sony V1U - canon XHA1. The biggest diffrence. 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 July 24th, 2007, 08:36 PM   #1
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sony V1U - canon XHA1. The biggest diffrence.

I have been on the fence between these two cameras since they were both announced - at about the same time.

I have read reviews and such and so forth but still am unable to decide between the two 100%. I have lately been leaning toward the Canon XHA1 - but only due to the fact that there is so much more internet talk on the forums about it. - and that it seems much more popular. Some people have even asked if the V1U is a has been already. Mostly it seems no one is talking much about the V1U.

My theory is that the biggest difference between the two is that the XHA1 is much more popular than the V1U because its several hundred dollars less expensive. -And Perhaps the picture quality is similar.

The main thing i like about the V1U is that it has a bigger LCD screen. That makes a big difference to me when you are in the heat of battle.

Anyway, it would be easier if i could just look at the footage but i've never seen any V1U footage. -BECAUSE NO ON OWNS IT!
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Old July 24th, 2007, 10:49 PM   #2
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The only problem with the V1U, after shooting 5 weddings with it is that the camera flashs sometimes cause unacceptable results. I shoot sporting events and other live events and the V1u's free run time code is really nice. Syncing footage is a snap.

I would try to find someone in your area that has a v1 or a1 and compare the two cameras.
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Old July 24th, 2007, 11:08 PM   #3
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If you check out our advertisers, you'll find great deals on both.

To be honest, there isn't a camera that's come out in the past 3 years that I don't like. For what it offers, true 1080p (24p and 30p), the cinegamma controls, the histogram, the LCD, and more, I still say the V1u is a "best buy" for the price and features.

If you can, go to a dealer and see if you can spend some time with both cameras at their shop. That will help you out a lot.

I believe, with the $300 rebate, the V1u is around $3600. The A1 is around $3300 or so with its $250 rebate. Search around, both cameras are great, no doubt about it.

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Old July 24th, 2007, 11:17 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Tyson Persall View Post
Mostly it seems no one is talking much about the V1U.
Probably because they're too busy shooting with it...

You're in the right place, though. This is the largest discussion forum on the web for the HVR-V1U.

There are plenty of video clips online if you search through here for them.
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Old July 24th, 2007, 11:26 PM   #5
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biased - i bought v1 - but i did play with the a1 too. felt like a brick, most uncomfortable camera i've ever help - i have relatively small hands and using the rocker was a real effort.

on a pod is another matter. great pictures from them both. v1 great out of the box, a1 has sooo much to play with that i found it daunting coming from broadcast betasp cameras :-}

v1 has great ergonomics. crappy low light - don't know about the a1 in that regard.

a1 has better wa, v1 better viewfinder...

go play with 'em, or better still, hire them for a shoot...

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Old July 25th, 2007, 07:40 AM   #6
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"Try before you buy" is indeed the best possible advice.

The one that feels best in your hands is the right camcorder for you.

All other considerations such as tech specs, etc. are meaningless in comparison.
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Old July 26th, 2007, 01:24 AM   #7
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i own a v1u, cannon won with the advertising its ever where for their HD

doubt its better not sure tho

love the v1u
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Old July 26th, 2007, 02:50 AM   #8
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If the A1 had a bigger side-screen it'd leap ahead in my view. You put it alongside the FX1 (say) and it just looks a bit silly.

But the best thing the A1 has going for it is the much bigger 1"/3 chips. The tiny 1"/4 chips in the V1 just make differential focus so difficult to obtain(unless you're zoomed into someone's nose). I don't care that they're CMOS as against Canon's CCDs, as smearing isn't an issue unless you're using high shutter speeds.

Of course the Canon sacrifice is in lens speed. At telephoto it's 2/3 of a stop slower than the Sony. But then again it doesn't cry out for a wide-angle converter right out of the box.

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Old July 26th, 2007, 03:40 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Tyson Persall View Post
I have read reviews and such and so forth but still am unable to decide between the two 100%.
In exactly the same quandary as you. You must have been reading DVXUser. :p

I'm wondering why DVINFO does not have a subforum for Sony V1U/FX7 clips as they do for the Canon XH-A1?

Anyway, if you already own the FX1/Z1 then I think it's a great choice to go with the V1U so you can share batteries and accessories. Nothing worse than going on a multi-camera shoot with 2 sets of incompatible batteries. Sony also has the HVL-LBP LED light which takes the NP-F970 batteries; makes hauling gear much easier and less of a pain.

Image-wise, they are very similar although I prefer the larger 1/3" chips on the XH-A1. Having said that, this might really be a non-issue since the images coming out of both cameras are of such exceedingly high quality, the issue of 1/4" vs 1/3" is largely a non-issue.

