Pre-NAB 2008 Show, Canon Reveals XL H1S and XL H1A Pro Camcorders

Just four days before the 2008 NAB Show, Canon decided to release full details about their new XL H1S and XL H1A camcorders. Taking their top prosumer model and fiddling with it based on the desires and recommendations of their customers, Canon’s new models inherit the XL H1’s shoulder-mounted size and professional looks, while adding a lot of functionality to the base lens, clearing up the blunders that marred the audio features of their predecessor, and getting the software details right in all the right places. With a smart price reduction to boot!

The H1S has an MSRP of $8999, and the H1A comes in at a cheaper $5999, losing only the ‘Professional Jack Pack’ in the process. Those who do not need to shoot with several XL H1S’s in tandem – having no use for the HD-SDI output with embedded audio and time code, and Genlock output which acts as a live switcher control for multi-camera shoots – but at the same time want the interchangeable lenses and shoulder-mounted form-factor of the XL-H1S, will appreciate the cheaper H1A which was built for their needs.

Canon tells us as much: “Many users expressed a desire for a lower cost version of the XL H1, one that did not have HD-SDI, SMPTE Time Code, and Genlock because they weren’t doing multi-camera.” What some of these users might miss though, is the uncompressed 1.485 Gbps signal of the HD-SDI output, which spells both amazing image quality and incredible hassles during capture (think mobile HDD array and/or mobile compression unit).

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