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Jarred Land
01-09-2007, 11:35 PM
Click Here To Read Article (http://www.dvxuser.com/articles/xha1/)

Kholi
01-09-2007, 11:46 PM
Thanks for the write-up, Barry. Thanks for including the images as well.

I am still on the fence about the claim that the Canon can not be tweaked to match the HVX's "rich" and-- this is my opinion-- often over-saturated colors. However, I haven't anything to prove that either.

Good thing is that this article states that the Camera fits right in with the DVX and HVX, which should dispose of VERSUS threads in the first place. IN fact, I think this article should be called the HVX, DVX, and XHA1 article, removing the versus in all.

Jarred Land
01-09-2007, 11:49 PM
I know Kholi.. but that wouldnt be any fun now would it.

In my opinion the Xha1 kinda beats the DVX, and is just "different" from the HVX. It would be nice to see a HD-DVX replacement come sometime soon.. because its kinda aging, even though it has a solid user-base and dedicated following. Its just getting more and more dangerous not to have HD deliverables now adays.

Kholi
01-09-2007, 11:57 PM
Yes yes, fun. You know where fun gets you, right? You've seen it: you've had like eighty-thousand kids (aka DVXuser Members) and you're still a revolving door. All because you wanted to have a little fun informing other DVXusers about how great their camera was.

The A1 is definitely a "winner" when paired against the DVX, if not for pricing, then for the options and doors it opens for those who can't shell out for the Solid-State revolution. Being able to say "I can shoot in HD" is definitely a plus for those working off of their cameras and not Salaries; as silly as that might be or sound.

The A1 is a decent "contender" to the HVX. Some say Apples and Oranges, I see two HD cameras capable of producing similar images. Of course we could get into ifs and buts, like if the A1 had integrated tapeless workflow as gorgeous and linear as Pansonic's still teething P2 line, would it still be apples and oranges?

HD-DVX sounds nice right about now. AVC-HD and more Solid-State options for those who aren't going to trust the Canon-brand.

I do love my HVX, even though it doesn't get to come out and play enough.

magichristopher
01-10-2007, 01:00 AM
If you are comparing the base image to the HVX then yes, the XHA1 will be less saturated. However, I can get images that are filled with color like the HVX as well. The pictures you showed were not a proper representation of what the Canon is capable of rendering. This article, although informing, seemed entirely biased from the get go, only to throw in valid opposition to the HVX as an attempt of neutrality, but the undertones aren't hard to miss. Considering that this is a Panasonic forum, this is to be expected.

I am not saying the a manual lens isn't better than a servo and that variable framerates aren't useful, but for many, filming sports, and doing run and gun the P2 limitation has many boundaries, that are more of an liability than an asset. I am glad you never mentioned that HDV crippled the footage and completely glorrified DVCPRO100, this seems to be less of an issue now.

I would agree that HVX is primarily for filmakers, the A1 for everything else.

SPZ
01-10-2007, 02:50 AM
If you are comparing the base image to the HVX then yes, the XHA1 will be less saturated. However, I can get images that are filled with color like the HVX as well. The pictures you showed were not a proper representation of what the Canon is capable of rendering. This article, although informing, seemed entirely biased from the get go, only to throw in valid opposition to the HVX as an attempt of neutrality, but the undertones aren't hard to miss. Considering that this is a Panasonic forum, this is to be expected.

I am not saying the a manual lens isn't better than a servo and that variable framerates aren't useful, but for many, filming sports, and doing run and gun the P2 limitation has many boundaries, that are more of an liability than an asset. I am glad you never mentioned that HDV crippled the footage and completely glorrified DVCPRO100, this seems to be less of an issue now.

I would agree that HVX is primarily for filmakers, the A1 for everything else.

Set them side by side, and film a moving person in 25p or 24p in it. Tweak the Canon footage as much as you want. But play them back, and the HVX footage just looks richer, while keeping things looking natural. If you tweak the canon to look like the HVX, there are some parts of the color matrix that won't feel balanced overall like the HVX. Just try it. But with big bucks, you can always Telecine the Canon footage and make it look gorgeusly better... But we are talking big bucks here.

PaulM
01-10-2007, 03:23 AM
Looks like Barry never turned off AGC (auto gain control) on the Canon. Without turning AGC off the camera will add plenty of gain to just about any situation. Turn AGC off and set gain to -3dB and the noise disappears. The grabs in Barry's comparison don't do the Canon justice at all. For a basic idea of what the A1 can really do look at Barlow's clip in this thread:

http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?t=77926

Huy Vu
01-10-2007, 03:52 AM
I agree with magicchristopher about the clear bias tone toward the HVX. And yea, those grabs does not do the Canon justice at all. I'm not sure if it's my monitor but the contrast on the Canon grab is way off (it has that look if you apply a Brightness filter and turn it all the way up).

There seems to be the assumption that the Canon must measure up to the color of the HVX to be "good." It's stated quite clearly in the article: image is no longer the main comparison point. The Canon look isn't necessarily better or worse, it's just different; and I imagine that most of us will do some kind of CC in post to get the look we want. Both cameras have their strength and weaknesses but overall I have a hard time seeing how the HVX is the "clear winner" for everybody.

Noel Evans
01-10-2007, 06:10 AM
Thanks for the effort Barry. Couple of comments:

First I think Barry has offered a fair summation of the main differences between the cams. But heres where I differ in my opinion a little.

First off, my colors on the A1 have never looked this flat, or this grainy, and to suggest Barry was being unfair is a bit ignorant of who Barry Green is. But Id suggest those of us who have had more use of the cam are getting a lot more out of it. And the A1 lense is a big plus over the HVX, not sure why Pana didnt go this route. Wider and longer Zoom.

I have been a long time HVX user and the frame rates you can get from this camera are truly incredible. I am not kidding. The full manual zoom is also a bonus factor. just like the good old DVX - what a great SD camera it is. Barry covered these points. The other thing is green screen, without a doubt the HVX is a clear winner with 4:2:2 color space, but in my experience green screen shooting is very controlled and you can get 4:2:2 out of the A1 with the right equipement. You are not about to shoot green screen suddenly on the street is my point. So why not have your mac on deck and capturing to a Kona via component?

Heres where I think the HVX is a let down, well not a let down, but a confusion in price point and technology. Please remember this is just one persons opinion and nothing more. Here in Japan now the HVX isnt much more expensive than the a1 and almost the same price as the new sony v1. P2 cards are a different cost altogether.

Considering my above points, Im paying a few thousand extra for a HVX and p2 that has a picture with no discernable HD difference. If the HVX were a 2\3 inch chip camera offering p2 I could completely understand the value, but of course we would be at a higher price for that, and the added cost of p2. As it stands, the ease of use with the A1 to shoot HD anywhere, anytime for hours and hours without limitation is a big factor, especially at this price point. Lets face it, the cost difference is negligable, but if the budget were bigger all the time we would less likely be looking at either of these cams at all.

Anyway just my 2c.

Lastly, the responses have been kind to the DVX, maybe because we all loved this camera so much and have an infinite fondness for it, but I will state without reservation, if you have a few extra hundred bucks, the A1 blows the DVX out of the water and so it should.

Edit: I wanted to add however a point regarding the XH G1. TNC connectors provide HD-SDI (SMPTE 292M) and SD-SDI (SMPTE 259M) uncompressed 1.485 gigabit/second output with 4:2:2 color sampling -- with embedded time code and audio; Genlock input for multi-camera synchronization in live-switched environments; and dedicated SMPTE time code input and output terminals for post-production requirements. and all for 7K? . Once again if thats what I want to do I will at least look toward the XLh1 with its interchangable lenses (higher budget) or then a 2/3 inch cam of which I currently like the SDX900 via rental. I am just pointing out that some of these things dont quite fit budget niches and requirements.

And to the future there is Red. But honestly god knows why any aspiring Director would have 40-50 k tied up in a camera with sundries, when you could rent and get that next big feature out for the same cost.

EDIT TWO: For the love of god Barry get that A1 off that poxy 501 head :P

philnerd
01-10-2007, 07:38 AM
I'm away from my XH A1 right now (that whole "day job" thing), but off the top of my head I'd say the A1 pics in the comparisons appear quite flat due to the cine gamma/matrix settings. Depending on which ones are being used, they REALLY flatten the image. Looks very bland and "blah" on playback, but allows for heavy color correction or film transfer. For producing rich out-of-cam images, those settings just aren't going to do the trick.

<edit>

OK, I just watched the comparison Quicktime movie. I'm sorry to say, the XH A1 is absolutely definitely not set up anywhere near what it should be to produce vibrant colors. The image is completely flattened with very little contrast.

icicle22
01-10-2007, 09:23 AM
I do not own an A1 anymore but the images in this comparison look way off. I agree overall that the HVX has a better gamma curve and renders beautiful gorgeous images. But the difference between the A1 and the HVX is much less pronounced than these images show.

What I am getting at is the HVX colors are not "that" much better than the A1.....based on those pictures the A1 images look like caca! :)

I have owned the HVX, the A1 and the H1. I stuck with the H1 as I feel it is superior to the A1 image wise but mostly because of the form factor. I still would love to add an A1 to the arsenal. Heck, I'd actually rather add an HVX but the lack of any long form recording options that don't add thousands to the cost has boxed it out for me. For now.

Peace!

Stu Siegal
01-10-2007, 09:54 AM
Some observations;

The A1 pictures are not representative of what the camera can produce. Much richer images than those posted can be had by simply downloading the 18 available presets uploaded elsewhere. I won't go so far as to say they A1 grabs are the equivalent of doctored "before" photos in wrinkle cream ads, but perhaps Barry is more skilled at manipulating the hvx picture, a cam he's had for a year as opposed to a week.

Second, there is a huge bias in the concluding section of the article - not the least of which is a bias toward a certain kind of work. The assumption that the hvx is a pro camera and the A1 is a prosumer cam is nonsense. It reflects an assumption that the criteria for judging these cameras based on how they perform for studio & independent film production work, controled situations. Not so.

My guess is Barry does primaily studio work as opposed to run & gun/doc work. If he were a run & gunner, there'd be a whole section about how the hvx is nearly useless for any type of doc work or shooting in uncontrolled environments. The excitement over variable frame rates is another indication of a bias towards a certain type of work. For doc people - who cares? To me, it's flavor of the month stuff, a look every rap promo/action pic must have, where basic operability in remote settings is bread & butter, has been since the days of little ari's in wwII and eclairs in the new wave. Typewriter to word processor? Hardly. A sleek vs. clunky analogy might have been far more appropriate. My point is that Barry doesn't miss any of the A1's features and its ergonomics not because they were inferior, but because they didn't apply to his style of work, which is no more or less professional than mine.

What's odd is that after stating that the images are nearly identical, the conclusion puts the A1 in a class beneath the hvx. The cameras are in the same class. Period. They have different feature sets - that's it. The plusses and minuses on either side are essentially a wash. The A1 is a pro cam - I'd rather shoot a nature doc or a reality program or live performance with it over the hvx any day.

I don't want to knock the article - there's lot's of good information here. It's when it veers from information to opinion that it becomes highly subjective - shooters take not. Play for yourself before you buy.

xray
01-10-2007, 10:04 AM
A1 colors are different from HVX colors. I don't mind, why keep it all the same? You see more changing color use in cinema. It's not 1988, we are in 2007. I do playground in the CC. But one thing I need to bring in is (owning a A1 Canon) the colors shown here are flat and dull, you can make them look WAY better. And the software image control on the A1 is rich. And resolution? Shooting wide, mountains, landscape, the A1 is the champ, no way the HVX brings you the same here.

Thanks Barry for the review, I never knew that you could close the backdoor using it on AC power, I just found out! It was always open collecting dust. And I love the A1 battery inside, it's such a sleek design that I feel the HVX is even more ugly than it actually is.

ennfurno
01-10-2007, 10:08 AM
i think te night footage that someone shot on the a1 sais it all about th image quality this camera is able to ship.awaiting my a1 today

Barry_Green
01-10-2007, 10:28 AM
Looks like Barry never turned off AGC (auto gain control) on the Canon.
Of course I turned off AGC. That's the first thing I did.

Barry_Green
01-10-2007, 10:32 AM
I agree with magicchristopher about the clear bias tone toward the HVX.
Of course there's a clear bias towards the HVX. The HVX is the better product, it suits my purposes, and it's been here a year. The very first statement was that the HVX is the gold standard and the question was "how does the XHA1 measure up?"

That said, it's no secret that I have never liked Canon camcorders. I have a Canon digital still camera, it's great, but I don't like their camcorder designs and never have. The only one I thought was good for what it was, was the GL2. Hated the XL1, don't care for the XL2, and I would really like the XLH1 if it wasn't so expensive and had horrible lens controls.

That said, I have proclaimed the XHA1 the best HDV camcorder on the market, period, regardless of price. That should say something about the XHA1.



And yea, those grabs does not do the Canon justice at all.
I disagree. Those grabs are exactly what the Canon delivers. It's insulting to say otherwise. I specified exactly what settings were used on the Canon, and I put it in about a dozen different circumstances.

As I said in the article -- if you view it by itself, it looks fantastic. It's only when you see it side-by-side that you even raise a question.


Both cameras have their strength and weaknesses but overall I have a hard time seeing how the HVX is the "clear winner" for everybody.
Did anybody say that it was?

Barry_Green
01-10-2007, 10:37 AM
But Id suggest those of us who have had more use of the cam are getting a lot more out of it.
Settings were posted as to what was used. Cine2 matrix, Cine2 gamma, and color and detail settings at neutral.

Same with the HVX -- cinelike matrix, Cinelike-D gamma. I could certainly extract a lot more out of the HVX if I so chose to, but I put 'em both on middle settings.

In every prior shootout we've gone to efforts to make the cameras look as much alike as possible, and everyone whines. So here I set them on neutral, and now people are complaining. Not to get too grumpy, but it certainly seems like "no good deed goes unpunished." :)

NCJE, I agree with just about everything you wrote, and if you re-read the article you'll see that.

Barry_Green
01-10-2007, 10:41 AM
But the difference between the A1 and the HVX is much less pronounced than these images show.
How can you say that? The differences are exactly what these images show. Great care was taken to position them exactly the same place, use comparable neutral settings, focus precisely on the exact same target, use the exact same exposure down to the same "pip" of zebras. Then the images were brought into Vegas and exported as best quality, uncompressed PNGs.

This is exactly what the differences are in the raw images, to the pixel, exactly.

Yes both offer customization beyond that, and yes I could have turned the color down on the HVX and turned it up on the XHA1 and gotten them to be of more similar saturation -- but they still don't look the same. You can see that by comparing the HVX's neutral "courthouse" picture against the XHA1's "max color" courthouse picture. The saturation gets close, but there's still a warmth and richness that the HVX offers that the XHA1 just doesn't have. And, like I said in the article, maybe you can tweak it in post to get the same look, but I couldn't get it in-camera.

Barry_Green
01-10-2007, 10:51 AM
Some observations;

The A1 pictures are not representative of what the camera can produce. Much richer images than those posted can be had by simply downloading the 18 available presets uploaded elsewhere.
Of course it can be tweaked, as said in the article. And the HVX can be tweaked significantly too. But neither cam was. That was the whole point.


I won't go so far as to say they A1 grabs are the equivalent of doctored "before" photos in wrinkle cream ads, but perhaps Barry is more skilled at manipulating the hvx picture, a cam he's had for a year as opposed to a week.
The implication here is that the HVX WAS tweaked, and that's absolutely false. I set it on absolutely dead-center neutral settings; the only concession to image changes at all was the use of cine-D and cinematrix, which were also used on the XHA1, under the impression that any film-style cinematographer would obviously put both camcorders into those modes.

If you want me to tweak the HVX to look way better, I can easily do that and it would look dramatically better than the shots you see posted here. The HVX shots were IN NO WAY "optimized". Neither were the XHA1 shots.


Second, there is a huge bias in the concluding section of the article - not the least of which is a bias toward a certain kind of work. The assumption that the hvx is a pro camera and the A1 is a prosumer cam is nonsense. It reflects an assumption that the criteria for judging these cameras based on how they perform for studio & independent film production work, controled situations. Not so.
The summation of the article is a personal observation, a subjective conclusion based on my own test of figuring out how these two compare. I left it up to the reader to decide what features are important to them, but I specifically said "for me, I can't give this up" etc. I tried to lay out the differences to let each reader know what the differences are, because it is the differences that allow us to choose between them. I think the choice between an XHA1 and an HVX is very easy.

It's the choice between a V1U and an XHA1 that's hard. Why? Because they're "the same" in specs almost across the board. The HVX and the XHA1 are night-and-day different. So one is much more suitable to a certain type of work where the other one wouldn't be. The choice should be easy.

If your type of work is different than what I do, you may find the XHA1 perfect where the HVX would be unmanageable.


My guess is Barry does primaily studio work as opposed to run & gun/doc work.
Absolutely.


If he were a run & gunner, there'd be a whole section about how the hvx is nearly useless for any type of doc work or shooting in uncontrolled environments.
Probably true. But this isn't really a community of "run and gun" shooters, this is a community of filmmakers -- look at our festivals, and you'll see that everyone is trying to be the next Spielberg. These cameras were compared in the context of their suitability for filmmaking. Which is why I left them glued in 24p, for example, and never even bothered to shoot 60i.


The excitement over variable frame rates is another indication of a bias towards a certain type of work.
No question, no argument. This article is absolutely biased towards commercial/film/music video work, and doesn't address documentary/sports shooting/live event shooting at all.


My point is that Barry doesn't miss any of the A1's features and its ergonomics not because they were inferior, but because they didn't apply to his style of work, which is no more or less professional than mine.
Good point.


What's odd is that after stating that the images are nearly identical, the conclusion puts the A1 in a class beneath the hvx.
Why is that odd? There's much, much, much more than just the image to consider. Workflow, flexibility, frame rates, color, physical control, audio -- lots, lots more to consider. If it was only about "which one makes a sharper 1080/24P image" then yes they're in the same class. But they do not end there, there's so much more to consider, and in nearly all those categories the HVX is a clear step above, if not two steps above.


I don't want to knock the article - there's lot's of good information here. It's when it veers from information to opinion that it becomes highly subjective - shooters take not. Play for yourself before you buy.
The article is information and opinion both. If someone wants to read a checklist of comparative features, I'm sure that could be arranged. I set out to find out what the 411 was on both of these units and how they compared and offered the factual differences and my opinion on those and why I thought each was important.

Barry_Green
01-10-2007, 10:54 AM
A1 colors are different from HVX colors. I don't mind, why keep it all the same? You see more changing color use in cinema. It's not 1988, we are in 2007.
Exactly.


I do playground in the CC. But one thing I need to bring in is (owning a A1 Canon) the colors shown here are flat and dull, you can make them look WAY better.
Yes, you can, and I showed the ability to do so in the "courthouse" and "trees" pictures. Are people just not seeing those or something?


And the software image control on the A1 is rich.
Very rich, richer than on the HVX.


And resolution? Shooting wide, mountains, landscape, the A1 is the champ, no way the HVX brings you the same here.
The pictures would disagree. The HVX delivers just as sharp of a picture in every wide shot I put it to.


Thanks Barry for the review, I never knew that you could close the backdoor using it on AC power, I just found out! It was always open collecting dust.
Yeah, that puzzled me for a minute, and the CamcorderInfo review said you had to leave the door open. And I sat there thinking "no WAY did Canon design this like this!" I may not care for some of their design decisions (cough lens controls cough) but the XHA1 is so slick otherwise, how could they mess that up? So I poked a little further and found the little window.

Elton
01-10-2007, 10:59 AM
Barry,

As much as I'm perceived to be a Canon fanboy/apologist, I can appreciate the time that you took to write the article, and you have every right to spice it with opinion. I would offer a simple caveat that people should understand that the perceptual feeling of these cameras are simply different.

I believe Panny's color processing is much more aggressive out-of-the-box and a little more instant gratification for the uninitiated. I honestly believe it has more to do with the signal processing overall than the codec. That said, Canon's basic philosophy was to give a ton of control over the image and ship 'em "broadcast flat". There is actually more CC latitude in the flatter image, but it's just not tagged to feel uber-saturated and poppy the way some of the Cinelike modes work...out-of-the-box. The A1 image when simply put in 24F mode and shot with neutral settings will indeed look flatter, even in the Cine modes. The camera is meant to be pushed, not merely shot "as is".

All of the workflow issues are about tradeoffs and pricepoints. P2 is fantastic for the filmmaker on the set, but a challenge for long takes, archiving, and might require an on-set assistant, and requires the added expense of a laptop or P2Store for offloading...or purchasing a Firestore. HDV is a nice compromise for recording length freedom because the codec (Canon's HDV encoder) is better than anyone would think it has a right to be (especially the F modes) and despite the need to use a Canon camera for F mode compatibilty, the ability to capture pure 24P without pulldown issues and edit in a native environment without a large storage penalty has its advantages too. The A1 is also probably more practical for the single, "run and gun" Doc/verite' shooter. And of course, this goes for event shooting too.

The lens issues again are about priorities and tradeoffs. The A1 lens is useable overall, but you do sacrifice the ability to do super fast snap zooms...which is how important overall? Depends on the user, but I would wager to say that a good deal of users would give that up for greater range that can actually be useable handheld (with OIS engaged). Again, tradeoffs...and it's wonderful to have good choices available.

I just think it's a fantastic time to be in the market for an affordable HD camera. I love the diversity of the offerings. It wil be interesting to see how many people will be running around with HVX's, A1's, H1's, HD100's...even the V1 at Sundance this year.

I saw a ton of DVX's on Main Street last year...but I expect a noticeable shift to HD.

Isaac_Brody
01-10-2007, 11:04 AM
If people think the shots don't do the cam justice how about posting more footage in the other cameras section? I've seen some good A1 footage, but if people are sitting on really amazing stuff post it already. I'm looking to buy a new camera, gimme an idea of what the A1 is capable of.

Barry_Green
01-10-2007, 11:21 AM
Barlow, I think your summation is exactly accurate. Thank you for at least reading the article; I think some people are just looking at the photos and then complaining because it doesn't meet with their preconceived notion of how it "should be."

I appreciate what you wrote, and I agree with everything you wrote to the letter.

It is absolutely impossible to write anything of substance and please everyone, so why try? I set out to find out how the cameras perform, side by side, without excessive tweaking. Without any tweaking, really. And I set out to find out if the XHA1 would sway me from going with the HVX, since the HVX is, as far as I'm concerned, the "gold standard" of features, flexibility, image, power, and price right now. And I found that they are *very comparable* in 1080 mode! VERY. I said the only notable difference is in color. I put in the exact settings (the EXACT SETTINGS) I used for both, and what am I getting complaints about? Color. Sigh.

I really think a lot of people don't even read the text -- I think they just look at the pictures, and if "their team" doesn't "win", they complain. Or if "their team" does "win", they celebrate. That ain't what it's about. Does anybody even read the section where I said that I swapped the cable back and forth and, on an HDTV, couldn't really even tell which camera was which? Side-by-side the color's different, but just taking each on their own, they're both fantastic.

Anyway, I believe both products are capable of fantastic results. Pick your priorities, they're both different, and they're both capable. The two points that are clearly objective are that the HVX has a lot more flexibility, and that it costs more. And because of those two facts, it's more suitable for certain types of productions and for certain users, and less suitable for other types of productions and other users.

Pick which one suits your needs. But they're both excellent.

J.R. Hudson
01-10-2007, 11:24 AM
We need to set up a site called DVXSwiss so we can stop being accused of bias and have a more nuetral appearance.

Thanks for giving Barry and Jarred the benefit of the doubt in the integrity department anyways.

-

Great article. One thing stays true; determine your needs and get your hands on the products before you buy.

-

Nice post Elton.

-

A question for another thread :

Why is the HVX useless for run and gun / doc work ? Useless ? With the pending a 16gb card on the way ? Useless ?

Kholi
01-10-2007, 11:26 AM
Interjecting once more:

I for one read the entire article, and read it again this morning to make sure I got it. I'd honestly have to say it's not the article, but how it was written? If that makes sense.

