Talk me into an XL2 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Canon EOS / MXF / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Canon HDV and DV Camera Systems > Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders

Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
Canon XL2 / XL1S / XL1 and GL2 / XM2 / GL1 / XM1.


Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old June 22nd, 2007, 11:59 AM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 73
Talk me into an XL2

Well, time is running out on the Canon rebates and I still haven't made up my mind on whether to get an XL2 or the XHA1.

I'm currently a student, so student-produced videos are my current uses for the camera. I will graduate in a little under a year and hope to begin working full time shooting video. I don't anticipate having to output HD material right away, but that is just a guess.

One of my instructors has encouraged me to get an XL2 due to the versatility and overall quality of the camera. I agree, it's a really great machine, especially compared to the XL1S I've been using.

However, I've been interning at a production house that uses smaller HDV cams for nearly everything. They use Sony, but I prefer Canon. So now I'm looking at the XHA1, and I've got just a few more days to make up my mind.

Please make some good arguments for the XL2. I want to make an informed decision here.

Thanks
Josh Keffer is offline  
Old June 22nd, 2007, 12:36 PM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: San Mateo, CA
Posts: 3,840
What's your goal in filmmaking, and what's your budget for ALL equipment purchases?
Richard Alvarez is offline  
Old June 22nd, 2007, 01:02 PM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Jupiter, FL
Posts: 565
2 questions, what's your budget? Do you want HD capabilities?
I own and use an xl 2 currently. I haven't had any requests for HD yet. So for the time being my XL-2 is perfect for my needs. You have to ask yourself the same question. Then you'll get your answer. Personally, if your shooting SD and your budget for a camera is under $5000 then I personally would recommend the XL-2. The main reason, interchangeable lenses, and all of the manual controls.
__________________
Mark
www.sharkvp.com
Mark Bournes is offline  
Old June 22nd, 2007, 01:12 PM   #4
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 73
My budget is about $3000-$5000. Basically, the less I spend on camera, the more add-ons I can get right away. But it seems to be almost a non-issue here because the XL2 and XHA1 are only about $250 apart.

I don't expect to need HD, but I've read here on DVi that even in SD, the Canon HDV cameras can produce a better image than the SD cameras.

Your comment about lenses is valuable, for sure. The A1 has a slightly wider field of view in stock form, and there are wide angle adaptors. Perhaps the 3X lens is better than an adaptor?

Last edited by Josh Keffer; June 22nd, 2007 at 01:13 PM. Reason: misspelling
Josh Keffer is offline  
Old June 22nd, 2007, 01:19 PM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Jupiter, FL
Posts: 565
Honestly, if interchangeable lenses aren't a concern then I would go wth the XH-A1, reason being, no need to buy a HD camera later. Like you said for a $250 price difference, why not future proof.
__________________
Mark
www.sharkvp.com
Mark Bournes is offline  
Old June 22nd, 2007, 01:33 PM   #6
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Alvarez View Post
What's your goal in filmmaking, and what's your budget for ALL equipment purchases?
My goal right now is to create high quality shorts. I'm involved in several (very) small productions right now. I'd like to build a body of work that will help he to earn business in the future.

About $5500 for now. That's camera related equipment only. Right now I've got access to several edit suites so I'm trying to focus on the camera for the moment.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Bournes
Honestly, if interchangeable lenses aren't a concern then I would go wth the XH-A1
Well, I'm just not sure yet how important that is to me. I've used the 3x lens and liked it a lot. I've not used the adaptors available for the smaller cameras, so I'm not sure how well they can accomplish the same task.

Certainly the lens capability is a big strength for the XL2 over the A1. Any others I should take into consideration?
Josh Keffer is offline  
Old June 22nd, 2007, 01:44 PM   #7
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ervin Farkas View Post
I am surprised that you haven't gotten the high def bug yet.
Well, to a certain extent I have. If this were an apples to apples comparison I'd choose HD in a heartbeat. But I don't have the budget for an XLH1. So I feel like I need to take into account the strengths and weaknesses of each platform and then make my decision.

Those who have posted similar questions in the A1 forum get unanimous votes for the A1. That's not surprising since most of the people who post there are owners/operators of that camera.

