Possibility in seeing XL2 bit earlier 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 28th, 2004, 10:23 AM   #1
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Possibility in seeing XL2 bit earlier

I talked to a Canon dealer couple of weeks ago and mentioned that I am interested in buying XL2. Since the salesperson is really supportive to us, he negotiated with Canon and he said he will bring the Canon staff with XL2 prior to the release.

If they allow me, I can give you the report like how I provided the impressions on NV-GS400.

As I go through the features of XL2, it most likely will be my main cam.

Please look forward to my report. Even if I can't report before the release date, I will be ready to provide clips and impressions as soon as it gets released.
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Old July 28th, 2004, 10:43 AM   #2
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This sounds great, Kaku -- please keep us informed. Thanks!
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Old July 29th, 2004, 11:07 PM   #3
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Okay Chris,

My contribution will be my appreciation to your effort to put together XL2 related information. I will do the best I can.

Canon is interested in me introducing some cinematographer to them, so we might be able to get some interesting examples using XL2 in commercial films.
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Old August 4th, 2004, 08:28 PM   #4
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Chris,

I'm going to Cannon tomorrow to see XL2. It will be brief but is there any specific feature you want me to look at?
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Old August 4th, 2004, 08:48 PM   #5
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Hi, I'm not the same Chris, but I do have a request. I would like to know how well the fluorite lens works if they have it (I would hope they do). I'm curious if the focus is as kooky as the IS II in manual mode...meaning, does it hunt for focus when zooming in manual mode?
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Old August 5th, 2004, 12:46 AM   #6
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They most likely show me with the new lens, not sure if they will have the other lenses. I'm interested in the x3 lens though. I was an owner of XL1, but didn't have XL1s, so can't really compare with IS II lens, but I will be able to make commnets comparing to XL1, AG-DVC30 and DSR-PDX10 because I had own them for long enough. At this point AG-DVC30 had the best controllablity for zooming or focusing (but not at the same time).

Can you tell me what to look for to tell the difference in flourite lens? Doesn't GL2 have the same type of lens? What do the user say?
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Old August 5th, 2004, 11:04 AM   #7
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Kaku

This is in the same mode as chris's question...I've seen several references to the focus speed on the xl2 as being controllable...but there is not much(any) documentation on this. I think that focus speed (or sensitivity) is a critical component in how much a lens might hunt...so you might want to ask them that question as you are checking out the lenses. Also test out the zoom speeds...according to Chris there are now 16 zoom speeds versus the xl1s's 8...curious to see if the change is noticeable. And thanks in advance...have fun being one of the first!!

Barry
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Old August 5th, 2004, 12:55 PM   #8
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Since you didn't have an Xl1 or XL1s this is difficult to gauge, but I am interested in the clarity of the viewfinder/LCD. The XL1 used to give me problems about being able to tell if I was in perfect focus. I sold it and got a DVX100. I love that cam but have never been really comfortable with a camera that doesn't rest on shoulder. But I love the clarity of the 3.5 LCD. I can always tell when it was in focus. Now with the XL2 having 24p and 16x9 support I am definitely on board. But my one concern is the viewfinder. If you can try zooming in and doing some precise focusing (manual of course) and see if the viewfinder is easy to read....I'd appreciate it!

I know that that the B&W viewfinder would be better.....but I am already stretching my budget to accomodate the XL2. I can;t go any further. (Was going to get DVX100A plus anamorphic adapter but opted for this and willing to pay extra for 16x9 and interchangeble lens options.....down the road on this part!)
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Old August 5th, 2004, 02:27 PM   #9
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<quote: If you can try zooming in and doing some precise focusing (manual of course) and see if the viewfinder is easy to read....I'd appreciate it!>

What I found when I had the camera for a few days was that the viewfinder wasn't as sharp as I would have liked ( not really sharpness I suppose, more a lack of resolution) so I found myself going through focus quite a lot until I'd found the correct point. Looking at it back on a widescreen TV however, it was perfect.
If I can manage to buy one, I'd really consider getting the B&W crt finder in order to get that liitle bit of added confidence.
As for the zoom speeds, I was using the Canon lanc zoom controller and I certainly found that I was getting really good slow take-offs on the zoom with a generally good control throughout the zoom range. This must be due to the extra speeds they've added.
I shot some material on a stage production with black backdrops and I was very impressed that even with the correct exposure on the dancers, there was also detail in the black - shadows etc. It certainly wasn't soot and whitewash - and that was with the camera in its normal mode. I hadn't tweaked the gamma or any other setting. My impression was that the camera was very "kind" in what could have been an awkward situation.

