Canon XHA1 vs Sony Z7 vs EX1 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old October 19th, 2009, 12:08 PM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: KLD, South Africa
Posts: 983
Canon XHA1 vs Sony Z7 vs EX1

I've been happily shooting with two Canon XHA1's for almost two years, the XHA1 has given me everything I want when it comes to image quality & ergonomics. I recently dropped one of my XHA1's and the repair costs are too high for me to consider repairing the camera. I'm toying with the idea of buying a Sony Z7 or EX1 to replace my XHA1, for the price I could buy two XHA1's though. Can anyone here say that coming from a XHA1 going to a Z7/EX1 was worth it? I have mixed EX1/XHA1 footage before and it looked very similar. I'm not really interested in a technical comparison of different cameras, I would love to hear opinions from shooters that upgraded from the XHA1. Thanks.
Nicholas de Kock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 19th, 2009, 03:35 PM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Dorset UK
Posts: 697
EX1/3 is far better in low light. I have a friend who upgrade from the Canon and its now sitting on a shelf in his office. In fact he wants to sell it, so if you are after another Canon with low hour usage, message me and I will give you the details.

Its a PAL version.
Steve Shovlar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 20th, 2009, 08:58 AM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Lakeland Florida
Posts: 619
A used A1 might make better business sense, in so far as saving time and money, since you are used to it and won't have any trouble matching the footage in post with the other A1. I'm very happy with the used A1 I picked up here on the forum classifieds recently and want to get another one when the finances allow.
__________________
Roger
trueviewfilms.com
Roger Van Duyn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 20th, 2009, 02:03 PM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Glasgow/Scotland
Posts: 626
I had three XH-A1's, just sold one recently and now have a 7D to add a nice bit of variety.

My reckoning was that one of the XH-A1's wasnt earning it's keep as it lived n the storage case most of the time. Now, I have something I will (hopefully) get more use out of, which will also add another element to the shoots.

Maybe another option for you to consider?
Alastair Brown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 20th, 2009, 03:10 PM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
Posts: 656
I know the pull of "newer and better" when it's time to upgrade or get additional cameras.

I was shooting XH-A1s and then added a different camera, the HMC-150. It was a total pain using different equipment with different batteries, settings and media. I went back to just one model of camera (HMC-150) and sold the XH-A1s at a loss, but it was worth it. It just makes stressfull shoots far easier and equipment management a lot easier.

The new EX-1R would be an incredible camera to have in the arsenal. I currently need another camera and am having a hard time resisting the EX-1R even though it dosent make business sense for me. After pricing the camera based on current EX-1 costs, media and batteries, It's easily double the cost of another HMC-150.

I would suggest buying a used XH-A1 for now to keep your equipment consistent, and because the price of used ones is really a bargain.
__________________
Panasonic HMC150/Canon A1/JVC HD1/Sony Vegas 8.0c
Jeff Kellam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 21st, 2009, 04:54 PM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Posts: 309
Seriously considering the 7d as well.

Alastair, did you buy yours from the UK or the states?

James
James Strange is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 21st, 2009, 05:22 PM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Nashville, TN
Posts: 253
I have made two camera decisions here recently, and I chose the XH-A1s and the 7D, along with an Canon HF20 I use for backup/third cam. The reasons I chose the A1s are mainly because I wanted a longform-capable videocam with tape. I want to have one camera capturing the entire ceremony from a frontal, stationary view that also serves as it's own backup - and that means tape. The adjustment capabilities on the A1s are excellent, and the picture quality is great. Low light is not terrible, and it's not CMOS based so I don't have the annoying problems with flashes that CMOS chips do.

I seriously looked at the HMC150, Z7 and although the EX1 is too pricey for me, I considered it. I just felt that for the best combination of price, features, tape vs. cards, size and compatibility to my other Canon cams, it was the one to go with.

The 7D is another monster altogether. I love it so far, but focusing is something that is really not talked about much with the DSLR crowd and it really is an issue when you are in bright light and the screen is difficult to see. Z-Finders, Hoodman shades or loupes are good ways to help it, but I've shot a few times now with it in pressure situations and come back frustrated that there were some focus issues when I swore I had it in focus on the shoot. It's VERY finicky and the screen can trick you.

I just feel safer having one camera that is actually recording to physical media such as tape for my master - and the A1s provides that very well. I think in the future we'll see a swing back tape-based cams after people realize it's just too easy to blow away stuff accidentally from cards, or when enough cards go bad, or when people realize what a pain it is to back up all of the raw footage files somewhere. Tape provides that solution perfectly - and although tape can and does go bad, it's rare that an entire tape goes bad vs. maybe just a millisecond or two - but if a file gets corrupted, good luck getting the file back into shape.
Bill Vincent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 23rd, 2009, 01:56 PM   #8
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Belgium
Posts: 9,068
"it's rare that an entire tape goes bad vs. maybe just a millisecond or two"

Yes it is, and yet it happened to me half a year ago with my (then) 5 months old xh-a1. I always use the same hd tapes and never re-use them and at a wedding I lost almost 80% of one hour footage (one cassette) from a church recording. The camera never gave any warning whatsoever but gave me over 100 unrecoverable drop-outs. Thats' why I purchased a hvr-dr60 after that to record to tape and harddrive simultaneously and even though it was a costly upgrade I have not regretted it.

