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Old October 30th, 2003, 10:35 PM   #1
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Newbie questions regarding cameras.

Hello all :)

After reading some of the posts here, I am much impressed with the level of knowledge and the respect you have for each other on this board. Kudos to all of you.

As stated, I am a newb to DV - but I am a quick study :) I have a few questions that I hope you won't mind taking the time to answer.

I want to step up to a decent camera. My main objective is to do outdoor scenery and wildlife, possibly documentary style. I have been researching different cameras and have narrowed it down to 3: Canon XL1S, Sony VX 2000, and a Panasonic DVX100.

Now, the first question I have is - what would you guys recommend, given the type of shooting I plan to do? The Canon sure looks sexy and it seems to be an awesome camera. But is it more camera than I need? I would like to do some other things with it, just for the fun of it (my own commercial, maybe an Oscar winning movie :) so I would rather buy the "bomb" camera now while I can still afford it. Are the Sony and the Panasonic just as capable as the Canon?

Also, I have seen some pretty crazy price swings on the net. For instance, most reputable companies (Ritz, Dell, Amazon) all seem to be the same price - $4500 (for the XL1S). However, I found one place, Royal Camera, that has it priced at $2489! Big difference! $2500 I can do. Are you guys familiar with Royal? Legit or gray market?

I know this is like asking what's the best burger joint, but any insight and suggestions you folks could give me would be greatly appreciated.
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Old October 30th, 2003, 10:52 PM   #2
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if its to good to be true then it is. try ordering it they'll call you up the next day saying the camera comes with no acessories and will sell you them at very high prices and if you say you don't want them the camera is conviently out of stock
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Old October 30th, 2003, 11:09 PM   #3
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Old October 30th, 2003, 11:19 PM   #4
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If you are doing alot of wildlife video, the XL1 may be your best choice in that you can get an adapter to use the Canon EF lenses with it. Adding in the 7.2 video to 35mm focal length multiplier, you will come out with some incredibly powerful zoom lenses.
a 200mm lens on an XL1 will be the equivalent of a 1440mm lens on a 35mm camera.

If you want to make movies, the DVX100 has the most filmy look of the three.
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Old October 30th, 2003, 11:54 PM   #5
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Sage advice reagarding the prices. It's about what I thought, but I just wanted the confirmation. Thanks guys. Oh well, guess it will be another month or two then - heh.

Dylan - excellent point about the Canon lenses. I wasn't aware of the view ratio. A 200mm equates to a 1440mm? Outstanding!! Too bad I have been a Nikon user all my life :) (I have a coupla of beautiful Nikon lenses). Guess it's time to hit Ebay!

BTW - it seems like it is an ongoing topic , trying to make DV look like film but can that type of effect be achieved with the Canon's footage in post? I know you just don't hit some magic button and it looks like 35mm, but can the Canon footage come close to that through effects and what not?

Thanks again, all!
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Old October 31st, 2003, 07:31 AM   #6
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Chris there are adaptors for using Nikon glass on the XL1, they are not made by Canon and are completely mechanical but they do the job. Check out ZGC's Optex/Acessories/Adapters etc. page for more info.
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Old October 31st, 2003, 11:34 AM   #7
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the XL is a system camera - if you do not plan to take advantage of it IMO skip the XL .. also i noticed last night that canon is offering a 500 rebate till Jan .. which maybe means a new camera is coming down the line or they have too much inventory..

VX2000 it's about to be replaced - has sound issues IMO forget it unless you can get it for under 1400 .

DVX 100 - has nice wide lens. for some the long end of the lens is too short - but this comes down to what kind of projects you are doing .. has 24p , 30p and 60i lots of controls for image , lots of " looks " ... no auto focus , no gain in progressive modes .. superb 30P images , only affordable 24p camera ...excellent sound ...

IMO the GL 2 is a good camera that is sort of in between the above 3 camera's ... excellent 20X lens , frame mode ( does the job) , interlace ... very good sound ...

unless you need a camera right now i would wait till after 1st of the year ... as i think you'll hear thru grapevine about new camera's by maybe canon ? JVC ? ...
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Old October 31st, 2003, 08:07 PM   #8
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According to (search for jay rose) the DVX100 has the best sound of a DV camcorder by far. Then it's the Canon and then the VX2000. If you only want to record ambience then the VX2000 can be good enough (I don't know what Don is talking about in regards to the VX2000's sound issues though). If you want to record the subject's noises (which might be really hard) then extra dynamic range may help.

In terms of low light performance the VX2000 and the DVX100 are the best followed by the rest. has a comment comparing the DVX100 to the VX2000 in the DVX100 article. The VX2000's sucessor (VX2100) is better than its predecessor. Sony claims 1lux instead of 2lux low light rating.

I wouldn't wait for new models to come out because new models are always coming out.
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Old November 1st, 2003, 11:06 PM   #9
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Chris, just thought I'd add in my two cents.

I currently own the xl1s, and I chose it after doing months and months of research, which I think most of us have done.

I think the major reasons why I went with the xl1s, is yes, it doesn't exactly come with everything that say the vx2000, but the versitility of the xl1s makes up greatly. For example, the interchangable lenses. The other adaptors you can plug in, such as the MA adaptor for xlr connections, and so forth.

As far as using nikon lenses, there IS an adaptor to plug in the nikon lenses, which is good news, because nikon makes some great lenses.

Also, if you decide to go with the xl1s, I would recommend looking to get the "MM-XL Universal Minimount" from lightwave.

The mic picks up the lens a little when focusing. After I bought this, things changed completely.

There are some great online retailers for purchasing the camera. Since the major retailers sell it for about $4500, I wouldn't purchase the camera for less than $3000. Also, make sure that when you do buy it, the 16x lens is included, because some places only sell the body. Maybe that is why that place which sold it for $2500 was able to sell it at that price.

I'd look for some packaged deal on Ebay. Some of them are pretty good. If you do decide to go through ebay, look for one with the extended warrenty!

Heh, well, let me know if you want to know more :)

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Old November 1st, 2003, 11:51 PM   #10
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If you want to see an excellent example of what can be accomplished with an XL1 and Nikon photo lenses take a look at our Lady X Films Episode 21 by Jami Jokinen.
Lady X Films: A lady with a boring wardrobe...and a global mission.

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