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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old April 23rd, 2009, 08:07 PM   #1
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Question for you XL2 owners

I own a Canon GL2, but am unhappy with not having an interchangeable lens system. So, I'm either wanting to get a 35mm adapter, or buy an XL2. What do you recommend I do? I know I will probably have some responses telling me to go HD, but I can't afford a $3000 camera right now. What would be the best route? keep my GL2 and get a 35mm adapter, or buy an XL2?
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Old April 23rd, 2009, 08:21 PM   #2
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Buy the XL2. You will not be disappointed. I own one, and I just purchased the 16x Manual lens for it. I LOVE IT!
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Old April 23rd, 2009, 10:31 PM   #3
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You're talking about buying a USED Xl2 on your budget, right?
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Old April 24th, 2009, 12:14 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicholas Oliver View Post
I own a Canon GL2, but am unhappy with not having an interchangeable lens system. So, I'm either wanting to get a 35mm adapter, or buy an XL2. What do you recommend I do? I know I will probably have some responses telling me to go HD, but I can't afford a $3000 camera right now. What would be the best route? keep my GL2 and get a 35mm adapter, or buy an XL2?
Hi Nicholas,

Of course, looking for a thumbs-up on the XL-2 in this forum is a no brainer but we'll try to be fair...

Without knowing your lens requirements (DOF?) it's a bit hard to make the right call. Perhaps all you really need is a lens adapter (wide angle?) for your GL2 if video quality is secondary to obtaining a certain effect. That said, I really enjoy having the 3X, 16X, and 20X lens on my units.

But yes, if you were to post this in another forum I'm sure some would advocate the DSLR Canon D5 Mark II. While it certainly has it's limitations, it's THE affordable HD camera from an interchangable lens perspective. Although you'll end up paying about twice the price for a used XL-2 with one lens, check out these video samples from the D5MII crowd:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/canon-eos-5d-mk-ii-hd/

Happy trails, Michael
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Old April 24th, 2009, 10:18 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Richard Alvarez View Post
You're talking about buying a USED Xl2 on your budget, right?
yes, that's right.
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Old April 24th, 2009, 03:21 PM   #6
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Getting an XL2 won't give you the kind of decreased DOP that using a 35mm adapter will give you, if that's what you're after.
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Old April 24th, 2009, 05:32 PM   #7
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Getting an XL2 won't give you the kind of decreased DOP that using a 35mm adapter will give you, if that's what you're after.
well, I'll be able to use a variety of lenses in order to obtain the look I want, which I can't do with the GL2.
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Old April 25th, 2009, 08:40 AM   #8
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The XL2 is the way to go if you want the opportunity to use the Canon XL 3X; 6X; 16X; and 20X AF zoom lenses and Canon14X and 16X MF lenses, plus a vast range of different SLR lenses (Via relevant adapters) for Nikon Nikkor and Canon FD etc.

The Canon D5 Mark II DSLR is not really a serious option in my opinion due to the amount of continuous footage your able to shoot at one time, and also lack of exposure and sound options - although I'm sure the HD filming options in Canon & Nikon DSLR bodies will improve over the coming years - so best to wait for better updates in that sphere.
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Old April 25th, 2009, 11:00 AM   #9
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Nicholas, you will be able to use a variety of lenses - but that won't necessarily translate to 'getting the look you want' if that look is a shallow depth of field that can be acquired with the various 35mm adapters out there.

Just so you clearly undersand - putting a 35mm slr lens on an XL2 body, will NOT give you the shallow DOF that comes from shooting with the 35mm adapters, or shooting with a camera with larger sensors.
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Old April 27th, 2009, 12:46 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Richard Alvarez View Post
ust so you clearly undersand - putting a 35mm slr lens on an XL2 body, will NOT give you the shallow DOF that comes from shooting with the 35mm adapters, or shooting with a camera with larger sensors.
And not to mention a 7x magnification factor...

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Old May 6th, 2009, 10:24 AM   #11
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If it is depth of field you want and on a budget, get the below adapter at 350 dollars, the gl2 makes fine images for standard definition.

Defintely cheaper than an entire new camera and then having to get the adapter anyway!!


The CineCity*::*DOF Adaptors*::*Cine 35mm Dof adapter with Vibrating Ground Glass for xl1 xm2 GL1 GL2


I still love my gl2 for a lot of things!!!
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Old May 6th, 2009, 08:13 PM   #12
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If you're going to use one of those adapters, I think you'll have an easier time of it with the GL2 than the XL2. I'm not sold on them myself. I think it's too much hassle, too much image loss, and WAY too much light loss. I think a lot of the people who are using those things should concentrate on lighting more and gadgets less. Richard's right though, the XL2 won't get you the shallow depth of field your looking for. However, some people do find it easier to get somewhat of a shallower depth of field with the all-manual lens and ND filters because you can zoom all the way in with your widest aperture.
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Old May 6th, 2009, 11:30 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Richard Alvarez View Post
Nicholas, you will be able to use a variety of lenses - but that won't necessarily translate to 'getting the look you want' if that look is a shallow depth of field that can be acquired with the various 35mm adapters out there.

Just so you clearly undersand - putting a 35mm slr lens on an XL2 body, will NOT give you the shallow DOF that comes from shooting with the 35mm adapters, or shooting with a camera with larger sensors.
Well said, Richard. For those "fuzzy" on all the DOF physics and match, here's a very good video:

ProVideo Coalition.com: FRESHDV by Matthew Jeppsen & Kendal Miller

The only problem is that tutorials like these don't get into the size of the image sensor and its effect on DOF. So let's check out a DOF calculator:

Online Depth of Field Calculator

Let's try a few examples of different sensor sizes to illustrate the point.

35mm Film, 55mm lens, F2.8, subject at 10 feet: 1.69 feet DOF
6x9 Film, 55mm lens, F2.8, subject at 10 feet: 4.07 feet DOF

Aside from the math, here's another article that makes clear why a 1/3 inch image sensor (i.e., Canon XL-2) has a larger DOF than a camera with a 1/2 inch image sensor (Sony EX).
Digital Camera Sensor Sizes: How it Influences Your Photography
Depth of Field Requirements:
As sensor size increases, the depth of field will decrease for a given aperture (when filling the frame with a subject of the same size and distance). This is because larger sensors require one to get closer to their subject, or to use a longer focal length in order to fill the frame with that subject. This means that one has to use progressively smaller aperture sizes in order to maintain the same depth of field on larger sensors. The following calculator predicts the required aperture and focal length in order to achieve the same depth of field (while maintaining perspective).

And as others have said, you'll find light requirements are more critical when using a 35mm lens adapter on your Canon XL-2.

Good luck, Michael
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