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Canon XH-A1 or Sony HVR Z1U

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Todd Roush Canon XH-A1 or Sony HVR Z1U
by on Feb 2, 2008 at 7:00:35 am

Hey All,

I searched but did not find.

Although the the other branches of my business will likely not switch over to HD for another 3-4 years, my wedding business forces me to switch to HDV. Need 2-3 cameras.

The 2 cameras I have nailed it down to are the two stated above.

1. No Lux rating stated on Canon Specs at BH Photo. I'm sure Sony will be better.
2. I think anything less than a 3.5" flip is useless so with the Canons I will have to buy an LCD to mount on my camera. Could probably grab one with the $700 I'd save on the Canon.

Actually, a 3.5 16:9 LCD is much smaller than an standard square 3.5" flip so I may have to do this anyway.

How do people tell what their shots are going to look like with those tiny flips? Is it the best 2.8" LCD in the history of cameras?

Thanks for any thoughts.

Todd Roush
Dreamscape Digital Media
Panny DVX-100's but changing so Sony or Cannon HDV soon.


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David SmithRe: Canon XH-A1 or Sony HVR Z1U
by on Feb 2, 2008 at 10:08:04 pm

Todd,

I would strongly suggest that if it's at all possible you rent both and see how they work and feel for you.

I own a Z1 and find it can produce some very nice images, but the purchase decision was really based on compatibility with a client's camera. One serious gotcha that Sony does not document well, is the fact that both the LCD and the eyepiece don't show the whole image unless you turn on the Allscan Mode, which is only available by assiging it to one of the user Assign buttons. You have to turn it back on every time you turn on the camera. Silly.

Another gripe is that you can't have both Zebra exposure marks and focus Peaking on at the same time. Silly. I believe the V1 allows both.

You are right to be concerned about the built in monitoring on these cameras. For me it's more a focus issue than a composition issue. Sony does provide a very good auto focus circuit, so I use the momentary auto focus button a lot.

I've not used the XH-A1 so can't speak to that model. I'm sure I could come up with as many gripes given the chance. I have used earlier Canon HDV cameras, and while the HD-SDI output is a great feature, and they make very nice pictures, the eyepieces on those cameras are just plain awful. Hopefully the A1 is better.

I'm curious why Sony's V1 isn't in the mix for you. The CMOS technology seems very cool.

Regards,
David



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Todd RoushRe: Canon XH-A1 or Sony HVR Z1U
by on Feb 3, 2008 at 7:40:53 am

I should take a closer look at the V1. I think it was the low light performance that I heard was pretty poor with those chips.
I have actually come to discover that counter to my original assumptions the Canon has spectacular low light performance, some say better than the old Sony DV cameras.

The real camera I am looking for is the Sony-Cana-Sonic but I don't thing it's going to happen.

I'm a Panny lover but they blew me off when they quit HDV and now everybody is copying everything they innovated so no advantage.

Any real world experience with any of these cameras is greatly appreciated.

Todd Roush
Dreamscape Digital Media
Panny DVX-100's but changing so Sony or Cannon HDV soon.


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Kevin ShawRe: Canon XH-A1 or Sony HVR Z1U
by on Feb 3, 2008 at 1:35:17 pm

My take on this is that the Sony Z1 produces the cleanest image in low light and will give you more compatibility with other wedding shooters if you need to hire someone else, while the Canon XH-A1 is a better value with more useful external camera controls plus more detailed control over internal camera settings. Both can be used effectively at weddings but most wedding videographers seem to be going with the Sonys. To get a good image with the Canon in low light you may need to experiment with various camera settings like "coring", while the Sony works fine as shipped from the factory.

As someone else said, it would be good to try both in person before making a buying decision.

================
Kevin Shaw
Always Memorable Videos


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Todd RoushRe: Canon XH-A1 or Sony HVR Z1U
by on Feb 9, 2008 at 8:21:11 am

Thank you for this.

Z1U was my initial inclination mainly because of the familiarity and for me the larger flip was what put Sony over the top early on.

The price difference is not enough to sway me to the Canon but they sure look pretty and people love them.

I think I will try to rent one just to see if it can pull me away from the Z1U.

Thanks

TR

Todd Roush
Dreamscape Digital Media
Panny DVX-100's but changing so Sony or Cannon HDV soon.


