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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 September 8th, 2004, 04:24 PM   #1
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On the Fence Xl2 / DVX100

This is my first post here so bare with me

I am living in Dubai at the moment and want to partake in personal and possibly profesional film projects in the up and comming industry. If you look on the map we are in a strategic place in the middle east which also makes it a great place for a journalist to start out. Anyway. To the point at hand

This will be my first DV camera, i am a photographer realy, but feel it is my destiny to creat films, etc etc, dream story blah blah blah, i want to start at the top, as far as technology goes and have more than enough to buy the canon xl2 but it is allot of money, ie will be 15,000Dhs ie 3500 dollars, cheaper than u guys are paying for it anyway. The DVX100a is behing released at a yearly technology convention here and im going to check it out, but today i held an XL1 in my hand and it felt supreme. My friend whent to a toronto film school and swares by it, and i am a lil psyced. However, i hear mumblings over colour, quality wont last, and allot of other points which for the first time buyer who doesnt have money to waste ( not to say it would be a waste) it gets a litle bit nervwracking. I have the laptop capability etc and am good with tech to be able to handle this baby, but DVX users also seem very very pleased with panasonics little number, and feel that it is better in some respects to the canon.

I am a fan of the canon from what i have seen on some web sites and holding its predicesor for a quick demo, but is it realy a great improvment, sorry let me rephraze that, more like is it a better investment in my future than the DVX, i have some SLR camera lenses i could attach, ok quality wise, 80- 400mm, 28 - 210mm, and a wide angle, would these be of use as far as good enough quality goes, or am i not likely to change lenses from the stardard 20x lens supplied. or would i even want to, i am not sure what 400mm lens converts to as far as compared to 20x, mabe less?

Also will i get much of a return on a DVX when selling for newer models in the future compared to the canon,. i see the xl1 goes for only 1000 dollars less of the "buy new price" which i see as quite good.

As the saying goes, i am on the fence. Which side do u recoment i jump off, XL2, o/r DVX, personaly after holding the Xl1s in my hands, restin it on my shoulder we almost connected, haha, felt like me and that design were meant be toggether. i have never been a fan of the unstaedy, arm hurting hold it infront and prey that no wind blows or ul shake the lcd monitor off the camera approach, but if its realy worth it then mabe i would sacrifice. so the canon is appealing with teh shoulder support, and also behing a girl, and i appologise to all u physicaly strong women out there, i can hold the canon fine enough, but not sure if id struggle with the wieght of the DVX. but i cant let my feelings get in the way this time, $$$$, for your info it will be the PAL xl2 that will arrive here in 2 months time, i hear its better quality than NTSC, but then so would the DVX as it is also behing released as pal i believe.

Sorry for the long post, guid me if you can
any info on problems, major positive differenses and negative that i can only find from the ones that deal with these cameras every day would be appreciated. I think i may be speaking on behalf of some other bewildered buyers, who are faced whith a range of fantastic quality cameras, and dont know which one will realy make u a proud owner when showing ur footage to others, and more importantly future employers

thank you, btw i apologise for any spell errors
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Old September 8th, 2004, 04:45 PM   #2
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I own a XL1s for near a year now ... ... we are still in love.
Today I started to cheating on her..... with my brand new hottie XL2. mmmmmmmmmm
Have to go.... she's calling me... I'm on my honeynoon.....

Got the message?

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Old September 9th, 2004, 03:05 AM   #3
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Dejitaru: it is a very personal thing and I would be carefull to not
let a "community" decide this for you. I would at least WAIT until
you can actually see the XL2 and hopefully shoot a bit of footage
with it in a store (bring a tape along). As you say it IS a lot of money.

Also keep in mind that you will normally need a lot of extra
equipment both for use on the camera (perhaps a different lens,
filters etc.) and external like audio equipment (microphones, boom)
and support equipment (tripod/monopod/dolly/crane/steadicam)
and ofcourse lighting equipment. You may not need all and it will
also depend on what you are going to shoot, but don't just
budget for a camera.

Depending on your PC and software you may need to invest in
this and a good edit program as well.

Try to see the bigger picture before getting to hung on a camera.
The DVX is a great camera and the XL2 will probably be as well.
Keep in mind that if you buy now you are an early adaptor and
you will test it for problems. If you wait 6 months you can be more
safe on how it performs in a wide variaty of scenes.

