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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 13th, 2004, 09:46 PM   #16
Regular Crew
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 178
Let me explain

My post starting this thread was not intentioned to add more "complaints" to the XL2. As I mentioned, I do not have my hands on the XL2 at the moment, so I'm not in any way qualified to support or deny people's posts on feedback about the camera. And I am not intending to add more fuel to negative parts of the discussions being posted all over this community board. The bottom line is it's been dizzying me reading all the negative feedback, whether it's nitpicking or not. I was simply trying to say if Canon was out there lurking, perhaps they could at least look at the concerns of people who have already tested the camera, re-look at it themselves, and if it is a legit problem, maybe fix it. I'm still saving my money to hopefully purchase one in the near future. And if i had $5,000.00 right now, I'd probably have to just jump into the waters and do it. If a rental unit bacomes available in my area before I'm in the position to purchase, I might rent first.
Joseph Andolina is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 14th, 2004, 11:01 AM   #17
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 21
"Consumers always "rule the market", Aaron. They make themselves "heard" with money spent on purchases. You complain about a product by simply not buying it or returning it. "

I aggree with Ken..... and that's exactly why we decided to return our XL-2 and not invest in it right now. Great picture quality in 16:9 but other shortcomings are hard to ignore (cheap iris control, unbalanced weight, audio hiss etc...)...especially after waiting so many years for it.

For now we will stick with our DVX100a(s)...until Canon fixes the issues with an XL2s! ;-)

Aaron I agree with a lot of the complains you have....but like any other camera forum some people will see nothing wrong with the cam no matter what...Some people have brand name loyalty and will refuse to acknowledge any shortcoming and will dismiss it as minor problem...this has happened with the PD150 the DVX100 and now the XL2.....

Joseph, my advice to you is to wait and not buy the camera for now....$5000 is overpriced in my oprinion. If you can wait and get the cam for about $3800 then you will get what you paid for....

Good luck!
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Old September 14th, 2004, 06:30 PM   #18
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 47
<flame repellant suit>

I love this thread: so many valid viewpoints, just like life.

Practically everyone who rents an XL1 and XL1s from me are professional videographers, student filmmakers, and independent filmmakers. Here, FWIW, is my best estimation of their viewpoints.

My videographer clients probably won't complain about the XLR inputs being mic-level only. I'll probably include pads for those folks who are using mixers or wireless mics that have receivers with line-level outputs.

My filmmaker clients that obsess with audio (and the better ones IMO are obsessive about audio) will complain about the XLR inputs being mic-level only and the RCA inputs being consumer line-level only. The best mic preamps are found in $1000+ mixers that output professional line-level signals. Attentuating these signals back to mic-level so that they can be amplified by consumer-grade mic preamps in the XL2 (assuming they're consumer-grade components) will certainly inject noise (hiss) that will have to be removed in post. Otherwise, the hiss may be noticable when played over good theater sound systems.

And running unbalanced signals to the camera is not an option in the majority of cases. Running balanced cables is the easiest way to ensure that electrical interference won't enter into the audio chain, ruining an otherwise good take. It's impossible to guarantee that the mixer can always be a short distance from the camera in order to run unbalanced cables. Invariably, the mixer is 20-45 feet away because they're also operating the boom. Plus, XLR connectors are more reliable than RCA and hold up to the mechanical stress that cables tend to receive on film sets.

Some folks who mix sound for films typically monitor the audio being recorded by the camera by running a confidence cable from the headphone output back to their mixer. These folks will curse the hiss from the consumer-grade headphone amplifier circuit because this return signal will only tell them that sound is being recorded by the camera, not the absolute quality of the sound.

Being a former electrical engineer from the manufacturing sector, I know Canon made these decisions based on marketing and cost. It's a shame but economics of cost-per-unit probably won the trade-off between full professional-grade audio features and partial consumer-partial professional features. Unfortunately, audio seems to be a secondary (at best) concern among consumer camera manufacturers due to cost and marketing surveys.

Panasonic got it right IMO with the DVX100/a audio inputs capable of switching between mic- and line-level. Of course, I have to scratch my head about the DVX100 not having headphone volume level control (they fixed that with the DVX100a).

My videographer clients will probably live with the iris switch. They'll likely think it odd but will live with it. My wedding videographers who shoot in manual exposure modes may complain.

My filmmaker clients will likely complain about the iris switch. Documentarians who shoot verite-style will likely curse it for the slow, stepped response. DP's shooting scripted projects will likely curse it (they have complained to me in the past about the stepped response of the XL1 and XL1s). Panasonic got it perfectly right IMO with the DVX100/a having a continuously-variable iris wheel. Kudos to Panasonic!

Again, I intuit that Canon's decision not to add a separate menu control in addition to a continuously-variable iris wheel was an economics decision. Such is life in the mass production world of consumer electronics. After all, since the camera will sell, maximize the net profit because enough people will live with it; it's a standard and universal corporate practice that relies on marketing surveys of target customers.

Me? I'm adding the XL2 to my rental inventory because it's a great camera, IMO. Could have been better in these two areas and these detractors are a little embarassing IMO to explain to my clients. But I'll also keep the DVX100a in the rental inventory because I suspect these two features alone will keep it in demand.

</flame repellant suit>

Kevin Triplett
Mopac Media
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