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-   -   XH A1 vs. XH A1s (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/canon-xh-series-hdv-camcorders/138944-xh-a1-vs-xh-a1s.html)

Michael D. Shivers December 4th, 2008 09:27 AM

XH A1 vs. XH A1s
 
Hello everyone,

I had a question for you all. I need to purchase a camera this month and have been waiting a while to see if anything comes up interesting. I am a Canon fan and have been waiting to see what the price of the new XH A1s would be. Today, B&H finally listed the camera for $3,999.00. The XH A1 is on sell for $2,999.00.
Canon | XH A1S HD CAMCORDER | 3238B001 | B&H Photo Video

So my question would be do you think it is worth an extra $1,000 for the new XH A1s? I have read the spec's and looked at the pictures that Chris posted. It doesn't seem that big of an upgrade, but I don't want to invest in the XH A1 if there is a fundamental flaw in the design.

It seems with the $3,999.00 price tag is a bit steep.

So what do you guys think for these two cameras head to head?

Jan Luethje December 4th, 2008 10:12 AM

Hi Michael,

the A1 is a good cam, but there are two mechanical design flaws which I really dislike and which are apparently solved at the S version:

-Headphone jack is quite fragile.
-The screws attaching the ext. mic holder are much too tiny.

If these (and the other) improvements are worth about 1.000 $ is difficult to decide. I won't sell my A1 to upgrade to an A1S. But if I would be in your position, I'd rather buy the S new version.

Bill Pryor December 4th, 2008 11:57 AM

I haven't had any problem with either of those two things and I've had my XH A1 since the end of 2006. The main improvement I like on the S model is the use of a 6 pin firewire connection, which would only be really significant if you used a Firestore hard drive for shooting, which I don't. The other improvements are nice, but if the original XH A1 is still available for a thousand bucks less, I would get it over the new one if I needed another camera today. I could put the $1K into more lighting equipment, buy a Steadicam Merlin, buy a new tripod, buy a nice mattebox and some 4X4 filters, etc.

Or, if you don't need a camera right now, wait and the S model will drop by $400 in a few months.

Tripp Woelfel December 4th, 2008 08:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bill Pryor (Post 972909)
Or, if you don't need a camera right now, wait and the S model will drop by $400 in a few months.

What does Bill know that we don't?

To the original question, there are a few threads here on the XH list comparing the A1 and the A1S. The S is significantly improved over the original. Is it worth US$1,000? I think to many the answer would be yes because the new model eliminates many of the shortcomings of the original. Not that the A1 is a lemon.

I'd recommend that you search those threads and find out if the enhancements to the S are worth the extra scratch in the context of what you might want to do with the camera. Not what you're going to do. What you might want to do. Remember, the more you work with the camera, the more you'll want it to do.

That's the view from my corner of Lilliput.

Lou Bruno December 4th, 2008 08:23 PM

Certain audio issues are also fixed.. inputting line vs. mic. Internal vs. external mic. can be mixed.

Bill Pryor December 4th, 2008 09:21 PM

You can input line on one channel an mic on another now? If that's true, that would be a significant improvement. Not worth $1K, but definitely a good thing.

David Del Real December 5th, 2008 10:50 AM

Also, they changed the firewire connection from 4 pin to a 6 pin.

Chuck Biddle December 5th, 2008 11:11 AM

Focus zoom
 
Don't forget that you can now focus and zoom at the same time. I finally get to divorce gaussian blur from the crop window in Vegas....becuase now you can do it on the camera.

David Morgan December 5th, 2008 11:12 AM

Not sure how you'd mix an external mic with the internal as the internal mic is a stereo mic. The line/mic issue should have been implemented on the original model IMHO. It was one of my big complaints. However, I got over it. Just buy a good quality 50 db pad. Use your mic of choice on 1 XLR input and insert the pad into the other if your taking a line level feed from a mixer. No problems, just a few extra dongles to haul around. Not worth 1K in my book.

I can think of a whole lot of features that I'd look into before dropping the extra 1k. How about independent Black and white switching of the LCD vs viewfinder? How about putting the image stabilizer in the custom key menu? If these things are being addressed, well maybe. (BTW), has anyone else tried to find the little IAF button in the dark as your shooting?) They should have made that baby as big as a penny.

Jean-Philippe Archibald December 5th, 2008 11:20 AM

David,

If the audio block is the same as the XL-H1a, and I think it is, the internal mic can be switched to mono and you can definitly use the on board mic with another external source, line or mic level. That's a huge improvement for me.


And I have read on another thread that the OIS can be switched on or off from a custom key now.

David Morgan December 5th, 2008 11:34 AM

hum... OK. I guess the concept is OK. Course the on-board mic on the Canon is a real jewel isn't it?

