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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old October 29th, 2006, 06:54 PM   #1
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DVi.net newb, New XL-2 footage

I have been here for a few weeks, and this is my first post. I am very interested in working with DV, and have been fishing around for info on the best camera package/capabilities for the money. (in relation to my specific needs, of course...isn't "best" such an arbitrary term?).

Well, I got connected with a fellow who needs a Music video shot, and he currently has an XL-2. He let me take it to test it out, and see how it would work for our specific application. My background is that I am a still photographer of 13 years, and have shot film for 9 of those 13 years. I jumped into digital photography about 4 years ago, and haven't looked back. I am now a student at Brooks Institute of Photography studying commercial photography.

I am very interested in the "filmic" look that individuals are producing with the sub $10k cameras on the market today, and feel this is the time to jump. I would love any feedback on this first piece of footage that I've shot and cut together. The theme was developed in about 23 seconds (literally), as we were walking out the door to find something to shoot. I need everyone's eyes...how does this look to all of you? (Please simply keep in mind that there is no solid theme, no lighting, and no extra equipment other than the XL-2 w/standard lens; not even a tripod). I'm sure many of you are more experienced in this than I, so from a technical standpoint, I would love to hear how well I performed based on this camera's capabilities. Thanks for your feedback.

Here's the footage (quicktime 7 required):
http://how2instruct.com/downloads/test1small.mov

Last edited by Ron Adair; October 30th, 2006 at 12:54 AM.
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Old November 1st, 2006, 04:38 PM   #2
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Hey Ron,

I liked it. It felt very jumpy and experimental... it worked great with the music! I also like the greenish feel to it. It showed a newer side to what most people film with the XL2... Good job, keep it up!

~Colin
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Old November 1st, 2006, 06:03 PM   #3
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Hello,
I liked it, it reminded me of one of those Levi commercials. Nice job. Keep up the good work.

Luke
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Old November 1st, 2006, 09:11 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Adair
I am very interested in the "filmic" look that individuals are producing with the sub $10k cameras on the market today, and feel this is the time to jump. I would love any feedback on this first piece of footage that I've shot and cut together. The theme was developed in about 23 seconds (literally), as we were walking out the door to find something to shoot. I need everyone's eyes...how does this look to all of you? (Please simply keep in mind that there is no solid theme, no lighting, and no extra equipment other than the XL-2 w/standard lens; not even a tripod). I'm sure many of you are more experienced in this than I, so from a technical standpoint, I would love to hear how well I performed based on this camera's capabilities. Thanks for your feedback.

Here's the footage (quicktime 7 required):
http://how2instruct.com/downloads/test1small.mov
I would say that you have the "eyes" to shoot with the XL2 :) Great job Ron! I think you achieved the filmic look you're going for. Looked close to what Tony Scott does to his films.

BTW, what were the settings you used?

--JA
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Old November 1st, 2006, 10:07 PM   #5
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Greetings,

I would also like to know the settings you used, it looks drop dead gorgeous.

I am deeply convinced you did not use the XL-2 for this, this looks like more of a Panasonic DVX series camera job, rather than a Canon XL series one. ;P

Nonetheless, like I said before, gorgeous shots.

-SM
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Old November 6th, 2006, 11:36 AM   #6
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Great Work!

I really enjoyed it. It had a great feel and look to it. From the shooting, white balance, focus shots, to the editing, it really looked great. I got the same kind of Levi's Commercial feel.

One question though, on the focus shot of the elevator button - did you use the (and I'll get the name wrong) "rack focus" feature on the XL2 or did you manually do that? I know it seems like a strange question (why would it matter, you could do it either way easily), but it looked to me that the footage had been sped up in post. Was it? Thanks in advance for taking the time to answer.

... and now I think I'll have to challenge myself to replicate your piece.

Kevin
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Old November 7th, 2006, 03:27 AM   #7
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Thanks all for your comments. Colin and Luke: this is along the lines of what I was hoping to hear. I am not too familiar with all the footage and the capabilities of these newer cameras, even the semi new ones like the XL-2. I have previously shot the XL-1, but very little. It's good to see my work is holding up.

Jeff, thanks to you as well. I am not too familiar with Tony Scott...IMDB told me that he has done numb3rs, which I am a fan of, and a few other movies I've heard of but not seen, such as Man on Fire. Any flicks in particular this clip makes you think of? As for settings, I'll put those at the end. :)

Shervin: I would love to say I was lying, or that I've had the privilege to shoot the DVX, as I have seen a bit of footage from that camera and was blown away at how beautiful it was. But, alas, this was the XL-2, and I am no liar. However, I will take your insinuation as a compliment in the highest regard, unless there is something I don't know about the DVX that makes that a poor piece of hardware.

Kevin: No speeding up here, not until the very end clip at least. The "rack focus" that you are referring to, I'm not sure what that might mean. As for all the shots in this, it was shot manual focus, and I just tried to get it close. It was the first time using that lens, (at least on the XL-2), and it was, needless to say, very different from my Nikon professional lenses. I'm getting a tad better feel for the lens, but ultimately want to acquire an adapter so I can do it right.

As for the settings, I'm not sure exactly what you all would like. Here's what I can think of...let me know if you want any other details:

24p
Manual Focus
Daylight WB, (pretty sure)
I.S.: on
16:9
WIDE OPEN!!!
Probably around 1/48 s.s.
N.D. Varying

Hope this answers your questions. Like I said, if you want specifics, just ask. Thanks for the good feedback. I'll have more to post very soon.
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Old December 1st, 2006, 01:58 AM   #8
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New footage

Here's some new footage that I've recently shot with the xl-2. I'd love to hear your thoughts:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...253#post582253

Thanks
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Old December 1st, 2006, 08:39 AM   #9
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Ron, i like the Laundry/Jeans short (it was a commercial, right?), especially the shots into the laundry and the outdoor ones with the tires.

I need a new camera and all those shorts on DVinfo makes me look toward the xl2.
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