XL1 vs. GL1? I think I may have made a mistake! at DVinfo.net

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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old August 7th, 2002, 04:35 PM   #1
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XL1 vs. GL1? I think I may have made a mistake!

Hi guys!

I know I may be opening up a HUGE can of worms here and for that I am sorry! But here is the situation. I just received my (used) XL1, and while I have used one before (that's why I bought it) I am beginning to think that maybe it may be too much camera for me? As I have mentioned in previous posts I come from the world of broadcast TV and am new to the whole freelancing thing. Now I bought the XL1 because I figured it had more features and options than a GL1. As I have been reading the manual over the past few days, it does appear that there are some features I will never use? But I don't know, maybe I will? Can someone (in layman's) terms tell me what advantages the XL1 has over the GL1, besides the interchangeable lenses?

As far as my application, that remains to be seen, I am trying to go out on my own and make my living doing video work on my own, anything from the occasional wedding\bar mitzvah type thing to court depositions, to shooting bands and maybe even doing corporate type stuff, but who knows what the future holds? That is why I bought the XL1, I just don't know! Do any of you feel that the GL1 will give me enough flexibility if I come into a situation that I never encountered before? Like, I don't know, going to shoot a hot air balloon race one day and then shooting a how-to video in a studio and then shooting a series of "procedure" videos in a factory using ambient lighting? I guess what I am asking is what will I loose if I downgrade to a GL1, like can I use a balanced audio adapter like a beachtek, etc…? Because if I can save like $1000 and still get almost everything I need then that would be great! And for that matter is the GL2 a big improvement over the GL1? And my last question, I think one of the other reasons I bought the XL1 is that when going out on jobs I will be taken more seriously if I have a more impressive looking camera (that was hard for me to admit to myself!) Do you all think that matters or should I not really worry about that? HAve any of your clients ever seemed to care about your equipment or just concern themselves with the final product? Fortunately I got the camera at B&H and have 7 days to return it so if you all think I should downgrade, I still can. Sorry for the long post but I am really beside myself here, I think I am nearing a panic attack.

Thanks again! You guys rule!
-SL
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Old August 7th, 2002, 04:48 PM   #2
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Sammy

The XL1 has full control of audio, like having a built-in 4-channel audio mixer. The GL1 has no audio control at all. I don't think you can find a new GL1 as they are discontinued and pretty much all sold out. However I'm sure B&H will gladly take the XL1 back if you choose to buy a new GL2 from them. The GL2 has complete audio control, is "the latest and the greatest" and you won't be disappointed in it. Hope this helps,
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Old August 7th, 2002, 05:52 PM   #3
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If it was me, I think I'd keep the XL1. You've said you don't know what future video work you might be involved in. That's reason enough to keep the XL1.

While the new GL2 seems to be a great camera (I'm thinking about one as a back up myself), I don't think it offers the flexibility of it's larger cousin.

As far as the "credibility" issue, I think there's little doubt the XL1 has a more professional look. To the uneducated eye, I've got to believe the GL's look a lot like a home movie camera.

I think it's better to have more camera than you think you need now, than wish you had better tools a few months down the road.

Mike Avery
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Old August 7th, 2002, 07:06 PM   #4
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I love my XL1s, and will eventually get around to fully exploring its features. I also have the GL1, and think that it is as good a camera as the XL in many ways. I feel it has the better zoom, and its certainly much easier on the body for long handheld shoots.

Would I trade the XL for the GL? I use both, and wouldn't give up either. Each has their benefits, depending on what is needed.
Keith
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Old August 7th, 2002, 11:13 PM   #5
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IMHO, the 'professional look' of the XL1 is worth more than the $1000 difference between it, and a GL1.
If it gets you one extra job that pays $1000 then it's made it up instantly, and it just might. People see you with an XL1, they ask you about it or what you are doing, you give them your business card. Perfect. Won't happen with a GL1, or GL2.


Of course, you could buy a barely working 10 year old 'shoulder brick' for $500 to impress people, but secretly use the GL1... ;)
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Old August 7th, 2002, 11:33 PM   #6
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>>The GL2 has complete audio control, is "the latest and the greatest"<<

Chris, are you suggesting that the GL2 is better than the XL1?

Thanks,

-SL
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Old August 7th, 2002, 11:43 PM   #7
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I think everyone will agree that the GL2 is better than the XL1 in terms of picture quality and other items.

Personaly, I'd still take an XL1 over a GL2 due to it's pro-look.
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Old August 8th, 2002, 01:40 AM   #8
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Sammy, take a look at the GL2 forum on here. Barry has given a really good run down of it that might help you. Some of the things that the Gl2 sports over the XL1 are

Higher resolution
SMPTE colour bars
16:9 guides
Clearscan
Analog->DV conversion
Interval Recording
DV Control

Someone correct me if I'm wrong..
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Old August 8th, 2002, 07:57 AM   #9
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GL2 is definitely "better" than the XL1. It's a notch or two sharper than the XL1S as well.
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Old August 8th, 2002, 08:06 AM   #10
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OK, now you all have me more confused! Based on what I wrote earlier, the XL1 will still cover me adequately though, correct? The XL1 will still give me a professional looking picture, or do you think the quality of the GL2 will make the output of the XL1 not up to snuff anymore?

Thanks!
-SL
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Old August 8th, 2002, 11:25 AM   #11
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I think the picture out of my XL1 is pretty friggen fabulous.

Keith Loh and I have shot side by side footage with his XL1s and my XL1, and there is no real distinguishable difference in picture. It might be sharper on a HD monitor, but not to my eye on my TV.

The XL1s or GL2's extra features would sure be nice to have. But if you can live without them, you can save yourself some money.
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Old August 8th, 2002, 11:46 AM   #12
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For what it's worth, I'm still shooting with an XL1 myself with no intention of upgrading to the XL1S.
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Old August 8th, 2002, 05:52 PM   #13
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I have both an XL1 and XL1s and I shoot the XL1 most of the time. It's like an old friend, I know what to expect from it, no big surprises. I can see the difference on my studio monitors, but I have never had a client complain or question the look. For the things you're talking about shooting the XL1 will give the combination of quality image and professional appearence. Have no fears, but go out and start shooting.

Jeff
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Old August 8th, 2002, 08:00 PM   #14
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If your choice is between a GL1 and XL1, I would go with the XL1 hands down. While the GL2 is a very nice cam and will certainly shoot in conditions (low light) where the XL1 will not, I would still be reluctant to make the swap (to a GL2).

Don't overlook the advantage of interchangable lenses. When the XL1 was first introduced, this was a pricey option when you had just shelled out between $3,400-$4,500 for the cam.

If you check this board, you will find that an increasing number of people are examing the XL1 (and the S) lens options. Not many systems out there have 3X lenses, prime adapters, or even the somewhat overlooked EOS lens adapter. I think after the recent threads on the EOS adapters Canon may enjoy more sales of this gear.

Remember these cams are systems. Unlike PCs, 3-chippers have a considerably longer useful life. A number or people are still using VX1000s and TVR900s because of the quality of these systems.

Like Chris, I have no immediate plans to upgrade to the S. The S has a pile of features I really wish my XL1 had. Still my XL1 shoots very well and suits most of the conditions I shoot in.

Still if Canon wants to give me an S for an extended evaluation (preferably with a GL2)...

BTW, the most important attachment for the camera is the operator. Nothing makes a camera shoot better than someone who knows what they are doing.

Nathan Gifford
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