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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 24th, 2004, 09:59 AM   #1
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B&H......Confused

I just spent some time talking to B&H regarding the XL2. It did
not come across as recommended. Don't get me wrong, I realize
all this is subjective but they were for one, high on HD. Aside from
that issue, for the money they felt a DSR-250 or 390 would be a better camera (knowing the additional expenses
for accessories), and use software to achieve a 24p/film type look. I'm not looking to create a redundancy post and I realize it's
all in what YOU want but we all seek opinions that help in decision making. I guess I was just a bit surprised, but they
(ok, not 'they', but he) said the $5000 could better spent at
this point in time and the near future would produce some interesting products. I know the 'shoot now' mindset and all
other thoughts on picking a camera, again, I was just surprised. This post is rhetorical - I just thought I'd share the conversation.
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Old September 24th, 2004, 10:12 AM   #2
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Yeah, opinions are like (**pick body part of your choice**); everyone's got one. I haven't bought anything -- yet -- from B&H, but the fact that a high-volume retailer like them is happy to chat and then recommend that you consider a less expensive alternative seems pretty honorable to me.

My decision was to get an XL2 and take good care of it, as I do with any of my equipment anyway. Seems the higher-end cameras hold their value well so when HDV is ready for me (I'm sure ready for it!), the market value of my XL2 won't be so much lower than what it cost me to buy that it would make me sorry I had 6 to 24 months to become a better videographer with it.

BTW, my thoughts are rhetorical, too. ;-)
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Old September 24th, 2004, 11:04 AM   #3
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Michael this not addressed to you but to this insightful sales guy.

<<I realize
all this is subjective but they were for one, high on HD.>>

Great, did they offer to sell you the non existent technology to deliver HD for people to view or was the discussion involving shooting for your personal aquisition and viewing at home on a new HD monitor?

<<Aside from that issue, for the money they felt a DSR-250 or 390 would be a better camera>>

Terrific advice unless your looking for native 16:9 resolution chips and viewfinder, true 24p aquisition and cine gamma and color. If your not looking for that, then you shouldn't even be thinking XL2.

I'll all but guarantee this guy has never shot a minutes footage with the XL2. If he had, the key differences in the cameras he's suggesting would be apparent even to him.

The 250 costs as much as the XL2, is straight "look at me I'm still shooting industrial 60i video", is 4:3, has a fixed lens with about haf the range. In other words he may as well have reccomended you spend your money on a new guitar.

The 390 is nearly twice the cost of an XL2 all decked out and is basically an ENG camera. The XL2 is clearly not a 4:3, 60i ENG camera. Could you smell alcohol on his breath <g>?

<<and use software to achieve a 24p/film type look.>>

I'm surprised he didn't suggest a $700 handicam and a $200 PC program...it would be just like the movies. Sorry, but this is silly.

<<but they (ok, not 'they', but he) said the $5000 could better spent at this point in time and the near future would produce some interesting products>>

Statements like, "the future will produce some interesting products" are as enlightening as saying "the coming days will bring a mix of sunshine and clouds", "next Spring will be followed by Summer".
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Old September 24th, 2004, 11:29 AM   #4
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The salesperson, to one extent or the other, was doing his job. Michael, you haven't stated in this thread what you hope to do with this camera. Did you share this information with the salesperson? Salespeople who are up on technology (and doing their job) are "high on HD" because it represents the future. He would be remiss in his duties if he at least didn't mention HD. Sony does have several new HD cameras due on the market in a month or so.

Your needs may be better met by HD, SD, native 16:9 or even film. But until you confide in use what you hope to do with the camera, most of what has been written is useless. If you hope to be a news stringer 60i has it's place for the immediate future and 24p is worthless. If you hope to do indie films, 24p and native 16:9 could be just the ticket. There are just too many variables with the limited information we have.
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Old September 24th, 2004, 12:16 PM   #5
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<< "high on HD" because it represents the future.>>

Which is great for future projects Jeff and future investments, but you're being more than a little naive if you think that salesmen are doing a potential customer some inherent responible service by enticing them to trade up to an entire new untested, unproven technology. It's all about business and with HD and HDV (which I'm talking about). It's the retailers future profits that they're selling along with their advice.

