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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 July 13th, 2004, 11:29 AM   #1
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XL2 color LCD viewfinder

According to www.xl2.co.uk the XL2's EVF has a resolution of 200,000 pixels. If I remember correctly, the XL1 colour EVF has a resolution of 180,000.

Is this improvement likely to make those critical focus problems a thing of the past, or is the B&W viewfinder still worth buying?

Anybody who has actually peered down the thing like to comment?
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Old July 13th, 2004, 06:33 PM   #2
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evf display

it looks like from the images on the web that i came across

vu meter was added
exposure bar was removed

zoom and focus values not added (ala dvx)?
the letters REC are still in green?

can anyone educate me on this...
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Old July 13th, 2004, 06:40 PM   #3
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You may need to wait until Chris, or someone at the show today, posts later tonight.
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Old July 14th, 2004, 01:24 AM   #4
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The details on the Canon specification page seem to be confused about the viewfinder/viewscreen. It lists the viewfinder as being 2.0 inches in size and having 200,000 pixels. Just below, it seems to show a duplicate of the CCD specs, opposite where it has the word, "viewscreen".

I'm not sure, does the XL2 have two separate screens on the viewfinder assembly, with a viewscreen underneath the viewfinder, or does one screen serve both purposes, with the eyepiece flipped up for viewscreen mode?

Steve McDonald
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Old July 14th, 2004, 01:34 AM   #5
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Robert

Zoom and focus values, ala DVX, are not added. To me this is a disappointment, as these are great features on the DVX.

Steve

It is one single LCD display. With the diopter in place, it's a traditional eyecup EVF. Flip it up and it's an LCD display. A pretty small display. I wish they'd gone for 2.5" and a native widescreen panel instead of letterboxed.
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Old July 14th, 2004, 02:13 AM   #6
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Some folks like one, some like the other. I'm sure we'll have reports from DV Expo shortly.
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Old July 14th, 2004, 02:51 AM   #7
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Chris, as an open viewscreen, 2 inches may be on the smaller side, but as an eyepiece viewfinder, it's huge. I thought the 1.5-inch EVF on my full-size Beta was quite a luxury, but this one on the XL2 would be great. With the exception of fireworks, I've never used anything but the closed viewfinders for shooting, anyway. Besides, the power consumption is notably less on a 2-incher, compared to one just 1/2-inch larger.

Old folks who can't focus their eyes closeup, can't get much use from a viewscreen that doesn't have a diopter.
I have done daily eye exercises for 3 years and have brought my ability to focus closeup, back to what it was at age 18. Before I embarked on that workout program, I had to wear 3.25X diopter eyeglasses to see anything on the open viewscreens, unless they were 2 feet away. I can now focus my eyes on a fingertip touching my nose (I always tell the truth, so my nose is very short).

For those who have a close-focusing problem and can't correct it as I did, the cheap, non-prescription diopter glasses from a grocery or drugstore can help solve this problem with viewscreen use. They come in powers of 1.5X to 3.25X, for a choice of how close you need to bring in a sharp focus. However, longterm and extensive use of them might weaken your lens muscles and make things worse when you are without them.

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Old September 7th, 2004, 06:17 AM   #8
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XL2 color LCDviewfinder

Hi dudes

Of you people that have used the new XL2, how is the viewfinder

I have 2 questions

1. Is it better to focus with than the XL1s? - How does it compare to shooting with say a flipout screen?

2. The XL1s had an annoying viewfinder that only displayed about 80% or so of what you were actually shooting, so when you replayed you footage back on a monitor, you shot was wider than you thought! - Very annoying. Has the XL2 corrected this? Does the viewfindar display 100% or near 100% of what the actual camera is recording?

Regards
Lawrence
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Old September 7th, 2004, 06:25 AM   #9
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1. you know you can also flip open the viewfinder on the XL2?

2. no, the XL2 viewfinder is still overscan. If that is important to you I suggest you get a custom XL2 with the black & white viewfinder, or get an underscanning TFT screen/monitor, or use DV Rack on a laptop

I don't know of any con-/pro-sumer camera that does underscanning
in either the viewfinder or a flipout screen.
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Old September 7th, 2004, 06:28 AM   #10
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Hi

thanks for the reply

OK it is still overscan, but is it as much overscan as the XL1s was?