We could always turn our attention to the useless viewfinder focusing slider!!! :-)

Great cameras though for the money. If you do a lot of manual iris control, the iris ring is worth the price of admission. I have 2 of em and a PD-170

Allan Black December 5th, 2008 06:43 PM

All these updates in the A1s could have been in the A1, it's not like Canon started making cameras yesterday.

I mean leaving off a limiter and the OIS button, you have to wonder if they wanted some things to update at this time in the A1 evolution.

But any manufacturerer who gets the audio faders reversed, you have to wonder.

Have they fixed that on the A1s?

Cheers.

Steve Wolla December 6th, 2008 08:48 PM

I think that the current iteration of the A1 is one very powerful cam. The one thing I ws hoping for in the S version was an improved CCD, with better sensitivity and less noise, something similar to what Panasonic just introduced in their new HMC150, HVX200a and HPX170 cams. Now that would be worth the $1,000.00 more. As it is now, I'm not sure te upgrades are really worth it. I had been hoping to see more significant changes under the hood.

Jose Ortiz December 7th, 2008 12:18 AM

I also think that is not worth it. I would say with the additional money can be use for accessories. I was also expecting an improvement on the CCD. Overall I'm more than happy with the performance of my A1.

Srinivas Swaminathan December 7th, 2008 01:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Michael D. Shivers (Post 972794)
Hello everyone,

I had a question for you all. I need to purchase a camera this month

I bought an A1 last week because I had to buy it this month. If I had more time, I might have considered A1S. If you can wait, you can expect A1's price to drop much lower than $3000. That is another option.

Steve Wolla December 8th, 2008 12:02 AM

I really think Canon has to get off the dime here and do something to improve the low light and noise performance of the A1. Not that its bad now, however....with Sony offering so many new flavors of HDV cams, most with much greater low light sensitivity than the A1, and with the new Panasonics (HMC150) offering new CCDs with greater sensitivity and less noise, I do not see how Canon can continue to not respond to these new challenges.

Jonathan Shaw December 8th, 2008 12:18 AM

Agreed, that extra sensitivity would have been a big deal breaker for me.

Paul Kepen December 10th, 2008 05:26 PM

What are the differences?
 
Is there a list of the differences between the A1 and the A1S anywhere?
Thanks

Tripp Woelfel December 10th, 2008 09:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Paul Kepen (Post 975971)
Is there a list of the differences between the A1 and the A1S anywhere?

There was a pretty good list in a thread here somewhere, but I cannot find it. If you're in the mood for a search, you should turn it up.

There were a lot of significant upgrades but no new ground broken. My impression was that about 80% of the deficiencies in the camera were eliminated.

Hubert Duijzer December 11th, 2008 03:27 PM

I love my A1, but don't feel the need to upgrade. Some nice features for me, but not worth THAT much.

OIS switchable button is nice.
Onboard mic+XLR mic is nice.
Metal headphone jack is nice. I had to drill a hole in the cover to use my headphone without the cover flying around.

But they didn't change that crappy LCD, did they? That's the real downside on the XH for me. Outdoors almost useless. Indoors it's better, but unreliable and lowres.
My HV20's LCD looks even better then my A1 LCD. They really could learn something from Sony (EX1/3 anyone?) on that part.

Robert Petersen December 12th, 2008 04:58 PM

What about CA?
 
Does anyone know if Canon fixed the Chromatic Aberration issue with the new XH A1s? It is the one thing that really kept me from buying the XH A1.

Jeremiah Rickert December 12th, 2008 05:57 PM

Right after I got the XHA1 I wrote them and gave them my laundry list. The 6 Pin FIREWIRE is almost worth it alone IMO! It's about freaking time. Especially when I'm using the FireStore.

Just kinda irritates me that they do this less than a year after I picked up my camera. I was about to buy an HV30 for a second camera, but I might sell some plasma or something and see if I can get the A1S instead. Bleah.

Tripp Woelfel December 12th, 2008 07:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Robert Petersen (Post 977199)
Does anyone know if Canon fixed the Chromatic Aberration issue with the new XH A1s? It is the one thing that really kept me from buying the XH A1.

I haven't heard anything that would indicate they've made changes on that front.

I may be risking a minor hijack here, but after a year of shooting in all sorts of conditions I haven't noticed CA being a bigger problem than I've seen with other cameras. The only time I see it in my footage is in really bright, high contrast shots. Although I wish it wasn't there, it's never been bad enough to make me toss a shot into the bin.

Allan Black December 13th, 2008 11:06 PM

The A1s is now selling in Aust. for $A5295 incl. tax.