Good example would be "The HVX GHETTO SLAPS the A1"... where as when the A1 is a clear winner in such regions as resolution it's more like "... the A1 has a slight advantage."

Otherwise, not being an A1 owner and an HVX owner, It seems a fair example of a camera comparison.

I told you that VERSUS title was going to cause trouble!

MovieSwede
01-10-2007, 11:30 AM
As a DVX fanboy myself I can say that after reading this article i would have no problem buying the A1.

Sure I think that the HVX produces the best filmlike images but A1 gives you alot of image quality for the money.

I already knew all the benefits with the A1 its the bad things that always worries me and Barry ha showed that they really isnt much to worrie about. Just buy and go out there and shoot.

With the 120% pricedifference between HVX and A1 here in Europe, the A1 will give me most for my money.

miamivideo
01-10-2007, 11:34 AM
I NOTICED THAT CANON GRABS BESIDES BEEN NOISER THAN PANASONIC THEY WERE A LOT SHARPER THAN THE PANASONIC GRABS, PANASONIC LOOKED LIKE NOT IN FOCUS OR SOMETHING...?.

Sorry about the CAPS .!

Barry_Green
01-10-2007, 11:36 AM
Good example would be "The HVX GHETTO SLAPS the A1"... where as when the A1 is a clear winner in such regions as resolution it's more like "... the A1 has a slight advantage."

Can you point out the clear advantage in resolution? Have you looked at the pictures? I stared and stared at them, I brought 'em into Photoshop and blew 'em up to 400% size to compare 'em, I played 'em on my TV. Is there *any* noticeable difference in resolution?

WHERE do you see a "clear winner" in resolution? The only place I can determine a "clear advantage" in resolution for the XHA1 is in the pixel count of the chip, and in a tiny bit of aliasing on one of the masts on the battleship; other than that, I think they look basically *identical* in resolution.

(note: if I was shooting 60i, yes the Canon would have about a 15% advantage in vertical resolution, but I shot exclusively 24F).

I can show you how the HVX "ghetto slaps" the XHA1 as far as zoom control goes. If the XHA1 had shown a similar advantage in resolution, I would have used the same term. The XHA1 shows only the slightest advantage, and I do mean slight. Slight slight slight. You would have to totally pixel-obsess to see it.

In fact, I'd say my biggest complaint about the XHA1, and if there's a reason I would dread using it, it's the zoom control. I *hated* it. I *hated* the zoom control on the XLH1 too. And I *hated* the zoom control on the XL2. And I *hated* the zoom control on the XL1. I simply do not like even using those cameras, they frustrate and annoy me because of it. Hate is not too strong of a word to describe how I feel about the zoom control on all those cameras. The XHA1 is the best of the bunch, but only by a minor amount.

So if I used harsh words when describing the absolutely so-much-better zoom control on the HVX, understand that I meant it. :thumbsup:


I told you that VERSUS title was going to cause trouble!
I don't even think that's the problem. It's inherent in every camera comparison article. Adam Wilt told me that any camera comparison is going to lead to the same thing, because "you're goring someone's sacred cow".

I just don't understand why people think a $3995 product should do everything a $5995 product does, and when I point out the things that it doesn't do, they get upset? Different products, different price points, appealing to different customers.

Barry_Green
01-10-2007, 11:37 AM
As a DVX fanboy myself I can say that after reading this article i would have no problem buying the A1.

Sure I think that the HVX produces the best filmlike images but A1 gives you alot of image quality for the money.

I already knew all the benefits with the A1 its the bad things that always worries me and Barry ha showed that they really isnt much to worrie about. Just buy and go out there and shoot.

With the 120% pricedifference between HVX and A1 here in Europe, the A1 will give me most for my money.

THANK YOU! That's exactly what I set out to do. And if the A1 is the right one for you, then I'm glad to have helped you make up your mind.

At a 30% price difference I think the cost is absolutely totally justified for an HVX. At a 120% price difference? You'd better *really need* variable frame rates to make that make economic sense!

Barry_Green
01-10-2007, 11:40 AM
I NOTICED THAT CANON GRABS BESIDES BEEN NOISER THAN PANASONIC THEY WERE A LOT SHARPER THAN THE PANASONIC GRABS, PANASONIC LOOKED LIKE NOT IN FOCUS OR SOMETHING...?.

Sorry about the CAPS .!

Where do you see them being a "lot sharper"? Each was focused exactly to the same degree on the same point, and I think that they're extremely close in sharpness & resolution.

The only thing that may differ in focus is that the Canon, in outdoors situations, was usually stopped down two more stops. Partly due to the Canon's neutral density filter being 1 stop weaker, and partly due to its Cine2 gamma being a stop brighter overall than the Panasonic's CineLike-D. So they're not at the same F-stop; the Panasonic was frequently at F4 where the Canon was frequently at F8 or so. So you may be seeing some distant background details appearing a bit softer on the Panasonic than the Sony on some of the more zoomed-in shots, but in the wide shots it shouldn't be a factor.

But hey -- if you think the Canon looks sharper, and you like sharper imagery, then the images have helped you make up your mind, right? That was the point -- so you could see comparable imagery and make up your mind.

Jason Ramsey
01-10-2007, 11:45 AM
Different products, different price points, appealing to different customers.


different products, different price points, appealing to different customers.


different products, different price points, appealing to different customers.

Maybe that should have been the title of the article. :)

Jason

Barry_Green
01-10-2007, 11:46 AM
I'd prefer that over "versus", but Jarred likes "versus" and he's the one who posted it and printed the title!

Jason Ramsey
01-10-2007, 11:48 AM
well, like he said... "That wouldn't be any fun now would it?"

Albeit, potentially somewhat at your expense. But, hey. I guess it comes with the territory. You are who you are. It's like celebrities and Paparazzi.

Later,
Jason

Barry_Green
01-10-2007, 11:53 AM
I've tried it many different ways. With FX1 vs. XL2 vs. DVX, Jarred and I went and shot a million different shots on neutral settings and rendered 'em out to DVD. People were upset at the results and conclusions.

So then I went and did the six-way shootout, Z1 and HVX and XLH1 and HD100 and VariCam and CineAlta. And I brought in lots of other people, and I walked away from the testing procedures and let Jay and Adam run it. Tried to make it the most unbiased, neutral thing possible. I didn't even write the final article! And again, people were upset.

So this time I set out to do a fact-based opinion piece -- get the absolute facts, and sort through how I felt about 'em. Actually I wanted to buy an XHA1, (I wanted to see if it would be better for wide shots for resolution and for tele shots), and actually called Abel to place the order, when they volunteered to loan it to me instead. I compared 'em for a week, and decided that it didn't offer any benefits over the HVX (FOR THE TYPE OF WORK I DO, which should be spelled out more clearly and maybe I'll ask Jarred to revise the article for that). So it's "I use and love the HVX, how does the XHA1 compare" article.

Guess what? People are upset...

I put the results out there. I put the exact settings I used. The photos are absolutely raw, absolutely un-compressed, absolutely un-doctored, absolutely un-modified, absolutely un-optimized. But hey -- if someone else wants to do their own comparison, they're free to take a week out of their lives and do so; just please post the results and your settings and your reasoning for choosing them.

But don't be surprised if people get upset! :)

J.R. Hudson
01-10-2007, 11:57 AM
Maybe that should have been the title of the article. :)

Jason

Naaw

People just need to remove themselves from the object and stop being Nancies.

:violin:

icicle22
01-10-2007, 12:07 PM
To make an assumption that any of us did not read the article but simply looked at the pictures is just a tad better than saying we are all idiots. I read every word of it before even looking at the pics. And I still say that the A1 looks worse than I have seen it in real life.

Since posting, Barlow has stepped in and said what I thought should be said. The HVX may be set at neutral settings, but Panasonic has chosen to make their neutral setting (arbitrary numbers) be tweaked out. So the base image of the HVX is closer to a tweaked A1. Canon has their cameras set to a true flat, neutral image. So I agree at the base setting the HVX looks better color wise. Heck, I believe the HVX looks better overall.....but not by as big of a margin as the images show. Yes...if we are forced to use neutral settings then the HVX is mucho better.

But....I submit that tweaking the A1 will significantly make the images come closer to the HVX. It won't be exact but it will be a lot closer.

And.....the HVX may be able to be tweaked too....but the increase in quality/contrast/saturation...whatever, is going to be minimal as the image is close to being "dialed in" from the factory.

So if the HVX looks great with the color at 0 setting....does that mean that increasing the color is going to make it look greater? Not necessarily. However increasing the color on the A1 could make it look at lot better because it is not even pushed at the default.

Either way I understand what Barry is saying. But I stand by the fact that these particular images really paint the A1 in a poor light. The camera is seriously crippled at the default settings. I know when someone said to tweak the A1, Barry said the HVX can be tweaked also....but again.....how much can you tweak perfect? I am not being sarcastic.....seriously. If the HVX image is really great to start with...and the A1 isn't, tweaking the A1 can get you a better image that comes closer to the HVX. So does that mean that tweaking the HVX is automatically going to keep the gap between the 2 equally distant? I don't believe so. You can only massage an image so much before you cannot squeeze more out of it.

Peace!

By the way. I don't own and A1. I own an XL-H1 and I shoot almost exclusively with the 16x manual lens. It isn't technically an HD lens but it still looks as sharp or sharper than the HVX footage I have shot. So I am not an A1 fanboy. In fact....I believe the H1 is sharper than the A1 and is better in low-light. I know many will argue but that is my experience.

The only reason I miss and want another HVX is for the variable frame rates. I'll take the resolution loss and deal with the noise to have this feature for specific shots. Plus I wouldn't really need a lot of storage either!

Okay. I'll shut up now!

Out!

Edit: By the way John.....I guess I am a Nancy. (read your post just after I finished this one).

Kholi
01-10-2007, 12:19 PM
So it's "I use and love the HVX, how does the XHA1 compare" article.

I put the results out there. I put the exact settings I used. The photos are absolutely raw, absolutely un-compressed, absolutely un-doctored, absolutely un-modified, absolutely un-optimized. But hey -- if someone else wants to do their own comparison, they're free to take a week out of their lives and do so; just please post the results and your settings and your reasoning for choosing them.

But don't be surprised if people get upset! :)

Sounds like a better title to. Remove yourself or not from the product, any versus against anything is going to start a ruckus. Superman Versus Batman starts a freaking ruckus. Your Maternal Father versus your Step Father causes a ruckus. It's common sense. Not that this comment is aimed toward ANYONE IN SPECIFIC, it's pretty obvious that it's going to start a debate; something I thought everyone was trying to get away from so that we could all play nicely in the pool.

As far as looking at the pictures:

Yeah, twice and on a third time now. There's nothing in any of these images that will convince me that the HVX is as sharp as the A1 in 24F modes that you had them in. Tell me that I'm fooling myself or whatever, the comparisons of the HVX's image and A1's go like this for me:

HVX renders great colors
A1 is sharper

The only thing that matters to me about this comparison is the politics: Call me soft, I just want everyone to be able to congregate together instead of in separate corners.

MovieSwede
01-10-2007, 12:25 PM
Kholi rememeber that A1 uses more sharpening by default than the HVX does. So the A1 gives sharper look. So in that way the A1 gets a benefit from the HVX by setting it in neutral setting.

Kholi
01-10-2007, 12:29 PM
Kholi rememeber that A1 uses more sharpening by default than the HVX does. So the A1 gives sharper look. So in that way the A1 gets a benefit from the HVX by setting it in neutral setting.

That's not the issue or point I'm trying to make. Re-read the post that Barry responded to of mines. I was saying that the article's "voice" was probably what got people riled. Not that I'm telling Barry to put on Kid-Gloves or anything. Point was that certain choices of wording were obviously going to cause turmoil.

Then again, the same wording would be fine for an article entitled "I use and love my HVX, how does the A1 compare?"

It's all in the words.

Stu Siegal
01-10-2007, 12:39 PM
Anyway, I believe both products are capable of fantastic results. Pick your priorities, they're both different, and they're both capable. The two points that are clearly objective are that the HVX has a lot more flexibility, and that it costs more. And because of those two facts, it's more suitable for certain types of productions and for certain users, and less suitable for other types of productions and other users.

Pick which one suits your needs. But they're both excellent.

Barry, I think this is a more realistic statement, (though we define flexibility differently) wish it had come through clearer in the review. Like yourself, I never liked Canon either, for some of the same reasons you state, and I did/do prefer Panasonic for many of the same reasons you do, but the A1 has won me over.


And though there are lots of Speilberg/film school types here, and more power to 'em, I also read posts from lots of other types of shooters., filmmakers, and professionals. The diversity of this place is what makes it great, the point of my response was to balance out your article with a different perspective. To that end, this thread combined with your review is a great resource for perspective buyers.

Barry_Green
01-10-2007, 12:44 PM
To make an assumption that any of us did not read the article but simply looked at the pictures is just a tad better than saying we are all idiots.
That's not what I meant, and I apologize if anyone took it that way.

All I meant was, much of what you're talking about was addressed in the article. For example, the color tweaking -- if you look at the maximum color XHA1 pic, it looks much more comparable to the neutral HVX pic. So when you say "But....I submit that tweaking the A1 will significantly make the images come closer to the HVX. It won't be exact but it will be a lot closer" then I point out that I tried to make that exact point in the article already.


And.....the HVX may be able to be tweaked too....but the increase in quality/contrast/saturation...whatever, is going to be minimal as the image is close to being "dialed in" from the factory.
I disagree. I normally run the HVX with a Master Pedestal of -4 to -6, detail level +2, color saturation +2 or +3, and cinelike-V gamma. Which makes the image sharper, punchier, more vibrant and more colorful. I don't really like the stock flat settings.


Either way I understand what Barry is saying. But I stand by the fact that these particular images really paint the A1 in a poor light. The camera is seriously crippled at the default settings.
There is no way to win with this. If I do "tweaked" settings, people complain "they all look the same, so what's the point." If I do "untweaked settings", people complain that the XHA1's untweaked settings look awful.

I put a shot in there of trying to dial up the XHA1's color. Two shots, actually. Why does nobody acknowledge those? I did exactly what you're saying, I tried to get the XHA1 to match the HVX. It doesn't, but it comes close. I couldn't get it to match the HVX. And then, the HVX can be taken several steps further. So I did exactly what you're saying...

Barry_Green
01-10-2007, 12:48 PM
There's nothing in any of these images that will convince me that the HVX is as sharp as the A1 in 24F modes that you had them in.

This is the kind of thing I just love. I look at the pictures, and I see them as comparably sharp. You look at the exact same images, and choose to discard what I consider to be "the evidence" and say "there's nothing in any of these images that will convince me that the HVX is as sharp as the A1 in 24F modes." How does that work?

I'm seriously not understanding this. Can you point to a section of any of those images that shows the A1 rendering more detail than the HVX? I know mathematically it "should", based on having 3x as many pixels, but -- I'm looking at the pictures, and I'm not seeing the differences. Where are you seeing the differences?

scannon
01-10-2007, 12:50 PM
I want to thank Barry and Jarred for the effort to test and publish the comparison.

The opportunity to get this type of detailed info and opinions whether concurring or desenting is very valuable. In the end each prospective user will make his/her determination on the features and price point that fits their specific need. And for many the ability to rent a different camera for shoots requiring special features remains an option.

I really appreciate the time taken by Barry to go through this effort when he probably has many other projects to occupy his time.

This forum continues to be a prime resource for me and I hope others feel the same as well.

SCannon

Kholi
01-10-2007, 12:52 PM
This is the kind of thing I just love. I look at the pictures, and I see them as comparably sharp. You look at the exact same images, and choose to discard what I consider to be "the evidence" and say "there's nothing in any of these images that will convince me that the HVX is as sharp as the A1 in 24F modes." How does that work?

I'm seriously not understanding this. Can you point to a section of any image that shows the A1 rendering more detail than the HVX? I know mathematically it "should", based on having 3x as many pixels, but -- I'm looking at the pictures, and I'm not seeing the differences. Where are you seeing the differences?

In the overall image. The entire still itself looks faintly "muddy". I think someone else in the discussion said the HVX looked a little out of focus; I agree.

I know nothing of pixel counts on the A1, either. It's just what I see between the two. It's probably just easier to tell me that I "think" I see a difference, but they're the same. To me? The A1 looks sharper.

I mean, the only critical detail I could give would be in the Battleship stills: Some of the textures seem to get muddied in the HVX still, while I can see them in the A1 still. That's not from me blowing the picture up to magnify it but from looking at them both and seeing just a bit more.

Barry_Green
01-10-2007, 12:59 PM
Hmm. There is a difference in texture, with the HVX being "smoother", that I will agree with. But more detail? That's what I'm talking about. I can make out every single fine detail on one that I can on the other. Maybe we're referring to different things or using different terminology.

If I point it at a street sign in the distance, I can read it equally well on both systems. To me that says "equal resolution". The HVX is showing no grain, the XHA1 is showing grain, perhaps that's leading to a perception of "sharper" vs. smoother.

But I say they're equivalent in resolution. You say the HVX looks a bit "muddy" or out of focus? Seriously? I think it looks more pleasing across the board. And every bit as detailed, but smoother. But hey, individual decisions are what the pictures are for.

It's like the 24F argument -- people have said over and over that 24F is "fake" etc. Well, I put up a quicktime movie showing one and the other, and I defy anyone to make the argument that 24F doesn't work like 24P does. It does.

So I say on the other side: I defy anyone to say that the HVX isn't delivering equivalent resolution to the Canon. It does. That argument is over, and 24F moves exactly the same as 24P does, and both these HD cameras deliver a comparably-resolved HD image.

If I want the HVX "sharper" I could turn up the edge enhancement. HD100 users like to say the HD100 is "sharper" but it's all edge enhancement; as far as the base picture and resolving power goes, they're equivalent.

Man, now I wish I would have bought that XHA1, just so I'd still have it here and could run specific tests like this... sigh. Can't think of everything the first time around...

J.R. Hudson
01-10-2007, 01:06 PM
I appears that the HVX picks up the colors better giving us more of a latitude of sorts. Color perception can help with visually picking up the details, doesn't it ?

icicle22
01-10-2007, 01:11 PM
I disagree. I normally run the HVX with a Master Pedestal of -4 to -6, detail level +2, color saturation +2 or +3, and cinelike-V gamma. Which makes the image sharper, punchier, more vibrant and more colorful. I don't really like the stock flat settings.


Understood. But I think the images you posted look almost too saturated already so personally I can't see dialing in up much. This is a compliment as I think the HVX footage looks like it has already been Colrgraded to a filmlike look. Awesome.




I put a shot in there of trying to dial up the XHA1's color. Two shots, actually. Why does nobody acknowledge those? I did exactly what you're saying, I tried to get the XHA1 to match the HVX. It doesn't, but it comes close. I couldn't get it to match the HVX. And then, the HVX can be taken several steps further. So I did exactly what you're saying...

Okay...so maybe you did. However, I don't think the tweaked images look much better than the flat ones. Maybe a little. In all fairness I do not know how to tweak the A1 so I guess I'll shut up. I am basing most of my opinion on my experience with the H1 and I assumed the A1 is the same or better. But.....just as you stated the $5995 HVX is in a higher class than the $3995 A1 so we should expect more, perhaps the H1 (we all know it's uber price) outperforms the A1 too.....despite them having same chipset and such. Who knows?

And we will all have agree to disagree on the resolution thing. I could barely see a difference on a 30" CRT between the H1 and the HVX. But I could see it. However on a 45" LCD the difference in resolution is apparent. The H1 is much sharper than the HVX on this panel. I would not have sold my HVX and paid up to the H1 if I felt it was even close.....I could use the money!

Great article and thanks for taking the time.

By the way, having used the manual lens on the H1/XL2 for 2 years I think the focus ring on the HVX is a joke also. I hate it. I hate the default Canon servo's too. But the HVX/DVX feels nothing like a real manual focus.

J.R. Hudson
01-10-2007, 01:13 PM
Here is the street sign comparison blown up 1200%

http://img265.imageshack.us/img265/1281/1200bi4.jpg

Noticibly sharper ?

Jason Ramsey
01-10-2007, 01:18 PM
It looks to me like you can see the difference in color space in your extreme blow up. You can see more pixel shades. The advantage of 4:2:2.

Of course, that blow up does nothing to compare sharpness :)

Jason

Kholi
01-10-2007, 01:21 PM
And we will all have agree to disagree on the resolution thing. I could barely see a difference on a 30" CRT between the H1 and the HVX. But I could see it. However on a 45" LCD the difference in resolution is apparent. The H1 is much sharper than the HVX on this panel. I would not have sold my HVX and paid up to the H1 if I felt it was even close.....I could use the money!

And that was my point. I have a PNG comparison of one of Barry's two stills to show as far as the battleships go, can't upload PNG's though.

It might not be fifty percent sharper, but it is noticably sharper to me, nonetheless.

As far as the street sign above me...

I wish you would've done the HVX and A1 at the same focal lengths on that sail boat with the flags.

That way I wouldn't have to rethink saying "Look at the flag in the background... I can make out what more of the emblem/insignia on it than in the HVX photo."

They aren't at the same focal length, though, so.

My whole point was the wording chosen for the article. That's it, that's all. The comparison was pretty damned in-depth, most functions covered. It all came down to the wording to me. Call be a bietch or whatever, and maybe I read into things too much.

J.R. Hudson
01-10-2007, 01:24 PM
It looks to me like you can see the difference in color space in your extreme blow up. You can see more pixel shades. The advantage of 4:2:2.

That is what I was wanting to ask; in having the 4:2:2, what does this do for overall image perception beyond the color capture ?


Of course, that blow up does nothing to compare sharpness :)Jason

Of course not; being able to count pixel for pixel does nothing . :D

Barry_Green
01-10-2007, 01:27 PM
I wish you would've done the HVX and A1 at the same focal lengths on that sail boat with the flags.
You're talking about the shot that demonstrates the difference in the zoom length? I probably do have that shot at equivalent focal length somewhere, I'll have to dig around for it.


That way I wouldn't have to rethink saying "Look at the flag in the background... I can make out what more of the emblem/insignia on it than in the HVX photo."

They aren't at the same focal length, though, so.
You can't possibly compare the sharpness difference on different focal lengths, of course. I could have put the 1.6x teleconverter on the HVX, gotten equivalent zoom, and then compared, but I didn't bring it with me and didn't think anyone would be interested in that -- but then again, maybe they would.

Keep in mind with some of those shots that there was a 2-stop difference in exposure too, which means that the HVX may be exhibiting a tiny bit of shallow DOF. I tried to match exposure but you can't use the same f-stop on those cameras outdoors, because the ND filters are different strength.


My whole point was the wording chosen for the article. That's it, that's all. The comparison was pretty damned in-depth, most functions covered. It all came down to the wording to me. Call be a bietch or whatever, and maybe I read into things too much.
No prob; I chose the wording that I did because that's how I felt. Like I said, anyone's free to go do their own article and write it their own way, and I'm sure other people will too. The photographic evidence is absolutely unbiased, unmodified, un-tweaked, etc. The subjective observational differences are absolutely subjective and biased -- biased towards what I like, not who made it.

disjecta
01-10-2007, 01:29 PM
First of all Barry, I want to thank you for taking the time out to do this. I have to say when I first see these kinds of articles, it gives me an adrenaline rush. I love hearing people's opinions.

The DVX was the first camera I really fell in love with and gave me everything I wanted at the time. I rented it for fun one weekend and bought a new one the day I returned it to the rental shop.

I was incredibly excited when the HVX first surfaced. I ate up posted footage and felt like I was in filmmakers heaven. I dreamed about the HVX. My Precious on steroids? What could be better. Pinch me.

One of the limitations I hated about SD, being a nature filmmaker was the relatively low resolution of miniDV and my longing to shoot landscapes in HD. I'm all about detail. I hated seeing the trees on my horizons represented by blobs. I cried when I saw HD nature shots on Discovery HD. So with the idea of my DVX in an HD version, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it.

But the HVX fell short for me in this department. I saw many examples of well-shot footage with landscapes only fractionally better in terms of detail. It didn't feel like HD to me. It most certainly was a much larger frame than the DVX but fell short.

