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-   Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/canon-xh-series-hdv-camcorders/)
-   -   Which one would you buy? (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/canon-xh-series-hdv-camcorders/72351-one-would-you-buy.html)

Bill Pryor August 12th, 2006 08:46 PM

Just curious... what is it about the Z1 you don't like?

Heath McKnight August 12th, 2006 08:55 PM

I don't know about anyone else, but I really dig the Z1. Great lens, shot transitions, ease of use, color extract, brilliant/colorful image, 50i/60i, CineFrame 30 and 25 and more. Sure, it doesn't do native 24p, but when the FX1 and Z1 came out, the codec specifications for HDV said NO 24p. When both JVC and Canon introduced 24p/f, HDV was officially updated to include 24p:



Tom Hardwick August 13th, 2006 12:32 AM

You don't actually say what it is about the Z1 that dissapoints you Peter, and Bill and I would like to know. As I look at mine it's just an inanimate lump of glass, magnesium and plastic. It doesn't weigh much, it doesn't cost much. It sits there like a powerful computer doing nothing, waiting for your input.

Once in the loving hands of a filmmaker the Z1 shows its amazing potential energy. There seems little it can't do (and nobody in any PAL country wants 24p anyway). It'll give astoundingly good pictures at +18dB of gain up, and go where bigger pieces of kit cannot reach.

I've owned lots of camcorders in my time, and in the analogue Hi-8 days I paid as much as the Z1 cost me (in real terms) for wolly footage with wobbly verticals and shifted reds. This Z1 is truely a landmark camera in the same way the VX2000 was, changing overnight the way a lot of broadcast TV footage is shot.


Pete Bauer August 13th, 2006 07:13 AM

So which of these Canon cameras are you Z1 lovers going to buy?

Peter Jefferson August 13th, 2006 07:41 AM

oh yes, teh Z1, did change alot of things.. i know teh Idol team here in aus upgraded from PD units to Z1's when they were laucnhed. i thnk we sold them 4 units with mic kits just on prelaunch of the Z1...

for me the Z1 seems to be rushed.. sure it offers some wickedly sharp shots,, however i just cannot get the same wide shots as i get with a DVX100.
To be alittl emore blunt about it.. i sold off a DSR570 to get 2 of these.. That DSR could work in ANY environment.. literally shooting off teh back of a truck through to shooting divers underwater as theyre emerging.. those same shots on teh Z1, lets jsut say that teh water shots didnt work out how i wanted them to.. very messy and IMO pushed the codec as far as it would go.. ie shaky boat, with lots of movement..

As a whole, teh camera is fine IMO. the issue i have with it.. and my decision isnt something which i jsut thought up..

I like alot of things about it, such as the shot transition..
but there are more things i dnt like about it.. such as teh bulbous handgrip area, the lense abherations and vertical smearing (shoot a reflection of teh sun boucing off some moving water, and not only will u see vertical flaring, but you will also se teh compression issues i have with it... )
Theres also its low light performance.. now wait a minute.. let me explain.. its not its "performance" per se.. sure it can EXPOSE a shot.. but, look at the colour gradation of said shot... the muddiness, and noise generated by jacking up the gain is another push on the codec, hence causing further noise.. yes, this can be alleviated with light, but there are 2 major factors i need the cameras to be sure of.. colour gradation in good light, and colour gradation in low light. in good light, it works a treat, in lower lit environemts.. COLOUR plays a factor in the material im working, so losing that (ie losing that colour) makes the low light lux rating obsolete.. Kike i said, its one thign to expose a shot, its another thing to get that shot coloured accurately, without noise..
Likei said, i liked the camera.. dont get me wrong, i woudlnt have bought it if it didnt bring in any money, or didnt shoot a majority of what i required... but on the flipside, i think it was a rushed unit, as Sony were really milking the PD unit for what it was worth out to its last breath.. they felt rushed to get this camera out, hense its bulky and chulky build... if u hold a HVX or DVX, then hold one of these, u will KNOW which one is more comfortable.. and when running the streets for 4 hours shooting vox pops, its really does make a difference..

