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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old September 12th, 2004, 08:21 PM   #16
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You wanted a perfect camera, Aaron? Well, who can fault you for that... I sure can't. After years of development you'd think they would have delivered a flawless piece. I'm in agreement that the line-level input issue is definitely a major oversight and will probably stick out as the biggest sore thumb on the camera. Question is, does that make it a deal-breaker. And of course, that sort of discussion is always encouraged here, because it's productive. As far as another XL lens... well, the future is wide open and anything is possible, I guess.
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Old September 12th, 2004, 08:28 PM   #17
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"As far as the XL2 not meeting your expectations, I understand. I've been constantly let down by Ferrari for not producing an F360 convertible for under $30,000"

Now c'mon mate, i find that statement just a tad silly. I have expectations personally and thats what i'm basing it on. If you want me to cut down on your analogy its rather simple. Consider the panasonic to be a lamborghini convertible under $30,000 :)

I actually own 2 canon digital SLR's and quite a few canon lenses but i'm no brand loyalist i'm simply wanting the best i can have in my circumstances. If i can get the nice colour i want out of the XL2 using y and x settings then thats great and i might want the camera!.

I'm not being a fanboy here, please understand that and be a little open minded,
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Old September 12th, 2004, 08:42 PM   #18
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Ooh I get to argue with chris...I don't think I've ever done that before. After listening to the three sound experts weigh in on this (Laurie, Don, and Jay Rose)...it seems like this is a mole hill...I just checked my cable bag...And I already have a 40 db pad in my kit...bought it for the gl2.... go figure.

Aaron--I can hear you on the underscan...but otherwise the LCD, though small, works very nicely...and it is way more accurate than the big LCD on the DVX for judging exposure. I don't think the pop out LCD works with the XL series design...its just not made for holding out in front of you (too damn heavy. It would be nice to have on a tripod...but really the new one is nicer than you think.

Tre-

I haven't tried to really tweak the image yet...but I can't imagine that you won't be able to oversaturate the image to your hearts content. Remember...images posted on the web...including clips are basically innacurate representations as the NTSC color space is severely limited, compared to SRGB (web standard). I remember the first clips I saw off of the dvx on the web...they looked boring as hell...then I shot my first movie with it...it brought tears to my eyes man!!! Ok...I haven't cried since I was 19......Look all I can say is the colors on the xl2 look very bright...The image quality has more integrity to it than any other camera I've used. I think that with minor tweaking you could make either camera look like the other in terms of color.

Barry
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Old September 12th, 2004, 08:51 PM   #19
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I've shot with a lot of cameras over the years and have never seen one that I'd consider perfect, although the old CP16R 16mm was pretty close in terms of being very useable for what it was designed to do.

The thing with DV cameras is that the digital format has allowed manufacturers to make consumer cameras that are very close to professional cameras in terms of the quality of their images. Not AS good, but close enough so that lots of low budget independent films have been made with cameras that were and are considered consumer cameras by their manufacturers.

From my point of view, the fact that the XL2 is the first 1/3" chip camera to offer real 16:9 is excellent. The shoulder mount is excellent; interchangeable lenses are excellent, and how long the camera runs on a cheap battery is excellent, as well as its relatively low weight. The quality of its image is good enough for not all but some professional work, and it's certainly good enough for low budget DV filmmaking.

The negatives that have been reported include, at the top of the list for me anyway, the lack of XLR line in; no underscan in the viewfinder; and a longer lens instead of a wider one. If this is going to be a person's only camera and if he or she is going to do serious work with it, then those are serious drawbacks. But...my feeling is that life is never perfect and you can always figure out ways to work with what you have to work with.

Assuming that I planned on buying a 1/3" chip camera, if I planned on shooting 16:9, I would probably have to go with the XL2. If 4:3 was going to be my main thing, I would most likely go with the DVX100a. However, I would test out the 16:9 mode of the Panasonic, as well as the Canon, before I bought anything. I'm fortunate in that I live in an area where I can rent most any camera I might be interested in. I would rent both of those for a day and check them out under real conditions before making a decision.

