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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 December 8th, 2004, 02:54 PM   #16
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From the peanut gallery (being someone who does neither weddings nor, as yet, film-festival fodder)...

Without anyone being at all "wrong," your question hasn't really been answered despite the scattering of opinions. Probably because there simply isn't an absolutely correct answer here. But John, to my mind, you may have come closer to answering your own question than anyone here: these wedding videos are intended for posterity. Brides generally want the nearest thing to perfection that their daddy's wallet can or will buy. Of course, along those lines, the poor quality of the 8mm family films my grandpa shot over 40 years ago doesn't stop me from nostalgically watching them. But if he had shot 16mm, I'd be even more nostalgic!

Even those among the pitiful masses (tongue deeply in cheek here!) who have seen HD but aren't as video-savvy as all of our friends here on DVinfo.net can see that HD looks better than DV-burned-to-DVD. I have to believe that most North American customers willing to part with a Grand or two to have a video of their wedding ARE aware that widescreen / HDTV is in their future. Those who don't have the cash and interest in a video aren't of interest to you, either.

Some customers may not care about HD right now but not just a few do, and most WILL care at some point. So, ON THE ASSUMPTION that current HDV technology is really clearly significantly better than the superb SD the XL2 offers, I'd say go that way. You can shoot HDV and offer the content either way, with a little higher cost for an HD format. If someone buys SD now, fine. In a couple years, send 'em a nice professional reminder of their option to purchase an HD version of their Magical Moment. If they aren't divorced already, I'll bet a lot of them will spring some extra cash for a disc to pop in their new Blue-Ray or HD-DVD player, or play via computer directly to their new mongo-screen. ;-)

That's one area where I do think some of our friends here are being a bit myopic. Digital convergence and HD are just about to blossom. Not a good time to decide to start ignoring it, IMHO.

Again, FWIW and no more:
Having said the above, if I personally -- Deity Forbid -- decided today to have a go at doing weddings, I'd probably just get a second XL2 and target the lower income market with the best SD around to begin with, and work up from there. In 6 or 12 months when I would have become confident that I could do the job well AND when HDV would hopefully have proved itself, I would make the move to HDV and specifically market to the "high end." Maybe by then Canon will have an HDV version of the XL2 body...but I digress.

I personally couldn't in good conscience market XL2 footage as HD, but you know, I've up-rezzed XL2 footage to WMV 720p and it looks very nice. One could probably "get away with it."

<<EDIT: Joe, you posted while I was still writing my tome. The above comment was not at all directed at your words about up-rezzing. I totally agree that doing so is a great idea, as I mentioned I have done. I was just making an off-hand comment about **marketing** it falsely as HD, which I wouldn't consider ethical. But nothing at all wrong with uprezzing! Just didn't want any misunderstandings here in the community!>>

Yup, I'm convinced. There is no RIGHT answer. You could go either way, but within the next couple of years we'll all be shooting something better than today's SD.
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Old December 8th, 2004, 05:44 PM   #17
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peter,

very well spoken, and good points made.

i guess for now, i will stick with the xl2. but boy, doesnt this rig look awesome for the fx1?

http://www.cavision.com/Image/MB413B2&HDVf-2.jpg

one day.



check this out...

just as i was finishing this post this was on the homepage of yahoo.

guess i am convicted now and must go with hdv.

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...n_toshiba_dvds

j/k.
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Old December 9th, 2004, 04:51 AM   #18
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John: the same kind of rig is available for the XL1/XL2 and looks
even more high profile <g>

http://www.cavision.com/Mattbox/4x4&Canon.htm
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Old December 9th, 2004, 07:58 AM   #19
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Yeah, John, that FX1 rig you linked has quite the Rube Goldberg look...not sure if it would waddle away when you turn your back...or attack! The big ol' XL rig would certainly look impressive -- yet maybe somehow less ominous!

Hmmm, the makings of a short movie? ;-)

Of course, there are tons of opinions on the XL2 here including my own, but to beat that dead horse: Over the last few years I've moved up from Canon ZR10 family videos, to toying with technique on the GL2, then recently up to the XL2. I'm always disposed to jump to the next Great Technology as soon as it is reasonably established, but now that I have the XL2 and SO enjoy it, HDV is really going to have to provide a quantum leap improvement in my end product to wrest the XL2 out of my sweaty palms.

If the no-kidding final-render resolution improvement for the current state of HDV technology (this involves much more than just the cameras) isn't really dramatic, I may stick with my XL2 longer than I initially imagined. Then again, if one can glance at an HDV image onscreen and see immediately that it is "better," I'll undoubtedly bite.

We already know HDV isn't full 1920x1080i but an intermediate resolution; don't know how that all plays out through the whole process from CCD to TV screen. I haven't yet personally looked at FX1 footage that wasn't heavily compressed so can't even pass judgment for my own purposes at this point. But there are clips out there that show what the camera can do if you really need to decide now.

Yup, if you're ready to start shooting weddings now, the XL2 is a sure bet; but you can do HDV now, too, if you're comfortable using an "early adopter" philosophy in your business. If you're going to wait 6-12 months to take clients, you have a little more time to let things shake out in HDV-land.
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Old December 9th, 2004, 09:01 AM   #20
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excellent point.

i am definately not looking to invest in the 'early adopter' pool.

instead i am more of, 'lets use what works and is industry-proven.'

anyone know of a good shop that would work with me on a pair of xl2's? i missed out on an opportunity on ebay for a pair that sold for 7600.

rats.