as for image, yes its good, if ur happy with standard super sharp looking DV... yes its sharp, but its still looks like common video... I know.. "fix it in post"

interlaced for me is like home video.. i cant sell it.. what sets my business apart, is that i shoot in progreessive or CF 25... the clients notice this... however irrespective of how u shoot with the Z1, it still doesnt carry the same DR (or higher DR) than a DVX100 does.. yes its definately sharper.. obviously.. but id rather sacrifice sharpness and go for a richer colour gradation, which the Z1 just cannot match IMO. Im in Pal land, so colour should theoretically be the same whether i shoot HDV or SD.. but its not..
LOTS of gradation is lost when shooting HDV

This is simply because of the gamma configurations within the DVX, as well as CCD size and encoded format... think about it. ur running twice the resolution at the same bitrate in a long GOP structure..... shoot the same water scene in DV however, and u wont have these encoder problems (save from flaring)
Hopefully the Z2 will shoot in H.264.. who knows.. but for now.. i am not goign to worry about HD... not any more anyway.. i worried abotu it before its time and made a big mistake.. i bought into it before these format issues were known and i didnt know any better, save for what SOny had told me as a distributor of these cams.. being that they glossed over many of the format "nuances" What i dont know, wont hurt them right.. Panasonic have taken on this attitude with the actual CCD info they provided on the HVX.. ie.. none.. so waht a HVX user DOESNT know, wont hurt Pana.. or so they thought, until they had no choice but to come out with the truth and fess up about the in cam scaling to HD resolutions.. They dont "lie" they jsut withold info to make sales...
Now though, im going to let everyone else make the mistakes and learn from them...

Im not saying one camera is better than the other, im saying that theyre differnt.. and with that, if i was to have had the choices i have now back then, i wouldnt have gone Z1.. Maybe the HD100 as the 720p is native res, teh lens is a little cleaner, image is slightly sharper, offers true Progressive scan (not frame) better build (work handheld AND shoulder equally well) in cam gamma configurations and a Native CCD block.. even teh Z1 doesnt run a native CCD...

now moving back to topic, the reason why i think the A1 will overide the HVX and Z1 is simply becuase its image has the potential to be almost anything u want it to be. Theoretically its identical to the H1, and comparisons of that unit have all been favourable, save for its HDV codec inheritance.. If these cams are anythign like the H1, then, hopefully we'll get a decent all round unit, clean optic, and which doesnt poo itslef when the lights go down.

We can only wait and see..

Chris Hurd August 13th, 2006 07:56 AM

Just a reminder, our Sony Z1 / FX1 forum -- the largest in the world among English speaking sites -- is located at http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/forumdisplay.php?f=75. The topic of this particular discussion is the Canon XH G1 and A1. Thanks in advance,

Heath McKnight August 13th, 2006 08:26 AM

Thanks for getting us back on track, Chris! Why don't we take the posts, including mine, about the Z1 and move it over to that page as a new topic?



Joseph Olesh August 20th, 2006 12:03 PM

i am 90% sure that i am going with the A1 once it comes out. the price, the H1 technology, everything seems to fit. if money permits, and depending on what is available on the market next year, i will probably look to invest in the G1 as well- that would be a killer A/B cam duo, with the audio capabilities of th G1.

i have always been prone to lean toward canon products, going back to when i was doing primarily still photography. so in that, i am anxious to see what the XH series can do.

Chris Korrow August 22nd, 2006 04:01 PM

I went to one of the HD1 gigs in Nashville & said to myself if I could get that camera for $6000 with out the genlock & a 20x lens that is extended on the wide side, I'd get one. Well here it is for $4000. The A1 is all I need.

Though next time i'm thinking about what I'd pay for a new canon I'll make a few more requests.

James Sidney August 27th, 2006 12:39 PM

I'm all for the A1.

And I love the idea of getting the XH image in a GL package. My XL1s is fun to shoot with, but a pain to transport. My work is all backcountry and even using Lowepro's largest pack, I have to take off the awkward viewfinder/mic to store in the pack. I'll have a lot more room now, and less setup time.

