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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old January 1st, 2005, 03:02 PM   #1
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XL1s - a mistake?

Hello all, this is my first post... please be gentle!
In ten days time I'm intending to purchase an XL1S for 1999 from Jessops. After searching the internet this seems like a fair price. Also, one of the major factors is I'll be getting 9 months interest free credit, something of a requirement for me at present. For the money and quality of cam am I doing the right thing. Can I / should I get something that is better for the same money?

My intentions are fairly wide-reaching. I have beend making Actors showreels, weddings, corporate videos and short films as a part time thing for a number of years and have taken the decision to try and make a go of it full-time.

Up to now, and please don't be too alarmed, I've been using a Panasonic NV DX110 ( it has 3 CCD's as I'm sure some of you know ) and has done it's job well. So my next question is, will the XL1S, should I decide to continue with my purchase, be a huge step up?

If you can help with any of the above that would be great. I was determined to buy an XL1S but as there are SO many option, I'm not so sure. I'm very excited about it, by the way!

I'm in the UK, by the way...

Thanks,
Lee
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Old January 1st, 2005, 03:17 PM   #2
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The XL1S will do well unless you want: Progressive Scan or true 16:9.

For everything else it really is great. Just remember though, that if you are going to move a whole 'step' up with your equipment, you probably need to multiply what you're spending for your camera by about 3/4/5 to get your total budget (or alternatively, divide your budget by 3/4 and there's how much you should spend on the camera).

Cases, bags, batteries, accessories, adapters, filters, tripod, microphones, mixers, good quality cables, stands, lights, monitor etc. all add up (I'm not saying you'll have to buy all of that, a lot of it you can rent, but you know, just keep in mind that a higher quality camera needs the 'support' to match, otherwise you're better off with another camera but a more balanced set of accessories, which are really important).

I think though, if you want a smaller/lighter camera, you might want to check out the GL/XM2, some of the newer Panasonic 3CCD cameras, PDX10 or something.

Good luck,
Dennis
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Old January 1st, 2005, 03:31 PM   #3
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Thanks for your speedy reply!
I'm not overly worried about progressive scan though it would be a lovely feature to have, of course. The Frame movie mode sounds quite promising and I think, by buying a PAL camera, it should look fairly decent.

As for budget, right now I want to get the absolute best camera I can for 2000.. the accessories will follow in the coming months, hopefully from the income generated from my tiny business.

My other half asked what the difference in picture quality would be between the Panasonic DX110 and the XL1S considering the both have 3CCD's - I couldn't really tell her! I just hope when it arrives home with me in a little over a week the pictures will speak for themselves.

Lee
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Old January 1st, 2005, 04:07 PM   #4
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No worries - I have an old XL1 and I love it. Sure there are newer cameras around, but that doesn't take away the fact that the XL series is awesome. I don't know what peoples' standards are, but even today I am very impressed with the picture quality of my XL1.

I use Frame Mode almost 90% of the time - I know it's not true progressive scan, and a lot of people talk about resolution etc. etc., but at the end of the day, shot films, corporate videos and weddings will still look good. Camera technology is always going to improve and old cameras will be dumped. But good short films and quality works stay. A great video on a consumer Hi8 cam from 10 years ago is still going to be enjoyable to watch today. No one watching a wedding video will say, "I wish you had shot it with 24/5p" when you've done well to capture the great moments.

Dennis
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Old January 1st, 2005, 04:28 PM   #5
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<<<-- Originally posted by Dennis Liu : No worries - I have an old XL1 and I love it. Sure there are newer cameras around, but that doesn't take away the fact that the XL series is awesome. I don't know what peoples' standards are, but even today I am very impressed with the picture quality of my XL1.

I use Frame Mode almost 90% of the time - I know it's not true progressive scan, and a lot of people talk about resolution etc. etc., but at the end of the day, shot films, corporate videos and weddings will still look good. Camera technology is always going to improve and old cameras will be dumped. But good short films and quality works stay. A great video on a consumer Hi8 cam from 10 years ago is still going to be enjoyable to watch today. No one watching a wedding video will say, "I wish you had shot it with 24/5p" when you've done well to capture the great moments.

Dennis -->>>



Exactly. For example look at the video 'Tarnation'...amazing video..shot on old cameras over the years..and people LOVE it.
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Old January 1st, 2005, 05:23 PM   #6
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Maybe a stupid question, but it Tarnation a movie brought out or is it a short on the internet or what?

To reply on Lee's question: I too think it will do. The XM2 is sharper, but the XL1 series have the reputation to have very warm colours, and very warm skin tones. Many people (including me, one for my main reasons to buy it) like this because this looks more like the 'warmth' of film, not of video.
And 24P, 25P,... If you live in PAL land, the main difference between the XL2's (or DVX's) 25P and XL1s ' 25P is resolution... what can be important if you are doing a blowup, but else... it's great.

