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Old August 18th, 2003, 06:43 PM   #1
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Canon XL1S vs Sony DSR-PD150

As most of you may notice, I'm new to the forums and I've been doing a lot of reading regarding these two cameras. I've heard some equally bad stuff about both, Sony and Canon DV cameras. I'm 17 and I want to make the right investment here! So any help would be grealy appreciated and please..try and not be biased ^_^ I'm not saying people here are...just in case.

Anyway, as far as Canon goes, I've heard about DEAD PIXELS quite a bit and that is VERY discomferting. Is the dead pixel often experienced with the older model of the XL1S (XL1), or is it quite common with all of Canon's camcorders?

I've heard Sony camcorders have bad audio recording (a lot of hissing) on certain models and if they are present in the PD150?

Also, I couldn't find any details on either camera concerning the frame rate both cameras record at? 23.97, 24, 29.97, and/or 30fps? This is very important to me as I would like to obtain cinematic results (or anything close to it).

Last, but not least, which has better features? They both sound really good to me, but I need someone with experience on either both or one off the cameras point of view.

Thanks in advance, I would look forward to discussing future projects with you all!
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Old August 18th, 2003, 08:53 PM   #2
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I can't speak for the XL1/XL1S but I've used the PD150 and it's awesome. The audio recording was fine - the TRV-900 seems to have an issue with a buzz that is audible when the LCD panel is open but the PD150 doesn't suffer from this. The Gulf Islands Film & Television School where I work as a tech has a PD150 and it's amazingly robust. We have three TRV-900s, two of which have to be sent in for repair soon. The PD150 we've had for about 2 years and the only issue with it has been stripped threads on the tripod mount, but that's due to abusive students!

Anyway, I recommend the PD150. From what I've heard about the XL1, a bit too big for some purposes. There's also no LCD screen if you want something like that.
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Old August 18th, 2003, 09:14 PM   #3
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Dead pixels are due to cosmic radiation (made worse at higher altitudes like when you are flying) and they are usually rare. Both cameras are probably are as prone to dead pixels as the other.

Early edition PD150s has a problem with poor audio and Sony has offered to fix them for free. They still don't have as good audio as a mini-disc recorder, DAT recorders, or more expensive cameras.
see http://www.dv.com/features/features_item.jhtml?LookupId=/xml/feature/2002/rose_feature1102

The PD150 is probably the better camera, but it depends on what you do and your budget. One of the few advantages the Canon has is its interchangeable lens and viewfinder, which allows you to put some quality glass and to switch in a decent viewfinder for manual focusing. The PD150 has better low light, XLR inputs with phantom power, and a slightly nicer picture in my opinion. The Canon has better optical image stabilization (only with stock lens?) but has problems with auto-focusing.
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Old August 18th, 2003, 09:52 PM   #4
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Wow, Alex, that school sounds awesome...I might take a trip there when I get the money to do so!
LCD screen is somewhat an issue with me, it could be quite helpful when doing certain pans.

Thanks for the reply Glenn, but as for cinematic results, which is best? I know there's a 35mm adapter for both the PD150 and the XL1S, but which one has the best right out of the box cinema setup? Also, I couldn't find the frame rates these cameras shoot at. I've looked at the canon site over and over and I couldn't find anything on framerate. I probably just didn't notice it, or maybe it's not there. Anyway, can you offer any info regarding frame rate?

This still is a very hard decision. Thanks a lot for the reply's!
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Old August 18th, 2003, 10:12 PM   #5
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Yeah, the school is a great place to be. I've taken a few courses there and started working a few weeks ago. If you're interested in taking courses the sessions are almost over for this year, but something to keep in mind for next year is their "last-minute club" in which you get half price on courses if you register a few days before (provided they have spots available).


I would be inclined to say the XL1S would be a better out-of-the-box solution for a cinema setup because it's bigger and has an open architecture design, which makes it perfect for modification.

As for frame rate, I believe both cameras shoot at 30 frames per second. Keep in mind you can change the shutter speed on both cameras.
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Old August 18th, 2003, 11:34 PM   #6
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Right now I'm going to save up for these cameras first, then I'll see what I can do to get to the school. Money is a real big issue here =/

I'm leaning towards the XL1s a bit more than the PD150 simply for the best cinema setup. It's still a hard choice. Thanks again Alex!
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Old August 19th, 2003, 12:56 AM   #7
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The XL1(s) delivers a more cinematic look in Frame Mode than the PD150, in my very humble opinion anyway....

As far as which camera is better, the answer is neither. They are both excellent overall, with strengths and weaknesses.
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Old August 19th, 2003, 02:14 PM   #8
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Thanks a lot guys! I really appreciate all the help.

I think I'm going to go with the XL1s simply because of the cinematic look.

Thanks again.
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Old August 19th, 2003, 03:59 PM   #9
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Have you considered the DVX-100? It shoots real progressive (not quasi-progressive that the XL1 does), has more film-like gamma and can be set to give more film-like color.

Here's a little information on it versus the pd-150 in regards to film look
http://www.lafcpug.org/review_dvx_pd150.html

In my opinion the film look is 80%-90% percent lighting. Good lighting makes your footage look so much better. I would save some money for lighting equipment and/or getting a good director of photography.
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Old August 19th, 2003, 08:14 PM   #10
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The DVX100 certainly looks much nicer than the PD150 and definatly has a more film like look to it, but I'm very concerned about the focusing issues discussed in the article.

The fact that the DVX100 shoots real progressive is VERY impressive though, and extremely tempting, but I think I would be better off with the XL1s. Thank you for letting me know of the DVX100, I might look into it a bit further in the future.
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Old August 21st, 2003, 11:55 AM   #11
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Dylan right about neither camera being better. Each has areas where they excell and others where they better than lame.

The good news I tell people is that at this level you cannot make a bad pick; they are pretty darn good. Canon offers a modular design and lens options. The Sony comes setup for XLR audio. The Panasonic has a very nice progressive scan system.
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