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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 12th, 2004, 11:59 AM   #1
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Is CANON lurking out there?

Wouldn't it be nice if people from the Canon company were looking at all the posts being applied here. To see the good and bad feedback on their XL2. I've been torn between buy or not to buy now.... Driving me crazy to say the least. $5,000.00 does not come easy to me and my wallet. But I've geared up to purchase one with a lot of hard overtime. But back to my main point. If they were to take all the thumbs down or uncertainties due to the shortcomings of the camera, and tweek those problemed areas; cheap plastic knobs, pasty look to video, something about audio in on XLR's, (although I can't attest to any of this due to one not being in my possession), etc... confirm if the "problems" are indeed founded, fix them.... and then do a re-release..... of course that doesn't help the ones not happy about the camera that have already purchased it, and all the ones out on the shelves ready to be sold.... Okay, maybe I should forget about that theory.....
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Old September 12th, 2004, 04:00 PM   #2
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Personally I don't think of the "pasty" (more pastel IMO) as a bad thing. I actually like the look. I'm fairly sure you can change the look if you want to. Add some sharpening and bump up the colors...
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Old September 12th, 2004, 04:11 PM   #3
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I wish I knew what pasty looks like...so I could look for it.

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Old September 12th, 2004, 10:33 PM   #4
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what pastey look are you all talkin about... go in there and adjust the settings...

i was lucky enough to be on the 11th floor of a Marriot when some fireworks went off by the beaches in san diego... i shot it and watched it on my monitor... it was gorgeous... for all you that are hesitant on buying the XL2... don't sleep... it will be the best looking SD cam period... even when the transition to HDV is in full effect, the look of the xl2 will be achieving cult status...
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Old September 13th, 2004, 12:05 AM   #5
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<<onfirm if the "problems" are indeed founded, fix them.... and then do a re-release..... of course that doesn't help the ones not happy about the camera that have already purchased it,>>

Joseph...no offense, but this is ridiculous. There is no pasty look. And I'm one of the people that mentioned the "cheaper than what I'd like" iris wheel. That was in context with describing the nicest camera I've ever shot with. You know...it's like not liking the cigarette lighter in your new Lexus.

Why would you suggest that this is a problem camera that needs a re-release..are you nuts <g.>?? Trust me, this is a brilliant, word class release, well worth the wait. It's not flawed anymore than any new anything is subject to "I wish they had done this or that" comments.

I need to be clear about this because there have been a lot of extreme and ungrounded comments that may deny someone an opportunuty to shoot stuff like they dreamed of for a $5000 budget (which for the record is peanuts when you compare this camera to what it used to take to get an image that wasn't remotely this good a feew years ago).

If a $40 pad and a less than perfect iris wheel are the only things wrong with this camera (and so far I've got nothing but "wows" about everything else), then it ranks right up there with the best camera developments of it's kind.

Honestly...this thing is special, it's not a problem, it's the best $5000 I've ever invested, and I'm not exaggerating.
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Old September 13th, 2004, 12:40 AM   #6
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"..And I'm one of the people that mentioned the "cheaper than what I'd like" iris wheel. That was in context with describing the nicest camera I've ever shot with. You know...it's like not liking the cigarette lighter in your new Lexu"

Dunno about you Jim, but I've had an XM2 (same iris wheel apparently) for 2 years and that iris wheel is not a minor thing to gripe about. Even in my small amount of experience I already want equipment that makes my job easier, and less time consuming - to me that means smooth, easy, iris control. I loathe my XM2 iris wheel, it really is a pathetic piece of equipment. It's embarrassing to show people how to adjust exposure with it - especially people who come with some experienc in camera work.

"brilliant, word class release, well worth the wait. I"

I'd agree image wise, but I want effort put into the sound and other pieces of the camera.

"If a $40 pad and a less than perfect iris wheel are the only things wrong with this camera (and so far I've got nothing but "wows" about everything else), then it ranks right up there with the best camera developments of it's kind."

Well then, if those things are so minor, why didn't they build them in and make everyone happy and blow us away even more?

I don't subscribe to this whole "we need to put up with what we get" scenario. Consumers should rule the market and we should make ourselves heard. That's what can drive the market and technology forward

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Old September 13th, 2004, 06:31 AM   #7
 
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Let it be known that no one has to (is forced to) pay $5000 for the XL2.

Jay
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Old September 13th, 2004, 11:06 AM   #8
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Joseph Andolina writes:
>>>>>>>>If they were to take all the thumbs down or uncertainties due to the shortcomings of the camera, and tweek those problemed areas; cheap plastic knobs

Joseph, let's back up a second. Are you trying to say that the control knobs on the XL2 are any less robust than the knobs on other cameras such as the DVX? Have you even held the XL2 or any other camera?