How does it compare to the PD150/PD170

regards
Lawrence
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Old September 8th, 2004, 09:14 AM   #11
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I had my first gander into the XL2 viewfinder yesterday and it is easily the best viewfinder I have ever seen.

With the eyepiece down the image is huge and sharp. The lens used in the eyepiece is excellent and it works as well or better than Betacam designs of this sort.

With the eyepiece flipped up it works very well for standing back and composing within the frame.

The information displayed in the viewfinder now includes L & R peak meters for the audio. I

The whole camera is really exceptional. I've watched Canon's cameras evolve from the L1, XL1, XL1s and now to the XL2. Each edition has seen intelligent, professional user oriented improvements and ergonomic improvements that speak volumes about the intelligence of the people who designed and built these cameras. I feel a little silly writing this, but I have to say it: Thanks, Canon!
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Old September 8th, 2004, 09:59 AM   #12
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Hi there

I am sure you are correct in claiming the quality of the XL2 viewfinder. However I am not questioning the quality, I am asking how much of the 720 x 576 resolution image the viewfinder displays

With the origianl XL1s it was quite poor, with only around 80% of what the camera was recording being displayed on the viewfinder - a large amount of overscan. This is very frustrating as what you think you are framing is not actually what you are framing.

I am asking how the XL2 viewfinder compares to this. I hope it doesn't overscan as much as the XL1s. Let's hope it is closer to say the PD170, and does something like 90 - 95% of the actual recorded image.

Can anyone who actually has an XL2 let me know how much the viewfinder displays?

regards
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Old September 8th, 2004, 10:36 AM   #13
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Lawrence,

I own the XL2 I posted about previously.

I have not had time to compare the cropping in the viewfinder to the image as it appears on a monitor or as a file later on in the computer. In all my years shooting with the XL1 I never encountered an issue and ultimately affected the project due to any overscan issues.

I have much more trouble with this when I shoot film. I shoot a lot of film with an Aaton XTR and I typically see all kinds of things on the edge of the negative that I didn't see through the camera's viewfinder. Typically that stuff falls outside the broadcasted image, or we get rid of it in the transfer or crop it in post.

I think the only way to satisfy your overscan concern and the XL2 is to eyeball the thing yourself.

Steve
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Old September 8th, 2004, 10:54 AM   #14
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<<<-- Originally posted by Lawrence Stevens :With the origianl XL1s it was quite poor, with only around 80% of what the camera was recording being displayed on the viewfinder -->>>

Well I have no experience with either the XL-1s or XL-2, but somehow I think you're exaggerating just a bit here :-) There's no way that any viewfinder only shows 80% of the frame. I have a VX-2000, and just sent an overscan chart to it as a test. It overscans by 3% (eg: 97% of the image is shown). The test chart indicates that the action safe area is 5% overscan and the title safe area is 10%. The chart only goes so far as 15% overscan and that is quite extreme. 20% overscan would be absurd.

If you have a mac you can download a free program called "test pattern maker" which will generate this chart and some other useful ones. Unfortunately the program is for MacOS 9 and only creates NTSC charts, so it may not be appropriate for you. When you run the program it creates jpg files, so you could resize them however. See http://www.synthetic-ap.com/downloads/index.html Drop the jpg of the chart into your NLE and send via firewire to your camera. You can read out the overscan percentage directly from the calibration marks on the chart.

Maybe someone with an XL1-s and/or XL-2 can try this experiment and post the actual percentages, then you can compare these to the 3% figure I get on the VX-2000 (which should be the same as the PD-150).
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Old September 8th, 2004, 11:52 AM   #15
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Ok, i surrender, I made a slight mistake in quoting tht it was 80%, however I was not far off. I found a spec for the XL1s and it is

XL1-S Viewfinder 0.7" colour LCD/180,000 pixels
Viewfinder coverage Approx. 88%

So that is quite a lot more of an overscan than the PD170/VX2000

Unfortunatley I have a PC, and a PAL XL1s! so can't try you idea of putting the pattern on it :(

It would be great if someone who has both the XL1s and the new XL2 could do a side-by-side comparison

regards
Lawrence
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