The reason it's essential to check them out in person is that there are many factors other than the chips and the audio that might make one camera preferable over another. The way the lens focuses, how sharp the viewfinder is, if the viewfinder has a wide enough range of adjustment for your eyes, what information is displayed in the viewfinder, what items are menu-driven vs controlled by switches, how the aperture ring works, how smooth the zoom is, the overall feel and balance of the camera, how the stabilization works, how solid the whole thing is, and many other things as well I can't think of off the top of my head.

Sometimes very small things may influence a buying decision, depending on what the immediate needs are. For example, about 4 years ago I bought a DSR250 because I had three programs that required a camera with optical stabilization and a flip out LCD screen I could see while looking at the side of the camera. In that situation, if the Canon and the Panasonic were my only two options, I would have had to go with the Panasonic because of the LCD screen. That sounds like an almost insignificant reason, but that project paid for the camera, and it was essential to have the LCD screen I could see from the side when it was folded back against the side of the camera. In another time and place, that feature might not be significant at all.
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Old September 12th, 2004, 09:16 PM   #20
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<<<-- Originally posted by Tre Stylez : "As far as the XL2 not meeting your expectations, I understand. I've been constantly let down by Ferrari for not producing an F360 convertible for under $30,000"

Now c'mon mate, i find that statement just a tad silly. I have expectations personally and thats what i'm basing it on. If you want me to cut down on your analogy its rather simple. Consider the panasonic to be a lamborghini convertible under $30,000 :)
-->>>

Ahhh... you completely missed my point.

I'll elaborate.
I've been constantly let down by Ferrari for not producing an F360 convertible for under $30,000. Who'se fault is it that I am dissapointed, Ferrari's or mine? If they DID make one, I sure wouldn't complain about wonky stereo knobs, a noisy exhaust, or ugly rims. Heck, the ENZO doesn't even have power windows, that didn't slow sales much. :)

Oh, another great analogy. It doesn't matter how cheap the Lambosonic gets, I too tall to drive one comfortably. However, I fit reasonably well into a Carrari XL360.
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Old September 12th, 2004, 09:44 PM   #21
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Well once again you are bringing in matters of opinion, i photograph cars for a living, i have my opinions also :) i just won't share them.
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Old September 12th, 2004, 10:18 PM   #22
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I never intended to bash the XL2 at all. In fact I still may purchase one in the near future. I was just a little dissappointed with some things in the camera. But that doesent make it good camera. I was blown away by the footage from Vienna and Barrys footage, I still have drool on my chin. In the next 2 weeks the XL2 and the DVX will be getting tested together from what a lighting associate of mine told me. As far as the punch I was reffering to, the XL2 and the original DVX I feel lack that look of like color reversal film. Not that its a great look, but it shows the range you can punch up and blow out the colors if you wanted to.
I would never bash a tool. I've owned many Canon products, still have my Canon 1014xls super 8 and just sold my Canon Scoopic 16mm. Canon makes awesome lenses and if they could get better user feedback in the future maybe they will make the next generation XL2 the perfect camera.
Barry if I wasn't flying out of California tommorow, I would say maybe we could get together and do some comparison shooting, have some lunch, and talk shop. I may be back in a few weeks if I get picked up for a job I have a bid on. Let me know If you would be interested.
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Old September 12th, 2004, 10:44 PM   #23
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As far as color is concerned (previous reply) , To tweak color is part of the post production process. I have yet to see any camera (HD, Super 35 mm film included) that give exactly the intended color. All of these need to be color timed (film) or color corrected (tape.digital) to attain the final intended look and feel. Getting close to the desired color is the best anyone can hope for coming directly from the camera and I stress "close". Have any of you ever shot "raw" images on a digital SLR. If so, you know what I'm talking about.

Your arguments re: camera controls, etc. that has already been answered succinctly by Dylan
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Old September 12th, 2004, 11:33 PM   #24
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Thanks Paul, and your opinions are always welcome here. Hopefully we'll get a chance to see some good comparisons and if you could be a part of making that happen then all for the better. Thanks again,
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Old September 12th, 2004, 11:44 PM   #25
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It's late and I've got a tune to finsih before sunrise, but let me just say this to all the " I wouldn't buy...iris wheel like a 10 wheeler, flat color"...whatever guys. You're really doing yourselves and others a disservice by commenting on and making decisions on something as cool as this new system, without ever seeing what it can do.

