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Old October 17th, 2005, 07:58 PM   #1
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XL-2 gone by spring 2006?

Will Canon drop the XL-2 in favor of pushing the XL-H1?

With all the trouble and incompatibilities between various "HDV" formats, as well as no standardized delivery system (i.e. HD-DVD), let alone production facilities thereof, why drop what is arguably the best machine for output ultimately to DVD?

Sure, there have been minor issues with this unit, but all accounts suggest it is head and shoulders above even its predecessor. I'm hoping to "upgrade" my present setup next spring to an XL-2 setup, and now I hear from a "reliable source" that it might not be available. That's why I bring this up.
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Old October 17th, 2005, 09:11 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Doug Boze
Will Canon drop the XL-2 in favor of pushing the XL-H1?

With all the trouble and incompatibilities between various "HDV" formats, as well as no standardized delivery system (i.e. HD-DVD), let alone production facilities thereof, why drop what is arguably the best machine for output ultimately to DVD?

Sure, there have been minor issues with this unit, but all accounts suggest it is head and shoulders above even its predecessor. I'm hoping to "upgrade" my present setup next spring to an XL-2 setup, and now I hear from a "reliable source" that it might not be available. That's why I bring this up.
They are aimed at different market segments. No immediate plans to drop the XL-2 as far as we know. Canon has stated that the XLH1 is NOT a replacement for the XL-2.

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Old October 17th, 2005, 10:43 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Doug Boze
Will Canon drop the XL-2 in favor of pushing the XL-H1?
<snip>
While I suppose no one can say definitively that Canon will or will not drop the XL2 next year, I doubt they would do so to push XLH1 sales. That would be akin to Chevy dropping the Cavalier to push customers into the Corvette. The price point of these two cameras and related gear are just too far apart to compete with each other. And I'm pretty sure that's no coincidence.

Now I could see Canon bringing out a $4900-5500 XL2 replacement next year with HDV. I'm sure Canon is looking at the Z1 and HD100 sales and realizes that some sort of beefed up HDV XL2 or stripped down XLH1 could compete nicely in this popular segement. I bet they could strip out all the studio stuff from the XLH1, slap a cheaper lens on there (maybe a 13-16X ?) and they'd have a hit. Plus folks could rent or buy the hi-end lenses if they wish.

In any event, next year should be fun.

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Old October 18th, 2005, 06:58 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Boze
Will Canon drop the XL-2 in favor of pushing the XL-H1?
As has been stated, the XL H1 does NOT replace the XL2.
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Old October 18th, 2005, 08:13 AM   #5
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Panasonic isn't dropping the DVX100 because they have HVX200 is coming out (someday). So Canon will probably keep their SD camera. As great as High def is going to be the cost are just to high for a lot of people. Computer upgrades are needed, HD-DVD players are not even out.

Once my money builds back up I'm looking at the DVX100b or maybe by then we might see a GL3.
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Old October 18th, 2005, 02:51 PM   #6
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I'm with you with the GL3.
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Old October 19th, 2005, 02:59 PM   #7
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The problem is that people are going to be reluctant to spend thousands of dollars on a standard definition camera that is going to be obsolete in a few years and will not hold its resale value. With a high definition video camera you can still shoot in standard definition but you leave your options open for high definition. People are already worried and they are asking how long they can hold onto their standard definition gear while it is still worth something. When customers refuse to buy standard definition gear because they think its a bad investment then at that time camera manufacturers will stop making standard definition gear but of course the high definition gear will still support standard definition. If you are an electronic news gatherer you can be shooting in standard definition today and the very next day the boss decides to switch to high definition. A wedding videographer could have a client that just bought a plasma TV and wants high definition footage to match it and is willing to pay a premium. Its the same thing with a sports videographer.
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Old October 21st, 2005, 02:37 AM   #8
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I'm sorry, Tom, but I don't think you're right. This is the thin straw, the weak reed put forth by the HDV (masses? crowd? gang? pedant?) whatsit to spur sales of an unsupported format. I simply cannot reconcile the desire among videographers for "HD at any price" against the epic intertia of the great unwashed, i.e., the consumer.

Okay, so somebody got married and has an HD plasma display, so they want their nuptials in HD. Well, will they want the divorce proceedings in HD as well? If so, bully for you, since 52% of marraiges end in divorce. No such majority of potential viewers (IOW, the Market) has HD equipment, let alone DVD, if what I've read recently suggests.

