Hi everyone, I’m fairly new to the videography world and I’ve come across a recent conundrum. I currently own a canon XH-A1 where I do all my video projects on and have been attracted into the video that Canon’s DSLR put out. I know that I can simply buy a DOF adapter to attach different lenses, but I’m still sold on the smaller size of the camera and the idea of not having to buy anymore DV tapes, ditching the capturing process.
So would I be crazy to sell my XH-A1 to go for a 60d or any other DSLR camera?
We have used a Canon 5d mark II for 18 months and apart from editing H.264 Mov files in Premiere Pro cannot fault it. however, if I had a XHA-1 with the motor zoom and the HDV/mpeg-2 codec which is easy to edit I cannot see much of an advantage in going to the 5D mark II as the 1920 x 1080p is only marginally better than the 1440 x 1080f (Anamorphic) if at all. However, as the 5D mark II has a 35mm sensor the depth of field advantages of all the Canon EF IS Flourite L Series lens are considerable.If you want the movie look , you have got it.
I WOULD NOT GET RID of the marvellous XHA -1 .
Going backwards to an APS sensor in the 60D or 7 D and they are very good cameras ,and 1.6 x Lens extension is not progress ? Regardless of what the “experts say”, Pro tape is not dead, I cannot see Canon getting rid of the Pro tape units although their New XF 105 and XF 305’s are very impressive at $8,000 to $10.100 approx.https://www.canon.com.au/en-AU/For-You/Digital-Video-Cameras/Professional-Video-Cameras
I wouldn’t bother with a DOF adapter. They eat up light, add to your set up time and make your camera front-end heavy. You’d be better off getting a T2i for the money you’d spend on a DOF adapter.
The Canon DSLRs all produce beautiful images, probably better than the A1. However, a few factors you should consider:
AUDIO – Canon DSLRs capture crappy audio. You can control the levels with the 60d but with no headphone jack, you can’t monitor the sound the camera is capturing. There are no XLR inputs. So if you care about the quality of audio on your productions, you’ll have to invest in an external device. I use a Zoom H4n. Look it up.
LENSES – You’ll need fast lenses, probably covering a variety of focal lengths. At the very least you want to start at f/2.8 lenses with some sort of IS (image stabilization). You’ll have to decide whether you want the flexibility of using zoom lenses or the better optical quality of primes. Your needs will depend on what you’ll be shooting.
WORKFLOW – DV/HDV tapes still have their place. Real time capturing is long and kinda annoying but remember that tapes are super cheap and you have a hard, physical backup of your video. Flash cards are cool, but you’ll have to invest more and more into external hard drives to back up all your stuff over time.
Editing can also be a pain. The H.264 video format the DSLRs record in are not edit friendly so you’ll probably have to convert it into a another format before you can edit it. Having said that, Premiere CS5 can edit H.264 natively. Depends on what you use to edit.
That’s just some stuff you should consider. I haven’t even mentioned the overheating issues, aliasing issues and the lack of dynamic range.
All in all, the Canon DSLRs do produce great video, Just don’t overlook the cons of the them as I did. Get a 60d if you can afford it but DON’T ditch your A1 just yet. Remember that these DSLRs are STILLS cameras that happen to shoot awesome video. Your A1 is a professional video camera with lots of professional video camera features and controls.