PAL XL2 Review at SimplyDV (UK) - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

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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 22nd, 2004, 08:29 AM   #16
 
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Here, here!

I hope my earlier post was not misunderstood. It was *not* directed at Robin and Colin, rather their (and the camera's) critics.

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Old July 22nd, 2004, 10:03 AM   #17
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<<<-- Originally posted by Robin Davies-Rollinson :
All the frame-grabs I put up from the XM2/GL2 were interlaced (50i) but only 16:9.
Thanks anyway for the positive feedback of the review.
I was particularlty pleased with the stage material.
Had to go off to shoot 16:9 stuff on the XM2 yesterday - boy, do I miss the XL2 ;-)
Robin. -->>>

Robin: sorry, i meant 50i at "4:3". There is bound to be tremendous resolution loss in its faux 16:9 mode. In its 4:3 normal 50i mode, the GL2 would compare rather well in, terms of resolution to the XL2's 4:3 50i.
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Old July 22nd, 2004, 10:22 AM   #18
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<<<-- Originally posted by Chris Hurd : For the record I just want to say that Robin and Colin did a great job -- theirs is the first serious XL2 review ever that wasn't the result of a few minutes of playing on a tradeshow floor. Congrats fellows, -->>>

Wry smile as he Googles his way around the web :-)

Thanks Chris

Colin
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Old July 26th, 2004, 11:15 PM   #19
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Using the XL2

Colin, I was interested in your views concerning the angle of view of the standard zoom. It goes from medium-to-extra long and I would have thought a wideangle-to-long would have been more versatile. Apart from the technical achievements of the camera did you find this at all frustrating. Did you find yourself reaching into the camera bag for the 3x wideangle?

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Old July 27th, 2004, 01:32 AM   #20
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Colin won't mind if I answer for him, since I shot the tests.
There were some times when I was just hoping that the lens was going to pull out just a bit wider - but then, I'm used to keeping the WD58 adapter on the XM2 all the time - but not that it really bugged me. The stage material I shot didn't suffer because of it - indeed, the chance of getting in really tight was a bonus.
Having said that, I think that if I were to go out and buy an XL2, I really would have to consider getting a "proper" all-mechanical lens to get absolute aperture/focus/zoom control.
So in answer to your question, it really wasn't that much of a problem, but I guess it depends very much on your style of working...

Robin.
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Old July 27th, 2004, 11:30 AM   #21
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If the camera is purchased with a "real" mechanical lens, do you lose the optical stabilization?
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Old July 27th, 2004, 11:51 AM   #22
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Yes, the optical stabilisation is a lens feature.
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Old July 27th, 2004, 02:06 PM   #23
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I thought so...too bad. But I wonder why they can't make an electronic lens for optical stabilization but leave out the electronic part that sets focus and aperture and make those mechanical. I guess it would cost too much to put them all together. I sometimes forget that in this price range, the marketing gurus have it all figured out as to how much they can charge and how much it is supposed to cost for them to build the camera, and anything that gets them higher than the price point they're after for the most sales and profit per sale is a no-no. Gotta remember that it's still a consumer product.
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Old July 28th, 2004, 02:22 AM   #24
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The lens is the biggest disappointment. Your question is valid: why can't they do those things?

On the DVX, you have a true mechanical manual zoom, and also full motorized servo zoom control. You have a manual focus ring that is precise and repeatable, with all the control you'd expect from a fully manual focus ring. In fact, if you add the Century focus ring, it even gives you hard stops at M.O.D. and Infinity, giving you full precise manual focus operation. And, of course, autofocus. And image stabilization.

Why doesn't Canon offer a lens that gives you those options? If they did, it would make the XL2 much more attractive. I just couldn't ever go back to using a servo focus ring like on the PD170...
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Old July 28th, 2004, 05:41 PM   #25
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Ahh, but then you wouldn't go out and spend another 2k on a new manual lens.