Carefully weigh the options and then make your choice.
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Old September 9th, 2004, 03:56 AM   #4
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Hmmm, yeah thats what I was planning on anyway, but am keen to get a camera before christmas anyway. At the moment i have adobe premier 5 and its beggining to show its age, but im considering updating to the new Adobe vidio collection as it has good support for cameras such as the canon. I think all i will invest in at the begging will be a 2 to 300gb external hard drive, and the premier suite. I think i can wait a while and invest in a decent tripod, there is a store here by the name of Salam that sells goood quility tripods, i cant remeber the make but they are going for between 100 and 500 dollars, and are very smooth and when i tried an Xl1s on one of the more expensive tripods it was smother than i have ever seen.

Thx for the info, and I see that you have replied on the colour issue that one guy is having, as i am comming into this for the first time, i think i will be impressed regardless of slight less colour, but i can understand from his pictures why he is concerned , that yellow table realy does come alive with the DVX,

Thx for your advice, il see the DVX soon and if it not very good for me il be looking to the future XL2. I could buy an Xl1s for allot less but Id rather be with the technology than slightly in the past
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Old September 9th, 2004, 04:27 AM   #5
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Premiere 5? That doesn't even support DV if I'm not mistaken.
Personally I would think twice about upgrading to Premiere Pro
(it does support 24p, but only in the 1.5 version). Why do you
say it has good support for a camera such as the Canon?

Personally I would seriously look at Sony Vegas as an NLE. Check
out a demo (when you have a camera and can ACTUALLY try
some editing => or use footage if you have some laying around).

Can download one from: http://mediasoftware.sonypictures.com

I (and a lot of others) find it much more pleasant to work with
than Premiere (two tips: cross fading is done by sliding one
clip over the other, and splicing/cutting a clip with the 's' key
on your keyboard).

If I remember correctly $500 is the minimum for a good quality
tripod? Make sure you get one that has a fluid head and can
work with the weight of the camera (Canon's XL range is more
heavy than most other con-/pro-sumer camera's!).

One note: don't try to be on the leading edge of technology. You
can make very good looking movies with an XL1S (just check
episode 21 & 22 on our Lady X project -> see my signature)
with good lighting gear and post production tools for example.

In the end the story is most important together with acting and
audio/sound in my humble opinion. A brand new camera with
true 16:9 or 24p will not make a brilliant movie by itself!
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Old September 9th, 2004, 09:23 AM   #6
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Just to point one thing out, I aint totaly stupid lol. I think premier support the canon well, thats pro 1.5, due to its easy template features, and I im thinking of premier only because i have used it for a long time allong with 3D Studio max r3 to creat 3d animated movies. The only thing about premier i can realy say i could do without, is the rendering proccess before previewing even one clip, it would be nice not to think that you had to stop work just for a draft render. But other than that i find it to be ok, with compatability with a very good programe after effects, and the new audition adition looks quite nice, allowing for dolby 5.1 files to be saved etc.

However Il go and check out the sony product, but if it doesnt feature the kind of options i need then i guess it will be of no use. I dont use transitions in my movies, only cutting, and perhaps fading. Blue screen capability in premier is a feature i think is wonderfull especialy when working with CG. It would allow me to crat a 3d max animation charactor etc with a simulated blue screen, and would allow me to impose it over a DV file, mixing 3d animation with real vidio.

Anyway appreciate the help. btw the tripods are decent, v strong and sturdy, and the tripod i tried out did support the camera very nicely.

I am on a 56k modem, in a country where the telecuminication is a manopoly held by the govornment ISP, ie everyone is on the same service meaning im only getting about 38k transfer, if this is a big demo then i cant possibly try it, if you could give me any more specifics, and if you are able to use after effects allong with, oh yeah and the package comes in cheaper than buying seperate software, so yeah cost comes into it again

thc
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Old September 9th, 2004, 10:00 AM   #7
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The demo is pretty large indeed. It is 43 MB so I guess it is
too large for you. I don't think you are stupid, I just wanted to
mention some things that a lot (really a lot!) of people forget,
don't think about or just don't know / understand. Better be safe
than sorry, no?
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Old September 9th, 2004, 10:24 AM   #8
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no harm done, Anyway im pretty tech savy, and with using 3ds max i can handle a lil more complication less action, unlike elvis, yes bad joke.

