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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old November 2nd, 2005, 07:30 AM   #1
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Xl1s vs XL2 on the big screen...?

How much difference would the image of an XL1s make in comparison with that of an XL2 if projected digitally on a cinema screen, or projected via a blowup to 35mm?
I'm talking about if shooting in widescreen (native vs cropped in post).

I know the XL2 would make a better picture, but how big would the difference be?
Thanks,
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Old November 2nd, 2005, 01:14 PM   #2
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I don't think that either would look so good on a really big screen.
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Old November 2nd, 2005, 01:18 PM   #3
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Recently we premiered a little movie on a local big screen. Most of the movie was shot on XL 1s, some was shot on XL 2 and pd150. The difference once blown up on screen was so little that any regular audience would not be effected. Main thing is telling a good story. Concentrate on that and it doesn't matter what it is shot on to some extent. When did we deviate from this concept? Good Luck!
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Old November 2nd, 2005, 03:22 PM   #4
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Thanks.
Yes, I have an XL1s, but I'm shooting a project somewhere next year, a short, and I was wondering about maybe renting an XL2, but if the difference is small, why would I bother?

PS: James, how did it look on the big screen? Acceptable?
(I know the most important thing is telling a good story, but just out of curiousity :-))
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Old November 2nd, 2005, 03:29 PM   #5
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It looked fine. Some of the audience members critiqued it but said nothing about how it looked when projected. Personally though, I was really dissapointed when it got to low light situations. To me, all I could see was GRAIN. Guess it fooled the audience though. Good luck!
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Old November 2nd, 2005, 09:26 PM   #6
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Would it really lose that much quality? I've seen a number of films at local theaters in the past few years that were shot on DV and they all looked fine. If I remember correctly, Collateral was shot in part on DV just because it does low light better. Of course I know that budget is a factor here but still....
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Old November 3rd, 2005, 03:27 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathieu Ghekiere
How much difference would the image of an XL1s make in comparison with that of an XL2 if projected digitally on a cinema screen, or projected via a blowup to 35mm?
I'm talking about if shooting in widescreen (native vs cropped in post).

I know the XL2 would make a better picture, but how big would the difference be?
Thanks,
A significant difference. Not only does the XL2 capture a higher resolution before "squeezing" to tape, but the fact that it will capture progressive 24P with gamma control makes it perfect for 35mm blowup.

If you must shoot on a NTSC XL1s for 35mm blowup, then DO NOT USE FRAME MODE. The best XL1s scenario is to use PAL with 100 more lines of resolution and 25fps. (used in 28 Days Later, Washington Heights, etc.)
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Old November 3rd, 2005, 03:28 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alec Lence
Would it really lose that much quality? I've seen a number of films at local theaters in the past few years that were shot on DV and they all looked fine. If I remember correctly, Collateral was shot in part on DV just because it does low light better. Of course I know that budget is a factor here but still....
No. Collateral used 35mm, Sony HD900/950 and Thompson Vipers.
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Old November 3rd, 2005, 04:46 AM   #9
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I suppose it all depends on just how far your seat is away from the screen...and the quality you are able to accept.

I've seen a few decent movies made with MiniDV and shown on the big screen, but they've had a heck of a lot of extra money poured into them to convert to 35mm (or the DV was mixed with 35mm footage).

If I were to make a film just mainly for the big screen, then I'd start with 35mm, 16mm, or HD cameras. Cameras such as the XL1, XL1s and XL2 are capable of producing a decent image on a normal-sized TV screen, but even on an ultra-wide large TV screen the performance from a good HDV camera will begin to show against the miniDV.

It all depends on your needs, but I don't think that the XL2 shows a big enough difference in on-screen performance to justify upgrading from an XL1s if cinema screen viewing is your main goal.
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Old November 3rd, 2005, 05:10 AM   #10
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Thanks for all the replies.

BTW: Tim, I live in PAL land, so I'm using the 25p Frame Mode of the XL1s :-)
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Old November 6th, 2005, 04:12 PM   #11
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I think he was saying NOT to use frame-mode for the simple reason that the XL1/XL1s frame mode is not a true progressive. It is still an interlaced image but it uses some sort of process that I honestly don't remember to simulate progressive. From what 've read, this makes the process of transferring to film much more difficult that just using straight interlaced footage.

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Old November 6th, 2005, 05:17 PM   #12
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I know he was telling me NOT to use frame mode :-) and that's a very good advice if someone has an NTSC camera, but if you are in PAL land, it's best to use frame mode, as Tim himself said so in his post too. (30p versus 25p... 30p gives trouble for a transfer to film, 25 doesn't)
I was just making clear that I DO use a PAL camera.
But still, thank you for your concern :-)
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Old November 8th, 2005, 02:59 PM   #13
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For film out the XL2 is WAY better than any other SD 1/3" CCD camera. It does true 24P and real 16:9. XL1s does neither...




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Old November 8th, 2005, 03:52 PM   #14
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I agree with Ash, the specs kind of speak for themselves.

Is it it safe to assume that the project shot with the XL1, XL2, and PD-150 was edited on a 29.97 timeline, exported as such, and then transferred to film? It would seem the logical choice because 2 of the 3 cameras are interlaced.

Then of course it would stand to reason that all the footage looked similar. Because when the footage is transferred to film it is extracting the frames from a 29.97 interlaced source.

I'm betting if you shot in 24p (with the XL2), stayed in 24p and transferred to film with a 24p source, it would hold up fairly well (I would guess better than DVX stuff) because of the sharpness of the lens and the true 16x9 image.
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Old November 10th, 2005, 01:48 PM   #15
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Thanks for all the replies (btw, if people want to further comment, please do, it's an interesting reading) but I think I won't rent an XL2 for the project. Content is king, no? Héh.

I do would try to rent or buy the manual lens. People say it's fantastic.
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