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Old January 31st, 2006, 06:51 AM   #1021
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Argh, the bane that is camera choice

Hello all

I am currently in the process of agonising over which camera to buy so that I can start making films (something I've wanted to do for a long time)

At the moment, the two cameras in my sights are the FX-1 and the XL2. I am aware that one is DV and the other is HD.

My concerns are obviously the allowance for future expansion, something that the FX-1 will provide, as well as the improved quality. I have used an FX-1 with the broadcasting station I do part time work for, and found it to be easy to use and quite impressive. My other concern is the capture of the HDV footage (using premiere v1.5.1)

The XL2 I am drawn to for many reasons, that being the fact that it has been out for sometime and is tried and proven. Also it has the interchangeable lenses and xlr inputs that could make it a very handy piece of equipment to do what I want.

Now, I know some of you might say, get the Z1, or XL-H1, but my sadly my budget to do this, does not reach that far. Also planned within my budget is the purchase of a steadicam unit, and boom mic.

My plan for films is to eventually moved to independant filming, but to start off slowly and careful, and build up experience, knowledge and a reputation.

So, I am currently umm'ing and aaah'ing over the best solution. And hence why I have turned to yourselves to advise me.

Your guidance is appreciated

Regards

Niall

PS. My first post, be gentle :)
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Old January 31st, 2006, 09:11 AM   #1022
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Being I own an XL2, Im going to be biased. The only problem I would see with the XL2 is the steadicam work. I think it's a little big for that.
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Old January 31st, 2006, 09:31 AM   #1023
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I don't own either of those cameras (I only have a GL2), and I'm not ready to upgrade yet, but if I was looking for a new cam, I would definitely go for an HDV solution, for future expansion. If your editing machine does not have the horse power to handle HDV, no worries, you can still use the FX-1 in SD mode for the time being.

Considering you are already familiar with the FX-1, it's a big plus. However, if you consider the XL2 to be within your budget, why aren't you considering the Z1? I thought they were both in the same price range.
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Old January 31st, 2006, 12:40 PM   #1024
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Z1 is impressive, but perhaps more than I need. I think the FX-1 will meet my needs for now.

Thats not to say that later I cant get one, and demote the FX-1 to 2nd camera
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Old January 31st, 2006, 01:48 PM   #1025
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I upgraded from Canon GL1/GL2 cameras to a Sony FX1, and the image quality difference is stunning. The XL2 isn't a bad choice given that it at least offers a proper widescreen recording mode, but the difference between SD and HD is too significant to ignore. My main concern with the FX1 at this point is how it responds in poor lighting, but it's basically only one stop less sensitive than my Canons and has a cleaner image. In adequate lighting, the FX1 blows away any similarly priced DV camera -- especially when viewing the footage on an HDTV.

There's no easy answer right now because there isn't any single video camera which does everything well for under $4000. Whatever you decide to get, make the most of it and figure there will be better options at a similar price a couple of years down the line.
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Old January 31st, 2006, 02:10 PM   #1026
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Capture In Premiere 1.51

Quote: My other concern is the capture of the HDV footage (using premiere v1.5.1)

With a decent computer system, you should be able to capture with the Cineform codec in Premiere 1.51. Premiere 1.51 uses that as an intermediate codec. It creates a high definition .avi file that you can edit in and export to whatever format you choose. In case you're confused as to whether you have to also purchase the Aspect program from Cineform, that doesn't have to be done. As I understand it, Aspect adds many editing benefits and can get you to near realtime preview of transitions and filters, but you can just use Premieres filters and transitions, and deal with rendering issues. The Cineform intermediate codec is included in the Premiere 1.51 update.

As I also understand it, Premiere 2.0 actually captures in native m2t format, but all the big boys on this forum are inidicating you should get the Cineform Aspect 4.0 for Premiere 2. I have Premiere 2 upgrade on order, and don't have Aspect, so I will see what happens when I try to edit native, with my 3800+ AMD dual core. Expecting delivery this week from Video Guys.