From what i saw on the sony site, no offence but it seems like its a sproosed up windows movie maker replacement, whearas, premier is competing with the mighty Final Cut Pro. That is the kind of functionality i need on this windows system. I have a Sager Np800 laptop, p4 2.8, 1gig ram, 7000rpm hd, ati radion mobility 9600pro, deul monitor, firewire port, 4x usb 2.0, svid in and out etc, i bought the laptop specificaly for behing able to do vidio editing more easily 1 year ago, partly as a christmas present, but i did choke up a bit also. I think this would suit the demands of the adobe suite.

if you honostly dont think adobes all its cracked up to be, and that after effects can be beaten please tell me. But there are many articles on how to make ur movie look allot bettr,(yes its about lighting sound and story but lets assume thats all good) after effects letts u creat S curves in gama contrast etc, and let you have allot more control over your picture. Also the great thing about the adobe set are the bindled codex, and im not sure if it can be or not, but i have installed the DivX codec and it is fantastic for converting projects to a good quality good sized MPEG 4.

Anyway tell me if u think i am crazing whith my dillusions of adobe grandure. If no , with personal experiance i rather like the fidly interface and think it gives me allot more control than anything toward the simplicity of movie maker or alike. I am looking at high style documentaries. Planning an exposey on a massive hairdressing firm here in dubai where im working, and possibly allot more.

Il put it to u this way, some people could do without a car with the cd player, ac, electronic windows sunroof etc. Just have a car that resurculates outside air, manual windows, no sunroof and a radio. But they dont because they like to know that they have got those things to play about with if they wanted, its their, whereas if they baught the lower model, and wanted to play a cd, oh no, they havnt got a player, which gets both frustrating and debilitating when you talk about vidio editing. With premier u get the full functionality i feel, and say you do want to use, lets say, green screen. Its their, u can use it, and because of your original purchase you did urself a favor for the future. However if you bout the lower model ie, sonny vegus, if u want to use some of the premier functions which oh no, it doesnt have, you either have to fork out more to get them by buying premier after already spending money on vegas, or just sigh and limit urself, with an Oh well... at the end.

I dont know if ive made my angle clear or not, but regardless i think wev strayed off subjiect, ie this is XL2 or DVX, i think il let it lie for a while as niether of them are here yet, and untill i get my hands on them, with a tape, although that would be useless, so mabe see if they could plug it into tv or something , would that show quality?
xl2 seems to have 100more pixels in 16 9 than the DVX weather that makes huge differents, dont know will have to wait and try my best to compare, might all come down to holding it, if it aint comfortable, then forget it.
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Old September 9th, 2004, 10:39 AM   #9
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If you are happy with Premiere, good for you, it is a really powerful NLE.

But just for your information, Vegas is also a trully professionnal editing software. I have used Premiere 6.5 extensivelly before to go to vegas, and I can say (my opinion of corse) that the interface is MUCH more user friendly, you can do the thing really faster with Vegas than with Premiere. You have also much more control over the image than in premiere, you can adjust the curves and a lot of other parameters reserved in after effect in the Adobe world directly in Veags. Althrough it is possible to use Vegas with After effect, I never had to use it since I changed for Vegas.

Back to your subject, both the XL2 and DVX are aimed to filmakers and according to the early user reviews, the pictures of the two cams are really close to each other. You can't do a bad choice! :) So you have to decide wether or not the extra features of the XL2 (true 16:9, interchangable lenses) and the shoulder mount is important for you. If the price difference is not a problem, try to find a camera store who have both cams to have a feel of them before to buy.

Good luck,
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Old September 9th, 2004, 10:46 AM   #10
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Premiere is a fine product indeed. However, Vegas is better. Having been a long time premiere user, I recently switch to Vegas 4, and then to 5 and have never looked back. After using Adobe's new Pro package, I can honestly say the the only programs that I now use from it are After effects, which has alwyas been great, and Audition, sometimes. HOwever for my NLE I use vegas because it is simply better. Why, well, better work flow, for me, better compositing tools, way more stable, Premiere is one of the buggiest programs of all time. There are a few tools that I love in vegas that are just not available in Premiere, like velocity ramping. Trust me, Premiere does not compete any closer to FCP than does Vegas. And, if you are shooting 24p anything, even though Premiere now supports it, it still has bugs when exporting 24p footage, and some other unexplainable occurances when working with it. Vegas and 24p were made for eachother. I have been working with the DVX100a for almost a year now, and would not be nearly as happy had I switch over to Vegas. Premiere had it's time with me, but that time is over, and I am truely happy that I UPGRADED to Vegas from Premiere.
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Old September 9th, 2004, 11:21 AM   #11
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It seems i have underestemated what i saw on their website, mbe not the same vegas if there is a family version or something, i honestly just glanced and read most of the company speak about it, this feedback has helped allot.

