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Old September 4th, 2002, 09:52 PM   #76
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I will back up what Doconomus said about buying an older XL1 and saving tons of dough.
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Old September 4th, 2002, 09:55 PM   #77
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They're all good with pros and cons. Personally, I like the GL2, and VX2000/PD150...for beefy hand-held cams. At this point in time, I'd choose the GL2. But everyone's needs are different.
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Old September 5th, 2002, 11:04 AM   #78
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Hate to be a me-too-er, but I'm in the same position in regards to choosing a new camera. I have had Canon slrs for many years, plus Sony camcorders. I'm making the move from a Sony TRV820 and I've decided to go with the GL-2. There are many options, of course, including (gasp) going with a digital slr but at this stage of my life I think the GL-2 will fit my needs best.
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Old September 5th, 2002, 11:45 AM   #79
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you doing the RIGHT thing by testing out all 3 camera's. IMO you can't go wrong with any of the 3. IMAGES are very good on all.
IMO you could shoot a separate scene on each, assemeble the 3 scenes and on a TV i don't think anybody would notice.
you'll have to decide on if you like the layout , handling, image, of one better and of course $$ will come into play at some point.

keep in mind that you are buying more then just a camera. will you be needing extra batt?, tripod?, external mic? , XLR box? , XLR cable?, windscreen ? , filters ? camera case?
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Old September 5th, 2002, 12:09 PM   #80
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You want opinions?

As an owner of the xl1s and gl2...I'll tell you that the bigger brother isn't getting much use these days...It's not that the gl2 has rendered the xl1s irrelavant...It's just that the image quality has more "integrity" than the xl1s...excellent detail without having to turn up the sharpness, (in fact I turn it down a little), lower contrast and less glaring highlights. The gl2 is where DV is heading (including future versions of the xl1) and I personally wouldn't invest now in a new xl1s knowing what is probably coming down the pike within a year or so. The lower cost of the gl2 would allow you to get a nice shotgun mic or a wireless system plus a few other accessories that will make a very nice package.

Getting an older xl1 for the same price as a gl2 makes no sense to me whatsoever..the image quality isn't in the same league, and for the most part the level of controls on the gl2 exceeds or equals those on the xl1.

Don't get me wrong, I love my xl1s...It's larger size makes for better hand held work, and it's zoom control is superior...and it's great for interviews and other close-up work. Great sound circuits and controls. Yes, you can change lenses...but honestly the vast majority of us never will. If you were going to be a professional videographer using the camera day-in day-out, I would say go with the xl1s as it simply has a level of control and expandability that is unmatched in prosumer level.

The PD150 is an outstanding camera...but for me the canon frame mode is the deciding factor.

there's my opinions.

Barry
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Old September 8th, 2002, 03:55 PM   #81
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unsure of which 3ccd camera to get

hi,
I will soon be buying a 3ccd camcorder. up until now i was thinking about the xl1s, then the xm2 came out which stopped me in my tracks.

I have heard a lot of bad things about the xl1s, wierd lens, front heavy, not very good picture, over priced. these are just some of the comments that i have been reading.

my plan is to use the camera to shoot short films on. then maybe a feature if its upto the job. But i would also want to use the cam for doing wedding videos and maybe corporates and docos.

Would my customers be put off if i turned up with an xm2 even though its capable of producing great results?. Is the xl1s any better than the xm2, i.e is it worth spending the xtra money. (baring in mind that i dont have the cash to buy the manual lens or pro viewfinder)

I would invest in an xlr adapter and pro microphone which ever cam i get.

any advice would be appreciated.

regards

tony webber
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Old September 8th, 2002, 04:32 PM   #82
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Welcome Tony,
You'll hear "a lot of bad things" about every camera...and nearly everything else in life, for that matter. The key is to qualify the source of such information before accepting it. Look around this community, and others, and you'll quickly see that many of the tough stories often (but not always) come from folks who've not (yet) taken time to learn to use their camera equipement as well as they have their computer. Remarks from experienced users and professionals tend to be informative in style rather than deragatory or inflammatory. The fact is that XL1s is a tremendously flexible digital video platform for a prosumer budget. (Spoken as someone who has used one since its introduction as its predecessor before that.) No, it's certainly not perfect. But for its low price it's damn good and amply adequate for most of its owners' purposes. But it does take practice, just like any other tool.

