New purchase: Canon XL-H1 vs XH-G1 at
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General HD (720 / 1080) Acquisition
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Old January 29th, 2007, 10:35 AM   #1
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New purchase: Canon XL-H1 vs XH-G1

I am new to this forum but have been searching through and reading your posts for the past month or so. I am a fine art photographer who finds himself in need of an HD camcorder for the purpose of, at the current time, recording interviews and perhaps, at some future date, testing the waters of the indie market. As a Canon and Leica devotee, (Canon 1ds MKII, Leica M6, M7, etc.) I have narrowed the field down to two choices: XL-H1 or XH-G1(I find myself in need of the synch capabilities). The dollar differential between the two cameras is inconsequential, however, I am concerned about portability and focusing issues in regards to the H1 and where the G1 is concerned, I have noticed several posts decrying a degree of concern for graininess. Although it is understood, with regard to the latter concern, that grain can be adversely affected by gain and aperture, I wonder if this is an inherent problem with the XH series since I have not encountered any number of similar posts in the H1 forum.

With the aforegoing in mind, I wonder if the membership has any strong feelings in regards to the above two cameras as it applies to the stated purposes of use, taking into consideration the potential limitations mentioned in the first paragraph.

Thank you in advance,
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Old January 29th, 2007, 11:43 AM   #2
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HD camera decision

I hate to add another factor into the above equation but I forgot to mention that despite my affinity for the Canon series of cameras, I am also considering the JVC GY-HD250U and would appreciate any comments regarding how it might fit into the above purchase discussion.
Thank you again in advance,
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Old January 29th, 2007, 01:22 PM   #3
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Hello Ron, welcome to the forum.

Being a still photographer, I would assume having an interchangeable lens' would be a top feature for you. The G1 is smaller than the H1, but more portable? Not so sure. If you just want HDV and a stock camera, then the A1 would suffice. Otherwise, to think of the G1 just as portable, in regards to taking advantage of the HD-SDI feed, is misleading.

You would be tethered to something heavy, (though the leash could run up to a hundred feet -of course, even 25 feet would tug at the thing without a handler). You would have to carry, at a minimum, either a Varizoom Swit or Marshall HDA (something with 480 Hz line rez or higher) to know that you're in ideal focus. Keeping this all in balance, a three point harness with grips would apply, especially if you want to carry the forward heavy H1. As I wouldn't recommending hand holding either camera for very long without support.

In those cases where I need portability and hand holding, I use a 3lb Sony HC1 and hope that my focus is correct, (I sure wished that camera had peaking).

If you're locked off onto a tripod for the most part, then portability is mute.
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Old January 29th, 2007, 02:19 PM   #4
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I think the g1 is way more portable than h1. They are both pretty big cameras but the g1 can fit in backpacks and stuff where as the h1 needs to be stripped down somewhat to fit unless you have a huge backpack/case.

The hd250 is probably the worst when it comes to portability.

I can't say much for synching capabilities of the canons but I do not think the hd250 would be good in that area. I have hd100s and you have to sync them manually with a clapper board or light flash.

For accurate focusing, unless you want to chug around a monitor, the hd250 rules in that department because of it's focus assist feature which I happen to love.

I would think the hd250 would be more of your style since it uses strait up manual lenses.

I can't say much for grain since I have never seen raw footage from the hd250 but I have seen very clean images coming from the canon hdv cams.

For indie projects, it sounds to me like the hd250 would be better since it offers the ability to use 16mm primes with the HZ-CA13U PL Mount. It also flips the image for you on both the vf/lcd and tape transport.

Also, the canons shoot 1080i and the jvc shoots 720p so that is something you might want to think about. The cool thing about the hd250 is that it can shoot 720p60 which could really come in handy for overcranked slow-mo.
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Old January 29th, 2007, 03:36 PM   #5
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HD Camera choice


Thank you both for your helpful input.

Arriving at an intelligent decision would be a lot easier if there were some way of arranging a face to face meeting with these cameras but, unfortunately, I have not been able to locate any pro-dealers in the South Florida area that stock these or similar items.

The HD 250U is said to have Genlock and SMPTE in/outs and the alleged superior focusing capability, given its manual function, is definitely a plus. In addition, I understand that it is capable of using Canon glass but I would be leaving behind the OIS function of the Canon series. As you indicated, the G1 is probably not a long term hand-holdable camera and with that in mind, a shoulder supported cam might be more stable but that is an issue either of you can most likely address with more expertise than I. With regards to the reolution difference between the JVC and the Canon, having seen the results from neither, I find it hard to comment.

By the way, the synch requirement, at least for the time being, is to be employed for audio purposes since I would like to record to my Tascam HD-P2.

If you have any other thoughts, I am wide open to suggestions.

Thank you again,
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Old January 30th, 2007, 08:42 AM   #6
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I wouldn't really call any of these cameras "shoulder mount." Both the xl and the jvc are front heavy and will most likely tire an operator after a while. That said, the jvc would be a little better in that department.

As far as synch capabilities go, the only reason I would use timecode to synch would be at a shoot where I would be editing based on when things happened at the shoot. Time code and video scan rates aren't always perfectly synched and can drift away from each other over time. Your recorder will allow you to input video reference signal though, which is a better and more stable synch and would allow you to use any camera.
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Old January 30th, 2007, 09:31 AM   #7
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Thank you for your thoughts and yes, video reference synch would indeed be a better choice. At this point, after much soul searching, I am leaning towards the JVC.
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