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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 14th, 2006, 02:54 PM   #1
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I went to see a friends' new Camera, a Sony Z1E, he asked me to take along my XL2 to compare the two.
His camera blew my away, most noticable in the detail, when shooting into the light near a window, both cams were in Manual, his showed details when mine was blown out, no matter what I did, it was no match. Before this, I was quite happy, now, I just don't know what to do. I've only had the XL2 for 6 Months, but feel I should be moving on up. But trade ins stink!
My moto has always been "ignorance is bliss" I think I was right!

Mike.
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Old October 14th, 2006, 03:12 PM   #2
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Well, to be fair, any HD camera will blow away any SD when it comes to detail. :) But take into consideration the fact that your friend's HD will have to be down-rezzed to SD before he can really do anything with it at this point in time. Until a viable distribution method for HD content becomes available in a widespread kind of way, HD has to be re-sized and loses a lot of its advantage over SD in the process. Yes, you could have things you're shooting now in an HD format for use later when the distribution is more feasible, but by then there may well also be a better HD acquisition format in widespread use (with intraframe compression and a decent bit rate) that will "blow away" current HDV cameras. To my mind, HDV is at best a temporary and flawed step in the direction of widespread adoption of HD.

If you're really nuts over the improved detail, then go ahead. But honestly, while everybody's still going to DVD, footage shot on HDV is not really going to look a whole lot better (if at all) by the time you get it to your audience than SD footage shot with the XL2 will look.
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Old October 14th, 2006, 03:22 PM   #3
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Thanks Jarrod, see what you mean. It just made my camera, so, out of it! i Know It's better to wait, but it's hard! I've invested too much in this gear anyway to loose a small fortune now!
When I asked about a trade in, the dealer said my 16x manual lens, would be no good for HDV, so wasn't worth much, this surprised me, I thought the lenses, could stay with us for life! Don't know if he was right, or trying to get them cheaper, I've 2 of everything! Camera wise that is!
Mike.
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Old October 14th, 2006, 03:39 PM   #4
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Plenty of people aren't waiting. Whether or not the slight benefits (as of this particular moment in time) of shooting HDV are worth it or not is up to you, at the end of the day.

As for your existing equipment (16x lens, etc.)--you can probably get some pretty decent results with it on an XL-H1. I'm sure plenty of people are doing that. It was not designed to resolve for HD resolutions, sure... but there's no reason you can't use it. The images might be a tad softer than they'd be with a lens designed for HD, but in many cases, this might not matter.

You're probably better off selling all this stuff than doing a trade-in. All this SD stuff is still fetching as fair a price now as it ever did, because many, many people are still using it. 4:3 SD TV's will still be around for a while, despite what the early adopters will tell you. :) So even if you decide to jump in ahead of the curve, there's still quite a market for SD equipment and there will likely be one for some time yet.
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Old October 14th, 2006, 04:04 PM   #5
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I'm going to hold on, Jarrod, your right. The grass is always greener etc. After all, the olde style black and white film effect is still popular with my customers, and a little thought and creativity, can make the production just as enjoyable to the viewer.
I was happy with the XL2 before and I'm sure, I'll be happy with it again.

Mike.
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Old October 14th, 2006, 04:15 PM   #6
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Good for you. I agree that creative use of a given medium is far more important than the medium itself. And unless you buy a RED, there will always be some video camera or other than will be "better" than the one you have. It never stops.

People don't usually leave a theater exclaming, "wow! did you see that resolution!" And if they do do that, then they weren't paying attention to your content anyway, and you have bigger problems. :)
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Old October 14th, 2006, 07:03 PM   #7
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Hey Mike... I see your problem. HDs do have a lot more detail than SDs, but the XL2 is a beautiful camera. In a situation like this, I would stay with the XL2 and try to improve on your filmmaking. You are very lucky to own an XL2.... some people dream of owning such an amazing camera. This is my opinion, anyways. With nice cinematography, and flawless editing (maybe with some additional CC) you can have a really nice video. Remember, you can own a nice, expensive camera, but if you don't know how to make a good film, the camera is pointless. Personally, I would stay with the XL2...

Hope this helps a little,

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Old October 14th, 2006, 11:14 PM   #8
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Were you watching on a screen or on the stock monitors? Sony has a WAY better LCD... like 9 on a scale to 10 where the XL2 is MAYBE a 4. Also, Sony's default settings are excellent. Did you have your knee on low? MP and setup level down? Etc.


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Old October 14th, 2006, 11:40 PM   #9
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We were watching on a 42 inch t.v. I have the XL2 set on the "Weddings" preset.
In the comparisons we did, in "normal", if there's such a thing, lol, lighting conditions, the cameras looked no different to me. Both Cameras were on Manual.
But, the contrast was much better, with the Z1, when pointed towards, e.g. a window. He had picture frames,on his windowsill, they were clear to see, but when I did the same shot, the details around the edges had gone.
When I filled the XL2 Viewfinder with the shot, it was fine. However, on a wide shot, imagine someone sitting in a chair, in the middle of a room, perfectly exposed, the background, i.e. pictures in the window, were detailed in his, but blown away with the XL2.
I imagined a Bride, coming down the aisle with her Father, and a strong back light, his camera would have all the detail, mine would not! The couple against a window, as they cut their cake.
I know that can look artisic, but I prefer the details, then you can make a choice on how you wish it to look in post. In every other the XL2 is more than a match.
Hope I've explained it right.

Mike.

Last edited by Mike Cassidy; October 15th, 2006 at 02:44 AM.
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Old October 15th, 2006, 02:03 PM   #10
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Mike

I own the XL2 and FX1 and use them both in SD, the picture from both cameras are great, but for me personly i like the XL2 better it comes with a raft of picture settings and once set right is a fantastic SD camera, the only thing that lets it down is the viewfinder which doubles up as a little screen,
Sometimes i look through it and and focus and think it might be a bit soft only to find when i see it back home its spot on in fact its beautifully resolved

The FX1 also produces lovely images and for me is more portable and i use it for weddings, the viewfinder is very good and also the flipout screen is one of the best i have seen of course it lacks some features of its pro brother Z1 but as far as i now the images are the same

I would keep the XL2 if it fits your requirements the quailty it produces will be good enough for some time to come, well at least until HDV becomes main stream

Just my 2 pence
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Old October 15th, 2006, 02:52 PM   #11
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Thanks Ian,
think I'll keep things as they are, just wish I'd never seen the Z1, "Ignorance is bliss"

Mike.
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