Cheers.

Bryce Comer December 13th, 2008 11:38 PM

I just noticed the same thing on the Videoguys Aust. website. Funny thing is, i'm sure the old A1 was that price the last time i checked. That makes the camera $700 cheaper than the Sony FX1000. Are Canon Australia perhaps worried about losing sales to the FX1000? Certainly sounds like a very good deal for the new A1s model to me! I see that B&H have it listed at $3999 which if i remember correctly was the price from them when the A1 first came out. I wonder if the price will drop there as well??

Bryce

Allan Black December 13th, 2008 11:57 PM

That's where I saw it Bryce, and I think you're right 'bout the other prices. Wonder what the A1s will be after Xmas into Feb March.

And if you're updating A1 to A1s what price is your A1 worth now...and with the new JVC on the horizon.

Cheers.

Michael D. Shivers December 14th, 2008 10:48 AM

thanks everyone for the feedback. I've been checking in and out on this topic and I am still on the fence. I keep going back to the sample footage of the XHA1 and being very impressed.
So wrapping up some of the design flaws for the XHA1 and that is fixed in the XHA1s
1. No OIS fixed in XHa1s
( I could live without in my work)

2. flimsy headphone jack, fixed in XHA1s
(can't really grasp this one. I hope it's not that bad)

3. XHa1s provides new options for audio, built in mic and XLR same time.
(More audio options are better but worth the $1000 tag?)

4. Six pin Firewire in XHA1s.
(Good, but not sure if I will be using firestore, or something similar.)

Sure there are more, just going from my memory. I think if the sensor was different or a new type of lens, the price could be justified. But I am on a deadline to get this camera, and I have been putting it off for a while. If you wait around forever for the next cheapest, greatest thing, your never out shooting or learning your camera. I am writing this to myself too :) So waiting for the XHa1s to get cheaper is probably not an option.

To be honest, I am going back and forth with the XHA1 and the new 5DmarkII. Both have their compromises. XHA1, older technology, but hey it's a video camera. 5dmarkII is with the latest technology, but hey it's a photo camera. Don't want to change the thread subject, but just letting you know where I am coming from.

Pat Reddy December 14th, 2008 11:03 AM

Michael, just to clarify issue 1. Both cameras do have OIS. On the A1 you have to navigate to a menu item to turn it on or off. On the A1s, I believe you can assign that function to a button, making it much easier to turn on or off while you are filming.

Pat

Michael D. Shivers December 14th, 2008 11:42 AM

Pat- thanks for that. I meant to say "1. no dedicated OIS button". the XHa1 is menu driven. XHa1s has a button.

Gert Kracht December 14th, 2008 10:11 PM

If you go to: www.xha1.nl you will find two articles: 'inside the canon XH-A1S' and 'outside the canon XH-A1S'. All text is in Dutch, but the photo's will show the differences between the A1 and A1S.

We had the chance to visit Canon HQ in the Netherlands and had a 'hands on meeting' with the guys there. We were one of the first to have a look at the XH-G1S and made pictures of every detail we could find out in that short time.

Jonathan MacDonald January 12th, 2009 03:57 PM

Bit of an old thread revival but I'm having the same dilemma - XH-A1 or XH-A1s. From what I can gather, some of the differences between the two include:

Headphone jack is quite fragile - solved in A1s
screws attaching the ext. mic holder are much too tiny - solved in A1s
input line on one channel and mic on another
firewire connection from 4 pin to a 6 pin.
focus and zoom at the same time
OIS can be switched on or off from a custom key

Have I missed anything?

I'll be mainly using the camera for motorsport - trying to work out if it's worth my while spending almost 1000 more on an A1s. I'd probably go for the A1, only for the ability to focus and zoom at the same time with the A1s. Would I be right in saying that this would be a vital feature for capturing cars flying past me?!

Mark Fry January 13th, 2009 09:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jonathan MacDonald (Post 993846)
Bit of an old thread revival but I'm having the same dilemma - XH-A1 or XH-A1s. From what I can gather, some of the differences between the two include:

Headphone jack is quite fragile - solved in A1s
screws attaching the ext. mic holder are much too tiny - solved in A1s
input line on one channel and mic on another
firewire connection from 4 pin to a 6 pin.
focus and zoom at the same time
OIS can be switched on or off from a custom key

Have I missed anything?

I'll be mainly using the camera for motorsport - trying to work out if it's worth my while spending almost 1000 more on an A1s. I'd probably go for the A1, only for the ability to focus and zoom at the same time with the A1s. Would I be right in saying that this would be a vital feature for capturing cars flying past me?!

