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-   -   That tells you how the XH-A1 is outdated (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/canon-xh-series-hdv-camcorders/513081-tells-you-how-xh-a1-outdated.html)

Larry Secrest January 2nd, 2013 08:33 AM

That tells you how the XH-A1 is outdated
 
I've always been able to sell gear back to B&H

But today this is what they wrote back when I asked them if they'd buy back my XH-A1

"Thank you for submitting your list of merchandise for trade-in evaluation. Unfortunately, we have no market for, or are currently overstocked with the items you wish to sell. Subsequently, at this time we are unable to purchase the equipment which you have listed.
We trust that you will consider B&H for all your future Photographic, Video, and Professional Audio needs. B&H is one of the largest Photo & Video dealers in the country, and we look forward to your business in the future. "

No market for it, uh! Not even for 500 bucks?
Ouch!

Noa Put January 2nd, 2013 09:24 AM

Re: That tells you how the XH-A1 is outdated
 
I"m trying to sell my xh-a1 but have a very hard time getting rid of it, if you do a search on second hand camera's in Belgium several used xh-a1 pop up. I do have the advantage that mine comes with a sony hvr-dr60 but even then I seem to be stuck with it. There are also stores still selling the newer xh-a1s at a very low price, probably just to clear stock but they seem to be stuck with it as well.

I think the reason for this is that the canon sold at a price many could afford and it had the features many needed and Canon sold a lot of these, if you would have bhought a first gen Sony ex1 at double the price that would sell real easy, that's the price you pay for getting a cheap(er) camera.

Eric Olson January 2nd, 2013 11:33 AM

Re: That tells you how the XH-A1 is outdated
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Noa Put (Post 1770686)
I think the reason for this is that the canon sold at a price many could afford and it had the features many needed and Canon sold a lot of these, if you would have bhought a first gen Sony ex1 at double the price that would sell real easy, that's the price you pay for getting a cheap(er) camera.

Two difficulties selling an XHA1 is that Canon no longer services it and that it has no hour meter to tell how much it has been used. If my web search is correct

the XHA1 sold for $3500 in 2006 and today sells for $700;
the EX1 sold for $7500 in 2008 and today sells for $3500.

In terms of linear depreciation this means

the XHA1 lost $400 or 11.4% of its original value per year;
the EX1 lost $800 or is 10.4% of its original value per year.

As has been mentioned by others, the image quality of the XHA1 holds up well compared to current cameras in good lighting, but not so in low light. It is my understanding that improvements in current cameras result from CMOS sensors and digital filtering. Since computers have also increased in performance, many of the benefits of improved digital filtering can also be had by the XHA1 in post. It is amazing how much improvement a good motion tracking noise filter makes to low light XHA1 footage.

Noa Put January 2nd, 2013 11:59 AM

Re: That tells you how the XH-A1 is outdated
 
Quote:

Canon no longer services it
Are you sure about that? There are stores still selling the xh-a1s as new, meaning there is a 2 year warranty on it, in case of a malfunction Canon has to repair it.

Quote:

It is amazing how much improvement a good motion tracking noise filter makes to low light XHA1 footage.
Are you refering to plugins like neatvideo? The xh-a1 still performs image wise for me, just not when they turn down the light and anything I tried, like neatvideo, doesn't do the image much good. Compared to my little Sony cx730's it's like night and day. Otoh cmos is also not the holy grail, I have experienced some nasty banding with led lights that appear to affect cmos mainly but not ccd and to hold on to my xh-a1 just for that has crossed my mind but I rather sell it and spend that cash on accesoires. But as it looks right now it seems like it will stay another tool in my gearbox.

Eric Olson January 2nd, 2013 12:42 PM

Re: That tells you how the XH-A1 is outdated
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Noa Put (Post 1770703)
There are stores still selling the xh-a1s as new, meaning there is a 2 year warranty on it, in case of a malfunction Canon has to repair it.

The XH-A1s is newer than the XH-A1 and still serviced.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Noa Put (Post 1770703)
anything I tried, like neatvideo, doesn't do the image much good.

I'm not sure about neatvideo. I was thinking of some of the noise filters in avisynth

http://avisynth.org/mediawiki/Extern...ters#Denoisers

They vary in quality, but some of the the spatio-temporal denoisers and hybrid filters based on motion estimation work very well.