So that leaves us with "Shoot HD today for an HD customer tomorrow." Yeah, yeah, our friend the atom, whatever.

Does the XL-H1 provide HD-SD output into, say, my DVCAM-centric system? What happens if I translate 1080i into DV and recompress back into MPEG2 for DVD? Aren't we going back to the dreaded digital-analog-digital-analog-digital-lossy-loser-lost spiral in some Twilight Zoney reverse spin? Or, "Artifact this, Batman!"

Okay. Let's say I have the XL-H1, or any other contemporary HDV camcorder. I've just shot some vid at 1080i, 30fps. Now what? Can the XL-H1 output to my PPro PC a DV stream? Or do I edit in HDV in Premiere?

Okay, let's move on. My output is to DVD. Mother always told us that the better the source, the better the output, probably due to her disapointment in us, or a back-handed reconcilliation thereof. Where we ask for resolution, she asks for restitution. Anyway, the HDV should produce some mighty fine DVD material, what?

I think that I'm primarily worried about the use of an HDV unit recording HDV for output today on SD DVD. If I have to reinvent the wheel here, such as employing the circle as a design concept, I'm in deep dropout.

And, yes, I'm aware that even a circle can be thought of as a series of tangents. Surely, in the digital world, it is.
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Old October 21st, 2005, 06:21 PM   #9
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The argument that "why shoot in HD if the wedding is going to end up in divorce" has a simple answer. If you are going to pay for a wedding video you might as well have it shot in high definition if you can get HD for no extra charge. And an HD wedding video is less likely to collect dust because it is so stunning that you will want to watch it over and over again.

About the Plasma display a comon misconception is that it costs 5000 dollars for an HDTV. The fact is that HDTV is available in more affordable technologies and you can get an HDTV starting at around 350 bucks.

It may be true that only a small percentage of people own an HDTV but as far as new televisions are concerned the majority of televisions sold today could be HDTVs.

As far as the delivery of high definition video is concerned, when DVD first appeared the naysayers said that you needed a $10,000 digital television to view a Digital Video Disc but as it turned out DVD players worked well displayed on conventional analog televisions. The fact is a conventional DVD disc is perfectly capable of displaying high definition video. Look at the mainstream release of Terminator 2 Extreme High Definition DVD released in the year 2003 and playable on most Windows XP computers. And yes you can hook up a computer to an HDTV or the computor monitor itself is perfectly capable of displaying HD images. HD weddings have been distributed over the internet. And high definition DVD players are also available. Only the naysayers say that high definition video cannot be distributed. And the naysayers bashed color television when it was first introduced.

The fact is that HDTV saves money. With an HDTV you can receive free high definition over the air broadcasts.
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Old October 22nd, 2005, 05:12 AM   #10
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On the day you walk into Wal-Mart and see that half their selection of TVs are HD 16:9 sets selling for $500 or less is the day to be worried about HD.
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Old October 22nd, 2005, 06:10 PM   #11
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I was going to say Best Buy or Circuit City (I will never do business at Wally World), but that's my point. Someday, the HDV footage shot today will find a ready home in the marketplace, but not tomorrow.

I laughed when I read the comparison between HD and SD to color and black & white TV. Lest we forget, our color system was a compromise because (surprise! surprise!) the established base was black and white, and you couldn't reasonably expect everyone to scrap their existing sets and buy new, far more costly, color ones. That's why the US went with NTSC and not PAL, which we originally came up with. Even so, a decade after its introduction, not everybody had color sets and, for that matter, not all TV was produced or broadcast in color. That last is an important point. If it wasn't to be broadcast in color, it wasn't produced in color.

A decade later, at the same time as the consumer VCR hit the market, technology brought us a clearly superior movie viewing experience in the laserdisc. But most people had the crummy TVs of the time (barely adequate to reproduce the low quality of Betamax and VHS), so the superior image quality was lost on them. And who had their TV set up between the speakers of their stereo system? TV was monaural. In any event, folks could record their TV shows with a VCR. So the laserdisc died as a distribution method outside of afficianados. It did live on behind the scenes for instant replay work at the network level.

