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Old June 18th, 2009, 03:19 AM   #16
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Robert, My comment was based on Tony's reaction who responded to what i said that "if you want to deliver to the web the Xl2 can't keep up".

I still want to see xl2 footage that can match footage coming from a, let's say, EX1. I also never said anything about vimeo or comparing to dvd, my comparison is only based on webdelivery. That also can be your own server which does not have the limitations that vimeo might have.

If Tony can show me xl2 footage on the internet that looks as good as ex1 footage, then I will believe him but I doubt that he will find a video that has this "looking through glass" look to it. And then i don't want to see completely zoomed in footage which sometimes is used to make SD footage look sharper, no, just footage with lot's of small detail and with the lens wide.
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Old June 18th, 2009, 05:22 PM   #17
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It would be sort of interesting to see how 24p footage from an XL2, uprezed to 720p (a high quality up-conversion, not a crappy one), would look on Vimeo. I bet it wouldn't look a whale of a lot worse than quite a bit of the footage you see on Vimeo that was originally shot in HD (with an EX1 or otherwise), especially if there is significant motion.

The whole thing about footage on the web, is that you do need to take into account that it is often heavily compressed, especially HD footage (with considerable image degradation as a result).

Is an XL2 going to produce the kind of crisp picture an EX1 can deliver (assuming it's not stomped on by compression like we commonly see on the web)? No way. Of course not. Even well shot footage (in good light) from an HF100 will knock the snot out of footage from an XL2 for crispness.
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Old June 18th, 2009, 05:36 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Robert M Wright View Post
It would be sort of interesting to see how 24p footage from an XL2, uprezed to 720p (a high quality up-conversion, not a crappy one), would look on Vimeo.
That would be easy to find out, if I find the time; I also have a dvx100b and if I would film in 4:3 and 25p and upconvert and compare that to footage shot with my xh-a1 in 16:9 and 25f that would be a fair comparison, no? A dvx100b is resolutionwise not as good as a xl2 in squeezed (16:9) mode but in 4:3 it is. I"m actually curious as well to see how far you can push SD material quality wise for webdelivery. I"ll try to make some time available the next days and point both camera's to the same direction, let's see what comes out.
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Old June 18th, 2009, 06:02 PM   #19
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To make it work well, you'd have to add black bars to the DVX footage, after uprezzing to 960x720, to letterbox it (160x720 on each side of the uprezzed 4:3 frame). You need to send them 1:1 PAR 16:9 DAR footage (1280x720), otherwise I'm pretty sure Vimeo will stretch it out (and that will degrade the image). When you upload to Vimeo, send them H.264 source at at least 5Mbps. Disregard their suggestion to have 30 frame keyframe intervals. There's no point. It won't help a bit for speeding seeks after they re-encode it anyway. Use 300 frame keyframe intervals instead, for better image quality (from more efficient compression).
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Old June 18th, 2009, 06:16 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Andres Bant View Post
I am starting work on a film project and am looking at two packages at the same price, there is an XL2 package which includes a high quality wide angle and telephoto lens, and there is an XHA1 which is just the camera.

I would be getting a merlin steadicam as well

This is for a creative film project. The appeal of the XL2 package is that the different lens could give lots of different creative options. The XHA1 however is near HD and 'newer' and I heard works better with steadicam? ... so they would be around the same price, which is more ideal? Thanks for any tips!
Having owned both I would say get the A1. The wide angle for the XL2 always seemed a bit soft to me. The resale value will be better if you decide to get rid of it later on.

It's a superb camera. In my opinion it's the best in it's class.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert M Wright View Post
It would be sort of interesting to see how 24p footage from an XL2, uprezed to 720p (a high quality up-conversion, not a crappy one), would look on Vimeo. I bet it wouldn't look a whale of a lot worse than quite a bit of the footage you see on Vimeo that was originally shot in HD (with an EX1 or otherwise), especially if there is significant motion.
I agree. The XL2 w/ the stock lens was some of the sharpest footage I've seen out of an SD camera.
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Old June 18th, 2009, 06:17 PM   #21
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Here is some XL2 footage upscaled to 720p on Vimeo:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/canon-xl2...demo-reel.html

