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Canon HD Cameras - which one is going to suit me best?

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Sam Davies
Canon HD Cameras - which one is going to suit me best?
on Apr 12, 2007 at 11:23:39 am

Hi all,

I'm a young film maker in Australia. I mainly do event coverage work, only a minimal amount of set-up shoots in controlled environments at this stage.

Currently, my biggest workload is from the Mountain Biking industry. I'm just polishing off my first feature length film - a DVD of the Aussie National series over the 06/07 summer. All shot on a Canon XL1.
My shooting is almost always outdoors, but in wildy varying light conditions (from street scenes at night time - relying on street lights) to full on sunlight. It is often fairly dusty. I am usually on a shoot for sort of 8-9 hours a day, and will do a few days in a row at an event. I move around a lot, all on foot, and have to be self sufficient.
I edit in Final Cut (v5.1.4)

So, I am looking pretty keenly on a Canon, but, assuming I can afford the XL-H1, am not sure whether that would be best for me or not (as opposed to the AH-A1/G1)

The advantages of a smaller camera are obvious for this sort of work, lighter and easier to transport etc. (especially when you have to pack it up and take it on a plane with you), but the proffessional look of the XL-H1 is worth more than people think, it can be the difference between getting that great shot and not (usually because people move, or don't).
The smaller cameras also are far harder to keep stable when in shooting zoomed in, the shoulder mount thing seems like a real plus. (Am I right here - or very wrong?)

I like the feel of both cameras (AH-*1 and XL-H1), and for the most part they seem to do almost the exact same thing. Does the XL-H1 have many real benefits over the smaller cameras (ignoring the Jack Pack)?

Oh yes, and does anyone have any comments on the Instant RF focus system? Riders on some tracks will hit over 70km/hr, and will travel towards the camera very fast, and then away from it very fast, so focuss is often difficult - especially in dusty situations.

So, I'm just looking for any concerns I should have, questions I should ask, problems I'll have to deal with, or even just really cool stuff to look forward to.

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Donald Berube
Re: Canon HD Cameras - which one is going to suit me best?
on May 17, 2007 at 2:02:39 pm

I'd suggest the XH A1 for your application. Mainly because of the smaller faster Auto-focus, wider angle (32.5mm) lens, handycam form factor.

Please do let us know if you have any other questions.

- don

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