Can't wait to get one.


Tom Hardwick August 29th, 2006 01:49 AM

[ incorrect reference removed ] list the Canon as having a 20x zoom all right, but the sad fact appears to be that all this generous zoom's all in the telephoto arena.

The lens is a 5.4 to 108 mm zoom as against Sony's Z1 (4.5 to 54 mm), so the Canon's not 'extended on the wide side' as you'd hoped for Chris Korrow.

I certainly hope this is a spec error and that Canon at least start at the 4.5 mm point. This equates to a 32.5 mm lens in 35 mm still photography terms, whereas 5.4 mm is something like 40 mm. Not wide at all.


Philip Williams August 29th, 2006 05:52 AM


Originally Posted by Tom Hardwick
[ incorrect reference removed ] list the Canon as having a 20x zoom all right, but the sad fact appears to be that all this generous zoom's all in the telephoto arena.

The lens is a 5.4 to 108 mm zoom as against Sony's Z1 (4.5 to 54 mm), so the Canon's not 'extended on the wide side' as you'd hoped for Chris Korrow.

I certainly hope this is a spec error and that Canon at least start at the 4.5 mm point. This equates to a 32.5 mm lens in 35 mm still photography terms, whereas 5.4 mm is something like 40 mm. Not wide at all.

Focal range is 32.5-650mm per the DVinfo XH A1/G1 FAQ:
Just scroll to the section entitled: Does the built-in 20x HD lens on the XH camcorders have the same focal length as the stock 20x HD lens included with the XL H1?

And this straight from the horse's mouth:
Scroll to the "Professional Optics for Professional Performance" section.

Just FYI, but this information was discovered with about 30 seconds of google searching.


Chris Hurd August 29th, 2006 06:23 AM

Thank you Philip,

The focal length of the 20x lens on the Canon XH G1 and A1 is in fact 4.5mm to 90mm.

To avoid needless confusion, I have removed the incorrect reference from Tom Hardwick's post.

When in doubt on technical specs, just consult DV Info Net, because we're usually right.

Thanks in advance,

John Godden August 29th, 2006 12:03 PM


Originally Posted by Chris Hurd
I can't help it, I've got to ask. Trust me, no dealer has put me up to this... nor Canon... I'm just curious, for our members here who while not constituting the entire market for these camcorders, certainly do account for some particular slice of it...

If you're actually thinking about buying one of these, which one do you have your eye on? The basic A1 for $4000, or the SDI-equipped G1 for $7000? I just want to get a grip on where the primary interest lays among our membership.

If the answer is "neither," then please don't vote. But if you're seriously considering one, then I'm wondering which one it would be. As for myself, I went with the A1. It's all I need.


If I go with a 'bigger unit' then it would be the A1. I'm still hoping a smaller HD unit will come on the market (with the functionality I want) but this A1 is the closest bet so far.


Raymond Toussaint August 30th, 2006 10:24 AM

both look promising
The basic A1 Canon version is attractive for solo shooters. If I would use it in a studio (matching with other cams, or bluescreen work) the $3000,- difference for the G1 would not bother me. But every choice is premature: first the real images and than the disciscion.

For some documentary work - traveling and shooting in wild environments without AC power- it looks like that this cam gives you all you want. A point and shoot form factor and the weight and handling that is associated with it, long recording times, good audio, long and wide lens. 1080i is what is happening now in Europe, although the 1080p is what I want...

I wanted the HVX200 and got the budget to do so, but some things hold me up: I don't shoot with an assistant to change the P2 cards and to offload them, I don't have the power to run the portable computer to offload the cards. I don't have the muscles ( don't I? ;-) to hold the cam steady without a brace. So if I can shoot 25f I only need to look at the JVC HD100 again...

For all cam sales in Europe; editing is an important factor. For an Apple based editing/compositing studio we need FCP to do the job, 720P50 and its just not working...Canon needs to do that (25F) better than it would gain ground over here.

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