By the way, I have my XL1s for about two months or so, or three, bought it from someone from these boards second hand, and I love it too. Monday I begin shooting with it, for real, for the first time. Exited! (sorry off topic but... still exited!)

Good luck!

BTW: What Dennis said was right: you have to calculate some other expenses to... I knew I had to buy a tripod for example, but then I wanted to buy a hard case for protection, and that can cost you a lot too, and if you want a external mic... (wich I still haven't bought, but the standard mic is decent!) and all the other things Dennis said... or some of it. Hint: Do buy a UV filter, 72 mm, and leave it on the lens. I bought it yesterday, it's a main hint to make sure your lens won't get scratched... maybe you already know this for a long time and I'm just boring you, but I wanted it to check :-)
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Old January 1st, 2005, 05:25 PM   #7
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Tarnation is one of probably the best movies ive ever seen, made at under 250.00!! You can see the trailor on the website.. http://www.i-saw-tarnation.com/ . He shot it with old cameras over 20 years and edited on iMOVIE..the default editing app for the Mac. He got endorsements and such to pay for the transfer to film and such. It has won numerous festivals, and from an interview I saw it is going to be released in theatres nationwide by this coming october.
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Old January 1st, 2005, 05:32 PM   #8
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if you really need a camera for all occasion (as you suggest), and for a good price, i do not think the XL1s is the right choice.
it is a very old camera, not very good at low light (like in churches)
, optics cost the hell (many XL owner never afford to buy another lens than the one coming with the cam.).
You should look at the VX2000/2100 or PD150/170 (that is a veteran too)
It is a bullet proof camera used by lots of consumers or professional (have seen a XL1 with a reporter ? no , it is always a PD150) and you could probably get it for a lot less than 2000 pounds.
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Old January 1st, 2005, 05:51 PM   #9
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Hello...

I have checked out the Sony's you mention and can't find them anywhere for less than the XL1S, often 3 or 4 hundred pounds more.

I am totally open to a different camera, which is why I posted here. If anyone can point me in the direction of a shop/website with great deals on better cameras than the one I'm about to buy... that would be great.

had a look at the Tarnation website and trailer... it looks incredible, thanks for the link.

Lee
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Old January 1st, 2005, 05:57 PM   #10
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I would NOT go for a Sony. I absolutely detest Sony but that I suppose is merely a personal thing.

Quote:
have seen a XL1 with a reporter ? no , it is always a PD150
Actually, yes, all the time. The local news channel uses them for just about everything even though they are getting old.

You can get a used DVX for about the price you are looking at. Might be worth checking into.
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Old January 1st, 2005, 05:59 PM   #11
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Save for the PD150. It is much more durable. But for short films..and other stuff sometimes the camera doesnt matter. Just like in Tarnation. Get a smaller camera like a TRV900..sure it has smaller ships..but its a great camera and will provide you with just enough camera you need to make money with. I know a guy who stoped using his BetaCam's andstarted using a TRV900 for fulltime ENG work.
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Old January 1st, 2005, 06:02 PM   #12
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check B&H they sell PAL camera at american price.
For sure, if you are looking for sony price in europe, it is totally silly numbers.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=307577&is=REG
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Old January 1st, 2005, 06:24 PM   #13
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Every cam has his own color rendition, sort of speak. Canon has warmer colors, Panasonic has more neutral colors, and Sony has more cooler colors - making it more inapproperiate for filmwork, but they have the reputation of having very good low light capacity.

Offcourse with postproduction and tweaking you can get many color renditions, but this are more the 'reputations' of the camera.
Good luck choosing!
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Old January 1st, 2005, 11:13 PM   #14
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I spent 4 years learning the craft using a TRV900. 4 months ago I upgraded to an XL1s. I chose it over the Sonys and Pannys for several reasons.
1) I don't need 24p or 16:9.
2) It delivers excellent video AND audio in an efficient and flexible package.
3) With the XL2 on the scene, the XL1s is a fantastic bargain that previously was a good $1000 more than the Sonys and Pannys.

Tell your wife that in addition to the superior image quality delivered by 3 CCDs that are larger (1/3 of an inch vs 1/4 inch), the XL1s is a flexible system that will make you more efficient in production and (more importantly) in post production. You'll get audio requiring less post production, wide angle shots taken with less glass and fewer setup errors. All of this translates to giving you more time to spend doing the things you love to do (presumably some include her). :-)
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Old January 2nd, 2005, 08:06 AM   #15
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BTW: I remember Tarnation, I already heard about it on the boards. Haven't seen it though, is it already released outside America?
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