Canon XH-G1/A1 to Sony HVR-v1 compare? at DVinfo.net

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Sony HVR-V1 / HDR-FX7
Pro and consumer versions of this Sony 3-CMOS HDV camcorder.


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Old November 10th, 2006, 09:12 PM   #1
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Canon XH-G1/A1 to Sony HVR-v1 compare?

Does anyone have a list of features that compare the Sony to the Canon
cam's ???

What are your thoughts, Canon or Sony?? and why...

Sony - HDMI output, longer reach on the lens, what else....

Canon - I'm not a fan of the battery compartment, the footage I'm seeing of
the A1 is looking very nice. Isn't the cam a little bigger than the Sony?

Seems that the price point is just about the same for the A1 to the V1...

What would you gain with a G1 over a V1 ??? those prices aren't close....
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Old November 11th, 2006, 03:14 PM   #2
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I would favor the Sony initially based on its reputation for reliability.

I am also not overly fond of the Canon's smaller, somewhat "gimmicky" appearing LCD. The Sony V1U's LCD is much larger looking than the Canon.
I need to use my cam on a monopod used as a means of getting "over the shoulder" shots, and the larger 3.5" LCD on the Sony would make that situation more do-able.

I also like the Sony battery design better, and already have a bunch of Sony batteries from various Sony cams bought over the years. To replace a significant portion of that with new Canon batteries would get a bit costly, and increases the cost difference between the two.

Also, Sony is now using a Carl Zeiss lens on the V1. That's a very good lens, based on results seen on the Z!U / FX1 series cams. Being something of a traditionalist, I would prefer Zeiss optics over Canon.

That last point on the lens is of course just my opinion. However, I do hold the larger LCD size of the Sony, and the fact that I already have several large Sony batteries that would be useable on the V1 as a strong incentive to stick with Sony. My work is mostly industrial, so features like 24p are not of great importance to me now. But who knows what project opportunities tomorrow will bring....
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Old November 11th, 2006, 04:20 PM   #3
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I actually perfer canon glass to Zeiss, at least in the video world. Well, at least at the prosumer video level.

Canon makes some of the world's best still-camera lenses, and the EF "L" series is truly something to behold!@

Anyway, I am canon guy, have an XL2 and am waiting for my A1 so I am biased, however, the V1 only has 1/4" CCD's vs. Canon's 1/3" CCD's resulting in possibly poor lowlight for the V1 and definatly an unworkable depth of feild (for cinematic shooting).

I think from a pure videography, easy out of the box viewpoint, sony might be better, but for the advanced user who loves endless customization and filmic look (canon's 24F really does look spectacular) I go for Canon/.
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Old November 11th, 2006, 05:26 PM   #4
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Canon and Zeiss make excellent lenses. I'm a Sony video fan, but a Canon photography fan. (off topic: The Sony Alpha looks like pretty good DSLR, but still doesn't match up to a Canon Rebel XTi.)

Quote:
I think from a pure videography, easy out of the box viewpoint, sony might be better, but for the advanced user who loves endless customization and filmic look (canon's 24F really does look spectacular) I go for Canon/.
I can see your point. I'm not thrilled about the 1/4" chips and lower light sensitivity either. The clips I've seen posted on this forum from the new Canon A1 are very clean. The increased resolution is definitely noticable compared to the "old" FX1/Z1U. I personally haven't seen enough V1U footage yet to make a personal declaration on which of the new kids on the block would win the resolution battle. (Both the Canon A1 and the Sony V1 both scan at 1920x1080 right?)

One thing that is very attractive about the V1U is the wide dynamic range of the CMOS sensor. But, on the other hand, the clips I've seen of the A1 display a very nice dynamic range despite the A1 having CCD chips.

If you're going to be doing film-style productions, I would lean towards the Canon. I agree with Matthew on Canon's 24F - it looks damn good. Better than the V1U's 24P pulldown IMHO. And that's coming from a Sony video fan.

Sometimes, though, it's the little things that win you over (even if they seem insignificant towards the decision buying process). Like Steve's situation on owning a bunch of Sony batteries already. I think the same way. What would I do with all my NP-F970's if I got a Canon? Another thing that would keep me using Sony, and it has nothing to do with video performance, is the lens hood! Since I had my VX2100, and now my FX1, I fell in love with the Sony lens hood with the barn doors built-in. I don't have to worry about loosing lens caps, or having one dangle on a string from the camera. That is one pretty innovative idea Sony had. Very cool.
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Old November 11th, 2006, 05:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Wollack
I am also not overly fond of the Canon's smaller, somewhat "gimmicky" appearing LCD.
I just got some hands on time with the A1 and I found the LCD panel to be very useful. I agree it looks a little odd at first, but that little curved piece on the end is perfectly designed for twisting and turning the LCD with your thumb. A good example of form following function, but I do agree at first glance, it looks like some superfluous design. After using it I preferred it to the more traditional LCD design on the V1. Though I did like the size of the V1 LCD better.

I also liked the LCD placement on top of the A1/under the handle. In the end I didn't find it any different than the traditional LCD placement of the V1, but it was a novel way to store the LCD. One thought that popped into my mind, is that it's safer tucked away under the handle, and gives you a little more space for extra controls on the side of the camcorder.

At anyrate, I think that funny looking LCD on the A1/G1 is well designed.
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Old November 11th, 2006, 05:59 PM   #6
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Thought I'd add, I was leaning towards the V1U but after getting to handle the A1 for awhile, I'm on the fence again.
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Old November 11th, 2006, 06:27 PM   #7
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I agree reviously owned gear is a huge deal .I won a lot of canon batts and such, so obviously I would want to stay canon.