John
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Old December 9th, 2004, 04:50 PM   #21
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guys in response to rob posting this link:

http://www.cavision.com/Mattbox/4x4&Canon.htm

how does one use such a shoulder system and still shoot live video? i imagine that autofocus is off, and u are using one hand grip to support weight of rig, and left hand (if right-handed) to focus? am i correct? if this is true, how do you tele/wide zoom on the lens controls? you are already using both hands, one to focus, one to support rig?

seriously confused.
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Old December 10th, 2004, 12:08 AM   #22
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John,

The message board has a number of sponsors who I'm sure Chris Hurd wouldn't allow to be sponsors if they weren't top notch. I'm sure any of them will do right by you.

I've done most of my business with Zotz Digital. They're small and do often have to drop ship (have stuff sent to you directly from manufacturer or distributor), as they apparently don't keep a large inventory of small or low volume items. BUT, you will never in your life have a more personal and enjoyable buying experience. You'll truly feel like Brian, Tom, and Christie are "friends in the business," not just someone selling you something by phone and email. If you're buying 2 of a big ticket item like the XL2 from them (plus accessories, I'm sure), they'll bend over backwards to make you a happy customer.

And tell 'em Pain-in-the-Butt-Pete from Houston said so! That'll either get you an additional discount OR hung up on! More likely the latter, now that I think about it. ;-)

I should also mention that for the kind of money you're talking about and the wide variety of shots that I imagine wedding videography will demand, a 3x lens might be a reasonable addition to your order. The stock 20x really is a "long" lens.
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Old December 10th, 2004, 04:58 AM   #23
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Old December 10th, 2004, 06:50 AM   #24
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thanks guys. duly noted. i have not ordered the equipment yet. to be quite honest i see myself buying the pair of xl2s the same time the z1u comes out in january.
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Old December 12th, 2004, 01:31 AM   #25
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I've had an XL1 for a few years and last week I got the Sony FX1. I'm watching on a HDTV, and the HDV camera blows away the "old" technology. The fact that Sony priced it below the XL2 is also going to put a lot of presure on Cannon to lower the price. It seems that many on this forum want to put down HDV because it's a fairly new format, but I saw the same thing when I bought my first Sony VX1000 11 years ago. At that time a lot of people were shooting and editing SVHS and saying that they would prefer a JVC SVHS camera to the DV format because the lens was better on the JVC. It didn't take these people long to realize that even though you have a great lens you still end up with crappy SVHS with blurred chroma compared to the really clean look of DV. I'm seeing some of the same analogies now with DV and HDV. The Sony HDV is SO much better than standard DV and I think that it will become the popular format fairly quickly. Anyone faced with a buying decision now should get the Sony HDV and master HD even if you can't deliver it yet. I realize that this is a Cannon thread, so the good news for those that might still want a XL2 is that they will be cheaper soon.
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Old December 12th, 2004, 07:52 AM   #26
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<<<-- Originally posted by Rob Lohman : John: the same kind of rig is available for the XL1/XL2 and looks
even more high profile <g>

http://www.cavision.com/Mattbox/4x4&Canon.htm -->>>

IS it just just me or does it seem odd that the FX1 is capable of having what appears to be a follow focus connected to it, yet the XL2 (which I own and love) does not? What does that say about the lens design of Canon when 3rd party companies have developed accessories for follow focus for DVX and FX1 yet nothing for Canon? I'm just pondring this and not slandering in anyway.
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Old December 12th, 2004, 12:34 PM   #27
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John

I do weddings with 2 DSR-PD170's and have been amazed at the low light capability of this camera. I tormented myself trying to decide between the XL1s and my first PD170 then again between the XL2 and another PD170. The PD170 produces really beautiful images at the weddings and events I've done and I use no extra lighting, not even an on-camera light. There are times I have to crank up the gain at darker receptions but I can go up to 9 db without causing any significant detriment to the picture and even if I have to go higher it is not that bad. If HDV is not imprtant and based on how you said you were going to be using cameras and what was and was not important, I'd go for the PD170 as a cheaper camera better suited to what you will be using it for. The PD170's price has and will come down further because of the Z1 and FX1.

Two cameras are not adequte for the way I want to cover events. I need to get a third camera when finances are right. For me, I'm waiting on the Z1 to see how well it fares in the low light arena. If all is well with it I will purchase one and use it in DV - DVCAM mode with my PD170s and use it for 16:9 DV and HDV productions when I can get by with a single camera for an entire project.

Good luck on your venture.
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Old December 12th, 2004, 12:38 PM   #28
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lamar:

thanks for your kind insight...yeah i see bh has the 170's around 3k.

but for 300 more, i could shoot the fx1...
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Old December 12th, 2004, 02:12 PM   #29
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Marty

I'm not trying to be smart here but I don't understand your statement. I'm pretty sure you could get a follow focus that would work for the XL1 - 2. It's just a spring loaded arm that presses a wheel aginst your focus ring with a geared mechanisim that allows you to adjust the focus. It mounts on the (normally 15mm) rails that you can get to mount your matte box on. For those of us with servo controlled perpetual focus rings I don't see any use for it. So I would think that makes it better suited to the XL2 with its interchangeble lens capability.

Quote:

<<<-- Originally posted by Marty Hudzik : <<<-- Originally posted by Rob Lohman : John: the same kind of rig is available for the XL1/XL2 and looks
even more high profile <g>

http://www.cavision.com/Mattbox/4x4&Canon.htm -->>>

IS it just just me or does it seem odd that the FX1 is capable of having what appears to be a follow focus connected to it, yet the XL2 (which I own and love) does not? What does that say about the lens design of Canon when 3rd party companies have developed accessories for follow focus for DVX and FX1 yet nothing for Canon? I'm just pondring this and not slandering in anyway. -->>>
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Old December 12th, 2004, 02:17 PM   #30
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There are follow focus units for the XL series of black manual lenses. I don't think any work with the white "servo focus" lenses.
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