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Can HD camera record in SD???

awes125's picture
Last seen: 7 years 5 months ago
Joined: 03/19/2008 - 4:18am

This may be a dumb question, but can allHD video cameras record in Standard Definition as well? I am thinking of getting an HD camera for various projects but would also like to keep shooting some projects in SD and I don't want to have to down convert everytime. Does the Canon XH A1 shoot in SD?

Rob Grauert's picture
Last seen: 1 year 7 months ago
Joined: 02/16/2008 - 10:47pm

Nope. I just checked and that camera doesn't shoot SD. Some cameras do shoot SD and HD. The Panasonic HVX200 does. So with a little more research, you may be able to find the right camera.

You can always shoot and edit in HD and then down convert to SD. I've never done that before because I haven't yet worked with HD, but I couldn't imagine it taking very long. Doing that will make for very nice looking SD as well.

awes125's picture
Last seen: 7 years 5 months ago
Joined: 03/19/2008 - 4:18am

Thanks Rob. I've got a DVX100B right now and I'm extremely happy with the SD quality on it, I was just hoping that HD was something that I may be able to add to the mix of what I can offer. It's a shame that the XH A1 is such a great camera but can't even shoot in SD! Especially since they haven't even really decided on an official media for HD yet.

I would LOVE the HVX200 if I had the budget for it. Maybe the FX1, I think it can shoot BOTH SD and HD. Hmmm...

FrankieBoy's picture
Last seen: 2 years 8 months ago
Joined: 06/08/2008 - 11:39pm


I just got my XH-A1 a week ago after reading heaps about it first and checking out lots of beautiful videos on Vimeo.

I don't know where you get the idea that the XH-A1 doesn't shoot SD??? It SHOOTS SD in either 4x3 or full 16x9 as well as giving you the option of SHOOTING in HD and outputting that footage as SD DV if you don't have the software or hardware to edit HD. That's a good option, leaving you the original tapes still in HD, in case you some time in the future wanna edit them in HD.

So yes, you have THREE options of getting SD out of the XH-A1. =) I'm an old BIIIG fan of the DVX100 and was very close to buying it - even in these times of HD - but finally bumped into the XH-A1 on the net and having read LOTS about it + mainly watching a lot of videos shot on it, decided it's a better option, giving me more options than the DVX100. I have never had any problems with the DVX100 SD image, except for the fact that it doesn't have true 16x9 capture. I was even thinking of buying the cam and later the anamorphic lens for it, but once the XH-A1 came down to the same price as a brand new DVX100B, the choice wasn't hard. I have been considering the HVX200, too, but it only shoots HD on SP2 cards, which are insanely expensive. Compare that to capturing HD on regular MiniDV tapes. For any longer shooting yo can save all of the original stuff, without any need to constantly download everything off the cards. Alsoif yo find comparisons on the net, you can see that the XH-A1 shoots better low light footage than the HVX200.

The XH-A1 is a good cam, best in its price range. And more manual controls than many more expensive cameras.



chrisColorado's picture
Last seen: 1 year 1 month ago
Joined: 04/03/2008 - 10:48pm

The canon XH A1 is a pretty good camera that i used on my last film. We shot in SD I think. It's a nice camera, if you like miniDV, which I do not.