Interesting XL2 (FX1 & DVX) Review... at DVinfo.net

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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 January 9th, 2005, 09:43 PM   #1
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Interesting XL2 (FX1 & DVX) Review...

http://www.dvxuser.com/articles/shoot3/

As a prospective buyer of an xl2, it made me wonder about the 'faults' of an xl2, as the review seemed to place it behind the DVX: "As a camera, regardless of the footage, the DVX is the most professional of the bunch...."

Still though, I'm leaning towards the XL2...lol..Why? I guess I love my XL1s and just 'used' to using the platform, menus, lenses, batteries, accessories. The XL2 seems like quite the upgrade, though from the review, the DVX is the better value.

In the end, I"m still pondering which cam to purchase. Perhaps using the XL1s and DVX is the best of both worlds. Or maybe staying witht he XL team is the way to go...??
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Old January 10th, 2005, 12:20 AM   #2
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That was a funny article, too many conclusions based on opinion. Each has it's strength's and weaknesses, you will not be able to determine which is best unless you test each one yourself. The charts were too small to really see, and I noticed they did not use the same charts for each camera. Having experience with 2 of the 3, my honest opinion is the XL2 with the 16x9 feature takes better pictures than the DVX. I have never used the FX1 so I will leave it out. I record on a portable DAT so I cannot give you an opinion on audio - I have read many times the DVX is better. To get the most of the XL2, you will need at least the additional 3x lens which means added cost. The XL2 will probably run 1000-1500 more if you get the needed accessories.
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Old January 10th, 2005, 05:29 AM   #3
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That's a funny article indeed, and I have to agree with David.

" not sure why this dial is here. "
ehm... read the manual?

That professional line is interesting. Professional in what way?
Professional in the images, professional in the look?

Later on in the article they talk about noise on the DVX (which
is worse than the other two camera's according to the article)
but that they might have fixed that with some settings on the
camera. However they then start talking about the lack of color
on the XL2 but don't say that they could've fixed that with some
settings as well (you can).

It's a strange article. But I agree that in the end (ofcourse, as
always) it boils down to the wishes of the user and what looks
good for him or her.
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Old January 10th, 2005, 12:01 PM   #4
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I read the article a few days ago, and I found myself chuckling occasionally. I respect both Barry and Jared for what they are doing over ad DVXuser....and I think overall the review does a pretty good job of laying out the differences between the cameras. But like most reviews there is a bias present that is hard to ignore...such as this comment in the conclusion.

"As a camera, regardless of the footage, the DVX is the most professional of the bunch. The others have consumerish compromises that the DVX just doesn't."

this statement needs an asterisk

*except for the consumerish 1) lack of interchangeable lenses, 2)squeezed 16:9, and 3) form factor.

Every camera in the list can be qualified by its list of attributes...or its compromises. The fact that the primary compromises listed for the xl2 are its menu system (works just fine...and is completely repeatable)...and the iris wheel..(ok they got me there...) seems to pale in comparison with the ones listed above.

I love my DVX...I still take it with me whenever I'm travelling or heading to a party. But when I shoot my next music vid...or that masterpiece of a feature I have yet to write...I'll be using the most professional camera I own...

Barry
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Old January 10th, 2005, 03:41 PM   #5
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Rob wrote:

<< However they then start talking about the lack of color
on the XL2 but don't say that they could've fixed that with some
settings as well (you can).>>

How do you do that?
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Old January 10th, 2005, 04:38 PM   #6
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The look of the XL2 is very flexible. You can adjust Gamma,knee point,black stretch, color matirx, color gain, color phase, as well as adjusting the R, G, And B channels, vertical detail and sharpness. In fact, when you find a particular 'formula' for a look you like, you can save it as a custom preset, and call it up againl. You can save up to three custom presets as well as the default.

Like I said, pretty flexible.
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Old January 12th, 2005, 06:55 PM   #7
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That is the very biased article. I've tested all three camcorders extensively and I must say, they let their subjective likes and dislikes creep into their objectivity. Maybe objectivity wasn't their ultimate goal.

The DVX has some great features that the XL2 doesn't have but quotes like "the DVX is still king" and "the DVX is the most professional of the bunch...The others have consumerish compromises that the DVX just doesn't," doesn't make any sense. Is the DVX really king over the XL2 or are they more like equals with different strengths and weaknesses? I'd classify lack of manual controls consumerish. I'd classify a slow lens (aperture) / low quality lens as consumerish. I'd classify no XLR inputs as consumerish. "Consumerish compromises?" Give me a break. Maybe it should be rewritten to say some of the button placements, etc. have poor ergonomics but definitely not "consumerish." I'll be the first to admit there are certain things that I wish I could have taken from the DVX but I'm sure there are things DVX users wish they could have taken from the XL2. The writers do bring up some good points but overall, the review is skewed toward the DVX.

Another point. They mention lens flare briefly in the article. Isn't it true that a lens is more prone to flare if shot at a wider aperture? The FX1 was shot at 1.6 and the DVX was stopped down to 5.6. Hmm, not very objective. Also, flaring has to do with the lens, not the CCD. If your lens flares, you will get flare in your image.

