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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 15th, 2004, 10:03 AM   #1
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XL2 with XL1S

So, what kind of a relationship can these two have together?

Both be used for 30p/60i 4:3 shooting and that 's about it?
Still tough to match because of the newer XL2 chips?

Some have to be in this situation - thoughts?
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Old September 16th, 2004, 10:14 AM   #2
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I think the two will be a tough match on resolution...I did some inadvertant tests (popped in an old tape of the same subject matter)...and the resolution difference was significant....Color didn't appear noticeably different...but this was not scientific. A better match would appear to be the DVX 100.

Barry
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Old September 16th, 2004, 10:21 AM   #3
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Really appreciate your response Barry
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Old September 16th, 2004, 11:05 AM   #4
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To add to Barry's comment I had the opportunity to shoot some more side by side footage with the DVX and the results are interesting. Obviously there is a difference in colors between the two. The XL2 is more reddish and warm and the DVX leaned toward blue. I shot in both 16x9 and 4x3 on the XL2 and only 4x3 on the DVX as it has only letterbox mode.

At work on my high end JVC production monitor there is a significant resolution increase in 16x9 mode for the XL2. Also the image appears to be much cleaner and have significantly lower noise. In 4x3 the 2 compare favorably but still the XL2 comes out cleaner as far as noise is concerned.

I burned these tests to a DVD and brought them home to compare and to my surprise the 2 camera look almost identical on an average 27" TV and my 55" Pioneer Standard Def TV. The colors were a little different but unlike on the pro monitor there was no clear winner is resolution and noise. The grain and dancing Pixels that bugged me on the DVX could not be seen. It's as if the standard def televisions can't "see" the extra res of the XL2 and doesn't display the noise of the DVX. So it essentially leveled the playing field a little. For sure in 4x3 as both cams looked identical other than a minor color difference. And the res and noise were not lost in the encoding process to DVD as I verified it on the monitor at work.

So for what it is worth I thought that was interesting. I am taking Barry's advice and taking this DVD down to Circuit City today to watch on a Hi Def monitor to see if the difference is noticable. Especially considering the XL2 footage is anamorphic and will fill the entire screen and the DVX will have black bars on the side.

I will let you know what I think later.

Thanks
Marty

By the way I agree with Barry. The res increase in significant from the XL1 to DVX. The XL2 is even more clean and clear than the DVX so I think you would find it hard to intercut XL1-XL2 unless you purposely "dumbed down" the XL2 footage. DVX and XL2 can surely coexist in a project if 4x3 though. IMHO.
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Old September 16th, 2004, 11:50 AM   #5
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I have a question regarding 16:9 and the XL2. Everything I shoot presently with the DVX100a is 4:3 or 4:3 with faux letterbox to give the widescreen look on a 4:3 television. If I were to use an XL2 and shoot 16:9 since 4:3 on the camera has less resolution, is there a way to make the 16:9 footage display correctly on a 4:3 monitor? I have a 16:9 function on my PVM-14M4U to view the footage properly but most of my clients have 4:3 systems but do like the letterbox look. I hope I am making sense? There would be no point in considering an XL2 as a second camera if I can only take advantage of it in 4:3 mode with less resolution. Thanks.
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Old September 16th, 2004, 11:54 AM   #6
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To use the XL2's 16x9 footage on a 4x3 TV, you'd have to unsqueeze/letterbox in post.
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Old September 16th, 2004, 12:05 PM   #7
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I appreciate your comments Marty and thanks for taking the time to inform the uninformed, but I have a quick question concerning yours and Barry G's statements pertaining to the higher resolution in 16:9 mode.

If the number of vertical pixels doesn't change from 4:3 to 16:9, then how is there an increase in, I'm assuming, vertical resolution? Some Canon trickery I presume, perhaps pixel shifting.

If anyone has some input I'd love to hear it.

Thanks.

-Tim
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Old September 16th, 2004, 12:16 PM   #8
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Barry,

Thank you. Would unsqueezing the 16:9 footage in post decrease the image quality? I guess what I am trying to find out is, would the increased quality of the XL2's 16:9 mode be beneficial on a 4:3 television compared to a native 4:3 camera such as the DVX with the added black bars?

Again,

Thanks.
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Old September 16th, 2004, 12:31 PM   #9
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Tim

the 16:9 image from the xl2 has a vertical resolution increase, when compared to the DVX (or gl2, pd-150 et al) in 16:9 mode, as these cameras only use a portion of the vertical 4:3 frame to make 16:9...

The xl2 16:9 has more horizontal resolution than the xl2 (or all the other cams) in 4:3 mode...which is essentially added on to the ends of the image...(this is not a pure comparison though, as the image is squeezed horizontally for to fit the dv format.

The thing is that this process ends up being a positive thing when you display the footage on a 16:9 hd monitor...the detail as viewed in this way is extremely delicate...much more than what I would have expected when I bought the camera..and the "Higher resolution-squeeze-stretch" process seems to have controlled the aliasing you might typically see in this situation. (there is almost none).

Don- don't know this one without trying...obviously the xl2 is overkill for letterboxed display on a 4:3 SD monitor...whether it would look better (or worse than the DVX....I think it would probably look the same, but who knows?

Barry
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Old September 16th, 2004, 12:44 PM   #10
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A note on unsqueezing:

If you burn your movie to DVD your DVD player should be able to "unstretch" the image for you. No need to use any letterboxing.
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Old September 16th, 2004, 12:51 PM   #11
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Thanks for the explanation Barry!

I understand the "squeeze mode" that's used to create 16:9 on 4:3 native cameras, but did not know how the XL2s native 16:9 would show more vertical detail in 16:9 than in its 4:3 mode. I'm guessing that its an increase in overall resolution due to how the image is displayed on a wide-screen HD monitor rather than an actual increase in vertical resolution i.e., 530 vertical lines in 16:9 as opposed to... say... 500 vertical lines in 4:3. (Please don't take these numbers seriously as I just picked them from thin air.)

On another note. I would like to thank you for your shoot-out between the GL2, PD-150 and XL1 that you did some time ago. It was the deciding factor in purchasing the GL2, and I could have not been more pleased with the decision.

Thanks for all you input. YOU ROCK!!!!

-Tim
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