If I would have to replace a second camera the 7D would be seriously considered, I would never trade it for my xh-a1 (if I would only have one camera) but think it would be a great 2nd camera, especially for creative work and filming at dark receptions.

Bill: did you shoot with some kind of hoodman loupe for focusing or do you use the small lcd to look on?
Noa Put is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 23rd, 2009, 04:04 PM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Nashville, TN
Posts: 253
Interesting story on that tape, Noa. Very strange, but I understand you wanting to go to both tape and a drive simultaneously now... lol! After that I'd be paranoid too. I don't have a Loupe or Z-finder yet. I'm going to get one before my next shoot. Right now I'm shooting with the camera "as is".
Bill Vincent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 23rd, 2009, 04:22 PM   #10
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Lakeland Florida
Posts: 619
The combination of using the peaking and my new pair of eyeglasses seems to have resolved the vast majority of my focusing issues. I've quit using external monitors.
__________________
Roger
trueviewfilms.com
Roger Van Duyn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 23rd, 2009, 05:03 PM   #11
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Belgium
Posts: 9,068
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Vincent View Post
Very strange
Indeed, never knew why it happened, some said it had to do with the big temperature difference between in- and outside (wedding was filmed when it was quite cold outside but inside the church I was standing beside an electrical heater which was extremely hot) Other say it could have been dust during tape exchange but whatever the reason was, it ruined the couples church recording and my fate in tape. :)
The harddrive recorder gives me a bit more peace of mind

I have been following the 7d from the beginning but i am a bit worried how it will function for run and gun, it is still a photocamera with video functionality but I don't think it has the same ease of use I have with my xh-a1 now. I might just rent one soon and try it out one day. The one thing I would definitely be using it for is at receptions, my xh-a1 struggles in low light, my father owns a Sony fx1000, that one is clearly better in low light and I guess the 7D should even be better then the fx1000? I"d love to see a comparison between a Sony fx1000 (or ex1) and a 7D when it comes to low light.
Noa Put is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 23rd, 2009, 07:32 PM   #12
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Makati, Metro Manila
Posts: 2,706
Images: 32
This is purely anecdotal on my part, so take it with a grain of salt. But after being a Canon guy for like 10 years, I finally had to switch to Sony. I just had the worst luck with Canon tape transports, they always inevitably fail miserably on me at some point. Every Canon camcorder I've owned has ended up with a a busted tape transport, all with different weird symptoms, but in the end broken. It's probably just me, but man it's such a bummer as I really like the Canon image, but their tape transports are really out to get me. Once again, purely anecdotal on my part, so take it with a grain of salt.

So I've been using Sony's cams heavily for the last 3 years and so far so good, they've been really solid for me in the tape transport department. I really love my Z5.
__________________
"Ultimately, the most extraordinary thing, in a frame, is a human being." - Martin Scorsese
Michael Wisniewski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 23rd, 2009, 07:41 PM   #13
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 775
I too have been a long time Canon user, and still am (currently with my XL H1S and HV40). I have never had a tape transport issue ever. Or dropped frames either. I guess luck is on my side :)

I say definitely stick with the XH A1. From a pure workflow standpoint, it'll keep you happy.
Michael Galvan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 24th, 2009, 06:42 AM   #14
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 63
I started out with a Canon XM1 and it all too quickly developed a random tape recording issue that the canon service people could not replicate or fix but which ruined my trust in Canon camcorders and their service department. I went to Sony camera's and apart from the odd dropped frame, didn't have tape issues.

Recently moved to a couple of Sony cams(Z7 and EX1) and am loving them. Run a tape for security in the Z7 but use the compactflash card for editing because of speed of upload to my computer. I backup the media from the EX1 and Z7 to a couple of USB hard drives for security and archiving. For me, once I got used to the ease of use and convenience of flash media there is no going back to tapes. I think you will find that is the case for nearly everyone who has gone down the flash media route.
Mark Sudfeldt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 25th, 2009, 07:39 AM   #15
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
Posts: 656
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Vincent View Post
I think in the future we'll see a swing back tape-based cams after people realize it's just too easy to blow away stuff accidentally from cards, or when enough cards go bad, or when people realize what a pain it is to back up all of the raw footage files somewhere. Tape provides that solution perfectly - and although tape can and does go bad, it's rare that an entire tape goes bad vs. maybe just a millisecond or two - but if a file gets corrupted, good luck getting the file back into shape.
Im thinking about switching back to 8-track or cassette tape for audio and VHS tape for video. I just don't trust any of the electronic media or electronic redundacy available.
__________________
Panasonic HMC150/Canon A1/JVC HD1/Sony Vegas 8.0c
Jeff Kellam 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 > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:19 PM.


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