gl1 anamorphic 16:9 vs xl1s vs pd150 anamorphic (whew!) at DVinfo.net

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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old October 11th, 2001, 03:40 AM   #1
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gl1 anamorphic 16:9 vs xl1s vs pd150 anamorphic (whew!)

Ive been staying up way too late researching these cameras and I was wondering if anyone had any new input for me.
I will be filming a short in Vietnam in december and would like a good 16:9 image (perhaps cropped or in the GL1 and pd150 case, anamorphically AND electronically altered for a 2.35:1 ratio) , and would also like to be able to have a good film transfer if all goes well! This is some of the facts I think I have...

1.) xl1s = best image, no 16:9 adapter
2.) pd150 = best low light results, no Canon frame movie mode
3.) gl1= canon frame mode + 16:9 adapter option, lowest overall picture quality

Every camera seems to have a fatal flaw!
Has anyone tried making 30 full frames in post with the pd150?
Anyone used the Century 16:9 adapter with the GL1 or pd150?

Right now, I am thinking the gl1 with the 16:9 adapter might not only be the best bet, but the most inexpensive as well... alas, it also seems to have the poorest low light performance!

Well, Ive said too much already. I would love to hear other's thoughts!
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Old August 18th, 2002, 11:58 PM   #2
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you can use the optex anamorphic attachment on the xl1/s.
there's an adaptor ring for it.
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Old August 19th, 2002, 05:38 AM   #3
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But you can't go as wide on the XL1 as in the PD150. Your optics gets very limited. This is because you have to step up from the Optex (52mm) to the Canon lens. Theres no stepping up on the Sonys.

Yes; there is always a big flaw in these type of cameras. Why? Because they are inexpensive prosumer cameras! The trick is to work around the limitations and invent.
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Old August 19th, 2002, 06:45 AM   #4
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shooting with an xl1, and the optex anamorphic plus adapter, would your angle of view increase?

is using the optex anamorphic attachment plus adapter out of the question with the 3x wide lens?

p.s. is this the best they can do!? there really ought to be a better anamorphic solution for XL lenses.

i'm looking to shoot in-camera 16x9 plus anamorphic attachment for 2.35:1.....i guess the only way is to use the optex, and sacrifice some zoom range!
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Old August 19th, 2002, 12:22 PM   #5
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You could also use a GL2

The GL2, by all reports, has excellent image capabilities. You might want to look at that option.

I would love to have access anamorphic for the XL-2 just to test it out, if not keep.
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Old August 19th, 2002, 10:03 PM   #6
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Go GL2 for this one

Have you ever shot any anamorphic fooatge before? If so, how did it go?

Use the GL2, shoot in 4:3 and frame for 16:9 using the 16:9 guidelines. Screw on the Canon WD-58 .7x wide angle adaptor with the new tulip-shaped sunhood and you are golden. That way, you have the image information there in case you have to present your footage in 4:3, plus you have the image information there (at the top or bottom) in case you need to adjust headroom after the fact in post.

You are shooting in Vietnam doc-style, correct??? Keep it simple - you will be in a new and far away environment with no rental houses nearby. Bring a GL1 with you as backup - this is VERY important. You will appreciate the fact that the GL2 is grey and not red & white like the older models - this will help you to blend in and look more like a tourist. Keep a low profile and blens, your shots will have less people staring at you and your camera that way.

The GL2 also has much better battery life than the GL1 - twice the life now than before. You will appreciate this. Just make sure you bring twice the batteries and twice the tape that you think you will need.

The GL2 is also lighter - again, a plus when you are shooting all day long.

The GL2 is almost as good as the XL1S in low light, much better than the GL1 - feel free to use +6db gain, it is super clean on the GL2.

For audio, go low profile, you need to blend, remember??? Pick up a BeachTek unit rather than the MA-300, again you want to look like a tourist shooting with a home camcorder - the MA-300 looks a bit "too professional" for this shoot I would say. Plus, the BeachTek will add just the right amount of weight to the bottom of the camera, especially if you are using the WD58. Bring a couple of AKG PR81 series wireless UHF mics (or equivalent) - definitely go UHF over VHF,,, a Sennheiser ME66 (you will appreciate the built-in power supply vs. an external mic power supply), a good on-camera shock mount
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several XLR cables (5', 15', 25'), a standard dynamic "stick mic" for backup just in case and you are good to go for most scenarios. Bring a pair of Sony MDR-7506 (or equivalent low-impedance headphones) and a couple pairs of ear-bud style headphones. You will appreciate these when you need to be low profile and blend in.

Better yet, bring a good soundman with you who can help you with sound, help with lights, grip, etc -and- keep an eye on YOU and the equipment while you are shooting - this is important, as people tend to sneak up on you in these environments while your eyes are glued to your viewfinder.

Just my two cents!

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Old August 20th, 2002, 04:20 AM   #7
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I'd have to agree with Don. Shooting a doc with tye double 16x9 method is very tricky. Focusing the Optex using the internal 16x9 switched on DEMANDS the use of a broadcast monitor on set. The viewfinder and LCD screen is quite unusable. You use such a small part of the CCD that when the focus drifts a little it will look bad at once. The typical DV out of focus look is not very pleasing to the eye since it is very undistinct (unlike 35mm). Autofucusing has a tendency to work bad in the double 16x9 situation.
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