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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 October 27th, 2005, 11:16 PM   #16
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I found that XL2 footage I was looking for... this is the stuff I was drooling over before deciding to purchase. It's from another forum (hope a link is allowed): http://www.cinematography.com/forum2...showtopic=5062

I especially recommend nightxl2, xl2video, and xl2zoo.

I should also add that the Xl2 footage from "xl2dvx" appears to have been shot without any adjustments in the presets and is not at all a fair representation of the camera's indoor/skintone performance.
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Old October 29th, 2005, 08:16 PM   #17
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Hi Susan,
I'm actually kinda in the same boat as yourself on this one - but I'm looking at the XL2 vs the DVX102E so, no I don't have an XL2 as yet - though I've had quite a bit of experience in both video and film production. One thing you are pushing for is having all sound recorded on camera. Whilst this may seem easier to begin with - if you are recording for the intent of doing post-prod on a story/film - then you really might want to think about recording off-camera onto DAT/MD or whatever you've got.
Clearly this brings in the sync deal of course - and all the hassle - but your sound recordist will have their own freedom to do what they need to, to bring the best sound possible into the mix - and you'll still have the on camera sound as a back up and for syncing and bringing into the mix if you need to.

This is generally the best way to get a rich sound scape if you are using a sound recordist - is you are going solo - then an external mike plugged into the cam is the way to go of course no other settings to worry about...

Cheers, Nathan
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Old October 30th, 2005, 02:51 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Susann Kovacs
Hmm yes I did see that it had the two XLR ins, but I was under the impression that they were mike in, not line in (which means no mixer, if I'm not mistaken). I'm just wondering if my sound recordist would be practically out of a job...

As I said, I'm quite new to the audio side of things (well, reasonably new to all of it really...only started producing mini docos and short films about 18 months ago and only recently have gotten 'serious').

Since you're a user (that sounds sordid somehow lol)...how do you usually approach the audio side of things?

Is it just a matter of plugging in a decent uni-directional mike and away you go?

Well I don't mind adapting if I know the final product will be worth it. I'd go quality over conenience any day.

I guess what I want to know is, if I buy the XL2, am I going for a camera that will (if used correctly) produce fantastic images but isn't ideal for sound, instead of a camera that produces average-to-above-average images AND sound.
Susan,

You certainly can use an external mixing board with the XL2. Here are a couple of possibilities:
1) See if the board you are interfacing to can put out mike-level signals on an XLR output. If it does not, you can simply incorporate a pad (attenuator) into each XLR connection. Here's one example of a pad you can use:
http://www.shure.com/accessories/a15la.asp

2) Interface the mixing board to your camera via RCA coaxial cables. The line-level inputs to the XL2 are RCA, under the cover next to the battery. The board may have either a 1/4" phone jack output or an RCA output in addition to the XLRs, or you can use a direct-box to convert the differential XLR output signal to a single-ended 1/4" or RCA. For short or medium-length runs, it's highly unlikely that you will encounter noise problems which differential XLRs are designed to reject.

I'm not sure what you are recording in the way of sound. If you are filming interviews, I would either use a cardioid lapel mike, or a shotgun positioned in front of and over your subject and pointed down towards their mouth or chin. This has the effect of minimizing extraneous sounds in your recording. If your subject is moving about, you might need someone to boom the mike overhead. I wouldn't use an omni unless you want to capture surrounding sounds in the environment, say in a nature documentary.

To answer your bottom line -- IMHO yes, you will find that the XL2 has the capability to capture both fantastic images and sound. I highly doubt that there will be a noticeable a difference in the way the PD170 and XL2 record sound.

Pat
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Old October 30th, 2005, 08:39 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Susann Kovacs
.... Hmm yes I did see that it had the two XLR ins, but I was under the impression that they were mike in, not line in (which means no mixer, if I'm not mistaken). I'm just wondering if my sound recordist would be practically out of a job...

.
The XLR inputs in the XL2 are mic level inputs only but some mixers give you the option of outputing line level or mic level. If your audio recordist's mixer's output only delivers line level, the XL2 has a -20db attentuator on the input that can be switched in to partially lower the incoming line level into the proper range. Add a second -30db pad in-line at the input and you've got it.
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Old October 30th, 2005, 08:55 PM   #20
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Hi Susann,

I was faced with the same dilemma as you when choosing a camera. I'd only had experience with the XL1 and a Sony PD150.

I went with the XL2 and haven't looked back. I've had it for six months and am now 'hitting my straps' with it.

