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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 July 13th, 2004, 11:22 AM   #1
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Great the XL2...No HDV?

As I am preparing a new series for TV, I was really hoping that this camera was going to be HDV, and be a gigantic step into the future, but it seems more like playing catch-up to Panasonic. As shelf life to the series is important, I really need it to be some form of HD.

I am glad to see XLR, and 24p, but with Sony having a camera in the works with HDV, it seems like I will have to go with that when it comes out. To bad considering I have all the accessories for the XL1, including 8 batteries, 3 lenses...

I guess as soon as things cool down on the news about the XL2, people will be speculating of what is on the horizon, and about Canon HDV. I hope it follows the XL2 with changeable lens.

It's nice to see Avid, Premiere and final all embracing HDV, as that is a good start.

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Old July 13th, 2004, 11:33 AM   #2
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See my take on the HDV thing at this page on the XL2 Watchdog.
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Old July 13th, 2004, 02:03 PM   #3
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HDV will come from Canon in Near future

Here are some words from Canon on and HDV cam:


"The new camcorder does not include any high definition shooting capabilities which some were expecting, however company officials stated their intentions to release a high definition camcorder soon. Mike Zorich emphasized Canon's dedication to HDV "While a great camera, it [the XL2] will be the last SD camera from Canon, and while I don't have a timeline on when we'll be ready to announce something in a different format, like HDV, we have a lot of work ahead of us in terms of design and engineering," he added "We really felt it was important to bring a product to the market that is really going to deliver the best SD image quality today and again, you know as we said in our presentation, that is going to fit into the post production facility now. Canon doesn't have a history of making product announcements a year out, we usually like to announce product and then make it available for creative users about four to six weeks after we announce the product."


Canon just wanted to top off the wine glass with the XL SD series cameras.
Mike Zorich is an honest person who I know at Canon and like. If he says this is the last of the SD cams, then it is the last and there are other goodies brewing. This new XL2 is a great camera, but not for me. I am done with SD and have been for some time. But the XL2 will only help in terms of resarch and gaining more know how for canon to make even better cameras. So the HDV camera will gain from this when they start to arrive.


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Old July 13th, 2004, 03:13 PM   #4
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I am very impressed by what I've read so far about the new XL2 and
I applaud Canon for delivering what looks to be a heck of a camcorder.
Personally, I am checking my CC balances and getting ready to buy.

I hope the next generation "HD" camera, if only able to record 25mbps
uses a better codec than HDV. I have been VERY impressed with H.264.
MPEG2 is OLD!

The H.264 mpeg4 codec can produce nice HD images w/ movement at 25mbps or less.
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Old July 13th, 2004, 03:34 PM   #5
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IMHO this camera is the one placed between the DVX100a
and the AJ-SDX900. The one JVC or Panasonic should have come out with.
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Old July 13th, 2004, 04:40 PM   #6
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I think this cam has a very short shelf life. Canon is already backtracking on why it's not HDV.

Canon won't be the first with HDV. I expect someone else to put their toe in the 3 ccd hd water very quickly.
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Old July 13th, 2004, 04:47 PM   #7
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I personally, would have loved to see the XL2 with higher frame rates for smoother slow motion! This better be a feature on their HD line.
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Old July 13th, 2004, 05:10 PM   #8
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<<I think this cam has a very short shelf life. Canon is already backtracking on why it's not HDV.

Canon won't be the first with HDV. I expect someone else to put their toe in the 3 ccd hd water very quickly.>>

I think Canon is right on the money with their choice of format and upgrade features (not simply because this is exactly what I predicted about 6 months ago <g>.)

The bottom line is this: With the XL series Canon has a great market for professional, event, commercial, documentary and indie/adult film making, and amateurs who want to have the coolest looking tool.

Nearly all of the above market produces completely in SD format. As appealing as HD is, there simply isn't a common delivery mechanism for the format. The Red Sox and NESN, for example, make a big deal every night about their HD broadcast for HD capable cable users.

In other words, it's still a big deal to see HD. The vast majority of programming is done in SD, the vast majority of delivery is in SD and the vast majority of monitors for end users are in SD.

The XL2 is a camera for commercial producers of all stripes and film makers who want a new tool that offers greatly enhanced SD features for projects today. True progressive scan 30 and 24p, a new chip set with what one person has called "digibeta quality", and true 16:9 (with the option of switching to brilliant 60i 4:3) is just perfect for me and I'm guessing a whole lot of people who make their living shooting and producing. I'm in line for the first one.

When HD becomes a standardized format, one that I can produce a documentary or other film or commercial DVD project in and know that it will look great on most if not all the screens It's played on...I'll invest real money in the camera, lenses, and all the many thousands of dollars necessary to have full blown HD production capabilities.

Until then, this system, especially married to our Mini 35 setup and prime lenses, looks like it will rock any thing we've seen even remotely in this league.
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Old July 13th, 2004, 05:46 PM   #9
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Lot's of valid arguments here, and unfortunately not so comforting, only because my series is to begin shooting in Sept/Oct, and I am interested in shelf life. I am thinking into the future, not necessarily the present.

