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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old June 14th, 2004, 01:52 PM   #1
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next step up?

For about another $1500 or so, one can step up from the XL1S to models from Panasonic and JVC with 1/2" CCDs with lens and viewfinder. The advertised price range by B&H is around $5000 to $5500. They seem to have an awful lot of extra features, not the least of which are the larger CCDs, but lack (I think) autofocus and image stabilization. They're also quite heavy but are designed for shoulder shooting. My question is, everything else being equal, would one expect to get markedly better quality with these cameras?
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Old June 14th, 2004, 02:04 PM   #2
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The situation here is that everything else is *not* equal. When you step up to a larger shoulder-mount professional video camera, you also incur a much heavier expense for the neccessary gear you'll need with the camera. For example, with the larger cams, batteries and charger are not included and typically cost $800 to $1000 for a couple of batts and a charger (Aspen, IDX, Anton Bauer etc.) Plus, you'll need a much heavier and much better built tripod, preferably in the $1500 to $2000 range. Finally, remote zoom and focus controls (starting at $180 for the XL1S) will set you back another $1000 on the big cameras.

The XL1S is at the high end of consumer gear; and the add-ons are priced at the consumer level. The professional cameras are in a different class entirely. Don't be swayed by what appears to be only a $1500 difference in the camera body; there is much more to buy (at much higher prices) in the professional realm. As always, you get what you pay for. But these are two distinctly different classes.

So to answer your question, yes there is a difference in "quality" and feature sets, but the cost differential for a reasonably equipped shooting package is a heck of a lot higher than just $1500.
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Old June 14th, 2004, 04:49 PM   #3
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Yes, I can see that. With a battery amd charger, the price goes over $7000. Too bad. As always (usually), money buys quality. Just curious however, how does the video quality compare to the XL1S? I know this is subjective but that's ok. Subjective opinions are often worthwhile.
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Old June 15th, 2004, 07:44 PM   #4
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One thing you are getting are larger CCDs. This gives you greater flexibility in your videos. You also gain more professional image control features and profiles.
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Old June 16th, 2004, 07:20 PM   #5
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One thing I noticed in a JVC DV5000U ad is the "wide dynamic range". It shows a backlit pic with both fore and background properly exposed. How do they do that?
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