Noa Put January 2nd, 2013 12:48 PM

Re: That tells you how the XH-A1 is outdated
 
Strange that they only service the new s version as both camera are basically the same, where did you get that info that the older xh-a1 model is not being serviced by Canon anymore?

About Avisynth denoisers, my experience tells me that if crap goes in crap has to come out again, even if it has a shiny layer on top of it. Denoisers work very well to a certain extent but if you have muddy looking images with very rough grain you will loose quite a lot after processing.

Ronald Jackson January 2nd, 2013 02:15 PM

Re: That tells you how the XH-A1 is outdated
 
I've got a XH-G1, which I use with a nanoFlash. The nano gives a new lease of life. I'm into wildlife video, and so many of the more modern cams have short zoom ranges.
With my G1, I've got about 600mm full 35mm equivalent at maximum zoom which I can boost to 900mm with my 1.5x "EX" teleconverter.
Also have a XLH1 as my main cam, coupled to a nano. G1 image quality not quite up to XLH1, but I do need to somehow or other match a bit vis custom pre-sets, duplicating those on my H1 doesn't work.


Ron

Noa Put January 2nd, 2013 02:23 PM

Re: That tells you how the XH-A1 is outdated
 
I think as far as resale value goes a XLH1 would hold value much better and sell easier, not sure how that goes for a XH-G1 which was much more expensive then a xh-a1.

Allan Black January 2nd, 2013 02:51 PM

Re: That tells you how the XH-A1 is outdated
 
Imo BnH are 'overstocked' because of impending fiscal cliff, tape cameras are slowly disappearing and unwanted Xmas presents,
can you imagine, they probably can't cope.

Larry, if you can also sell some new DV tapes, a new cleaner tape, a spare battery, along with some filters etc. then try ebay ..
or a local paper so folks can come and see and you can demonstrate the package.

Canon Australia still service the A1, just before Xmas a local guy got his serviced and I believe they changed the strap support
for the newer replacement one. They'll still send you a fax too.

XH A1 - Canon Australia

Cheers.

Eric Olson January 2nd, 2013 04:29 PM

Re: That tells you how the XH-A1 is outdated
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Noa Put (Post 1770707)
Strange that they only service the new s version as both camera are basically the same, where did you get that info that the older xh-a1 model is not being serviced by Canon anymore?

The reason I think Canon doesn't service XH-A1 is because I filled out the online repair form for an XH-A1 that was purchased in 2007 and the website said so. I haven't called to confirm.

Peter Manojlovic January 2nd, 2013 05:28 PM

Re: That tells you how the XH-A1 is outdated
 
Sorry, but around here, Canon sends to a third party repair shop. In fact, i go straight to the shop and skip the middleman altogether..If it's a warranty issue, the shop simply sends Canon the bill.

Eric Olson January 2nd, 2013 05:56 PM

Re: That tells you how the XH-A1 is outdated
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Peter Manojlovic (Post 1770766)
Sorry, but around here, Canon sends to a third party repair shop. In fact, i go straight to the shop and skip the middleman altogether..If it's a warranty issue, the shop simply sends Canon the bill.

Yes, I should check into that. The sensor block in one camera was serviced a couple years ago and ever since then the white balance presets are too yellow. Manual white balance works fine so it is not a high priority, but for multicam shoots it would be nice if the presets matched.

Larry Secrest January 2nd, 2013 07:49 PM

Re: That tells you how the XH-A1 is outdated
 
I still love the image of my canon in broad day light or controlled lighting, so it's not that I wasn't happy with it, but you know, at a certain point, when you're not rolling on it and video is a hobby there's no point in having dozen pieces of equipment. One cam is enough. I was hoping to sell it and pay for half of a Panasonic Lumix GH3. I guess I'll keep my XH A1 for a while then.

Don Palomaki January 3rd, 2013 08:59 AM

Re: That tells you how the XH-A1 is outdated
 
Camcorder service support is normally based on the numeber of years after the model is discontinued in the product line, not when it was bought. Canon factory support was something like 7 years in the past, not sure what it is today.

Forget percents for a moment, They can mislead when costs differ substantially when the bottom line counts.
The XHA1 lost $2800 in value over 7 years and tied up $3500 - $400 per year
The EX1 lost $4000 in value over 5 years and tied up $8000 - $800 per year, and what will it be worth in another 2 years?

Assuming similar maintenance and consumable costs, which cost less to own over that period?

