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Canon XL H Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XL H1S (with SDI), Canon XL H1A (without SDI). Also XL H1.

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Old April 8th, 2006, 12:14 PM   #16
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
Posts: 1,200
Outdoor H1


I've been weighing the decision between H1 and JVC HD100 and have read about an awful lot of problems in reliability of HD100, so much so that they now only ship a 100a.

I have been married to the Canon brand in SLR, Dig Still, DV and Hi8 (the L1), so admittedly I am biased toward Canon. I've been trying to be objective.

Obviously the JVC is cheaper, about 4k CDN, but the stock batteries are so lame that I need the IDX? upgrade pack at $1800. This brings the 2 closer together. The dealer will throw in 2-BP970 batteries on the H1.

As much of what I do will be outdoors, I especially have been looking for reliability issues outside. Two diverse posts came to mind from the 'underwater/overland' forum. (I would attach links to them but not sure how).

One was from JVC user in Africa complaining about the apparent cheapness of the covers and seals on the HD100. Saying many have had to be replaced.

An H1 user is using his to record marlin fishing offshore without a housing, subjecting it to salt spray, constant vibration and moisture. He said it perfrorms without a hitch for weeks at a time.

EWA has an underwater housing for the H1. I've got it in my budget for CDN $1000.00.

After a month of analysis, I'm leaning to the H1 with about 2 weeks yet to decide. There is a dealer locally who sells both the JVC and H1 and I will try them both before the final decision is made.

Can't say how valuable a tool this site has been in helping make the decision.

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Old April 8th, 2006, 12:57 PM   #17
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Basel area, Switzerland
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Ken, I can't speak of much experience with the XL-H1 (have rented it twice so far, was once out in weather with occasional drizzle for about three hours and without protection - no problems), but I've treated my XL-1s quite roughly for the last five+ years. The roughest 'ride' was a trip through national parks in Namibia and Botswana, where the camera was mounted outside our vehicle most of the time. Lots of dust, vibration, direct sun, the occasional drizzle over a four week time span - and the cam performed flawlessly! If the XL-H1 is anything like that, it's definitely up to the task.

Edit: I definitely concur with previous posters regarding teething problems - I'd wait as long as feasible to allow for most of these problems to have been taken care of on the manufacturing side. I've just been through a major ordeal with my Apple G5 Quad desktop - it's one of the first units shipping here in Europe, and it showed (actually, it still shows, and thus has to go back to the shop again - what a pain)!


Ronald P. Pfister
halimedia - digital solutions and services
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Old April 8th, 2006, 10:00 PM   #18
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
Posts: 1,200

I agree with you. Normally I'll wait for at least a release or two. But in this case I have no camera other than a consumer SDV. I was originally looking at the XL2 but I would rather overbuy than underbuy at this point. I figure that the H1 will last a while. I am making looking to make indie docs and some corp vids etc. Most stuff will be to DVD and or local TV. I will likely shoot HD and downconvert to SD for most stuff.

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Old April 8th, 2006, 11:07 PM   #19
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Anchorage, AK
Posts: 4,098
Originally Posted by Tony Davies-Patrick
I haven't seen sales figures yet, but judging by advertisements and retailer's stock levels, it doesn't seem that the H1 is making big sales at the moment.
None of us knows the sales figures, since the companies don't release that kind of info. I very recently heard an industry professional say that their understanding was that Canon was selling XL H1's as fast as they come off the assembly line, but that they are not manufacturing large numbers. Makes sense to me. Still, guesses about sales volume oughtn't be much of a factor in which camera a person chooses.

The first choice is whether to invest both the money to upgrade hardware and software, and the effort to learn HD. If so, then choose the feature set that's important to you and within your means. Several of us are enjoying the privilege of seeing and playing with the whole menu of "affordable" HD cameras at the TEXAS SHOOTOUT this weekend. We are still shooting and have only taken short glimpses of the raw output, but I think we all agree that none of them suck! I don't think anyone who brought their own camera, including myself with the XL H1, will go away sorry and wishing "if only I had gotten that other camera..." but we do all recognize that each camera has particular strengths and particular weaknesses.

There's a lot of good info here on DVi regarding all of these cameras -- with more to follow when the SHOOTOUT results become available later. A lot of the work done here is anticipated to be released in HD (I personally don't have further details on that). DVi along with any opportunities to try out cameras personally should give you what you need to make a decision you'll be happy with when the time to move up to HD does come along.
Pete Bauer
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