XL2 or AG-HVX200 for "the film look"? 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 September 20th, 2005, 11:28 AM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Richmond, London
Posts: 28
XL2 or AG-HVX200 for "the film look"?

This is coming from somebody who has never used the XL2 and is very intrigued by the HVX200.

I have used the XL1s and I thought the results were very "video". The picture was sharp and cold, kind of soulless. What I'm looking for is a camera that will deliver image with the quality of film. I certainly can't afford to actually go the film route, and digital has certain advantages besides the budget.

But I definitely want it to look like film. I need it to have that warmth so that the viewer can feel comfortable and actually get into the story instead of being dazzled by sharpness.

IMHO, almost as bad as the sharp digital look is the look of digital that has been badly filmised. For anyone who saw the 2005 series of "Doctor Who" - that's the look I'm talking about - garishly grainy and with obscene glow around any light source in the image. It's really not the look I'm going for.

My project, which is self-funded, self-directed and using semi-professional actors, has been in the planning for three years now. Recently I've finally found some people who I think are on the same wavelength and we are all eager to get going.

The film has a lot of scenes that I want to have the feel of the scene in "Bladerunner" when Deckard's at the police station, in Deputy Bryant's office. And also the opening scene with Holden interviewing the android Leon. These scenes are dark and moody, but also warm and easy to get into. They look good. They look thoughtful.

Now, what I'd like advice on is this: should I wait until December/January for the AG-HVX200, or just take the plunge and buy an XL2 right now? Three months is a long time to wait, but it might be worth it. I know that few people on this forum, if any, have seen examples of what the HVX200 can do, but any advice here would be gratefully appreciated.

For example, how good actually is the XL2 at handling low light? Do you think I could achieve the look of the Bladerunner scenes without sacrificing image quality? And if so, how?

As I say, I'm really quite inexperienced in this field and any advice would be appreciated. The reason I'm posting this here is that I don't want to put a lot of work in to achieving the look of these scenes and then find out that I'd have been better buying the other camera.

Thanks in advance.
SC.
Seymour Clufley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 20th, 2005, 11:46 AM   #2
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Canton, Ohio
Posts: 1,770
I'm sure this thread will get moved as it is a bit off topic but I will pose a few simple questions.

Do you need to shoot Hi def? If so then the decision is made. The XL2 cannot record hi-def. YOu could always go for the XL-H1 but that is a different topic too.

Can you afford the HVX? Alone it will be almost 2k more than the XL2 and that's not counting P2 cards. That's easily another 2k-4K.

No one knows what the HVX will look like for sure but it is an educated guess that it will take on the DVX100 like qualities but be Hi def.

Until you explain what your budget is and what your final movie is going to be distibuted on (DVD, film etc) no one can tell you for sure what to use.
Marty Hudzik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 20th, 2005, 01:12 PM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Seattle
Posts: 427
Seymour, I am an XL2 owner and can speak loads about what I like with the camera.
I think the one thing to keep in mind is that it's still digital and will always, to some degree, have that "look" ...at least for the time being.
If you want something that truly looks like film, then shoot film.
Because I am also doing a sci-fi type picture (or at least a drama with sci-fi elements in it) I have a link below for a couple of frame grabs from lighting tests with my XL2.
Do they look like film? Eh, kinda. Do they look like filmish (like that's a word) video? Yes.
You be the judge.
Also keep in mind that these jpegs are low res and the actual footage is much, much cleaner.
Ultimately your best bet is to rent or borrow diffferent cameras and determine which one gives you the best look.

Pic1: is lighting test on a prop rail gun I built in a smoked out room. Little out of focus I think, or maybe it was the haze?

Pic2: "golden hour" lighting test on my main actors.



http://img60.imageshack.us/my.php?image=picture84uo.jpg
http://img60.imageshack.us/my.php?im...nerpic13il.jpg
Eric Brown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 21st, 2005, 09:29 AM   #4
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Posts: 8,308
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seymour Clufley
This is coming from somebody who has never used the XL2 and is very intrigued by the HVX200.

I have used the XL1s and I thought the results were very "video". The picture was sharp and cold, kind of soulless. What I'm looking for is a camera that will deliver image with the quality of film. I certainly can't afford to actually go the film route, and digital has certain advantages besides the budget.

But I definitely want it to look like film. I need it to have that warmth so that the viewer can feel comfortable and actually get into the story instead of being dazzled by sharpness.
Bottom line: If you can't make an XL1s look like film, you will not be able to make the HVX look like film either.
However, if you are this close and don't need to shoot for a few more months, I'd wait for the HVX200 or XLH1 for the HD route.
__________________
Need to rent camera gear in Vancouver BC?
Check me out at camerarentalsvancouver.com
Dylan Couper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 21st, 2005, 07:17 PM   #5
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 6,781
Agreed...certainly while it was in it's heyday and to an extent today (because I still have a couple of XL1 and XL1s shots on my reel), I felt that the Canon series delivered the warmest and most pleasing pictures of any of the cameras of its type. I haven't used the XL2 to be able to comment on that, but I still prefer the look of the XL1s to the DVX100 in those terms (but the DVX ultimately won out for me because of the true 24p and image control).

Quote:
For example, how good actually is the XL2 at handling low light? Do you think I could achieve the look of the Bladerunner scenes without sacrificing image quality? And if so, how?
A dark and moody image from a feature film, certainly from one shot over 20 years ago, still required plenty of light to achieve (it's all about ratios and exposure).
__________________
Charles Papert
www.charlespapert.com
Charles Papert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 21st, 2005, 09:46 PM   #6
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Posts: 8,308
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Papert
A dark and moody image from a feature film, certainly from one shot over 20 years ago, still required plenty of light to achieve (it's all about ratios and exposure).
Don't forget money, and crew, and tiiiiiiime. Probably so much of each that in this case the camera is a negligible factor.

Now I'm in the mood to watch Blade Runner, and I think I will!
__________________
Need to rent camera gear in Vancouver BC?
Check me out at camerarentalsvancouver.com
Dylan Couper 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 01:31 PM.


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