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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 February 5th, 2006, 05:13 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Bray
Could not have said it better myself. My friend has competiton (doing wedding videos) pushing HD on it's customers now. But all they get is some stupid looking home video like everyone else, in HD. Blah, who cares. My friend shoots in SD. And blows away the competition every time with his presentation, and charges more than the HD pushers, and wins the bid more often than not. You can have the worlds sharpest video. But if your presentation stinks, who cares that it's in HD.
I agree with you and Martin on this point but it isn't what Andrew is asking about. I am just trying to suggest the best current and future-proof camera for Andrew's new business. To me the JVC makes far better sense for many reasons, not just the HD.
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Old February 5th, 2006, 05:26 PM   #17
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I would strongly suggest a pelican 1610 case over the XL2 Hard Case...

More room, better padding, waterproof, floats, run it over with a truck...

My 2c
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Old February 5th, 2006, 06:23 PM   #18
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HD for general use is in its infancy and the post production workflow's are still being developed.

I would question purchasing equipment when you cannot deliver the final output to the client in the format that you shot it. Last I read for stats in the USA (probably the biggest uptake of HD sets) is about 20 million out of 200 million + and there is still no HD DVD format embedded in the market place (my bet is on Blueray).

An XL2 will serve superb images for many years to come and can be edited and output on current NLE rigs so the post production workflow's are established and work flawlessly.

I have not used the JVC so can't speak to it's form, function or images, but in the big picture, like the SONY HDV kit, it's too early to jump ship to HD when you take everything into consideration.
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Old February 6th, 2006, 05:02 AM   #19
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I am starting to favour the HD100 for a number of reasons…

It can shoot in both SD and HD
I don’t think I can afford to buy a whole new kit in two years time
I will have HD ready when I am ready
I would be getting a head start on many people in the wedding business as it’ hardly offered in the UK at the mo

I am now going to do more research and look about the forum too and again comments are still very much welcomed on this topic
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Old February 6th, 2006, 07:18 AM   #20
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Andrew, just to keep you spinning a bit more, here's a couple of points to bear in mind if you are shooting weddings or other events where you don't get much (or any) time to set up, and you get very few chances to rehearse or reshoot.

1. Image stabilizer
2. Auto focus

Image stabilizer can save your hand held long shots from excessive shakiness, and autofocus lets you concentrate on framing when you are tracking a moving subject whose distance to camera is changing.

I haven't seen any reference to the HD100 having OIS, so I'm assuming it doesn't, while the XL2 has a really fine one. The lens on the HD100 is manual focus only, so it will be much more controllable than the XL2's servo lens in manual mode, but then again the XL2 has AF if you want it.

With practice, you will still be able to get great shots with the HD100, but there is a higher risk of "blemishes" at critical moments. This may or may not be important for you and your intended use of your new camera, but thought you should at least consider it.

Richard
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Old February 6th, 2006, 09:26 AM   #21
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double posted!
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Old February 6th, 2006, 09:27 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Goodman
I am starting to favour the HD100 for a number of reasons…

It can shoot in both SD and HD
I don’t think I can afford to buy a whole new kit in two years time
I will have HD ready when I am ready
I would be getting a head start on many people in the wedding business as it’ hardly offered in the UK at the mo

I am now going to do more research and look about the forum too and again comments are still very much welcomed on this topic


Andrew,

I don't know your comfort level or experience with high-end cameras or videography in general, but Richard makes some very good points!

If you are doing weddings with one camera, I think you will spend a lot of the time off the tripod. That will be very challenging without image stabilization. Nothing will look as bad as the image moving all over the screen. Autofocus or at least a usable push-button autofocus would also be highly desirable.

If you decide to add another camera later, it would also probably have to be another HDV camera. Otherwise, you would have a difficult time mixing the shots in post.

I don't know a lot about the HD100, but for most wedding shoots, and many other shoots, it would be very advantageous to have a wide angle lens or adapter. I don't what is available for the HD100 or what they cost. You should check on the price of the accessories you might need in the future.

I have JVC and Canons, but try to stay away from brand loyalty. You may want to take a little more time and check other cameras, such as a Sony HDR-FX1. Still HD, but with much better low light function, 3 lux, and autofocus and OIS. Also about one third less money. You could almost buy two and have one camera for static shots.
Some one mentioned earlier that the HD100 looks more professional than an XL2 and I think that is rubbish. Everyone is duly impressed when I pullout my XL2 or XL1s, and I get comments like, "Oh, channel six news is here!" Again, brand loyalty will hurt you in the long run. A camera is a tool, and all the tools you need are not made by the same company, and some of the best tools are not the most expensive!

