Oh No! He just bought a XL1s... at DVinfo.net

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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old March 20th, 2009, 10:17 PM   #1
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Oh No! He just bought a XL1s...

Yes I just picked one up for a good price, actually I switched from a Panasonic DVX-100A to the XL1s. I really want to go HD, a Canon XHA1 or Panasonic HVX-200; but the US Army just dosent think I should make enough money. I am sure I will probably save up eventually and go HD but SD video really looks good on my Panasonic 42" Plasma....

What is the purpose of this post you say? I am just wondering if I can get an idea of how many people are actively shooting with an XL1/XL1s/XL2. After reading alot of the posts in this forum I feel like I have a VHS camcorder on my shoulder :)

So XL1/XL1s/XL2 shooters speak up, post a link to a video you have shot recently, make me feel like I am still viable as a person...LOL

Thanks!
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Old March 21st, 2009, 08:15 AM   #2
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If your market, client base, or personal preference is SD video, you have a decent machine. It is also a good machine on which to learn to shoot, and is capable of producing excellent SD video. But it is dated, although no where near as dated as a VHS, VHS-C, 8mm or Hi8 machine.

If you are shooting for personal archives for viewing years from now, HD would arguably have been a better choice, even if you are using a single chip camcorder such as a HV30. Once you put a HD camcorder signal to your 42" plasma (if it is HD) you will probably be spoiled.

If you browse the XL2 forum you will get a good idea of how many are shooting with it. I suspect not a lot of folks are shooting XL1 these days compared to a few years ago, and those that are have few questions. The XL1s probably has a few more users remaining.
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Old March 21st, 2009, 09:45 AM   #3
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If it's clean and running fine, you have a solid SD camera. If you're shooting to deliver on web, or straight to DVD, you still have a fine camera. The Xl1s does a 'stretch' version of 16:9 - not as sharp as the native 16x9 chips of later cams like the XL2... but not too bad.

I'm still shooting with m XL2. Haven't moved up to HD yet, probably soon. I'm shooting all week this week, getting my full day rate with it. It's an 'annual review' documentary for a Non-profit, to be delivered on DVD and broadcast on the web. So yeah, SD is alive and well and 'working'.

If you didn't pay too much, you've got a good start on building an HD system if you want to move up to the XLH1. You can pick up the fu-1000 viewfinder if you want, the 16x, or 14x manual lenses. These will 'port' over to the XLH1 later if you move up. Ditto the batteries and charger... so it can have advantages. I have a production partner in Houston who went from the XL1s to the XLH1 - he uses the 16x, and the fu-1000 and it looks great. The 3x doesn't hold up too well in HD though.
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Old March 21st, 2009, 02:43 PM   #4
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Well I am shooting for personal use only, and am still learning. I am pretty accomplished as a photographer; having been into photography for many years but wanted to try my hand at video. I have bought and used a Canon GL2, Panasonic DVX-100A, and now the Canon XL1s. I paid $1150 shipped and an Azden WM-Pro wireless mic, MA-100 XLR adapter, and Pelican 1500 case was included with the XL1s which is in almost perfect shape except for one small mark in the white paint on the body. I am using a Firestore FS-4 ProHD 60GB so I wont even be putting any use on the heads.

I did buy a small Samsung HC-something, it was HD; 720p, which my 42" Plasma is. The picture quality was noticably better, but it was so "consumer" I basically gave it to my mom & stepdad. I prefer to shoot in SD and have the manual controls. I probably will move up to the Canon XH A1 within a year or so.

I have done a bunch of searching on the Watchdog site and here in the forums and still have two questions, hopefully someone can answer them for me. I am sure the answer is here in the forums somewhere but havent found the answers so here are my questions.

1. 16:9 shooting- I have a Panasonic LA-7200 Anamorphic lens which happens to be 72mm so it works perfectly on my 16X lens (Model II) Should I shoot in 4:3 with the lens attached and edit in a DV widescreen timeline in Vegas 8, or should I shoot in the 16:9 mode? I am using a 7" external monitor mounted on my tripod and it looks great in 4:3 mode with the anamorphic lens attached.

I appreciate any help I can get with this question and the responses I have received so far to in this post.
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Last edited by Colin Pritchett; March 21st, 2009 at 05:40 PM.
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Old March 21st, 2009, 04:13 PM   #5
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Answered my own question about the audio problem
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Last edited by Colin Pritchett; March 21st, 2009 at 05:39 PM.
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Old March 22nd, 2009, 08:14 AM   #6
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Quote:
Should I shoot in 4:3 with the lens attached and edit in a DV widescreen timeline in Vegas 8, or should I shoot in the 16:9 mode?
Try a test shooting each way to see which looks better to you. If you use the anamorphic adapter you retain full vertical resolution while if you use the camcorder's 16x9 mode you loose some vertical resolution because the top/bottom lines are cropped, it becomes a question of the relative quality of the adapter.
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Old March 23rd, 2009, 08:14 AM   #7
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hey bro, your at Fort Hood? I'm going to be stationed there after I'm done with a bunch of training, I'm about to graduate OCS. Now to the video stuff, I did video work for my church with my XL1, and the whole time I wished the video quality was way better. I upgraded to a XL2 but havent got to use it yet since I bought it right before leaving for OCS. Here is a link to my work victor guzman on Vimeo gotta go to formation talk later
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Old March 24th, 2009, 10:41 PM   #8
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Hi Colin,

The XL1S still has it's place. The ONLY reason I sold it is because I got a smoking deal on a XL2, otherwise I would still be using it. For what I shoot (wildlife) it's does a great job, especially with the EF adapter and my "L" long lenses.

It sounds like you are happy with the purchase. I'm glad to hear it.

btw - I never found the lens cap, but I will be send the one off my XL2 to you tomorrow.

I would be interested in seeing some of your footage.

Later,
Vince
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Old March 24th, 2009, 10:48 PM   #9
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I love mine... and after using the DVX for a shoot recently, I have to say I don't disagree with the switch. Not trying to start a Panny vs. Canon war here, just a personal preference thing. I wish the Canon had the 48v phantom the Panny does, but aside from that, I had alot of problems with the Panny that were just annoying little things... more likely differences that I've become used to with the canon and just didn't have the time to get used to on the DVX.

Produces great SD footage!
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Old March 24th, 2009, 11:18 PM   #10
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I use my XL1s as a studio camera with a teleprompter and most all my pro-bono projects. Even when doing something pro-bono, you need to deliver something good or else your reputation can take a hit. As an SD camera goes, I think it delivers a great image and saves wear and tear on my main squeeze (XH-A1) for non paying gigs. Clients have never complained.

I appreciate it's controls and versatility. You will get good results with it as you learn the other parts of the art of production: lighting, audio, interviewing, directing and editing.

Get out there and use it. My favorite configuration was using it on a Spiderbrace, Varizoom Stealth and the MA-100. Learn to master every control it has. Knowledge and skill will let you get a better image than a shooter that depends on the green box. You will have a much smaller learning curve when you move to HD. The attached screen shot was manually exposed, manually focused, manually lit, custom white balanced, used custom color settings, had -3db gain stabilization off and used the camera's 16x9 mode. I think the only controls I didn't adjust were the ND and AE shift. Yeah, it's a little soft but from normal viewing distance, few would blink an eye.
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Old March 25th, 2009, 02:14 AM   #11
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Well, IŽll chime here.

I have two xl1s that still bring food to my table. They are very reliable. The only problem they cause me in the past was caused by user-error.

Learn to use all the controls as others advise, and you will pull great images.

Cheers

Alex
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