Ramp curves? ok sounds pretty. To be honest premier is one of the most malfunctioning of all programmes i have used. Meanwhile Photoshop 7.0 is the most fantastic utility i have on my computer. Its quick, feature full, and the complexity of work you can produce is briliant. Come to think of premier, it isnt actualy that much more soffisticated, it mabe just feels it. I usualy only ajust Levels, add an 8% cliping to the top and bottom of footage to simulate wide screen. Adjust colour and contrast, and realy nothing much more. I do find premier tedious at times, and if this vegas can speed up my work flow, ie keep up with my figiting mouse hand as i want to quickly implement a new idea or style from imagination then mabe it would be best. And for starters the better 24p support u speak of, well i would require 25p but thats irrelivant i hope, sounds very usefull. Mabe it is time for me to vacate the echoy ancient walls of premier 5.0, pack my bags, AND MOVE TO VAGAS. Although i would see it as a bit of a gamble, oh hardy har har yet annother hillarios pun. mrr.

btw, NLE? is that short speak for, Software that you can edit your vidios, do cool effect thingies, and save some stuff for showing to overly impressed family members, or could somone tell me the real meaning of the abreviation.

Il check out vagas on some other sites other than sony, the sony one seems to be full of un detailed home user targeting corporate speak. Id like to know specifics.

Also, is their a good replacement for Audition, i play music on my keyboard , well invent sountracks anyway and its MIDI function, and music creation side sounds tempting, i have once used a demo of Ejay beats i think, from a cover disk a few years back and i loved the creation proccess their, is it a similar thing without legal issues if that sountrack ends up behing an oscar winner?

As for after effefcts, i only considered due to the features it presented behing taken out of premier ( for a reason i think only to make a lil more money) . I honestly wouldnt use most of the stuff after effects offers, particle effects, text that walks up staires. If u can get the neccesary functions, to get that, and i hate saying this sounds so despirate and cheesy, when realy its for the audiences benifit, film look,. Most of the help guids etc are written for after effects, if you know of any how to's for vagas as far as getting the look, would be most appreciated

thx again
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Old September 9th, 2004, 11:25 AM   #12
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Hey Dejitaru...on a different subject. I see that your in Dubai. Do you know of any shooters there? I need to shoot footage of the Royal Palace for a DVD project due around the first of the year. If you do get an XL2, I could give you your first paying contract.
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Old September 9th, 2004, 11:47 AM   #13
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Hey you Vegas and Premiere officionados, don't forget about
Avid DV Express (Mojo you can always add later). This is just a lower end version of the broadcast post production standard. If you are also finishing audio in or out of house it offers complete compatibility for OMF export, True 24 fps editing (and edls for 24p HD if you are bumping up).
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Old September 9th, 2004, 11:50 AM   #14
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Jim check ur mail,

and A Evan. hmmm, il check that out too, whats u guys oppinions on Avid dv?
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Old September 9th, 2004, 01:49 PM   #15
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ok im still sifting through the wealth of information on the sony site of Vegas 5 which is for all interested

http://mediasoftware.sonypictures.com/Products/showproduct.asp?PID=914&FeatureID=7532

and i must say thank you for allerting and opening my eyes to this, It realy does look fantastic, with a realy nice looking workspace and features. Its almost looking like all my needs in one box, and to think it comes in cheaper than premier? how do adobe get away with it? the sound options look spectacular and the idea of no rendering the huge ammount of effects available just to see what they would play like also looks nice.

It seems to be the same as premier as far as options go, but just looks much more as u say user friendly. Almost more usefull. Dont think id realy mind sitting down for hourse with this, and from what u say about the glitchyness of premier wich i have experianced, wouldnt be affraid to iether, without the quicksave key near to my fingers, ha.

good to see photoshop compatability, and im assuming it can save DivX if i install the codec yes? speaking of codecs, which do u recomend for saving files?

However it seems to be puting allot of emphisis on 25p, when i realy whant them to say 25p as well

"Vegas 5 can remove pulldown on 24p to 60i downconverted/telecined DV .AVI files. Edit and mix in true 24p projects, export 24p MPEG-2 for DVD delivery or to 24p project data via .XML or EDL."

is this also available for 24p, perhaps the european addition of software which i would get is different to support 25p in the same way?

"Sager notebook internal (TI chipset)" well thats support for my laptop ports covered, which is excelent no problems shuld occur their.

nice bonus software, that Boris programe good?

Ah vegas + dvd would i be better to buy that pack or just the vegas 5. I dont have any DVD creating or authoring software yet, and like the sound of menu driven with 5,1 AC3 audio, is it a usefull addition or would u recoment annother product?

Just looking into avid at the moment, looks hmmm, what do yall think of avids stuff compared to sony's?

thx
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