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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 April 24th, 2005, 11:04 AM   #1
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Dvx100a Vs Xl2

Does anyone have any comparison charts between the DVX100A and the XL2. When the XL2 is used with a manual canon lens does it look superior or are they so close they look the same.
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Old April 24th, 2005, 11:38 AM   #2
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The cannon will maybe look a little bit better, but probably it's a pretty close call.
Subjective too.
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Old April 24th, 2005, 03:17 PM   #3
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I recently worked on a project where I had to mix DVX and XL2 footage. To my knowledge they both had straight out the box settings in 24p.
The DVX footage was much warmer, colors seemed brighter. The Xl2 shot much cooler colors but the images were much sharper (we used the 20x).
But I really couldn't say if one was better than the other. It is really a subjective thing.
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Old April 24th, 2005, 07:02 PM   #4
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The big difference between these two cameras is not the video they produce, but rather their very different form factors and ergonomics. You should concern yourself first with the question of which camera feels best in your hands, which system are you more comfortable with. This will have a much bigger impact on your shooting than the video they put out. Hope this helps,
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Old April 24th, 2005, 07:49 PM   #5
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Let's just say that for practical purposes the quality of the footage shot by these two cameras is par, and as Chris points out it's all about the ergonomics. Which brings up my topic of curiosity...I'm looking for user reports on the respective merits of the two form factors. This is something that I have had plenty of time to think about. After several years of using an XL1, I can say that the one thing I have hated about the camera is its awkward, imbalanced form factor which makes hand-held shooting a dreaded ordeal. The existence of all the aftermarket rigs to help with shoulder mounting for this camera attest to the level of dissatisfaction among shooters. The changes in the base of the XL2 bear this out too.

Now, the question is, will I find the DVX100A better balanced, or does the smaller size make it even harder to hold, as in being too much like a "palmcorder"?

Has anyone used both the xl2 and dvx to form an opinion? I have actually been tempted to trade up to a GY-DV500 just so I could balance it on my shoulder!
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Old April 24th, 2005, 10:50 PM   #6
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If I have to shoot a non shoulder mount camera, I prefer to hold it low like a football cradled to one side of my upper torso. This is much easier than holding it out in front and looking through the center mounted vf from the rear. If I need to pan, I hold my lower body still and pan from the waist so my arms and the camera never change relationship. This is the technique I used when shooting Charles P. trying out a stabilizer at NAB. It was shot with my Pana 953 but the same principle would apply to the DVX100a form factor.

As for hand holding the XL-2, with me it's all about balancing the camera as opposed to adding 'rigs'. That's one thing I immediately noticed about the new JVC camera. It's smaller and lighter than the XL-2 but it balances very nicely on the shoulder. The same holds true for fishing rods and reels. If it doesn't balance on your index finger under the reel, your going to be one tired fisherman at the end of a day casting for bass.

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Old April 25th, 2005, 03:04 AM   #7
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I agree with Chris...get them in your hands to make a good decision. "feel" is underrated and not talked enough in the decision-making process. Rent if you have to, to check them out before purchasing...

Other reasons I went with the XL2 are the obvious: interachangable lenses and the not-so-obvious: client's perception. To me, NONE of the non-shoulder mount cameras look as professional to clients. We understand that smaller is better many times, but at the rates they pay they don't want to see a palm-corder, imo.

So, if you shoot for clients...XL2, JVC (soon)...try them both out and you won't go wrong. If no clients, go with the feel.

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Old April 25th, 2005, 09:34 AM   #8
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Kevin is right, not enough attention is paid to "feel" but trust me, after the 5+ years I have been wrassling with this XL1, it is the single most important factor to me. Greg's fishing analogy is perfect. Another example is that of the "neck-heavy" guitar. The overall weight is secondary; if the instrument is poorly balanced and has neck-dive tendencies, you will tire out your fretting hand trying to hold the guitar in the right position.

Actually, Kevin's reference to the client's perception makes even an XL not the best choice...it looks semipro but not broadcast. A DSR250 might be a better choice on that count (apart from performance specs), and even though it is heavier you could balance it on your shoulder all day.

