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Old October 3rd, 2008, 12:24 AM   #1
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Opinions please

I'm a newbie and unfortunately need some urgent info:
On our local auction site a xl1 is for sale.

I mainly want to shoot live bands, with an artistic touch to it ;-)

Like the light effects being shown for what they are and not compensated for.

Is that camera suitable for it?

The audio capabilities are of secondary importance, as I intend to get the audio straight from the mixer!

I like camera flare showing, if not I won't point the camera that way!

I need manual focus option, some bands just can't stand still ;-)

And what about it's weight, how "bulky" is it, could I get some decent footage in the mosh pit?

As I'm a professional photographer, studio and products, I'm fully aware of the options of manual controls, but how easy to use would they be in a live situation.
Unfortunately that camera is not available through the shops , so I can't try it out. :-(

Any opinions and experiences welcome.

If wanted I can post links to what I've done so far with my point and shoot ;-) ( Sony Cybershot s40),
don't know if posting links to myspace is OK?

Thanks in advance,
Petra.
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Old October 3rd, 2008, 01:31 AM   #2
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Hi Petra..............

Blimey, not asking much, are you?

XL1? Great camera, I have an XL1s (+ a XH A1 and HV20).

Suitable for your needs?

Who knows!

It's soft (the picture), too soft for todays HD content, ok for indie/ web stuff I suppose, but I wouldn't go there, as I have far better options.

Don't let this rush of "video" go to your head if you come from a stills background, it ain't as easy as it looks!

Er, when did a Cybershot s40 become a "Pro" camera?

Maybe your definition of "Pro" needs a bit of polishing, to put it mildly.

In short, not enough info from you:

Where is this going to end up?

For whom?

What format?

What are you trying to achieve?

We can do better if you give us some more info is the bottom line, but one thing's certain, don't rush into buying an XL1, it's so "old tech" it's practically a museum piece.


CS

Last edited by Chris Soucy; October 3rd, 2008 at 01:32 AM. Reason: Whoops.
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Old October 3rd, 2008, 01:44 AM   #3
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Thanks Chris,

hehe, glad to get a response,
I'll get back with more info later,

I'm fully aware that the cybershot is at the lower end of every market ;-)

But I also have finacial restrictions, so looking for something that'll get closer to the feel, with a bit more control over the focus.

Not too much, I quite like the experimental side of stuff, and not always being in 100% of control, quite the opposite to studio photography!

Catch ya later.
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Old October 3rd, 2008, 02:41 AM   #4
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Ok,
more details now:

First, yes, I'm a bloody amateur in the video field, but have an extensive background in the arts and photography.

Next, where is it going to go? No idea, what I want to do is record music shows that I will enjoy watching again on tv. The bands I'm recording at the moment are starting out themselves, so chances of me getting paid for anything are pretty slim.

My main goal is to capture the moment/emotion of a live performance, from my perspective. I'm fully aware that that limits my marketability ( not sure that it's a word ), but I feel very passionate about music and don't want to make concessions there now.

As a professional photographer I know all about the controls available, but actually enjoy a bit the randomness of the video cameras processors, it's almost like being back in a darkroom and playing with filters etc to explore the range of an image. Having said that, I'd like to be able to exercise some control if I choose to. Hence manual focus; at least.

My favourite slr is the Nikon F1-T; museum piece doesn't bother me, if it is possible to convert to modern mediums. In fact, that is why I'd prefer this camera to others: the focus ring!

Don't know if this helps,
not sure about any tech details, as I said, I'm an amateur ;-)
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Old October 3rd, 2008, 02:49 AM   #5
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Oh dear, just started reading more of the posts, I think I might have ended up in the top end of the video market. Do tell me if this is the case, and please be kind ;-)
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Old October 3rd, 2008, 03:12 AM   #6
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OK, Petra...........

Hope you haven't scared yourself too much, we don't bite, really (down Boris, I said DOWN..................GRRRRRRR).

Top end? Middle? Bottom? Yep, no doubt.

Top Site, yep.

DVinfo does the lot, you name it.

OK, down to business.

If you can get an XL1 for peanuts, go for it and have a damn good play.

Can't say better than that - it's a bloody good camera and can give some exceptional results in the right hands.

It's got manual controls for just about everything and is a "must do" camera for any serious novice.

Hey, it's shot more Porno movies than I've had the chance to watch, which is saying something!

