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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
Canon XL2 / XL1S / XL1 and GL2 / XM2 / GL1 / XM1.


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Old September 23rd, 2007, 12:42 PM   #1
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Using consumer Mini DV to play XL2 tapes

Hey guys, I recently just purchased a XL2 and heard it was bad to play, rewind nad fast forward all the tapes in it. Which makes sense and would be really hard on the heads. So I bought a Panasonic PV-GS34PKG, just wondering if this will work and is any quality lost using a consumer camera as a deck?
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Old September 23rd, 2007, 12:57 PM   #2
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How would you lose any quality on your tapes besides normal wear and tear from another machine.......better to do that with your cheaper camera as a deck than with your XL2.......!!
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Old September 23rd, 2007, 01:29 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Pat Miller View Post
How would you lose any quality on your tapes besides normal wear and tear from another machine.......better to do that with your cheaper camera as a deck than with your XL2.......!!
Well I don't know, I just asked cause I am new to this. I know it is hard on my XL2 that is why I got a smaller consumer camcorder. I never knew if any quality would be lost because the smaller camera is non-comparable quality wise to the XL2.
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Old September 23rd, 2007, 03:09 PM   #4
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The main issue with using a consumer camcorder for playback would be the slight possibility of different tracking - not likely to be an issue at SP speed, only LP speed.

The second issue is that a cheap consumer camcorder might not give as good output if you are using it to provide analog output. For firewire output this should not be an issue.

As second camcorder for playback also has some potential benefit of providing a backup camcorder, at least for some situations.
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Old September 23rd, 2007, 05:23 PM   #5
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What is the difference between analog and firewire? How do you connect with firewire?
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Old September 23rd, 2007, 05:33 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Russell Feller View Post
What is the difference between analog and firewire? How do you connect with firewire?
Russell
By now you should have read the owners manual. If you don't have an owners manual, you can download it from this site or from canon.com. The owners manual give you the description of firewire and the location of each connectors.
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Old September 23rd, 2007, 07:33 PM   #7
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I did read through it but must have missed that part. Guess I will just look it up.
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Old September 23rd, 2007, 08:16 PM   #8
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Firewire

I capture with firewire. You must have a firewire port on your PC if you plan on using it. It is easy for me. There are arguments as to which is faster. Google it!

5000 files (300 MB total) FireWire was 16% faster than USB 2.0; 160 files (650MB total) FireWire was 48% faster than USB 2.0 ...
www.usb-ware.com/firewire-vs-usb.htm - 17k - Cached - Similar pages

FireWire vs. USB 2.0 - Speed Comparison Question: USB 2.0 is faster than FireWire...right? ... 5000 files (300 MB total) FireWire was 33% faster than USB 2.0; 160 files (650MB total) FireWire was ...

Marc
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Old September 23rd, 2007, 09:27 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Russell Feller View Post
I know it is hard on my XL2 that is why I got a smaller consumer camcorder. I never knew if any quality would be lost because the smaller camera is non-comparable quality wise to the XL2.
I wouldn't quite say that it is 'hard' on the XL2. It is a pretty robust unit, and it was intentionally designed with good quality mechanics and circutry that dutifully enable the functions of moving a tape back and forth through the tape path. However, due to the fact that the machine does require a bit of an investment, it is often considered sensible to use a secondary unit, such as a deck or consumer grade (cheaper) unit to fulfill the functions of a deck specifically to save unnecessary wear and tear on the more expensive XL2.

If transferring via the standard camcorder digital output, all you are doing is transferring 0's and 1's (digital data) that is on the tape into your NLE (non-linear editor), and as such, there will be no loss of quality if using a lower end cam to do the capture - so long as the heads are properly aligned. I would say your choice to use a cheaper Panasonic camcorder to function as your capture deck is a sensible one.


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Originally Posted by Russell Feller View Post
What is the difference between analog and firewire? How do you connect with firewire?

The analogue signals are non-digital. The XL2 hosts a number of different analogue connectivity options which are useful for a variety of situations, however, capturing the video content into your computer based NLE is not one of them.