I just got back from a really interesting shooting opportunity. I'll post about it and an edited "mini" feature from it (if Chris can accomodate) in a couple of days, but let me just say that I've never shot with a camera capable of getting what I got in an off the wall and really great environment today.

This footage shows a great deal of what the XL2 can do in a dynamic real world situation...and wait till you see these "muted colors". What a shoot, and what a camera. I've built a number of music and video studios over the years and been intricately involved with all of the technological developments along the way from analog to digital audio, from 3/4" to 16mm, and all the creative toys in the process.

I've never been as high and delighted with a single creative tool as I am with the XL2. Of course YMMV.
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Old September 12th, 2004, 11:52 PM   #26
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Great, can't wait to see some footage Jim :)
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Old September 13th, 2004, 12:32 AM   #27
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I agree, it will be great to see some more footage. My gripes haven't been about look from the small amount of stuff floating out there at the moment I think the Xl2 produces amazing images I'm not denying that at all.

Chris I didn't want a perfect camera...OK I do, but I didn't expect one with the Xl2 - to me, take a DVX and chuck the Canon body on it with the interchangeable lenses and I would have already flown over to B&H to pick mine up :).

A perfect camera is impossible, we're all different I know. But I'd still argue that if Canon had of added a few of the things that I (and others) feel were 'left out' then those who currently like the camera would still have liked it (even more maybe) and those of us who currently have issues with it, would then like it. More sales for Canon.

Then again I'm one person and who knows if Canon did surveys and what they added or left out were things people wanted added or left out....although I find it hard to believe people asked for that iris control, more tele and forget the wide, no line level in on XLR....

Also, although Jay Rose stated that if Canon had great preamps it might not matter that there is no line level in, it seem to me that it could still matter for long cable runs in noisy environments, the line level signal would be less susceptible to that noise.

Aaron
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Old September 13th, 2004, 12:41 AM   #28
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<<<-- Originally posted by Tre Stylez : Well once again you are bringing in matters of opinion, i photograph cars for a living, i have my opinions also :) i just won't share them. -->>>

I fail to see what photographing cars has to do with either of our opinions, besides my irreverant but relevant analogy. Cool job though.
I'll stand by my "try it for yourself before you decide which camera is right for you" opinion. It is a drawback for you that none are available to you locally in Australia yet. Unless you need one now, maybe you can find some local production companies using them to test out.
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Old September 13th, 2004, 01:57 AM   #29
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Why do I get the impression that, there are some overreactions in the air. For example, has anybody yet tested whether the audio of XL2 is hissy? What is true, that the seven year old model XL1 and its update XL1s has shortcomings in its audio, but the only reasonable assumption is that XL2 has completely new audio components. Besides, the noise in the XL1 becomes a problem only when one starts to challenge the system; many never notice any problem.

Having a background in electical engineering, I believe that the Canon design team must have been aware of the problem. And typically, in this kind of situations (marketing) economists ask engineers to cheat; For instance, to remove the problem of hissy sound, use software to filter out the background noise. Many people would never notice such a trick and be just happy with the product. In my experience, Canon's policy is in this sense a professional one compared to many other companies: They do not tend to hide fake solutions behind the scenes.

Finally, isn't the question of market psycology. We, as the customers, do not want to end up having a feeling of being cheated. Investing around $5000 (or euro) to a camcorder takes quite a lot of work before the investment is paid back, so we become sensitive to tiny details for we are perhaps subconciously concerned that the camcorder has shortcomings preventing us from doing something other people are able to do with their equipments.

All I can say to such concerns is: Go and check what a proper digital stereo recorder and stereo mics costs. That's easily $2000. If somebody is offering you a camcorder with wonderful video and audio with $4000, is that a plausible combination? Please do not, answer me, for this is just the question I made to myself (and I did order the XL2 immediately when the first news came out).
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Old September 13th, 2004, 03:56 AM   #30
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Well.

I didn't mean to start a war with my original post.

I was thinking more on the lines of the wanted changes folks have posted about; with, them becoming available in an updated cam, possible in about 6 months or so. It wouldn't supprise me that they are being implemented as I write.

Yes, I will still sit this dance out.

Anyone for the XL-HD?(g)
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