My subjective first impressions of the XL2 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Canon EOS / MXF / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Canon HDV and DV Camera Systems > Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders

Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
Canon XL2 / XL1S / XL1 and GL2 / XM2 / GL1 / XM1.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old October 23rd, 2004, 02:36 PM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Montreal, Canada
Posts: 209
My subjective first impressions of the XL2

I tried the XL2 this morning. I went to the store really excited., and came out somewhat disappointed. It's not a bad camera, but itís not the be- all of all camcorders of its class either. The following thoughts are by no means a review, nor an in-depth analysis. Only subjective first impressions, based on 2 hours of handling.

Pros:
- Nice looking camera with a nice pro-look
- Native 16x9 is awesome
- 24p looks good at 1/24 and 1/48
- Access to controls, buttons, and I/O are adequate
- Interchangeable lens option is nice to have, plus the wide range of the 20x is good enough for my use
- Lens hood is deep enough, and usable as-is for most situations

Cons:
- Auto focus, even in 60i, is poor; it's taking too long to adjust to changes. I understand that it's auto assist in progressive, but at 60i?
- Focusing manually with the viewfinder is difficult
- Free (infinite) zoom and focus rings are not smooth, accurate, and constant
- Zoom control with the rocker switch is a tad erratic
- Iris control, as Jarred put it, is retarded; and the stepping is quite noticeable
- Out of the box, holding it shoulder mount is somewhat awkward, and tiring to the arm
- Not well balanced in shoulder mount position, but good feel and very stable when cradled on the forearm at mid-chest level

At first, I thought the XL2, from the specs, and the feedback from forums, was the camera for me. But after trying it, it did not feel right. As the saying goes, ďWhat works for you, may not work for meĒ, or something like that; and it is definitely the case with the XL2.

Native 16x9 is important to me, and the XL2 is the only one that fits the bill it itís category for the moment. But after checking it out for myself, I think Iíll stick to my PD170 until other 16x9 contenders come along. The FX1 perhaps? Or even better, a DVX200 :-) Come on, letís face it, the DVX100A is only missing native widescreen to be THE perfect camcorder.
Frederic Segard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 23rd, 2004, 02:56 PM   #2
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Canton, Ohio
Posts: 1,770
"Come on, letís face it, the DVX100A is only missing native widescreen to be THE perfect camcorder."

That could be true for some but what about other issues?

Interchangeable lens system is a huge plus for the XL2 in addition to the native 16x9. And if that doesn't float your boat then you have to at least consider the stock lens with the Xl2 has a 20x zoom. If you really need telephoto for your projects then the DVX is definitely "NOT" the perfect camera.

Now I love the DVX. I had it for 2 years. And it still has some advantage over the XL2. But the perfect camera is going to be different for everyone.

Here is how it stacks up for me.

The DVX would be perfect if it has a longer zoom, 16x9 native and intechangable lens ability.

The XL2 would be perfect if it had a DVX-like color curve, a DVX like focus ring (numbers), and a little wider lens.

So no matter which you choose there is a tradeoff.
Marty Hudzik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 23rd, 2004, 03:27 PM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Montreal, Canada
Posts: 209
Hi Marty,

Good points, and Iím sorry for not putting things a tad more in perspective. I don't do movies, but I do make corporate videos and event videography. So my needs are not necessarily those of an indie producer. My expressed point of view is geared accordingly.

Of course there are no real perfect cameras. The search for the Holy Grail of camcorders continues. :-) But in the sub $5000 range, the DVX is as close to perfect as it can be. (Widescreen not withstanding) Now, if we talk perfect for arguments sake, the CineAlta or the Varicam are probably what most would be looking for. But it's just not in my price range. The closest would be the Pany SDX900, but still out of my price range. Too bad! lol

It's not a perfect world, and I settle for much less then othersÖ and more then some. Like I said, it's subjective. "What works for one, may not work for others". In my humble opinion, to bring the XL2 closest to itís full potential, it would need some modifications (an XL2 advantage, itís customizability). But adding the price of the XL2, to a 16x manual lens, and a FU-1000 viewfinder, it comes out more expensive then a JVC DV5000, or a Panasonic DVC200. Go figure! I think, when all else is said and done, I would definitely compromise true 16x9 for 1/2" and full size DV tapes.

Again, my subjective point of viewÖ based on my needs, and perceptions of perfection. :-)
Frederic Segard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 23rd, 2004, 05:08 PM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
Posts: 570
To me, the XL2 IS the perfect camcorder. BUT, I just needed to shell a lot of extra cash to get to the point where I can say it's perfect (for me).

XL2 body with 24p, true 16:9 and fully customizable RGB balance, knee and blacks.

