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Old August 26th, 2003, 11:09 PM   #1
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XL1S Transfer to Film

Hello everyone, I am about to buy a new miniDV camera, and I've been meticulously trying to decide between a Canon XL1S and a Panasonic DVX100. Honestly, the only feature that keeps me from a definate decision of the XL1S over the DVX100 is the DVX100's 24/fps capability. I know many would say if that feature was the only reason I would get a DVX100 then i should go with the XL1S, but the problem is this. I plan to eventually transfer over to film (whenever I feel confident enough in a script to dish out the tens of thousands of dollars required for production, post, and transfer to film), and enter into some film festivals. So my question is this (I'm not even sure if this is the right place to post this or not but i figured since this was the XL1S forum then maybe some XL1S owners could help me out), has anyone here ever filmed with an XL1S and then transfered over to film? If so, how did the transfer look? If the transfer did turn out good, what shutter speed, etc. did you use? I have read where some people said that the transfer isn't good, and I have read on some websites of companies that transfer to film that you can transfer using an XL1S and they don't mention the transfer as being bad (of course I could understand why they might not be inclined to mention that) And also, could anyone offer an UNBIASED recommendation on which camera I should choose, considering what I want to use it for? One more question, are there any new cameras coming out in the next 6 months or so that will shoot 24/fps or that would be better suited for what I want than an XL1S or DVX100? Thanks a lot for any help.
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Old August 26th, 2003, 11:20 PM   #2
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Darrell,

Contact a number of transfer houses and ask them what they recommend. Many places say that it's better to shoot in 60i, standard interlaced NTSC for transfer.
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Old August 27th, 2003, 12:20 AM   #3
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The best results come from PAL deinterlaced footage. DV Magazine had an article on this---but as Adrian says, check what the transfer lab suggests.
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Old August 27th, 2003, 09:48 AM   #4
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Xl1s transfer to film

If you want an example of transfer to film from XL1S you could see the film "28 DAYS LATER".The features of the shooting film were:4x3 aspect ratio but matted for 16x9 by the PAL XL1s.Frame Movie Mode(not-interlaced)
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Old August 29th, 2003, 09:39 AM   #5
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There is an article on transfering to film on the DVinfo site. I would read that first.

Ultimately, I would check with the lab first and do what they recommend.

Other important things to know is that a good film look has a lot to do with composition, lighting, and motion. Flub on those and the best hardware in business will not help you.
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Old August 29th, 2003, 10:28 AM   #6
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Most of the big labs that do the conversion to film use proprietary software with custom algorithms for the format of their choice, PAL or NTSC. So, it's not uncommon to get labs with differing requirements for the best results. If their software is customized for NTSC, they'll tell you NTSC is best and vice versa.
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Old August 29th, 2003, 01:35 PM   #7
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The "28 days" film was heavily processed by the way so it might not be a good example to follow. Remember, too, that video to film transfers can run $300 per minute.
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Old August 29th, 2003, 02:14 PM   #8
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I love my XL1, but if I was buying a camera right now with the intention of only doing indie film projects with the probability of transferring to film, I'd buy a DVX100. Even without the 24p it delivers a much filmier (is that a word?) look.
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Old August 29th, 2003, 02:40 PM   #9
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Yes, I agree. The DVC80 has higher resolution which is a plus for film transfer. Also, the local transfer lab here in Vancouver specializes in NTSC interlaced to film transfer. "The Fix," a local shot doc done with a PD100A looked pretty good on the big screen.
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Old August 30th, 2003, 06:34 PM   #10
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Thanks

Thanks a lot for all of the replies. They were very helpful. I have now almost positively decided to go with the DVX100. The only issue now is that I'll have to get the $999 Final Cut Pro instead of the $249 Final Cut Express, since Express is not 24/fps compatible, but I would probably upgrade to Pro eventually anyways so it's not a big deal. Thanks again.
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Old September 5th, 2003, 07:56 PM   #11
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The great thing about shooting w/ XL1s. There are so many third party accessories to help you achieve the look you want for your project. Im planning on shooting a feature length project and for me the XL1s is the best choice.

Don't bother shooting with the PAL version of the XL1s. Check out www.digitalfilmgroup.net. They were in Chicago a with a 35mm reel that was shot w/ varies video cameras and then transferred to film. Everyone was blown away when the scene shot with the XL1 NTSC was projected on the screen. It looked great! They transferred a NTSC feature that screened at Cannes last year, The Fast Runner.

Julien Donkey-Boy (won best cinematography at NY festival), Pinero (Benjamin Pratt. Great performance), 28 Days, Hale Bopp (indie feature film screened at Rhode Island Film Festival & Dances With Films in LA, www.haleboppmovie.com), Startup.com (documentary), Somebody (indie feature), Dot (mockumentary.) These feature were shot using the XL1. www.imdb.com more info.
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Old September 5th, 2003, 10:26 PM   #12
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//Everyone was blown away when the scene shot with the XL1 NTSC was projected on the screen. It looked great! They transferred a NTSC feature that screened at Cannes last year, The Fast Runner.//

The way this is written makes it easy to confuse the work they did with The Fast Runner with an XL1 production. Atanarjuat was filmed on DigiBeta Sony DVW-700WS.
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Old September 6th, 2003, 04:14 PM   #13
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You're right about The Fast Runner. Sorry, if there was any confusion with the way it read.

You can't go wrong witht the XL1s. I figure if you shoot only one feature film with the XL1s, it's paid for itself.
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Old September 6th, 2003, 05:37 PM   #14
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There are plenty of DV films out now and many features. I just posted a news article about a British one that was released online by one of the makers of The Full Monty. I was just looking at the schedule for the Vancouver International Film Festival that had a few DV features as well.
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