I resigned myself to the fact that maybe this was as good as it was going to get for under $10,000 until Michael Pappas posted a bunch of things he shot with the Canon XLH1.

The detail (not just perceived but captured) in these shots just blew me away. There was no question that the difference in how the HVX and XLH1 were rendering similar landscapes was like night and day. The pictures from the Canon easily compared to what I was seeing on Discovery HD. There was no question in my mind which camera I had to have.

I have not been disappointed. I am constantly astounded at some of the shots I have captured and I have been able to closely approximate the DVX color palette I used to use in-camera.

I would love to have the functionality of the HVX on my Canon. I would love variable frame rates to capture exquisitely birds in flight or the movement of animals. There's also a part of me that sees the color the HVX is capable of capturing and I do see that I have not perfected it yet on my camera.

I wanted to love the HVX but I couldn't. P2 technology for my style of shooting was not even a consideration. I would be in the midst of changing out cards when a bald eagle would finally swoop down to grab that fish :)

If I was not shooting naturescapes and spending more of my time shooting narrative style movies, I would have chosen the HVX hands down. If I had limitless money, I would have an HVX close at hand at all times.

Having worked with the XLH1 for almost 8 months now, I would have to agree with all of Barry's assessments of both cameras. It is almost impossible to write a non-opinionated, non-biased article about something so subjective. It doesn't matter how pedestrian the work, when it comes to capturing images, it's pure art and there is not a single person on this board who will see images the exact same way.

Although the XLH1 is a dream camera to me, I still find myself wanting some of the functionality of the HVX. If I had an HVX, I would probably want some of the convenience and resolution of the XLH1. I hate and love that about myself. I, for one, will never be completely satisfied by the tools I have, no matter how good they get. I will always want more.

In the meantime, I am trying to accept this flaw in myself and trying to put more energy into appreciating the fact that, based on the images I am capturing in my chosen field, I made the absolute best possible choice.

Read Barry's article with that in mind and educate yourself outside of the borders of his words by looking at examples by users on this site and/or rent the two cameras and decide for yourself.

Again, thank you Barry for throwing yourself to the wolves. :)

PaPa
01-10-2007, 01:30 PM
Cool Barry, great review! Thanks a ton!

Kholi
01-10-2007, 01:33 PM
And after Disjecta's words--

I feel bad for reading too far into the words. I have nothing more to say on the subject of "versus". Thanks for sharing the article, and thanks for everyone else who shared opinions.

strancali
01-10-2007, 01:41 PM
Barry thank you so much for taking the time out to write this article. To me, i think it all comes down to your budget. If you have sub $4000, buy an A1 instead of a dvx100b, if you can afford the HVX, thats the way to go! I love the image the HVX produces. After making a mistake with the xl2, i won't be in a rush to buy another camera anymore. As of right now, i will be buying the HVX.

J.R. Hudson
01-10-2007, 01:41 PM
Steven

Well put.

Barry_Green
01-10-2007, 01:50 PM
Hey Disjecta, I would really like to see you do a comparison yourself, and see what the actual results are (recognizing that P2 cards are too small for your uses right now, but hey, when the 32gb hits maybe that'll change?)

Basically, I'll admit to being floored by the comparative sharpness results here. I really expected the XHA1 to be a lot sharper -- isn't that all we hear about? How sharp the Canon is, how it has 3x as many pixels, etc... yet in picture after picture after picture, I find them dead even in resolved detail, with occasional glimpses of the Canon having a very slight edge (Kholi's example shows probably the biggest difference, which is in the medium battleship photo; there are some red circle things above the flags on the ship's superstructure, and on the XHA1 they're resolved a little more clearly). But seriously, I'd say maybe 3%, maybe 5% difference at the most.

It's like 24P vs. 24F. Lots of internet myth and hype, but when you get right down to it, there isn't a difference. I'm saying the same thing with resolution, and showing the pictures -- lots of internet myth and hype abound, but when you look at the same shot at the same time, there's no appreciable difference.

So I'd like to see what an HVX would do in your hands, shooting what you shoot. The difference may not be as much as you think, and maybe you could get all that you want. Then again, maybe your circumstance is the exact circumstance that would show when the 3x as many pixels do make a difference -- shooting a primarily monochromatic treescape might be where the chips show a difference? Still, I'd like to see it firsthand, from your hands. Or maybe we have you and Kevin Railsback go shoot something together, each on your preferred tool? That could be killer...

Anyway, thanks to all who have participated in the discussion!

icicle22
01-10-2007, 02:35 PM
Barry,
You mentioned monochromatic landscape and I recalled when I had the HVX being "underwhelmed" by it's HD-ness if you will. I noted to many I work with that it looks great and higher res when the subject is flooded with a lot of light and particularly when the subject has a lot of colors. However under other lighting situations that were not "ideal" i noticed what appeared to be a loss of sharpness. The image looked softer and I actually had non techie family members say "this is HD?" when viewing it.

Is this a result of pixel shift? Because in the same exact environments the H1 still looked higher res. Granted it can be a little flat and grainy but the resolution is there.

Just wondering.

By the way Disjecta.....it's nice to know I am not alone in seeing a huge resolution boost on the H1. I agree that looking at a 400% blow up on a PC/MAC doesn't show it....but the final image on an HD screen looks better IMHO.

How is it that so many see a resolution difference and others don't? Maybe we should all eat more carrots?

:)

Barry_Green
01-10-2007, 02:39 PM
How can looking at a blowup not show it? It's either there or it isn't... I looked at the images from about a foot away on my HDTV, and they're equivalently sharp.

As far as the monochromatic thing -- on a pure green, I suspect that that would be a place where the higher pixel count could show its merit. Spatial offset/pixel shift relies on there being some brightness information that can be extracted from the other chips. If it was a pure green or pure red or pure blue, then only that chip would come into play and you'd get no benefit from the offset. So maybe that would be a circumstance where it would show? I didn't really find any examples, but I didn't set out to run that specific test. I thought in the battleship photos that the grass in front would show it, but it seems equally detailed, so -- I dunno, it's just a theory; it seems to make sense, but if it doesn't show in the real world then it's not a factor.

Jason Ramsey
01-10-2007, 02:53 PM
This is happening again. Why can't I see all of the posts in articles threads? I see that Barry has the most recent post, I click on the thread, but the most recent post is one from 335 from icicle. What's that about?

Jason

Kholi
01-10-2007, 02:56 PM
Yeah, me too. Why's it doing that? LoL

MarkG
01-10-2007, 03:15 PM
Is this a result of pixel shift?

Probably: if you don't have a mix of colors in the image then you'll be pretty much limited by the low CCD resolution. I have a Z1 which does horizontal pixel shift and the resolution certainly does seem to be lower in some situations than others.

Doesn't the XLH1 have 1440x1080 CCDs? So that wouldn't be affected in the same way.

Elton
01-10-2007, 03:34 PM
That's the downside to heavy reliance on pixel shift. Relatively monochromatic scenes will indeed have more detail with the Canon.

Actually the HV10 will probably achieve the highest resolution in this way because it actually has a full-raster chip.

Barry_Green
01-10-2007, 03:55 PM
That's the downside to heavy reliance on pixel shift. Relatively monochromatic scenes will indeed have more detail with the Canon.
That's the theory. I didn't see examples of it in the pics I shot though. But it makes sense.


Actually the HV10 will probably achieve the highest resolution in this way because it actually has a full-raster chip.
But it only has one chip, so no, it has to de-mosaic its image which ends up with something like a 20% - 25% resolution loss.

Elton
01-10-2007, 04:03 PM
Wow, maybe so...but I've seen examples from the camera that look even more detailed than the H1's 1080i HDV. Subjective response, for sure, but that cam is very sharp in 1080i.

disjecta
01-10-2007, 04:08 PM
I shot a scene with the XLH1 of a mosquito about 1 mile away from the camera and I was able to count all the hairs on its legs.

:Drogar-Evil(DBG):

J.R. Hudson
01-10-2007, 04:11 PM
Oh yeah ?

Well I Zoomed in using the HVX on a similiar Skeeter and could actually see the West Nile Virus on his genitalia

http://www.lehigh.edu/~inimagin/images/westnilevirus.jpg

disjecta
01-10-2007, 04:19 PM
Oh yeah ?

Well I Zoomed in using the HVX on a similiar Skeeter and could actually see the West Nile Virus on his genitalia



LMAO!!! :Drogar-Evil(DBG):

Jason Ramsey
01-10-2007, 04:47 PM
Ok, off topic. Sorry, but this has been driving me crazy.

I think I figured out what is happening to some of the posts in the articles section:

The forum default is to display 10 posts per page.

In the articles section, the first post of every page is the "Title post". The one that gives the link to the article. This "Title" post shares the same post # with the post after it.

This is causing what would be the tenth post of each page to be thrown somewhere into limbo. You can't see it. It ain't there.

If you go into your User CP, and change the posts per page to 20, you will see what I am talking about. You will notice a few posts that weren't there before. But, what would be the twentieth post of each page is now gone.

Does that make sense?

Ok, sorry. I just had to get that off my chest. Phew I feel better now :beer:

Jason

AloysiusK
01-10-2007, 06:00 PM
Even when there are 16GB cards or 32GB cards, I cannot choose the HVX over the XHA1 because of archiving reasons, for customers and myself.

Another issue is when I go overseas with the camera, I don't wanna bring my laptop. I much prefer the physical tape for my line of work.

When I use it for filmmaking, I wouldn't feel like the XLA1 is a sub-par camera in this field, since I feel the differences are so minimal.

In the end, the digital storage versus analog storage is the overriding factor.

Noel Evans
01-10-2007, 06:27 PM
Settings were posted as to what was used. Cine2 matrix, Cine2 gamma, and color and detail settings at neutral.

Same with the HVX -- cinelike matrix, Cinelike-D gamma. I could certainly extract a lot more out of the HVX if I so chose to, but I put 'em both on middle settings.

In every prior shootout we've gone to efforts to make the cameras look as much alike as possible, and everyone whines. So here I set them on neutral, and now people are complaining. Not to get too grumpy, but it certainly seems like "no good deed goes unpunished." :)

NCJE, I agree with just about everything you wrote, and if you re-read the article you'll see that.


Sorry Barry didnt mean to imply that you should have undertaken the test any other way. As Elton said the Canon does come out flat from the box, but you are right that HVX is richer in color overall even with the A1 pushed up the scale. What I wanted to say was that when you do learn to paint the color with the A1 using different setting and conditions you can get a lot more out of.

Noel Evans
01-10-2007, 06:32 PM
Oh yeah ?

Well I Zoomed in using the HVX on a similiar Skeeter and could actually see the West Nile Virus on his genitalia

http://www.lehigh.edu/~inimagin/images/westnilevirus.jpg

Thanks, needed a laugh.

manglerBMX
01-10-2007, 08:21 PM
i took my shirt off, twisted it around my head and spun it like a helicopter while i read this article. and i'm am omega teetering on the fence with these two cams. the tape is attracting me to the a1 for weddings and crap like that. i use a firestore so i'm not too worried about the log and capture process. but i like panny's cameras, a lot. its a hard decision.....

icicle22
01-10-2007, 09:42 PM
i took my shirt off, twisted it around my head and spun it like a helicopter while i read this article. and i'm am omega teetering on the fence with these two cams. the tape is attracting me to the a1 for weddings and crap like that. i use a firestore so i'm not too worried about the log and capture process. but i like panny's cameras, a lot. its a hard decision.....

This is a perfect example of what Barry is saying. The right tool for the right job. The HVX is going to be a tough sell on weddings and long form events. Not only are you paying more for the camera but you have to buy additional media and/or a cineporter firestore for the long stuff and you'll have to buy a lot of additional storage. It can work but it won't be as graceful.

However the HVX is really a "filmmakers". You can adapt it to do longer events and weddings but you will ultimately be using outside of the realm where it best suited. The A1 can cover this situation well and still hold up in a film environment too. And at a lot less money.

It seems to come down to features once again.....not picture.

Barry_Green
01-10-2007, 09:44 PM
Exactly. It's all about the features. The picture is plenty good enough on both of 'em. If you don't need what the HVX does, why pay for it? If you do need what the HVX has, get it. If it won't work for your task, why get it? It's all about what you intend to DO with the product.

Shaw
01-10-2007, 11:11 PM
Doesn't the A1 have a 'manual' iris ring? I didn't see this mentioned in the review and since I haven't used an A1 I'd love to hear more about this!

MovieSwede
01-11-2007, 12:20 AM
Actually both Cams should show about the same res in P/F mode.

Canon uses a 1440*1080i CCD clocked at 48hz scanned progressive = 1440*540 24hz. Pixelshifted up to 1920*810 processed 1920*1080 and stored 1440*1080.

Panny uses 960*540P clocked at 24hz pixelshifted to 1440*810 processed 1920*1080 and stored 1280*1080.

So in "theory" canon could give 1440*810 in res and panny can give 1280*810.

So it is a slight advantage for the canon in theory and in practical uses it probobly even less.

Jamie K
01-11-2007, 03:26 AM
Barry wrote:
And, finally, is it time for the DVX to retire? Has it done all that it can do, at this price point?

********
I'm going to offer a different perspective, that of adding an A1 to use along with a DVX100.

I just did a shoot with both. Shooting HD locked down on the A1 allowed me to zoom and pan in post from a wide HD shot, intercut with handheld DVX footage of the same live concert. The final product for this shoot is SD.

I was able to match the A1 to the DVX cine look reasonably well using the RGain, GGain and BGain, along with slight Color Gain and cine settings. Cranking just the Color Gain is not the way to nirvana, I found. So if Barry had had more time with the camera he may have been able to satisfy his objection there.

I agree with those who say that default camera comparisons are of limited use, you'd think the A1 looks flat because the default settings are pretty flat, but that doesn't represent what you can really do. I also agree with Barry that you just can't win by showing default settings or by attempting optimized settings, someone will complain either way. :^)

From my tests the A1 performs better in low light than my DVX, even at -3 gain and without noise reduction. BTW, Barry is right about the finer noise grain of the A1 and I think it's a visible advantage for the A1.

The DVX is easier to hand hold than the A1 (and the HVX); the DVX is lighter.

I wasn't put off by the A1 zoom ring on the lens nearly as much as Barry. Just as with the DVX I was able to do a fairly slow creep zoom with careful operation of the ring, and it's even a bit smoother than manually zooming the DVX or HVX (BTW the motorized zoom on the DVX is way too fast at its slowest speed and I almost never use it). Having even slower zoom capability would be an improvement for all these cameras.

My first impression of the internal battery design was the same as Barry. But after using it, it's not a big deal. BTW it's nice that the included A1 battery lasts long enough to be useful, unlike the lame included battery that came with my DVX.

Regarding the HVX, I'm very interested to see what Panny does with the next version (whenever that may be). Less splotchy noise, crisper 1080 performance. Along with higher capacity P2 or other form of flash memory (to record at least an hour at 1080HD uninterrupted), and maybe a next generation codec. Perhaps 2008?

Regarding the A1, It's great that it records 24 progressive directly with no cadence to remove when you capture HDV via the firewire port. But it's a bummer that they add pulldown on the component outputs, and don't give the option there of advanced pulldown for better pulldown removal later when shooting HD. It would be cool if they added additional frame rates in both outputs. They should also update the audio switching, Barry points out the limitations there.

The color differences are likely much less than Barry saw in his short time with the A1, if my DVX/A1 experience is of any relevance, because the A1 is quite customizable and can create a Panasonic-like look. It appears that some of the tape-free advantages of the HVX can be had on the A1 by adding a Firestore, although it may take one more Firestore update before it's all there. Canon's control software is also interesting, hook your camera to a laptop (Mac version is also in the works Canon told me) and you have some interesting capabilities for camera control, direct recording and monitoring that may be useful for some types of shoots, with the ability to run and gun using tape for other shoots. I don't see 720 as anything to miss, you can easily get to 720 from 1080 if necessary. I do think the Canon look is sharper in some circumstances (like detailed landscape shots) than the HVX look.

So toe to toe, as Barry puts it, I don't think the "winner" is necessarily the HVX. Depending on your needs of course.

These are just some initial impressions I had along with some reactions to Barry's article. Thanks to Barry for taking the time to share his tests and opinions.

Cheers,
-Jamie
www.JamieKrutz.com

sinfear11
01-11-2007, 03:31 AM
I love dvxuser.com, and I love the wealth of information that can be found on these boards. Like everyone else I have also loved my DVX100A and was ready to upgrade to the next camera. I had narrowed the choice down to HVX and the A1. I have spoken to many people at UCLA film school about this very subject, in particular about the HVX. Almost everyone that I have ever spoken with had loved the HVX. I also love the HVX and I also love the A1. But I think the key is that they are just a tool and have different strengths and weaknesses and have many things that they cross over and both do well.

Bottom Line...
A1
I think Bang for the Buck it is tough to beat the A1 if you shoot events, documentaries, and if price (currently) is currently an issue with upgrading your equipment. You can still shoot music video's, commercials, TV shows, and movies as will be evidenced by what has been shot and what will be shot in the future. I have seen some great stuff coming out of this camera. So for $3600 you get a nice all around camera with good resolution, nice picture quality, and decent low light.

HVX
I think Panny has an incredible camera with a lot of rich features. It has a lot of versatility and a great picture with solid resolution except on long shots. It's funny that Rob Legato told me the exact same thing, He said that the camera is awesome with close ups, but not as good on wide and long shots. I tend to agree, but I still think it more than makes up for that in the Film, commercials, music videos, and studio work. It's not that it cannot do the other things, just that it requires a little more work. Once again for $4900 you get an amazing camera that has a lot of rich features and produces outstanding images in close.

I think bang for the buck the Canon A1 is the winner. If money is not a problem and you love the workflow and picture then you can go with the HVX. I have seen amazing things shot with the HVX and have just started to see some great stuff from the A1. I suspect that the DVXB and the HVX will start to drop in price a little bit.

Thoughts...Honestly get whatever camera you like better. I have no loyalty to one brand over the other. I think they are both excellent cameras but for me it is easier for me to purchase the A1 and deal with tapes then to get the HVX and have to use P2 and the increased hardware costs associated with it. I love them both. I realize that they have different strengths and weaknesses but the bottom line is go out their and film.

I would also like to thank Barry for taking the time to do the test and the write up. I like hearing his opinion and he makes me look at things in a different way. I very much agree with him on the Snap Zoom feature. I loved doing that with my DVX. :(

VideoChef
01-11-2007, 08:26 AM
The Panasonic HVX200 is not $5995, which you can buy it at B&H for $5299 and Amazon for $5044. Also the Canon XH-A1 is $3699 at B&H. So the price between the 2 cameras isn't a $2000 difference. Both of these places are reputable dealers.

xray
01-11-2007, 09:51 AM
Thats right , the differences are much bigger. Compare pricing this way gives you a cam that shoots DV only. If you want to compare pricing in HD, start with a configuration that is capable in shooting 1h continually. So for the A1 you add a $5,- tape and for the HVX the extra P2 cards + P2 store with extra batteries.

Matt Sconce
01-11-2007, 10:18 AM
I find it interesting how people fault someone for having an opinion. Barry clearly stated that the article was his opinion of the cams and he also stated that the conclusion applies to the field he shoots in. The previous responses state that.
The HVX has a bajillion more features and is suited much better to shooting movies than the A1. Plain and Simple. Variable framerates and better audio are a neccessity for most movie shots, as is the 4:2:2 color sampling for Keying. For Events, the A1 is a much less expensive and amazing performing camera. this is what I got out of the review.
Hvx being worshipped? I give credit where credit is due. I do not see the A1 being used in movies such as the Departed, nor the H1. The Hvx is a different beast and I like it a ton, but worship is an insulting implication that infers that I have no basis for my opinion. The HVX is simply a tool I believe is best suited for the independent film projects I am shooting. When something better comes out, I will move on. But that "better Camera" is not the A1.

Huy Vu
01-11-2007, 10:34 AM
There's too much back-and-forth about the whole bias issue. Everyone who jumps in on either side has something to say to defend "their" camera. I think we shouldn't come into these reviews looking for affirmation that our choice of camera was correct. There's a lot of useful info here; stuff that only you'll never find out on the offical specs. There was a ton of features that I thought the A1 has, but it turned out not to (simultaneous zoom & focus, audio limitation etc.). Did it change my decision to get an A1? Not really. It did help me understand the limitation of the camera so that I won't have to find out what it can't do first hand.

J.R. Hudson
01-11-2007, 11:34 AM
Thank you jade.

Let's drop the bias whining and discuss the merits of the cameras please; stay on target.

Thanks !

Jason Ramsey
01-11-2007, 02:53 PM
There be a probl'm with the articles section.

If you are using the forum default, try to find post 70. or 60, or 80, etc.

For an explanation, read this "invisible" post in the articles section that you are reading right now. Maybe this is old news, but it's news to me :thumbsup:

http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showpost.php?p=822711&postcount=71

It's post 71 when you link to it, but it's actually 70, and you won't see a 70 anywhere, if you are using the forum default. If you change to 20 posts per page, you won't have 20,40,60, etc.

Jason

philn
01-11-2007, 03:50 PM
Thank you Barry for your excellent review. I have rented both the A1 and the HVX for a couple of shoots and think that both cameras are excellent. There is an over 2k price difference when you factor in the 2 or 3 p2 cards you need to keep shooting with HVX. And you also need an assistant to transfer the files while shooting. Recently I was on a 2-camera HVX shoot and the p2 storage wasn't managed perfectly and we ended having to wait for the download to keep shooting. But the film like color, 4 channel audio and 4.2.2 is a definite plus for the HVX. And contrary to the buzz people are shooting documentaries with the HVX. But the canon HDV looks great and I transcode to DVC Pro HD in compressor once I capture HDV in Final Cut Pro to bump up to 4.2.2 and for less generational loss.
Thanks again Barry
Phil

PaPa
01-12-2007, 07:24 AM
" But the canon HDV looks great and I transcode to DVC Pro HD in compressor once I capture HDV in Final Cut Pro to bump up to 4.2.2 and for less generational loss.
Thanks again Barry"

You can take a 4:1:1 and bump it up to a 4:2:2 ?? How does this work?

Huy Vu
01-12-2007, 07:32 AM
HDV is 4:2:0 out to tape, but captured in-camera as 4:2:2. I think what he might be doing is capturing uncompressed footage from analog component and compressing to DVCProHD.

xray
01-12-2007, 10:30 AM
Take a look at color corrected XHa1 versus HVX shots.
http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?t=83921

Jay Rodriguez
01-12-2007, 11:58 AM
Ok, just read through the article.

I've been waiting FOREVER for this Barry and Jarred! Thanks for getting it to us. :)

What a great article Barry, great job. You pointed out many differences between the two cameras and I found it to be very informative.

I have used the HVX and enjoyed it but I have used the A1 and love it. But, I don't need most of what technically lacks in the A1 compared to the HVX, I just need that great looking image that the A1 gives me for a couple grand less.

Again, thanks for the write up Barry. As always, excellent job.

Jay

icicle22
01-12-2007, 12:20 PM
" But the canon HDV looks great and I transcode to DVC Pro HD in compressor once I capture HDV in Final Cut Pro to bump up to 4.2.2 and for less generational loss.
Thanks again Barry"

You can take a 4:1:1 and bump it up to a 4:2:2 ?? How does this work?

There is some theory that if you take 1080 footage at 4:2:0 and downsample it to 720P you will efectively get 4:2:2 footage. it has to do with the way the colors are sampled. I do not know if this is 100% true or not. It may hold water but I think it also depends highly on the method of downsampling used.

Anyone want to elaborate on this for me?

Barry_Green
01-12-2007, 12:22 PM
But, I don't need most of what technically lacks in the A1 compared to the HVX, I just need that great looking image that the A1 gives me for a couple grand less.
That is exactly the point, and if it suits your needs it's an excellent product. If you don't need the other stuff, why pay for it? The A1 is a breakthrough at its price point, and I think it's the best HDV camcorder on the market (with the caveat that I haven't used a V1U yet).

Barry_Green
01-12-2007, 12:25 PM
There is some theory that if you take 1080 footage at 4:2:0 and downsample it to 720P you will efectively get 4:2:2 footage.
That wouldn't work; there's not enough detail difference for it to matter.