>>>>>>>>pasty look to video

Who is posting "pasty looking video" ??? What type of shooting experience do these people have?

>>>>>>>>something about audio in on XLR's

Mic level inputs, with built-in switchable on/off Mic Attenuating pads. Built in transformer balanced XLR inputs with switchable 48 volt Phantom Power. You have Line Input level when coming in through the analog inputs when in VCR Mode and recording from another source. Most people will be working with Mic Level in the field when in Camera Mode. How many people actually need Line Level input in the field when shooting with Mics or from a Mic Mixer? Microphones use Mic Levels. Microphone Mixers output Mic Levels. Tell your Sound Mixer/ Boom Operator to give you Mic Level... Direct Interface (D.I.) boxes output Mic Levels. Those few people who actually need Line Input when recording in the field in Camera Mode can simply use an additional in-line XLR attenuating pad. These aren't expensive. This is not in any way a deal breaker and if you consider it to be one, I would suggest that you re-assess your hierarchy of needs. By the way, I have personally tested the audio capabilities of the XL2 and have found the audio to be very top-notch, problem free and hiss-free. I sincerely question the methods of those who in any way say that they are experiencing any hiss at all. The audio is easy to set up and the preamps are very robust, more robust than most cameras in this price range. I have experience with all the cameras and I have a deep experience in professional audio and sound design, so I am speaking from experience here.

>>>>>>>>(although I can't attest to any of this due to one not being in my possession)

Then how do you feel qualified to comment on any feature benefit of a camera if you have no experience with that camera? No offense, but couldn't you at least hold off until you actually use the camera? I think people deserve tangible input from people who actually have experience with the camera.

Hoping all is well,

- don
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Old September 13th, 2004, 11:19 AM   #9
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'Pre-Fingerprint' equipment reviews and commentary seems to be a normal popular pastime these days. The Canon 20D digital still camera, which will just begin shipping this week, has drawn a tremendous number of pre-fingerprint reviews.

I really don't understand this pastime, Don. But then there are so many other pastimes that also fall beyond my understanding. <shrug>
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Old September 13th, 2004, 12:21 PM   #10
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<<<-- Originally posted by Don Berube : By the way, I have personally tested the audio capabilities of the XL2 and have found the audio to be very top-notch, problem free and hiss-free. I sincerely question the methods of those who in any way say that they are experiencing any hiss at all. >>>

Don,
I am one of several people reporting the hiss, and I can assure you I know what I am doing! Just because you dont personally hear it doesnt mean it doesnt exist.

BTW- I am playing back the audio in a Component Digital online edit suite from a Sony DSR-1500 DVCAM recorder feeding audio into a D/ESAM 400 digital audio mixer and listening on Tannoy speakers in a suite DESIGNED for monitoring audio and video. There is most definitely a noticable hiss in the audio....nothing major, but it is there.

Note too; the hiss is far more predominate in the headphones while monitoring the audio as it is recording, I assume this is because Canon has boosted the output in the headphones---this is very annoying.
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Old September 13th, 2004, 12:39 PM   #11
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<< don't subscribe to this whole "we need to put up with what we get" scenario. Consumers should rule the market and we should make ourselves heard.>>

Well that's cool Aaron, but while your waiting to change the world, I'll be having a blast shooting with this camera. Seriously, no one has remotely suggested not airing our pros and cons...I was the first to post the first cons I believe.

What I said was that it was ridiculous to talk about a re-release of a "problem" camera that is so obviously well developed and worth serious consideration. It's just s strange mentality that I'll never understand, where people (not specifically Joseph) comment and exaccerbate discussions about a creative tool that they've still yet to hold, let alone see the results of.

This place is by it's name and intent a place for sharing information. You can't make information up...you have to know something and experience something to form a valid opinion. Not that you can't have an opinion otherwise, it's just that it doesn't carry much water and can be very misleading to people looking for info based on experience.
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Old September 13th, 2004, 12:51 PM   #12
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regarding hiss, Barry and Don...I haven't even done any critical analyisis of the audio end other than to say that using the onboard mic in this run and gun situation I was describing was a very satisfactory experience.

I spend my days in a combined recording and editing studio, with some of the best mics and preamps in the business and have a pretty robust field audio setup to go with the XL2. All I can say is what I said before, if you want serious audio with any camera, you need to use a field mixer/pre and bypass the gain stage of any cameras onboard pres.

That said, I'm pretty confident that the new Canon input stage will do fiine work for the day to day applications where the input is run directly. And there's no question that the headphone preamp is no indication of the true audio signal going to tape. That's why we use a switchable source/deck monitoring with headphones to double check the audio coming off the mixer and what's "printing" as well.