I'm more concerned about reliability and compatibility over the long haul. In my experience with Sony products, they are extremely reliable. I cannot say the same for Canon though, as in the early days of DV, I owned both the Canon XL-1 and GL-1. Unless you owned them, not much has been discussed over the serious issue of MiniDV tapes recorded on those units were incompatible with other MiniDV playback units, such as the Sony DSR-11. Canon used their own specification which made compatibility a real problem. I now have stacks of MiniDV tapes that I cannot playback with anything other than the Canon GL-1 (which I have had to keep for this very reason). Has Canon rectified this issue with the HDV models? I'm not sure, but let's just say I'm a little more cautious when considering Canon products. However, if you are entrenched with Canon, then the XH-A1 may be the most logical choice.
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Old July 26th, 2007, 03:57 AM   #10
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'the issue of 1/4" vs 1/3" is largely a non-issue.'

I can't agree with you on that one at all Ian, as a recent side-by-side test with the Z1 showed. The differential focus - even allowing for the fact that the Z1 was shooting half a stop smaller due to its greater sensitivity) was plainly far easier to obtain with the Z1. The latest issue of the IOV's 'Focus' magazine has the write-up (and a picture of me in concentration mode!)

But I'm 100% behind you on all the other points you raise, and especially so on Canon not keeping to the 720 x 576 DV standard. You can always see a Canon shot intercut with Sony, simply because of the missing pixel lines. Why, Canon?

Reliability, too. The VX/PD is used in every war zone, and Canon's GL/XM/XL just doesn't get a look in. I too (to use your words) am a little more cautious when considering Canon products. Mind you, the HV20 is sure getting some praise...

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Old July 26th, 2007, 04:49 AM   #11
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I've been following this thread with interest, as this is the first one of the kind after some break in asking the "V1 or A1" questions...

As some of you may know, I myself went through the decision making process half a year ago. I was lucky enough to have the Canon for testing over several weeks, and after already having my hands on the first V1E that I had returned due to the infamous "oil paint effect" in progressive mode, so I was able to compare them very, very throroughly.

After those several weeks I decided to return the Canon and went for the V1E which in the meantime had the 25p mode fixed. Why? Let me point out just a couple of the most important reasons:

- form factor and ergonomics of the V1 being way better for me, personally
- the V1 feels much more solid and robust, plus in Europe it's covered with the 2-years Silver Support policy
- the colour quality of the V1 being absolutely beautiful IMO, and unbeatable by the Canon no matter how much I tried with its plethora of picture tweaking parameters
- the low-light capabilities (measured by the gain-introduced noise) not worse on the V1 (even though opposite opinions are plenty in the Internet)

Well, I guess these were the main reasons. Of course, the Canon is still a great camera; also - should I know about the XDCAM EX being just around the corner - I wouldn't have bought any of the two:)
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Old July 26th, 2007, 04:56 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian Holb View Post
.... in the early days of DV, I owned both the Canon XL-1 and GL-1. Unless you owned them, not much has been discussed over the serious issue of MiniDV tapes recorded on those units were incompatible with other MiniDV playback units, such as the Sony DSR-11. Canon used their own specification which made compatibility a real problem. I now have stacks of MiniDV tapes that I cannot playback with anything other than the Canon GL-1 (which I have had to keep for this very reason).
I second this. I have always had head aches with my Canon tapes when sent to studios with Sony equipment, it was simply impossible to play them back.
Then my GL 1 got some serious sound board disease and since the recorded audio was "spiced" up with horrible noise artifacts. Having the board replaced has not solved the issue, it came back after a while.
As much as I love my Canon still cam, I would never choose again Canon for video.
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Old July 26th, 2007, 05:29 PM   #13
 
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As an aside, until about a year ago, we shot almost exclusively with XL1's and GL2's, we still have 3 XL's we occasionally shoot with, and at least 5 GL2's we shoot with.
We have Panny DV2000's and DSR11's in our edit rooms, and have no issues, even today, capturing footage acquired with our Canon cams.
Early XL1's, such as the very first models to ship, did have some sync issues, but as far as I know, this was resolved very early on.
We now have M10, M15, and M25 HDV units in our editing bays and I captured footage from an old XL1 tape just before posting, to be sure we're not seeing problems.
In other words, I think it's a mistake to condemn Canon for anything. We own a couple A1's, and I cannot say much negative about them. We also own six V1U's, and I very much like these cams as well. For skydiving, we've done quite a few commercials using the V1U. The A1 doesn't fly as nicely, but I don't think many folks here are flying with their cameras. :-)
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Old July 27th, 2007, 10:54 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Ian Holb View Post
I'm wondering why DVINFO does not have a subforum for Sony V1U/FX7 clips?
Because I'm way behind where I want to be, that's why.

Anyway here it is now: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/forumdisplay.php?f=155
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