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Old May 25th, 2002, 03:22 PM   #1
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Canon Or Sony

I want to pass this info on for people considering buying the Canon over the Sony.

The more I use this camera the more problems I find. And basically, this camera was designed so you can tweak this and that, with more versatility.

HERE ARE PROBLEMS THAT CANON HAS NO RESOLUTIONS TO, WHICH THIER CANNED RESPONSE IS (THE CAMERA IS FUNCTIONING PROPERLY TO SPECS.)

1. Their is ZOOM noise that is apparent in ALL of the silent footages.

2. The 16x II autofocus lens will hunt forever on focus critical shots. (You can push AF til your fingers fall off.) Fire the design crew for these lenses, its difficult to support the camera without spinning the lense rings accidentally.

3. This camera DOES NOT SUPPORT 720X480 resolution. (which most other cameras do, like Sony.) What does this mean? It means, when you import the miniDV which is the main purpose of miniDV, this camera will show a black band at the bottom of the frame, about 4 to 5 pixels tall. So you have to crop. So what? well when you crop you lose resolution, you dont have to do this with Sony.

Please dont buy this camera until they resolve some of these issues.

If I knew atleast this much before I bought the camera, I would have bought the VX2000.

In a few days, I'll have a website up to show you EXACTLY what I'm talking about. I'll Illustrate all their problem. It will be easy because I dont have to edit any of the footage...haha
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Old May 26th, 2002, 09:33 PM   #2
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Well..., I like the VX2000 as well. BUT, this cam has an internal pre-amp problem (even with the half-baked fix), no option to change lenses, no 30 fps pro-scan. Now having mentioned these shortcomings, I'd go with the VX over the XL-1. Oh, and the BBC has a fix for the VX's audio...if you've got the bucks and the time (always Studio1, though).
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Old May 27th, 2002, 07:55 PM   #3
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Howdy from Texas,

1. The zoom motor noise is no worse than any other DV camcorder in this class, including the VX2000/PD150, and there are solutions to this problem anyway. The first and foremost solution is to simply not mic from the camera... most pro's out there do not. After all, the camera is the single worst place to mount a mic.

2. I don't hear from too many people complaining about the IS II lens, but there is a superb 16x manual focus which everyone swears by, sounds like this is the lens you need.

3. The XL1 is *not* the only DV camcorder not using the full 720x480 image. It's only one of many. It most definitely is a serious issue for anyone doing CD or web video, but it's a non-issue for most everyone else, since it's well out of the TV-safe area.

Plenty of other camcorders out there share these same quirks, are you intending to target only one? Make no mistake about it, on all three of these issues here, numerous other manufacturer's makes and models in the prosumer range suffer from *exactly* the same thing. These items are by no means at all unique to the XL1S.
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Old May 29th, 2002, 02:05 AM   #4
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Prosumer

Sorry Chris,

I didn't mean to target just the XL1s. I wanted to inform the public, because I can only speak from experience. I have the Sony TRV20 which is a cheap camera, but it doesnt suffer the same 720X480 problem that the xl1s has. I will also say that it doesnt take as superb shots as my XL1s. I dont want to mislead anyone into thinking I'm out to get Canon. Just do your research.
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Old May 30th, 2002, 02:06 AM   #5
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I'm playing with them both and I think the sony offers no manual exposure meter; it's Auto, AE shift, or manual with no meter? Granted I go by zebras, but whazzz up up w/ no meter?

I hope someone corrects me.

Off the cuff, at 6 dB of gain, the cams are very close. Frankly, with all the debating, I was expecting more of the 150, but this means the Canon 1S is about on par after all.

Chris, I might need you to assemble a page for me.
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Old May 31st, 2002, 03:07 AM   #6
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my 2 cents

This back and forth between canon vs. sony is so old and over, for me as a reader. I agree with Chris that although the Canon has some drawbacks, I don't think it's fair to assume that you can just pick up an xl1, the way you might be used to- say a hi8, and just shoot. I mean- what are we talking about here.