Like everything else, when the smoke clears a little i'll put the sound up on my near filelds and studio mains and do some critical listenning to some properly recorded audio.
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Old September 13th, 2004, 01:41 PM   #13
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<<<-- Originally posted by Aaron Koolen : "I don't subscribe to this whole "we need to put up with what we get" scenario. Consumers should rule the market and we should make ourselves heard. That's what can drive the market and technology forward." -->>>

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.

It is, and has always been, just that simple.
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Old September 13th, 2004, 04:12 PM   #14
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I do agree with almost all of what you guys have said. I'm not trying to say "don't buy the camera, it sucks" - and I'm not touting 'Canon needs a re-release!". I think that's stupid, but I am quite dissapointed about these little things.

Don, I understand that the audio will probably be fine and I'm not going to get into a pissing match (I'll lose ;) ) but I don't like that attitude of "Just use a pad" cause it's anothe piece of equipment, more time wasted in tight situations etc etc. Sure, it won't stop me using or buying the camera but for christ sake Canon could have just put it in and kept us all happy. Then they go and tout the "Intentionally Overengineered" slogan....

Maybe I'm just a cynical young bastard. I have seen many a company produce products, leaving out little things that people want in order to control a market in some form. I deal with that several times a year in my day job, having to fight the bean counters and business men who want to cripple the software that I work hard on and care about. As someone who develops software, I care about the consumer and giving them whatever I can to make their work easier. And I've (And my fellow developers) been proven right many times when we've finally been allowed some creative freedom.

Anyway, my gripes won't get me anywhere, I think I need to stop.

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Old September 13th, 2004, 05:05 PM   #15
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Greg Milneck writes:
>>>>>>>>"There is most definitely a noticable hiss in the audio....nothing major, but it is there. Note too; the hiss is far more predominate in the headphones while monitoring the audio as it is recording"

You write "nothing major, but it is there". I'm suggesting that it is indeed nothing major, as you say. From my experience, the microphone preamps in the XL1s/ XL2 are strong, utilizing a hefty amount of current to provide a high dynamic range and frequency response, which is what is most important in the chaotic extremes of ENG/ EFP acquisition. The stereo electret condensor mic yields a highly useable output and when faced with severely loud and transient sound, all you have to do is activate the Mic Att switch, perhaps turn on the Auto Level control and you will come home with highly useable, remarkably distortion-free sound (considering the circumstances you may have been faced with during acquisition) to incorporate into your timeline. When using external mics or mixers in the field, again, the microphone preamps are strong and will handle most anything you throw at them. This is not true of just any camcorder in this price range. Speaking from experience, I always get significantly less distortion under the duress of loud transient noises with the XL mic preamps than I would from some of the other camcorders I have used, including the Sony VX/ PD series and DVX.

I think those who actually use the product in the field professionally will appreciate the XL for what it does, minor issues included. Any minor hiss you are hearing is more or less irrelevant as it will inevitably not be noticeable in your final mix (assuming you properly set your recording levels). You can audition the sound of the preamps with the best equipment available and yes, you may hear a very minute level of hiss which ultimately is nothing major. If you still have a high degree of hiss at this stage in the game, I'm suggesting that you have a tech issue which needs to be addressed. For those who feel a need to stack the audio performance of the XL mic preamps against the best mic preamps available, I dare say that they are missing the point as well as missing the boat.

Consider the process of the workflow. You shoot your A-roll, which is usally dialogue. Let's assume that you are using a professional grade microphone for capturing dialogue. I know that not everyone is going to be able to afford to hire a soundman with a good Sennheiser or Schoepps, but let's at least assume the mics you are using are high grade balanced mics with above average dynamic range, frequency response and signal to noise characteristics. The dialogue of this footage gets mixed in with the sound of your B-roll, along with music and effects. (Note: the included stereo electret condensor micorphone of the XL is highly adequate for capturing B-roll nat sound/ ambience.)

OK, any minute amount of hiss which you observed in your original acquisition footage gets buried in your timeline mix and ultimately becomes moot point. Again, if you still have a high degree of hiss at this stage in the game, I'm suggesting that you have a tech issue which needs to be addressed. My solution for dealing with the high amount of hiss produced from the Sony VX2000 and PD-150 I used to use was to offload them. Never really had any problem worth mentioning since then. This is not a hack way of viewing things, it is more or less the way it goes, workflow after workflow...

I'm just saying that in the end with the XL, provided you followed healthy recording procedures in the field, it usually is never a problem, or "nothing major" as you say.

Best regards,

- don
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