Make sure you get it for a damn good price (it is an antique) and knock yourself out.

There's plenty more info available over in the XL1/ XL1s Forum down the page a bit, you just need to do a bit of digging.

Everything you need to know has probably already been asked and answered, use the Google link at the bottom of every page to search a question - just about everything on DVinfo has been indexed.

Anything specific, just ask. There's always people here only too ready to help.


CS
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Old October 3rd, 2008, 03:21 AM   #7
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Cheers Chris,

and reading my previous post I understand why you doubted my pro standards, for digital home use stills we have a Nikon D50, again for financial reasons, Bu***r the money!

Anyway, how does $1200 sound for that camera at the moment, I haven't been able to find any others at the moment, it comes with 4 batteries and a case.

I had been looking at others, but with my price range, between 1200 - 1600 there's not a lot out there.

Other options were JVC GZ-HD7, but the dealer said bad service down here.
And even though I don't like the look of the focus wheel, what about the Canon HV20/30?

Sorry to be picking your brains like that, hoping to find my way around the forum soon.
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Old October 3rd, 2008, 03:48 AM   #8
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Duh.................

here's me trying to figure out where this thread was - er, the XL1 Forum!

Clot! (Me, not you).

Well, $1200 for an XL1 sounds like a lot of bloody dosh, quite frankly.

I suggest you either put the boot in and get it well below three digits or give it a miss.

And I do mean WELL below three digits.

The HVx0 series has it's uses, but for you, I'm not so sure.

I have the HV20 and, after an enforced sabatical where it was the only thing allowed, I'm rapt with it (had it for at least a year but never used it for anything but a deck, either for my NLE system or the HDTV).

Hmm, got to say you've put me on the spot re alternatives, shall have to sleep on it.

Catch you tomorrow.


CS
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Old October 3rd, 2008, 04:15 AM   #9
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Thanks,

appreciate it.
I read somewhere else I might have troubles getting it serviced, now looking at the JVC GZ-HD7.

It's very nerve racking, especially since I've tasted blood and want to go out and do and learn more! But I suppose I can always go and practice composition etc with the cybershot ;-)

The local shops recommend Canon HF10, Sony HDR Sr11/12, Canon MV30 or Sony HC9E. None of them really appeal to me, but I am at a loss what to go for.

The Sony A1 sounds nice, for one because it's light, but at the current prices definitely not an option :-(

Just to give you an idea what I have been looking at.
Have a good night
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Old October 3rd, 2008, 06:48 PM   #10
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Hi Petra.....................

How's the weekend treating you?

Having slept on your dilema and done a bit of delving into on - line sources, I'm afraid that within your budget only 2 cameras seem to stand out, neither of them what I'd call real "pro" feel units.

What makes it so difficult is ensuring that any suggestion doesn't veer you straight down a complete dead end, which is pretty well what I'd be doing by suggesting any of the current SD only options.

So, for the best "bang for buck" around $1600 or less, I recommend either the Canon HV30 or the Sony HDRHC9E.

On PriceSpy they're listed from $1350 + & $1450 respectively. I think you could get a wide angle adapter for either and still keep within that $1600 budget.

I appreciate you may not be into HD (yet), but both are capable of producing excellent SD from shot HD and have HD up their sleeve whenever you feel confident about making the move.

Neither of them have the wealth of manual controls available on something like a XL2 or even a XM2, but those SD only cameras still carry a price tag 2 and even 4 times the two HD contenders (much to my amazement, the XL2 is RRP'd even higher than the XH A1 on the Canon Oz web site).

Of course, the SD only cameras are a complete techno dead end.

There are pretty comprehensive forums for both cameras here on DVinfo, you may want to spend a few hours perusing them to see if anything in particular about one or the other tickles your fancy.

Good luck.


CS
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Old October 3rd, 2008, 08:48 PM   #11
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Thanks Chris

Your reply pretty much confirms my "fears". I'll have to see what to do, might just save the money and wait til I can get a better one. Unless of course one comes up dead cheap ;-)

With what I'm ultimately intending to do, it won't hurt having several cameras with varying abilities and flaws.

I'll keep reading the forums and see what I can find.

We're having the classic Wellington winds, which are creating a major headache at the moment, because we have heaps of building panels outside, secured we thought, but flapping like mad :-( Waiting for a lull to put some more ropes on.

have a quiet one,
Petra.
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