Canon XH A1 Video Camera Review

canon-xh-a1-2Amazon Tall Buy ButtonCanon camcorders have long been known in the video and photography industries as high quality, solid, and long-lasting.  The Canon XH A1 1.67 MP 3 CCD High Definition Camcorder is no different.  In this Canon XH A1 video camera review, I will be reviewing the basic specifications, the price, a comparison with other similar camcorders and ultimately the return on investment of this professional camcorder.

The Canon XH A1 Camcorder is a 3 CCD Camcorder, featuring three 1/3 inch image processors that all process 1.67 Megapixels of video data.  This camcorder also includes these specific features:

  • 20x optical zoom lens with professional series L fluorite
  • 1080 Video Resolution
  • 16:9 Widescreen Format
  • 2.8″ lcd,
  • .57″ viewfinder
  • super range optical image stabilizer
  • 3 1/3″ 16:9 CCD’s (1.67 Megapixels)
  • DIGIC DV II HD image processor – process improved color reproduction and noise reduction for great low light performance
  • Instant auto focus
  • Captures Video at 60i, 30 F (30 frames per second) or 24F (24 frames per second) or 508 / 60i
  • 9 Custom preset buttons to streamline your top programmable settings
  • 2 Custom Keys for setting your own feature sequences
  • 1440 x 1080 HDV video resolution
  • Manual Iris / Focus Ring
  • Two external XLR adapters
  • External microphone holder
  • SD Memory Card slot
  • Flash accessory shoe
  • optional 50/i 60/i upgrade
  • One year warranty on camcorder parts

The Retail cost of this camcorder is $3999.99 but refurbished models of the camcorder can be found online for much less than the full retail price. Check the current prices and discounts here.

Canon XH A1 vs. Panasonic HMC150

canon-xh-a1-5A similar professional camcorder to the Canon XH A1 is the Panasonic HMC150.  Each device has its positives and negatives.  The Panasonic has the advantage of a less stressful workflow, using SD Cards, which are commonly found in nearly every computer today, where the A1 uses HDV tapes and the footage has to be imported from the camcorder using a fire wire cable or tape deck.  On the positive site, HDV footage is easy to edit, and requires no trans coding or extra video footage processing after capturing the footage.  The Panasonic HMC150 has a wide-angle lens that allows for a wider field of vision, to capture more of a wide shot, compared to the default viewing angle of the XH A1.  The XH A1 does have a wide-angle lens option, but at a steep extra cost, starting around $700.  The Canon has a 20 x optical viewing lens which is nice for zooming in close to the action, compared to the 13x zoom of the Panasonic HMC 150.  The Canon definitely wins out in brightness, as the default image with no gain is considerably brighter than the standard image brightness of the Panasonic  hmc150.

Product Review Feedback

canon-xh-a1-6Here are some positive and negative things that people had to say about the Canon XH A1 Camcorder

Positives Review Statements

“good first impression”

“good custom controls”

“good companion for the X1 H1”

“auto focus is hugely improved over the X1 H1”

“makes you feel professional”

“image stabilization makes a handheld look like a tripod stable image”

“fish eye effect is nice inside the camcorder”

Negative Review Statements

“matte box is flimsy lightweight plastic”

“wide-angle lens not included, the canon wide-angle lens is $3k as an add-on”

“canon has a policy of neither providing or selling service manuals to the public nor placing the manual on the website”

“no UV filter included”

“4000 camera with a $900 lens”

“HDV is only 1440 x 1080 instead of the full 1920 x 1080”

Read the Full Reviews Here


Canon XH A1 Professional Camcorder Summary

canon-xh-a1The canon XH A1s camcorder provides three 1/3 inch CCD Chips for processing a lot of data in a professional looking camcorder body.  The Camcorder is professional looking with great OIS stabilization and a good-sized 20 x optical zoom and many programmable manual controls.  Yet on the down side, the camcorder only records to HDV tape, and has an expensive price tag.

As of this writing the Canon XH A1 is the number one selling professional camcorder on amazon, check out their current discounts and inventory options to learn more about this camcorder now.

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My name is Chris and I am the owner and operator of For over 10 years I have worked with computers, servers, video camcorders, software editing tools, and many other areas of information technology.

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Author: Chris

My name is Chris and I am the owner and operator of For over 10 years I have worked with computers, servers, video camcorders, software editing tools, and many other areas of information technology.

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