It matters on 1440x1080 taken down to 720x480, as there's enough of a horizontal pixel difference that you can actually make up the half-sampled subsample. Same with vertical.

But in HDV you're looking at 1440 to 1280, which is practically no difference, so you're not going to gain anything horizontally. And vertically there's some difference, but no HDV camcorder saturates all 1080 lines with detail, they normally deliver around 800 lines of detail vertically, so ... no, converting to 720p isn't going to give you any measurable increase in color information. But converting to SD, yes, it will take you up to something approaching 4:4:4.

Elton
01-12-2007, 12:59 PM
I'm pretty sure it equals DVCPRO HD 720 4:2:2 because the format is actually 960 horizontal.

icicle22
01-12-2007, 01:24 PM
That is exactly the point, and if it suits your needs it's an excellent product. If you don't need the other stuff, why pay for it? The A1 is a breakthrough at its price point, and I think it's the best HDV camcorder on the market (with the caveat that I haven't used a V1U yet).

I think the H1 is a better overall camera as far as flexibility and easily accessible features go. I want all gain settings, wb settings and audio settings right at my finger tips. The bang for your buck is much less but I think the extras are worth it to me.

Also...I compared footage I shot with the H1 and the A1 in the same lighting and environment and I still think the H1 produces a sharper image. Call me crazy! And this is with the 16x manual lens too! I just love that thing. It has a more "film-like" contrast to it that the other HD lenses for the H1 or the A1 doesn't quite grab.

Barry_Green
01-12-2007, 01:27 PM
I'm pretty sure it equals DVCPRO HD 720 4:2:2 because the format is actually 960 horizontal.

That makes no sense though. The difference between 4:2:2 and 4:2:0 is strictly in the vertical direction. Whether DVCPRO-HD 720 was 960 wide or 1280 wide or whatever, the chroma sampling horizontally between 4:2:0 and 4:2:2 is the same. It's in the vertical direction that they differ.

And in the vertical, yes there's technically 50% more "space" in 1080 vs. 720, but in reality these cameras can't fill that space, so you get maybe 800 lines max. The difference between taking 800 lines of detail and resizing it to 720 is not going to come within a hundred miles of closing the gap between chroma-every-line and chroma-every-other-line.

Then, to further compound the issue, there's the hassle of converting interlaced chroma to progressive. Night and day difference there. Unless you're referring to 24F footage, which may actually use progressive 4:2:0, but that means maybe 650 lines vertically instead of the 800. You won't pick up a single bit of increased chroma res converting 650-lines-of-detail 24F to 720-lines-of-storage 720p. Doesn't work.

So no, that theory can be absolutely flatly rejected. Converting HDV 1080i to 720p is not going to give you anything approaching 4:2:2.

icicle22
01-12-2007, 01:32 PM
I'm pretty sure it equals DVCPRO HD 720 4:2:2 because the format is actually 960 horizontal.


Barlow,
if that is indeed true, how do you convert it? I know, I know......using compressor on a mac. Any idea what the settings are so I can try to emulate that on some lowly PC software?

Peace!

Brandon Rice
01-12-2007, 02:17 PM
Finally got around to reading this article... didn't realize it was up! Thanks for the write up, and I think for the time being I am leaning toward the HVX. After shooting with it this weekend, I have to say I love the images, and I love the tapeless workflow, and for a feature I want to shoot this summer, I think I will go HVX...

phally
01-12-2007, 06:02 PM
Thank You Barry for your insight -
my 2 cents -

my professor told me this before I purchase my A-1

try the camera out first and then decide what works for you -
the cost and limit of P2 was a deciding factor for me, especially since I want to shoot a Doc in HD which means on hand to have at instances long run times on a medium suitable for archiving purposes.

In fact I spent a whole month with the HVX and called it my baby to realize at I was truly in love with the Z1 - mostly for the LCD and tape workflow and archiving.

but then when I got my A1 - I no longer was messing around with any other camera.

but the point that I am eluding to is that: when 16g and 32g cards are available and affordable, there is PROBBALY GOING TO BE A NEW CAMERA OUT that will do and be more than what the HVX and A1 is doing right now at an affordable price. but that is in the future.

but for now, I need to shoot 1080 @ 24 for with long run-times with in my small budget. And even though the manual lens and and stock color on the HVX is great, I do not need the manual zoom and can tweak the A-1's color for what I am doing.
at 1080 on P2 is just not possible.

I am wondering what will NAB bring this year for HD, something good I think at a very good price.

Technology is a bitch

Justyn
01-12-2007, 11:45 PM
Barry.. thanks for taking the time to do this and for being so thorough and for also taking on those pointed accusations. It comes across as a very fair account.. and I used to be a canon owner... and I'd consider this camera but it's not in the same league... with the images I can see, the footage and also the workflow. But the canon would be great for some of my conferences where I'll shoot 10 hours of footage a day... and stuff like that. Now, shooting an Nike commerical.. I don't think I'm gonna go with the canon on that

TimurCivan
01-13-2007, 01:46 AM
Lastly, the responses have been kind to the DVX, maybe because we all loved this camera so much and have an infinite fondness for it, but I will state without reservation, if you have a few extra hundred bucks, the A1 blows the DVX out of the water and so it should.

:P


Also Dont forget the A1 does NATIVE 16:9.... and has a lot more Dynamic range. When i got my HVX, the first thing i noticed was that the highlights just kept getting brighter without blowing out. Its a great thing. it really perfoms amazingly well. ( a1 having about identical Dynamic range to the HVX hence the direct comparison)

That alone makes the A1 a more attractive camera than the DVX.

xray
01-13-2007, 04:55 AM
Absolutely, and if you take time to make your own personal feature set to control the A1 in color an generally control -I never saw a cam in this class with so much user presets- you see you get a wicking cam. As I wrote in the "Color A1-HVX compare" article in the Canon A1 section here, you need to make the A1 personal and seek for colors.

Faustus
01-13-2007, 03:32 PM
I think Barry's article is great and should be taken as one man's opinion. The time and effort to put such work together for our reading is to be complemented. I really get tired of all these Canon XH A1 owners who make excuses for areas where the Canon falls short of the HVX. Think about what is being said. Tweak the A1 so it looks like the HVX. Is the HVX look the gold standard then? The A1 is a great camera for the price. However is not the end all for all camera users.

TimurCivan
01-13-2007, 04:34 PM
that happens on new cameras. When the HVX came out we were all trying to apologise for the Video noise, and a not to crisp picture. But eventually people stopped caring, and we all got on with making money/movies/videos.....

androbot2084
01-13-2007, 10:42 PM
What I would like to see is the Panasonic HVX-200 go up against a Sony 1080i Cine Alta for a 720p sports broadcast for ESPN, Fox or ABC. Far too often these 1080i cameras are captured in 1080i and converted to 720p which results in a lot of destruction of picture quality. If a native 720p camera like the HVX were used for a ESPN sports braodcast the picture quality would probably be superior because no format conversion would be needed. 720p Sports broadcasters then could get rid of these 1080i cameras because there would no longer be an excuse not to offer real 720p because 720p is now so affordable.

TimurCivan
01-13-2007, 10:59 PM
yea but, a really good, 1080i camera puts out CRAZY resolution. it may actually down convert better than an HVX.

Flash Beaver
01-14-2007, 03:10 AM
Well, boy am I late to post but this has got to be the most entertaining 11 pages I have ever read here.

Man o' man, there be some whiny b*t**'s comin' out of the woodwork on this one. Sounds like a lot of personal problems to me.

Barry, you did one hell of an article, Jared it was the right title. I loved every bit of it.

Your summation of P2 vs Tape is going to be my talking point when dealing with the p2 ignorant from here on out. All the little reasons I love to hate Canon we're brought forth, the 24 frame test movie you did was extremely helpful to those I referred, and I certainly would love to have some of the color temp controls the Canon has on my next HVX.

Was it a biased article? Of course. We're on DVXuser! Was it fair? Absolutely. I have been able to recommend the Canon A1 to 3 individuals and two just made purchases today. BECAUSE IT WAS THE RIGHT CAMERA FOR THEM. Your article confirmed it.

And of course the bottom line for both of them came down to economics. With the other holding out to check out a V1u.

Thank you again Barry!

:dankk2:

Zim
01-14-2007, 11:23 AM
thanks Jarred. You said it was thinner. How is it to use without a tripod?

The DVX has 24p and 24pa. Does the Canon have something like that or just 24F?

Elton
01-14-2007, 12:20 PM
It has both 24p and 24pa modes in DV. That said...once you shoot 24F HDV and make the transition to an HDV or intermediate HD codec workfow...you won't want to shoot DV all that often.

Elton
01-14-2007, 12:39 PM
Barlow,
if that is indeed true, how do you convert it? I know, I know......using compressor on a mac. Any idea what the settings are so I can try to emulate that on some lowly PC software?

Peace!

Go to "File/Export to QT"

Try exporting at 75% (4:2:2 YUV) or 100% PhotoJPEG (RGB 4:4:4--it forces rendering in this colorspace even if the source doesn't have the chroma info)

btw, the frame rate settings are for converting to 720 24p from an HDV 24F clip.

http://realm.cc/upload/Elton/MpegStClip.jpg

Nicolas
01-14-2007, 07:29 PM
I just hope the A1 doesn't have as much noise as the H1, coz that's one hell of a lot of noise... Sony FX1 is the less noisy option, right??

PaPa
01-14-2007, 07:33 PM
meh, i like noise, looks more like film grain. not the same kind of noise as in low light situations.

icicle22
01-15-2007, 07:48 AM
I just hope the A1 doesn't have as much noise as the H1, coz that's one hell of a lot of noise... Sony FX1 is the less noisy option, right??

Well, my experience was that the A1 was noisier than the H1. This was in a poorly lit scenario however and there were variables involved that could have added to the noise. Take this with a grain of salt but I'd venture to guess they are actually about the same if setup right. If the A1 is better, it is a minor improvement so I wouldn't rush out and buy it instead of an H1 expecting massive differences in noise.

Funny how opinions differ as I find the H1 to be a very clean camera compared to DVX, XL2 and HVX. Coming from these cameras I am always blown away by the H1. Once man's trash........

Jack Alltrades
01-15-2007, 03:57 PM
Hello, I'm new to the forum!

I'm looking at buying one of these cameras in the next couple of weeks, and I'm still completely unable to choose which one. The P2 thing means I effectively won't have an HD camera until I can afford the cards AND the HDD or firestore; with the A1 I'm ready to go. Also, something Barry was asking - is there a single pic that clearly shows the A1 has more resolution? Well this is the other thing that's putting me off the HVX - look at the pic of the bug spray, the A1 image is clearly sharper, the real give-away being that you can read the word 'guaranteed', which is just fuzz on the HVX shot. So my choice is between paying out the extra for the G1 for the SDI output and trying some sort of direct-to-disk solution, or buying the HVX and firestore. I still can't decide!

LearningVideo
01-15-2007, 04:11 PM
This is not the first article I see comparing the HVX with another camera. I have seen many pictures about these things. At the end of the day, it comes down to one thing:

HVX has better color resolution


Thank you Barry for this article

Nathyn
01-15-2007, 04:18 PM
I've only seen images from the A1 via the internet but the images I've seen on other forums have been freaking astounding and that's after beening here for a good while and seeing HVX images. When going into a review like this I always assume (an am usually correct) HVX/Panasonic bais. Considering I've only seen images from the web I make no claim to anything, but looking at m2t files and stills from this camera the images from this review just doesn't seem to jive with what's been shown. Even Sony nor JVC's colors look like what those photos show. I've seen a ton of footage over at DVI that it doesn't seem to match. I am in love with the Panasonic image but honestly can not afford the HVX price point. I could buy the A1 and the small consumer Canon for playback and still come out cheaper than the HVX + P2 + P2 store. Plus Canon's picture looks more modern.

I was trained in film and when video cameras started doing 24p it was a dream come true and I'll probably never see film as an aqusition format. If the P2 workflow was cheaper with more space this would surely be an option. I would probably never go back to tape as I like fast and ready.

Ironically nothing would move me from the decision of buying a Canon A1 quicker than seeing those photos. Problem is again I (and I guess many others) simply don't believe them to be accurate. I doubt Barry was trying to tint the results so I don't know what happened.

For a run and gun action filmmaker P2 is out of the question in it's current state. I shot an HK style fight scene in five hours on the DVX. While the DVX is boss of the three chip prosumer SD models my HDV camera has to provide me with the benefits of the DVX. The H1 would provide me with that plus HD quality.

Run and Gun Points:

Sound:
Yes, I used to get audio from both internal and external mic source. Currently we've found this to be unneeded as the shotgun mic delivers the best and cleanest sound. We haven't done this since out first film.

Zoom:
Never use the zoom. I prefer the Canon's iris ringt to a zoom ring. I just don't need one. I did had a DP do a crash zoom one time and it came out marvelous on the DVX but I can speed everything up to 500% in FCP and drop out sound with no problem.

I rarely use Zooms and Focus at the same time. I may dolly and focus but not zoom and focus. If anything I'll zoom in, set my focus then zoom out again for the shot and even that would be done on the rockers. This type of thing doesn't seem to be problematic on the XL2 so I wonder why it would be on the A1.

Picture:
The raw imaging and color representation I've seen online made me desire the A1 (probably having more to do with the shooters than the camera). I won't really know what I can do until the camera is in my hand but again I still have to question do those photos represent what I've seen with this camera. Again I make no claims to having used this camera.

And while the article was good I think a lot more good information can come out of a "good" versus thread with knowledgeable pros commenting. (And I think Barry knows that too so who knows). Either it was a good break down of what maybe missing.

P2:
In a controled environment P2 is probably outstanding. You have your P2 card/s, laptop or P2 store, person to load the P2 cards, and maybe a computer, etc.

On my sets I have me and the boom guy. No computers or such. We travel light. I do have a Macbook now and while I've considered direct to disk via FCP and a battery powered harddrive for action scenes the way I move with the camera it would be simply out of the question.

My crews are usually two man crews without a lot of set up or break down time. We furnish and break down shots before the shoot to save time. Even lighting sets up are moved through very quickly.

Usefulness:
All the cameras are useful and being used. Only dvxuer.com could classify the HVX as the clear winner when no one else seems to be able too. If it's the clear winner, I'd be changing my game and making plans for a HVX and P2 purchase. Years ago the DVX was the "clear winner". No other camera at it's price point came close to true 24p delivery and control in it's price point.

Is the HVX in the same class? HVX is a three 1/3 chip camera. By itself (without the fixings) it's in the ball park of many of the other camera. Now maybe one can say it's not the in the HDV class but one would have to also argue it's in a class of it's own. No other camera matches it at it's price point. True. But again HD is impossible without the costly P2 strategy. The better idea would've been, yes, a built in harddrive with no tape drive at all. You could also argue that considering the Canon G1 and can do uncompressed it's the clear winner. Why? The Canon G1 and Panasonic HVX are closer in price when it comes to using HD. (Remember you can't use Panny's HD minus close to $2000 worth or extras).

Many people find the fact that it doesn't provide an HDV sytle choice as an annoyance which have made some switch. If this were not so I doubt would be toying with the ACVHD option, which we all know will probably make it's way to an ACVHD DVX. If this camera finds it's way to the market with functionality of the HVX (an price point of the Canon) then consider Canon's butt officially kicked but until then Canon is holding strong with this model.

Overall I can buy the Canon + the smaller one and have a camera for B-roll and to edit from. While I know I'd love tapeless, tape is no problem to me. Over all cost + crew + time is a big factor. Being on my own time and putting my tape into FCP is fine for me because I'm used to it and it's never really been a big deal. Still better than cutting film.

-Nate

Jack Alltrades
01-15-2007, 04:20 PM
HVX has better color resolution

I know that looks true but is it technically true? I.e., doesn't the pixel-shift thing in the HVX mean it should have less colour resolution? Theoretically, an uncompressed SDI signal from the A1 should allow for much better colour grading than the HVX, surely?

Justyn
01-15-2007, 04:35 PM
NOPE... in a big bigtime way. There's a ton more color info on the HVX than HDV cameras. When we matched HVX footage to a few HDV cams we had to dial down the color on the HVX to match. Barry has gone over this at lenght in an article.

Not to mention what happens to HDV footage when there's a lot of motion. We shot some fast action in the wood and the HDV footage looked really really bad with the trees moving.. Terribly bad indeed!


Look at this footage and notice how the Red van looks in the side by side.... One looks bright and colorful and one looks not so much:


http://www.dvxuser.com/articles/xha1/24F%20vs%2024p.mov

Jack Alltrades
01-15-2007, 04:45 PM
NOPE... in a big bigtime way. There's a ton more color info on the HVX than HDV cameras. When we matched HVX footage to a few HDV cams we had to dial down the color on the HVX to match. Barry has gone over this at lenght in an article.

Not to mention what happens to HDV footage when there's a lot of motion. We shot some fast action in the wood and the HDV footage looked really really bad with the trees moving.. Terribly bad indeed!


Look at this footage and notice how the Red van looks in the side by side.... One looks bright and colorful and one looks not so much:


http://www.dvxuser.com/articles/xha1/24F%20vs%2024p.mov


I absolutely agree about the HDV format - I've had to grade Z1 footage many times and it's a nightmare. But I'm talking about an uncompressed SDI signal recorded straight to disk in one of the kinder compression formats. Don't ask me which, because this isn't something I've looked into properly yet, just something that's been mentioned to me.

Nathyn
01-15-2007, 05:13 PM
All of the workflow issues are about tradeoffs and pricepoints. P2 is fantastic for the filmmaker on the set, but a challenge for long takes, archiving, and might require an on-set assistant, and requires the added expense of a laptop or P2Store for offloading...or purchasing a Firestore. HDV is a nice compromise for recording length freedom because the codec (Canon's HDV encoder) is better than anyone would think it has a right to be (especially the F modes) and despite the need to use a Canon camera for F mode compatibilty, the ability to capture pure 24P without pulldown issues and edit in a native environment without a large storage penalty has its advantages too. The A1 is also probably more practical for the single, "run and gun" Doc/verite' shooter. And of course, this goes for event shooting too.
This is so true, which is why the HVX can't be the "clear" winner unless it facilitates everyone's needs. Better: "The HVX is the Clear Winner for Studio Shooting".

-Nate

Nathyn
01-15-2007, 05:18 PM
Why is the HVX useless for run and gun / doc work ? Useless ? With the pending a 16gb card on the way ? Useless ? [/I]

Because the 16gb card is "on the way" and not here and will probably cost a lot of money.

-Nate

Nathyn
01-15-2007, 05:43 PM
I just don't understand why people think a $3995 product should do everything a $5995 product does, and when I point out the things that it doesn't do, they get upset? Different products, different price points, appealing to different customers.
Well Barry, we know you are the camera pimp and master of the DVX/HVX iris but I think maybe the question is should these cameras have been compared at all. I know people are doing it but the price points are totally different and what they do are different. People considering the A1 aren't doing it in spite of the HVX but because of it.

What I mean is, people like me love Panasonic's image but at the price point it's not worth getting extra when I can get all I need (and more) from the A1. You would've been better off comparing it to the XL-H1. That would make more sense from the the overall price point angle and comparison angle.

People want out the box shooting. Panasonic officers this with the DVX but the problem is to get what you want from the HVX you're going to pay a lot more (roughly $4000 more) versus HD for $3999 ($3669 at B&H) that's compatible with most of your current equipment. You're talking about a price range of about $8000, but I could buy two A1s for that. (Honestly I could buy an A1 and shoot a feature for that kind of money).

To sum it up the HVX is the HVX but the A1 is the current DVX100. Remember the DVX100 was hot because of what it was and no other camera is that right now. Until Panasonic comes out the DVX1-HD the Canon A1 is the DVX100 of the HD community. Panasonic give you great video plus two levels of 24p plus 30p when no one else did it at that price point.

Today Canon is giving you 24p, 30p, 1080i and the whole shabang at a $3669 price point again at a time no else is willing too. Those who would've bought the DVX100 in our time will probably buy the A1 today. Panasonic dropped the ball here and should've dropped an HDV DVX versus just the HVX. If you notice Sony and Canon both dropped a prosumer cam and a more pro-cam.

Also you did try to say the HVX was "less" professional. Now come on Barry, you knew that would make people salty. These are pro cams being used for pro-work and we should all just get over it. None of these cameras are the Varicam, Viper or Cine-Alta.

-Nate

scannon
01-15-2007, 08:20 PM
Nate

Whether you agree or disagree with the comparison the term "Camera Pimp" is uncalled for and insulting.

The comparison between the HVX and the A1 was a response to many asking Barry's opinion and calling for his input not his crusade to trash the A1. In subsequent comments Barry I believe also agreed that the comparison between the A1 and the Sonu V1U is perhaps the real test of Apples to Apples.

Most of your points were also confirmed in this section over a 120 previous replys and obvious to everyone. There was no added value to restating them.

Your personal opinion is respected but the dressing down tone and vulgarity are not. Certainly not by this member

SCannon

Noel Evans
01-15-2007, 11:15 PM
WOW this has turned into something it shouldnt. People should keep their pants on and be thankful there is someone like Barry that can undertake these reviews.

I would say though there are a lot of useful points just the tone of some comments that are surprising me.



NOPE... in a big bigtime way. There's a ton more color info on the HVX than HDV cameras. When we matched HVX footage to a few HDV cams we had to dial down the color on the HVX to match. Barry has gone over this at lenght in an article.

Not to mention what happens to HDV footage when there's a lot of motion. We shot some fast action in the wood and the HDV footage looked really really bad with the trees moving.. Terribly bad indeed!


Look at this footage and notice how the Red van looks in the side by side.... One looks bright and colorful and one looks not so much:


http://www.dvxuser.com/articles/xha1/24F%20vs%2024p.mov

Sorry Justyn just wanted to clarify that point - the poster above you was talking about uncompressed footage ( I assume he actually meant via component out and not HD SDI which the A1 doesnt have - G1 does).

Anyway YOU CAN capture from the A1 uncompressed 4:2:2 via the component out - this source DOES NOT go through HDV compression. And the resulting image has every bit of color space the HVX does - both 4:2:2.

I want to make that point clear as I have seen it arise - and I initially pointed it out only as it was not in Barry's review. So for greenscreen work using the A1 you will need a hefty computer capable of capturing the stream and the correct capture hardware (refer to Barlow Elton for the exact details). I personally havent undertaken an uncompressed capture from the A1 as yet, but I assure you if a job arose where I needed to use the A1 and greenscreen, the ability to do so would be in the budget - no one expects pro green screen in a studio without the set up budget to actually carry it out. The actual rental on the MAC and card for a day would be minimal I would imagine - within just about anyones budget. Many have the computer to do so, but like in my case would most likely rent the capture hardware to carry it out.

The problem is that the configuration as I understand it is not usable in a laptop as you need a PCI Express slot.

If youre thinking limitations on tethered, check out the Andromeda for the DVX, completely tethered at all times - awesome image (for point of reference Andromeda is 4:4:4: - just so no one comes and feels the need to point it out as I didnt give up that info).

Nathyn
01-15-2007, 11:23 PM
Nate

Whether you agree or disagree with the comparison the term "Camera Pimp" is uncalled for and insulting.
Actually that wasn't an insult it was the exact opposite and believe I've called him that before. (Maybe it was video pimp I used or maybe that was Jarred). You took it the wrong way. If you look at the context there was no negativity implied as I happen to like Barry and Jarred (biased or not they seem pretty cool).


Most of your points were also confirmed in this section over a 120 previous replys and obvious to everyone. There was no added value to restating them.

But they weren't confirmed by me, were they? Ah ha. Seriously I wanted to weigh in so I did. I didn't expect you or anyone else to take that one thing (out all the stuff I said) the way you did as I don't think Barry did. Although it's cool of you to try to keep things civil. I still take issue with the HVX being the clear winner of a class it's not in (but as said others have made this point), but other than that it's no big deal. And is Barry not the camera/video pimp and Master of all things DVX/HVX? I believe he is, otherwise we wouldn't come to him or take stock in him for this kind of info. I rest my case.

