For anyone interested in videography, here’s a review that Dave wrote a few months ago, which you may find helpful 🙂
“I have been blown away by the huge improvement in the new Canon XHA1s HD video camera. It looks identical to its predecessor the XHA1, but Canon have upped the ante and really done a great job attending to the things that are important to Pro/Serious videographers.
The first thing that struck me was the great feel to the manual focus, zoom and iris rings on the lens. They are far more responsive, accurate, sensitive and adjustable than before. Now one can really use them effectively.
The second huge improvement is a full-sized Pro rubber Eye-cup that can be fitted for left or right use, removed, and is comfortable and makes filming through the viewfinder heaven on earth. Thank you Canon!!
Everything on the camera is more programmable and can be personalised to suit the conditions.
The adjustable zoom speed has 16 settings and is awesome, taking the guesswork out of smooth zooming, going from 1.5 secs to five minutes from one end to the other of the zoom range.
The audio options have also been upgraded and have a number of permutations. The sound quality appears to be better, crisper and more accurate, and one can use either both the onboard mic and external mics together, or seperately. Great for getting ambient sound while using an external mic.
The other thing that is nice now is the availability of proper HD tapes, that don’t frame drop and give accurate recording of the digital info. They can be stored as Master copies for future use or reused very comfortably. They are on the expensive side, but worth it.
The build is solid as usual with Canon Pro products, and I felt myself not being too bothered by the size of what could ideally be a slightly smaller camera in my world of Wildlife and Documentary Video.
The picture quality is superb, the colours great, the auto focus the best and fastest I have ever used, and the controls for playback very quick and easy to use.
As mentioned earlier, the Menu is huge and highly configurable, but takes a little time to find your way around, as there is so much choice with regards settings.
Overall, Canon have done a great job with this offering, and I would recommend it to anyone wanting a truly Pro spec tape-based/SD card HD camera with a 20x optical zoom that kicks ASS!!!!!!
For more info visit www.internetvideomag.com.”
(By Dave Estment of Outdoor Video & Photographic (OV&P))