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“which JVC and Canon Models do you have, why did you choose them versus other cameras, and when did you purchase them?”
We currently use the JVC GYHD200UB and the Canon XL1s model cameras. I’ve been sold on the XL series since Canon loaned my old Unit a couple to take out into the field back in ’98. They were light got great images, could do most of the things our hardcore pro models did and take a butt whuppin’ in the process. I personall think the XL1s is Canon’s hands down best rig despite it not being able to do progressive scan and HD. Unlike the XL1 and those that followed after it, the XL1s could be tricked out with secondary components also sold by canon to take it from the prosumer to hardcore pro level. All the cameras since can’t do that which sucks. We use the 200UB because in ’07 I was at a conference and shot my mouth off about JVC lending me their latest rig to make my next movie. They said “Okay.” They sponsored all the camera gear and part of the load of stuff was a fresh out of the box GYHD250. It was a pro camera from front to back and a dream to work with. Though it was a ‘Low res’ HD camera at 720p the imagery in both HD and DV were ‘Effen’ phenomenal and it could also take a whuppin’ and still keep going. When came time to get one we didn’t need the extra SDI connections so the 200 was the next best thing. Same camera without the SDI connections. We’ve been shooting with it for the last year and it is the real McCoy.
I checked out other cameras like the XH1, AVHGX and the Z1U. I dug the XH1 but it was too pricey, front heavy, had that goofy 24f thing (that many nle’s didn’t support at the time) and had issues with configuration like I mentioned earlier. I wasn’t impressed with the AVHGX because it felt more like a toy than a straight up pro camera. I did like the combo of tape or cards but those P2 cards were (and are) too expensive to be bothered with despite how much people rave about them. Imagery was okay and I liked the many formats it could shoot in, but the controls were annoying and the hype about it was too. I would have rolled with the Z1U but I know Sony from waaaaay back. The make good gear, but their tech support is hit or miss and they have a nasty habit of completely abandoning a format whether it works or not. Also, it couldn’t do progressive scan in favor of interlaced video. 1080i looks cool, but I am sick up and fed with editing interlaced video for DVD and the ‘Net.
Hope that answered your questions.