I think the sony looks promising, but it seems like you are meant to use it as is, and never diverge. Take those "barn door" lens cap thingees. What if you want to shoot without the lens good, to either make the cam smaller, or use controlled flare, or perhaps use a circular polarizer... You can then put a cap on!

Also, what about the 62mm diameter of this lens? Going to make finding after market add on's tough.

I like sony, I like canon, but the V1 seems like an odd little cam. So does the FX7. I just think the Canon XHA1 and G1 really seem to be well thought out,.
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Old November 11th, 2006, 10:56 PM   #8
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I have both sony and canon products. It's just a waste of time not having both cameras at ones disposal to make the real world test. Handling is a big issue for me, and if I'm all thumbs with a particular camera and miss important shots, then it doesn't matter the quality of the lens or what's inside.

I've lived with an HC1 for the interim and will be paying a visit to B&H very soon (maybe next weekend if the budget gets signed off -finally). The image from the HC1 is sweet, but very hard to achieve in a pro-shoot. So, getting the shot for me is a benefit, and I'd rather have a slightly better success ratio rather than slightly better image quality.

Second issue is brand loyalty. It's backwards thinking, and I shouldn't care what name is stamped on the side of it. The camera needs to impress me first.

I'd sure like to try the V1U, but I need something now. Maybe B&H will have a demo that I lay my hands on.
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Old November 12th, 2006, 02:28 AM   #9
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"Take those "barn door" lens cap thingees. What if you want to shoot without the lens good, to either make the cam smaller, or use controlled flare, or perhaps use a circular polarizer... You can then put a cap on!"

If you don't want to use it, just take it off? Removal of the hood is one thumb screw and a twist of the hood.

As for the 62mm threads, Sony has announced the VCL-HG0862K (Wide Conversion Lens) for the V1. If the camera is popular (I'm sure it will be), other companies will make 62mm accessories specifically for this cam. Regardless, you can probably use your existing 72mm parts by adding a step-up ring. There really isn't that much difference between the sizes and larger accessories should work with smaller cameras. To avoid vignetting, you don't want to use smaller lenses (like the 58mm for the PD170).

I think the new Canon HDV cameras look very nice. What has sold me on the V1 is the potentially greater exposure latitude and the HDMI outputs. I also like that I can probably shoot all day long on one NPF970 Sony Infolithium battery. You don't need to worry about battery infrastructure with the Sony cameras as they don't seem to need much. For the cost of one "brick" battery like in older/larger cameras, you can have a handful of NPF970 batteries that will last all day and even power some on-camera lights.
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Old November 12th, 2006, 04:33 AM   #10
 
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FWIW, the Sony wide angle lens is a bayonet mount, not a threaded mount. It comes with a lens hood for the wide adapter as well.
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Old November 12th, 2006, 08:27 AM   #11
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But does the cam come with a lens cap that fits the 62 mm lens when the barn doors are off? If not, seems agrivating... not a deal breaker, but still...

It seems like Canon is geared towards better functionality while Sony is geared towards the prettiest picture with the least amount of work.
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Old November 12th, 2006, 10:00 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Nayman
It seems like Canon is geared towards better functionality while Sony is geared towards the prettiest picture with the least amount of work.
Not sure what you mean. (I would think that better functionality would mean a pretty picture with the least amount of work). Is there a functional difference between the two? That is, in terms of balance and placement of controls, which one is the better camera for handheld/shoulder rig work? Anybody?
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Old November 12th, 2006, 11:14 AM   #13
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Before I can make that decision for myself, I'd love to test the G1/A1. Having used the XL H1, I can say that it's a great camera, but I like the Z1 a bit better. Both cameras have their strengths, but I'm going off my thoughts here.

Also, I would like to know more about 24f--I do believe it's 24 frames running in a 60i stream, just like 24p runs in a 60i stream in both the DVX100-series and V1u cameras. If so, will I be able to remove the pulldown in the Canon?

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Old November 12th, 2006, 11:50 AM   #14
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Just speaking to the characteristics of the glass, I would note that the Z1 at full zoom gets softer and blue-fringes more than at other positions in its zoom range. It also gets softer at wide open apertures than when stopped down a bit. Although the A1 doesn't have as much magnification as the new V1, the max zoom it does have remains tack sharp. On the downside the A1 at full wide has the characteristic Canon red/green fringing, the Z1 is better here except at wide open aperture where it softens slightly. The question I'd have on the V1 zoom is does it blue fringe and go soft at full telephoto like the Z1? If the V1 follows the trend set by the Zeiss glass on the Z1 it should be better than the Canon at the wide end, but the wide end in the case of the V1, isn't as wide either.
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Old November 12th, 2006, 11:51 AM   #15
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Heath,

In SD, the 24F is output via firewire just the same as the DVX100 or XL2, either 2:3 or 2:3:3:2 and I THINK that the SD-SDI out (as well as component out) would be only 2:3.

In HDV, 24F is true 24fps as recorded to tape. No pulldown, which is why 60i decks don't do it and there was a delay with NLE support. Component or HD-SDI out would be a 2:3 60i stream.

I don't want to make too many judgments too soon, but as an XL H1 shooter who wasn't really thinking I'd jump on the XH cameras very quickly if at all, so far I really like the XH A1 that I'm testing...might be rethinking the mix of cameras in my stable. But, lots of testing left to be done.
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