If you expect to transfer your content into iMovie, Final Cut Express, Final Cut Pro, Premiere Pro, Sony Vegas, Windows Movie Maker, and a host of other various such applications, then you will generally be using the firewire port to do this. This is also referred to by some as the DV port, and its connectivity spec may be referred to as firewire, iLink, or iEEE1394.

Although kind of an aside, your line of questioning makes me curious as to your intended uses of the XL2, and why did you choose it as your entry unit into the world of digital video?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc Debiase View Post
FireWire vs. USB 2.0 - Speed Comparison Question: USB 2.0 is faster than FireWire...right? ... 5000 files (300 MB total) FireWire was 33% faster than USB 2.0; 160 files (650MB total) FireWire was ...

Marc
It is true that USB 2.0 purports a higher theoretical data transfer rate than firewire (480 Mbs vs 400 Mbs), in practice, however, firewire comes out ahead in terms of transfer speed - likely due to the host CPU limitations imposed on the USB 2.0 interface, which are not present in firewire, making firewire the preferred and long standing standard connectivity option for capture/transfer of most tape based digital video.

It is moot here, however as the XL2 does not offer any form of USB 2.0 connectivity.

-Jon
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Old September 23rd, 2007, 10:12 PM   #10
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Well thanks for the help..I guess.

Not sure what this is suppose to mean though...

"Although kind of an aside, your line of questioning makes me curious as to your intended uses of the XL2, and why did you choose it as your entry unit into the world of digital video?"

I will be using the XL2 for hunting and hunting DVD purposes. And I guess the only way to learn is to ask questions so I am just asking them and even it may be the obvious thing to some to others it is not. I have done a lot of reasearch and already know a lot about how to run the camera and what not I just never knew anything about transferring it to the computer, I thought it was pretty much plug and go. As for choosing it, well why not go with the best instead of something lower and and then upgrading to something a little better in a couple years, doesn't make sense IMO. Everyone has to start somewhere and I am sure everyone has questions.
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Old September 23rd, 2007, 10:14 PM   #11
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Although kind of an aside, your line of questioning makes me curious as to your intended uses of the XL2, and why did you choose it as your entry unit into the world of digital video?
Also how did my questions make you curious as to my uses with it???? What did you think I was using it for?
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Old September 23rd, 2007, 10:43 PM   #12
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I have a Panasonic GS180 as a "disposable" camcorder for those shots where I don't want to risk the XL2 (like clamping it to a high-power rocket launch rail). I also use it to download tapes into the computer. Simple matter of economy. Why wear out a $3K+ camcorder when I have a $300 camcorder that will do the same job? I only shoot SP, and DV is DV.

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Old September 23rd, 2007, 10:49 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Russell Feller View Post
Also how did my questions make you curious as to my uses with it???? What did you think I was using it for?
Although I had worked in a variety of media fields for over 2 decades, when I entered the world of digital video, the XL2 was also the first digital camcorder I owned. I subsequently purchased a lower-end consumer cam for capturing also, but this 'reverse order' purchase made my inlaws think I was crazy. But I had done a great deal of research and knew what I was intending to do, and I bought the XL2 for the same reason you noted in your post. ( Getting a quality unit from the start rather than upgrade in a year or two.)

I asked about your purposes because you questions made me wonder if you were involving the XL2 in your work because of its various analogue connectivity options, such as working with theatrical or event live feeds, and integration into other studio applications or legacy systems. In those cases, then the info I was posting might not have been pertinent to your intended uses and I wanted my input to be potentially applicable to your needs.

Cheers,
-Jon
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Last edited by Jonathan Jones; September 24th, 2007 at 03:35 PM.
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Old September 24th, 2007, 11:02 AM   #14
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BTW, Russell,
I forgot to mention, welcome to the forums. Its always great to have new XL2 users on board. I'm sure you will find a great deal of helpful information on this site. Enjoy.

-Jon
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Old September 24th, 2007, 03:18 PM   #15
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What about 24p footage? Can I capture that correctly using a cheaper non-progressive camcorder?
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