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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
Can't find it on the XL1 Watchdog site? Discuss it here.

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Old May 31st, 2002, 08:05 AM   #1
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Location: Auckland, New Zealand
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Xl1s vs XL1

Wow, bet you were all surprised to see that topic instead of "xl1s vs PD150" :)

As some of you know, I'm new to DV and am still researching my camera purchase. I was down to either the xl1s or the PD150, and swaying more to the xl1s because it's cheaper here in New Zealand by about NZ$1000 (~US$500).

I have recently met a few guys who direct and make videos, mainly music videos at present and went to an edit studio the other day where they were editing a music vid. I saw the footage and thought it looked really nice and asked what camera they used. They said xl1, and I had to qualify, "xl1 or xl1s?". The cameraman said it was the old standard xl1. Now here is my question. The xl1 is just over 1/2 the price of the xl1s here in New Zealand. I've looked at the xl1s skinny here on the watchdog and understand all the nice new things that the xl1s has over the xl1 like Clearscan, better low light, 3 presets, no auto shutdown etc etc. One thing I'm not sure is on the quality of the picture. Are they they same? Apart from the obvious Low light, can you get just the same pictures from the xl1 that you can from the xl1s?

I'm wondering this because the footage I saw was nice on the xl1, and if I get that over the xl1s, then I save myself 4 grand which will go nicely toward, tripod, carry case, filters, mics and all a that stuff.

I was also considering the xm1, but the old xl1 is cheaper that that even, so what do people think of the comparison between those two cameras?

Thanks for the help......again ;)

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Old May 31st, 2002, 08:25 AM   #2
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Hey man. I know that a lot of XL1 users that bought their camera before Summer 2001 when the XL1s came out still have and use their XL1 and did not convert to the newer model. From what I understand, a lot of people are still happy with the older unit. I even believe our good Kennelmaster, Chris Hurd is one in the crowd that uses the XL1 - I can't remember exactly. So, the XL1 is still a good camera. If you get the XL1 and not the "s" model, you'll save some cash and you can get some good lights (or mic) with the extra money.

Of course, keep in mind that Canon - from what I understand - designed the XL1s in response to the large number of filmmakers using the camera to make movies. Canon did their homework and looked into what moviemakers wanted. So, if you're looking to make narrative movies, the "s" model might help you out. I could be wrong . . .


Kyle "Doc" Mitchell
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Old May 31st, 2002, 09:57 AM   #3
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I have both cameras and can say that they produce very comparable results for situations in which the camera's settings can be matched. But the updated software in the "1s" makes it a far more versatile camera than the "1". Improved power management, sharpness control, variable ire zebra displays, etc.

As Kyle noted, the "1" is a very good camera. If you're a hobbyist it may be all you really need. But, if your needs are more sophisticated, the "1s" is certainly worth the stretch.

Emotionally, if you don't get the "1s" will you ever be completely satisfied with the "1"? If not, then you'll probably end up buying both.
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Old May 31st, 2002, 07:44 PM   #4
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Yes, I have the old "classic" XL1 and just between us, I'm not changing up. If I had to by a new one today, of course it would be an XL1S... but I can't afford one at the moment, or let's say I can afford it, but we're trying to save money... I need to replace my '84 Ford pickup much worse than I need to replace my camera.

For what I do, the XL1 serves me well. I can't recommend switching from an XL1 to an XL1S, unless there's some feature on the 1S that you absolutely must have. I'm not knocking the XL1S, it is a superb camera, but the joke is that the "S" stands for "same." Hope this helps,


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Old June 1st, 2002, 03:59 AM   #5
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Thanks for the advice all. One other thing is that the XM1 is just a little more expensive than the XL1. What do people think of the comparison between these two cameras?

Which would you get and why?

I know the XM1 has a bigger zoom and a flourite lens. But is it as good as the xl1 in other respects or is the xl1 better? I haven't done an indepth comparison, but is the xm1 just an xl1 in a different body and without changeable lenses?

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Old June 1st, 2002, 05:48 AM   #6
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I've done footage with the XL1, XL1s and XM1. I use Frame mode only, and I must say, that I hardly see any difference between the 3 cameras. I only shot manual, so there may be big differences In autofocus etc. that I don not know of. But the overall picture quality is basicly the same. These cameras can be used together in a 3 camera shot.

When I compare the lenses, however, I see difference in wide shots. The XL1 is more round at vertical lines than XL1s. The XM1 is pretty much like the XL1. I used the century 0.6x adapter with both the XL1 and XL1s, and as I remember, the XL1 became more "fisheye" than XL1s. But the solution on that problem for you, is to buy a XL1 and the 3x lens. That is if you wan't to go wider than the 16x lens of course.

If you say that the XL1 is cheaper than the XM1, then there's really now point in buying the XM1. The XL1 can be updated much more, and looks nicer.

But between the XL1 and XL1s, if there's only a slight difference in pricing, of course I would buy XL1s. But if you can buy the XL1 for half the price.... -Then I would do it.



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