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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old July 14th, 2004, 05:29 PM   #1
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XL2 Mobility - Is it durable enough?

First, I'm extremely excited about this new camera. I've been holding off buying the DVX100a because I've been waiting for the XL2.

However, one major issue that arises for me is this: the mobility and durability. It's a lot heavier (8 lbs), bigger and bulkier than the DVX (3 lbs)...not to mention longer and thicker

I'm hardly a tripod guy, I do a lot of very rough and rapid pans, sweeps, upside down shots, jerky motions with my camera movements, a lot of hand held shots - basically a guerilla filmmaking style where there is a lot of action shots where I will be running around with the camera.

Don't get me wrong, its not like I abuse my cameras or anything, but my style of filmmaking is very frenetic.

Do you think the XL2 is up to that task? Will I somehow swing off the lens? (man thats a long looking lens) Will my eyepiece fall off? Is there so much weight and inertia in the camera that any rapid pan will cause the camera guy to lose his balance and fall to the ground? Should I just get the DVX100 and save a grand?

Just fyi, I make kung-fu shorts too, so you can imagine the kinetic camera work that I require.

thanks
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Old July 14th, 2004, 06:29 PM   #2
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the camera isnt that much bigger then the xl1s, and the xl1/s has been used and abused for 7 years. if the build quality is the same, then i think it has proven itself already. the eyepiece wont just fall off, on the xl1s it would come loose after awhile, but it has a pin to keep it on. however, it does stick out pretty far, but you just need to be aware of it and the lens and you should have no problem. think of handling this cam as if it is a bit of prep for when you make the jump up to 35mm.

peace
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Old July 14th, 2004, 06:34 PM   #3
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Nothing will fall off from swinging it around. All camcorders are delicate instruments though. It's true that the XL2 is front-heavy. Use a shoulder support with an ab brace, or get the DVX.
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Old July 14th, 2004, 06:45 PM   #4
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Hey there Rich

thanks for the reply, yea, I did overlook the fact that XL1 has been out for a while. Though my impression over the years was that it was always handled with such care...probably due to all the images I've seen of super advanced camera rigs where huge mechanical parts stick out from the camera and make it seem that its too bulky to move around rapidly (not to mention the shoulder brace thats there anyways).

My shooting style is similar to Robert Rodriguez and him making El Mariachi. A lot of hand-held and fast camera work. I wanted to know if anyone has adopted to that style of filmmaking successfully with the XL1 or is it too large to be suited to that type of work?

----
Chris, highly unlikely I'll get an ab brace. My pockets will be soo empty after I buy the XL2!

thanks
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Old July 14th, 2004, 06:55 PM   #5
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Young H. Lee wrote:
>>>>>>>>I do a lot of very rough and rapid pans, sweeps, upside down shots, jerky motions with my camera movements, a lot of hand held shots


Young, have you shot in 24P before with this style? If so, was it in 2:3 or 2:3:3:2? Or are you planning on shooting in 30P? or 60i?

- don
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Old July 14th, 2004, 07:05 PM   #6
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Hi Don

I have shot with film cameras, Arriflex 16mm. I also own a consumer level Sony camcorder.

A real 24p camcorder, one that I've been saving up forever to get has been my LIFE LONG DREAM O YEA

Im exaggerating a bit, but I've been reading forums on DVX100 and XL1 for over a year now and am about to make a major purchase. Now out of college, I'm going to be spending all my time devoted to filmmaking so this decision is really important to me.

If you want to see an example of my kung-fu action flick shot with the Arriflex, go here:

http://www.glue.umd.edu/~younglee/enterthesavior/home

You will notice my fast pans and jerks and swings and hand-held shots and everything!!!
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Old July 15th, 2004, 04:09 AM   #7
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I'd say get the DVX100-----is that heresy here? The day after I first used my equally front-heavy Canon L-1, I went to work on a long shoulder-mount for it, that placed much of the weight on my chest and my left hand, on a lower grab-arm, out in front. I still use versions of this mount for everything with which I shoot, including the larger type of still cameras.

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Old July 15th, 2004, 05:38 AM   #8
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Young I've shot a few films with the XL1 and an Arri-S which is the camera Rodriguez used on El Mariachi.

Although the Arri S is built a lot better (due to it being all metal) it's also a lot heavier and awkward to hold. You can certainly shoot this style with the XL1. I'd recommend using the wide angle lens for this type of work though. If you remember El Mariachi was mostly shot with a wide angle lens.

On the other hand the DVX has the LCD screen on it which would be very handy for this style of shooting. I'm not sure how tough or flimsy the flip up viewfinder on the XL2 will be. Whether or not it actually locks into place when flipped up or just dangles on a hinge. Even so it's an inch and a half smaller then the LCD on the DVX.

My last feature was shot with an XL1 (not XL1s) and although mostly bound to a tripod I did break out and do some handheld work (including running backwards with it through the woods - not fun) and didn't really have a problem with it's size or design.

If they were the same cost I'd go XL2. It's something you can grow into more, especially when you start getting concerned about rack focusing or wanting to use prime lenses. But if you know you'll never change the lens the DVX at nearly half the price is a hard thing to look past and the better camera for you since it's stock lens is wider then the one on the XL2.

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Old July 15th, 2004, 02:35 PM   #9
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thanks for the very helpful replies mike and steve

I'd really love to get the XL2 simply for all those extra features including open architecutre, but in terms of short terms DVX seems the way to go. I dont know, its a toss up.

I do remember now, the arriflex 16 was used by Rodriguez (I read his book), and while it is heavier, its smaller as well,. I think my main concern with the XL2 is just its size. doesnt seem to be suited that well for my purposes.

heh, i probably will push to get one anyways, and im sure as more and more test footage comes out, I will be tipped over to relaly getting one
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