But enough of that.

If you're considering a GL2 (or XM2) you should spend some time over at our GL2 forum to get a feeling for what the early adopters are seeing. It's a very active area right now. Similarly, spend some time in the XL1 forum for a backgrounding on that platform.

Will it be acceptable to your clients? How would we know that? If you asked us whether or not the GL2 can produce professional results rivaling much more expensive equipment the answer would be a resounding "Yes". But, as with any other camera, only in the hands of an experienced professional. If your clients expect you to show up with $50,000 shoulder bricks and a grip crew then, yes, they'll probably be disappointed to see you show up with an XM2 in a shoulder bag.

Which camera should YOU buy? Again, only you can make that decision based on what your goals and needs will be. Gather as much info as possible, try to get shooting time with each and take your best shot. If your budget is as limited as you indicated the XM2 might be the most practical choice available to you regardless of characteristics.

Most importantly, however, don't get yourself into analysis paralysis. Get a camera (any camera) and start getting some practice with shooting, lighting and sound coverage. Which camera you choose between these two is trivial when compared to the amound of experience you gain shooting. (Not to mention just having fun with one of these wonderful pieces of equipment.)

Regarding your clients, sell your RESULTS, not your means. Present yourself professionally and honestly. Clients who have bought into YOU will tend to be better, longer-lasting clients (assuming that you can deliver top-quality results, of course).
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Old September 9th, 2002, 03:15 AM   #83
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I'm sure a smaller 3 chip cam like the GL2 will impress people, especially if you get it all dressed up (Beachtek, Sennheiser ME66/K6, large hood, brace, etc etc).
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Old September 9th, 2002, 07:15 AM   #84
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I whole heartedly agree with Ken. Worthwhile clients will not decide to use you based upon what camera you own, it is your reel that motivates them to consider you "worthy" and whether or not you are capable of creating the certain "look" they have in mind. For those potential clients who do not have any idea of what they want, having a good portfolio/ reel that shows not just one, but various different looks is handy. I would suggest that for your particular situation, having a camera that is capable of creating not just one, but various different looks is key. Both the GL2/XM2 and XL1S are capable of this. The XL1S takes it further with a more complete set of lens, audio and viewfinder options. Considering that you want to start off in shooting weddings, I would suggest that you may need the flip-out LCD panel found on the XM2. You may prefer to take the camera off of your shoulder to obtain a more "low-profile" stance and "blend in" with the wedding party. The XM2's more neutral grey color scheme is less noticeable than that of the XL1S. Weight may be a consideration for you as well, the XM2 is significantly lighter. Factor in your potentially limited budget and the additional items that you will need to complete your overall package - such as wireless mics, shotgun mic kit, audio adaptor, a couple of good headphones, video light kit (you may appreciate the new VL3 video light which works on the XM2, but not the XL1S), cases, grip gear, tape stock, batteries, cables and adaptors, field monitor, backup camera?, etc. You may not have the luxury of picking between the two - in your situation, you just may appreciate the more affordable XM2 and what it can do. It is certainly an excellent camera to begin with and to grow into.

I also agree with Ken that you will hear both positive and negative comments about any camera. To those who you have heard say that the picture on the XL1S is "not very good", I would say "rubbish!!!",,, it has an excellent image and a wonderful look. I have seen many high profile video segments and award-winning shorts and projects which were created with the XL1(S). One of my personal favorite shorts, which has received much praise at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival, is "Anna's Being Stalked" by Scott Pendergrast and Gabriel Rhodes of Stalker Films [ http://www.stalkerfilms.net/site.html ]. This DV short looks excellent and when I saw it projected at the NY DV Show, it looked a lot like film! This DV short was shot with the older XL1 (not the newer XL1S) using the 3X Wide Angle lens. It just reminds one of the fact that it is not just the camera that creates the quality image you are seeking, it is the talent behind the lens that does so.