-Nate

ecking
01-16-2007, 03:19 AM
Is the HVX look the gold standard then? The A1 is a great camera for the price. However is not the end all for all camera users.

Neither is the hvx, which is the point of the article.

xray
01-16-2007, 03:38 AM
/snip
Not to mention what happens to HDV footage when there's a lot of motion. We shot some fast action in the wood and the HDV footage looked really really bad with the trees moving.. Terribly bad indeed!
/snap


Justyn, there is HDV footage and HDV footage. You have the JVC version 1 and 2, you have the Sony version 1 and 2 and the Canon. MPEG2 gives room for enhanced results, encoding is going better and better. The moving images from Canon XHA1 are way better than the Sony Fx1. (this is just an example).

So comparing or generally 'HDV footage with lot of motion looks terrible' is showing you are not being accurate. If you like, I can point you to A1 footage with streaming water on rocks (mostly a hard to compress moving image) to show my point. It looks terrific.

Jack Alltrades
01-16-2007, 04:18 AM
NOPE... in a big bigtime way. There's a ton more color info on the HVX than HDV cameras. When we matched HVX footage to a few HDV cams we had to dial down the color on the HVX to match. Barry has gone over this at lenght in an article.

Not to mention what happens to HDV footage when there's a lot of motion. We shot some fast action in the wood and the HDV footage looked really really bad with the trees moving.. Terribly bad indeed!


Look at this footage and notice how the Red van looks in the side by side.... One looks bright and colorful and one looks not so much:


http://www.dvxuser.com/articles/xha1/24F%20vs%2024p.mov

I totally agree about HDV - I've had to grade Z1 footage many times, and I know how bad it is - but the question is about the SDI output, if it can be recorded in some sort of cleaner quicktime format on a Mac etc, surely the A1 uncompressed is going to give better results than the HVX uncompressed?

xray
01-16-2007, 06:31 AM
- but the question is about the SDI output, if it can be recorded in some sort of cleaner quicktime format on a Mac etc, surely the A1 uncompressed is going to give better results than the HVX uncompressed?

Ehh...both have no SDI output, but the component output on both is the same. If you pass the recording-part and take the signal directly to an external device (computer with HD analog component in board) with ultrafast raid you can record uncompressed HD. Quicktime itself has nothing to do with it.

Many factors involved without saying this one is better that the other. The Canon XHG1 though, has an HD/SD-SDI terminal with embedded audio and TC. Really nice.

xray
01-16-2007, 06:34 AM
- but the question is about the SDI output, if it can be recorded in some sort of cleaner quicktime format on a Mac etc, surely the A1 uncompressed is going to give better results than the HVX uncompressed?

Ehh...both have NO SDI output, but the component output on both is the same. If you pass the recording-part and take the signal directly to an external device (computer with HD analog component in board) with ultrafast raid you can record uncompressed HD. Quicktime itself has nothing to do with it.

Many factors involved without saying this one is better that the other. The Canon XHG1 though, has an HD/SD-SDI terminal with embedded audio and TC. Really nice.

Nathyn
01-16-2007, 06:56 AM
I did want to show footage I've seen from Spencer Lum and Joe Simon. I will simply give the urls. This is the stuff that sealed the deal for me as far as what this camera can look like. Mind you these are so good I downloaded them as inspiration.

http://www.iriscinema.com/katya.mov
http://www.joesimonproductions.com/shootout/downtown.mov

-Nate

Justyn
01-16-2007, 02:42 PM
I appreciate the correction on the uncompressed side.. but that requires some additional components that do indeed make the pricepoint jump up to another level of course.

I'm glad things are coming along with the other cams and yes I'd like to see some of those samples... I'm not opposed to getting another hammer in my arsenal... Barrys review helped in presenting these points.

I do think that we get a little bit too emotionally invested in what we have spent our money on... I just know that I need a camera with a varied skillset. I have recently landed a gig on a show that will be using both the canons and the JVCs.. simply because I can shoot timelapse and slow-motion. Now that's an area where the HVX excells and in many ways is worth the expense. Also, anyone who's rented the Varicam and loved the results can appreciate that the HVX gives a pretty good quality value comparatively.

Shoot. As soon as I have room on my credit card I'm buying the sony CMOS cam and a waterhousing. For 2200 bucks for both that's an amazing deal since I can shoot a ton of surfing and watersports stuff in HD without a ton of expense...

Finally.. I do think that Barry is owed a great deal of respect and props for taking the time out to do this review and for being so impatial. He doesn't seem biased to me.. Sure he has his tastes, but his analysis and insight is beyond reproach...

Jack Alltrades
01-16-2007, 04:30 PM
Ehh...both have NO SDI output, but the component output on both is the same. If you pass the recording-part and take the signal directly to an external device (computer with HD analog component in board) with ultrafast raid you can record uncompressed HD. Quicktime itself has nothing to do with it.

Many factors involved without saying this one is better that the other. The Canon XHG1 though, has an HD/SD-SDI terminal with embedded audio and TC. Really nice.

Yes, sorry - I was talking about the G1 but kept calling the A1, my mistake! This whole thing is accademic at the moment though, until someone makes a USB capture card that plugs into a laptop, and someone else makes a USB raid array that can store it in real time!

The 60p (50p in Europe?) advantage of the HVX is tempting, but it all depends whether slow motion is something that you're going to use often or not - for me it generally isn't. But I really think, to make the same pedantic point again, that the picture of the bug spray shows clearly that the A1 (/ G1 / H1) produces a higher-res image than the HVX, and since HD is all about resolution, I'd personally rather have the maximum resolution image. You can always grade the colour and gamma.

KyleProhaska
01-17-2007, 09:55 AM
People talk like if you dont have the HVX that slow motion isnt possible. If you know what your doing, 60i footage can easily be turned into 60p and slowed from there as much as you please. It isn't DVCPRO HD and loose slight quality but if you do it right, it works great.

- Kyle

Jack Alltrades
01-17-2007, 12:01 PM
People talk like if you dont have the HVX that slow motion isnt possible. If you know what your doing, 60i footage can easily be turned into 60p and slowed from there as much as you please. It isn't DVCPRO HD and loose slight quality but if you do it right, it works great.

- Kyle

I've had no problem doing slow motion in DV, using a deinterlacer and a shutter set at 100/sec (PAL), but when I tried the same with a Z1 in HDV I got a ghost after-image (ie, the alternate field) in each frame. I was using Avid, and I tried various ways of exporting the footage uncompressed, but couldn't get rid of it. It might have been Avid - it'd be interesting to know if anyone else has had this problem?

Elton
01-17-2007, 12:29 PM
This was 1080i HDV shot for slowmo: http://realm.cc/upload/Elton/SlowMoTest.mov 21 MB h264 QT

Jack Alltrades
01-17-2007, 01:41 PM
This was 1080i HDV shot for slowmo: http://realm.cc/upload/Elton/SlowMoTest.mov 21 MB h264 QT

That's far better than I could get - what's it shot on (presume not a Z1?) and what editing / effects package did you use?

Elton
01-17-2007, 01:53 PM
That was XL-H1 1080i shot with a slightly fast shutter speed. I used a FCP/ Nattress plug-in to convert fields into frames (with some anti-aliasing) and ended up with a 1080 60p clip (believe it or not) that downrezzed to smaller frames fairly well. The clip contained no CC too, which I probably should've done to make the colors pop a little, but oh well. Edit: Play with boosting the color and contrast under AV Controls in the QT player and it looks richer.

There are lots of ways to do it, but for me the Nattress plug-in was the fastest rendering and produced good quality.

Jack Alltrades
01-17-2007, 02:27 PM
There are lots of ways to do it, but for me the Nattress plug-in was the fastest rendering and produced good quality.

Well it certainly worked - it looks great! I don't know if my problem was with the Z1 or Avid, but I suspect it was the Z1. Looks like I might have to invest in the H1!

flassh
01-17-2007, 03:11 PM
I don't understand why the HVX have an echo on edges in the pictures of your review and CANON don't have...

Are you sure Barry that you don't have inverse the picture ? I say that because the DVCPRO HD is in 4.2.2 (like betanum) I have never see an echo on 4.2.2 !
But I have always see an echo on DV and HDV...

TimurCivan
01-17-2007, 03:32 PM
echo?

Huy Vu
01-17-2007, 03:53 PM
Here's an article on how to do it in AE:

http://rarevision.com/articles/slow_motion.php

Works very well for me, but I found out that when working with HDV, the Separate Field have to be set to "Lower Field First" instead of Upper field first as expected. Doing it the other way produces poor results.

Matt Sconce
01-17-2007, 06:01 PM
Slow mo footage can be achieved in post, but I absolutely love the HVX for its overcranking ability. I just shot this on a run and gun style fun shoot before filming a wedding and it turned out beautifully. i think it shows HVX sharpness and nice slo mo footage. Each camera definitely has their advantages but the variable frame rates are a selling point for me. I use them a lot.
http://www.eagleasda.com/Test_Scene_Oakland.wmv

Justin Kuhn
01-18-2007, 11:44 AM
I could see the A1 being my choice to supplement my HVX with, for events and such. I heard it mentioned that the A1 will record uncompressed HD to a hard drive set up or similar, but the discussion above would seem to disagree. But if this were in fact the case then it could work pretty well as a B camera to compliment the HVX in a studio situation as well. It's really too bad about the zoom.

Barry_Green
01-18-2007, 11:51 AM
Any of these cameras can record uncompressed HD to a RAID hard drive setup, there's nothing about the Canon that makes it particularly suited to do that; a little $1000 HV10 or Sony HC3 can do it too. I don't think there's an HD or HDV camcorder on the market that doesn't output uncompressed HD on its analog component, HD-SDI or HDMI outputs (as the case may be).

Justin Kuhn
01-18-2007, 03:44 PM
Which leads me to wonder what the footage (or stills from said footage) looks like. From the cameras under discussion, but also from anything else with those outputs.

Barry_Green
01-18-2007, 04:21 PM
Barlow Elton posted a clip from the XHA1 that was shot in both HDV and also captured through the analog ports. It definitely looks a bit better, but the question is if it looks enough better to justify the hassle, and I think the universal consensus is "eh, not worth it, unless doing chroma keys or something like that."

Jack Alltrades
01-18-2007, 04:27 PM
Barlow Elton posted a clip from the XHA1 that was shot in both HDV and also captured through the analog ports. It definitely looks a bit better, but the question is if it looks enough better to justify the hassle, and I think the universal consensus is "eh, not worth it, unless doing chroma keys or something like that."

If it helps with grading it'd be worth it for me - but it'd be interesting to see how much better the HD-SDI output is (on a camera with an SDI output) compared to the analogue output. If it's through S-video it should look pretty good I suppose...

Great review very much appreciated by the way Mr Green!

Elton
01-18-2007, 04:49 PM
You can think of the analog output as 95-99% the same as the SDI output in terms of quality. The D/A conversion of the A1 is quite good, and if you have a Kona or Decklink, their A/D's are also excellent so the end result is virtually the same.

Yes, uncompressed is better for grading, but most who've really put the time into properly grading their 24F HDV footage have found it to be surprisingly flexible.

Justin Kuhn
01-18-2007, 07:13 PM
Yeah it does sound like enough of a hassle that I'm willing to leave it at that.

alpi69
01-21-2007, 12:30 PM
funny I find this article 2 days after I bought the HVX. I was long thinking about that A1. Why? Because it is cheaper and it would work straight away in my workflow.
I am shooting lots of sportsevents that can take a while and need lots of "runs" covered, so a $ 5 tape would be sweet. But I went for the HVX mainly bvecause I want variable framerates. Sure I did Field-extraction in Digital Fusion and After Effects and slomotion looked spectacular already from the VX1000, but it will never look like slomo from the HVX. No chance. And no rendering needed either.
And now after one chapter I knew I did the right thing. You canīt zoom and focus? You canīt peak and zebra? You canīt split the interview-audio? This sounds about as silly as the SONY idea of offering a 8 second highspeed mode in 640x480. It really sounds like a typewriter.

And I donīt even want to touch the colours and noise issues. Canon has a history of these greyish looking skies. Sure you can get the color better and in post a lot can be done. But why do stuff in post when you can be having dinner with your wife at the same time?

Thanks for the read. I understand A1 owners are not happy about it as we were not happy about the resolution charts from the Texas shootout. But it all comes down to subjectively liking the picture. I like Panasonic colors (just like I love Minolta still-camera-glass). And Canon once again seems not to be able to give them to us.

philnerd
01-21-2007, 04:04 PM
<snip>
And I donīt even want to touch the colours and noise issues. Canon has a history of these greyish looking skies. Sure you can get the color better and in post a lot can be done. But why do stuff in post when you can be having dinner with your wife at the same time?

This is why I did a bit of complaining about the color setups of Barry's cameras in the first page of this discussion. Barry is a super dude and I certainly appreciate the effort he put into writing it, but while trying to set the cameras to "neutral", what he ended up doing is setting the XH A1 to the flattest look possible with the cine settings. And now here's an HVX guy that apparently looked at the pictures and is talking about having dinner with the wife while us poor Canon owners must apparently pick through our footage in post and CC everything.



<snip>I understand A1 owners are not happy about it as we were not happy about the resolution charts from the Texas shootout. But it all comes down to subjectively liking the picture. I like Panasonic colors (just like I love Minolta still-camera-glass). And Canon once again seems not to be able to give them to us.

I think I can safely speak for XH owners when I say that Barry's article and drab screenshots create no unhapiness about the camera at all - because that's not representative of its performance in the least. And its fine to prefer the Panasonic's color (hey, its awesome) and picking between these cameras can be subjective indeed (I like the Pana better, my wallet liked the XH). But Canon has given us incredible, incredible color with the XH series. You want that Matrix green hue without post? Got it. Desaturated and contrasty Minority Report look? Check. Hyper real colors that litterally make people's mouths drop when they watch on a 42" screen? Its there.

I'll probably get shot for this, but I think in the long haul those screen shots are going to create FUD for Canon. No disrespect intended towards alpi69, but that post is an example of FUD in action. Here's at least one HVX guy that's now going to tell people he works with how grey the colors are on the XH A1. And if he's in professional circles, that might eventually trickle down to some poor sap with an XH A1 that doesn't get a gig because the producer heard how grey and poor the colors on the XH are.


----------Update-----------------------------------------------
Here are some quick screen shots I grabbed:
http://www.philipwilliams.com/XHA1.aspx -> click on "In-Camera color and sharpness comparisons"

Its not mega-scientific, just an example of how much difference some quick in-camera colors can make.

That was the first day I went out with the cam, so I really had no clue what I was doing. On the flat images I had the sharpness down, probably to -9 or thereabouts. The more colored images probably were at around 0ish. For the color settings, the flat images probably had knee and black to the flattest settings, not sure where the cine matrix and gamma was at. The richer images had black compressed a bit and colors were not cranked up much (if at all). Actually, I think I'd turned the reds down a bit.
Also, Premiere was nice enough to lay a vertical "grid" over the whole frame when resizing to 1920x1080 (should have just exported 1440x1080 and used Photoshop).
Here's a RAR file with uncompressed bitmaps: http://www.philipwilliams.com/canon.rar

Please be kind, my site is sitting on my home server connected to the net via my cable modem :)

Life in a Box Films
01-21-2007, 06:49 PM
Great comparison article.

I'm all for the HVX (I own one) and for me, I prefer the P2 workflow, 60p, etc, however it was apparent to me from the first frame grab that the A1 looks noticeably sharper. I'd know the Canon cameras come default with the sharpness up, but take a look at the greenscreen shot and try reading the text on the bottle from both cameras. It looks like more resolution to me. Actually it looks like alot more, at least by that grab.

But overall I still prefer the HVX images and features- I'm not selling my HVX anytime soon.

Noel Evans
01-21-2007, 11:59 PM
Barlow Elton posted a clip from the XHA1 that was shot in both HDV and also captured through the analog ports. It definitely looks a bit better, but the question is if it looks enough better to justify the hassle, and I think the universal consensus is "eh, not worth it, unless doing chroma keys or something like that."

Exactly the point I have been making.

alpi69
01-22-2007, 04:23 AM
I'll probably get shot for this, but I think in the long haul those screen shots are going to create FUD for Canon. No disrespect intended towards alpi69, but that post is an example of FUD in action. Here's at least one HVX guy that's now going to tell people he works with how grey the colors are on the XH A1. And if he's in professional circles, that might eventually trickle down to some poor sap with an XH A1 that doesn't get a gig because the producer heard how grey and poor the colors on the XH are.


I doubt you get shot on this forum ;-)
You know what: In fact I take back my "grey-colour" comment. It looks typical Canon-defaultish to me and I am certain an operator who knows the camera can tweak it to a good image. I have seen great interlaced images from the XH1 and XL2 and have never played with the A1. so judging it by this article is more than unfair. I also never saw that 25f on a real HD-screen.
I am also certain that if the production calls for it you can use the A1 in its own workfield also as a professional tool. After all there are VX2100 shots floating in BBC productions and nobody complains. If you know what you do and accept the limitations of the A1 in handling, codec and audio then hell yeah go and make a musicvideo for MTV with it. Put in on DigiBeta (which they demand) and they will be happy.

But for me who earns his living as a cameraman and producer it is not 2.500 euros cheaper (included already 16GB of P2), but it would be 3.500 wasted Euros. FOR ME! I want snapzooms, I want variable framerates, I want DVCProHD (or any other intraframe format), I have to have full audiocontrol on both channels (but I think I could live with the compressed audio). When a client calls I want to say YES, I HAVE what you need. If I was in a big filmcity like Munich or London and could rent stuff I might get away with an A1, but here I have to have the gear myself. Now I can agree to snapzooms (which is often requested these days: watch "24", watch "The Sentinel", watch even a SOAP like "Boston Legal"), to 32fps sports-slomotions, to immediate roughcut-delivery, to replays on set without breaking timecodes etc etc.
I started with the VX1000 almost a decade ago and we produced for MTV, BBC, Eurosport, ESPN etc and it was an awesome camera. So one can make great stuff with the A1 nowadays in HD. But it is positioned into the up-and-coming consumer market just like Barry ( or Jarred, who wrote this article?) said. The A1 makes images that probably match and have maybe even higher rez in still frame extractions. But it has limitations that one can live with and others canīt. I actually could live with them if there was no HVX. If there was only the DVX....Iīd get it. But the HVX is here, it is proven, its workflow is figured out by many brave early adopters. the HVX not only makes images but it makes working "easier". The only complaint I have is the viewfinder and the LCD. Those are lame and actually make working "not so easy" again. But apparently all cams in this priceclass have this problem (but JVC might be better here).

philnerd I am sure you will make great shots with the A1. It has such an awsome lens picturewise it is ridiculous for that price. So go and have fun with it! Whoever you show it to will never ask if it was a HVX or an A1. They will only say WOW! in any case.

xray
01-22-2007, 05:43 AM
I can understand your points, now you finally chosen for the HVX. So you repeat the strong points the HVX certainly has. Now silently repeat the strong points the A1 gives you in your head again... Believe me or not, but the reality in practice is more positive weight for the A1 and less for the HVX than this review shows you.

My opinion is that in the real world (not studio) the HVX is not making images "easier" than an 1 hour = $5 tape system.

xray
01-22-2007, 06:08 AM
You have two independent audio channels with full control. Only if you want to share one mic with two audiochannels with different levels, you need to split the audiocable with a small splitter. And you can not use one channel for line and one for mic. It's both mic or line, not so nice. You do have phantom power and two independent audiochannels.

For any serious work you need a mixer like you need for any cam. Many buy a portable audiorecorder too (zoom H4, 300E) to make extra 24-bit/96 kHz audio recordings.

philnerd
01-22-2007, 07:58 AM
<snip>
My opinion is that in the real world (not studio) the HVX is not making images "easier" than an 1 hour = $5 tape system.

Well, I think these cams are fundamentally so different that its hard to make a blanket statement like that. If I had 10 grand to spend and wanted to do independent films I'd be on the HVX like white on rice.

I personally chose the XH A1 because I need to be able to grab the occasional gig (wedding or whatever) where I need the 1 hour record times, I still want the ability to do nice narrative work (24F) and I had a hard time coughing up $3500, never mind $7000 for an HVX with Firestore.

Barry_Green
01-22-2007, 09:43 AM
Well, I think these cams are fundamentally so different that its hard to make a blanket statement like that. If I had 10 grand to spend and wanted to do independent films I'd be on the HVX like white on rice.

I personally chose the XH A1 because I need to be able to grab the occasional gig (wedding or whatever) where I need the 1 hour record times, I still want the ability to do nice narrative work (24F) and I had a hard time coughing up $3500, never mind $7000 for an HVX with Firestore.

Exactly the points I was trying to make.

xray
01-22-2007, 09:47 AM
Yes indeed, independent films are made in controlled situations like a studio. Sport and documentaries not.

BTW, the Firestore fs100 is incredible expensive here, add an extra 700,- Euro and you have the XHA1 for the price you get the firestore alone.

Darkeyesuk2000
01-25-2007, 04:36 PM
I would like to Throw another log in to the fire if i may.
Iam considering shooting a feature film.
if i use the canon i would use the g1 shooting sdi and then coverting the footage using 10bit cineform codec.

If i go with panasonic i will shoot 1080 using the hd100 codec possibly again convert the footage to 10bit cineform file.
slow motion is not important for me but cc and how the footage will look digitally projected Via HDCAM at a film festival is critical.



Barry and Barlow would love to hear your views on this.

Elton
01-25-2007, 07:36 PM
It's just a matter of what core imagery you find the most pleasing. Canon will be especially sharp, and SDI acquisition will give you lots of latitude for CC. The HVX will have a different look, no doubt about it.

I'd suggest renting both cameras and have your DP do some extensive testing.

TimurCivan
01-25-2007, 08:27 PM
Te G1 shuld do pretty well. but being cable tethered will be a major challenge, especially if you have any camera movement. thoughtthe G1 wih SDI will probably be beautiful.

Barry_Green
01-25-2007, 10:57 PM
I'd think the cabled situation is probably mucho overkill. It will seriously impede your freedom and flexibility -- which means it will add time and cost to your shoot. If you can afford that additional time and cost, what would you be doing shooting on a 1/3" HDV camera? Yes using an uncompressed capture can give you a small quality boost, but shooting on a 2/3" camera would probably do more for your image, and if you can afford the one you should be able to afford the other.

Check out the notice where an XLH1 film got picked up at Sundance for something like $2.3 million. I doubt they shot tethered for the whole production.

Darkeyesuk2000
01-26-2007, 12:01 AM
Barry i followed the link apparently the whole movie was shot on hdv.
Iam gobsmacked!
Barry i reckon i can summarize this whole issue its not the tool so much as the person that uses it and can make the most of it.
thanks once again Barry for your time.

ecking
01-26-2007, 03:04 AM
Where's this link? Thanks for the article btw Barry it was an excellent read but I'm still gonna get an A1 :D

Edit: found the link, damn!

Darkeyesuk2000
01-26-2007, 03:55 AM
I get the whole cc issue in terms of latitude.

"Yes using an uncompressed capture can give you a small quality boost."

But was it not scottbillups who said that a canon xlh1 camera hooked up via sdi was indistingishble from a sony f900 when diplayed on the bigscreen?

And i guess my point is would the hvx200 image using the hd100 codec hold up on the big screen as well as the canon`s image via sdi

Barry_Green
01-26-2007, 10:07 AM
I don't know of any such quote by Scott Billups, but I can point you to a post by one of our members here who intercut the HVX with the F900 and viewed it on a 30' screen from a 4k projector, and said "It intercut almost seemlessly with the F-900. For sure there was a little extra sharpness and a little better skin tones with the F-900 but not $100,000 dollars worth."

http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?t=85252


i reckon i can summarize this whole issue its not the tool so much as the person that uses it and can make the most of it.
Well, yes, and no. It in some ways is the tool, if the tool you want to use does something the other ones don't (a screwdriver is a different tool than a hammer, obviously; shooting on a tape vs. tapeless is different, interchanging lenses is different, etc.) But let's keep something in perspective here: more than anything, it's about what you can accomplish with the tool. People are talking about an XLH1 film that sold for reportedly $2.3 million at Sundance. Now, I'm sure that people will start thinking "oh, obviously we should be using the XLH1, films made on it sell for big bucks." Let's not forget that "Tadpole" was shot on a PD150 and sold at Sundance for $6 million! A standard-def, interlaced-only PD150 DV camera. "Chuck and Buck" was shot on a VX1000, the very first original DV camera, and sold at Sundance for $1.1 million.

