, that's irrelevant.
So you can't think of anything like the JVC HD100 that does 1080p in a <$4k price range?
Jackie Morton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 29th, 2009, 11:46 PM   #35
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Minnesota (USA)
Posts: 2,171
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackie Morton View Post
So you can't think of anything like the JVC HD100 that does 1080p in a <$4k price range?
I think (at least part of) the point was that at that price range, even though a camcorder may record in a 1080 line format, actual image resolution isn't going to be a whale of a lot greater (if at all) than with something like a JVC HD100U, as a practical matter.
Robert M Wright is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 30th, 2009, 12:13 AM   #36
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Buffalo, USA
Posts: 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert M Wright View Post
I think (at least part of) the point was that at that price range, even though a camcorder may record in a 1080 line format, actual image resolution isn't going to be a whale of a lot greater (if at all) than with something like a JVC HD100U, as a practical matter.
Oh is that a fact? So an HV30, or whatever other cheap camera can do 1080p, wouldn't produce noticably better-looking footage than the JVC with its 720p?
Jackie Morton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 30th, 2009, 12:25 AM   #37
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Minnesota (USA)
Posts: 2,171
An HV30 and HD100U can resolve roughly the same level of detail (same general ballpark for actual resolution) - in good lighting. With anything significantly less than ideal lighting, an HD100U will absolutely smoke an HV30.
Robert M Wright is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 30th, 2009, 02:04 AM   #38
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,699
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert M Wright View Post
I think (at least part of) the point was that at that price range, even though a camcorder may record in a 1080 line format, actual image resolution isn't going to be a whale of a lot greater (if at all) than with something like a JVC HD100U, as a practical matter.
Yes, exactly.

With 1080p recording, each frame is capable of recording about 2 million separate pixels of luminance information. In the price range you're talking about, all the 1/3" chip cameras have chips with between 0.5 and 1 million pixels, so they are the limiting factor, not the recording resolution. Hence my analogy with blowing smaller film gauges up to a 35mm release print. 35mm film will be projected in the cinema, but the resolution will still be mainly determined by the gauge it was shot on.

There's a lot more to it than that, such as some cameras using pixel-shift to get luminance resolutions somewhat better (about 1.5x) better than the headline numbers would suggest. Most obvious examples are the HMC150/HVX200. Their chips only have 0.5 megapixels each, but the processing gives luminance resolutions equivalent to around 0.75 megapixels, or about 1200x650.

What this means is that for the HMC150, 720 recording captures all the information that's in the image, it looks no sharper in 1080 mode, and actually looks worse because the codec is struggling more to compress the image. I've confirmed that with practical comparisons, a nice example of when practice confirms theory!
David Heath is online now   Reply With Quote
Old July 30th, 2009, 06:41 AM   #39
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Fayetteville, GA
Posts: 772
Jackie,

Sorry, I know my post must sound like a commercial but you'll have to trust me that I'm not a paid spokesman. It's so infrequent that I get something that exceeds my expectations. I've bought way to much snake oil in my life!

Just to be fair and balanced; the program really drags your CPU down. It takes about 4x longer to render HD.
Roger Shealy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 30th, 2009, 07:52 AM   #40
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Minnesota (USA)
Posts: 2,171
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Heath View Post
With 1080p recording, each frame is capable of recording about 2 million separate pixels of luminance information...
Actually, it's less than that even, for HDV and DVCPRO HD. 1080 line HDV can only record about one and a half megapixels of luminance information (1440x1080). DVCPRO HD only records 1280x1080 (4:2:2 though).
Robert M Wright is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 30th, 2009, 01:00 PM   #41
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 2,898
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackie Morton View Post
I want to upgrade from my HV30 to a larger and "more pro" camera and was thinking of getting an XH A1 (mostly because it's also a Canon and it's within my budget), but just stopped to think if I should get an HVX or something else along those lines? Is the XH A1 really the best bang for my buck or should I look into something else instead?
I see the benefit of being tapeless and going with an HVX or HMC-150 however I also see the draw backs, particularly with archiving. Another aspect that scares me is a card going bad. I already had this happen to me on a freshly opened 16gb Sandisk Extreme III on a recent 5D shoot. I lost most of the shoot.

While tape capture is annoying and time consuming tape is so resilient. You can stomp it into pieces, cut it, crumble it, and STILL get footage off of it. I'm not afraid of picking a tape up and transferring an electric shock from my rug and wiping out the media.

With that said I think the XH-A1 is the best choice out of the aforementioned lot. This is based on a few factors. First...resolution- Panasonic HVX/HMC's aren't even native 720p. The XH-A1 has full native HDV 1440x1080 resolution.

Next is customizability. I've worked with the HMC-150 and Sony EX1 and can indeed say the XH-A1 is more customizable than both of them.

Finally is price. $3399 is a bargain compared to the EX-1 and HVX. However it doesn't fair well against the HMC-150 which is priced at the same point and offers solid state. Regardless I still feel the XH-A1 is a better camera all around (sans not having a solid state option).
__________________
Glen Elliott
Cord 3 Films
Glen Elliott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 30th, 2009, 04:07 PM   #42
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,699
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glen Elliott View Post
I see the benefit of being tapeless .......however I also see the draw backs, particularly with archiving. Another aspect that scares me is a card going bad. I already had this happen to me on a freshly opened 16gb Sandisk Extreme III on a recent 5D shoot.
From what I've heard, then whilst you may well get a bad Compact Flash or SDHC card out of the packet (albeit quite rarely), their reliability once tried and tested is very good. The mottos obvious - for important work, only ever use tried and tested cards, and test all new cards before serious use.