UK price difference is more like 500-600 ATM. A quick web search suggests roughly 2450 - 2600 for the old model (almost no change in 2 years!) and 3050 - 3200 for the new "s" model. I'd guess that the prices of both will drop a little in the coming weeks, especially once the new model is in stock in numbers. However, the Pound is rather weak at the moment, against the US Dollar and the Yen, so retailers have less room for discounting than usual.

I think the new model is worth a little more than the old one, but the present difference in asking price would be enough to make me think long and hard.

Do you know about the Broadcast & Video Expo at Earls Court, London, 17th - 19th Feb? It would be a good chance to have a close look at the new model and its rivals, and there are often special discounts from the dealer stands. Admission is free if you register in advance.

Jonathan MacDonald January 13th, 2009 12:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mark Fry (Post 994245)
UK price difference is more like 500-600 ATM. A quick web search suggests roughly 2450 - 2600 for the old model (almost no change in 2 years!) and 3050 - 3200 for the new "s" model. I'd guess that the prices of both will drop a little in the coming weeks, especially once the new model is in stock in numbers. However, the Pound is rather weak at the moment, against the US Dollar and the Yen, so retailers have less room for discounting than usual.

I think the new model is worth a little more than the old one, but the present difference in asking price would be enough to make me think long and hard.

Do you know about the Broadcast & Video Expo at Earls Court, London, 17th - 19th Feb? It would be a good chance to have a close look at the new model and its rivals, and there are often special discounts from the dealer stands. Admission is free if you register in advance.

I'm near sure I saw the A1 for just under 2k at Bentonville Mall a couple of weeks ago but now it's up to 2229 :( (No idea what Bentonville Mall's reputation is like?) Mind you, these things seem to be changing on a near daily basis. The A1s is still showing in my shopping basket at Warehouse Express for 2935...and they have since increased the price to 3099!

Thanks for the heads up re Earls Court, I'll get a flight booked and take a trip over!

Nathan Quattrini January 23rd, 2009 03:22 PM

A1 versus A1s?
 
Is there anyone on here that has posted a differencing between the 2 and a general critique of comparison. I trust the members of this site to have good reliable and helpful info :) I will try looking elsewhere as well, but I would like to know some personal accounts of upgrading as well. Thanks

Curt Fargo January 23rd, 2009 05:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jonathan MacDonald (Post 993846)

Headphone jack is quite fragile - solved in A1s
screws attaching the ext. mic holder are much too tiny - solved in A1s
input line on one channel and mic on another
firewire connection from 4 pin to a 6 pin.
focus and zoom at the same time
OIS can be switched on or off from a custom key

This is from 3 posts above and the only thing I can add is that the rubber on the 3 lens rings are slightly different and the whole group of output jacks are a little diferent. The A1s has an additional Component out that is a "Viewfinder Component Out"

Jeff Kellam February 3rd, 2009 12:08 PM

Does the A1s have a HDMI output?
 
Does the A1s have a HDMI output?

I don't see that it does in the specifications. I guess that would also do away with the G model too. But HDMI would be a huge bonus.

Curt Fargo February 3rd, 2009 12:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jeff Kellam (Post 1005901)
Does the A1s have a HDMI output?

I don't see that it does in the specifications. I guess that would also do away with the G model too. But HDMI would be a huge bonus.

No it does not.

Brian Lakusta February 4th, 2009 11:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jose Ortiz (Post 974087)
I also think that is not worth it. I would say with the additional money can be use for accessories.

I would agree here too.

Getting a MRC1K and a Rode NTG-1 mic would be good accessories for the $1000 difference.

I recent bought a slightly used XH A1 and WD-H72 wide angle and thinking the 2 above items will be my next purchases.

Chris Hurd February 4th, 2009 06:29 PM

Keep in mind that the S models are replacements, not additions.

So it's really a matter of choosing a used XH A1 vs. a new XH A1S.

Shahryar Rizvi February 4th, 2009 08:25 PM

Bought used XH A1 in 9/2008, Lost in house fire in 10/2008, prob buying XH A1S now
 
I myself had purchased a used XH A1 back in September from fellow DV Info member Dave Uriarte (from this thread here actually: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/private-c...-warranty.html). Unfortunately, just a few weeks after getting it, we had a house fire. Fortunately, no one was hurt, but my XH A1 was deemed "beyond economic repair" from Canon when I Sent it in. Once the settlement works out in the next few months, I'll look to replacing it and am probably going to go wit the XH A1s. Seems the differences aren't too much, but I'm getting the impression from looking around that it's easier to record to a hard drive with this camera which is something I would like to do.

I'll look more into it as I get closer.

O/T, but I also lost my HC1, but I'll probably be looking to replace that more immediately with an HV30.


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