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Old November 8th, 2007, 01:58 AM   #1
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What are major advantages of XL2 vs. XL1S?

I'm about to purchase one of these, and wondered what differences there may be? I will be shooting a documentary and using a tripod whenever possible, with off camera lighting. Thanks...
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Old November 8th, 2007, 03:39 AM   #2
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Real widescreen option (XL1s has fake widescreen, you loose resolution)

higher resolution, scharper images

more natural color reproduction out of the box instead of the warm colours of the XL1s out of the box

You can dial and be much more creative with your image with an XL2, because you have more image controls

XL2 has a better lens (20x fluorite versus 16x non-fluorite)

LCD screen on XL2 (IN the viewfinder) instead of only a viewfinder in the XL1s

XL2 is a newer camera, so it's easier to find one in a good or new shape

XL2 has real 24p progressive... XL1s only has frame mode, kind of fake film movement, which is only 30p on NTSC camera's (but 25p on PAL).

XL2 has XLR, with the XL1s you have to buy seperate adapters...



That are the main ones...

If you are buying a new camera, and don't need the XL-design or the interchangible lens system, I would also look at the XH A1:
About the same price, HDV, most people say much better image quality then XL2, same sensor block as the much more expensive XL H1, and more future proof... It can shoot SD too.
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Old November 8th, 2007, 07:17 AM   #3
 
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Just look at the image produced. The XL2 is vastly superior to the XL1.
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Old November 8th, 2007, 07:48 AM   #4
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Derek,

The XL2 also has programmable presets for the image control functions.

It is a wonderful camera.

Mike
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Old November 8th, 2007, 09:08 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Ravens View Post
Just look at the image produced. The XL2 is vastly superior to the XL1.
Exept if you shoot 4:3 with the XL2. Then the XL1s can be a bit better in quality, to my opinion.
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Old November 9th, 2007, 03:47 AM   #6
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Recommendations for wireless mics, lighting...?

Mat, Bill & Mike...thanks for the advise. For the past three days I've researched the XL-2, and am convinced this is what I'll get. Plus, Canon has a rebate on the camera as well, so that's good. The best price I've found is $3499.00 (B&H, Beach Camera, Adoroma, etc.). Since I'll be doing a lot of interviews, what's a good microphone system (and not too expensive, but still have good quality?)
Will I get better quality with a corded mic or would a wireless system do just as well? I've seen one system by Sony (WCS-999), but haven't really looked into it, as I'm not too knowledgable on all this.
Also, I'm going to need location lighting...any recommendations? 1000 watt systems? I use Photoflex a lot with my still photography, and they seem to have some nice packages and fair prices. But I do know, that I don't want to use a camera mounted light, as it is not flattering, and would seem to be bothersome glaring directly into their faces.
Also (last time...I promise), can I affix some type of small monitor (3-5") to the camera, so I don't have to keep my eye glued to the eyepiece?
PLEASE...feel free to make recommendations for any thing listed above.
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Old November 9th, 2007, 06:39 AM   #7
 
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Microphones: Depends on what you want to spend. I've got a Sennhauser G2 wireliss system that I'm not to happy with...lots of dropouts. I've also got a Senn K6 shotgun mic. I really like this mike for outdoot and indoor applications. There are better shotguns than the Senn, but the price is good.

Monitor: Lots of choices in video monitors. Practically anything that takes composite input will work. It should have a vertical resolution of no less than 480 pixels.

Last edited by Bill Ravens; November 9th, 2007 at 07:27 AM.
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Old November 9th, 2007, 07:09 AM   #8
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Hi Derek,

don't feel shy to ask questions. I can't help you though, with those questions, I don't know enough about it.
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Old November 9th, 2007, 06:00 PM   #9
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Derek:
The front half of the viewfinder flips up so you can see the LCD screen directly without magnification. It's not as large as, say, a 5" monitor, but it's more than adequate for checking framing without having your "eye glued to the viewfinder," plus it's one less thing you have to haul around and set up. There's a lot to be said for quick setup and strike.