Of course, in the final analysis you also have to factor in any difference in revenue the camcorders produced over that period of time.

Jase Tanner January 3rd, 2013 11:33 AM

Re: That tells you how the XH-A1 is outdated
 
Peter
Can you tell me the name of the shop? No such 3rd party shop out here in
Vancouver afaik. Would have to send to Toronto even if canon was still servicing the
XH.

Thanks

Steven Reid January 3rd, 2013 01:00 PM

Re: That tells you how the XH-A1 is outdated
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Larry Secrest (Post 1770786)
I still love the image of my canon in broad day light or controlled lighting, so it's not that I wasn't happy with it, but you know, at a certain point, when you're not rolling on it and video is a hobby there's no point in having dozen pieces of equipment. One cam is enough. I was hoping to sell it and pay for half of a Panasonic Lumix GH3. I guess I'll keep my XH A1 for a while then.

Not long ago I had my A1 repaired for almost $700. I just checked eBay and noted a number of A1's being auctioned for far less than that, often with all kinds of accessories and goodies thrown in. Ouch.

For shooting concerts, it would be great to have another A1 picked up on the cheap. But then I'd have two almost unsellable videocameras when I really want to upgrade. <sigh> Like you, I'll keep my single A1 for awhile.

Peter Manojlovic January 4th, 2013 09:31 PM

Re: That tells you how the XH-A1 is outdated
 
Sun Camera Service...

Call them to see if they have a sister company, or contacts out your way....

Jase Tanner January 5th, 2013 03:00 AM

Re: That tells you how the XH-A1 is outdated
 
Thanks. I am pleasantly surprised to hear about
them as according to my local Canon dealer,
Canon Canada did not make service manuals
available to anyone.

Don Palomaki January 7th, 2013 07:24 AM

Re: That tells you how the XH-A1 is outdated
 
Quote:

...make service manuals available...
Several year ago, in the USA for an end user to get a Canon service manual one had to go through a gate keeper at Canon support, and had to sign a warranty waiver with repect to ony work one did on the camcorder. The reason being these are not simple things inside, require specialized tools and instruments, and are easily messed up by shade tree mechanics (Joe or Jane Sixpack). The cost was substntial - $70 or so for a GL1 or XL1.

Mark Harmer January 20th, 2013 06:03 PM

Re: That tells you how the XH-A1 is outdated
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Larry Secrest (Post 1770786)
I still love the image of my canon in broad day light or controlled lighting, so it's not that I wasn't happy with it, but you know, at a certain point, when you're not rolling on it and video is a hobby there's no point in having dozen pieces of equipment. One cam is enough. I was hoping to sell it and pay for half of a Panasonic Lumix GH3. I guess I'll keep my XH A1 for a while then.

Yeah - I really like the XHA1 for its ease of use and good audio connectivity. I use a CF recorder to capture from firewire and it makes the whole process really quick.

I also have a hacked GH2 which is amazing image-wise but not so easy to get good video on - where you have to get shots quickly or in difficult places or just record for a long time, the XHA1 is still the one I use. Also did a multicamera streamed video event in 2010, using a software vision mixer and two XHA1 cameras - those firewire outputs have their uses!

Jeremiah Rickert January 22nd, 2013 01:02 AM

Re: That tells you how the XH-A1 is outdated
 
I keep seeing those XHA1 sales for really cheap, but unless it was the "s" version I wouldn't want to buy another one. Does anyone know if the "s" version allowed for 720p output? I was doing a concert shoot recently and the guy's switcher only took 720p or 480, it wouldn't take 1080 over component.

Roger Van Duyn January 22nd, 2013 09:41 AM

Re: That tells you how the XH-A1 is outdated
 
Sorry, no 720P on an XH-A1S. See my post on your DVD recorder thread.

Jim Jordan March 8th, 2013 08:41 AM

Re: That tells you how the XH-A1 is outdated
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Eric Olson (Post 1770757)
The reason I think Canon doesn't service XH-A1 is because I filled out the online repair form for an XH-A1 that was purchased in 2007 and the website said so. I haven't called to confirm.

Canon does indeed still service the XHA1 and mine is in their NJ shop right now!

Eric, I ran into the same thing as you when I visited the Canon website a two weeks ago. I just called their 800 number and spoke with a rep who said the problem is with the website returning that message but they do indeed still service the camera. Their NJ contact info is below and they have pretty fast turnaround. Mine is to be completed within seven business days of approval.

