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Thread: Canon XL2 or XH A1 ???

  1. #1
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    Question Canon XL2 or XH A1 ???

    OK - I'm getting near to the point where I am going to buy the kind of camera that I have always craved.

    For a long time, my dream camera was the XL2. Then came the Sony FX1 and after that the XH A1.

    My heart is telling me to go with the XL2 - a great camera that will produce stunning footage, looks (in my opinion) beautiful, and looks like a serious camera should.

    My head is saying go for the XH A1 because it is HDV and therefore slightly more future proof than the XL2.

    Every time I read a camera magazine I see HDV this and HDV that. I don't want to be constantly reminded that I am 'behind the times.' But that said, I haven't the PC to edit HDV, nor a HD TV (and wont buy one until our current one dies), nor a HD burner/player. And as Marc alluded to in a previous post, HDV in its present form is by no means future proof itself. Am I worrying about HDV too much?

    So here's the question:

    If you had to choose between

    an XL2 http://www.canon.co.uk/For_Home/Prod.../XL2/index.asp

    and an XH A1 http://www.canon.co.uk/For_Home/Product_Finder/Camcorders/High_Definition_HDV/XH_A1/index.asp

    which one would it be???
    Last edited by bert6280; 03-03-2007 at 03:45 PM.

  2. #2
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    My main cam has been a vx2100 for the past 2 years, in the summer of last year I wanted to buy a second cam and had the same worries as you, should I invest in hdv or not. because of hdv the prices of good dv cams started to drop I decided to buy a dvx100 and I haven't regret it so far.
    It all depends for what you will be using it for, I"m in the wedding business and for this year f.i. I"m booked full and no client has asked for hdv. All of them had still plain, often 4:3 tv's.

    Beginning next year however I will switch to one hdv cam for sure, probably will sell my vx2100 and keep the dvx100 as backup cam or for specific assignments. For next year I will be expecting more hd requests, blue ray or hd dvd will become cheaper for sure and more people will start to have a complete hd ready sets.

    So for your question, if you use the camera professionally I would buy a XH A1 (Assuming you have no camera at all), if you use it just for hobby, go for the xl2. The xl2 however is still quite expensive (I think that it costs approx the same as the XH A1. But that will not last, canon will not be able to justify the high xl2 prices for a sd cam and maybe you will be better of waiting a bit longer if you want better deals. The dvx100 f.i. can allready be found several 100 euro's cheaper then last year.

    You allready mentioned it and it's surely something to consider and that's the pc upgrade you need to do, that's money you will save when you get the xl2.

    Several of my competitors got a hd cam about 1,5 -2 years ago (The fx1 which was very popular then) and still they had to take a sd cam with them for dark shoots because the fx1 was just not up to it. To the customer they had to deliver a downconverted sd footage so there was no advantage. Only advantage was if they sold their original minidv tape with the hd recordings so it could be transfered to blue ray in a few years.

    My dream is a hvx200 with 2 large P2 cards, just like you I will have to make the right choice again next year and at the meantime I will probably still make somebody very happy with my vx2100.
    Last edited by noa; 03-03-2007 at 05:45 PM.

  3. #3
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    I would suggest having a go on the XH if you havent already - I have always found the balance of the xl very awkward and I found the hi def version much worse in this respect, that lens is very heavy and holding the cam for any length of time on the shoulder was VERY tiring and uncomfortable, it felt like I was arm wrestling.

    Maybe just a personal thing.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark W View Post
    I would suggest having a go on the XH if you havent already - I have always found the balance of the xl very awkward and I found the hi def version much worse in this respect, that lens is very heavy and holding the cam for any length of time on the shoulder was VERY tiring and uncomfortable, it felt like I was arm wrestling.

    Maybe just a personal thing.
    Some time ago I had the opportunity to work half a day with the jvc GY-HD100 which is more or less build acc to the same principle and I found it tiring as well. Another problem was that it was difficult to get it balanced well, I could get much more steady shots with my vx2100 or with a real sholdercamera.

    Also something to consider is the fact that the xl2 doensn't have a flipout lcd, the viewer is too small to watch from a distance and for tripod shots you have to get your eye onto the viewfinder all the time to see what you are doing.

    Below link also gives more info on the pros/cons of the xl2
    http://www.dvxuser.com/articles/shoot3/

  5. #5
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    Thanks Noa

    Thanks Mark

    I think it will be the XH A1. It does seem the sensible choice, on many counts. I had decided that this would be 'the one' as soon as it was launched last year. I had already written off the XL2 which up to that point had been 'the one'.

    What re-ignited my XL2 flames was seeing one listed (PAL brand new) on eBay from a seemingly very reputable seller for under 2K inc. Amazing price - but it seems that many pro-sumer SD cameras are becoming very keenly priced at the moment, no doubt due to the HDV 'revolution'.

    For me, the XL2 design is unrivalled in it's sheer sex-appeal. I'll always have a soft spot for it.

    When I win the lottery, I'll buy them both...

  6. #6

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    We just finished a shoot for our best project to date, Hal Ketchum...(do a google if you've never heard the name...sold in excess of 4 million cds). We used a VX2100, XL1s a smaller well spec Sony for backstage...and our NEW....yeah!!!! Canon XH A1 (the first of 2 we're buying) as it was a mix of cams, we shot it all in SD, we didn't use the HD feature on the new Canon....have to say it knocked spots off everything else in terms of picture quality....goodness knows how good it will be when it comes to shooting in HD!

    For what its worth, buy the XH...we hope to get our second one shortly

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