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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old January 15th, 2004, 04:35 PM   #1
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Xl1S- looks like a kids toy?

Ok, so I have been comparing the Xl1s to the PD-150 for a shoot this summer. For this its important that we fit the part as its a documentry.

After a discussion with a friend he seems to think that the Xl1s looks plasticy, tacky, un professional and more like a childs toy then a peice of expensive professional equipment compared to cameras such as the PD-150.

Whats your opinion on this? Ever had anyone comeup to you asking why you are using a cheap camera?

Matthew :)
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Old January 15th, 2004, 04:42 PM   #2
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This thread will answer any questions you have about the XL1 looking like a toy.
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Old January 15th, 2004, 05:32 PM   #3
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When I come in with the XL1 most asked question is "What TV station are you shooting for?" (I'm not) - and the Joe/Jane Sixpacks with handicams move out of my way. The GL1 form factor does not command the same respect from random passing civilians.
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Old January 15th, 2004, 08:32 PM   #4
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Matthew,
I think your friend has his camera perceptions bass ackwards...:-)

Although having a flip-out LCD screen on the PD-150 is handy, it puts it (visually to specatators) in the same league as Uncle Fred's 1-chipper.....

Your friend must have never seen a professionallly equipped XL1s in action....
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Old January 15th, 2004, 10:53 PM   #5
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Who really cares what the camera looks like it's the performance that matters. Professionalism has nothing to do with what camera you are holding but how you conduct yourself and your shoot. Just because some one uses an XL1s doest that make them a professional, no, just because someone uses a Panasonic 953 in a very professional manner does that make him less of a pro, no. It's all about selecting the best camera for the job. I use my XL1 both professionally and for just shooting stuff for myself but I always try to be as professional as possible in my approach to the job.
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Old January 15th, 2004, 11:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
he seems to think that the Xl1s looks plasticy, tacky, un professional and more like a childs toy then a peice of expensive professional equipment compared to cameras such as the PD-150.
The XL1 is larger than the PD150, for starters, plus it has the ability to inter-change lenses. Furthermore, I've got both XL1 and VX2000 footage here at home; and by far, the XL1 footage knocks my socks off---I can't say this about the VX footage. Perhaps your friend is a little confused. My 2 cents.
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Old January 16th, 2004, 05:19 AM   #7
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A lot of people come up to me and ask what I'm doing because
they thought I have a professional looking camera. But if you
want you can spice it up a lot more, see this photo.
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Old January 16th, 2004, 05:42 AM   #8
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Good point Adrian...I really wanted to put similiar verbiage in my original post...
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Old January 16th, 2004, 07:21 AM   #9
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Thanks Mark,

It seems lately that too many people worry about looking professional, ie camera colour, shape, what accessories, etc, than actually getting out there, shooting, aand letting their work speak for it's self.
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Old January 16th, 2004, 12:43 PM   #10
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There are plenty of examples of XL-1s being used professionally. One recent film employed them. In a Bond flick they were used as a prop in one scene.

The truth remains that it is the skill of the nut behind the cam rather than just the cam that makes a camera perform.

Besides, one of the biggest problems of the XL-1 is that it does look professional and attracts unwanted attention...
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Old January 16th, 2004, 05:09 PM   #11
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"Xl1s looks plasticy, tacky, un professional and more like a childs toy "

Guess your friend doesn't share the same as my friends and people i come into contact with. Most say something like "Sweet, its like a pornstar camera" or other things like that.

Once my XL1s is armed up with MA-200, Matte-box, and shotgun mike, it looks anything far from a kids toy. Tell me how many kids could lift it never mind use it.

I have used the PD-150 since it even hit the market, as our University was sponsored by Sony. So we used these a great deal. And i never had nowhere as many comments as I do with the XL1s. Plus the PD-150 with flip out screen is just like most cameras people own themselves. And the untrained eye, noticing the XLR inputs, it looks just like the VX2000 just a slighltly darker colour. So carrying it around people just thought you were a camera enthusiast on holiday. As soon as I get the XL1s out fully armed I have the same problem as Nathan...lots of attention and almost non-stop questions about the camera and if I work for BBC or what channel is it going to be on. Or if we are making a new film.

But at the end of the day as has been said...who cares what the camera looks like. I have seem people produce better stuff on Sony PC100 than on PD150. Its all down to the final image and as long as the client can see what you can do they will be happy with a Kids toy or not.
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Old January 16th, 2004, 08:58 PM   #12
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The quality of the end product - what people watch on their TV - is about 90% or more talent in script development, directing, shooting and editing. Maybe 10% (more likely less) is the technical quality of the grear (hardware and software) used to do the shooting and editing.

The XL1 looks pro to the untrained eye, the 150 a bit less pro, but overall both are about equally professional in their own ways.
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Old January 16th, 2004, 09:05 PM   #13
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I'm thinking of selling one of my XL1's so I can get a GL1/2 that attracts less attention for certain types of shooting.

The XL1(s) screams "HEY COP! YEAH YOU! LOOK OVER HERE! I'M SHOOTING SOMETHING IMPORTANT, CHECK TO SEE IF I HAVE A PERMIT!!"
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Old January 20th, 2004, 03:07 PM   #14
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Matt, who cares what your friend thinks. BTW, does he drive a pinto? XL1S has the styling and the technical abilities. Just like Don mentioned, people assume you'r eshooting for TV and will ask for your business card. Add this to some solid composition and editing skills and you and your "plasticky" camera will always be the envy.
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Old January 20th, 2004, 08:18 PM   #15
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Mathew,

People are not going to gauge your level of professional based upon what camera you use. Your output is what people will gauge you by.

Now, perhaps you may want to consider the issue of how "low profile" your documentary crew needs to be. You could certainly say that the PD-150, with its' muted grey color and smaller form factor, is more "low profile" or "transparent" than the XL1S. If you need to be as "transparent" as possible, use a HandyCam for those instances. For example, when I travelled around the world to various Third World countries with "The Visionaries" for PBS, many times we were entering small remote villages, where it was rare for the people to see a video crew. We found that using smaller miniDV VX1000's and PD-150's allowed us to "blend in" more with the community - and because we were so low profile, we were able to get better shots with less people staring directly at the camera...

You need to decide how tranparent you need to be - that might mean that you have to scale down your crew too.

Speaking from experience, walking onto the set with an XL1S tends to command more respect than a HandyCam would - but who the heck cares? Your demo reel and your cumulative experience is what the professional community judges you by.

- don
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