OK, so the video is a bit roughly matched, and the story lacks a dramatic twist, but I wanted to test out my XHA1 and GH2 using the stock 14-140 lens.
As we all know by now, in very low light, the GH2 is amazing, and I'd agree. Having played around with it for a couple of days I was interested to see how the GH2 and XHA1 would compare shooting side-by-side, in normal, dull lighting - a room with a single north-facing window about 2 hours before sunset on an overcast day in winter. I've slightly adjusted both images in terms of level / gamma to bring them vaguely together.
Obviously this isn't a scientific test, but even so, the GH2 looks better to me. I suspect that in good light, there's far less difference, and that being so, this got me to thinking of the wider practicality of shooting a couple of forthcoming projects using both of these cameras. Here's my take:
I love the XHA1 because it's very easy to use for quick set-ups - the camera is also robust, the sound is really easy to do well, and I know my way around the controls. The lens is great for close-up work and has a 20:1 zoom range on a very controllable zoom rocker (you can also set the top zoom control separately, for a single-speed, very fast zoom - useful). The AF tracks quickly without overshoot and MF is easy to use. You don't really have to add anything to the camera to make it work well for video, as that's what it's designed for.
Why I like the GH2: tapeless workflow, nicer LCD, light weight, shallow DOF (useful I hope for greenscreen work, as well as making nice images). Very compact, so easy to have to hand. Light, so less fatiguing to use on a stabilizer. Adds the functionality of a good stills camera for odd rostrum stuff. The stock 14-140 lens is beautifully stabilized, and sharp without the CA the Canon can exhibit (although f4 against the Canon's F1.7)
Of course you can put faster lenses on the GH2 - but the test got me thinking about the practicalities of shooting video with these cameras, and specifically, whether my XHA1 is redundant or not. And to be honest, I'm certainly not chucking it out. I think the XHA1 does some things better than the GH2 - and for the two shoots I'm planning, I can envisage places where they would both come into their own.
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