7 Replies Latest reply on Feb 15, 2008 1:58 PM by Curt Wrigley

    Need to buy new camera-  Canon XH-A1?

    Level 1
      Like many I see, I bought a Sony hard drive cam. Learned the hard way. Now- I am looking to buy a camera that works easily in Prem. Pro. I see recommends for the Panasonic DVX-AG100B and I'm seriously considering it. Also, looking at the Canon XH-A1. Anyone know how well this works in PP? I shoot lots of 3 hr. long speaker talks in workshops, and love to shoot travel clips. I burn to DVD for sale. Picture quality is a priority. I like the 20X zoom. I'm very much a newbie. Thanks for any help in avoiding another problem camera. The Canon is definitely at the highest limit and probably well over my budget.
        • 1. Re: Need to buy new camera-  Canon XH-A1?
          Jim_Simon Level 8
          The Canon is a high definition camera, but it uses inferior GOP compression for recording. The DVX100B uses superior DV compression, but it's only a standard definition camera.

          For myself, I think ALL video cameras should have two very basic features - full resolution imaging devices, and full-raster frame independent recording. Right now the only affordable cameras that have that are standard definition. The only HD camera that has that costs about $50,000.

          If you can wait for HD, I always recommend not buying until camera makers get it right in the affordable realm. If you can't wait for HD, the XH-A1 has been written up as one of the best HDV cameras around.
          • 2. Re: Need to buy new camera-  Canon XH-A1?
            Level 1
            You may want to look seriously at that Canon HV20, or HV30, the HV20 is an amazing camcorder, shoots mind blowing video for its price range. Check out www.hv20.com for many amateur film makers with video that will make you drool.

            Here's a link to the footage forum, - where amateur filmmakers post their videos, some of them are very proffesional. Many say the HV20 rivals much more expensive cameras ( in the $4,000 range )
            http://www.hv20.com/forumdisplay.php?f=8

            here's a war film shot with the Canon HV20:
            http://www.hv20.com/showthread.php?t=5732

            here's another good one, - pretty amazing footage. All shot
            with the Canon HV20.
            WW2 Tiger Tank sixth scale RC model in action
            http://www.hv20.com/showthread.php?t=5424&highlight=tank

            I've just chosen a few I know were good, but there are dozens and dozens of great amateur movies shot, check some of them out, and you will be impressed with what this little camcorder can do.

            Dave.
            • 3. Re: Need to buy new camera-  Canon XH-A1?
              Level 1
              Thank you. I appreciate the imput and will chew on it for awhile. Do both of these cameras work easily in PP as far as compatibility, etc.?
              • 4. Re: Need to buy new camera-  Canon XH-A1?
                Curt Wrigley Level 4
                I agree with all the stuff Jim said. I have a pair of Canon XH A1's but i have them a year ahead of what I desire. I omly upgraded to these cams because I dropped my old XL1 workhorse and the repair cost was more than the cam was worth. Othereise I would still be shooting with the XL1's. HDV is still bleeding edge as far as I am concerned. Delivery of HD via Blu-Ray is definitely bleeding edge. Remember the compatibility issues with burned DVDs and setop dvd players when dvd burning first started?

                So; why did I upgrade to an HDV Cam?

                Cause the A1 is an excellent SD cam as well. Seemed silly to me to buy an inequivalent priced SD only cam when I could get the A1 for the same price and also have HDV available. BTW; The A1 Is an excellent SD cam either in SD mode directly, or shooting HDV and downscaling.

                Things i really like about thr A1:

                Aperture ring on the lens. On the old XL1 the aperture control was a silly button the body. Having a ring on the lens is sooo much better.

                Image customization: The factory defaut is a very natural image. But via several presets you can create a lot of different looks (for example if you prefer the sony consumer saturated image look)

                Dual XLR ports on the body. No dongles or special cords.

                Its a great cam; but has all the negative aspects of HDV Jim pointed out.

                Does it "edit in PPRO OK"? In SD mode; yes

                In HDV Mode; have a really fast computer to run native in PPRO; it will work. Or have a reasonably fast computer and also buy Cineform. Or; buy a 3rd party card (aja, intesity) to allow analog capture and edit uncompressed. (read really fast disk array)

                Curt
                • 5. Re: Need to buy new camera-  Canon XH-A1?
                  Jim_Simon Level 8
                  >Seemed silly to me to buy an inequivalent priced SD only cam when I could get the A1 for the same price

                  Just so folks don't get the wrong idea, the XH-A1 will run about a grand more than the DVX100B.
                  • 6. Re: Need to buy new camera-  Canon XH-A1?
                    Level 1
                    Thanks folks for the info- I really appreciate hearing the different views.
                    • 7. Re: Need to buy new camera-  Canon XH-A1?
                      Curt Wrigley Level 4
                      Yes Jim, I was painting with a big brush.

                      An A1 at $3500 is in the same ballpark as many sd cams. Not suggesting you cant get a good sd cam cheaper. Of course you can. Sorry if I was misleading.

                      Curt