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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old November 23rd, 2003, 07:54 AM   #1
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XL1 or Beta?

I have the choice between shooting with my XL1 (without the "s") or a Sony UVW-100 BetaSp. Which one should I use?

Is the depth of field of the Sony at full aperture remarkable smaller than the XL1's? (1/2' vs 1/3')

The Xl1's audio is better because it is digital, on the other hand the Sony has a fully manual lens and its image quality should be superior to the XL1 (is it?) I read that the audio of the Sony is poor, but I don't know if this applies to the attached microphone or to the circuits. If it were only the mic, it would be better since I use my own one. Also the Sony has XLR inputs. Another advantage is that the Sony comes with a guy who knows the camera.


Locations will be a darkly lit cellar room (like an interrogation room) and a nightly deserted street scene with only a streetlamp as motivational light source. Snowfall. Winter. Cold.. Batteries?

Could I shoot with both of them an mix the footage or is the look to different? Some shots won't be possible with the heavy Sony but with the XL1 because of all the no-budget around it...

Postpro: Is it worth the hassle of deinterlacing (I got 2-3 CG comps)? The Sony won't have a frame mode, I guess I would be on the safe side with the XL1 in this aspect.

Which one, which one?

Cheers, Peter
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Old November 23rd, 2003, 11:42 AM   #2
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I own an XL-1 and have used Beta SP.
My comments are subjective, since I'm not a technician.

I find the Beta image more "beautiful", less contrasty than the XL-1. This will not be a problem in your cellar and your street. I haven't compared low light sensibility for the two cameras.
The manual lens is a fantastic advantage, but you can get that on the XL-1 too.
My rental batteries with the Sony were pretty bad and didn't last long. I know my XL-1 batteries. The XL-1 batteries are nice and small, so you can put them on your body to keep them warm more easily than the big ones for the Sony.

If you mike up the Sony your sound will be fine. That's normal practise. You will need XLR inputs in the XL-1, that's an ectra investment.

I don't think the shots will easily mix well. Corrections will be needed in post.

Post: it depends what you're shooting for. I never run the XL-1 in frame mode anyway, not for TV. Don't like the flicker.

The only real plus (big one) for the Beta is the lens, in my opinion.
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Old November 23rd, 2003, 08:01 PM   #3
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Peter!

Betacam SP ist sicherlich die bessere camera gar kein zweifel. Die XL1 ist kommt der SP bei ausgezeichneten Verhaeltnissen sehr nahe - nicht aber bei schwachem licht, das ist die grosse schwaeche der XL1. Da dein Shoot im dunlkem Keller und in dunkler Strasse sattfindet - greif auf jedem Fall zur Betacam, liebe gruesse, alles Gute fuer deinen Dreh,

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Old November 23rd, 2003, 08:13 PM   #4
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English Only, Please

English is the lingua franca at DVInfo, Steve.

Please translate your post.
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Old November 23rd, 2003, 08:22 PM   #5
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Betacam FR is surely the better camera no doubt. The XL1 is
approximates the FR with excellent conditions much - not however with
weak light, that is the large weakens the XL1. Since your Shoot in the
dunlkem cellar and in dark road full-finds - access in each case to
the Betacam, loves greet, all property for your trick,

Translated by Systran and Apple Computer.





The UVW is not a great, or even good Betacam SP camera. It is probably the worst 3 chip Beta SP camera Sony ever made. It's video quality might actually spec out worse than DV, but it would be splitting hairs. Not all Betacams are created equal.

If you can do a test with both cameras. If the DP is very familiar with the camera and he has a good reel that should overcome the weakness of the Betacam.
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Old November 24th, 2003, 03:14 AM   #6
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Thanks for the info! I will meet the owner on on thursday, but right now I am a little in favor of using the XL1. What's the point in shooting with an inferior BetaSP camera when I have one of the best DV cameras? The only plus of the Sony seems to be the manual lens and the XLR connectors. Well, lets see what the cameraguy tells me.

Thanks!

Peter
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Old November 24th, 2003, 02:23 PM   #7
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A friend of mine translated it as well:

Betacam SP1 is the better cam for sure, no doubt. At perfect conditions the XL1 comes quite close to the SP - but not at weak light which is the huge drawback of the XL1. Since you're planning to shoot in a dark cellar and on a dark street it's better to use the betacam SP1. Good luck with your shooting.
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Old November 24th, 2003, 06:00 PM   #8
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Sorry

Sorry guys , could not resist writing a fellow countryman in German. I agree it was not very polite- I also should have read the post better, i answered the question in general XL1 - BEATCAM SP, i did not see that peter refered to the UVW-100. In that case go for the Xl1.

Again apologies for the German post - really did not wanted to be rude

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Old November 24th, 2003, 10:39 PM   #9
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Hehe :-))

Well, at least I understood you, Steve. ;-)

Cheers, Peter
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Old November 26th, 2003, 01:49 PM   #10
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Back to analog...

Oukay... I got a look at the camera finally and.. it is a little seducing trying to shoot with it.

Well, we are going to do some comparsion shots with it and the XL1 and then take the one we feel better with. Right now I am a little in favor of the BetaSP since I can learn a lot from all the manual und pro stuff on it.

But no post without another question:

How does one get the footage into the pc?

Convert to DV and then via firewire? But how convert to DV?

With an analog capture card? Which one? Whats the data transfer-rate? How much disc-space per minute?

How can I avoid killing the quality when I convert to digital? DV-codec? MPEG2?

Oh my god I am such a beginner... :-((

Cheers, Peter
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Old November 26th, 2003, 07:08 PM   #11
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That's one of the advantages of the XL1. It's already digital. The Beta SP will loose quality going from analog to digital. So make sure you compare the XL1 signal to the digital converted Beta SP signal.

The conversion can be done with various digital to analog devices. Dazzle, Canopus, Formac and Laird all make convertors in various price ranges and quality. Convertors have been discussed, so a search will turn up plenty of opinions.
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Old November 29th, 2003, 04:40 PM   #12
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German

Steve: For what it's worth, I don't think it was rude of you to reply in German. I've done the same in other groups from questioners who's English is a bit iffy -- sorry Peter but yours is -- and who clearly spoke a language I thought I could write.

Peter: Having said all that, I'm not confident enough about writing in German, only understanding it, so here's my suggestion in English about how to capture. I'd have thought the best idea would be to transfer via analogue from the Sony to the Canon then do what you normally do from the Canon to the PC.

Even if you have the facility to capture analogue direct to PC, I think my way should still be easier and shouldn't lead to any loss of quality.

I'd be interested to hear from anyone if I'm wrong because a friend has just asked me to burn all his old home videos to DVD and that's how I was planning to do it.

Cheers,
Roger.
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Old November 29th, 2003, 05:37 PM   #13
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English is the de facto standard for this community. There are various reasons (rudeness in not one of them) but one is the moderators are potentially liable, under US law, for the content of this board. However, if we can not understand what is written, it places us at a distinct disadvantage trying to protect ourselves from libelous or dangerous content.
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Old December 4th, 2003, 06:29 PM   #14
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I would do the shoot with the canon if I were you, using the manual lens might be a bit to much for you...good luck!!
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Old December 5th, 2003, 03:21 AM   #15
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I have decided to use the canon. It feels more sympathic to me: lighter, smaller, longer-lasting batteries, not so worn like the other cam, no potential troubles with digitizing, and most of all: I know my camera.

Roger: Oh my god.. I even had to look up the word "iffy" baaad baaaaad english :-))
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