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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 17th, 2004, 12:23 AM   #1
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A quick look and a quick read - I'm impressed

I had the chance to drop by the DV Expo in NYC this week to take a VERY quick look at the XL2. Chris was busy and I didn't want to intrude but I did get a chance to take a quick look at the camera, later I read the specs. Needless to say - I am impressed.

Canon seems to have addressed most of the glaring weaknesses of the XL1 models. For example – the “fake” balanced XLR inputs (they were just an outboard extensions of the RCA connectors which eventually developed all the problems flimsy connectors like the RCA’s tend to develop) – are now REAL built-in XLR connectors.

For me the biggest drawback of the MiniDV system has been the inability to set the time code – to use SMTE code. Starting every reel at 00:00:00:00, just doesn’t cut it. We just did a shoot and resorted to using Sony’s 150s because of the DVCAM ability to record SMPTE code. The XL2 CAN record TC and the hour can be set as well as, according to Chris, user bits. For users like me who tend to shoot multi-camera and go through 50 cassettes in just one project – this is a huge PLUS. There is very little in the documentation on this feature. I’d like to know if we can set the time code to DF or NDF. I’d be interested in finding out if two cameras can be locked to the same code. (Wouldn’t that be a huge plus? I’m not holding my breath.)

I’m not too crazy with the new, improved color view finder. It’s bigger, better but I would have wished for at least a choice – and option to choose between a b&w hires and this color LCD, or alternately, to have it both ways – a cheap flip out color LCD and a real hires viewfinder. (But I guess that’s very un-XL like.)

Reading the specs, I see there are a dozen or more picture enhancements that look really great and well though out as is the sleeker body design. I must emphasize that this is all based on looking, touching, and reading. I have not used the camera and at the moment I don’t think we will be dishing out the $5k for it unless I can find buyers for my XL1 and 1s. (Not a sales pitch but if you are interested….)

Good saying hi Chris, even if it was for just a passing moment.

Oz
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Old July 17th, 2004, 12:42 AM   #2
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Hi Ozzie,

Good to see you too, even though it was for just a very brief moment. I hope that the next time I'm in the City we'll have a better opportunity to catch up with each other!

<< XL1 models – the “fake” balanced XLR inputs >>

Actually those were “fake” unbalanced XLR inputs.

<< XL2 CAN record TC and the hour can be set as well as, according to Chris, user bits. >>

Not according to me. According to Canon!

<< I’d like to know if we can set the time code to DF or NDF. >>

Indeed we can. See my article, Exploring the XL2 Menu System.

Hope this helps -- looking forward to seeing you again when it isn't so hectic!
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Old July 17th, 2004, 12:56 AM   #3
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Thanks for the comments Chris.

RE the time code issue - the fact the clock can be set to run – “Rec-Run, Rec Run Preset, Free Run”, and I presume “time of day”, is as close to "synching” the code as we need to get. I remember “synchronizing our cameras” to a clock when we couldn’t slave them to a common external generator.

Oz
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Old July 30th, 2004, 04:55 PM   #4
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Oz. I would synch to a strobe off a hand held flash unit. We've come a long way babe! Bob
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