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Old June 18th, 2009, 07:20 PM   #22
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Seeing it on Vimeo, (if you didn't tell them) most folks would never realize that was shot in SD (the images of the HV20, towards the beginning, are a bit weak though). It looks good compared to the typical, run-of-the-mill "HD" video on Vimeo, that was originally shot in HD (indeed looks better than many "true HD" videos there - some are awful).
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Old June 19th, 2009, 04:27 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Greg Donovan View Post
Here is some XL2 footage upscaled to 720p on Vimeo:
That indeed looks really good, I even might have to reconsider my opinion here. Care to share how you uprezzed it?
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Old June 19th, 2009, 05:08 AM   #24
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Sorry, it's not mine. I just saw the post and figured you guys would want to see it.

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Old June 20th, 2009, 03:53 PM   #25
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I'd cast my vote for the A1 also. I have one (and a Merlin) and it's a nice combination, virtually ideal actually. I use the Canon wide angle adaptor and I'm happy with its performance. If you were to start loading up the camera with anything else (wireless receivers, lights) you'd start to punish the old wrist unless you got the Merlin vest and arm. One never really knows where a creative project might go; while the bulk of recent conversation on this has moved into a debate about web delivery, I think we could all agree that if the film was to be shown on an HD monitor or projector (festival etc) the A1 would be an obvious choice, it being HD and all?

FYI I had to make a little demo clip for my recent daylight monitor shootout, this was done with the A1 on my customized running rig which is something like a Steadicam Flyer on steriods:

monitorshootout 2
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Old June 20th, 2009, 04:37 PM   #26
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Charles, were you holding that steadicam in your hands or did you use a vest with it? It looks quite heavy to hold by hand only?
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Old June 20th, 2009, 05:18 PM   #27
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No, that's only meant to be used with an arm and vest. More pix of the setup here:

MobileMe Gallery

The first two (with the A1) were an early test with my full-size arm and backmount harness; I now use a modified Flyer arm and PRO vest (as seen in the pix with the 235).

The A1 is really too light for this rig, there's a 5lb weight block seen just under the camera and really I should add a bit more.

I don't really use my Merlin much, occasionally with an HV20, but I have tried it with the A1 and it's a nice setup for a handheld rig.
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Old June 20th, 2009, 07:42 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Charles Papert View Post
I don't really use my Merlin much, occasionally with an HV20, but I have tried it with the A1 and it's a nice setup for a handheld rig.
I am of the opinion that the Merlin with the new JVC HM100 (with or without the Canon wide angle) is a perfect match.

The camera weighs about 3.5 lbs.

The XH-A1 works well with the Merlin, but I think the lighter HM100 would be perfect.

I posted asking if anyone had tried the HM100 and Merlin together, but I haven't found anyone yet.
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Old June 24th, 2009, 07:37 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
The xh-a1 is an HD camera, not "near" HD. In terms of shaprness compared to a xl2 it's superior but depends on your deliveryformat. If that would be dvd then it would be a close match but in HD on a full hd tv or if you want to deliver to the web the xl2 can't keep up.

Since the xl2 is on your list I expect that HD is not a "must", one benefit the xh-a1 would have then is that you import your hdv footage in a dv project enabling you to do pan, tilt and zoom motions and still have the same resolution as you would have with a xl2. Especially with "creative" projects that might be a benefit.
in all honesty i think Hd tends to take away a lot of the "entertainment" factors to some people. Robert Rodriguez said that with hd you tend to pay more attention to details then the story/entertainment. In all honesty either camera would work, but think of what you are filming. I've still seen some academy awardwinning documentarys filmed on some P.O.S. digital consumer grade camcorders. But if i had to choose either or, the xh-a1 is definatly a massive leg over the competition (that being the XL2). all you need for audio, and if you do it right you can simply have a boom/rode mic
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Old June 25th, 2009, 01:42 AM   #30
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I've still seen some academy awardwinning documentarys filmed on some P.O.S. digital consumer grade camcorders.
It all depends on what your clients expect, this year I have got several cleints asking if I film in HD, they want the entertainment and the clarity on their big full hd screens. But you are right about the story telling part.
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