So I'm posting over here to get a more balanced view.
Josh Keffer is offline  
Old June 22nd, 2007, 01:56 PM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Jupiter, FL
Posts: 565
I think you can accomplish your goals with either one. I personally chose the XL-2 based on the fact that I wanted interchangeable lenses, and as of right now all of my work is still SD. I wanted the manual features that the XL-2 offers, I wanted true 16x9 and the option of 24 and 30p. I use the 16x manual lens exclusively with it. If need be I can add the 3x wide and 20xIS. For what I do with it, mostly corporate videos, VNR's and so on, it suits my company's needs. I'll go HD when I need to, or I'll rent one if I need to shoot HD for a project.
__________________
Mark
www.sharkvp.com
Mark Bournes is offline  
Old June 22nd, 2007, 03:08 PM   #9
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 107
I Feel Ya

I came across the same decision last month and asked the forums for help. This is what I got:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=91466

I decided to buy an XL2 and I'm lovin it! But of course the A1 is a lot better but I'm pretty sure the A1 will be the bottom line HDV within a few years.

Just ask yourself. Are you HD capable (PC, Mac, HDTV)? AND are your audiences HD capable? Bottom line, if money isn't much of a factor then go for A1. But you will be satisfied with either one in the end anyways. The XL2 is amazing.

HD will become cheaper in the near future anyways. Just my thought. Good luck.
Tony Nguyen is offline  
Old June 22nd, 2007, 03:10 PM   #10
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Posts: 56
I recently had the same choice: the XL2 or the XH-A1. I chose to stay with standard DV and go with the XL2. Why? My preliminary research (and reading this board) was hinting that working with HD was potentially an editing nightmare. At the moment, my G5 MAC can handle standard DV editing with no problem. To go HD, I’ve probably have to buy even more RAM, upgrade my graphics card and purchase monitors to even SEE my HD footage. Mo money! Mo money!

In production, focus is critical in HD. The onboard camera LCDs are not adequate so I would have to buy a larger HD monitor just to make sure I was in focus. Mo money! Mo money! It never stops.

Sure, I love HD but I saw nothing but problems with it. So unless you have the money to do a mighty upgrade (and a market demanding your work be in HD), I’d think twice about going to HD. Yeah, it sounds cool to say “I shoot HD” but are you ready for the headaches that come with it?

For now, I’m going with the XL2. It’s a tried, true and battle tested camera and format. It will suit my purposes just fine.

Also keep in mind that many professional movies have been shot with the XL2. It's a very capable camera.
__________________
Brian Keith Moody, Writer / Director
Canon XH-A1 - PowerMac G5 - Final Cut Pro - Shake
Brian Keith Moody is offline  
Old June 22nd, 2007, 10:42 PM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Highlands Ranch, CO
Posts: 336
I would personally say to go for the XL2. As a matter of fact, I did go for the XL2 considering I was in the same boat as you just a few months ago. I couldn't be happier with my decision.

Let me just fill you in on why I decided to go with the XL2 rather than the A-1: most of my clients request SD, the future of HD is still uncertain and I didn't want to end up with some first generation HD camera that will be obsolete in a few years, the systems required to edit HD right now can be extemely costly, I know hardly anyone that has a HD player leading me to believe that HD still has a ways to go with the general public, the cost of hard dkisk space and media gets extremely expensive.

My final decision was to go with the XL2, and rent a camera if a client does request the footage shot in HD. After all if the client has the money to fork out for HD work I can guarantee you that they won't flip when they see an HD camera rental in the budget.

All I can guarantee is that if you go for the XL2 you won't be disappointed. The camera is the definition of the word versatile. You can get a documentary look, or a cinematic look depending on how you adjust the camera. The straw that broke the camel's back for me was the ability to change lenses, not to mention the DOF on the stock 20X is amazing.
Ryan Mueller is offline  
Old June 22nd, 2007, 11:34 PM   #12
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Sammamish, WA
Posts: 398
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Mueller View Post
I would personally say to go for the XL2. As a matter of fact, I did go for the XL2 considering I was in the same boat as you just a few months ago. I couldn't be happier with my decision.