The more I hear about the Xl2, I certainly think it is the best out there, and may find its way into my hands one day soon. I have shoot with the DVX 100, and I am not impressed with the camera. I like the look of the xl1s on manual better.

It looks like the first usable camera (under $5000) will be Sony's HDV cam. Better to get it right the first time, as JVC does not stand to sell a single camera the moment that a 3CCD camera comes out.

With the Canon guys comment, we do not speculate on cameras that will come out a year from now, will be sure to fuel rumors. I hope that this camera will be the bases of what the HD cam will be.

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Old July 13th, 2004, 10:26 PM   #10
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The XL series of camcorders are MiniDV. If and when Canon and Panasonic release HD cams they will probably be original models or special editions. Why would they just up and change formats in midstream on people?
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Old July 13th, 2004, 11:19 PM   #11
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It's hard for me to understand what market Canon is hoping for with this camera at this time, with it being known that Sony is coming out with a 1080i camera in the same price range, probably within a few months, who is going to buy it? ..and if you're still in the market for a truly professional SD camera, you're certainly not going to buy one with anything less than 2/3" chips, so I'm puzzled. Personally I agree with Michael, I'm done with SD, it just doesn't have sufficient resolution if you want to project in a large screen format. This is probably a good competitor for the DVX100, but a little late perhaps.
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Old July 13th, 2004, 11:48 PM   #12
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Paul, but what would be the price of a 2/3" chip camera? A lot more than $5k I'd imagine? I guess in the "prosumer" market lots of us want to save money and we will sacrifice the differences between a 1/3" Xl2 and some fancy 2/3" Eng camera.

Also, if the Sony HD cam, looks anything like the prototype pictures I've seen and feels like the other Sony cameras I've held, I wouldn't go near it with a 10 foot barge pole.

If the Xl2 was on par, pricewise with the DVX then I'd scoop one up. For now, I'll wait and see.

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Old July 14th, 2004, 04:29 AM   #13
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Holly: my guess is that we will NOT see any higher (or lower)
framerates on ANY DV camera out there as long as:

1) it uses the DV "standard"

2) it uses tape instead of harddisks

Let me explain why. The DV standard does not allow for any
other framerates. 24p footage is STORED on tape (and send
over firewire in the same way) as 30p footage!!! Check the
link to a diagram on my XL2 Specs notice on the top of this
forum.

After the information is capture it is transformed back to 24p.
This is a process that is known as (inverse) telecine and has
been happening with film footage for years. When done
correctly it will NOT result in lost frames or other strange things.

This whole process is done to conform to the DV spec which
needs 30p/60i (NTSC) or 25p/50i (PAL). Even HDV has kind of
conformed to this by putting the HD MPEG2 material *inside*
the DV stream so it still follows the DV standard more or less
(not completely, that's why it is called HDV).

Now one of the hardest things to do on tape is to have it run
(reliably) at different speeds (to store different framerates)
and store much more data on the SAME PHYSICAL SPACE in
the higher run modes compared to "normal" DV.

These are difficult hurdles to overcome. That's one of the reasons
HDV is the way it is (which I don't like). In my mind the only way
to overcome them and over variable framerate recording or at
least higher framerates is to move to harddisk based recording.

To answer your next question: no, a harddisk recorder over firewire
or capturing directly to a computer will not help you in any way
as far as frame rates and quality are concerned.

It is all bound by standards and other rules and such things are
just not easily changed in this industry. Which is on its own a
good thing for us. Otherwise NLE's would be constantly rebuild
and we would need to get all sorts of new hardware and software
all the time.

The downside is that some features are perhaps not moving
fast enough for everybody. That's why there are projects to
build your own camera and you can perhaps rent more
professional gear that has such features.

I hope this has helped some.
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Old July 14th, 2004, 09:37 AM   #14
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Rob I have a slow mo question, On the f900 when people want slow motion we tell them to shoot in an interlaced format and then use a program (twixtor?) to cause the interlaced frames to merge together, so if you were shooting 24p you'd then go to 60i which would then be converted to 60p which would then plat back 2.5 times slower then the originaly footage would this be an option with the xl2 as well?
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Old July 14th, 2004, 09:41 AM   #15
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<<It's hard for me to understand what market Canon is hoping for with this camera at this time,>>

I think that's been stated pretty clearly by Chris and Rob. I'm cwerainly part of that market>>

<<with it being known that Sony is coming out with a 1080i camera in the same price range, probably within a few months, who is going to buy it?>>

First of all, "probably" doesn't pay the bills, secondly, as I posted earlier, the professional world shoots and delivers and consumers view almost exclusively in SD. HD isn't anestablished medium yet and won't be for a while.

So you should be asking, "who but folks looking for the next generation camera would buy the first generation of a promising but furute technology. Bottom line is if you're shooting and making your living in film and video, you'd be crazy not to incorporate this into your existing XL shooting/editing environment IMO

<<and if you're still in the market for a truly professional SD camera, you're certainly not going to buy one with anything less than 2/3" chips, so I'm puzzled>>

If the image quaity is what has been discussed very preliminary, and with true 16:9 and switchable 24 and 39p and full cine control etc., etc., for under 4k...why would anyone spend a small fortune to buy an older generation 2/3 chip 60i camera?
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