I've also done some sound recording with an external mixing board and a couple of boom mics. It was for the TV commercials for the Carnival of Flowers up here in Toowoomba - the sound came up great. Even the sound I've recorded at live concerts (using the on-camera mic with the attenuate switch on) has come up sounding fantastic.

I love my XL2 and can't recommend it enough :)

I'm actually looking to buy another one soon and must have been looking at the same eBay powerseller as you. I'd be interested to see how you get on if that's the way you decide to go.

Thanks,

Matthew.
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Old October 31st, 2005, 12:09 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Haupt
I found that XL2 footage I was looking for... this is the stuff I was drooling over before deciding to purchase. It's from another forum (hope a link is allowed): http://www.cinematography.com/forum2...showtopic=5062

I especially recommend nightxl2, xl2video, and xl2zoo.
Wow...they look fantastic! Thanks for the link.

nightxl2 is definitely my favourite...amazing colours and detail (though of course that would have more than a little to do with the user).

I've pretty much decided on the xl2 now anyway...the problem now is where to purchase it.

I'm still considering a second hand one.
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Old October 31st, 2005, 12:17 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan Rodger
One thing you are pushing for is having all sound recorded on camera. Whilst this may seem easier to begin with - if you are recording for the intent of doing post-prod on a story/film - then you really might want to think about recording off-camera onto DAT/MD or whatever you've got.
My main reason for wanting to record sound on camera is convenience. I've considered using DAT and will probably end up switching to that down the road anyway.

At the moment though, DAT isn't really part of my budget.

Quote:
Clearly this brings in the sync deal of course - and all the hassle - but your sound recordist will have their own freedom to do what they need to, to bring the best sound possible into the mix - and you'll still have the on camera sound as a back up and for syncing and bringing into the mix if you need to.
There are programs though that help with the syncing aren't there? Or is it basically a matter of importing your other audio and syncing by trial and error?

Quote:
This is generally the best way to get a rich sound scape if you are using a sound recordist - is you are going solo - then an external mike plugged into the cam is the way to go of course no other settings to worry about...

Cheers, Nathan
Thanks for the tips Nathan. I think you'd probably be right, so the more I use the camera the more likely I'll be to switch to using DAT.

Perhaps the I could even just hire some sound equipment to keep my budget in control...
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Old October 31st, 2005, 12:30 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Pai
Susan,

You certainly can use an external mixing board with the XL2. Here are a couple of possibilities:
1) See if the board you are interfacing to can put out mike-level signals on an XLR output. If it does not, you can simply incorporate a pad (attenuator) into each XLR connection. Here's one example of a pad you can use:
http://www.shure.com/accessories/a15la.asp

2) Interface the mixing board to your camera via RCA coaxial cables. The line-level inputs to the XL2 are RCA, under the cover next to the battery. The board may have either a 1/4" phone jack output or an RCA output in addition to the XLRs, or you can use a direct-box to convert the differential XLR output signal to a single-ended 1/4" or RCA. For short or medium-length runs, it's highly unlikely that you will encounter noise problems which differential XLRs are designed to reject.
Thanks for the great info...looks like I have more options than I thought, both quite doable. I was under the impression that using RCA instead of XLR cables guaranteed a loss of quality...but my 'sets' will be fairly small so perhaps it won't be a problem.

Quote:
I'm not sure what you are recording in the way of sound. If you are filming interviews, I would either use a cardioid lapel mike, or a shotgun positioned in front of and over your subject and pointed down towards their mouth or chin. This has the effect of minimizing extraneous sounds in your recording. If your subject is moving about, you might need someone to boom the mike overhead. I wouldn't use an omni unless you want to capture surrounding sounds in the environment, say in a nature documentary.
For the first couple of films, I'll be recording interviews. The subjects won't be moving around at all.

I'll also be filming at a convention - lots of noisy people in a large room.

Early next year I'll be shooting short films, which include a bit more movement.

My personal preference would probably be the shotgun mic as lapel mics always seem to run the risk of getting clothes rustles etc on tape.

Quote:
To answer your bottom line -- IMHO yes, you will find that the XL2 has the capability to capture both fantastic images and sound. I highly doubt that there will be a noticeable a difference in the way the PD170 and XL2 record sound.

Pat
In that case, the XL2 wins hands down ;)
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Old October 31st, 2005, 12:33 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve House
The XLR inputs in the XL2 are mic level inputs only but some mixers give you the option of outputing line level or mic level. If your audio recordist's mixer's output only delivers line level, the XL2 has a -20db attentuator on the input that can be switched in to partially lower the incoming line level into the proper range. Add a second -30db pad in-line at the input and you've got it.
Sadly, I don't think the mixer gives the option of mic level outputs.

