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Old June 8th, 2004, 02:46 AM   #1
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XL1 - good for broadcast?

Hi there, Im planning to shoot a documentry which I KNOW in terms of subject matter and agreed interviewees, will attract the interest of broadcast television around the world - primarily Europe.
I am also looking to sell the finished product to the DVD market after broadcast.

Now We are limited in resources. Infact we have little to no budget and can only shoot this on a Canon XL1 (NOT Xl1s but the original model). Is this sufficient in terms of quality for broadcast television. I cannot afford to shoot on nor edit on Digibeta.

What I need to know is

1)is the XL1 sufficent for a glossy documentry (mainly interview based) on Broadcast TV

2) Does a lot of TV footage come from a DV / XL1 source?

3) Whats the best way to approach the 4:3 / 16:9 dilemma? - shooting in 4:3 for cropping to 16:9 in post (Which gives me both options of ratio?) or just using a 16:9 anamorphic lens attachment (again an expense, but how much would rental cost on average?)

4) What is the best reccomended brand of Mini DV tape if shooting for broadcast - A link would be appreciated

5) I am NOT, repeat, am NOT shooting for HDTV

6) I quite like the XL1s frame mode used with a gain setting of +6 - looks like 16mm to me if well shot. would frame mode pose any problems when approaching broadcasters?


I would appreciate a response from any of you guys.

Thanks.
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Old June 8th, 2004, 02:59 AM   #2
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The only thing I'll say is that I wouldn't recommend the +6 db setting as a default when you have enough light to shoot at a lower gain setting. If you really want a noisy/grainy look, I'd recommend adding it in post where you can control the amount for any given shot. Noisy DV in a "glossy documentary" look for broadcast might be an unlikely combination, methinks.
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Old June 8th, 2004, 09:15 AM   #3
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Anyone answer my question?
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Old June 8th, 2004, 11:22 AM   #4
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I'm not in the UK but I'll answer to the best of my US knowledge.

The XL1 is sufficient for a glossy documentary but it must be lit correctly and the sound must be good.

Many cable stations in the US use all types of dv footage for broadcast, it is less common for the larger stations.

I think shooting 4:3 would be your better choice as it gives you options on where to crop. I haven't been too happy with the anamorphic attachments.

the website www.dvinfo.net/conf has a complete section devoted to tape called the thin black line, in addition they have a search feature that will let you look up exactly which tape to use. I think you best bet for shooting on an XL1 is to use the tape you've been using.

good, it would be hard to get an HD signal out of an xl1

I agree with charles in that if you want grain you might want to wait and add it in post, HOnestly I would approach broadcasters first and see what they want, maybe you cna get an advance or funding so that you can shoot digibeta.

Best of luck
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Old June 8th, 2004, 12:21 PM   #5
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You have gotten some pretty good answers about the XL-1. Basically what you have to determine is what broadcast outlet you are going to shoot for.

Some outlets are not likely to accept either the XL-1 or many other prosumer cams. Some of these prosumer models do not shoot with the proper range on IRE (newer models do) in the USA. There have been a great many discussions on this topic.

From what I recall, some cable outlets might not be so picky. Heck my local outlet's quality is so bad Hi8 would be a dramatic improvement.

What I would suggest to help you refine your question(s) is to do a search on IRE.
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Old June 8th, 2004, 03:07 PM   #6
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I actually shoot quite a bit of stuff for the local cable TV station here in Montreal using my XL-1 (with Glidecam V16) and in Frame Mode.

I just did a fashion show where I 'mistakenly' left the Frame mode on and when it was edited with footage from the Betacams, you could tell the 'video' plastic look from the Betacams and the almost 'filmlike' quality from the XL1's Frame Mode. The technicians were quite amazed by the filmlike look. At first they thought that the 'video' look came from my XL1!!!! What an insult.

Also keep everything locked down (go manual that is) because it freaks out the technicians if you let the focus/exposure/white balance go automatic.
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Old June 9th, 2004, 09:17 AM   #7
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FWIW, I shoot/edit a weekly TV magazine show (using two XL1s') that has been broadcast on our local CBS, UPN, and PBS stations for over a year. I also do commercials....never had any complaints : )
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Old June 9th, 2004, 03:39 PM   #8
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XL-1 for B'cast?

Absolutely.
My production group shoots insert segments for a game show that is syndicated on major network affiliates. For the first six years we shot exclusively with Beta SP then switched to the XL-1 when it hit the market. The Hollywood-based production company didn't know until we told them that we had switched acquisition systems...and that was eight months after the switch.

Yes, we light carefully, avoid using auto iris and auto focus, resist the temptation to boost the gain, and put the camera on a tripod as often as possible.

It works for us.
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Old June 10th, 2004, 12:30 PM   #9
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Randy,
Any more problems with your JVC deck?
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Old June 10th, 2004, 12:55 PM   #10
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Hey Mark,
Do you mean any new problems? I sent it in to JVC and they did their modification but it made no difference on mine (is yours working okay...are you still using Panasonic tapes...when I tried them the problem worsened). It is now basically a very expensive A/D converter to preview my external monitor when using my NLE : (
Randy
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Old June 10th, 2004, 01:00 PM   #11
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I am still seeing it occaisonally....I have learned to live with it...for the most part I can remove the one frame glitch and still have it unoticable unless the clip contains heavy/fast movement.....
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Old June 10th, 2004, 01:04 PM   #12
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"....for the most part I can remove the one frame glitch and still have it unoticable unless..."

Hmm, I didn't I think of that? Is it not easier to just capture from your camera?
Randy
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Old June 10th, 2004, 01:19 PM   #13
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Yes it would be...but I've tried to keep wear and tear off the cameras as much as I can....but I do know have the use of an additional XL1s (companies) to use for capture and I may just start doing that. It would save the intense timeline scrub I have to do to remove the one-frame glitches.....
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Old June 10th, 2004, 01:21 PM   #14
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On another subject, I'm a bit excited about my wedding shoot Saturday as I will be using my new manual lens(s) and 1000 viewfinders....
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Old June 10th, 2004, 01:55 PM   #15
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"On another subject, I'm a bit excited about my wedding shoot Saturday as I will be using my new manual lens(s) and 1000 viewfinders...."
Keep us posted Mark.
Thanks,
Randy
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