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Old January 24th, 2005, 06:52 PM   #1
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Audio Playback with XL1 and XL2. Help Please

I make small budget films and I do not have a lot of money. I am looking into investing in a Canon XL1 or Canon XL2, (Right now I'm using a $300 mini dv camcorder). But I was terribly distraught as to the poor audio quality of the movie. Wind makes a ton of noise and that is one of my main questions. Will wind noise affect the audio playback with a XL1 or XL2? And how good is the video playback?
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Old January 24th, 2005, 07:54 PM   #2
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Yes, wind noise will affect the XL2 just as much.

Drew, you used a key word there, "investment." Plan on investing about as much money and possibly more effort in sound as in video if you want the sound to live up to the video. To get really good audio in the movie that disappointed you, you would typically have an operator holding a $300 microphone covered with a $250 windscreen in a $100 shock mount on a $300 boom pole, aiming it at the talent, keeping it just a few feet away, just out of the shot. The mic would normally be connected to a $250 XLR adaptor which would feed the audio into your camera.

I'm not exaggerating--just do a search on any of those item keywords in the online catalog at bhphotovideo.com. You can perhaps cut some corners, borrow some equipment and/or and settle for a little less, but what I described is the world you're looking to enter.

The good news is that almost all minDV camcorders will give you excellent video in decent lighting. Therefore, for the price of an XL2 you can buy a cheaper cam for now and get the basic audio equipment you need (to paraphrase one of this forum's pros, Ty Ford, your audio equipment will still be just as valuable and state of the art when the cam is ready for the dumpster). But you should definitely spend some time reading up a bit and asking questions here before you spend any serious money.
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Old January 24th, 2005, 08:58 PM   #3
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Here's some more information, I am a sophomore in high school and I fund my movies through a paper route, around $180 a month. I am in pre-production of a movie that is a type of epic-adventure film and the script is going to be around 200 pages. The only thing I have concerns with at this point is a Video Camera, Editing Software, and Software to create a soundtrack on the computer.

What type of mini dv camcorder would give me good quality at a reasonable price?

Also, is Adobe Video Collection worth the money? Some things I would need editing to achieve is make a group of around 40-100 look like an army of about 800. And also I would like to allow actors to enter a "miniature" castle. Can I edit where I have two clips going at once, so the actors can enter the tiny castle?

And, what type of software allows for creation of music on the computer where instruments deliver a crisp, clean, life-like sound. I am going to try to make the soundtrack for the movie on the computer.

Thank you for your answers, I have looked around on the internet but I should probably listen to what you all have to say before I rush off and empty my pockets.
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Old January 24th, 2005, 10:12 PM   #4
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As a creative type, you probably want a cam with a good amount of manual control. Panasonic's PV-GS200 would fill the bill in that regard. It's a 3-CCD cam so it has excellent color saturation and generally excellent video. In a dimly lit indoor situation you would have to add some lighting. Low light performance is hard to come by cheaply in miniDV camcorders. The GS200 is about $700-800 online. If you're willing go forego some manual control, you can get as good performance from its little brother, the GS120 for about $500.

Last year's Sony models TRV19 and TRV22 are reasonable low light performers, but again with limited manual control. I'm not up to speed on the current crop of Sonys, but there are a bunch of them to look at. Canons don't do very well in low light until you get up to the $2000 GL2. You can check out reviews at camcorderinfo.com.

For your software questions I'd refer you to some of the other forums here. Check the list.
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