<<He would be remiss in his duties if he at least didn't mention HD. Sony does have several new HD cameras due on the market in a month or so.
>>

It's kind of hard to imagine that someone in 2004, with the world of the internet, looking to spend $5000 on a camera, needs to have someone tell them about emerging technology, HDV cams etc. Thes guys aren't lawyers or real estate brokers with fiduciary obligations..they don't have inherent "duties" to fulfill.

I like B&H and have done some serious $$ with them over the years, but I would never look to them as ultimately informed or unbisaed arbiters of this sort of thing.

For example, how would you explain reccomending an $8-10k, 4:3, 60i camera to someone interested in a $5k, 24p, 16:9 camera?. I've been around this type of aquistion for years and after shooting with the XL2 for a couple of weeks it's more than obvious that these are virtually different technologies...I don't see how they get discussed in the same conversation.
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Old September 24th, 2004, 12:57 PM   #6
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To clarify, I am in no way taking a shot at B&H. I was discussing accessories for an XL1s and asked about the XL2. I don't have much experience with B&H but I would find biased input unprofessional. It could be at least 'well in my experience...'
I didn't approach it as if I was looking for a camera for a specific
application, I have always wanted diversity. I think his point was
that the Sony's had more professional features and that the film
look could be achieved in post. I will say that he said the XL2
was not native 16:9 but instead true 16:9 and stated something
about the 24p not being true 24p, I didn't try tackling that due to time constraints and have no idea what his experience is. Again, I think the main point was for that money you could get a better camera ('better' used loosely) and get the diversity in post.

Jeff, I will never have a specific use - I would in no way want to limit what I can do whether it be a sporting event, music video,
a commercial, or short film, that's why the XL2 was appealing to me - I was just surprised at the response I got from them on it.

Maybe it's someone who only works with big dollar stuff and doops less expensive equipment or maybe it's someone who can't afford any of it and has no experience. I'm going to shoot up to Cleveland tomorrow and try one out, it's time to look at more than words.
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Old September 24th, 2004, 01:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
you're being more than a little naive if you think that salesmen are doing a potential customer some inherent responsible service by enticing them to trade up to an entire new untested, unproven technology.
Enticing, who said enticing? From what you or I know of the conversation it was a discussion about an imminent emerging technology. I don't think any arm twisting or enticing was going on. Was there Michael?


Quote:
It's kind of hard to imagine that someone in 2004, with the world of the internet, looking to spend $5000 on a camera, needs to have someone tell them about emerging technology, HDV cams etc. Thes guys aren't lawyers or real estate brokers with fiduciary obligations..they don't have inherent "duties" to fulfill.
Jim, it's obvious you've never worked in retail in a major market. Having worked in retail sales, retail management and done consulting work for a major retailer I can state that in many good retailers a salesperson is expected to educate and inform as well as "sell." Many retailers train their sales force to do a modified needs analysis to aid in determining what camera best meets a clients needs. After the needs are established and prioritized a features versus benefits comparison can be made of similar products. Once the best product for the customer is determined the salesperson is expected to attempt several closes. These are among his many responsibilities and duties as assigned by many retailers.

Quote:
how would you explain reccomending an $8-10k, 4:3, 60i camera to someone interested in a $5k, 24p, 16:9 camera?
There's nothing wrong with a salesperson testing what the budget limit of a customer might be. Customers rarely state they have a dollar limit until asked or discovered by the salesperson. Salespeople can both oversell or undersell the needs of the customer. If the customer quickly rejects the features of a camera the salesperson needs to move on to another model, price point etc.

Quote:
I don't see how they get discussed in the same conversation.
A typical conversation might go like this Jim.

Salesperson: Hi, can I help you?

Customer: I'm looking for video cameras, what's the best?

S: It's hard to say what the best is, do you have a price in mind?

C: Maybe something around $5000. maybe a little more or a little less, you know.

