I have always wanted a Canon XL1... one problem at DVinfo.net

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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old April 5th, 2010, 04:28 PM   #1
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I have always wanted a Canon XL1... one problem

I just bought a new Macbook.... no Firewire port :(

so now what?

is the only type of camcorder i can use is one that can transfer video via USB? i suppose thats any camcorder with a HD built in right? HDD?

is there any other options that i have... I have always loved the canon XL series and its what i used back in school...

now im using Final Cut Pro 7 and a new macbook and can't even get the camcorder i have always wanted lol

so whats my best bet right now?? id like to remain under $1000 but i understand that a good deal is a good deal and if a good deal is around $1500... then i guess i gotta go with $1500 lol
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Old April 5th, 2010, 04:52 PM   #2
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I would like to urge you strongly to forget about the XL1. Sure, it had its glory days and all, but let's face it, that was twelve years ago now and it's a dinosaur by today's standards. An antique. Do yourself a favor, spend your money on an HD camcorder such as the Canon VIXIA HF S series. The picture from that little thing absolutely blows away the XL1, it has plenty of pro features, and best of all for you and your Mac, it connects via USB2.

Commit the XL1 to memory, be fond of it, but most importantly please realize that it is thoroughly obsolete and you'll get a much better looking image out of a newer consumer HD camcorder such as the VIXIA HS S series. Hope this helps,
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Old April 5th, 2010, 04:56 PM   #3
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Helps a lot! thank you.... i was afraid that was the answer i would get. been reading a little since i joined this site and many can agree it seems that the XL1 is now just a shadow to whats available for the $$$ these days. The type of filming i will be doing is mainly motorsports.... will also be doing some concerts and music vids as well.

I'll shop around and see what i can come up with.
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Old April 5th, 2010, 04:58 PM   #4
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If the Canon VIXIA camcorders are too small for you, then
I'd suggest looking into buying a used XL2 or a used XH A1.
But -- those are FireWire camcorders.
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Old April 5th, 2010, 06:07 PM   #5
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Many HDV cameras use USB to transfer video. I use a Sony HDV. However, it you necessarily restrict yourself to a $1500 budget, you're not going to get into pro-level video camera range. At least nothing remarkable. I also shoot with a Canon Vixia consumer level camera (the HG-21) which is one of only two Vixia cameras that have a proper viewfinder. It is HDD based but can also record on SDHC cards. It's not as popular as I'd thought it would be. Considering its 120 capacity, hybrid system, it's good for a long time without media changing or downloading. Price of the HG-21 is about $700 discounted. You'll still need to get a Juicedlink or Beachtek audio interface if you're serious about shooting more than your kids in the sand box.

The image quality is sharp but, as with the entire Canon Vixia line, tonal range can be a bit cartoony. It is sharper than the pro-level JVC GY-HD110 I used to use but I prefered the tonal quality of the JVC much better. Also, Vixia is AVCHD which means it taxes any computer on ingestion.

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Old April 5th, 2010, 08:06 PM   #6
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A Straightforward Solution.

A solution isn't buying a new camera- but buying a cheap very small cable. Or adapter. Buy a Firewire 800 to mini-400 cable. Or a small 800 to dual 400 adapter then you can use your normal FW cable. We had to do this when we upgraded are Macs with our XH-A1. Most computer stores have these, and Mac stores.

Cheers,

Janssen
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Old April 5th, 2010, 09:32 PM   #7
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You'll love your XL1/XL1s/XL2 if you buy one. SD is not dead yet - although the technology vendors would have you believe it is... Unless you're shooting for HD distro, SD will do you fine for years. The new cameras are beautiful and undoubtedly better than the older cameras... but if you'd have to upgrade everything you're doing to edit with the camera's footage, and then just to release on SD DVD, it can be financial overkill.

The XLs look great on set and the options to get other lenses on the thing is really a good thing. They shoot beautiful footage.

Semi related - I have an Apple IIe in my garage that (even though tons of new technology has been released) still boots and can play games. All that new tech didn't cause the machine to stop working, so perspective says that if you want to buy one, go for it, it's much cheaper now than it was 12 years ago and they still make beautiful footage (although I'd recommend the XL2 personally as it fixed all of the problems with the XL1s).
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Old April 5th, 2010, 10:33 PM   #8
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I just gotta disagree. I loved using the PD150, for example, which was a great SD camera. But try and display it's image full screen on a modern 16:9 television and it looks like crap.

If you are mostly delivering for the internet, sure, get an SD cam. But other then that, I would avoid it.
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Old April 6th, 2010, 12:10 AM   #9
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Yep, it all depends on your intended output channels. I'm still waiting for the icky mosquito noise to go away from the contrast edges before committing to HD... at least for anything in my price range. Until then, I'll stick to my 15 year old Sony 32" SD 4:3 CRT television. Still works, even though HD is available (I can probably even figure out how to get my Apple IIe to hook up to it). Also still shooting on my XL1s and projecting to a movie screen at least once a year from an SD DVD. Seems to hold up well to me.
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Old April 6th, 2010, 09:23 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janssen Herr View Post
A solution isn't buying a new camera- but buying a cheap very small cable. Or adapter. Buy a Firewire 800 to mini-400 cable. Or a small 800 to dual 400 adapter then you can use your normal FW cable. We had to do this when we upgraded are Macs with our XH-A1. Most computer stores have these, and Mac stores.

Cheers,

Janssen
are you sure this would work ok? i have heard that using an adapter can create quality issues with the video.

I also mainly will be uploading the vids to the internet so HD quality is not needed but would be nice.

gotta forgive me as i am outdated and somewhat of a newb with the cameras these days... i have just been doing the editing so never really did a lot of research with shopping for a camcorder. Its been years since i got to use the XL1s...
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Old April 6th, 2010, 04:23 PM   #11
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Decided to get a Mac Mini and hook it up to my 32" LCD. i'll use my macbook for everyday stuff and the Mac Mini strictly for editing.


so now i just need to find a good deal on a XL1.... i looked around at other options and the look, style, feel, and quality of the XL1 just has me hooked. I certainly don't think i would be taken seriously if i showed up to a job with a little HD handycam lol The first thing im doing is a Documentary on a Race Car driver that has no use of his legs. He drives with hand controls. Not to mention he is also a champion water skier :)

Thank you for all of the help everyone. I hope to share my work when its done :)
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Old April 6th, 2010, 04:36 PM   #12
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I encourage you to seriously consider a more modern HD machine! Yes, many people don't want blu-ray and will settle for SD. But increasingly people are sharing HD content on SD cards, thumb drives, Vimeo and other HD Internet sharing services. Unless you have a near-free option for SD, spend a little and go HD. Yes, AVCHD will tax your computer, but NeoScene largely fixes that. Renders may take a while, but you can edit multi tracks of HD on a modest machine.
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Old April 6th, 2010, 05:35 PM   #13
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The Direct solution

Sorry I misunderstood. I was thinking Macbook Pro.
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Last edited by Janssen Herr; April 6th, 2010 at 05:48 PM. Reason: spelling and additions
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Old April 6th, 2010, 08:50 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Christopher Smith View Post
are you sure this would work ok? i have heard that using an adapter can create quality issues with the video.
If the camera were analog, there would potentially be a difference, but with a digital signal, it's got enough error correction to account for just about anything. Digital tends to be all or nothing.
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Old April 7th, 2010, 07:43 PM   #15
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Agree with Chris Hurd.. Apologies for the misleading info about adapters.. that applies to MacBook Pros... not MacBooks with no FW.
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