Hi everyone, I'm currently a digital media student and I'm looking to get into the video production field once I'm finished with school. I'm looking to buy my first video camera. As of right now, I have experience with only JVC Video cameras. We use a big GY-HD100u camera which looks very professional and has independent rings for focus, zoom, and Iris. We also use, more frequently, a smaller GY-HM100 which shoots straight to an SD card. I've started doing research on different types of cameras but there are so many that its a bit overwhelming.
I like the convenience of recording to an SD card, but the image that the JVC produces is a bit dull to my eyes. I've been looking into the xh-a1 and I really like the fact that it has a 20x zoom with individual rings for zoom, focus, and iris. I'm not exactly sure what I'm going to be shooting, but I want a camera that will allow me to learn and grow while giving me exceptional video quality. My only reservation about the more "professional looking" cameras is the fact that they film to tape. Since we use the SD card cameras in school, I have had little experience with the capturing process and am a bit intimidated though, I am very willing to learn the process.
Another question I've come upon is the camcorder vs DSLR argument. I've watched a few videos on the internet of the t2i and t3i and have been really impressed by them. I'm not sure if I should consider a DSLR in my decision as well. I've also seen a few videos of the sony hdr-fx1 and they looked pretty nice, and the canon XF100 has been suggested to me as well. I'm really open to any brand or suggestion.
My ideal budget is around $2000 but I'd like to focus on getting the right piece of equipment rather than spending all of, or more than my budget.
I appreciate any help. Thanks!
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05-05-2012 06:57 AM
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05-22-2012 10:59 AM
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The Canon Xha1s is a great camera I have shot 200 plus hours on it. Its great to have the tape back ups and really cheap compared to CF cards plus I've never had a HDV tape go bad on me ever. Where as I've had 2 Sd cards and 1 CF card fail and lose over 100GB of information. Its so much easier to use than the canon DSLR. I shoot DSLR with A Canon 5D and its really no where as easy as the Xha1s. If you want something that gets it done and extremely well its a fabulous camera. PM me if your interested in buying a used one I have one for sale thats right near your price range.
05-22-2012 11:45 AM
Like Joshua said, the Canon XH-A1s is a fantastic camera, if you don't mind a tape-based workflow. If, however, you are looking to get into a tapeless workflow for under $2K, I would definitely suggest the Panasonic HVX200a or HPX-170.
Both are extremely wonderful cameras with a boatload of customization, tapeless media (P2 cards), 4:2:2 color space (great for grading and keying) and a whole bunch of variable frame rates (all the way up to 60fps).
Joshua is 100% correct on another point: SD cards fail. Alot. I've never had a tape fail me, and I have never had a P2 card fail me.
DSLR cameras are may seem like they cost less in the beginning, but once you add lenses, external audio recorders, and the multitude of other peripherals you need, you could wind up spending more than you ever would on a dedicated video camera. Not to mention all of the issues that DSLR video presents.
Obviously, anyone who answers this question is going to be biased toward their preferred brand, or the equipment that they use (I shoot on an HVX and I would recommend it to everyone, if I could). It's all going to come down to what you need in your camera, and what you can afford.
Check out Barry Green's XH-A1 vs. HVX-200 comparison.
Don't make an impulse buy. Do research, find out what you need, what you can afford, and find a balance between the two.Kyle Fordrung
Videographer & Editor
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"We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of the dreams."
05-22-2012 11:46 AM
If you are interested let me know, as I have an XH-A1 with very low hours on it I would be willing to sell with great accessories including wide angle lens. I bought it new but kept it as a backup when we bought our Red One.
DaveDavid W. Jones
05-22-2012 12:46 PM
I also have a couple xha1's, The XHA1 is still a great camera, and you can get a citidisk for about 350.00 that turns the xha1 into a card based cam, but still records to tape for a backup. Plus you can run component out to blackmagic shuttle to get the 4:2:2 colorspace, just incase you do greenscreen work. You can always throw on a depth of field adapter and get a more filmic look with shallow dof. I think it's a great first cam for anyone that wants to shoot video. Canon had this cam on the market for a long time, and for good reason, they sold a ton of them, and their a workhorse of a cam. The L lens is also pretty good.