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Old July 31st, 2009, 05:35 PM   #46
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Remember you'll need lenses and rails for the Letus, so add that into your figures. My personal opinion is that the an adapter puts too much glass in front of your image, makes your camera really front-heavy and difficult to handle/move/adjust. You also have two points of focus to contend with, the focus to the frosted glass and focus form the forward lens onto the glass. Both must be perfect and understand that any camera in heat can change focus. Now you have two to worry with.

It's amazing to me how good of an image they produce, but at the end of the day its a compromise over shooting with proper glass. I've considered buying one and have one I'm testing right now. For me its an incremental purchase decision since I already have the A1. If I didn't have the A1 and was in your shoes I'd go for the more pure optical route. Once your experiments end you'll have a great DSLR even if you convert to a dedicated video camera. The Letus greatly increases your DOF effect, but works negatively on crispness and light sensitivity (one of the issues with the A1 is good by not great low light performance). Take a few minutes and download some good clips from Vimeo on a 5D as well as a A1 (not the compressed streaming video on the site, download the rendered clips). Make sure you get clips from both cameras from someone that knows what they are doing and know how to process in post.

Please understand that I've never shot with a 5D, but I've been researching it extensively for some while. I'm just sharing my thoughts on that research being very familiar with the A1.
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Old July 31st, 2009, 06:08 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Jackie Morton View Post
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?..........what matters most is how much I'll be able to learn.
It's the last phrase that is uppermost in my mind..... :-)

I tend to feel that manufacturers seem to have taken two approaches to get at all the cameras in this price range. Either scaled up what are fundamentally consumer cameras, or scaled down what are fundamentally professional cameras. As far as all the things go that are normally most talked about - "quality" etc - there may not be much to choose between them, but in terms of learning a professional way of working, there's a lot to be said for playing around with a "scaled down pro camera".

And that's what is really good about the JVC range. If I was upgrading at the moment, then on the basis of what I've so far used I'd almost certainly go for an EX3 which IMO offers easily the best value for money around this price point. But I'll be the first to admit that whilst it's picture quality, codec etc is superb, it's handling ergonomics are *****. That's what really sets it apart from what I'd call a true pro camera.

And the same story with most of the cameras in this category. It's not the technical quality that lets them down, it's that they handle so much more like consumer cameras than true pro ones. By manual lens, I don't just refer to one which offers manual control of iris, but one which offers a direct linkage between the iris and focus wheels, and not one which gives the control via a servo mechanism. That's why I say any of the JVC cameras will be a far better learning tool than such as the Canon or Panasonic models mentioned, they just handle far more like a pro camera. But try them out for yourself.

As far as the 5D goes, then I don't think that's the one for you. First and foremost it's a good still camera, and although it may be great for specialist video occasions, it just isn't designed in the way that a video camera is normally wanted to be. Video cameras live or die as much by their sound, timecode, etc facilities as video matters, and to give here what is really best would likely compromise it as a still camera.
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Old August 2nd, 2009, 01:52 PM   #48
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The XHA1 has fairly good DOF with the stock lens. Here are a few random frame grabs for example.
Attached Thumbnails
XH A1 or something else?-glass-sculpture.jpg   XH A1 or something else?-tractor.jpg  

XH A1 or something else?-drill.jpg   XH A1 or something else?-chick.jpg  

XH A1 or something else?-mini-steam-wheel.jpg   XH A1 or something else?-hand-lever.jpg  

XH A1 or something else?-gear-lever.jpg   XH A1 or something else?-glass-ball.jpg  

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Old August 7th, 2009, 02:00 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by Jackie Morton View Post
Can't you just get a bunch of these P2 cards (not a clue what they are) as you would tapes?
P2 cards are extremely expensive in comparison to tapes, and if you want a permanent backup of the unedited original footage, you're going to need terabyte drives, rather than a cheap storage box.
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Old September 12th, 2009, 10:19 AM   #50
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You know, when you factor in the cost of P2 cards, actual total ownership cost of an EX1 (now that it's quite reasonable to record onto SCHC cards with the EX1) is pretty competitive with the actual total ownership cost of a "lower" priced P2 camera (with way smaller and much lower pixel count imaging chips), not to mention figuring in some additional costs for larger hard drives and such, to handle the significantly larger files (per minute of footage) recorded by P2 cameras.
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