You also said, "I don’t think I can afford to buy a whole new kit in two years time." From what I have heard from others, is that you should be able to pay off your camera in 6 to 8 months. If not, you are not charging enough or doing enough weddings. If you are going to do weddings in HD, and eventually deliver in HD, I would think that you would be in a $1,800 to $2,000 range at least. And again, your customers are not going to be able to view your HD weddings for years probably. And, how are you going to deliver it to them? No HD DVD burners now, so you will have to redo it all later, right!

Because you posted this thread in the Canon XL2 forum, it turned into a war of brands, rather than a discussion of the best equipment for weddings. You may want to read through the Wedding and Events forum for better information or even repost a similar question. Maybe keep it simple, a camera recommendation only perhaps. Or just read what others are using. Great wedding videos are much more about your skill with your camera and your artistic and editing abilities than how much you pay for the camera.

Anyway, you might want to postpone your decision for another few days or so, and do a little more research. If at all possible, go to a store and put some cameras in your hands. How they feel in your hands is often more important than what they cost or look like. Remember, in the recent camera shoot-out, the Sony Z1U faired really well, and it is a smaller, lighter, and easier to use camera. The HD100 is more for film out type shooting, a great camera but maybe not for weddings. HD from a Sony Z1U downressed to SD looks great!


One last note, you had a FireStore FS-4 on your list, and no audio equipment. I have a FireStore FS-4, and they are a great little device, but I think that you would be better off at this time if you put your money into some UHF wireless mics, or even a second camera. If you are doing weddings, you will be off mains power most of the time. That means that you will be carrying the FireStore FS-4 with you all of the time and that is just more weight. Also, you will need extra batteries, as the battery on mine does not even last the full 60 minutes that it will record. Also, you will have to stop at least every 60 minutes of recording time to download you files to a computer, and of course have a computer there and enough storage ability to do it. Don’t think it is a valuable tool for you in wedding videography. Just stick a bunch of tapes in your pocket!

These are just my views and I give them just to help you out. Best of luck to you and I hope that your business will thrive!

Mike
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Old February 6th, 2006, 12:03 PM   #23
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Mike

You sound like a man of great wisdom and I believe you speck the truth in many of the things you said! I think Richard made a great point about the lack of an image stabilizer and auto focus for the HD100. I myself got a little sidetracked as they were a few of the things that made the XL2 very appealing in the first place.

I took some time to think about these things and researched a few more things (I feel my brain will not be able to cope with any more research soon!) and I think the HD100 is not for me… as fine as a camera it is.

I am now looking at the Canon XL H1… I never really looked at it that much before (cos of the price!) but I found quite a good deal on one and taking out the FireStore FS-4 (which is probity more that a luxury then anything else) it won’t out too badly and it has all of the things that made me decided to go for the XL2 in the first place. Although I will not be ordering anything until and end of the week as I will start a new post as you said Mike in the wedding forum and get opinions from there.

Another factor… one which would prevent me a little from going for the Sony HDR-FX1 is the looks a little… I know I am opening my self up for a bunch of criticism for even suggesting this but its something that I feel is a big factor for wedding clients. Bring a camera such and the Canon XL2/XL H1 or even the HD100 etc has the wow factor and you are taking more seriously and it seems a whole lot more professional. Some people may strongly be against this but I feel it’s a very valid factor in the business.

I will start a new post in the wedding forum and will let you all know how it plans out, thanks again for the invaluable input… it has been so much appreciated.
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Old February 6th, 2006, 12:53 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Goodman
Mike

You sound like a man of great wisdom and I believe you speck the truth in many of the things you said! I think Richard made a great point about the lack of an image stabilizer and auto focus for the HD100. I myself got a little sidetracked as they were a few of the things that made the XL2 very appealing in the first place.
Thanks for the compliment, not sure if it is deserved, but thanks anyway. Wisdom comes with age! Of course you also get senility, bad eyesight, extra pounds, and a chance to review your own mortality!


Quote:
I took some time to think about these things and researched a few more things (I feel my brain will not be able to cope with any more research soon!) and I think the HD100 is not for me… as fine as a camera it is.
At least you found this forum and had the opportunity to do some research before making your choice. It is frustrating and difficult to make such a big decision, but at least you have a lot of info available to review. I bought my first camera before finding this forum and it I made a big mistake!

Quote:
I am now looking at the Canon XL H1…
Yes, it is considerably more! I have followed the HD camera debates, but not with an eye for buying one right now. Make sure you factor in the cost of additional software and computing power that HD will require. Maybe one good point for the XL H1 is that there are a lot of lens options for it, and I think I have read that the 3X lens from the XL series is even pretty good for use with it, and even in HD mode. Check that out too.


Quote:
Another factor… one which would prevent me a little from going for the Sony HDR-FX1 is the looks a little… I know I am opening my self up for a bunch of criticism for even suggesting this but its something that I feel is a big factor for wedding clients. Bring a camera such and the Canon XL2/XL H1 or even the HD100 etc has the wow factor and you are taking more seriously and it seems a whole lot more professional. Some people may strongly be against this but I feel it’s a very valid factor in the business.
Sadly, this is a factor. If I were going to buy another HD camera for weddings right now, or anything but film-out, it would probably be a Sony FX or Z1, but you are right about the looks. It is too bad it has come to this.



