If you had it to do over again: XL1s vs. PD150 at DVinfo.net

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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old June 8th, 2002, 06:01 PM   #1
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If you had it to do over again: XL1s vs. PD150

There is a chance that I can return my XL1s and pick up the Sony PD150. Considering all of the problems and complaints on this forum, I was just curious, if you had the chance, would you trade in the XL1s for the PD150? Here is why I am consideing it:

1. Black bars on bottom and occasionally on the right side of the frame. I edit and go straight to Divx for distribution. Yes I can crop and zoom the frame, but it takes a lot of processing time and the resulting image isn't as good as the original.

2. The EVF is pretty much useless. Very difficult to focus and not an accurate representation of the total frame being recorded.

3. It is very unlikely that I'll buy another lens or the B&W finder so they are not part of the equation.

If anyone has ever used both the PD150 and the XL1s I sure like to hear your comparison of the two.
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Old June 8th, 2002, 06:39 PM   #2
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Hi Ron,
The 'black line fever' problem with the XL1/1s is, indeed, disappointing. But, that aside, the camera is still the most versatile prosumer camera available.

In your self-described situation it sounds like the PD150 may be a better choice for you. It's an excellent camea featuring an excellent image, XLR ports, and both b&w and color viewfinders.

Certainly, nobody here can or should tell you what to do. But it sounds like you're suffering from some degree of buyer's remorse and have had time to reconsider your true needs. I would only suggest that you be honest to yourself and, most of all, be happy with your choice. Isn't that, after all, what this nutty pastime is all about?
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Old June 8th, 2002, 09:15 PM   #3
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JVC Streamcorder

Actually there is a camera that beats the competition soundly on most fronts (but no interchangeable lenses)......

..try looking at the JVC Streamcorder.....3CCD's (380,000 pixels each!!), 12 bit digital processing, 14X lens. Iris focus, SMPTE color bars & time code, audio level, white balance etc....

Output MPEG-4 web streaming (w/optional KA-DV300U)
* Manually controllable 14:1 power zoom lens
* 1/3" 3-CCD pickup for superb imaging
* Advanced 12-bit digital A/D DSP
* Professional color matrix w/adjustable gamma
* 700 TV Line resolution
* Excellent low light performance (2.65 lux)
* High-quality PCM audio (even at 110 dB SPL)
* Professional DV digital recording (with MiniDV cassette)
* Record directly to memory card (w/optional KA-DV300U)
* Built-in web server for setup and control
* Equipped with DV (i.LINK) IEEE-1394 connector
* Optical image stabilizer
* 0.5" color LCD viewfinder
* XLR microphone inputs
* 4:3 to 16:9 (letterbox) switchable
* 115dB Smear rejection


this camera has over 700 lpi resolution and uses the same CCD's as found on some of JVC's broadcast cameras- look into this model- it's a winner.
Under $3000 I believe!

http://pro.jvc.com/prof/Attributes/features.jsp?model_id=MDL101332&feature_id=01
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Old June 10th, 2002, 11:36 AM   #4
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I agree with Ken.

If you are unhappy with the S then by all means migrate to the PD150. Frankly the only thing I want to do is upgrade my XL-1 to the S and add wide angle lens to the mix.

This weekend I was reminded yet again why I like the XL-1...4-track audio. I was able to use the stereo mic with a wireless on the sub channels. It was easy to capture all the ambient sound plus get comments from the bride like"I cried all the way over here...is my makeup ok?" and this gem from the priest who whispered, "This is positively your last chance to run."

The PD150 does make it easy to use amorphic lens better than the XL-1S.

The one thing you should always remember about 3 chip camcorders is that you cannot make a mistake. So if in doubt migrate!

Nathan Gifford
Tickfaw, LA
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Old June 17th, 2002, 03:38 PM   #5
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What is black line fever?

I'm trying to decide between the two cameras mentioned. I've only played with the XL1S and was quite impressed. What is black line fever? I edited some footage shot with the PD150 and it seemed kind of colorless and not terribly crisp. I don't know if it was the operator or the camera but it scared me away from the Sony. It's very difficult to decide between the two given the differing opinions about mini-dv vs dvcam, not to mention resolution issues. Does anyone out there edit from their XL1S on Avid Express DV? I read about capture problems w/XL1S on Avid.com. Help!
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Old June 17th, 2002, 04:11 PM   #6
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Re: What is black line fever?