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Old July 28th, 2004, 10:50 PM   #26
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Yeah, but with a (corporate) attitude like that, I wouldn't spend the $5,000 on the camera in the first place...

The market is changing. Avid used to cripple their lower-end product to protect sales of their high-end gear. Matrox limited the RT2000 to avoid encroaching on DigiSuite sales. Nobody falls for that crap anymore. If the product you're looking at doesn't work, you go look to a competitor, not to the "next level up".

Panasonic gave us (the consumer) what we want, so we bought tens of thousands of DVX's. Canon looks like they're giving us *almost* what we want... if it had a lens with full genuine manual focus and zoom control, and full autofocus, power zoom and OIS... I'd say a good 85% of my hesitation about the XL2 would disappear.
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Old July 28th, 2004, 11:59 PM   #27
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Yeah, but the thing with Canon is that they can continue to do what you're saying they shouldn't. Because there is not a single camera in that market space with interchangable lenses. So if you want interchangable lenses, you're poked.
Imagine, if Panasonic had (does? Can they? It might be patented) come out with an interchangable lens system camera? Holy crap would that change the marketplace - well you'd hope so anyway. But until someone does, is Canon really going to care?

I think it's the difference between loving your products and wanting to give the end user the best you can, compared to the whole corporate attitude of the suits. I'd bet the camera engineers thought of tonnes and tonnes of things to put in the new camera, to totally blow everything else away. Then the suits add up the sums, and believe they can get more money doing it another way, so that's the way it gets done. Do we get less for our 5k that what we really could have? Sure, does Canon make more money than they would have if they'd done it the way we want? - yup, so guess which one's going to prevail. It's the same in the software industry. I work for one of the big players in the PC software industry and I can tell you how many times I've been frustrated in having the product crippled just to meet ticks on boxes, or deadlines, or profit margins. As a software engineer, it doesn't make me very happy and definately doesn't make me like the job and the company. But that said, our profits keep growing every quarter and the shareholders are happy, so we're buggered. I either like it or lump it.

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Old July 29th, 2004, 10:54 AM   #28
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I'm not upgrading my venerable XL1 to an XL2. Not at those prices. If the body only was under 2g, then maybe. I would only pay 4g's for a new body kit if it had:

1/ HD resolution (i.e. 720 lines min)
2/ 24p and 24pAdv, in addition to the old standby's (which it has)
3/ native 16x9 (which it has... kinda)
4/ no more miniDV encoding or storage format... something else, like hard drive packs.
5/ min 10bit image and colour processing from A->D. Even better to capture raw images off of the CCD's to a hard drive with software based/tunable encoding.

And the sad thing is that ALL of this technology IS possible right now, and no one is making it into a cohesive package.

Heck, I would pay 10k for such a beast.

/A
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Old July 29th, 2004, 12:43 PM   #29
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Quote:
Yeah, but the thing with Canon is that they can continue to do what you're saying they shouldn't. Because there is not a single camera in that market space with interchangable lenses.
There are other cameras in that market space (if you define market space by price):

The JVC DV5000 is the same price, but it's got 1/2" chips, an industry-standard lens mount, interchangeable lenses, and a picture quality that will smoke the Canon or any other 1/3" to 1/4" CCD camera.

The Panasonic DVC200 is a little more expensive, but equally superior to the "prosumer" cameras.

If you go by price, the Canon is not even really in competition with the DVX/PD170... those cameras are $3300-$3400, where the Canon is $5,000. The JVC DV5000 is $5,000. That's who Canon's real competition is. And it's *serious* competition.

If you go by "filmlook", then yes, the DVX is the only competitor, but it's still $1400 less.
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Old July 29th, 2004, 05:42 PM   #30
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I just knew someone would assume I mean price ;) Damn, should have made that clearer. What I was thinking of was features like progressive, smaller formfactor (Therefore less on tripods, cases etc), image manipulation tweaks like cinelooks etc.

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