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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old February 13th, 2006, 11:46 PM   #1
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XL2 and the Future

G'day guys.

I'm planning on getting a non-HDV Cam (I already have one) so I can take advatage of Canon's interchangable lenses without having to save up for another 2 years to afford the super cool newly born cousin.

Despite the fact the XL2 is not HDV, its still a safe bet to get one and could last me well over 3 or 4 years? I plan to continue to shoot SD until i'm forced to shoot HDV.... And thats still more than 5 or 6 years off I wager...

Good bet?
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Old February 14th, 2006, 01:54 AM   #2
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Good Bet?...pretty likely, but it really depends alot on what your intended output will be - what type of shooting or projects you will be doing, and how you want it to look....but personally, I have been operating on your mode of thinking and I expect I will likely be able to get at least a good 5 years of trusty service out of my XL2. I don't seem to be shooting stuff that has clientele demanding (or even politely asking for HD) so my XL2 suits me just great. I really don't expect to be shooting HDV as I am really not a fan of the look, so whenever I move upwards, it will likely be straight to HD - but it won't be for a while however as my work and budget simply don't necessitate it. My XL2 is perfect for where I see myself working with for the next couple of years.

Of course, you posted this in the XL2 forum, generally frequented by XL2 users, many of whom love their cams - so you are likely to get such responses.
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Old February 14th, 2006, 06:50 AM   #3
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I would second that, definately a good bet. The XL2 has done wonders for my business, and the clients who have requested HDV, have always found our actual work and end results better than those providing HDV solutions.

It's ultimately all down to talent and ability, rather than pixel quality right now, and most clients will see that as long as it is conveyed to them in a sensible manor (sometimes with emphasis on the increased budgets HDV requires).

I also believe HDV won't kick off for a while yet, maybe not 5 to 6 years but at least 1 or 2 before it's a standard.

But then as Johnathan says, this is an XL2 forum, and I'm certainly protective of my XL2 and its abilities. Whether I'm blinded by those rose tinted spectacles, I just dont know!
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Old February 14th, 2006, 08:58 AM   #4
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I think having the 16:9 will make difference too. With more people getting wide screen TV's even without watching HD/HDV they will like it better.

Most people won't get the new HD DVD's for awhile because they are going to cost to much. But, if they show up in Wal-Mart this year then everything changes!!!
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Old February 17th, 2006, 05:44 PM   #5
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I have been upconverting my XL2 ftg to HD for a couple of clients and we are all super impressed with how great it looks. HDV... DV... It makes a little difference but really, it's in the lighting and the glass. (just my humble opinion)
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Old February 22nd, 2006, 06:22 PM   #6
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Interesting.
I've been driving myself mad trying to work out which HD(V) camera to go with, thinking that they all pull up short for one reason or another. In light of the six camera shootout last month, the only camera that I thought seemed fantastic was the hdw 900.
I was amazed at how thready the Z1U's resolution was and (if the tests were right) the HVX200.
It got me thinking about how the XL2 might stack up against these units. I know its not fashionable, because its not HD(V) but with a true progressive 16:9 chip, very sharp, lots of setup adjustment, I'm starting to wonder whether its a better option.
It means that the workflow is far simpler and up converting to HD is definitely do-able.
The other cameras, barring the hdw 900 all up-res in one way or another anyway.
Maybe its time to swim against the tide and not go for the newest, shiniest stick.
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Old February 22nd, 2006, 07:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Hosking
Maybe its time to swim against the tide and not go for the newest, shiniest stick.
The problem with that is, if you start to drown, that shiny stick might get someones attention.

But its all preffernce. I realise that the XL2 is the best in the bizz for SD DV. But for HDV, all the cams fall short for some reason or another.

So the question is, Rule ins hell, or serve in Heaven? In the end, you have to know what you're doing, and if you want to rule in hell, you deffiantely know what you are doing.

with HDV, Serving in heaven aint so bad.... At least you're here in heaven and all you have to do is slowly make your way up...

I love analogies.
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Old February 22nd, 2006, 09:59 PM   #8
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I think the XL2 may be one of the few SD cameras still worth buying, but the resolution is clearly less than that of HD cameras. And it will be less than five years before HD acquisition is commonplace, but you might still be able to get by shooting some SD work for that long.
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Old February 22nd, 2006, 10:22 PM   #9
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I recently had some footage I shot on XL2 blown up to HD (1080i) and displayed on a huge 2000w projecter on 100' screen at York University in Toronto. I have to say, the image quality was better than half of the colour 16mm prints we looked at.