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Todd RoushRe: Canon XH-A1 or Sony HVR Z1U
by on Feb 9, 2008 at 8:41:28 am

LOL

Douglas, I just looked at your bio. Yes, I think you are probably a little more discerning than I may be but now you've got me more inspired to look more closely at the audio.

Thanks and have a great one.

Todd Roush

Todd Roush
Dreamscape Digital Media
Panny DVX-100's but changing so Sony or Cannon HDV soon.


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matt nortonRe: Canon XH-A1 or Sony HVR Z1U
by on May 13, 2008 at 2:37:50 am

I am a wedding videographer And am in a pinch. my JVC HD10 took a fall and once again the power botton broke off. Not only that but the audio now works only from time to time and to top it off it is no longer reading or writeing to tape. I am hoping it is just cloged heds. Any how looking to by a new main camera before servicing the old. I was hoping to hold of another year and get a more expensive one but this has pushed me into making a purchess this week.my choises are the new Sony HD1000U Vs the Cannon HX-A1. Any thoughts? I found them price for the same on a couple sites.

Refining Fire Production
Preserving Your History In High Definition
http://www.refiningfireproductions.com


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Douglas Spotted EagleRe: Canon XH-A1 or Sony HVR Z1U
by on May 13, 2008 at 2:47:32 am

Good thing I re-read your post. If you're looking to compare the HD1000U to the A1, the Canon A1 kicks the HD1000's tail and leaves enough on the table for breakfast to boot. Not a fair comparison.
The A1 is a significantly better camera. Ifyou were comparing other Sony HDV cams....not such an easy call, but this one is silly-easy. Get the Canon, IMO.
Or step up to a much better Sony for about the same cost.

Douglas Spotted Eagle
VASST

Certified Sony Vegas Trainer
Aerial Camera/Instructor


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matt nortonRe: Canon XH-A1 or Sony HVR Z1U
by on May 13, 2008 at 1:12:40 pm

Ya I printed off the flyer for the A1 and was reading it after I put up this post. The A1 packs the features. Many of the customization fetures that I have like on the JVC HD100-200 cameras that I have rented. and I like the idea of using a PC to set them up! I can't believe I the sony HD1000U and Cannon A1 for the same price! The A1 is going to be a nice up grade from my JVC HD10. It looks like it was worth holding out for.


I love the JVC cameras and was going to buy the HD110 or the 250 but found a hand held camera is a little easyer to use in my line of work. Plus JVC service can be slow. I may still get one at some point as the prices are getting very resonable on the HD110's. for now with the way the econamy is going the smaller investment in an A1 looks like the way to go.

Refining Fire Production
Preserving Your History In High Definition
http://www.refiningfireproductions.com


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cow
matt nortonRe: Canon XH-A1 or Sony HVR Z1U
by on May 13, 2008 at 1:51:34 pm

Has anyone here bought anything from photodynast.com, cameraaddict.com orsimilar sites.

I am all for going to local dealers but my local Pro Dealer doesn't carry Canon. I know a lot of these big online shops will sell popular cameras super cheep as loss leaders and than charge 2X to 3X more for things like extra batteries. I found that one of them was selling the $50-100 battery for the Sony HDV cameras for $250. I figure I'll grab the cheep price on the camera and go to Circet City or somthing for the spare battery.

Refining Fire Production
Preserving Your History In High Definition
http://www.refiningfireproductions.com


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Ron LindeboomRe: Canon XH-A1 or Sony HVR Z1U
by on May 13, 2008 at 1:57:27 pm

Matt,

This is ridiculous to think that you are going to do this.

The fly-by-night guys that advertise super low prices won't sell you the camera without all the crap they load on that drives the price higher than normal in the end.

They will process your credit card and let you flail like a land-bound salmon trying to get your money back when they don't send it for months on end.

Don't believe me or the fact that Mom & Dad used to warn you that "There's no such thing as a free lunch" or that "If it seems to good to be true, it probably is"? -- then go check out the company you want to buy from on http://www.resellerratings.com and see what other people's experience has been.

In the end, it is good that you are called "Refining Fire Productions" as you are about to get a taste of it, if you continue in this direction...

Ron Lindeboom
creativecow.net


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Douglas Spotted EagleRe: Canon XH-A1 or Sony HVR Z1U
by on May 13, 2008 at 2:12:46 pm

Ahh...
Now the rest of the story comes out. You want to buy a grey market A1. Now I understand how you would come to compare an XHa1 to the HD1000.
Caveat Emptor is the phrase of the day...I wouldn't touch a deal like that with a 10' pole.
When someone starts comparing Mercedes Benz with a Hundai, it usually becomes apparent, but I missed it in this case.