A decade went by, and in the mid-80s the compact disc showed up. Here, then, was the catalyst for change, ironically, in video. All people needed was a new piece of stereo equipment. The rest followed. Soon the LP disappeared from the mainstream. All new releases were on CD, and old recordings, newly remastered, were re-released. People were actually buying new CDs of their old LPs! And why not? Superior sound quality and, often, extra tracks, made it desireable. No more needles to change, no more pops and clicks and the knowlege that each playing inevitably would worsen the quality. The strange thing here is the death of the audio cassette. It was never replaced by combination CD player/recorder, though they are available. Ironically, the PC, once CD-ROMs became the standard distribution method for software over the floppy disc, and once CD-Rs became available, furnished the means to supplant the audio tape. Having CD players in cars probably was the spur.

A decade went by, and by the mid-90s we were finally prepped for DVD. TV quality had improved tremendously. Stereo TV was standard, as was Hi-Fi stereo video cassette recording. The developments that followed the CD are following the DVD, except in one case. That was the recordability issue. It's only very recently that the average Joe or Jill could purchase a set-top DVD recorder. Even if they use it literally like a VCR, it's an important development for toppling the VCR from its central video position. It hasn't happened yet. How many people have hear the term "PVR" let alone know what it is.

So should we shoot HD today for an HD world tomorrow? Yes. But are we jumping on the right format of HD? Maybe it doesn't matter, what with easy transcoding. Sooner rather than later we'll have the tools available to make HDV editing and production as easy as DV and DVD production are now. However, the stage is set, and the trends are clear to indicate the coming of widespread HDTV until, maybe in a decade, it will be the de facto standard. And that is the only standard that matters.
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Old October 22nd, 2005, 06:16 PM   #12
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Edit...Look below.

Last edited by Travis Maynard; October 22nd, 2005 at 06:40 PM. Reason: Double Post.
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Old October 22nd, 2005, 06:39 PM   #13
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If Canon drops the XL2 this soon, then I'll find the quickest way to sell mine and never buy from them again.

That just feels like an insult to me. I bought the camera feeling like it would hold it's place in the market for at least a couple years and then they backout on me and just drop it like it never existed. I would guess that all the tech support and everything would go bye bye with it.

If it happens it'll be the last time I purchase something from them.
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Old October 22nd, 2005, 09:04 PM   #14
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Well, Canon hasn't announced the demise of the XL-2, nor would I expect it. Sony routinely drops things without comment while introducing new things to everyone's bafflement and annoyance. Look what happened to their entire 1/2" camera line, including not only the DVCAM camcorders, but their only DVCAM dockable VTR as well.

I started this thread because A) I want to have a better setup than I have now and the XL-2 seems to fit both bill and budget; B) because there is no sensible agreement amongst manufacturers and software developers concerning HDV, as well as no distribution method for the masses of HD content; and C) because when I contacted (purely from curiousity) one of DVNet's sponsors about their XL-2 price, and my plans to acquire one next spring, he responded that he didn't think it would be around then.

What seemed to lend credibility to his assertion was that he claimed (when I asked what I should use as an HDV edit deck) that he wasn't carrying JVC anymore because of all the problems, defects and trouble JVC's products cause. I appreciate his candor and, frankly, can understand that, as can any of us who has bought a JVC VCR in recent years. They put "the inventor of VHS" on the box, but apparently it means about as much as that sticker we see from time to time, "made with pride in America." In short, it's crap (pride goeth before a fall, after all.) I have a Sony VHS deck that's old enough to start driving, and its picture quality is only exceeded by SVHS. 'Nuff said.
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Old October 23rd, 2005, 05:16 AM   #15
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Bravo Doug.

I remember growing up I the 1960s and 70s -- the peacock era -- and watching color TV in black and white. I remember the network ids that would come on and tout that a show was "in living color" as a way to try and encourage people to buy color sets. It was years and years after color that my family of four kids had a color TV.

Consumers are confused about HD/Digital TV/EDTV and the prices of essentials like food and gas are going up, health care housing and education costs are up and form a huge part of family budgets. I think the last statisitc I saw was that the average yearly health insurance premium for a family with health insurance through an employer was $2,000 - $3,000 (the total cost with employers contribution is about $9100 a year -- so imagine what non-employer covered people have to pay). Compare this with the price of large HD sets now. Wage growth has been sluggish. Hmm . . . health care or HDTV?

The current economic environment is not one that favors the rapid adoption of confusing, costly new technology for a service many people don't think is all that broken. Many folks are still trying to get the internet figured out.
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