In my experience I've learned a few things; they are: You get your sound as close to your actors as possible. You get the best shots you can from your camera, and I mean that you do that through a manual lens, because it will teach you about light (which is what a camera records, it records light bouncing/reflecting off of things and surfaces). That's been my experience. As Americans we all would love to trade up and shop and shop and shop as I too wish I had a native 16:9 dv camera some days, but then again, that would be more than 6K (and that's w/o a lens and viewfinder). Sorry, but I'd rather have a place to live for 6 months. The xl1 complete usually wieghs in for half of that easily, and that's with some decent glass and a not so bad eye piece, considering just anyone can pick it up and play.

I think that the whole back and forth is really as futile as the whole dv vs. film debate, which is just based on a certain aestetic that is really very classist and often times about small imperfections that don't matter because it's not a camera that is meant to do professional (studio and television) work. It's just below that bar and hence a huge drop in price for amateur you and me.

Filmmaking is the most collaborative artistic process and also the most expensive (which is prohibitive to those of us who are not sitting on a trust usually) in my opinion. I think I got great bang for my buck with my unit and I will work it for all it's got. I have an old school XL1 with the (sweet) 14x lens, and b/w eyepiece. With the money I had left over I filled up half a closet of cool toys to make my shots nicer. I'd still be w/o a lens had I gone with the next step up.

After all the greatest flaws I find have nothing to do with the camera, but with the persons shooting and the persons in front of it. Everything else is just light being reflected, hopefully elegantly and powerfully back and forth. I hope everyone takes pictures that are beautiful and use moving images in the best way possible. Everything else is just shopping.

(sorry for any romantic sentimentality in the above insert. there really is no excuse for it.)

Christian
Nebunule Films
Los Angeles, CA, USA
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Old May 31st, 2002, 05:26 AM   #7
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I agree 100%. However, these types of questions/comments will keep on coming. Not just here---but on most if not all cam message boards. Trust me.

I just spoke with the main actor of an "indie film." It's getting all sorts of awards. Guess what cams were used? An XL-1 and a VX1000. Yup. The guy said that 80% of its magic was created after the shooting (via NLE).
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Old May 31st, 2002, 08:39 PM   #8
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Hey Frank, I'll bite... *which* film?
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Old May 31st, 2002, 09:58 PM   #9
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"The DV Cam Man" (nice title, huh?)
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Old May 31st, 2002, 10:14 PM   #10
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I'm currious too. Do you know which NLE was used?

Jeff
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Old June 1st, 2002, 06:15 AM   #11
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Sorry guys, but I'll step back a bit from the last posts....


I'm using PAL XL-1 (first version), and have never experienced the black lines in top and bottom of the frame. I've also shot tests with PAL XL-1s and I don't remember seeing any lines (I didn't look for this then).


Can it be, that the black lines only appear on the NTSC version and not PAL?


Also I'd like to push in some words about XL-1. But before, I need to point out that I'm using it for short movies.

1. I would probably never use the onboard mike. If I ever use a camera mountet mike, then I'll use a more directional one. For my cases, I always use a shotgun boom mike. I will also explore the abillity to try to remake the whole soundtrack in post.

2. I never use autofocus. And about the design; maybe the rings on the barrel are easy to accindently spin. But I can't say that the PD150 is a much better choice. I don't know where to put my second hand there. When you're used by the camera, then it will feel right.

3. Mostly I shoot 16:9 with the XL-1, so I don't think that the black bottom or top lines are a problem (If I had them). But as long as it just has to be TV safe, then don't worry about them on your computer screen in post. Also, as Chris said, the XL-1 isn't the only cam with this problem. I've not yet experienced it with the XL-1, but I've seen it on a proffessional shoulder-cam, some years ago. Don't remerber which though. A DVCAM as i recall it.


Bottom point. Maybe the standard XL-1's sound is crap. But you can always upgrade it. I bought the camera for it's picture. And for it's "Frame mode". The XL-1 is the only camera in this class which records 25 progressive fps. The VX2000 or PD150 can only record 15 progressive fps (sounds like an old 8mm camera). So, in my opinion, if you wan't good progressive scan, stick with XL-1's Frame mode (of course 24p if you can afford it). If you shoot interlaced, then PD150 or the VX2000 may be an excellent choice.



Regards,


Erik
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Old June 1st, 2002, 05:53 PM   #12
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I think this guy would know about the software used.

eric@phitted.com
(Eric Pinfold, producer)
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