And as for balancing the camera, I haven't tried this on an XL2, but it is impossible to correctly balance an XL1 without some kind of external hardware...essentially something to put some counterbalancing weight behind the camera which under the laws of leverage will move the fulcrum back to your shoulder. Ironically, when shooting on a tripod, I find the opposite problem, I have to hang a counterweight on the lens to prevent the cam from creeping skyward without the friction brakes locked.
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Old April 25th, 2005, 11:26 AM   #9
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Oh yes, and for shooting a hand-held, I have a technique similar to Greg's. But different. For instance, with a GL1 I keep my upper arms down at my sides, tuck my elbows into my rib cage and my forearms up to my chest, hold the cam in both hands (of course) with the LCD tipped up for me to look down into it. Thus braced against my upper body, the cam uses my body as a tripod (OK, a bipod, don't go there! heh heh) if I'm stationary or a glidecam if moving. Like Greg, my waist becomes the pan head and the cam never changes relationship to the upper body. I shot a street performer's entire routine at a summerfest in Killarney, with no fatigue and minimal camera shake. Even though the rear VF will tilt up to peep into, I ignore it and use the LCD.

I never hold it out like a handgun, which is the typical tourist mode of handling a handycam, and a sure way to induce the Jittercam effect as seen on "America's Most Seasickness-Inducing Home Videos."
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Old April 25th, 2005, 12:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Boston
As for hand holding the XL-2, with me it's all about balancing the camera as opposed to adding 'rigs'. That's one thing I immediately noticed about the new JVC camera. It's smaller and lighter than the XL-2 but it balances very nicely on the shoulder. The same holds true for fishing rods and reels. If it doesn't balance on your index finger under the reel, your going to be one tired fisherman at the end of a day casting for bass.
I too at first decided to add some weight to the back of the XL2 so it would balance better, but I since then acquired the D&S Steady Stick and there is no going back. With this rig, no need to balance anything. Any camera will be perectly balanced at all times on top of appearing to weight about 200g. And it doubles as a stabilizer. I know, I sound like a salesman, but there is just those kind of fortunate discoveries you can't help but get excited about. The Steady Stick was one of them for me. It saved my back during long hand-held shooting sessions.
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Old April 25th, 2005, 02:23 PM   #11
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A quick observation:

The XL2 tends to look sharper and more "hi-rez" out of the box but has a more bland, cooler set of colors. (Can be changed in camera menus)

The DVX seems to be sharp (just not as sharp as the XL2) and have warmer saturated colors. It also has a unique set of color curves that approximate film a little closer than the Xl2.

If you plan on doing color correction and post production then the XL2 can be made to have these same curves and look more like film. For those who don't do color correction or post color work the DVX will give a slightly more filmic color representation out of the camera directly. However I feel the XL2s colors more accurately represent what we are filming and the DVX adds that saturated look that we have come to think of as film like.

If you need no hassle 16x9 (true- not letterboxed) then the XL2 hands down.
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Old April 25th, 2005, 03:47 PM   #12
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IMO The Panny DVX-100a had a slightly superior image but the Canon XL2 shoots native 16x9 and you can change the lens, so I 'd give the XL2 the edge because I'm interested in shooting widescreen..
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Old April 26th, 2005, 12:28 PM   #13
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anyone got a link for the Steady Stick? Any other good devices for the XL2 for handheld support?
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Old April 26th, 2005, 01:03 PM   #14
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http://www.tiffen.com/steady_stick.htm

Here's something from Varizoom.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont....x=0&image.y=0

Plus Canon themselves make a stick. I don't know if it also fits the XL2.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=186652&is=REG

I have used similar items. The common element is the downward strut which puts the nose weight of the camera on the user's waist. Simple and effective use of the laws of physics. Having said that, I still would prefer a camera that had a back end which would balance off the front weight, rather than hang it on external hardware. Just my 2.
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Old April 26th, 2005, 02:46 PM   #15
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I have only been using the XL2 for 3 days now, and man, it is heavy. However, ther image is absoultly fantastic, and IMHO, much better than the DVX. THe XL2 handles black amazingly well (Press blacks), and has a limitless supply of presets to custom change to your will. the native 16:9 looks amazing and the 24p is perfect.

While it's weight weight (and being wrongly balanced) is a drawback, I dar eyou to hand-hold a 35mm arri SR2 for more than 10 minutes... best image available, but weights damn near 30 lbs
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