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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old December 10th, 2003, 01:40 PM   #1
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DVX100 - XL1s much needed advice please ?

I am in need of some advice on what cam to go for as a first pro dv cam.
I am 6 months into using fcp 4 + ae - magic bullet etc & want to start making short films.
I was thinking of film school but now I think I would rather just spend the money on a good cam.
The dvx looks amazing in features with the 24p etc but , the xl1 s or xl1 goes quite cheaply on ebay & also looks good.
I have only a sony pc105 hooked up thru fw to g51.8 running fcp - this is nice & easy for capturing footage with.
Not sure if the dvx or xl1s has firewire - so would I need additional equipment or could I just use the same mini dv tape from the xl1s/dvx in the pc105 to log & capture?

Any info & advice would be greatly appreciated;-)
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Old December 10th, 2003, 01:52 PM   #2
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XL1/XL1s and DVX100 both have firewire capture port.
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Old December 10th, 2003, 04:06 PM   #3
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Yes you can use tapes from XL1s on the Sony PC105. I have a Sony PC100 (to avoid wear n tear on XL1s heads) and use that as my editing VCR via firewire, and I have used tapes from both the XL1s and Sony PD150 without problems at all. The default firewire port on the XL1s is analog so some it won't work on a PC for capture, so may appear not to work, but you just make a change on the menu and make it digital and it works perfectly. I have used both Frame Mode and standard interlaced tapes of the XL1s on the PC100 without problems either.
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Old December 11th, 2003, 07:59 PM   #4
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I would love to try out a DVX100. If only my XL1 would cooperate...you see, it refuses to die! (1998 manufacture date and a history of coast-to-coast travel, don't you think it would be tired by now?) Hee hee!
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Old December 18th, 2003, 02:18 AM   #5
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dvx100 v. xl1s

The way I figure, if you have complete control of the lighting situations wherever you shoot, go with the DVX100. If the lighting situations you'll find yourself shooting are beyond your control, go with the XL1s. The reason: the DVX100 has no gain-up in 24p mode, so in low light situations you're either 1) in trouble or 2) back in conventional 30i mode.

The XL1s has great low light sensitivity. I shot a wedding reception in a dimly lit banquet hall, and on tape it looks almost studio-lit without much video noise. I compensate for overblown highlights (which are inevitable when you gain up and light sources such as chandeliers are in frame) by applying the broadcast safe filter (under video filters - color correction in FCP) as my final step before exporting and encoding for DVD.

Since you're using Final Cut Pro 4, you're all set to edit 24p material if you choose the DVX100. FCP is a very flexible program.

I'll second Mr. Hughes and say it doesn't matter which miniDV camera you use as your capture deck. I shoot with an XL1s and my "capture deck" is a JVC GRD70, also to save wear and tear on my Canon.
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Old December 18th, 2003, 11:25 AM   #6
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Thanks Murad. As it happens, I need the flexibility of a cam that will work in all lighting conditions, from the floodlit red-carpet photo wall to the murky nightclub to the streetlights of the city. That gain control on the XL1 has saved my shoot many times...run'n'gun demands such controllability. Good suggestion, using the bcst-safe filter to keep highlights from blowing out. I frequently get a little bit of zebra in my shots.

Oh yeah, and I too use a "whatever" cam for a capture deck--a well-worn Elura.
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Old December 25th, 2003, 09:03 PM   #7
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But...

... the DVX has better sensitivity than the XL1s in 60i mode, and the new "A" version (DVX100A) now offers gain in 24P and 30P. So you'll likely find that the DVX will outperform the XL1s in those same circumstances.
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