Contemplating XL1s vs GL2 at

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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old December 22nd, 2003, 02:45 AM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2003
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Contemplating XL1s vs GL2

Hello to everyone,

I'm currently thinking of purchasing a canon xl1s or a gl2 but can't seem to make up my mind. I've never had a camcorder before and i'm trying to start making short indie films. I'm done some research, read many of the threads here and talked to people. I was wondering if anyone can give me their opion as to which is more advantagous. The purpose would be to start filming indept. films, maybe for community t.v. or even later on submit to film festivals. Here is what i've seen so far, the xls1 is more multipurpose in that there are interchangable lenses, although i've heard the manual focus is a bit tricky. The gl2 is not as sensitive to low light as the xl1s. Is this true? Monetarily the price difference seems to be $1-2,000 and i'm just wondering why. As these are both miniDV, i've heard that there will soon be more HD coming out. Should i wait. The guy at the store said the first xls1 came out in '97 so i' don't need to worry about the camera being outdated months later (like a computer). Any and all input would be greatly appreciated.

p.s. also, if people have resources on the net or magazines that they can recommend for a beginner/novice with a lot of interest and drive i'd appreciate it.
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Old December 22nd, 2003, 03:32 AM   #2
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It sounds like you are not sure which cam to go for other than the GL2 verses the XL1s. I suggest reading as many cam threads you can, over the holidays. This will give you a better idea about GL2 verses XL1s; HD and broadcast quality cams. Etc. Perhaps also keep a budget in mind, not only for the cam but with everything else you will need.
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Old December 22nd, 2003, 06:32 PM   #3
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Buy an XL1 or XL1s. It will impress people, and they will take you more seriously.

Unless you are going to shoot most of your stuff guerilla style. Then get a GL2 so people won't notice you.

Don't worry about what has a better picture. No one that watches you movies will care. Picture is all in the lighting of the scene anyway. Maybe get a GL2 and with the money you save, buy a light kit.

Alternatly, handle both of them, and buy whichever feels best in your hands.

BTW, currently the best "film-look" type camera is the Panasonic DVX100. That's what I'd buy if I was looking for a new camera right now.

If you don't need a camera right away, I'd wait until spring and see what new cameras are released. It's almost a sure thing the XL2 (or something) will be released from Canon and it'll kick ass.

There you go, 6 buying strategies.
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Old December 22nd, 2003, 08:00 PM   #4
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We get one of these inquiries perhaps every 10-14 days someplace here. Here's a recent version.
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Old December 23rd, 2003, 10:07 PM   #5
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This question get asked a lot and since I haven't answered it in a awhile I'll pass along some of the basic information.

Generally speaking all of the 3-chipper cameras are good. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, but the simple truth is that they are all pretty good.

My basic advice is to get what what your colleagues are using. They can help you with all the startup problems you may have and it will be much easier to collaberate on projects since your cams perform more or less the same.

Next the price of the cam does not include all the expenses of owning the cam. A good tripod is more a less a requirement, expect to spend another $300-$500 depending on the cam and your shooting style.

Sound is another requirement. Wireless or corded mics cost money. This too can run another $200-$500.

For more info check Five Essential Items for Your XL-1

Basically the GL-2 is a lot like its other cousins (VX2000, PD150, DVX100) in that it has a non-detactable lens. There are still a number of lens attachments for these types of cams and anamorphic (16:9) adapters are fairly common. It is a good solid performing cam. (If you want to know about the other cams you can check the specs for them).

The XL-1S is an upgraded system based on the XL-1. Its biggest advantages are interchangable lenses and 4-track audio.

As the XL-1 system has matured, there are now an increasingly large stable of lens options. If you have extra photographic lenses (with the proper) they can be used with the XL-1. This can improve the quality and options you have in your shots.

4-track audio is another advantage. By reducing your audio resolution from 16 to 12 bit, you can feed audio into all four tracks. That's one very nice advantage when you don't have a Mackie or someone to mix the audio for you.

The XL-1 also has the best stock mic of these camera systems.

As far as the rumored XL-2...I too might wait. My feeling is that it probably won't be seen at least through the 1st quarter of 2004. I think the biggest question is whether the XL-2 will keep the same lens accessories. If the XL-2 does maintain support for the XL-1 lens system, then there really isn't a reason to wait since your accessories will work with the XL-2.
Nathan Gifford
Southern Cyclist Magazine & Productions

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Old December 23rd, 2003, 10:12 PM   #6
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Not until well after NAB 2004. Think August.

- don
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