As for longevity of the camera, I upgraded from a Panasonic DVX100A last year (finally!) and tape was one of my concerns. I got such a great deal on the camera that even when this repair issue arose and it cost $300 I still came out ahead. I recently picked up an Atomos Ninja to use for capture to extend the life until can justify dropping more $$$ for a newer model. I also like the fact that I can have a tape backup of critical shoots just in case!

Canon Factory Service Center
100 Ridge Road
Jamesburg, NJ 08831
TEL: 866-510-1335
FAX: 732-521-7069

Outside of the U.S., call:
Tel:+1-757-222-9025

Jim Jordan March 8th, 2013 03:19 PM

Re: That tells you how the XH-A1 is outdated
 
Just a quick follow up here:

I authorized the repair of my XHA1 at just after 4pm on 03/06/2012. At 2:45p today FedEX dropped off my newly repaired camera! They replaced the complete tape transport, tape door and realigned and cleaned the heads. Total cost shipped to my door was $297.96. Now that's what I call a fast turnaround!

Panagiotis Raris March 15th, 2013 08:49 PM

Re: That tells you how the XH-A1 is outdated
 
Canon repair is awesome; so is the XH A1/s. I had two; one i had modified to shoot NTSC/PAL. I think it cost $500 or $600 for the NTSC/PAL enable feature. miss them dearly. Whether straight to tape, to CF via DN-60, component out to recorder, 35mm adapters with F and FD mount lenses, great imagery out of them. Both used purchases, both had the 'front mic bonk/droop' issues that i managed to fix on my own.

I miss those cameras actually; optically they were incredible. My folks had a Minolta Series 8 81 model from probably 1989-ish; in 8mm. It worked for them until 2003, and the HD camcorder they replaced it with in 2005 was abysmal in comparison (image quality, audio; you name it). The Minolta produced incredibly crisp near-pro level footage for the time; same as the XHA1 did. When i gave the NTSC/PAL XH A1 to my folks, they balked at its size versus the Sharp 8mm they had at the time, until they used it. The Minolta would shoot single frames; that feature, coupled with Lego figurines and my dad letting me use his Minolta Maxxum 7D as long as i paid for film, paved the way for my interest, use, and later employment in this field. My dad always had a camera around. every picture of him and his brother, whom i never got the chance to meet, one of them had a stills/8mm film camera in hand. They still have some 8mm tapes of stop-motion animation crap i made with lego figurines, when i was 8 or 9. That crap is still better than half the stuff on youtube.

They still use their 'hand me down' XH A1 on vacations. Same with their 'hand me down' Nikon D50 (also a former camera of mine; they get all my 'old' equipment, from cameras and lenses to computers). Its still an incredible camera; and with IS and no CMOS jello, it looks so much better than about 90% of footage most people shoot with tiny single sensor CMOS cams; not blown out colors or super high contrast; more like slightly contrast compressed 8mm film, and the noise looks more organic, as its an analog sensor.

Yes, the XH A1 is outdated, but not replaced. I see no 3CCD camera in Canons' lineup; i have a huge problem with jello/skew in CMOS cameras. in fact, though i use them exclusively now, i actually hate the required workarounds. I loved those cameras. I miss having them around.

Chris DeVoe March 19th, 2013 05:40 PM

Re: That tells you how the XH-A1 is outdated
 
I really should shop around for another one, if they are really going for $500. For my business shooting concerts, it works very well, and I'd love to have a second one with that amount of lens. I shoot to a laptop running Adobe's OnLocation, so the tape transport potentially dying does not concern me overly much.

Larry Secrest April 30th, 2013 07:40 PM

Re: That tells you how the XH-A1 is outdated
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Steven Reid (Post 1770926)
Not long ago I had my A1 repaired for almost $700. I just checked eBay and noted a number of A1's being auctioned for far less than that, often with all kinds of accessories and goodies thrown in. Ouch.

For shooting concerts, it would be great to have another A1 picked up on the cheap. But then I'd have two almost unsellable videocameras when I really want to upgrade. <sigh> Like you, I'll keep my single A1 for awhile.

Well, I'm in Maryland, not too far, if you have concerts we can shoot together?

