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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 December 11th, 2005, 10:48 AM   #1
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XL2/XL1S matching issues...

The company I work with has a fairly small, but solid camera arsenal. We had been running an XL1S as our main camera and various smaller Sony cams for B-Roll. Recently we added an XL2 for the production of a short piece for a festival in Miami. The ergonomics of the XL2 aren't that exciting as the center of gravity is way too far forward with the 20X lens attached. Matching the XL1S and the XL2 proved to be a lot more difficult than expected and during the process of trying to match them, we found we generally preferred the coloration of the XL1S images over the XL2. Based on the additional time needed in pre- and post-production to keep the images of the two cameras looking interchangeable, we decided we are going to need to either upgrade the XL1S to an XL2, or sell the XL2 for another XL1S.

That said, I am curious to see if anyone can offer a good argument as to why we should get another XL2 without pointing to the added in-camera processing capabilities of the XL2. We typically just set exposure and white balance and deal with color in post. We use the cameras for everything from wedding and event videography to commercials and industrial videos and do most of our audio recording outside the camera.

Naturally, cost is a factor. If we upgrade both cams to XL2's, it will cost nearly a thousand dollars. If we sell the XL2 for a lightly used XL1S I can probably pick up a 3X Wide Angle lens, a nice case, and still break even. I appreciate any insight anyone can offer.

Thanks,

Ben Campbell
High Noon Prodcuctions
www.YourNextVideo.com (under construction)
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Old December 11th, 2005, 12:52 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Campbell
The company I work with has a fairly small, but solid camera arsenal. We had been running an XL1S as our main camera and various smaller Sony cams for B-Roll. Recently we added an XL2 for the production of a short piece for a festival in Miami. The ergonomics of the XL2 aren't that exciting as the center of gravity is way too far forward with the 20X lens attached. Matching the XL1S and the XL2 proved to be a lot more difficult than expected and during the process of trying to match them, we found we generally preferred the coloration of the XL1S images over the XL2. Based on the additional time needed in pre- and post-production to keep the images of the two cameras looking interchangeable, we decided we are going to need to either upgrade the XL1S to an XL2, or sell the XL2 for another XL1S.

That said, I am curious to see if anyone can offer a good argument as to why we should get another XL2 without pointing to the added in-camera processing capabilities of the XL2. We typically just set exposure and white balance and deal with color in post. We use the cameras for everything from wedding and event videography to commercials and industrial videos and do most of our audio recording outside the camera.

Naturally, cost is a factor. If we upgrade both cams to XL2's, it will cost nearly a thousand dollars. If we sell the XL2 for a lightly used XL1S I can probably pick up a 3X Wide Angle lens, a nice case, and still break even. I appreciate any insight anyone can offer.

Thanks,

Ben Campbell
High Noon Prodcuctions
www.YourNextVideo.com (under construction)

Are you delivering in 16:9? If so you're argument is finished, XL2 all the way courtesy of it's native 16:9 chipset.

You can work the magic in post all you want even if you have 2 XL2's, you're always going to have to work on the video in post. I have 2 XL's and just shot a wedding, I've still had to go in and color correct from A-B due to the differences in lighting between the 2 shots and shot locations in the same room.

Either way, back to my original point, widesreen vs 4:3, to me there is where your argument answers itself.
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Old December 11th, 2005, 08:02 PM   #3
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Something to consider is that 2 XL-2 cameras can be tethered by firewire to send presets back and forth which may not be important to you. Another thing to consider is the new software Canon has just released for total control of the XLH1 is backwards compatible with the XL-2 (according to their website).

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Old December 12th, 2005, 02:02 AM   #4
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The XL2 MUST be adjusted pre-recording to match an XL1s. If you dont you will have to add all kinds of filters, blur, etc. etc. etc. The XL1s, like the DVX, tends to oversaturate, blow out highlights and crush blacks. The XL2 has much better dynamic range. If what you are wanting to do is shoot flat, then fix in post, the XL2 with the blacks stretched and the knee low has no competition in the 1/3" CCD camera arena.

Another option is to spend some time with the XL2 setting it to match the XL1s. I have done this on many shoots in the past. A quick place to start is: Knee HIGH, Blacks PRESS or MIDDLE, Sharpness ALL the way down, gamma normal, chroma +2, green -2, red +2, color shift 1 or 2 toward red....



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Old December 16th, 2005, 10:48 AM   #5
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thanks...

I appreciate the info and setting suggestions. I am definitely going to check out that backward-compatible XLH1 software. 24p isn't that big a deal because I don't plan on editing to film anytime soon (though it would be nice). But I hadn't really considered how advantageous it is to have native 16:9. Shooting 16:9 on a 4:3 EVF on the XL1S is definitely awkward.

I don't really know if it is a related issue, but I have been noticing the stretching and pixelation problems I see on larger HDTV ready televisions displaying 16:9 SDDv footage.

Anyway, thanks again.

Ben Campbell
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