+ 20x lens for shots that need a long telephoto and/or IS

+ FU-1000 viewfinder for precise and easy focusing

+ 14x manual lens for shots needing full iris control and/or full manual focus control.

+ Century Optics .6x WA adapter for wider focal lengths on the 14x

+ 2x viewfinder magnifier to be able to focus in difficult positions

With all that, it is perfect, but I'm broke!


BTW I mainly do fictional work.
David Lach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 23rd, 2004, 05:24 PM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Montreal, Canada
Posts: 209
<<<-- Originally posted by David Lach :
With all that, it is perfect, but I'm broke!
-->>>

LOL!!!
Frederic Segard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 23rd, 2004, 05:38 PM   #6
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: NYC, NY
Posts: 151
David,

With the .6x WA Adaptor on the 14x lens, are you able to zoom at all? Thanks.
Joel Guy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 23rd, 2004, 05:47 PM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
Posts: 570
Joel, I cannot say yet. I just bought the adapter from Greg Boston here at DVInfo, who might be able to answer your question if he stumbles on this thread. But the adapter has not arrived yet.

I asked a salesman from Century Optics and he told me I was going to be able to zoom about 8x before it goes out of focus. Don't know how accurate it is, I guess I'll find out pretty soon, but zooming live isn't one of my priorities with the 14x, so I must say I didn't do a lot of research on this before buying. I just want a wider focal length, which I usually do not change during a take.
David Lach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 23rd, 2004, 06:24 PM   #8
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: DFW area, TX
Posts: 6,108
Images: 1
This is true. The .6 is not a full zoom through adapter. You can do partial zoom with it.

=gb=
Greg Boston is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 23rd, 2004, 06:35 PM   #9
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: North Bergen
Posts: 170
<<<+ 20x lens for shots that need a long telephoto and/or IS

+ FU-1000 viewfinder for precise and easy focusing

+ 14x manual lens for shots needing full iris control and/or full manual focus control.

+ Century Optics .6x WA adapter for wider focal lengths on the 14x

+ 2x viewfinder magnifier to be able to focus in difficult positions>>>

David, could you put an approximate price (from the top of your head) on these items?

I wonder if i'm broke too...lol
__________________
Alain
Alain Aguilar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 23rd, 2004, 06:38 PM   #10
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Canton, Ohio
Posts: 1,770
David,
Can you give me some specifics on the 2x magnifier for the EVF? Is that for the BW only or is there on that will work on the Default color on too?

Thanks,
Marty
Marty Hudzik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 23rd, 2004, 08:38 PM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
Posts: 570
Alain, think roughly of $8000 US for the whole setup, the camera with 20x lens (NTSC version) being $5000, the viewfinder $1500, the 14x lens $900 and the other items around $300 each. Of course you can find deals to reduce the overall cost. I bought the XL2 from L.L. Lozeau here in Montreal for about $4500 US. The 14x lens I got a great deal on from a friend of a friend. Greg, like I mentioned earlier, sold me his Century adapter at a very good price.

Marty, follow this link to find more info on the magnifier. To my knowledge it will not work with the EVF. This one is designed for Ikegami cameras (the CRT viewfinder is an Ikegami) and there's an other one for Sony cameras, so I don't think it will work with the Canon LCD viewfinder as well. As soon as I get it, I'll either confirm or deny. I bought it from B&H 2 weeks ago and it should arrive in the mail any day now.
David Lach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 23rd, 2004, 09:07 PM   #12
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: toronto
Posts: 99
Daivd, for 4500 USD did you buy the XL body only?
Roger Moore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 23rd, 2004, 09:15 PM   #13
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
Posts: 570
No, the whole shebang! :)

It was actually $5700 CND which converts to roughly $4500 USD.

XL2 body, 20x lens and all accessories.

Well it kind of got close to $5000 US anyway since I took an extended 3 year warranty with it (to make it 4 years). You're never too careful with this highly priced gear, plus it will help keep a high resale value if I'm to sell it in a couple of years.
David Lach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 23rd, 2004, 09:54 PM   #14
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: toronto
Posts: 99
That's a great deal. Did you pay that after some negotiating or is that what they are tagging it at?

Here in Toronto Vistek.ca is selling the lens + body for $6500, and body for $5300. Too bad LLL doesn't have a store in TO.
Roger Moore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 23rd, 2004, 10:05 PM   #15
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
Posts: 570
No negotiating involved. I actually checked three times with the girl I bought it from to make sure there wasn't a mistake in their quote (thinking they might have given me a price for the XL1S or something like that).

I really don't understand how come they sell it so cheap, especially considering their price for the CRT viewfinder and 16x manual lens were quite high. But hey I'm not complaining, more money to buy extra accessories.
David Lach is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Canon EOS / MXF / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Canon HDV and DV Camera Systems > Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:31 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network