Tony, you stated that you will also be using your new camera "for doing wedding videos and maybe corporates and docos". In this case, the XM2 is more than adequate! Recently at the WEVA (Wedding Event and Videographers Association) Expo in Las Vegas, the Canon booth was swamped with people interested in the new GL2, in addition to the XL1S.

Please do keep in touch,

- don
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Old September 9th, 2002, 08:46 AM   #85
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cheers for your replys guys. I have just heard a few stories about clients saying "you must be an amateur because you dont have a big camera" etc.

But you are all right, its the end product that counts, not the camera you used,

So in your humble opinons would i benefit from getting a pd150, to get the better viewfinder and built in xlrs.

has anyone used the viewfinder for focusing on the xm2? how is it?

regards

tony webber
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Old September 9th, 2002, 09:24 AM   #86
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You will benefit from testing the cams...

You really need to test the cams to see which you will like. The PD150 is a really nice rig, but as far as I know, it cost much more than the XM2. I believe the difference in price will allow you to purchase things like wireless mics and an XLR adapter.

Again almost all the of the 3 chippers available are pretty darn good. So do not over analyze because the differences are small. If you try before you buy you will indeed make an educated choice.
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Old September 9th, 2002, 12:55 PM   #87
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Hi Tony,

Not everyone perceives the viewfinder on the PD150 as any better than the viewfinder on the GL2. Certainly, when Sony first introduced the PD150 to the market, they did quite a good job at hyping up this feature. I'm not implying that this B&W EVF is not any good, because it is. It is not a high quality CRT like the B&W viewfinder on the XL1S (made by Ikegami) though, the Sony B&W EVF is still an LCD with the color dropped. The GL2 internal EVF is significantly brighter and sharper than the older GL1 and the color LCD EVF on the XL1(S). It comes down to what you prefer really. Many people these days prefer to see color and to be able to compose in color. The color EVF on the GL2 is bright and sharp enough to allow you to do this quite well. Also, a big plus with the GL2 (and the XL1S) is that you can completely turn on/ off all of the data display by the push of a button in both the flip-out LCD and the internal EVF. This is very nice, as it gives you the feeling that you are looking through the lens much more than with a cluttered EVF display.

As far as the built-in XLR's, remember that you are paying for that feature and that not everyone likes the feel of two XLR connectors sitting on top of the lens - this makes the PD150 feel front-heavy to many people. I actually prefer to use a BeachTek adaptor (or Studio One XLR-PRO) mounted to the bottom center "sweet spot" of the camera. You can certainly do this with the GL2. This gives a nicer feel and helps to steady the handycam a little bit more, by adding this weight to the bottom of the camera instead of on top of the lens. A big plus of using an audio adaptor this way is that you get big, analog volume knobs (which the PD150 does not have) and ground/ hum removal switches.

I hear most PD150 users say they replace the mic on the PD with a better shotgun mic, such as the Sennheiser ME64 or 66. This is what I do on occasions when I shoot with a PD150. I do shoot with the PD150, at times, when I am hired by a client who provides their own gear. I personally prefer the Sennheiser ME66 when it comes to picking up dialogue from the camera (I prefer using a soundman even more so). If I am in a very tight or "dead-sounding" room, I may reach for the ME64 instead, which has a slightly wider pickup pattern and affords you a little more room tone. The PD150 mic is more of an ambience mic to me, however, it is only monophonic. When it comes to ambience, I much prefer getting it in stereo vs. mono, and the XL1S/GL2 mics are very good at recording stereo. The preamps are very robust too and the limiter is quite good, especially on the XL1S.