Robin
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Old August 5th, 2004, 04:56 PM   #10
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<<quote: Can you tell me what to look for to tell the difference in flourite lens? Doesn't GL2 have the same type of lens? What do the user say?>>

Kaku,

It is a fluorite lens just like the GL2, although I've never used a GL2 so I do not know how similar they work, although the sheer sixe of this new fluorite lens would dictate that this is not the same exact lens as used on the GL2. If you get a chance to try it out, try focusing on a subject in front of a brightly lit window then zooming in and out at a medium speed. If it goes out of focus, then comes back in after a moment, that is the hunting for focus issue I was concerned about.

Im also interested in Barry's question as well. How slow is the zoom allowed to go from full zoom to full wide? When you get the chance to get the answers for some of our questions, I'm sure we'll all be rubbing our hands together and licking our lips in anticipation....wait a minute, you're probably already there!!! This message wont reach you in time!

Marty: Kaku did say he owned an XL1, just not an XL1s =)
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Old August 5th, 2004, 05:33 PM   #11
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Christopher

I think chris stated awhile back that the full zoom range takes about a minute at the lowest speed...my xl1s does it with the 16x manual in about 30 sec....my gl2 zooms its 20x range in about the same.

The flourite description refers to a material that canon uses in some of its best lenses to "deliver outstanding resolution, contrast and color reproduction" or so the literature says. The lens is, as you supposed, not the same as the gl2's in many respects...different target areas, focal lengths, controls, minimum apertures, and of course form factors.

Barry
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Old August 5th, 2004, 07:35 PM   #12
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I will print this out and head out to Canon.
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Old August 6th, 2004, 07:34 AM   #13
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Just came back from Canon

I just came back from Canon now and report what I saw and felt.

First, for what Chirs Reynolds asked, how does the new fluorite lens work.
What I saw through the finder and the comsumer TV monitor they had, the image was well detialed at the zoomed in all the way. What I experienced with XL1 when I used to had owned it, I remember that the image was very blury at the zoomed in position. Even though the new lens has more magnification (x20) the image looked sharp. Canon's sales manager said that it would be almost twice as good in the clarity of the image at the zoomed in position. Over all image impression was very good. When we changed the lens to x3 lens (non-fluorite), we noticed the resolution difference.

Second request from Chris was to check out the speed of the auto focus. I did the testing by shooting the window (it was about four o'clock p.m.) zoomed out and zooming in to a coffee cup afte that. I felt it was ordinary in this situation that the focus does not lock in immediately, it didn't feel like it would focus perfectly. It was not perfect, but it was reasonable. I have to see the difference between DSR-PDX10. I will do the test tomorrow. I have to mention that the focus was not going crazy like really hunting.

Then, in this topic, Barry asked about the focus speed. XL2 had the parameter in Menu>Camera setting>focus speed, and the values are "High", "Middle" and "Low". It works like the sensitivity, so "Low" works like "slow". Maybe they should change this wording to Fast, Middle and Slow. I was doing the above test at the "High" position.