The alternative is P2 or SxS. Part of what you pay the money for is the pre-sale testing, the claim is that all cards are individually verified before sale, whereas consumer memory will more likely just be batch tested. Most people feel that the vast amount of money saved by using SDHC more than justifies the relatively small amount of time and effort spent personally checking.
David Heath is online now   Reply With Quote
Old July 30th, 2009, 07:47 PM   #43
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Buffalo, USA
Posts: 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glen Elliott View Post
I see the benefit of being tapeless and going with an HVX or HMC-150 however I also see the draw backs, particularly with archiving. Another aspect that scares me is a card going bad. I already had this happen to me on a freshly opened 16gb Sandisk Extreme III on a recent 5D shoot. I lost most of the shoot.

While tape capture is annoying and time consuming tape is so resilient. You can stomp it into pieces, cut it, crumble it, and STILL get footage off of it. I'm not afraid of picking a tape up and transferring an electric shock from my rug and wiping out the media.

With that said I think the XH-A1 is the best choice out of the aforementioned lot. This is based on a few factors. First...resolution- Panasonic HVX/HMC's aren't even native 720p. The XH-A1 has full native HDV 1440x1080 resolution.

Next is customizability. I've worked with the HMC-150 and Sony EX1 and can indeed say the XH-A1 is more customizable than both of them.

Finally is price. $3399 is a bargain compared to the EX-1 and HVX. However it doesn't fair well against the HMC-150 which is priced at the same point and offers solid state. Regardless I still feel the XH-A1 is a better camera all around (sans not having a solid state option).
So what would be the benefit of getting the JVC HD100 (mentioned several times within this thread) over an XH A1? Just the manual lens? I'll probably get a 35mm adapter anyway, so would the XH A1 make more sense then? Keep in mind that I'm only getting this stuff for learning purposes, so what matters most is how much I'll be able to learn.
Jackie Morton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 30th, 2009, 09:57 PM   #44
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Fayetteville, GA
Posts: 772
Jackie,

The A1 would be a fine camera, I enjoy mine very much. Once you start talking about going with an adapter and lenses, I start to think you'll be investing too much in sunsetting technology - unless you find great deals on used equipment. If I was looking to learn technique and was considering a Letus in addition to the A1 as a hobby camera, I would personally consider the Canon EOS 5D Mkii, purchase a few inexpensive adapter rings, and load up on old Nikkor or Pentax SLR lenses (24 or 28mm, 50mm, 105mm, 200mm) as well as buying the 24 - 105mm lens kit that comes with the camera. You should be able to load up all of this for around $4,500 and you can build it out quite nicely in the future with follow focus, matte, and other niceties for around $7,000. This would get you into solid state memory and you can create stunning images with this camera, both as a DSLR and a video camera. No, it will not be as customizable as the others we have been talking about and you will have plenty of work arounds and I don't believe the sound capture is very flexible or good. It will, however, allow you to learn DOF technique and force you to master focus.

I would not recommend such a rig for making money as an only cam. It's pretty finicky from what I hear, but it would help you learn technique. I understand there are also freeware firmware upgrades to provide more manual controls than Canon offers (check Philip Bloom's site).

I personally am waiting to see what the successor to the Mkii will be or if Canon will offer a video-centered product in the near future. Sounds like you want to act now.
Roger Shealy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 31st, 2009, 06:01 PM   #45
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Buffalo, USA
Posts: 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Shealy View Post
Jackie,

The A1 would be a fine camera, I enjoy mine very much. Once you start talking about going with an adapter and lenses, I start to think you'll be investing too much in sunsetting technology - unless you find great deals on used equipment. If I was looking to learn technique and was considering a Letus in addition to the A1 as a hobby camera, I would personally consider the Canon EOS 5D Mkii, purchase a few inexpensive adapter rings, and load up on old Nikkor or Pentax SLR lenses (24 or 28mm, 50mm, 105mm, 200mm) as well as buying the 24 - 105mm lens kit that comes with the camera. You should be able to load up all of this for around $4,500 and you can build it out quite nicely in the future with follow focus, matte, and other niceties for around $7,000. This would get you into solid state memory and you can create stunning images with this camera, both as a DSLR and a video camera. No, it will not be as customizable as the others we have been talking about and you will have plenty of work arounds and I don't believe the sound capture is very flexible or good. It will, however, allow you to learn DOF technique and force you to master focus.

I would not recommend such a rig for making money as an only cam. It's pretty finicky from what I hear, but it would help you learn technique. I understand there are also freeware firmware upgrades to provide more manual controls than Canon offers (check Philip Bloom's site).

I personally am waiting to see what the successor to the Mkii will be or if Canon will offer a video-centered product in the near future. Sounds like you want to act now.
Funny because I posted this same thread on hvxuser and they've come to the same conclusion (although I'm still trying to figure out why - see below) - the only difference is that they recommended the Panasonic GH1. How do the two compare?

Also, I'm still not sure that I understand the point of this: the 5D MKII costs only about $400 less than an XHA1 on eBay, although the latter would cost nearly $1k more with a Letus. All in all though, this isn't a huge price difference. So why get an SLR, especially if it's not as customizable like you said?
Jackie Morton is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Open DV Discussion

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:42 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network