Another point. Where did they get all those stats from? 90% of TVs are 4:3? If they were to provide an annotated bibliography as to where they got this info from, it would be more believable. "Difficult to find statisticss from the web" just doesn't cut it. To me, 90% sounds like B.S. or outdated info.

Finally, they did say "pick the camera that suits them [you] best" which I agree with but not based on their test results. Wait for a reputable mag or website to compare the three for more objective tests.

All in all, it was an enjoyable and humorous article promoting the DVX as the DVX does deserve a lot of praise. If anyone has and info to counter my thoughts, they are welcome. Thanks.
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Old January 12th, 2005, 09:23 PM   #8
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One clarification...

<< the DVX is the most professional of the bunch... >>

Think about it. Actually it is. The Canon XL2 and the Sony HDR-FX1 come from their manufacturer's consumer video divisions. The Panasonic AG-DVX100A originated from a professional broadcast video division. So that much is indeed true.

90% of North American TV's are 4:3? I would have believed 95%. But it is changing.
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Old January 13th, 2005, 01:40 AM   #9
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Hey Chris,

First off, I just wanted to thank you and your team for putting this website together for us. I find the information you and your team provide to be most valuable. Keep up the great work.

I would have to kindly disagree with you Chris on the "most professional" part. Although the DVX originated from their professional division, it is no more of a professional camera than the XL2. "Professional" is such a vague term. Dictionary.com defines a professional as: Engaging in a given activity as a source of livelihood or as a career. This means even the most inexperienced photographer, for example sake, can be a professional if he makes a career out of it. How long his photographic career will last is another question. Now we see how incredibly vague and undefined the term "professional" can be. If both cameras share so many of the same characteristics, how can one of them be more or less professional when each has certain elements that beat the other? Thus I think the statement above makes no real sense. Just because the XL2 comes from Canon's Consumer division doesn't make it any less professional, and to add, maybe it's because Canon doesn't have a Professional Video division yet (other then their Broadcast Division that makes Lenses). But when Canon does open up a professional division and sells the XL2 under that division, will it only then be the DVX's equal? Hardly so. It's purely classification. Function should be more of the deciding factor as to dictate whether something is "professional" or not. It seems like manufacturers slap on a XLR adapter and a better mic plus some very minor upgrades to their consumer camcorders and call it their "Professional Models." Look at Sony's VX2100 and their PD170. Look at JVC's HD1 and their HD10U. Well, the XL2 already has comparable mics and XLR adapters like the other Pro cameras. It has the upgraded features similar to the other cameras. Still don't believe it's a professional grade camcorder stuck in Canon's consumer classification due to a non-existent Pro Video Division? You be the judge. The term is just so vague and that's why I believe the reviewers' statement sounds so ridiculous. It would be better for them to have written that the DVX is the more capable of the bunch or has better ergonomics but to say it's the "most professional" when they are obviously in the same league just doesn't make sense. If anyone is still reading this, please forgive me for rambling. They did bring up some really good points though but I'm not going to claim the XL2 is king over the DVX. It's too definitive of a statement.

As for 90%, it may be 95% like you mentioned Chris, but this is pure speculation at this point without any statistical sampling evidence. If they were to provide it, Id be a true believer. I guess I let my speculation get the best of me as well when I didn't believe their 90% figure. Please forgive me for that.

In conclusion, (breath, pant, pant, wiping sweat off face from typing so damn much) I just wanted to say thanks for providing us a place to voice our opinions.


Andrew
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Old January 13th, 2005, 08:31 AM   #10
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Hi Andrew,

You're absolutely right, re: consumer vs. professional, it's purely classification. Besides, it's all in how you use it. I have not seen any data regarding consumer TV sets either, but I'd like to know for sure what percentage in North America have switched to 16:9 in the living room.
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Old January 13th, 2005, 09:21 AM   #11
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I have a very simple definition of "professional" as applied to a piece of equipment: So expensive that no one in his right mind would even consider buying it unless he has some way of writing it off or someone else is paying for it.
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Old January 13th, 2005, 10:38 AM   #12
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Seems like I read recently that the percentage of 4:3 sets is closer to 97 percent, if I can find the article, I'll post the source.
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Old January 13th, 2005, 11:14 AM   #13
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O My god!

97%?? Here in belgium most tv shows (new, not reruns) are 16:9. If A tv station here would have a new show in 4:3, it would be weired. And from the people I know 50% owns a 16:9 tv.
And in a tv store: when 30 tv's, 27 are 16:9.

HD is comming soon!
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Old January 13th, 2005, 08:17 PM   #14
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Obviously none of these cameras are professional, because none of them are black. Chumps.

BTW, I think 4:3 television stats are irrelevant. I have a 46" 4:3 TV and if a movie is in a fullscreen format (pan 'n scan) I won't bother watching it. Only widescreen for me even on my obsolete 4:3 TV.

PS, I'd expect the number to be 95% or higher.
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Old January 13th, 2005, 08:20 PM   #15
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Oh yeah.... A website called DVXUSER found the DVX to "still be king"? There's a shocker....
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