Next, about the zooming speed. It was correct about the zooming period on x20 lens, it took 1 minute from end to end. The dealer person from Apex, Mr. Sekiguchi is knowledgible with broadcast lenses, said that the slowest zooming speed of XL2 works very smoothly comparing to even some broadcast lenses. The impression me and other person (Mr. Kenichi Kobayashi who is a motion graphic director for movies like Gamera and Tomie) had was that the slowest speed is very nice and smooth. When we set the zooming speed to the slowest, the zoom rocker worked at the slowest speed and the lanc remote's "1" position worked at the same slowest speed. The adjustment of the zoom speed is accessed with the dial right above the zoom rocker and it is very convenient, the adjusted amount is displayed in the finder, above the zooming range bar by numbers (from 1 to 16). It seems that by adjusting the zooming speed, it is attenuating the whole zooming speed range, so if you make it faster, you nolonger get the slowest zooming speed.

And the viewfinder issue Marty asked, Canon had changed the size of the viewfinder LCD to 2" size, so it was a lot better than XL1's. You can flip the hood and the 2" LCD gives you the ability to shoot dog's eye way, We had Mr. Kobayashi looking at the finder with hood on, then do a manual focusing with items placed front and back to each other (coffee cup and the cream container) by the distance of 5cm. We monitored his focusing work on the TV monitor. He was able to focus with no frustration on the viewfinder and we checked it was focused on each items back and forth. We might have been in more fortunate condition than Robin to focus, so I would like to make more report on this after I get my own unit in about 10 days.
Robin, did you shoot the Flamenco dancing clip that Canon had? Just wondering. The demo clips they had was taken by various people in United States and they were very good to show the quality and the abilities that XL2 has.

Barry, I thought maybe the GL2 users had more detailed impressins of fluorite lens since they have experience in the lens with the material, not to mix up the ability of the type of the lens. But come to think about it, GL2 has nothing similar to compre. Our impression of fluorite lens by swithing between x3 lens might explain the difference well.

Other notes:
Zooming ring was more usable comparing to XL1. Although the new lens has more range in zooming, most of the range was accesible by the ring, maybe about 10% of the zooming range had to be accessed by another short stroke. The ring is not as comfortable comparing to AG-DVC30. It would be nicer to me if it was lighter action.

It is very nice to have dedicated ratio switch (4:3/16:9).

The weight is now little more heavier because of the lens and permanet XLR connectors in the back. But the XLR connector case is also working as the shoulder pad. I'm 5'4" and it was the perfect size and position to place the shoulder pad on my shoulder. For taller people, it might be little awkward.

Image control parameters are very nice. Cine-look parameters give you wide range of characteristics. It would give me more control in different situations to optimize the image on various sites.

24p demo clips Canon showed me was very nice. I was surprised how detailed they were and smooth they were. I imagined 24p footage would look a lot more jumping. I was convinced by my experimentation with NV-GS400 that for the fast objects moving in front of camera, 60i is better to express the motion itself, 30p (frame-mode, not true progressive) would not give me what I want to express the real action. However, the true progressive 24P or 30P seems different from psuedo-30p(interlace CCD and putting together the two groups of fields). I have to do the similar test I have done on GS100/GS400/PDX10 after I get my own XL2.

And XL2 can record 4 audio channels if you use the RCA connectors or with the adapter, on XLR connectors. So you can do 4 channel sourrond recording if you wanted to.

Canon said that the power consumption on XL2 is less than XL1, so the battery lasts longer.

I was convinced to buy XL2 as my main camcorder today.
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Old August 6th, 2004, 09:19 AM   #14
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Kaku,
Thanks for the info! That was quick too. I am glad to hear that you liked it and the fact that you are experienced with the XL1 gives all of your comments great merit. Not that someone who hasn't used an XL1 series can't give great info...just when you have a lot of shooting experience with the original you have a great reference for what has been fixed, changed or even left out!

I do need to ask though.....you said you are getting yours in about 10 days. Is this an inside deal or are they going to be available then? And if it is an inside deal then did you hear anything about when they are going to be available to the public?

Thanks! This is just more proof of what a great forum this is!
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Old August 6th, 2004, 10:26 AM   #15
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Many thanks for an excellent report, Kaku. well done!

<< Robin, did you shoot the Flamenco dancing clip that Canon had? >>

That sequence, and all others on that DVD, were shot by David Castillo throughout the U.S.
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