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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old July 20th, 2004, 07:38 PM   #1
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Why no manual focus?

I was just wondering why all prosumer cameras have servo motorized focus rings. I see manual focus as a very important part of professional shooting, and most consumers would benefit from it as well. Is there something about the opticial image stabilisation in the lense that prevents this feature from being applied? I know you can get manual lenses for the xl2, but why isnt it just included? I think hardly anyone wouldnt rather have it the other way.
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Old July 20th, 2004, 08:07 PM   #2
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Probably not included cause they can make more money that way. Remove only 1k from the price by taking off the auto lens which I think costs 2k to buy by itself. And then you have to go and fork out 2kish to add a manual. So they're up a grand, rather than allow you to buy the thing with manual or auto option.

For me image stabilisation is important, but so is the ability to manually focus with a nice ring and stops that are repeatable. I guess for me I have to go and buy two lenses, which is a shame and something can't afford.


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Old August 1st, 2004, 01:02 PM   #3
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I disagree with the line "most consumers would benefit from it
as well". I think it is just the opposite. Now prosumer and
professionals definitely like manual. But then again I assume ZGC
will offer there usual different set of packages so you can buy
the XL2 with the manual lens (and thus without the 20x one)
if you want, just as they where doing for the XL1S.
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Old August 2nd, 2004, 05:14 AM   #4
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Auto focus is standard for prosumer because thet is where the demand is. Fully manual is a much more limited market when the numbers are in, and can be met withthe optional lenses.
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Old August 2nd, 2004, 05:58 AM   #5
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It that true though Don? I mean I would think that most people using the Xl series want some manual good control and there is no reason why they couldn't have done a hybrid like the DVX. And if the Xl2 is meant to be for "filmmaking" then, well you'd think that'd be a standard feature on the standard setup. Now I wouldn't mind as much if you got a 2k discount without lens, so that you could buy with just the manual. As it stands if you get body only, you save 1k, but have to spend 2 more on the manual.

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Old August 2nd, 2004, 08:24 AM   #6
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The black 16x manual lens is about $1600 USD. There will be a dealer structure which will allow you to buy the XL2 body and your choice of lens (and your choice of viewfinder). Remember, this is a modular system and you choose the components you want. So if you need a full manual lens, there's one abailable.

And to answer Ryan's question, the 16x manual is included, if you choose to buy it in that configuration from an authorized dealer who offers that type of custom package. Hope this helps,
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Old August 2nd, 2004, 06:28 PM   #7
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See though Chris, what I'm saying is that sure, if you want full manual get that lens. If you want auto, get the stock lens. But Canon could have kept the stock auto lens, operating as is, just give it the ability to have repeatable markings and given a good middle road lens.

Take me, I do ENG/VID stuff, unpaid, for a non-profit. Occasionally I do dramatic stuff. Now for me, a DVX lens is great. I get a good hybrid. If I buy the Xl2 with stock, I'm fine most of the time, but when it comes to doing dramtic stuff I'll want barrel markings, but I'm stuffed so I need to go and fork out US$1600 to get them which I would probably not do.

I understand why Canon did it ($$$) but I am just a little disappointed.


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Old August 2nd, 2004, 07:02 PM   #8
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Sure, Aaron, we're all on our own fixed budgets, all at various levels and such, and take me, there's no way I can afford a tenth of all the toys I want... but... look at it this way. These camcorders fall into one of only two categories. It's either a luxury item or a business tool. Either way, you can't really complain about the price. If it's a business tool, then it should be paying for itself within a month or two at the most.
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Old August 2nd, 2004, 07:23 PM   #9
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Absolutely, I agree. That's just the way of the world - but we need to be sure that what we get for that money is worth it (compared to other cameras). That I think is what has people concerned and I guess we could debate about it forever. Oh to get paid for this stuff ;)

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Old August 2nd, 2004, 08:18 PM   #10
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Even the DVX has its own pecularities and requires third party gear to make it a truly functional manual lens (i.e. have mechanical stops at near and infinity). In the earlier days of camcorders, the lenses were all "manual" and had switchable gearing for auto focus (you could see the barrel turning as it found focus). This makes for a much slower action and more power consumption. It would appear that you can't really have it both ways.
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Old August 2nd, 2004, 10:04 PM   #11
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You know, I wonder if I could buy the XL2 with the stock 20x lens and then just turn around and sell it for $1600 so I could buy the 16x manual lens. Because aren't they going to sell the 20x lens for $2000 by itself? Who ever would be planning to buy this lens alonecould get a good deal by buying it at $1600! Who knows?! I do wish they made a fully manual and automatic lens too though.... sometimes I really wish we had some company exec's who sought to bless the consumer with what they were capable of, instead of close to what they were capable of just so they could make a larger profit by puting us in the position of having to choose to wait longer for what we want, or to buy a compromised nice version now. -- But that's how you make money I guess.
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Old August 3rd, 2004, 06:03 AM   #12
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As a point fo reference, the street cash prices from at least one veputable vendor for the current Canon video lenses are all in the $1135 to $1275 range. That includes the 16x manual ($1275), 16x IS automatic for the XL1s ($1207), and the 3x ($1135). The older 14x manual lens is a good bit less, under $900.

Based on the above, I would not expect much more that, say $1000 for a slightly used standard lens unless the full warranty transfers with the lens, and possibly less.
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