Sherman Bahr May 22nd, 2013 12:29 AM

Re: That tells you how the XH-A1 is outdated
 
Wow, there are a few things that come to mind here. First of all I would gladly buy your camcorder. Secondly these camcorders are not really out dated. A lot of people still shoot with these cameras and still very much love the performance that they offer. And thirdly when you are buying a used prosumer or professional camera you need to budget in a 3-5 hundred dollar allowance. The reason is because these cameras get used and things get worn out so they do need to be gone through before you trust it on that important shoot.

Peter Adler August 20th, 2013 05:09 AM

Thumbs up for the XH Series
 
Hi, and sorry for jumping in so late. Seing all the positive comments, I couldn't resist :-)

I fiddle with documentaries in my leasure time. I have also shot a few talking heads for short videos at work.

I have an XH-G1s and shoot to both tape and the Blackmagic HyperDeck Shuttle v2, via SDI. The quality of HDV is enough for what I do, however.

I really like the camera. I find the controls easy and fairly intuitive.

FWIW, I sold an XH-A1s for 1,395€ in February 2013 (eBay auction).

OT, I wanted to sell my HV40, but I realised that there is probably no market for it, so I decided to keep it as a compact/backup/B-roll camera. It can also be connected to the Blackmagic, via HDMI.

Cheers,

Peter

Jan Luethje August 20th, 2013 05:19 PM

Re: That tells you how the XH-A1 is outdated
 
The XH A1 is outdated, no question. My new HPX 250 is doing a better job by any means – the difference is clearly visible. Nevertheless, I’ll keep it. First of all, to keep my DV tape archive accessible. Secondly, the price for used XH A1’s is so down, that it would be a dumb move to sell it. It’s simply too late. Better to keep the XH A1 as a decent B - cam for days, when “things get rough”. Finally, I'd feel somehow shabby to "ebay it". It served me well north of the polar circle as in the heat of southern Spain. It survived violent 1st of may demonstrations in Berlin-Kreuzberg or at the G7 summit. Like an old workhorse. You don't shoot it ;-)

Peter Adler August 21st, 2013 02:40 AM

Re: That tells you how the XH-A1 is outdated
 
Jan, a true remark of course. It is pointless to maintain that HDV is still a valid format as we move into the 4K, 5K, 8K era of digital video. Still I'd say that the user segment matters. You are a video professional. I am an amateur with 75% of the learning curve ahead of me. Your footage will be shown on TV or even cinema screens. Mine will almost certainly not ;-) Since I can't afford to buy a new camcorder anyway, I'll stay with my XH G1s for now...

Have a nice day!

Cheers,

Peter

Derek Craig August 21st, 2013 07:10 AM

Re: That tells you how the XH-A1 is outdated
 
I sold my XH-A1 on ebay last week. Camera, two batteries, charger, cables, manual, and KATA bag. Under 40 hours of run time. After Paypal and Ebay fees, I got about $750 for it ... pretty sad. I was so tempted to keep it at the going rates but honestly it was only going to de-value more and it would just sit on a shelf and collect dust.

I shoot on an XA20 now along with my 7D (I love DSLR video). I still have an HV30 sitting there if I ever need to go back and capture off of an old tape, or just need another camera in a pinch.

Still it is heart breaking to sell a camera that I paid over $3k for just a few years ago for $750 ... kind of makes me want to puke thinking about it.

Peter Adler August 22nd, 2013 03:34 AM

Re: That tells you how the XH-A1 is outdated
 
Derek, I am really sad to hear that. I find 750$ very low. When I sold my XH A1S in February, I set a minimum of 1,000€ in the eBay auction. There were no extras: just the camcorder with the original box and papers, and all the original parts of course. Towards the end, I had 3 interested bidders which helped getting a better price. I suppose it's all down to luck: whether a few interested people happen to see your ad or not.

Cheers,
Peter

Derek Craig August 22nd, 2013 07:08 AM

Re: That tells you how the XH-A1 is outdated
 
I had 36 people listed as "watching" the auction and there were 9 or 10 that got into a bidding frenzy the last day. I let it run 7 days and ended it on a Sunday evening (8:00 pm on the east coast) so it had a lot of attention. If you watch the final prices right now on ebay they are all pretty much selling for that $800-$900 range. It is pretty sad really.

Bo Sundvall August 22nd, 2013 08:15 AM

Re: That tells you how the XH-A1 is outdated
 
Hi

I just love my XH-A1.

Why?

I bought a Panasonic TM900 1,5 years ago when my HV20 faulted. I used the HV20 as a travelling camcorder, but mainly as a capture deck to save the XH-A1 from wear during capture. So when the HV20 gave up I thougt I would try a card based small camcorder instead an bought the TM900.