Douglas Spotted Eagle
VASST

Certified Sony Vegas Trainer
Aerial Camera/Instructor


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Ron LindeboomRe: Canon XH-A1 or Sony HVR Z1U
by on May 13, 2008 at 3:09:13 pm

Ah yes, the old Hyundai-As-A-Mercedes trick, eh? (With apologies to Don Adams and his Get Smart voice.)

This one smells like a musty old rat and I can't tell you the number of times over the years that we have seen things like this backfire on the people that try it.

If I had a dollar for every time someone's tried these kinds of things and had it blow up on them, I'd have the money to buy a real A1.

Best regards,

Ron Lindeboom


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matt nortonRe: Canon XH-A1 or Sony HVR Z1U
by on May 13, 2008 at 3:19:53 pm

So it is. just did some research and its another one of those scam stores.

I was just doing some research on the HD1000U and came accross these sites. I happend to see the A1 for the same price (I hadn't check the price or read up on one in a long while and thought oh the price has come down how nice!)

Now I know why I hadn't realy considered the camera before. for around the real price of a the A1 I can get a JVC HD110 and stick with the format that I have been editing in.

Well it looks like it is back to the Sony and buying from BHphotovideo or local JVC dealer said he could get the sony for around the same price. He is not a real Sony dealer but has conections.

I was realy looking foward to getting into the A1. Any other time I probably could have but things have been slow and I barly have the founds to do the HD1000u for $1,600.

just for futer reference are there any other trusted online stores that offer sony and canon.

I do alot of my computer stuff via tigerdirect.com I love how fast they are and the convience of having it come right to my door. plus they have knollegable staff that are big help. Prices are great too. I always thought it would be nice to find some online store like that for Pro video to get stuff my local dealer dosn't carry!

Refining Fire Production
Preserving Your History In High Definition
http://www.refiningfireproductions.com


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matt nortonRe: Canon XH-A1 or Sony HVR Z1U
by on May 20, 2008 at 5:00:02 pm

Just got my Sony HD1000u Monday. I am very pleased with it. Great camera for the money. It has alot more tweeking than my four year old JVC JY-HD10u that it is replacing. More sensitivity and less noise under low light. Footage looks good downconverted to 720 24p. I was pleasently suprised to discover that it will play my JVC HDV 720 30p tapes however it doesn't seam to output them via firewire much to my disopointment. Any one get this to work. I shot 1080i and captured fine no problem. I might just have to ivenst in an HDMI capture card. I know non of the other Sony cameras will output JVC 720p

Refining Fire Production
Preserving Your History In High Definition
http://www.refiningfireproductions.com


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Derek LauRe: Canon XH-A1 or Sony HVR Z1U
by on Sep 27, 2008 at 1:45:41 pm

Yeah,

I was almost scammed by a grey market unit before I got my xh-a1....

I called, and the sales team just says "hello, sales", not the company name or anything like that ....

most of those comapnies have several b.s. websites with a phone number that leads to the same office.

They try to sell you a camera for 1/2 the price, but they tell you it is just the body..... even though a camera like the z1 or the xha1 is all 1 unit.....

They try to sell you the lens, and try to sell you the lcd screen extra, they even tried to tell me it was extra $ for a color or b+w viewfinder.......

To humor myself, I told them I didn't want a lens or an lcd screen- I just want to buy the "body" of the camera- they rudely said "WE DON'T SELL THEM LIKE THAT!" and hung up on me.......

I suggest getting the camera from B+H because of fast shipping and great business ethics....

OR
if you are in the philadelphia-NJ area, go to a place called ZoomMania. I walked in their shop and got a xh-a1 with hard case, 10 tapes, 3 piece filter kit and xtra large battery (in addition to stock battery) for $3300, plus I got the mail in rebate..... their website is http://www.zoommania.com...... they sortof do the upselling thing that the b.s. companies do, but they are legit..... they sell you a "package" deal, but you can tell them to knock off the stuff you don't want, and they'll knock a couple bucks off the price...

good experience..... now that it sounds like these guys are paying me to plug em- but i just wouldn't want anyone to get scammed by one of the NY too good to be true companies...






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