Provided you shot well, the XL2 really does hold up. I have never been anything but 100% happy with mine.
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Old February 23rd, 2006, 12:58 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Nayman
I recently had some footage I shot on XL2 blown up to HD (1080i) and displayed on a huge 2000w projecter on 100' screen at York University in Toronto. I have to say, the image quality was better than half of the colour 16mm prints we looked at.
The question is, did you try comparing this to recording and projecting HD footage on the same screen? Someone showed a side-by-side comparison of HD and SD at the WEVA Expo last August, and I saw jaws hitting the floor when people realized what a difference this makes. Even on my 53" HDTV I can see an obvious difference between SD and HD source footage, regardless of how that footage is transmitted to the TV. The XL2 is a decent SD camera, but it will likely seem outdated as little as 1-2 years from now.
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Old February 23rd, 2006, 01:53 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Shaw
The XL2 is a decent SD camera, but it will likely seem outdated as little as 1-2 years from now.
As one who has already decided to join the HDV craze, I'd give the XL2 about 5 years, even 6 years from..... now....

The reason is, Television stations, even stations such as HBO all the way to Australia's ABC, HDV will only be common place when these companies know any old joe can get a HDTV for $500 bucks at Kmart, or Walmart, or the factory seconds shop. Until then, the big shots will only be too scared to jump all the way in, and no one cant see the footage, let alone recive a proper boradcast signal... but that is a worst case scenario.... I still have one of the old B&W TV's from the 60's. Still works...
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Old February 23rd, 2006, 06:54 AM   #12
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I did see some HD footage and some HDV footage (JVC HD 100)

Now, the HD footage was from a Sony Cine Alta and was spectacular. The dynamic range and 24p rendition were very lovely, but it still looked a bit like video. However, the resolution was humungous and that was great coming out of an HD projecter). The HDV footage was very nicely lit and shot but it just didn't seem quite as rich (perhaps this is the diff between 1080i and 720p?) and the res didn't quite cut it. The XL2 footage, to be honest, did seem lower res than the Cine Alta (no duh!) and even the JVC, but something about the slight softness combined with the great colour and overall image made for something special. Even compared to the DVX footage, it really just stood out. It might be because we REALLLLLLY spent a long time lighting it and shot with a Mini35 but those little 1/3 chips really pull their weight in the end.

I give the XL2 3-5 years before I upgrade.
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Old February 23rd, 2006, 08:55 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo Pepingco
Television stations, even stations such as HBO all the way to Australia's ABC, HDV will only be common place when these companies know any old joe can get a HDTV for $500 bucks at Kmart, or Walmart, or the factory seconds shop.
Most major TV shows are already being shot in HD, regardless of how they're being broadcast. And I saw an ad just this past weekend for a 26" LCD HDTV for $499 after rebate, so mainstream-level pricing is almost here. I'm happy to hear that a well-shot XL2 image holds up when projected on a large screen, and as I said I think this camera is one of the few DV models still worth buying, but I wouldn't bet on any SD camera being worth much five years from now.
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Old February 23rd, 2006, 10:49 AM   #14
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Also bear in mind that HD-ready covers more than just the actual HDTV's with HD resolution. Much of the new EDTV's, having to do with digital tuners and scaling, present a much more pleasing picture vs. the old SD sets, and the price range is much cheaper to boot. Folks will be buying a lot more of these.

Secondly, many of the cable companies are already switching to full digital channels including the locals (Comcast, I hear, is expected to be 100% complaint by years end). That alone will factor the jump to digital and HD sets.

That being said, it's a difinite must that I, at the very least, move on to a native 16:9 chip camera. With all the faults, issues, and bleeding edge stuff going on with the new HDV cameras, I'm more inclined to think that even 2 years (or 2 xmas cycles : ) would be enough to warrant another SD cam and wait.

I have a 30k budget, so HDV is within my reach. I was even thinking about simply capturing HDV and edit in SD. However, after reading up on this HDV forum, I'm inclined to believe that using and setting up an HDV camera is more suited to films, and not run and gun stuff found in live events and corporate shoots. Where you don't have the luxury of dramatic setup that is required in order to earn a benefit from these CAMs. Anyone using both the XL2 and HDV wish to chime in on this?

Thanks.
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Old February 23rd, 2006, 10:58 AM   #15
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Almost all of my shooting is for Dramatic films and I enjoy the cinema style of the XL2. It closely approximates 35mm film and doesn't just look like high-res video. I have also had a chance to work with the XL H1 and it is nice, but I am not a fan of the 24f mode. I think the 24p on the XL2 still looks the best (DVX close second).
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