The TM900 is a fantastic little toy. It can really produce razor sharp pictures. Another advantage is the
fast unloading process. I have 32GB 95MB/s SanDisk SD cards which, together with an USB3.0 card reader unloads the files to my PC in no time at all, compared to a band based capture process.

It also produces a very noise free picture and AVCHD 50P is superior to HDV, no doubt about that.

But, the problem with the TM900:

Wrong white balance? Tap, tap, tap, tap, tap on the screen...
Adjust shutter? Tap, tap, tap, tap, tap on the screen...
Adjust iris? Tap, tap, tap, tap, tap on the screen...
Adjust mic level? Open menu, tap, tap, tap, find mick level, tap, tap, tap, adjust level, tap, tap, tap,
etc, etc, tap, tap, tap...

Another problem: manual focus. Hard to get correct focus, even using the focus help.

Another problem: combined focus/shutter/iris/WB ring. More or less unusable in my opinion.
Select manual focus - OK. After that, select shutter speed and the ring isn't used
for focus but for shutter speed! Extreemly annoying. To get it to function as a focus ring
again you have to unselect the shutter. Same thing selecting WB or iris. It's not possible
to enable it for only focus, it's always a combi ring depending on menu selection.

Another problem: White Balance. Never seems to be right. The presets are unusable for most situations,
manual white balance sometimes works OK, but can be a struggle, tap, tap, tap...

Another problem: skin tones. Never seems to be real. Even if all other colors are OK, people looks as if
their faces are made of wax.

Another problem: diffraction. After a days filming when the camcorder was new for me, I came home looked at the material and realised that almost every clip was softend by diffraction. How? I had used both the XH-A1 with it's ND filters and the HV20 with external filters to be able to, at least
on the XH-A1, use the lens with optimal f-stop, between 3.2 and 4.8. The same goes for the HV20.
While trying to maintain the same f-stops on the TM900 by using external ND-filter,
the result was softening by diffraction. The reason seems to be some kind of auto ND filter
which kicks in at f5.2 which gives diffraction for f-stops from 3.2 to 4.8 when the iris closes.
The sweet spot for the TM900 is f2.8, not in the same interval as the HV20/XH-A1.

When I come home after filming with the TM900, I almost never is pleased with what I see. The colors are not natural, white balance is never really 100%. It's definately something digital around the picture which is hard to point at or describe. Unorganic might be the word.

The Canon HV20 was also menu driven, but with very fast access to mic level and exposure. It also produced very pleasing pictures regarding to color, and noise levels where much better than the XH-A1. The only downside was resolution. Compared to the TM900 it was extremly big difference. Using the both cameras in the same project, i must blur the picture from the TM900 a little in post not to get too much contrast between clips from the two camcorders.

The XH-A1 is a different beast. Small screen, but very easy to get things in focus: zoom in, use focus help and then, spot on almost every time! No fiddling in menus, buttons for everything, focus ring, zoom ring, iris ring, shutter wheel, white balance presets that can be used, manual white balance i Kelvin. Zoom wheel that can be used to set zoom speed. Custom profiles, almost everything is configurable. Long zoom, 20x, 32,5-650mm. It also produces very organic pictures comparing to the TM900.

Downsides: yes, of course. A little cromatic abberation in high contrast scenes. Capture process is 1:1 in time, one hour film=one hour capture. No button for OIS, that must be selected in the menu (tap tap). Small, low res LCD screen. Some noise in the picture, even in good lit scenes. Dropouts is another thing. Not so good in lowlight.

I know, it's not fair to compare a XH-A1 and a TM900 as it is a big difference in price and also about 6 years between the two. But I can't help doing that anyway.

I use my camcorders for hobby. I've had some projects that has given some money, but not by far payed for the camcorders. I've also compared what I see on my 42" full HD plasma. By sitting on normal distance, say 3 meters/10 feet, it's very hard to see any difference in resolution between the razor sharp, full HD TM900 and the HDV 1440x1080 anamorphic pixels XH-A1. If I can't see the difference with my trained eyes, family or friends definately can't tell the difference. What I can see though, is that the picture from the XH-A1 is much more plesant to look at, much more organic and natural in colors, and so was the HV20. OK, I often do some Color Corrections, CC, to my clips, but the material from the XH-A1 needs less CC than the material from the TM900 because the XH-A1 is so much better from the start.

