Canon XM1 vs Panasonic NV-GS400

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    • #42731

      I’m looking to buy a new camcorder (to replace a rather old and frankly crap 8mm Canon UC9500). Now, what i’m going to be using this camcorder for is mainly making short films, as not only is that a hobby, but I am taking an A level in it. Anyway, I need a very good camcorder…the best infact…but it has to be under about 800 :P. Now I don’t mind if it being second-hand or anything…but anyway, the two main ones that I have in mind at the moment are the;

      Canon XM1…now they sell second hand about 700…but the bad thing is, that because they’ve been discontinued, its quite hard to get hold of one now adays…and even more so getting hold of one near you (I’m not buying one off eBay or any other site UNLESS I can go and inspect it myself before I pay!).

      And a Panasonic NV-GS400, that I recently spotted to be highly recomended in a video magazine, and which ive found for about 7/800 second hand also.

      Now I have always thought that the canon would be better, but ive had a look at both the cameras specifications, and the GS400 is looking quite a bit better…Both have 3CCD sensors…but the XM1’s sensors are only 320K, while the GS400’s are 1070K! Now quite im new to camcorders but know enough to think that that means quite in improvment in the picture, no? The only other big difference that pops out at me is the size difference between both camcorders. The XM1 is 117 x 135 x 272mm, and the GS400 only 81 x 80 x 178mm…Now I dont care about size at all…infact if anything I’d prefere to bigger, more professional looking XM1…But its really down to performance.

      Now which camcorder would you guys recomend for my purpose (shooting/making movies)? (P.S. If you know of a better camcorder for under 800 please feel free to post it).

    • #179064

      I hadnt heard of the Canon XM1 until I read your post. Looking at the Canon web site, I found the XM2, which must be the "new improved" version of the XM1. The XM2 appears to be the PAL version of the GL2. Here in the states, the GL2 is a highly respected "semi-professional" camcorder, used by many film-school students. It would be a notch above the GS400 (which is still a very good unit). As for the pixel count, that can be misleading. Are they counting the pixels on just one CCD, or on all 3? Also, a camcorders "still picture" pixel count is usually higher than its "video" pixel count. (The GS400 can take 4 MegaPixel still photos.)

      A Canon camcorder that would be closer to the GS400 would be the Optura Xi, which was discontinued about the same time as the GS400. (Sorry, I only know model numbers for the NTSC versions. 😕 ) I’m very happy with the Panasonic DVC30, which is on a par with the GL2. I think the PAL version is called DVC32.

      Hope this helped some, 🙂
      Ken Hull

    • #179065

      Personally id go with the gs400, xm1/gl1 have horrid audio and i actually like the picture of the panansonic much better

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