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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old January 24th, 2004, 07:32 AM   #1
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Not your typical XL2 prognostication...

In fact the whole enchilada. Here we are hurltling toward the next "standard" that will see us shooting, editing , compositing and outputting to something completely different. Not only might it be futile to spend the cash now on a rebated xl1s or even the touted replacement(xl2), but that which we have grown so accustomed to could be fizzling off to join the commodore 64. This means HD colour and pixel count and hopefully a 4:2:2 compression depth that would finally allow the serious producer to properly composite could be closer than ever. Ever try to green screen in 4:1:1? Add to this the necessary computer and storage devices and the expense is about to get quite high. All those 7200 rpm 80 gig drives might as well be used for jpeg and .doc file storage. The raw throughput of data for this new production environment means big speed and bigger storage. And of course, the correct shoulder mounted appliance with the best glass.

Is 4/3 at 4:1:1, t/f at ieee1394 nearing it's end?
What will the tools be for the replacement?
Does forward thinking toward this end, mean I can take my xl2 to the table?

Just a few questions from a producer teetering on what appears like a mammoth investment just to stay in the game.
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Old January 24th, 2004, 11:10 AM   #2
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might it be futile to spend the cash now on a rebated xl1s
It's not futile to buy anything right now. All of this gear sustains an excellent resale value. That's why now is always the best time to buy. When something new comes along, sell what you've got and move up. If you're waiting, you're not creating.

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what appears like a mammoth investment just to stay in the game
Everything is relative, but to my eye all of the gear we discuss here is incredibly *inexpensive* -- it hardly costs anything compared to the professional world. Just last night, I was on a Disney sound stage in Hollywood checking out fellow moderator Charles Papert at work. The follow focus mechanism on his Steadicam rig costs $20,000. That's only one component of his out-of-pocket expenses to own the tools which keep his skills in demand. The stuff we use, these $4,000 cameras are dirt-cheap in comparison and video production at our level has never been more affordable.

I've got a little video clip of Charles' rig but can't upload it until I return home next week.
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Old January 24th, 2004, 11:11 AM   #3
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Production format is driven by what the paying customer wants and is ready to buy.

Joe and Jane Sixpack are rapidly switching to DVD. The market for VHS final product is diminishing correspondingly rapidly but still there. Just about anyone can knock out a poorly authored DVD on their home computer, just as they could make VHS tapes from their VHS-C/8mm video tapes - that no one else wanted to watch.

Nearly all folks (in the US) are still tuned in to NTSC at 4x3. Not all that many HDTV boxes or projectors out there. Most programming is 4x3, most ads appear to be 16x9, most DVD players are plugged into a 4x3 TV set.

It becomes a business decision - what do you need to produce what you intend to sell over the life of your business plan, and what is the business case for each of the options with respect to new gear and upgrade time. Early adopters of a technology may make out - or they may get stuck with an overpriced investment in a dead end product. You pay your money and take your changces.
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Old February 2nd, 2004, 10:11 PM   #4
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ah... don't worry about it jimmy. as them youngsters say nowadays, chill out.

so what if you can shoot, edit DV? where do you output it to? tape again? how're you going to show it? HDTV tape decks (like the JVC one)? HD-DVD ain't here yet. i suspect it'll be another 3-5 yrs before a player debut... and another 3-5 before HD-DVD recordables come to market... even then it might not become as popular as DVDs are today. you can shoot it but if you aren't outputting to film like lucas is doing for episode iii to cinema distribution there's no point in getting a cam (whether xl2 or not) that can do HD.
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Old February 3rd, 2004, 01:03 PM   #5
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I think most people are equating the rebate with release of the XL-2. Canon has offered rebates in the past and new offerings were not immediately forthcoming.

Heaven only knows when the XL-2 will be released, because everyone else that does was required to sign a NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement).

Without getting wrapped up in release dates, cameras do retain their value. You will be hard pressed to pickup a used XL-1S in excellent condition for under $2,500. So if you've got a few paying gigs out there, you will get your money out of the system. Heck there are still plenty of people with the old XL-1 that haven't made the transition.
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Old February 3rd, 2004, 11:19 PM   #6
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just wanted to add that since there is still no media that can hold HD even if we already have existing HD cams such as the JVCs, etc. even if XL2 came with all the goodies (HD) the most compatible players would STILl be SD DVD players! and so what if you have both XL2 AND XL1s. that'd make a very nice multicam setup =D. speed up production, etc.
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