>What is black line fever?
I assume it refers to the 4 pixel high black line that appears at the bottom of the frame. No problem if your footage is intended for TV since the line doesn't show because of the overscan. If, however, you are targeting your footage for display on a computer, it shows. You could get rid of it in post, but that takes time and degrades the image slightly.

It isn't a problem for me any longer since I've switched to shooting in 16:9 then letterboxing into a 4:3 frame. Shows without distortion on both a 4:3 TV and a 16:9 TV (in Cinema Wide mode). I also use this same technique for output intended for computer viewing since many of the players default (or only have) 4:3 mode. Bottom line, now that I've finally got my act together, I'm staying with my XL1s.
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Old June 17th, 2002, 04:27 PM   #7
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I'm surprised to hear that someone found the PD150 to be soft- it has a reputation for being really sharp.

The BIG thing about the XL's are that you can use other lenses and the EF adapter- which has proven to be most fun- and trust me- sharpness will not be an issue with the EF adapter and any Canon lens....it's razor sharp!
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Old June 17th, 2002, 04:51 PM   #8
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I didn't shoot the soft footage or handle the pd150 at all. It was an extremely low-light situation and I have no way of knowing the camera settings used by the shooter. I'd like to handle the Sony before making a final decision, but I live in the boonies of Nebraska and it just isn't possible. I will check out the ef option for Canon and go from there. I'd like to be able to change lenses if I want (tho affordability might be the kicker.) Still curious about the black line fever and compatability with Avid Express tho. Thanks for your reply!!!
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Old June 17th, 2002, 04:58 PM   #9
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Oops! Sorry Ron, didn't see your post. Thanks! I'm still leaning towards the xl, but am concerned about the mini-dv vs dvcam. I'm shooting and editing for Nebraska Public TV as a freelance producer and EDL's (OMF?) are pretty important, hence my concern about Avid compatability. Anyone posting on Express with an XL1S?
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Old June 17th, 2002, 05:05 PM   #10
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I have a 65" Mitsubishi HD widescreen TV- and I can tell you- the Canon XL1S with the EF adapter and an inexpensive $199 75-300mm USM lens has produced the sharpest video I've ever seen (aside from actual hi-def tv)- you wont be disappointed...anything from insects to flying animals will be within your videography capabilities.

The stock lens can run soft at long range- but produces great video at anything less than full out. Initially I was disappointed myself with the stock lens- but with a -3 gain setting and manual mode- i've been very impressed with the footage....I can't tell you how the others fare- but at this time the only camera that seems to be able to rival the XL is the new JVC Streamcam- it has a broadcast quality 3CCD system that produces over 700 lines of video- and with a new Canon GL coming out (GL2 or GL-S??)- you have some great choices......no matter what you get- the XL commands the most respect with it's "all business" look.....the other's don't have that "charisma" the XL has (not to mention the 3rd party industry support- just open any video magazine and you'll see a few XL's and accessories- should tell you everything right there!)

whatever you decide- welcome to DV- it's a blast!
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Old June 17th, 2002, 05:11 PM   #11
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Thanks Steven! This has already been very helpful. I agree about the look of the xl, it's just plain cool! I already own a Canon Rebel so the possibility of swapping lenses is appealing.
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Old June 17th, 2002, 05:28 PM   #12
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Good luck Becky- if u have a few lenses for your Rebel- you'll get very sharp video (and very saturated colors) with the XL (definitely get the EF adapter)....I've even shot 1/8th inch hoverflies hovering mid-flight from 8 feet with a zoom lens ( http://homepage.mac.com/stevenyc1/iMovieTheater1.html ) again good luck.
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Old June 19th, 2002, 03:47 PM   #13
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jvc

Hi Steve,

I see that the JVC looks impressive on paper but how does it really handle?

If I were to do it over again I probably would have bought that JVC. I dont know about buyers remorse. All I know is, if I knew about the pixel lost I wouldnt have bought the XL1s. I do alot of web work and having to crop is just lame.
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