S: Sony has a couple models in that range, the DSR 250 and 390. Let me tell you a little about them.


Anyone that has worked retail or trade shows will tell this kind of conversation goes on all day long.
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Old September 24th, 2004, 01:52 PM   #8
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<<Jim, it's obvious you've never worked in retail in a major market. Having worked in retail sales, retail management and done consulting work for a major retailer I can state that in many good retailers a salesperson is expected to educate and inform as well as "sell>>

I don't know, for someone concerned with making assumptions, that's a real whopper Jeff <g>. I appreciate your sales background and viewpoint. I just don't agree with the latter in this reagrd. For the record I consult on regional and national marketing everyday. Which has noothing to do with this particular issue IMO.

This is a sales guy giving opinions. Some are good, some aren't. Some are informed, some aren't. Just like car mechanics, politicians, and everyone else. I based my opinions on the things this peson said to what I assumed was someone calling about buying an XL2. As this is the XL2 watchdog I didn't think that was a big leap in logic.

And I certainly stand by my original point that I doubt this person has shot with one and that a DSR-390 is a dumb comparison or option for someone looking for an XL2, more importantly I believe the thread began with Michael saying he was basically discouraged by B&H from buying an XL2. The comments and suggestions certainly sounded like it. Personally I think it's dumb because you couldn't get XL2 like images with a DSR if you tried all day every day.

As far as HD is concerned, if we're talking HDV (because if not then it's a truly absurd analogy) then yes...while it's imminent, it's unseen, untested and unproven. It could be horrible in the real world or great.
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Old September 24th, 2004, 04:14 PM   #9
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So how many have successfully produced a good film look
in post with 60i?
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Old September 24th, 2004, 04:39 PM   #10
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Don't know Michael, but here's what I can tell you and probably why I was a bit taken back by the reccomendationd from the sales guy. I've been spending the day preparing for the first shoot for this DVD project tomorrow. I've done some studio lens comparisons with the 20x and 14x, audio tests in a controlled recording studio to get a real assesment of some people's concerns re hiss and the new preamps.

Most importantly, I've been calibrating two hi-res 16:9 monitors...field and studio. I just got through viewing footage shot last week (I'm going to view the lens tests tonight and do a critical listening of the audio tests then as well). Having all the experience I need over the years with all and any 601 footage, Beta, 1", digibeta and unfortunately 5 boxes of the original ABC source tapes from the 1980 Olympics that we have dearchive from a boat anchor for this movie...the XL2 is in a league of t's own.

You just can't get images like this with any 4:3, 60i camera, and I would never aquire in that format again after shooting for two weeks with this. So for 5k you can tell that guy I said he's nuts.

For anyone who hasn't seen their or other people's XL2 footage on a well caibrated 16:9 hi-res monitor, you really won't get it till you do.
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Old September 24th, 2004, 05:01 PM   #11
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<<<-- Originally posted by Jim Giberti :
You just can't get images like this with any 4:3, 60i camera, and I would never aquire in that format again after shooting for two weeks with this. So for 5k you can tell that guy I said he's nuts.

For anyone who hasn't seen their or other people's XL2 footage on a well caibrated 16:9 hi-res monitor, you really won't get it till you do. -->>>

Jim,
I totally agree. We just did some tests with our XL2 and viewed the results in our component digital suite on a Sony 16:9 broadcast monitor.

We are shooting a political for a congresional race with the Sony DVW-790WS digibeta in 16:9 and were considering using the XL2 as a secocond unit camera to pick up some extra shots.

We shot our xl2 test footage 16:9 24p at the far end of the 20x lens and the results were simply stunning....it will cut in seamlessly with the digibeta footage. We decided to add several more shots to the xl2 list.

The camera amazes me, and ONLY 5k....its a bargain.....it will pay for itself in 6 months.
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Old September 24th, 2004, 05:13 PM   #12
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Great posts - you guys are making sense to me, The rep didn't.
Everyone is starving to see some (more) 24p footage before jumping in. I wish you well in your projects. Thanks.
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