Let me just fill you in on why I decided to go with the XL2 rather than the A-1: most of my clients request SD, the future of HD is still uncertain and I didn't want to end up with some first generation HD camera that will be obsolete in a few years, the systems required to edit HD right now can be extemely costly, I know hardly anyone that has a HD player leading me to believe that HD still has a ways to go with the general public, the cost of hard dkisk space and media gets extremely expensive.

My final decision was to go with the XL2, and rent a camera if a client does request the footage shot in HD. After all if the client has the money to fork out for HD work I can guarantee you that they won't flip when they see an HD camera rental in the budget.

All I can guarantee is that if you go for the XL2 you won't be disappointed. The camera is the definition of the word versatile. You can get a documentary look, or a cinematic look depending on how you adjust the camera. The straw that broke the camel's back for me was the ability to change lenses, not to mention the DOF on the stock 20X is amazing.
Just to clear up some misconceptions

HDV is actually smaller than DV when it is captured onto the harddrive, this is because audio is compressed and in DV it's uncompressed... the video bit-rate is exactly the same.

I have a sub $1000 system (PC) and edit HDV footage with incredible ease.

You can get a dual-core AMD Processor for under $100, motherboard for $100, 2GB of DDR2 Ram for $100... 500 gig drives are $100... everything is getting cheaper. You could build my PC for 6-700 and it handles HDV fine. (Using Vegas 7.0e and Vista Ultimate)

But if you're shooting SD, only want to deal with SD, and like all the options the XL2 has to offer (And are actually going to make use of them) then I recommend it... If you shoot in low-light situations a lot, Cheaper HDV cameras are pretty mediocre at it compared to XL2 or even the GL's
Joe Busch is offline  
Old June 23rd, 2007, 01:58 AM   #13
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: DFW area, TX
Posts: 6,108
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Busch View Post
You could build my PC for 6-700 and it handles HDV fine. (Using Vegas 7.0e and Vista Ultimate)
Hey Joe, how are Vegas 7.0e and Vista behaving together? I'm just curious because I was under the impression that Vegas didn't officially support Vista at this time.

-gb-
Greg Boston is offline  
Old June 23rd, 2007, 11:55 AM   #14
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Kirkland, WA
Posts: 191
I do not know enough about all the features of the XHA1, but when I bought the XL2 in 2005 I went down a check list of features that were important or critical to me to make my decision. Many of those reasons still apply today. They are:

Removable lenses
On board Dual Channel XLR/4 Channel Audio
Native 16X9
Excellent lens options
(Good enough) low light capabilities
Customizable pre-sets
24P
Optical OIS

At the time I bought mine, HD was still embryonic, and even today it is still in it's infancy. Even though HD players are becoming more common, most of those are game units, and I would hazard to guess the ratio of people who watch true HD on their sets vs SD is still very low. In a couple years that'll probably change.
But,

I firmly believe that a well shot, well lit, properly focused image acquired on an XL2 will show very favorably on almost any medium for years to come.
I'm keeping my XL2 for the next couple years, and saving my bread for either the XLH1 (or even better, the XLH2, whatever that is...) or something in that caliber.
But if it were me, today, I'd either buy a used XL2 (from someone on this website, of course) or I'd seriously consider the XHA1.
Bill Zens is offline  
Old June 25th, 2007, 11:16 AM   #15
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Saskatchewan
Posts: 3,004
On the weekend i was at a shoot and met up with another videographer that was shooting in Hd with a jvc hd 1.

Of course I wanted to check out his camera and he wanted to check out the xl2 and gl2.

The bottom line was he was amazed at the quality I could get out of my two cameras. Bottom line was he just did not have the adjustments to the picture quality, particularly that which the xl2 has.

In low light where we were out side with only stage lights on the xl2 made brillant footage.

Of course hd cameras have come a long way sense the hd1, but was still interesting non the less!!
__________________
DATS ALL FOLKS
Dale W. Guthormsen
Dale Guthormsen is offline  
Closed Thread

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Canon EOS / MXF / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Canon HDV and DV Camera Systems > Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:09 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network