Mics are an interesting proposition. Assuming you're going to do sit-down interviews (with your talk of lights, etc., I'm inclined to think so), I'd say stay with wired mics. Wireless is OK if you're chasing a moving subject, but there's always the chance of a drop-out or interference. A clip-on omnidirectional lavalier mic would do for interviews.

Of course, the question comes down to, are you doing this alone, or do you have a crew? (even one extra person counts as crew). In a perfect world, you would have the cameraperson, a sound person, and the interviewer. If nothing else, having a sound person is VERY desirable. Then, you can dispense with a lot of the mic considerations and have the sound guy use a boom mic to get the best audio.

Despite what you may have read and heard, the stock mic on the XL2 gives very good quality audio. It's directional enough to kill off-axis noise, plus it's stereo so you get good presence. Even with the foam cover, it's very noisy outdoors in wind. I made a fur windscreen to go over the foam cover, which took care of the problem. Almost all the audio in my work comes straight from the stock mic. I use the shotgun only for situations where I need tight sound in a noisy place, like at a soccer game.

I'm sure someone will disagree with me, but for interviews, you don't need a primo hi-$$$ microphone. You're not playing back through THX sound systems. The standard speakers in most television sets will sound worse than what a reasonably-priced mic will deliver.

If you're doing this as a one-man band operation, then you'll find that less equipment to ride herd on is better. My suggestion is to get the camera first and experiment with it before investing in a bunch of stuff you may not need. The XL2 is a WONDERFUL instrument, but has so many user-settable features and options that it's not the kind of camera you can just pick up and start shooting. It's a camera that you need to learn to get your best from.

In a nutshell:
Get the camera first.
Get a good, solid tripod next (ASAP). 35mm tripods DO NOT work (not solid enough, even the heavy ones -- trust me).

Don't sweat too many details right now.

BTW, nice to hear from another local.

Martin
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Old November 9th, 2007, 07:02 PM   #10
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...besides microphones - light. I just got my Lowel TotaLight and reflector and this small unit (+ umbrella + stand) works wonders. Takes, absolutely, no space, is cheap (relativelly) and works in 90% of the cases. A small fresnel or Lowels Omni Light would be my next choice for backlight.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 01:47 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Ravens View Post
Microphones: Depends on what you want to spend. I've got a Sennhauser G2 wireliss system that I'm not to happy with...lots of dropouts. <clip>
Hi Bill and gang,

Sounds like the Sennheiser is getting interference and should be tuned to another frequency - provided the transceivers have line of sight, they should operate fine at 300 feet:

http://www.bridgehands.com/audio

Warm Regards, Michael
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Old November 21st, 2007, 07:24 AM   #12
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For wireless, check the Sony UWP series, it has a diversity receiver and that can help reduce dropouts that are caused by multipath/reflections.

One benefit to the XL1s is you can find it for perhaps half the cost of the XL2, if SD is all you need now and your budget is tight. And then you can make the move to HDV (e.g., the XH-A1) when ready.
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Old November 24th, 2007, 05:50 PM   #13
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for monitoring something to consider is using your current laptop (if you have one). For example, run your DV cable to your laptop and run VirtualDub (free) capture and you can see your video output in almost real time.

Of course what you are seeing is not quite real time, and the color will be off. But you may still find it useful and easier on the eyes than looking through the viewfinder all the time.
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Old May 2nd, 2008, 09:38 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek Mills View Post
...Will I get better quality with a corded mic or would a wireless system do just as well? I've seen one system by Sony (WCS-999), but haven't really looked into it, as I'm not too knowledgable on all this...
Sony makes good wireless mics, but that is one of the lousiest you can buy.

I am partial to Sennheisers. My wireless has served me well for years. There is nothing like having a corded mic and there is nothing like having a wireless mic. Personally, I like having both.
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