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first time pro camera advice


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#1 joe jukes

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Posted 24 July 2008 - 06:06 AM

hello all.

i have am having a little difficulty in finding a non biased sounding review on the canon XH A1
i am looking to get my first decent camera and im a little unsure of what would be ideal for me with my limited knowledge of such things.

basically i film snowboarders and the things associated with such people, in their own environment. i need a camera that is smallish, and fairly hardy, to handle very cold conditions, and also not mind being in a pub! it obviously has to be good at handling speedy movements and bright conditions.
ideally it would also be good in low light conditions, have a fairly good built in zoom, hopefully good at very close up shots and maybe the ability for wide angle filming.

i forgot...it needs to be as cheap as possible!!!

i have heard that the XH A1 does fulfill alot of this...but i wondered what other peoples opinions would be, of this and other cameras.

ta in advance

joe
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#2 Evan Mabry

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Posted 26 July 2008 - 02:01 AM

I just bought the XH A1. It is an incredible camera.

But, here's what I've learned.

I bought a camera with more bells and whistles than I know what to do with, and at a price that makes it my most valuable asset in more ways that a tool for following my passion.

Therefore, I am extremely careful of it. I am hesitant to take it anywhere I am so scared something will happen to it. This also affects my filming because I don't want to do anything risky with it, like hold it out a car window or run with it.

It's resolution is incredible, but I recommend you get something a little more compact and resilient. the Aluminum body of the XL2 comes to mind. The compactness and great price of the HV30.

at this point i would never consider taking my xh A1 on the slopes.
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#3 Adam Davis

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 10:53 PM

I'm actually going to make a case for the HV30 here. I have the XH-A1, and it's amazing, but it also draws a lot of attention to itself. It may not be the best for 'smallish' and being taken to places like pubs. The HV30 doesn't have the plethora of manual controls the A1 has, but it makes up for it in being compact and fairly simple to use. In the right hands, it can turn out video pretty great video. That, and it costs 1/3 the price of the A1.
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#4 joe jukes

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 08:24 AM

good advice, and i can see what you both mean but the problem with the HV30 is that it is quite a standard consumer camcorder, albeit a very good one, and one of the major reasons for me wanting to buy the XH A1 was so that i could teach myself to use the advanced features found on professional video cameras. I never actually mentioned that in the original thread though!
i have used plenty of SD consumer camcorders, and i am always a little bit disappointed with the quality of the film. maybe HD is different on cameras that dont have 3 CCD's?
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#5 Peter Moretti

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 01:07 AM

If you want a camera you can grow with and have tons of controls to learn about and master, the XH-A1 is a brilliant choice. HDV isn't supposed to handle movement well, but Canon has done a great job with HDV. And the XH-A1 has CCD instead of CMOS sensors, so you won't have the potential problem of fast moving objects changing shape due the "rolling shutter" effect.

The XH-A1 is GREAT. I really don't see how you can do better... as long as that size camera is acceptable for what you are doing.
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#6 Alain Lumina

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 12:47 AM

I've got an XH-A1 and you can really get great pics with it.

The warnings:

1) It's set up to capture neutral, accurate video-- not highly saturated, exaggerated footage , I'm not a DP so IDK how to describe
2) If you buy it with the right kind of warranty you can smash it and believe it or not they will fix it. ( I know because:...)
3) THe *&^*&^* built-in mike(s) are JUTTING RIGHT OUT IN FRONT ON TOP OF IT, WAITING TO GET BROKEN BY THOSE OF US WHO ARE NOT TOO BRITE.

That would be me.

I'm now waiting for the repair guys to send it back and then I'm designing an "idiot barrier" to protect the mikes.

Everyone rails against the built-in mikes, but they're stereo, if you set audio levels to AUTO they work without further thought, they capture stereo ambiance, and they're THERE.
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