So it will have to be either pads or DAT.
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Old October 31st, 2005, 03:58 AM   #25
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The cheapest way to get an XL2 in Australia is via globalmediapro.com based in Auckland. They are very very cheap, and efficient - check it out.

You can go line-in to the XL2 via RCAs or if you want convenience, just hook some decent condenser mics directly into the camcorder's XLRs (it has the best on board sound recording capabilities of any camera in it's class). Nice clean sound.

DAT is a dying technology - there are much better/ more convenient digital recording options if you want to record dual-system audio these days; these record to solid state memory cards or hard drives (by companies like Marantz, Fostex, Sound Devices, Tascam). Fly over to the audio discussion boards to check out your options there.

I just moved on to the XL2 after three years with the DVX. While I miss the wider field of view on the standard lens and the fold out LCD of the DVX, I'm happy with the change. The XL2 captures a much cleaner image with a lot more detail. It's a great camera.
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Old September 17th, 2006, 10:53 PM   #26
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Why I have chosen

You've probably got the camera by now, but I'll just give my 2 cents worth (though in Hong Kong the lowest we go is 10cents, so I'll just give 10 cents worth ok?! :P )

Anyway, I have used the following cameras:
Sony DSR400 (for TV work)
Sony DSR-VX2100 ("PD170 lite")
Canon XL1s

And others...including the HDV toy camera: Sony HDR-HC3 (yuck)

I am currently looking for a new camera and am leaning strongly to the XL2 (hence coming here) and I have decided on it over the PD170 and Panny DVX100b. Here’s why:

1. It is arguably the best MiniDV camera in terms of footage, and is better or the same as the DVX100b for "film look" and better or as good as the PD170 for "video look" meaning you can have both.
2. It is flexible (see number 1) it has a lot of setting to tweak.
3. I don't care about DVCAM
4. I want something different
5. It looks professional (I personally don't care, but clients like big fancy cameras).
6. Excellent 16:9 and “just as good as others” 4:3
7. Good enough sound (though I intend to get a sounddevices Mixpre later)
8. Canon makes quality stuff (I think their still cameras are the best in the world.)

Reasons against the XL2
1. So so viewfinder
2. Too big sometimes.
3. Umm...it's white... ("video chainsaw in clown colours")
4. Could put interviewees off a bit (then I did interview people with the DSR400 which can't be called non-intimidating)
5. It is a bit more expensive.
6. No DVCAM (who cares)
7. You can’t nonchalantly say: “It’s a Sony” followed by a musical jingle.
8. You went to a “DVX website” and read their "totally unbias true 3-way review” (this threw me for a while).
9. Learning curve (seriously I didn't like the XL1 at first, it seemed a bit too different...but you get use to it. The DSR400 is more complicated really so yeah it' OK...).


My second choice would be (and here is a surprise maybe) the Sony VX2100. This is because its image quality is on par with the PD170 and the audio can be “fixed” with an adapter or mixer/preamp (with a new mic) and still come in cheaper than a XL2 (in Hong Kong at least). But I’d rather spend a bit more now on a camera, and get other stuff later when I can afford them.

If I could I'd buy the DSR400 or something though. However, though I come from Australia I don't have Murdoch as my surname, so I go with what I can afford (you know we love you for the Simpsons MR. Murdoch.)
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Old September 22nd, 2006, 01:46 AM   #27
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hey

as far as my experience, the PD170 is the low light king and you cant beat the fact that you can whip it around much easier than the XL. and it's got great color rendition, oversaturated in fact to my eyes and screams- video!

the xl2 i love because of ergonomics and not because of weight. its poor in low light but in well lighted conditions i absolutely love it. it captures warmth. they say overexposing in dv is bad but mind you, overexposing on the xl2 is great!

overall i would buy the xl2 if i were you. its got greater imaging flexibility and a whole range of accessories to suit every need. one camera and a thousand strap-ons...
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Old September 25th, 2006, 02:51 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Lozano
...a whole range of accessories to suit every need. one camera and a thousand strap-ons...

Sorta like the Ipod, but the XL2 actually works fine without all the accessories...baa-ziing!

(sorry all you ipod guys...it's just a joke, don't defend the ipod with your ipod phasers-of-doom! *)

* Also a joke (ipod phasers of doom is a new ipod accessory coming out soon**).

** and that was me being facetious.
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