Buy the tool that does the job that you need done. Having shot on any specific camera is no guarantee for success (or else we all could have been making million-dollar sales on our VX1000s back in 1997!) Nor is having shot on any specific camera a guarantee of failure (witness Blair Witch Project, shot on the cheapest RCA Hi-8 camcorder they could buy at Circuit City).

Choose the right tool for the job that you need done, and count on your skills to do the rest. The tools have different capabilities; match your needs with the capabilities and price tag of the various tools to find the one that's right for you.

pixelator
01-26-2007, 01:11 PM
Barry, thanks for the great article. I've been on the fence for a while myself, and thorughly looked at all the footage here as well as DV.com's 2 round up articles. I don't think there is any clear winner for ultimate camera for under $10,000. HVX200 is best for MOST uses, but not all. I love the color depth of DVC-PRO-HD. I'm surprised how flat the NORM settings are on the Canon. Yes I'm sure you can get more with adjustments, but a better NORM or flat setting might have been a better idea from Canon.

I'm curious though. How would you rate the JVC HD100 series of cameras? I'm looking at all 3, and you were involved with DV.com's testing.

I think for HD the most important thing viewer respond to is color. It gives the wow factor, but also middle tones and black levels without washing out the highlights. From the DV.com tests it looked as JVC HD100 seemed to win most of those. Would you agree with that having been there in person?

I'm looking primarily for HD- indie work. Of course another money maker is sports when HD-DVD burns hit the market in a few months. So that Makes the JVC HD100 limited/harder with no auto focus, the Panasonic you then need the $1,800 Firestore. Makes the Canon A1 a nice choice for HD sports, (cheap and good)? Slap a Zoom control PGL-1 from my old sony and shoot college games...

Indie film work Panasonic and JVC HD100? Have you spent much time with the JVC HD100? Is the repeatability with the HVX200 really compare with a solid manual lens? The Sony and the older Canon's never did, (hence I own a zoom control) What were your thoughts on the JVC 100 vs the HVX200?

HDkilledFILM.
01-26-2007, 01:15 PM
I don't know of any such quote by Scott Billups, but I can point you to a post by one of our members here who intercut the HVX with the F900 and viewed it on a 30' screen from a 4k projector, and said "It intercut almost seemlessly with the F-900. For sure there was a little extra sharpness and a little better skin tones with the F-900 but not $100,000 dollars worth."

http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?t=85252


Well, yes, and no. It in some ways is the tool, if the tool you want to use does something the other ones don't (a screwdriver is a different tool than a hammer, obviously; shooting on a tape vs. tapeless is different, interchanging lenses is different, etc.) But let's keep something in perspective here: more than anything, it's about what you can accomplish with the tool. People are talking about an XLH1 film that sold for reportedly $2.3 million at Sundance. Now, I'm sure that people will start thinking "oh, obviously we should be using the XLH1, films made on it sell for big bucks." Let's not forget that "Tadpole" was shot on a PD150 and sold at Sundance for $6 million! A standard-def, interlaced-only PD150 DV camera. "Chuck and Buck" was shot on a VX1000, the very first original DV camera, and sold at Sundance for $1.1 million.

Buy the tool that does the job that you need done. Having shot on any specific camera is no guarantee for success (or else we all could have been making million-dollar sales on our VX1000s back in 1997!) Nor is having shot on any specific camera a guarantee of failure (witness Blair Witch Project, shot on the cheapest RCA Hi-8 camcorder they could buy at Circuit City).

Choose the right tool for the job that you need done, and count on your skills to do the rest. The tools have different capabilities; match your needs with the capabilities and price tag of the various tools to find the one that's right for you.

I couldn't agree more.

Barry_Green
01-26-2007, 01:19 PM
Have you spent much time with the JVC HD100?
I've spent way too much time with the HD100, I actually bought one of those before I got my HVX. I sent it back. Search through the old posts and you'll find lots of commentary. I would take an XHA1 over an HD100 any day of the week, and twice on Sunday. It can do a good job, but I was profoundly disappointed with the JVC; I really wanted to like it, but it just had too many problems and issues, and the lens is a complete joke (including punchline). Other people seem to love their HD100s. The HD100 has its own unique position in the market (interchangeable lens and shoulder-mount form factor); if those are the things you need, then the HD100 is the obvious choice. But if those aren't things you NEED, I'd buy an HVX or XHA1 over the HD100 any time, any place, any where.

snowleopard
01-26-2007, 03:10 PM
I noticed almost no comment on the new image stabilizer on the Canon(s). While this doesn't really play into the footage Barry shot, (or how he normally works - studio work I believe) I'd like to hear more about it. For people into run and gun, or Paul Greengrass type filmmaking, a better IS is something that might make a point of difference. Comments anyone?

Otherwise I thought the article was great and very informative, and the tests were reasonably fair. Sure a slight bias, but Barry is an HVX guy who wrote a book on the HVX. What do people expect?! I tip my hat to him for doing this test in the first place. Obviously, one needs to buy the camera best suited for thier type of work. This article helped point the differences between the cameras out in a very good way - differences, not just good versus bad. Plus when it comes to shooting, the person using it will have a tremendous amount of influence on the footage that comes out of it. The old saying couldn't be more true: It's the carpenter, not the tools. Give John Toll a 1 chip DV camera with a truck full of HMI's, Kinoflo's etc. and give your average film student an IMAX camera, and I'll guarantee you Toll's footage will look way better.

disjecta
01-26-2007, 03:15 PM
the OIS on the XLH1 (which is similar to the one on the XHA1) is really amazing. I use it quite often with my style of shooting where I do a lot of handheld work. That is one of the great features (and the long lens) that, as a nature filmmaker, I would have a hard time giving up.

Justin Kuhn
01-26-2007, 03:32 PM
Give John Toll a 1 chip DV camera with a truck full of HMI's, Kinoflo's etc. and give your average film student an IMAX camera, and I'll guarantee you Toll's footage will look way better.

How come the film student doesn't get a truck?

icicle22
01-26-2007, 08:21 PM
the OIS on the XLH1 (which is similar to the one on the XHA1) is really amazing. I use it quite often with my style of shooting where I do a lot of handheld work. That is one of the great features (and the long lens) that, as a nature filmmaker, I would have a hard time giving up.

I didn't do side by side tests but my experience was that the A1 OIS is not as good as the H1. That may be due to the form factor more than the OIS itself. The H1 is inherintly more stable due to the mass and the shoulder mount design. So perhaps that is the difference. But having used both I have to give the nod to the H1 and it may be the OIS design. They are not exactly the same technology in both camera. They are similar but there is a difference in the technology behind it.

disjecta
01-26-2007, 08:27 PM
I would take an XHA1 over an HD100 any day of the week, and twice on Sunday.

Is there some kind of special deal if you buy an XHA1 on Sunday? :engel017:

TimurCivan
01-26-2007, 09:24 PM
thats too bad about the HD100's lens. IT actually takes a VERY nice picture.

Elton
01-27-2007, 01:06 AM
I noticed almost no comment on the new image stabilizer on the Canon(s). While this doesn't really play into the footage Barry shot, (or how he normally works - studio work I believe) I'd like to hear more about it. For people into run and gun, or Paul Greengrass type filmmaking, a better IS is something that might make a point of difference. Comments anyone?

The OIS on the A1 is truly exceptional. Excellent for a handycam.

snowleopard
01-28-2007, 01:29 AM
Thanks for the comments on the stabilizer. I'll have to look at Elton's footage tomorrow, but I'm very curious.

Happy asked why the film student didn't get the grip truck in my example. Well, the idea was to emphasize that there was a lot more to making good movies/shots than just the camera - the lights play a factor too. But of course, give the student the grip truck to go with his IMAX camera, and I'd still take Toll and the 1chip DV camera. Wouldn't you? :happy:

Noel Evans
01-28-2007, 07:08 AM
Have to agree the A1 OIS is exceptional. I do some shoulder mounted work and some recently with the A1 and its been great.

Noel Evans
01-28-2007, 07:08 AM
How come the film student doesn't get a truck?

Had to laugh at that.

snowleopard
01-29-2007, 11:25 AM
Hey Elton, can you PM/e-mail me? I notice you edited your post, and would like to discuss regarding Canon OIS. - Phil

Mike Parker
01-29-2007, 02:20 PM
The big problem with the HVX (and why I haven't bought one) is most of the stuff I shoot is "shoot and ship" where I hand the tapes to a producer and never see them again. With my DVX or the XH A1 I can continue to do this: SD with the DVX and HDV with the XH A1. If I'm shooting HD with the with the HVX, I can't just hand over a half-dozen P2 cards and hope to get them back someday.

I'm not going to argue the merits of 100mbs HD verses 25mbs HDV, but my clients are more than satisfied with HDV, so who am I to argue? HDV is "good enough".

Mike Parker
Fort Lauderdale

Barry_Green
01-29-2007, 03:52 PM
For your uses, the P2 system is probably not appropriate. HDV may or may not be, it depends on whether your client has appropriate HDV playback gear. But yes, that is one area where the HVX doesn't have a fully-fleshed-out workflow path. The only way I can think of that that might work is if the client rents the cards, you shoot on 'em, and the client takes them away with him.

Now that the CinePorter is talking about removable hard disks, perhaps that would give HVX users a way to compete in that type of marketplace.

KyleProhaska
01-29-2007, 04:19 PM
I've read all of these comments, read everything on the internet that I can and I still can't make a decision im confident with. I'm not a PRO so some of the features aren't really a need like even DVCPRO HD. Thats great to have but I think most people who even own an HVX (and I could be wrong) dont even require the codec. I'm sure its nice but idk if I really must have it. I'll be outputing to DVD myself and internet. The 25mb/s on the A1 HDV might be way less than the DVCPro when you simply look at 100mb vs. 25mb but the image is unmistakable to me. Even in motion the thing screams HD to me. HVX has that soft 16mm look but now ive seen A1 users practically match it, not completely but its as close as I think ide ever want to get anyways.

Tape, ah well people have been using it for years and haven't seemed to have much issue. Now if your a pro and need that extra time instead of capturing I understand but im sure alot of folks love the tapeless feature but dont even gain much time using it. Copying 8GB to an HD for me takes slightly less than 20mins. Maybe a little less depending on the person and computer. I'm on a macpro so the copying is pretty fast but even in comparison, I would have probably plugged in my cam, captured my footage or been close to completing to do so, and be ready to go almost just as fast as copying off the card, importing into FCP, etc. Now you have to account for splitting the clips apart but from what ive heard the A1 splits your shots up almost exclusively as you capture which is nice. So where is the advantage besides being able to dump the card and use it again? I know having the codecs obviously ont he P2 is the advantage but seriously for those that aren't in broadcasting is it really that big of a deal? Color correction and the 4:2:2 is great but people before the HVX did some seriously great stuff with even their DV DVX so the ability to do things faster with the new colorspace doesn't mean someone with HDV and 4:1:1 would be much worse. There is a big difference sure but people got along well without 4:2:2 for ages and now they turn it into this thing like they wouldn't be able to make their film without it.

P2 is awesome but is it really that necessary? P2 is basically a firestore in card form that allows the recording of the specific formats and codecs. I dont own a laptop so its tough to unload efficiently but I have found out about the OTG drives. Audio issues with the A1 aren't that much of an issue even if I shoot serious work because I know many who do the same with the XL2 (which im sure is limited more than the A1) and have no problems with audio.

Variable frame rates....mmm..mmm...awesome to look at but if I can shoot 60i and make it looks almost as good why spend the extra 1500+ that ide be spending for HVX? Sure the HVX its instant and you can see it right away but if I dont mind rendering, is it worth the dough? (other than the super undercranked and overcranked footage that is, A1 can't really do that even in post)

The real thing that is the thing holding me back is the P2 and format choice. Sure P2 is great but being able to immedially see your shots and delete is very cool. I can see what I shot without rewinding, that to me alone might be worth the extra dough just for convienence since rewinding tape is a pain in the ass. Deleting a shot that wasn't right is also a plus. Having an 8GB card of just the good shots can stretch pretty far. People look at the 20mins in 720p 24n (pretty sure I got that right) and say "OMG THATS IT!!" but they aren't taking into account the advantage of being able to keep exactly what you want and toss out the rest. If I was just shooting a personal film and only had to dump the card when I filled it with good shots, my lord it would take a while im sure, even 20mins of perfect shots would take anyone a while. 15mins to offload onto an OTG drive (according to Barry's guess) isn't so bad for an 8GB Card.

Long term recording, o boy losing that is a burden...well not really. Firestore is always possible but after 5200, I sure as hell dont have the money for a 1800 Firestore, especially when ill be paying off the HVX while saving for a better mic and tripod for my new baby. If I do a wedding ive figured I can just do SD on the HVX. Ive seen some HVX SD and it looks great so why not?

Film look, the big catch for most Panasonic lovers. If a camera has that video look they'd rather kick it out the window than buy it. To me the film look is very debatable nowadays. You see films shot on HD video and they dont look like film they look like....well...HD. HD has its own signature being crystal clear and noise free while the HVX manages to (with the right settings) provide a relatively clean HD look, or a soft 16mm look in HD. I like that crystal clear look that doesn't really look like film. Like the look of National Geographic or other shows look great. Its detailed, crystal clear (using that alot lol), and just perfect. I dont think that look is so bad since alot of films I see shot in HD have that look. ROTS (SW revenge of the sith) had that exact look. Its not soft 16mm but is it really that bad to have crystal clear so called "video" looking HD? To me HVX HD, HD period, DV, and Film have their own signatures. DV looks noisy and often video unless you have the right stuff (DVX or XL2 tweaked), Film has that look we all love of soft slightly noisy, very dynamic color looking image, Normal HD like the National Geographic has that clean perfect look with the color but no noise and its sharp as hell, and the HVX HD has the HD resolution, with the dynamic range, and the soft 16mm look but isn't as great in the clean and noise free department as ive come to see.

The A1 from what ive seen is perfectly capable of doing what others use their HVX for. Maybe it has its shortcomings but in term of just getting a project done it can do it with the right user and the right approach. HVX will tackle it without much trouble at all, again with the right user and approach. Idk if either is more superior than the other.

I'm not sure which I should get, would I miss the HVX features even if I might not need them right this second? Should I take that extra dough and get a better mic, tripod, etc.? HVX is awesome but if the A1 can do what I would probably do with the HVX with just an extra step in the slowmo and film look department (tweaking the cam) it probably is the ticket no? I dont get paid 1000's to do projects but ide love to have the opportunity to do w/e I want and the HVX seems like it can do it all, but the A1 seems like it can do it all do, just with more effort.

People act like the format options on the HVX aren't creatable through the A1. 1080i interlaced video, deinterlaced and properly (key word here) downrezzed to 720p can look stunning IMO. Maybe not just as good but damn good and for people who more than likely go to DVD its a pointless argument.

Idk im sure ill confuse myself even more until my brain explodes tryign to decide what I should get. Its a tough argument and there are points and explainations to everything. I'm sure ill be happy with what I get.

Man thats a long post....phew.

giacomino
01-30-2007, 01:35 AM
Great points from everyone. This article by Barry is fantastic. Now I wish the XHG1 users will post their thoughts between the G1 and HVX and the A1. Barry mentioned the Audio limitations with the A1. If I read it right, with the A1 you can not use the shotgun mic and a wireless handheld at the same time and/or you but can not adjust the sound individualy. Can someone please inform me on this. This is something you need when your working ENG. Does the XHG1 also have the same limitations? I do love the idea of having the Iris adjustment on the lens. I sure wish the hvx had this. I think this was poor planing on their part. I was sold on the HVX hearing great things about the camera. Now I would like to hear more about the G1.

And for those who say the hvx is not workable in the field, I cover alot of red carpets and I know 2 crews with the hvx. They love it and is find in the field. Also, a lot of people say that the A1 is great for the field over the hvx. I think the A1 is limited for field use. On the show I worked on, (everthing from entertainment, educational, sports, etc.. I did a lot of quick pushes and pulls, sometimes you need to push in fast to capture your subject or just to grab focus. The quick push and quick pull is a big thing not just for Boston Legal and other shows, but for all these reality; mags type shows, etc.. Why would canon not have a manuel zoom?

Tell me, will the hvx capture hdv with a tape? I am confused on this. One thing I know, I used to use a Sony Beta SP and then the station got the Sony XDCAM. One thing I did like was the fact I didn't have to keep changing tapes every 29mins. Also, the fact that my reporter loved to look at her intros and outros to make sure her presentation was perfect. You didn't have to rewind or recue the tape, just stop and it defaults to your last recorded clip. I believe this is something you can achive with the P-2 card.

Also, we are going to a tapeless society, One thing I like about the hvx is I feel I can grow into this camera. Also, when you are freelancing around L.A., you need to be able to have the equitment most people are looking for. I read Craigslist a lot and there are people looking for all styles of shooting. I think by reading Barry's article, it has help me realize more what the hvx can do.

Also, I wish panasonic would have resolved the on camera light issue by putting a plugin the camera for the frezzi light cord.

So if one has thoughts and the users are out shooting eng and movies and/or the A1 or G1 users are doing the same, please let me know your thoughts.

Thank you,

Jimmy

Noel Evans
01-30-2007, 02:25 AM
Even in motion the thing screams HD to me. HVX has that soft 16mm look but now ive seen A1 users practically match it, not completely but its as close as I think ide ever want to get anyways.

Id gamble that a trained eye, but one who has never seen an image from these cams, watching in full HD on a large plasma could not tell the which is 4:2:0 (A1) or which is 4:2:2 (HVX)


I know having the codecs obviously ont he P2 is the advantage but seriously for those that aren't in broadcasting is it really that big of a deal?

Makes no difference even if you are broadcasting.


Color correction and the 4:2:2 is great but people before the HVX did some seriously great stuff with even their DV DVX so the ability to do things faster with the new colorspace doesn't mean someone with HDV and 4:1:1 would be much worse. There is a big difference sure but people got along well without 4:2:2 for ages and now they turn it into this thing like they wouldn't be able to make their film without it.

Yes, when it comes to thinks like keying the 4:2:2 colour space does much better. But I jump back again to a point, greenscreen isnt usually done on a whim and a good key requires a complete set up, lighting etc. Now you as a Mac Pro user would require some additional hardware between the cam and the mac, but by doing so you can achieve 4:2:2 direct from the composite of the A1.


Variable frame rates....mmm..mmm...awesome to look at but if I can shoot 60i and make it looks almost as good why spend the extra 1500+ that ide be spending for HVX? Sure the HVX its instant and you can see it right away but if I dont mind rendering, is it worth the dough? (other than the super undercranked and overcranked footage that is, A1 can't really do that even in post)

Id say it really is a personal choice, but those FPS options are pretty sweet.


The real thing that is the thing holding me back is the P2 and format choice. Sure P2 is great but being able to immedially see your shots and delete is very cool.

You also have to factor in daily archiving here. Once you dl a p2 to your hdd, thats where it is on a hdd that can die - it does happen.


I can see what I shot without rewinding, that to me alone might be worth the extra dough just for convienence since rewinding tape is a pain in the ass.

Yes it is painfull to rewind and review.


especially when ill be paying off the HVX while saving for a better mic and tripod for my new baby. If I do a wedding ive figured I can just do SD on the HVX. Ive seen some HVX SD and it looks great so why not?


Budget has to play a big part here. And I will tell you from experience crappy audio and poor pans arent going to get you more jobs.



Film look, the big catch for most Panasonic lovers.

Its the same for anyone using the XHa1 or XL H1. But I agree with your point you made after this statement. Its a different look, but certainly much more organic than 60i.


Should I take that extra dough and get a better mic, tripod, etc.? HVX is awesome but if the A1 can do what I would probably do with the HVX with just an extra step in the slowmo and film look department (tweaking the cam) it probably is the ticket no? I dont get paid 1000's to do projects but ide love to have the opportunity to do w/e I want and the HVX seems like it can do it all, but the A1 seems like it can do it all do, just with more effort.

Id agree that extra spent on tripod is necessary. For Audio if your going to shoot weddings, make sure its up to speed. The filmlook point is debatable, they have different looks, but is one more like film? Going back to your previous point.


People act like the format options on the HVX aren't creatable through the A1. 1080i interlaced video, deinterlaced and properly (key word here) downrezzed to 720p can look stunning IMO. Maybe not just as good but damn good and for people who more than likely go to DVD its a pointless argument.

Not sure what you mean here, but the 1080 24 progressive mode on the A1 matches that of the HVX and does look stunning.


Idk im sure ill confuse myself even more until my brain explodes tryign to decide what I should get. Its a tough argument and there are points and explainations to everything. I'm sure ill be happy with what I get.

My advice is to make a choice and get out there shooting whatever you decide.


Jimmy, On the A1 you can record two channels of audio on seperate devices such as a shotgun and wireless. What you cant do is set one XLR to mic and one to line. Both are mic or both are line.

Whilst you cant do snap zooms, I think the push and pull youre referencing are acheivable.

Shadow
01-30-2007, 09:22 AM
The big problem with the HVX (and why I haven't bought one) is most of the stuff I shoot is "shoot and ship" where I hand the tapes to a producer and never see them again. With my DVX or the XH A1 I can continue to do this: SD with the DVX and HDV with the XH A1. If I'm shooting HD with the with the HVX, I can't just hand over a half-dozen P2 cards and hope to get them back someday.

I'm not going to argue the merits of 100mbs HD verses 25mbs HDV, but my clients are more than satisfied with HDV, so who am I to argue? HDV is "good enough".

Mike Parker
Fort Lauderdale

That's something I never think about when looking for the HVX200. Might be a problem with some clients for sure. They always want to have the stuff "yesterday".

Justin Kuhn
01-30-2007, 09:55 AM
I do love the idea of having the Iris adjustment on the lens. I sure wish the hvx had this. I think this was poor planing on their part.

Could someone explain the advantage of an iris ring to me? I'm satisfied with the iris dial on the HVX, it's a great improvement over the DVX. It seems like adding a ring would only crowd out your zoom and focus. In what situation would you need to rack your iris? I know there's one, but I can't think of it. And if it's that rare a situation, the dial seems sufficient.

Huy Vu
01-30-2007, 10:55 AM
Could someone explain the advantage of an iris ring to me? I'm satisfied with the iris dial on the HVX, it's a great improvement over the DVX. It seems like adding a ring would only crowd out your zoom and focus. In what situation would you need to rack your iris? I know there's one, but I can't think of it. And if it's that rare a situation, the dial seems sufficient.

It's not at all an advantage in my opinion. The iris ring on the A1 feels way too "loose" and at times downright unresponsive for on the fly adjustment. In fact it's too easy to mistake it for the zoom (obviously experienced users will not have this problem) and accidentally change exposure while recording. It's also pretty easy to bump it and change the setting.

Barry_Green
01-30-2007, 10:56 AM
It depends on where you're coming from. If you're coming from the XL2, an iris ring is heaven-sent. If you're coming from an HVX, the iris ring is not so much of a big deal. It's not a night and day improvement over a good iris wheel, but it is a night and day (and summer and winter!) improvement over the steppy clicky iris switch on the XL2.

TimurCivan
01-30-2007, 11:14 AM
I've read all of these comments,................ People act like the format options on the HVX aren't creatable through the A1. 1080i interlaced video, deinterlaced and properly (key word here) downrezzed to 720p can look stunning IMO. Maybe not just as good but damn good and for people who more than likely go to DVD its a pointless argument.

Idk im sure ill confuse myself even more until my brain explodes tryign to decide what I should get. Its a tough argument and there are points and explainations to everything. I'm sure ill be happy with what I get.

Man thats a long post....phew.

you kinda answered your own desicion here. you spent what looked like 30 minutes of typing, de constructing what HVX features you can "simulate" with an A1.