Capture from tape takes time, but I never have a deadline and can wait for the capture.

What I'm afraid of is that I, for example, buy a Panasonc AG-AC160 in the future and not getting the same organic picture from it as from the XH-A1.

The problem is that one of my batteries is dead, I havn't a capture deck anymore as the HV20 is broken. Some time in the future I might have a tape with important material in my XA-A1 which I can't read because the camcorder has faulted. Then I must get some old, used HV10/20/30/40 to be able to read it. So I need a new battery and a capture deck/camcorder. Is it smart to buy those now or is it better to save the money for a new camcorder?

It's hard to justify getting a new expensive camcorder when I have a old one that more than enough cover my needs (even though it's fun to get new equipment). And also remember, it was just a few years ago that the XH-A1 was the absolutely best you could get for that money. It, (the XH-G1) has even been on the NASA Space Shuttle, why wouldn't it bee good for me now?

Canon XH-A1 rocks, at least for a little longer!


Just my thoughts.


Regards,

/Bo

Peter Adler August 22nd, 2013 02:30 PM

Re: That tells you how the XH-A1 is outdated
 
Bo,

I fully sympathise with your views. I also feel I would be mad to get rid of my XH-G1S and HV40, both of which are fully functional. I am also into small, personal film projects.

To comment briefly on your questions:

There are lots of dead-cheap after market battery packs for your XH A1. The original ones from Canon are expensive in Europe, however. (Much cheaper in the US). i am afraid I don't know which of the after-market brands can be trusted, so I only use the original BPs.

You could probably buy a used HV40 (LEGRIA) in almost mint condition at around 3-400€. No way to be sure how many hours of tape have been run through it of course... I mention the HV40 because it is the last of the HV models; a second-hand item is therfore likely to be less used than e.g. an HV20/HV30.

Cheers,
Peter

Jan Luethje August 26th, 2013 04:36 PM

Re: That tells you how the XH-A1 is outdated
 
Tap, tap, tap… I know, what you mean. That’s exactly the reason, why I felt the need to buy a camera in a higher price range (HPX250), when retiring my XH A1. It seems, that manufacturers nowadays focus at a different target group for “below 4000 $” cams. Manual functions are hidden in the menus because you’re anyway supposed to run them “the automatic way.” Same goes true for DSLR’s. Just bought a Nikon D 5200 to replace my old analogue EOS 650 from 1987. Great camera and big fun to use it. But not really designed anymore to be operated the ‘full manual way’, and regarding the young guns, that seems to make perfect sense. “What I get is what I see – on the monitor.” Why should they care about abstracts like ASA or Kelvin? The camera is doing it for them.

Nevertheless, the AC 160 would be an improvement picturewise, even if the XH A1 is still a good camera. If you adjust the scene files of the Pana the right way, you’ll get a decent organic look as well. And believe me, you’ll love the tapeless workflow.

Nathan Moody August 26th, 2013 07:12 PM

Re: That tells you how the XH-A1 is outdated
 
I feel your collective pain. Dropping three G's on a camera right before that slice of the market went tapeless hurt badly, despite it being a great device. My path away from the XHA1 led to DSLR's, but shooting with them had enough gotchas that I kept the XHA1 and still shot with it when it was necessary...half the time for ClearScan, if nothing else. (I do a TON of shooting computer screens for work, documenting interfaces or digital installations).

Then the C100 came along, the DSLRs became the backups, and the XHA1 got put in a case and stashed in the shed. I can't say that I find the sharp images coming from the C100 easily cuttable with the nice but very different texture of images that come from the XHA1, so even getting a CF recorder for it seems like a poor investment as a B-cam...especially when those darned Datavideo units still cost over $500 on B&H (not a bad price, but a poor value for what I'd want to do with it, and how infrequently it'll be used).

Looking at billable time, it'd cost me 1/3 of what I'd eBay it for just to take pictures, post, monitor the auction, and ship it if sold. :-\

However, I'm looking ahead: We live in exciting times for imaging technology and decentralized, democratized storytelling to huge audiences (monetization woes aside). The XHA1 taught me a ton, and maybe someday I'll find a good reason to slap an external recorder on it and shoot with it again. Until then, there are more stories to be told and scenes to be shot!

Plus, as a photo teacher once told me: Cameras are expenses. Lenses are investments.


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