Cost of an audio adaptor and Sennheiser ME64 or 66, mic shockmount combined: around $650, sometimes less, depending upon who you buy from. You will get better dialogue pickup this way and a more balanced feel on the camera by putting the weight on the bottom where it belongs.

The GL2 offers a full 30fps "progressive scan" Frame Mode (25fps on XM2) while the PD150 is limited to 15fps Progressive Scan which most people see that as too strobey, useable more for grabbing stills only. On the GL2, many DV filmmakers love the look of Frame Mode, as well as the still images you can grab from tape and the 1.7megapixel progressively-scanned stills with the SD card.

The GL2 lens is also a very high quality, Flourite coated lens with an outstanding 20X Optical zoom. The PD150 offers 12X Optical zoom.

I must say that overall, I prefer what you can achieve on the XL1S with the 16X Manual Servo lens much more than what you can do with a PD150. I also like what you can do on the newer GL2, which has the same image setup control as the XL1S.

- don
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Old September 9th, 2002, 02:03 PM   #88
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hi Don,

So for what i want to do with it, the xm2 is probably the best option for me (in your opinion).?

This is probably a daft question but how much difference would having 1/3 inch chips make to reducing the depth of field?

If i was to go for the xm2 would you recommend using a beechtek adapter rather than the ma300? Do the volume knobs on the beech tek override the xm2's manual audio controls. or would i have to adjust both them and the beechtek knobs?

Any ideas what the libec LH650 tripod is like?

And finally, have you heard any comments on the audio technica at815 and at835 shotgun mikes?

regards

tony
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Old September 9th, 2002, 06:56 PM   #89
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<<-- Tony: If i was to go for the xm2 would you recommend using a beechtek adapter rather than the ma300? Do the volume knobs on the beech tek override the xm2's manual audio controls. or would i have to adjust both them and the beechtek knobs? -->>

I've not used the MA300 but have looked at it. I -have- used a BeachTek unit many times. The MA300 is certainly better-integrated with the XM2's audio circuitry (through the Super Shoe or whatever they're calling that interface). But it represents two hazards in my eyes. First, it's plastic and features a high stress point at the shoe fitting. XLR cables are not light and, being cables, can tend to get tugged. Even with careful pig-tailing I just can't imagine the MA300 being a long-term survivor acessory.

Second, mechanical stress aside, the MA300 basically introduces the awkward deesign that has plagued Sony's PD150 throughout its life. It places cables at the top-front of the camera, precisely where they would be most unwelcome.

So, in my opinion, my BeachTek will continue to provide XLR functionality to my GL2. It's a sturdy, metal casing that places the cable weight and dial-fiddling at the bottom-rear of the camera where it belongs. Look at the Studio One unit also, a close competitor to the BeachTek.
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Old September 9th, 2002, 07:21 PM   #90
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Sorry for the back-to-back post but I just have one comment on the viewfinder issue you noted.

The PD150 does, indeed, have a better viewfinder system than the GL2. Specifically, it features a high-res b&w viewfinder in the eyepiece and a color lcd flip-out panel. A full-frame high-res b&w viewfinder can be a real advantage for manually snapping critical focus. I use a b&w head on my XL1s for certain types of shooting and it's nice to have. But I generally only use it when I'm also using my 14x manual lens. On the GL2 it would be of, perhaps, marginal value since the lens is built-in (like the PD150's) and its focus is servo-driven. It's just as easy to zoom-in, snap focus and then re-frame the shot on the GL2.

(Background note: Sony develped the PD150 with the VX2000 as its core technology. The b&w viewfinder and the XLR ports were amenities that Sony added to the PD150 to encourage big cam pros to use a small camera, since these are features of nearly all big cams. Of course they also added the DVCAM format.)

So I suppose what I'm saying is that Nathan's suggestion to try both cameras is the best suggestion we can offer to you.
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