The reason is, the HVX is the more flexible tool. The a1 is a great camera as well, but think hard about howmuch time youre going to waste trying to simulate what you can get instantly, with an HVX. im not saying this to put down the A1, but imsaying, imagine shooting a sequec for slomo, in 60i 1080, taking into your NLE after the shoot and desiding its TOO slow. now youre stuck. where as on set/event space/location you can just review the shot in its intended speed, and resolution, and make your descion to reshoot. check the clips instantly to see if a boom pops into the shot, switch to a different format for a specific reason like a wideshot, (1080 for more detail to down res in to a 720p project).

Then theres the dubbing features, from 720/1080/DVCpro50 to DV tape. you can do it IN CAMERA!!!! I was shooting a short for a client on DV, and they wanted slomo. i shot it in 720/48P, and was dreading having to go to the car to get my laptop and transfer the footage to them through RAylight, then it dawned on me the internal Dub. Just dropped the whole slowmotion sequece at the proper speed Right onto the tape. it literally saved me 10 minutes on a tight schedule, and that let us get that one last shot at the end of the day.

You really should try the P2 workflow before you convince youorself you dont like it. I "didn't" like it at first, but now im converted. it saves you so much time, its crazy. not to mention that in 720pn, you can get tthough half a days shooting on one card, for narritive stuff. its not as bad as people "claim it is", 20 minutes is a long time.

giacomino
01-30-2007, 11:57 AM
Anybody have thoughts on the JVC GY-HD110U? Please let me know what you all think. Need a camera for both ENG and Film making.
Also, on the XHG1. I am surprise no is really mentioning this camera. ????


NCIE - thanks for you reply. That really cleared the audio up for me. As far as the zoom, you are saying that I can push in ultra fast (not using the Zoom button, but the zoom on the lens)?


Thanks, Jimmy

Barry_Green
01-30-2007, 12:14 PM
If you want to use a camera for HD news, the HD110 would be my last choice. It only shoots 30p, news is almost exclusively shot in 60i or HD 60p. For standard-def it's fine. For HD ENG, if you really want a JVC shoulder-mount camera, skip the 110 and go for the 200 or 250, those at least offer 60p. But they're much much more expensive.

Nobody talks about the G1 because it has little to no appeal to the mass market. It's a special-purpose tool, the $3,000 premium buys you some connectors that would be useful in a tethered studio situation and rarely elsewhere (although the TC IN/OUT would be nice for multi-camera EFP and ENG). On the DVInfo poll of "which would you buy", it ended up 90% A1, 10% G1. My conclusion in the article is that the A1 is appealing because of the price; it's at a very attractive price point that's within reach for a lot of users. The G1 is nearly twice as expensive, so nowhere near as appealing to that same group.

Regarding fast zooms, you will never get an ultrafast zoom on an A1. It simply can't do it. It's limited by its servo motor. You can get ultrafast zooms on the HVX or the HD110/200/250 because their lenses offers physical manual control; you can go from minimum to maximum zoom in 1/10 of a second if you want. I don't remember the fastest speed on the A1, it's probably somewhere around two or three seconds to go from min to max.

TimurCivan
01-30-2007, 12:20 PM
The G1 is a weird little niche camera. cause if youre gonna buy that, mind as well go all out for the H1. but, nowadays the H1 really isnt as hot as it was, cause the A1 is 99% of its capability for 35% the price.

Elton
01-30-2007, 03:15 PM
The G1 is a weird little niche camera. cause if youre gonna buy that, mind as well go all out for the H1. but, nowadays the H1 really isnt as hot as it was, cause the A1 is 99% of its capability for 35% the price.

As much as I love the A1, I wouldn't go that far. Once you've had the pleasure of using the 16x manual lens (which doesn't ramp exposure through the zoom range and looks good in HD) or the 6x WA lens, you understand its potential.

Want a snap zoom? You got it. Want a truly nice wide with little to no barrel distortion or CA? The 6x delivers. Want a sharp lens with lots of telephoto and amazing OIS.? The 20x is a good choice. Want more overall manual control at your fingertips instead of digging though menus to change modes? The H1 is your camera.

When you factor in the affordability of interchangeable lenses (compared to JVC) and added audio control, the H1 isn't so irrelevant.

I'm sure the guys making The Signal appreciated the fact that they didn't have to add glass on top of the Zeiss/Mini35 setup. It makes a difference.

I think the G1 is also phenomenal value when you consider the potential of HD SDI acquisition--but most say "meh, HDV's good enough".

There's an affordable HD camera out there that's mostly right for just about anyone, but not necessarily perfect for every situation.

epicedium
01-30-2007, 03:38 PM
Wow, I'm surprised just how big the difference in sharpness/resolution is, between the two cameras. It really is a lot more than I expected. It takes all of two seconds to bump the contrast and up the saturation of the XH-A1 grabs to make them look very much like "hvx but higher res".

Not that the HVX is particularly pleasing to my eyes, or by any means a benchmark. The whole DVX/HVX colour thing is lost on me... All I see is a tendancy to over-saturate, often at the expense of clipping the R, G or B of the saturated areas...

Prime example:- http://www.dvxuser.com/articles/xha1/HVX%20Greenscreen%20Still.png

The blooming in the way-oversaturated flag is horrible .. that detail is gone and it's not coming back!

There has been some beautiful stuff shot on DVX/HVX cams, but there's been beautiful stuff shot on FX1s too.

To my eyes, the hvx looks blurry; an awful lot like upscaled footage .. like someone has taken the shots into photoshop and scaled them up by 25%. In contrast, the A1 looks neutral ... sharp, pristine, ready to grade.

I can see the attraction to the HVX for those easily wowed by saturated images, or (I must say) the genuine benefits of variable frame rates... but beyond that, the A1's sharp neutral footage is definitely what I'd prefer to see when it comes to grade.

Are people really taking these grabs into photoshop (or their nle) and feeling that they can get nicer results with the HVX? (Thats a serious question). Or are people just comparing the images direct from cam? Maybe people really do just want a nice pleasing image out of cam and either can't or don't want to take it through a serious grade ...

slightly puzzled,
Kris

disjecta
01-30-2007, 03:46 PM
Well said, Barlow.

TimurCivan
01-30-2007, 03:50 PM
As much as I love the A1, I wouldn't go that far. Once you've had the pleasure of using the 16x manual lens (which doesn't ramp exposure through the zoom range and looks good in HD) or the 6x WA lens, you understand its potential.

Want a snap zoom? You got it. Want a truly nice wide with little to no barrel distortion or CA? The 6x delivers. Want a sharp lens with lots of telephoto and amazing OIS.? The 20x is a good choice. Want more overall manual control at your fingertips instead of digging though menus to change modes? The H1 is your camera.

When you factor in the affordability of interchangeable lenses (compared to JVC) and added audio control, the H1 isn't so irrelevant.

I'm sure the guys making The Signal appreciated the fact that they didn't have to add glass on top of the Zeiss/Mini35 setup. It makes a difference.

I think the G1 is also phenomenal value when you consider the potential of HD SDI acquisition--but most say "meh, HDV's good enough".

There's an affordable HD camera out there that's mostly right for just about anyone, but not necessarily perfect for every situation.

I love the canons. dont get me wrong man, you know me. i almost bought the H1.

TimurCivan
01-30-2007, 03:56 PM
As much as I love the A1, I wouldn't go that far. Once you've had the pleasure of using the 16x manual lens (which doesn't ramp exposure through the zoom range and looks good in HD) or the 6x WA lens, you understand its potential.

Want a snap zoom? You got it. Want a truly nice wide with little to no barrel distortion or CA? The 6x delivers. Want a sharp lens with lots of telephoto and amazing OIS.? The 20x is a good choice. Want more overall manual control at your fingertips instead of digging though menus to change modes? The H1 is your camera.

When you factor in the affordability of interchangeable lenses (compared to JVC) and added audio control, the H1 isn't so irrelevant.

I'm sure the guys making The Signal appreciated the fact that they didn't have to add glass on top of the Zeiss/Mini35 setup. It makes a difference.

I think the G1 is also phenomenal value when you consider the potential of HD SDI acquisition--but most say "meh, HDV's good enough".

There's an affordable HD camera out there that's mostly right for just about anyone, but not necessarily perfect for every situation.

yea but i have a feeling alot of people using the H1 arent pushing its potential by using the 16X, they are probably using the stock lens, thats that i meant by the 99%. Infact, i have never even seen a H1 used anywhere by anyone. I see Dozens of Z1's, FX1's, HVX's, DVX's, XL1 (oddly enough)..... but ive never seen a H1 in the field. its sad cause its SSOOOOO Good. i love that camera.

But i feel like in the next few months, EVERYONE will be using an A1, and i mean EVERYONE. Its gonna be the next PD-150 IMO.

xray
01-30-2007, 04:10 PM
You all need to search and make colors and images you like yourself, the HVX-A1 color samples are made for a special purpose. The HVX is imitating the looks and gamma and colorfeeling from saturated '1985' film and the A1 needs to imitate the HVX? And the next cam needs to imitate the A1, that is imitating the HVX, that is imitating the film?

We keep busy that way, but no, lets make images with the A1 that are pleasing. That have the 'A1 look.'

disjecta
01-30-2007, 04:15 PM
The HVX is imitating the looks and gamma and colorfeeling from saturated '1985' film and the A1 needs to imitate the HVX? And the next cam needs to imitate the A1, that is imitating the HVX, that is imitating the film?


LMAO! That was a good laugh, thanks :)

Noel Evans
01-30-2007, 05:08 PM
yea but i have a feeling alot of people using the H1 arent pushing its potential by using the 16X, they are probably using the stock lens, thats that i meant by the 99%. Infact, i have never even seen a H1 used anywhere by anyone. I see Dozens of Z1's, FX1's, HVX's, DVX's, XL1 (oddly enough)..... but ive never seen a H1 in the field. its sad cause its SSOOOOO Good. i love that camera.

But i feel like in the next few months, EVERYONE will be using an A1, and i mean EVERYONE. Its gonna be the next PD-150 IMO.

Here in Japan at this end of the scale anyway, Canon is widely accepted. There are many XLh1's out there, see them often. And the Canon acceptance is one reason I opted for the A1, people like to see it. In Japan, a country that arguably consumes the most pro end still cameras and more specifically high end digital cameras in the world, Canon is seen at the top of the heap. What this transfers to is many people who arent pros know Canon and when you turn up with that red ring on the lense, they immediately think PRO through brand awareness.

But thats Japan. Panasonic in Japan also known here as Matsushita - from consumer eyes anyway is mostly known for high quality TV or the like. We all know thats not the case, but you have to ease the clients minds.

Justin Kuhn
01-30-2007, 05:32 PM
It depends on where you're coming from. If you're coming from the XL2, an iris ring is heaven-sent. If you're coming from an HVX, the iris ring is not so much of a big deal. It's not a night and day improvement over a good iris wheel, but it is a night and day (and summer and winter!) improvement over the steppy clicky iris switch on the XL2.

Coming from the DVX... and its tiny iris wheel isn't that great either.


It's not at all an advantage in my opinion. The iris ring on the A1 feels way too "loose" and at times downright unresponsive for on the fly adjustment. In fact it's too easy to mistake it for the zoom (obviously experienced users will not have this problem) and accidentally change exposure while recording. It's also pretty easy to bump it and change the setting.


That's what I'm inclined to think.


The blooming in the way-oversaturated flag is horrible .. that detail is gone and it's not coming back! There has been some beautiful stuff shot on DVX/HVX cams, but there's been beautiful stuff shot on FX1s too. To my eyes, the hvx looks blurry; an awful lot like upscaled footage. like someone has taken the shots into photoshop and scaled them up by 25%. In contrast, the A1 looks neutral ... sharp, pristine, ready to grade. I can see the attraction to the HVX for those easily wowed by saturated images, or (I must say) the genuine benefits of variable frame rates... but beyond that, the A1's sharp neutral footage is definitely what I'd prefer to see when it comes to grade.

Blooming? Why is that a bad thing? I'd rather have a saturated image that desaturates to an image with some nice defining contrast. I'd like to see one of these grabs color-corrected though...


Want more overall manual control at your fingertips instead of digging though menus to change modes?

Yes. A dial would be pretty awesome. As long as I'm fantasizing, I'd like the ability to use that dial while recording also.

EDIT: A framerate dial. A FRAMERATE dial...sorry. Totally missed that.

giacomino
01-30-2007, 06:22 PM
If you want to use a camera for HD news, the HD110 would be my last choice. It only shoots 30p, news is almost exclusively shot in 60i or HD 60p. For standard-def it's fine. For HD ENG, if you really want a JVC shoulder-mount camera, skip the 110 and go for the 200 or 250, those at least offer 60p. But they're much much more expensive.

Nobody talks about the G1 because it has little to no appeal to the mass market. It's a special-purpose tool, the $3,000 premium buys you some connectors that would be useful in a tethered studio situation and rarely elsewhere (although the TC IN/OUT would be nice for multi-camera EFP and ENG). On the DVInfo poll of "which would you buy", it ended up 90% A1, 10% G1. My conclusion in the article is that the A1 is appealing because of the price; it's at a very attractive price point that's within reach for a lot of users. The G1 is nearly twice as expensive, so nowhere near as appealing to that same group.

Regarding fast zooms, you will never get an ultrafast zoom on an A1. It simply can't do it. It's limited by its servo motor. You can get ultrafast zooms on the HVX or the HD110/200/250 because their lenses offers physical manual control; you can go from minimum to maximum zoom in 1/10 of a second if you want. I don't remember the fastest speed on the A1, it's probably somewhere around two or three seconds to go from min to max.
Barry - Thanks again for your insight. I was leaning towards the JVC's 110 because 1) the shoulder mount; 2) iris adjustment on the lens (very much needed in ENG) and 3) you can mount a frezzi light. 4) My friend just got back from Sundance and there was a big rave re the 110 camera.

Jimmy

xray
01-30-2007, 07:19 PM
I don't remember the fastest speed on the A1, it's probably somewhere around two or three seconds to go from min to max.

It is actually just 1.5 seconds in highspeed mode. That is zooming through the 20x range 4.5~90mm. It's that fast.

Justyn
02-01-2007, 10:26 AM
yea but i have a feeling alot of people using the H1 arent pushing its potential by using the 16X, they are probably using the stock lens, thats that i meant by the 99%. Infact, i have never even seen a H1 used anywhere by anyone. I see Dozens of Z1's, FX1's, HVX's, DVX's, XL1 (oddly enough)..... but ive never seen a H1 in the field. its sad cause its SSOOOOO Good. i love that camera.

But i feel like in the next few months, EVERYONE will be using an A1, and i mean EVERYONE. Its gonna be the next PD-150 IMO.


I definitely agree with you on the first part. I've never seen anyone with an H1 and probably won't. I disagree with you on everyone using the A1. I think the true budget conscious and the wedding videographers.. and smaller production facilities will gravitate to that... BUT EVERYONE who's working on higher end productions is already using the HVX. It's the new cam on the mid to high budget productions.. and I doubt if the A1 will knock it off it's perch anytime to come. Shooting tape is just a drag once you've gone tapeless. All you need to do is look at the fact that the tape manufacturerers are all closing down or limiting production.... even the super low-budget consumers are opting for true digital cams.... I also think that Panny and Sony will have an answer very soon

TimurCivan
02-01-2007, 01:52 PM
Ehhh, i dunno if i agree. we the people who use the mid to high end production equiptment, are a small percentage. The general populus, who do things like skate videos, local commercials, videogrpahy, nature recoding, high end hobbyists ..... these are the peple to whom tape is a good thing. Its familiar, relaible, and for the most part dont understand nor care what HDV artiifacting is, and why you want ot avoid it. To me tape = evil. to the guyshooting a 4 hour wedding/Famly vacation to the Grand canyon, P2=Evil. But there are alot more wedding/event videographers than there are DP's and high end video producers.

This is what i mean when i say, everyone will be using the A1. thegeneral public whos into prosumer video.

xray
02-01-2007, 04:26 PM
It's time to make a hard landing on the floor. Highend productions are -mostly- made with the $60.000,- cams and extra $18.000 lenses. To get on the ground again, the differences for the prosumer $3.500 -$5.000 1/3" cams like HVX-XHA1-Z1 are small. It's a price you normaly pay for a monitor or another crash cam.

xray
02-01-2007, 04:49 PM
Is it time to make a hard landing on the floor? Highend productions are -mostly- made with the $60.000,- cams and extra $18.000 lenses. To get on the ground again, the differences for the prosumer $3.500 - $5.000 1/3 " cams like HVX/ XH-A1/ Z1 are small. Its a price you normaly pay for a monitor or another crash cam.

TimurCivan
02-01-2007, 05:02 PM
should have said Mid range.

xray
02-01-2007, 05:17 PM
It is shifting, that's for sure. Sometimes with surprisingly good results, sometimes you see productions working with 1/3" cams, 35mm adapters, fighting for light and noisefree images, spending hours to get it right, and you think: was an 2/3" cam in this situation maybe a better and -in the end- cheaper solution?

TimurCivan
02-01-2007, 05:36 PM
I got Really good results on KAtrina with the HVX and SGpro, noiseless, easy to light, the brightest light was a 650 in the bar scene and the Hotel room scene, it was a DREAM. A Varicam probably wouldnt have looked vastly better. Maybe just a bit sharper.

xray
02-01-2007, 05:47 PM
Off T//
Noticed that, and the Chinese Ball story... But I've seen other productions that did not entered that endresult. Remember the shoot with the kitchen in the castle and the 'Dutch painters' light approach? The Varicam would do much better.
On T//

TimurCivan
02-01-2007, 06:00 PM
oh i remeber that one. But they were diffusing a whole large set. Thats a whole new ball of wax.

Back on Track. :beer:

Nathyn
02-01-2007, 10:20 PM
Its familiar, relaible, and for the most part dont understand nor care what HDV artiifacting is, and why you want ot avoid it. To me tape = evil. to the guyshooting a 4 hour wedding/Famly vacation to the Grand canyon, P2=Evil. But there are alot more wedding/event videographers than there are DP's and high end video producers.

This is what i mean when i say, everyone will be using the A1. thegeneral public whos into prosumer video.

Yes this is pretty much true. I talk about this all the time. The general consumer isn't dumb as much as simply not educated about certain things. I have digital cable now. Sometimes when watching a film I notice artifacting (especially with older films they probably used VHS tape to make a digital print from).

It's not often but honestly before I starting doing video I wouldn't have even noticed. I think internal HD is a better option than P2 for many and when this or direct to disc prosumer HDV/AHDV camera's come out you'll see a big move to tapeless. P2 is keeping me and others from the HVX. It's simply too expensive to own right now versus the A1 which many can use right out the box.

-Nate

KyleProhaska
02-01-2007, 10:33 PM
Idk if ide agree with those comments because that makes it seem like the A1 is only for consumers that dont know about such things. Thats not the case at all for alot of buyers I think. Show me a normal consumer who will spend 3500 or more on any camera or even over 2000 for that matter and ill be impressed. Most who buy a camcorder for over 3000 sure as hell know what they're buying and if not they are very foolish. For me its the price but I haven't bought anything yet so who knows. ;)

- Kyle

Noel Evans
02-02-2007, 12:25 AM
To me tape = evil. to the guyshooting a 4 hour wedding/Famly vacation to the Grand canyon, P2=Evil.

I would suggest it goes way beyond that. I think to the pro documentary shooter in the wilds of the amazon or anywhere generally isolated p2 = evil. Not that it cant be done, but these arent the places to be dragging off load systems. Then theres the arguement that they could take enough storage and offload back at base camp daily (assuming they have one), system failure - screwed.

Then there is storage to consider. I am shooting enough on a weekly basis to be a real issue if I had to archive everything to HDD. Then theres Blueray, but your paying a bit per mb.

Then there is another process, low resolution logging. You can capture all your footage at a lower res, edit, cc the works, and for your final output recapture the logs (original footage), but only whats included in the edit, it keeps your workflow fast, it stops you from outputting second or third gen renders. Now this could be done with p2 as long as you have the storage to keep all those gbs of footage. Working on a doco with hours and hours of clips, a feature with hours of out takes this could be hard.


even the super low-budget consumers are opting for true digital cams....

Shooting to tape is as digital as shooting to disk, its all 1's and 0's.

But seriously back to the topic, the A1 DOES perform as well in lowlight as the HVX, per Barry Green. The A1 doesnt have variable frame rates in cam like the HVX. The A1 does have a longer, wider lense. The A1 doesnt have a 'true manual' focus ring. The A1 does have a different formfactor than the HVX. The A1 does record to tape, record direct to disk (fs) and has uncompressed footage in a tethered setup easily set up for greenscreen. Canon has done something vastly better with the HDV output that other companies werent able to achieve. The A1 does and is performing well with 35mm adapters. The A1 does have (an arguably better) OIS than the HVX. The A1 doesnt have true repeatable focus.

Maybe I left something out but these are the things people I think people should consider, not what I am saying they must. Hell some people say Oh p2 Ill get that and consider nothing else. Some people say oh Panasonic or Canon and nothing else. Just my 2c. Then again if you have both cams, your in a world of love and harmony with all these things :)

snowleopard
02-02-2007, 01:14 AM
"Then again if you have both cams, your in a world of love and harmony with all these things"

What, no room for the new Sony V1u? :cheesy:

epicedium
02-02-2007, 03:43 AM
I agree with a lot of what's being said, but the assumption still seems to be that everyone would choose the HVX over the A1 if it were not for the restrictive workflow of P2... but because of P2, those who can stomach the workflow will go hvx and those who can't stomach the workflow will have to settle for the inferior tape solution.

I don't agree with this line of thought ... I'm not an owner of either cam, but from the samples in this article I vastly prefer the image produced by the A1. The images produced by defaults may favour the over-saturated HVX, but the A1 is startlingly more detailed, and the far better choice when it comes to grade. Who doesn't grade their footage anyway? If anything, I would think this "pleasing and saturated in-cam but fundamentally lower res" would appeal to the LESS experienced shooters ... the precise ones who would never touch P2.

Kris
www.thehold.co.uk

Darkeyesuk2000
02-02-2007, 03:55 AM
Iam hoping by this time next year this whole debate regarding tape vs P2 issue will have died away and we will have a "portable" method of capturing
uncompressed data and being able to compress it with a Sensible priced compression software "Cineform are you listening lol"

FAO Barry G

Darkeyes wrote "But was it not scottbillups who said that a canon xlh1 camera hooked up via sdi was indistingishble from a sony f900 when diplayed on the bigscreen?"

Barry G wrote "I don't know of any such quote by Scott Billups"

Your right Barry Thats not exactly what Scott billups said but i did manage to dig up the post that i was refering to.

Scott billups wrote "Test#2 Canon XL H1 with supplied 20X zoom lens & Sony F900 with 16X Canon lens. While not intended as a "shoot-out", this test, when projected took everyone in the theatre by surprise. The Canon XL H1 > SDI > Wafian compared to the F900 > HDCAM > SDI > Wafian was superior, not only to my eye, but to everyone present."

Here is the Link. http://www.cinematography.net/hdcamtests/pixelmonger.htm

Picture of XlH1 vs Viper http://www.cinematography.net/hdcamtests/pixelmonger/_CAR_1.jpg

test chart for f900 http://www.cinematography.net/hdcamtests/pixelmonger/F900_SDI_CineForm.jpg

test chart for XLH1 http://www.cinematography.net/hdcamtests/pixelmonger/XLH1_SDI_CineForm.jpg

Test Chart for Viper http://www.cinematography.net/hdcamtests/pixelmonger/Viper_SDI_D2D.jpg

So what are we saying here?
Bearing in mind that the a1 and the g1 uses the same ccd as its bigger brother, When it comes to the future. and everyone is moving towards Tapeless recording there are big advantages to be had. Granted I can not comment on how the images from a HVX 200 will look if you recorded uncompressed, because that information is not availble. however does it matter if you have P2?
As for the canon in combination with cineform Acording to scottbillups provies a better picture than an f900 recording to hdcam.

Do we need that kind of quality? For most of us no!
But for sum of us doing mabey more comercial projects where we need that kinda latitude it could be helpfull.