Quote:
I will start a new post in the wedding forum and will let you all know how it plans out, thanks again for the invaluable input… it has been so much appreciated.
You might want to review the posts that already exist there first, as there are many, and try to post very specific questions.

Also, you figured in a couple of extra batteries, but you may need several more. Just a thought.


Best of luck!

Mike
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Old February 6th, 2006, 06:28 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Goodman

Another factor… one which would prevent me a little from going for the Sony HDR-FX1 is the looks a little… I know I am opening my self up for a bunch of criticism for even suggesting this but its something that I feel is a big factor for wedding clients. Bring a camera such and the Canon XL2/XL H1 or even the HD100 etc has the wow factor and you are taking more seriously and it seems a whole lot more professional. Some people may strongly be against this but I feel it’s a very valid factor in the business.
Hi Andrew. On a more practical note, the shape and form of the cameras is very important. A shoulder mount has real advantages when you can't use a tripod, especially if the lens has OIS built in. But many shooters prefer the handycam format with flip-out LCD panel (which the XL2 and XL H1 are sadly lacking) so there is a lot of personal preference involved too.

Good luck with whatever you choose. As Mike says, they are only tools. At least at this level, all of them should be able to let you do a pretty good job.

Richard
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Old February 6th, 2006, 08:51 PM   #26
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'xl2 x 2' won over h1 today for me

after fretting for days/weeks over my decision i am firmly rooted in the opinion that the xl2 is still a very, very wise purchase. couple reasons:

-if you are really able to afford the h1, you can get 2 xl2's for the same price, opening up a world far more versitile and i believe valuable than one h1.

-there are a lot of unsettled issues with what format of hd/hdv will be std when the dust settles.

-there is greater expense ie: broadcast monitor, you cant really use the sd lenses and have the footage look the same as the hd lens if you already own an xl1/1s and assoc. lenses (16x manual/3x wide). the edits will be noticeable.

-am pretty sure no editing deck yet (?) you will be editing with your camera

-no current common dvd player for hd format. you also have to have a computer or a long cable to a harddrive to capture true hd on shooting (i am pretty sure of this). true, the sd footage will be much better, but still sd.

-h1 first year run of a new product. xl2 tried and true.

in closing , i just want to rant on a final thought that may put new gear purchasers at ease:

dont get so wrapped up in stressing over the exact, perfect, best, ideal, cool, branded, feature rich, flavor of the day, etc... camera/equipment.
instead, go out and capture amazing images. be creative, do something totally new. this is what all this junk is for in the end. not to endlessly debate and ruminate on. one of the finalists in the bend film festival last year was a movie shot on a 4megapixel still camera capturing jpeg clips. it was so well composed and engaging that the quality of it didnt bother anyone.
all of these new prosumer camcorders, sd and hd, are absolutely mind altering in their image gathering ablity. anyone of them will make utter magic in the right hands/mind. the best of the best will be worthless in the wrong ones.
and lastly, i highly recommend that you buy any camera or editing deck new, i have gone used and always been disappointed. its not worth the meager savings if the camera ends up with image gathering problems or the edit deck heads are worn and you get dropouts.

my most humble of opinions, all of it.
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Old February 9th, 2006, 12:35 PM   #27
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I would add a quick-release tripod mount to the list.
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Old February 11th, 2006, 12:27 AM   #28
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Remote/LANC controller

The XL2 really demands a Varizoon type controller. Don't leave home without it.

Bill
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Old February 12th, 2006, 05:17 PM   #29
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I would say stick with the Xl2 just for the fact that the HD100 is shooting HDV(not as good as real HD) and when all things HD are all caught up( TVs, HD-DVD players, and so on) then consider the upgrade. IF you go HD certain things in post production change( the deck, storage, computer speed, HD monitor for color correction) It weird most people shoot HD and then down convert to SD when compressing it to DVD......defeats the purpose of HD i think.
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Old February 12th, 2006, 09:52 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Calumpit
I would say stick with the Xl2 just for the fact that the HD100 is shooting HDV(not as good as real HD) and when all things HD are all caught up( TVs, HD-DVD players, and so on) then consider the upgrade. IF you go HD certain things in post production change( the deck, storage, computer speed, HD monitor for color correction) It weird most people shoot HD and then down convert to SD when compressing it to DVD......defeats the purpose of HD i think.
Hi Kevin. The HD100 also shoots SD. This gives you the option of working in SD now and upgrading to HD when you need it. Buying an XL2 now will have the same upgrade cost later for support equipment, but also means you have to fork out for another camera as well.

Richard
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