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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old July 26th, 2003, 06:31 PM   #1
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Help In Selecting Camcorder

I've been following the threads on this board periodically for over a year now, and I am soon ready to make a purchase of a camcorder in the $4,500 range. I would like to use this camera to shoot training videos, sales presentations, PR coverage to submit to TV news stations, etc. and an occasional broadcast TV commercial. I had zeroed in on the Canon XL1S, until a lot of contenders recently came onto the scene, namely the Sony PD-150, the Panasonic DVX-100, and the JVC GRHD-1 (lower priced). Now I'm thoroughly confused as to what would be the best choice in this general price range! Any help would be appreciated Thank you for your responses.
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Old July 27th, 2003, 05:33 AM   #2
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First, make a list of the features you need, and the the features you would like to have but could do without. Rank the camcorders based on your list

Then try the camcorders to evaluate their feel, controls, ergonomics, etc. Rank them again.

All can produce good video in the hands of a skilled shooter and editor. Follow your heart.
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Old July 27th, 2003, 06:06 AM   #3
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My only concern from your list would be the JVC. I haven't handled it or seen its output but from what I've read it's billed as a "consumer" high def camera - although the price redefines my understanding of "consumer". It may be a capable DV camera but the HD component is MPEG2 (still hard to edit) and I'd be surprised if it can equal the others on the list in basic DV work. I'm certainly not saying "don't buy it". Just suggesting you make sure you look closely if your purpose is client-related. From what I've read you can't watch its HD output without an HD TV.

David Hurdon
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Old July 27th, 2003, 01:45 PM   #4
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If it would help you to know what my major deciding point in selecting the XL1s was the exchangeable lenses.

The fact that I could play with different lenses.

Why I originally did not buy it back in 2001 and bought instead the GL1 (Which I love and never have had any real problems with) was the fact that it had an LCD on board.

I have had the XL1s since May 26, 2003. I am beginning to really like it. The more I learn to use it the more I like itů with one exception! I am desperately looking for either an LCD or a second viewfinder or viewfinder magnifying glass.

At the end of the day I have a terrific twitch in my left eye from shooting through the very (too) small color viewfinder that comes with the XL1s.

However, I am happy with the quality of the results.
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Old July 27th, 2003, 09:41 PM   #5
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Check Out This Article...

Well check out this article on the Watchdog Site...

Five Essential Items for Your XL1 / XL1S
Nathan Gifford
Southern Cyclist Magazine & Productions

For quick answers try our Search!
To see me and Rob Lohman click here
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Old July 28th, 2003, 05:59 AM   #6
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If you would like the flexibility to change lenses and stuff, then go with the XL1s. However if you just want a no nonsense camera with all the basics attached to the camera then go with the PD150. I have the XL1s, and its drawbacks are a very poor viewfinder, which I find very poor for a camera of this kind of potential. Also if you want to use XLR mics, then its extra for an adapter, but you can get upto 4 XLR mics (12bit), and likewise extra cash for external viewfinder.

The PD150 comes with XL1 adapters (two) built on handle and has a flip out viewfinder. Its a brilliant camera and I was really impressed with the PD150. They use them a lot here in the UK and the BBC have a lot of them. I also recently heard that some Sony suppliers or specialised dealers here in the UK have Engineer remotes that can make extra modifications from the menu system to access the 'computer' in the PD150, which are otherwise non-existant to the regular menu system, such as crushing the blacks, for example. They are nice to carry around, but not the best to hand hold, but much more balanced that the XL1s.

I own a Canon XL1s, which I find is not an easy camera to get used to, especially due to the poor viewfinder, but I liked the opportunity for lens modifications. The PD150 however is a camera you can use straight from the box and very good in lowlight and the auto whitebalance I found very good at coping with mixed light sources. So if you want simple, point and shoot camera with no nonsense then the PD150 is the cam for you.
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