As for comparing a viper to a xlh1 ver cool, My monitor sucks so any one who can see those test charts clearly, how did the canon do against the viper?

epicedium
02-02-2007, 04:16 AM
There really isn't a world of difference between the viper and xh-h1 in that shot. The Viper is notably less noisy, which you'd expect, but the significance of this for a lot of uses is debatable. Viper demonstrates slightly more latitude (check shadows). Highlight handling is subtly better on the Viper .... also of course the viper will be putting down 10bits of data, which you'd only get the benefit of by comparing both images in a grading environment. Plus low-light would very quickly show up the H1's 1/3in limitations.

In this specific comparison, it's all just minor wins for the Viper (and it's lens), nothing to write home about ..... If anything, the victory is for independent film-makers who can quite clearly get 95%+ of the way there for an awful lot less money... It would have been interesting to see the H1's HDV shown side-by-side too.

Anyway, the differences are far smaller than an audience would ever notice (very high latitude scenes and specific DOF effects notwithstanding),. Post production latitude will be a factor, but far from insurmountable if it's shot and lit well.

snowleopard
02-02-2007, 09:58 AM
I agree 100% with Epicdium. The average movie goer won't notice. Because there are so many HD cameras out there these days, and in the next decade there will be heaps of indie films shot on HD (HDV, HVX, etc) the hair spliting differences will not be noticed by most people. Especially as most of these films won't be four walled, but show at best on a 50" plasma TV. The HD indie look will be everywhere, and accepted by the masses. It's going to come down to skill and talent, as it should. Make a good movie with a good story and characters, and shoot it well, and you're in.

xray
02-02-2007, 10:41 AM
The Canon A1 is good as it is, we spend 23 pages on it.
BTW: I can make repeatable focus with it, 100%.

We will see Indie film and docs made with it, lets say if its high res and sharp, it is an A1...

mvb
02-02-2007, 10:47 AM
Barry I'm sorry if I missed it but did you ever disclose the processing steps you used to capture the clips and make the stills? The reason I ask is it looks like the HVX200 stills have chroma smoothing but the XHA1 stills do not, possibly because of the decoders used?

epicedium
02-02-2007, 10:51 AM
snowleopard,

I also think that the 'excuses' are falling by the wayside ... ;) it is pretty clear that the biggest difference between how a low-budget film looks vs. a high budget film is down to the light and the grade... (notwithstanding art direction of course)... There are plenty of examples of skilled lighting and grading making DV/HD/HDV look "just like a hollywood film" (particularly in the eyes of the general audiences).. From the Viper vs. XH-H1 comparison it's clear that a H1 in the right hands would be perfectly capable of getting a world class result .. so for owners of these prosumer HD cams (H1/HVX/A1s), what's your excuse? ; ) The reasons why the H1/etc isn't used for med/high budget features are rather mundane- these people can afford better.. 10x the price for a bit better latitude, a bit better colour sampling, a bit lower noise, etc. is worth it, it is a small price to pay in the context of the overall budget (crew, talent, location, post) and ensuring a top quality result. Plus the dop will have preferences and standards. Good dops wages aren't falling as quickly as the price tag of cameras, so talented beginners will keep stepping up to the plate. Distribution channels are opening up, technology is better and cheaper than ever ,, indies failing to grasp these new opportunities will have nothing to blame but their own lack of drive and/or abilities :) Word processors are now on every PC, doesn't mean everyone has a great idea for a novel, nor the will to see one through completion... and writing doesn't have nearly the dependence on money or other people as film does!

Kris
www.thehold.co.uk

Barry_Green
02-02-2007, 10:54 AM
Barry I'm sorry if I missed it but did you ever disclose the processing steps you used to capture the clips and make the stills? The reason I ask is it looks like the HVX200 stills have chroma smoothing but the XHA1 stills do not, possibly because of the decoders used?

Vegas 6.0, using Raylight for the HVX files. Imported the files directly into the timeline, set on best/full, exported as a still from the timeline. Brought into PhotoShop and resized to 1920x1080.

Heavyjoe
02-02-2007, 11:00 AM
Greetings All,
The Newbie here would now like to break it down to the biggest question - "How much is this gonna cost me?"

I shoot and edit a lot of corporate/industrial video and a lot of commercials. Besides a few 48 hour film festival challenges, I've yet to really shoot anything but shorts - but hey, we all have that story to tell one day.

If I go HVX, I can get in for a little over 5k, then there's P2 card cost (and/or Firestore) adding another 3K (yes I'm aware of the free 8 gig p2 card 'til the end of March) with maybe even the portable p2 card drive (under 2k) to unload to a hard drive. The Good News - No other ingest machine needed! Everything stays 1s and 0s the whole time, and the Avid Xpress Pro HD just picks the DVCPRO HD right up - no digitizing. I've got darn-near uncompressed HD.

Now, the A1 - I was told this morning I could walk away with one today for $3658. My salesman SWEARS it blows the HVX away (he sells both - I actually bought my 100A from him) and wants me to come see for myself the footage they shot with both cameras. Tapes for under $5. Deck (cause I really don't want to put that much time on the camera playback heads) $1800. Avid Xpress Pro HD can handle it - but still digitizes real time, and takes longer to render.

As for chroma-key, is the general consensus with the A1 you'll need HD out of the camera straight to a HD-ready laptop to get a good key? (provided lighting is optimum)

Great article Barry, I appreciate EVERYONE'S discussion here. Thanks for the help, I hope to move on an HD camera this year.

epicedium
02-02-2007, 11:04 AM
Are there any real world side-by-side tests of the HVX vs the H1/A1 for chroma-keying? Has the 4:2:2 from a lower-res sensor vs 4:2:0 from a higher-res sensor really been tested in practise?

snowleopard
02-02-2007, 11:19 AM
"My salesman SWEARS it blows the HVX away" - Uh, I'd love to see these tests, as I stand by my statement that the differnces between these cameras is very minimal and an issue of choices in features, workflow, camera ergonomics, and taste. Actually, Barry pointed that out in his review - that he often couldn't tell the differnce between them (that didn't stop people from ripping him though). My guess is that the salesman thinks he can sell you an A1, but won't get the extra cash out of you for an HVX perhaps? None the less, I'd like to see his footage, and know their settings and workflow if they say the A1 "blows away" the HVX.

"Deck ...$1800" If you don't have that much $, I'm pretty sure the Canon HV10 will play back tapes from the A1 just fine. it's about $600, and would give you a handy cam that shoots 60i HDV. Of course, the deck will last longer than the HV10.

snowleopard
02-02-2007, 11:26 AM
I again agree completely with Kris post regarding the future of indie filmmaking and how HD is affecting it. I think Adobe Photoshop (or CS Suite) may be a better comparison than word processing. Amazing graphics tools available to everyone doesn't make just anyone a skilled designer. Same thing applies to filmmaking/cinematography. Having a great camera doesn't make one John Toll (as I noted before). Even if they have the full grip truck too. :smile:

Heavyjoe
02-02-2007, 12:37 PM
My guess is that the salesman thinks he can sell you an A1, but won't get the extra cash out of you for an HVX perhaps? None the less, I'd like to see his footage, and know their settings and workflow if they say the A1 "blows away" the HVX.



I started the conversation about how impressed I was with the HVX. I tried to tell him about everything I've read about colorspace 4:2:2 comparisons for keying, solid state media - and all the opinions I've read - he keeps saying "You have to come see it yourself." Now, I have no idea what his settings were, but I will find out soon - probably next week. :thumbup:

Huy Vu
02-02-2007, 01:46 PM
Greetings All,
The Newbie here would now like to break it down to the biggest question - "How much is this gonna cost me?"


The price of the A1 has now fallen to $3500 across the board (even B&H), much to the chagrin of those of us who purchased early:(. Get the camera and some tape and you'll be good to go (don't even need an extra battery, the one include lasted nearly six hours!). But I would highly recommend getting a decent external monitor because the LCD on the A1 is so bad that most of the time you'll be guessing what you shoot.

Mirezzi
02-02-2007, 02:04 PM
Because I'm a writer, I have to tease out a few funny items in this article. This is a highly engaging piece of writing and Barry, you're both eloquent and slippery. :)


While both camcorders feature extensive image control, the XHA1 has more controls to choose from. Individual control over R,G, and B Gain and matrices, as well as finer levels of adjustment, give the XHA1 more settings to “paint” the picture. With that said, I was never able to get the XHA1 to match the lush, rich picture that the HVX delivers. The XHA1 always looked a bit more electronic to me, with flatter “blah” colors – look at the Battleship photos, for example.

What does this mean? I thought the tests were done under "default" conditions, pointing and shooting in a basic mode. Is this sloppily written or editorialized rhetoric? It reads like a lapse in logic to me.

"Camera X has extensive image controls, but its images still don't look as good as camera Z."

If they were shot without manipulation of these "extensive image controls," then what use are the battleship photos to make the point?


If you want a video camera that will also simulate a still camera, the XHA1 offers that. If you want a video camera that will also simulate a movie camera, the HVX is the hands-down choice.

I think these sorts of quotes do such an otherwise compelling article very little justice. It kinda turns a sober hands-on analysis into fanboy talk, don't it? I love fanboy talk but not when it masquerades as technical literature. More useful analysis and less rhetorical flourish would have suited this writeup. It's still very good and I'm glad I got a chance to read it.

Next time, don't even bother with the pretense of appeasing Canon fans with quaint praise. Go for the throat from start to finish and then nobody will bother complaining. I think, with a touch of provocation, you're now ready to write the DVX vs. XHA1 article where the DVX is Rocky Balboa to the XHA1's Apollo Creed. ;)

-------

Concerning low light:

Whereas the word processor / typewriter bit sounded like something Panasonic asked you to write, I wanted to point out that I liked the fat guys in speedos analogy, but I don't think that sort of footage is ugly. I realize this is highly subjective; nonetheless, I thought Mann's use of gained F-900 in Miami Vice was, well, awesome. Bad film, but it looked great.

{Note: this post is intended as a bit of a benevolent wind-up, Mr. Green. You're an excellent source of information and I generally enjoy your writing and contributions to this community.}

Barry_Green
02-02-2007, 02:51 PM
What does this mean? I thought the tests were done under "default" conditions, pointing and shooting in a basic mode. Is this sloppily written or editorialized rhetoric? It reads like a lapse in logic to me.
Life would be so much easier with these things if someone would just try to extend the benefit of the doubt, instead of trying to play "gotcha".

What does it mean? It means I used the controls, I tried to dial it in, I couldn't, so I said "okay, forget it, I'll just use the defaults." But, for those who wanted to see, I showed them as close as I could get them in-camera in two different photos (the max-color-courthouse and max-color trees). So your assertion of "slippery" is offensive. I tried to give the reader as many data points as I could come up with. I wrestled with how to handle this; tweaked against untweaked is unfair (yet it's the only way the Canon could come close to the HVX's color); tweaked against tweaked would lead to shrieks of "but you wrote the book on the HVX and you only had the Canon for a week, so that's unfair!" So leaving them at their defaults is the only way to try to get out of it alive, presuming that the defaults were in any way comparable (such as for exposure bias and for edge enhancement, which they are).


"Camera X has extensive image controls, but its images still don't look as good as camera Z."
Correct. You can tweak all sorts of settings, but you'll never get it to look like the HVX does even at the HVX's default, and the HVX can be tweaked from there. If you want logic behind that, you'll have to ask Canon; I didn't design the product, I just used it.


If they were shot without manipulation of these "extensive image controls," then what use are the battleship photos to make the point?
The only "point" was -- color's the only significant difference between them. Resolution and dynamic range are comparable. If you want to see a difference, the battleship shows the difference. All the pictures do, really. In all cases, the Canon is flatter and more blah. Even when tweaked to the max, if you accordingly tweaked the HVX to the max, the Canon still looks flatter and blah (as shown in the max-color-courthouse and trees pix). But I showed those max color photos too, so you can certainly form your own opinion. The only empirical thing that can be decided from this is: the Canon has more control over a more limited palette; the HVX has a much wider palette, but not as much control within that palette.



I think these sorts of quotes do such an otherwise compelling article very little justice. It kinda turns a sober hands-on analysis into fanboy talk, don't it? I love fanboy talk but not when it masquerades as technical literature. More useful analysis and less rhetorical flourish would have suited this writeup. It's still very good and I'm glad I got a chance to read it.
The purpose of the article wasn't to be sober technical literature. It was to see how the new kid on the block compares to the existing "gold standard." And yes, flair and fluorish is part and parcel of how I like to write. If you want dry emotionless blather, you'll have to look elsewhere. I like what I like, and don't like what I don't like, and I say it.

And, the point remains -- the HVX emulates a movie camera. It emulates the 180-degree shutter. It emulates the frame rates. It provides the actual cine-like gamma curves. The Canon doesn't do any of those things.

The Canon emulates a still camera. It shoots still photos. It shoots 'em to card too. It can synchronize with a SpeedLite flash through a hot shoe. The Panasonic doesn't have any of those capabilities.

The statement is exactly accurate, based on the features that each possesses.


Next time, don't even bother with the pretense of appeasing Canon fans with quaint praise. Go for the throat from start to finish and then nobody will bother complaining.
Why would I want to go for the throat? I think the XHA1 is the best HDV camcorder on the market. I've made no secret that I don't care for HDV, and I have never liked Canon's lens controls. I despised the XL1, and the XL2, and couldn't stand using the XLH1. Everyone knows that. The fact that the XHA1 nearly overcomes both is hardly "a pretense" of "quaint praise," it's how I felt.

I have "gone for the throat" before when people make ridiculous and stupid assertions; witness my JVC HD100 vs. HVX thread. If people want that kind of thing, I'm glad to give it to 'em, but it will have to be on a subject that I sincerely believe in. I'm not about to go trashing the XHA1, I think it's a breakthrough and with just a few changes (true manual zoom control and recording to AVC-HD instead of HDV) it would be the screaming steal of the year. But with that said, it ain't no HVX.


Whereas the word processor / typewriter bit sounded like something Panasonic asked you to write
Good golly freakin' mother-lovin' ... grr... Panasonic has never, under any circumstances "asked" (or "told" or "paid") me to write or say anything, ever. Those who saw me in NZ or Aus or India can attest to that, they bring me in to talk about the way I use the product sometimes, and when they do I call it the way I see it and sometimes Panasonic people just have to cringe and wait out the tirade. Especially the division that sells the DVCPRO-HD tape deck; I imagine they're no fans of mine. I speak about these products as I know and use them, from a perspective of being a multi-award-winning professional producer/shooter as well as a moderator of the largest community of users, which gives me a good idea of the "pulse" of what people want to know and how they use these things. That word processor/typewriter bit is my own because that's how I feel about 'em. Any allegations to the contrary are, let me assure you, most incredibly not appreciated.

Now, on the other hand, I finally understand what the car magazines editors must feel like. Every letter-to-the-editor usually goes something like "how could you possibly pick x over y, you must be paid off by your advertisers." It gets old, but I guess it goes with the territory.


{Note: this post is intended as a bit of a benevolent wind-up, Mr. Green. You're an excellent source of information and I generally enjoy your writing and contributions to this community.}
Just got to this part, so maybe I should calm down a bit then. But for the sake of the board let's not start flame wars regardless of the sincerity or levity behind it; people will pick up this stuff and run with it. I very nearly didn't even bother to write this article at all, because I really *don't* need the aggravation that goes with it. But I'd already called Abel and told them I wanted to buy an XHA1; it was they who said "well, how about we loan it to you first." And after a half a dozen calls from various people on the board, I figured a comparison is what everyone wanted, so fine, I did another one. And the results are, of course, more accusations of whatever it is I'm being accused of.

Adam Wilt warned me about this stuff; he said that whenever you do a comparison you'll inevitably end up goring someone's sacred cow. But I'm not about to just go saying "oh, they're all lovely, it really doesn't matter what you choose, just join the happy family and drink the kool-aid and everyone will hold hands and sing Kumbaya." Lots of people make their living with video, and lots more wish they did. These are the tools they're going to be using. There are differences between these products. I'll point those out, and I'll point out why I think they're important, and let the reader choose what they agree with, and I'll put the raw images up so the reader can judge for themselves. And still, people will be mad. Can't help that, so I'm not really gonna try.

snowleopard
02-02-2007, 03:06 PM
"I thought Mann's use of gained video in Miami Vice was, well, awesome. Bad film, but it looked great."

Talk about taste. I thought while the cinematography was great, the grain bothered me. But I liked the film!

Darkeyesuk2000
02-02-2007, 03:35 PM
Barry please dont get to upset, It seems people like your good self and Shannon Rawls always at the a gun pointed at your heads. I must say i do like both cameras but for different reasons. Now i know you sided with the HVX200
And Shannon with the Canon. So What. In terms of what cameras you guys use day to day. Now i have herd both sides of the story from you and shannon over pros and cons but one thing i do know is both cameras will are great cameras. Its like one guy likes BMW and the Other likes Mercedes.
So if i want info on the hvx 200 ill come to you.
And iam shure that like most of the people on this board have lot of respect for you and Shannon, Both of you guys are helpfull and always take the time to help people out with the problems and questions they may have.
I actually thought you gave a good review on the canon A1 vs HVX200.
Considering you had the A1 for a short time. Its not an easy job but some ones gotta do it lol.

TimurCivan
02-02-2007, 03:58 PM
I would suggest it goes way beyond that. I think to the pro documentary shooter in the wilds of the amazon or anywhere generally isolated p2 = evil. Not that it cant be done, but these arent the places to be dragging off load systems. Then theres the arguement that they could take enough storage and offload back at base camp daily (assuming they have one), system failure - screwed.


Oh cmon you guys, do i have to list every single posibility of configuration that it would be more benficial... use your imagiations when i make an arbitrary blankey statement.... that why its blankey statement ;)

TimurCivan
02-02-2007, 04:11 PM
Whoa just realised this thread is headed for locksvillle. Lets all take a chill pill everyone.

mvb
02-02-2007, 06:15 PM
Vegas 6.0, using Raylight for the HVX files. Imported the files directly into the timeline, set on best/full, exported as a still from the timeline. Brought into PhotoShop and resized to 1920x1080.


For the record Raylight does smooth the chroma but many Mpeg2 decoders (in Vegas is it MainConcept?) do not, since, if the images are likely going back to tape or to an HD monitor, there's no need.

Smoothing 4:2:0 color for a still image is tricky, it actually takes 4 fields to do it correctly. If the decoder doesn't do it it can be tough or impossible to do it later esp. after a conversion to RGB and 24P.

Another thing to consider is that when a color-saturated image goes through compression, there are more bits required to compress the image vs. the same image with undersaturated colors. meaning that for a constant bit rate, the less saturated image may look more lightly compressed and sharper.

Mirezzi
02-02-2007, 06:46 PM
And, the point remains -- the HVX emulates a movie camera. It emulates the 180-degree shutter. It emulates the frame rates. It provides the actual cine-like gamma curves. The Canon doesn't do any of those things.

The Canon emulates a still camera. It shoots still photos. It shoots 'em to card too. It can synchronize with a SpeedLite flash through a hot shoe. The Panasonic doesn't have any of those capabilities.

You were serious with the still camera emulation thing? It sounded like a piss take! Nevermind what I wrote then, 'cause I thought there was no way you honestly thought Canon was trying to make the A1 a "still camera" more than a "movie camera." So I retract and now digress. :)


Just got to this part, so maybe I should calm down a bit then. But for the sake of the board let's not start flame wars regardless of the sincerity or levity behind it; people will pick up this stuff and run with it. I very nearly didn't even bother to write this article at all, because I really *don't* need the aggravation that goes with it. But I'd already called Abel and told them I wanted to buy an XHA1; it was they who said "well, how about we loan it to you first." And after a half a dozen calls from various people on the board, I figured a comparison is what everyone wanted, so fine, I did another one. And the results are, of course, more accusations of whatever it is I'm being accused of.

Adam Wilt warned me about this stuff; he said that whenever you do a comparison you'll inevitably end up goring someone's sacred cow. But I'm not about to just go saying "oh, they're all lovely, it really doesn't matter what you choose, just join the happy family and drink the kool-aid and everyone will hold hands and sing Kumbaya." Lots of people make their living with video, and lots more wish they did. These are the tools they're going to be using. There are differences between these products. I'll point those out, and I'll point out why I think they're important, and let the reader choose what they agree with, and I'll put the raw images up so the reader can judge for themselves. And still, people will be mad. Can't help that, so I'm not really gonna try.

Well played, Barry. I should have disclaimed my post straight off rather than inserting it at the end. If you had known I was going to give you a hard time, with respect, that may have saved some aggravation.

But come on, Rocky and Apollo Creed, that was funny! You didn't even bite. :(

snowleopard
02-02-2007, 07:05 PM
Hey, Canon makes movie cameras (http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/controller?act=ModelDetailAct&fcategoryid=145&modelid=12956) too, ya know. :happy:

TimurCivan
02-02-2007, 07:18 PM
hey it shoots 60P...... @ 1/10 HD.

Barry_Green
02-02-2007, 08:32 PM
Hey, Canon makes movie cameras (http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/controller?act=ModelDetailAct&fcategoryid=145&modelid=12956) too, ya know. :happy:
I know. I've got one! :thumbsup:

xray
02-02-2007, 08:49 PM
You can tweak all sorts of settings, but you'll never get it to look like the HVX does even at the HVX's default, and the HVX can be tweaked from there. If you want logic behind that, you'll have to ask Canon; I didn't design the product, I just used it.

Don't understand this burst but anyway:

You dont need too, you can't make a HVX look like a A1 either. You don't want a
A1 to look like a HVX. That is why you bought the A1, with the high resolution and the long lens and no banding noise in shadow parts in the first place. And if you will, you can do it (HVX look) in post.



Even when tweaked to the max, if you accordingly tweaked the HVX to the max, the Canon still looks flatter and blah (as shown in the max-color-courthouse and trees pix). But I showed those max color photos too, so you can certainly form your own opinion. The only empirical thing that can be decided from this is: the Canon has more control over a more limited palette; the HVX has a much wider palette, but not as much control within that palette.


Somewhere you are right, but the Canon can make a pleasing end result and that is all that matters, You showed the HVX oversaturated, it's a setting you never use and I never liked.



And, the point remains -- the HVX emulates a movie camera. It emulates the 180-degree shutter. It emulates the frame rates. It provides the actual cine-like gamma curves. The Canon doesn't do any of those things.


No. The A1 is a 24P capable shooting filmcam, emulating film with actual cinemode, cinegamma and colors.



The Canon emulates a still camera. It shoots still photos. It shoots 'em to card too. It can synchronize with a SpeedLite flash through a hot shoe. The Panasonic doesn't have any of those capabilities.


It shoots stills (with all camera settings, handy!) to card, it does a long list more in handy things the HVX is not doing, like Kelvin whitebalance, handy framesettings, button behaviour etc. It's to many to name and you have to get used to it, but after that, you never want to miss it.



I'm not about to go trashing the XHA1, I think it's a breakthrough and with just a few changes (true manual zoom control and recording to AVC-HD instead of HDV) it would be the screaming steal of the year. But with that said, it ain't no HVX.


No it's a A1, good heaven. Happy with that, you can shoot one hour productions with it, it looks nice, you can wait for the Indy film and doc film productions that are made with it, it's image quality is unbelievable ok. Both can happily live together, and the filmmakers too...

Elton
02-02-2007, 09:53 PM
Adam was right, Barry. Just remember though, this is a free internet and you have the right to be wrong. ;)

JK!! I actually agreed with a fair amount of your criticisms of the A1--particularly about lens controls, but I think on the bright side it actually stirred up a fairly healthy debate.

MovieSwede
02-03-2007, 02:36 AM
Actually I think that most DVX100 owners are very intrested in hearing what Barry has to say about the A1. Because if he gives it a green light, most of us thinks its a safe purchase. And after all its written for dvxuser...

KyleProhaska
02-03-2007, 08:20 AM
He pretty much explains that in the article. Minus the manual lens and some audio limitations, its got the DVX + More.

- Kyle

USLatin
02-05-2007, 02:49 AM
thank you Barry!