I have been capturing native HDV with a consumer oriented program from Pinnacle called Studio Plus 10, and haven't had any great difficulty using it to edit. This program uses the engine from Liquid Edition, as I understand it.
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Old January 31st, 2006, 02:44 PM   #1027
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Bray
Being I own an XL2, Im going to be biased. The only problem I would see with the XL2 is the steadicam work. I think it's a little big for that.
Times have changed indeed when a 5 lb camera is considered too heavy for Steadicam! I'm sure you're referring to the handheld units like a JR/Merlin or Glidecam 2/4000, of course. However, if one is using a body-mounted system like the Flyer or Magiqcam or the larger Glidecams, the extra inertia afforded by the XL2 should be welcomed to maintain a more stable frame.

OK, 'nuff said...back to strapping on the 70 lb Steadicam...!
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Old January 31st, 2006, 03:24 PM   #1028
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I was planning to get a Steadicam Flyer to go with this camera (whichever one I go for)

As for the capturing PC, its a P4 3Ghz, 1Gb of ram, and soon to have another 300Gb of storage space, as well as a firewire card!
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Old February 1st, 2006, 09:05 AM   #1029
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Charles, quick question

What do you think is the better camera for the flyer, the XL2, or the FX-1..and why!

/shines spotlight at Charles :)

Regards

Niall
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Old February 12th, 2006, 09:35 AM   #1030
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Which camera to buy

Greetings. I am new to videography and this is my first post on the network . A friend and I will be buying a couple of cameras and we are in the process of deciding between the Canon XL2 and the Sony DSR PD-170. I understand that the Sony is much better in lower lighting conditions. I am thinking about the Canon because of the capacity to interchange lenses. Any advice on using one of each in a multi camera shoot? Should we stick with one brand only?

Aloha, Michael

Pahoa, Hawaii
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Old February 12th, 2006, 10:50 AM   #1031
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you also have to consider how important is PROGRESSIVE vs. interlace ..
the sony is interlace - yes it says it can do progressive BUT that is 15fps ( and i'm not so sure it's real progressive ?? might just double one of the fields?)

so if you need/want a camera that can shoot 60i , 24p , 30p then you can stop comparing the 2 camera's ...

you might look at the panasonic DVX100 over the sony pd170
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Old February 12th, 2006, 11:24 AM   #1032
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Also remember the XL2 has high quality (real) widescreen, where the PD170 just crops.
I think, exept for low light, the XL2 is the better cam overall.

But it's also more expensive, so maybe you should indeed look at the DVX100b too.
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Old February 12th, 2006, 12:46 PM   #1033
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I have never run into situations where the low light performance on an XL2 was unacceptable. I shoot stage productions all the time which are very low light and the XL2 looks much better in low light because it maintains its colour a lot better than the Sony does. Go with the XL2 - it's a lot more flexible in terms of lenses and other accessories and as mentioned, high resolution widescreen and you can get closer because of its longer lens. Not to mention, XL2 also does 24p and 30p.
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Old February 13th, 2006, 10:09 AM   #1034
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My experience

I am a former canon owner and a current sony owner. Both are great camera's. In my experience I feel that the sony gives a much more viberent picture. Especially when lighting is less than perfect. It seemes to me that it does not give nearly the noise that the canon's do. In fact I ran a test with a friend in FCP and what we did was hook each camara up to the comp via firewire and used the exact same settings on each camera. What we did was looked at the vector and hyster scopes and the results were just crazy not only could you see a huge difference between the two pictures the color measurements were much higher on the sony.
But the great thing about a canon is that you can interchange lenses and the shoulder mount is really great.

My only question is what are you going to be using these camera's for?
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Old February 13th, 2006, 10:44 AM   #1035
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Brandon, which Canon camera did you use in your comparison? (I'm assuming XL2?)

I agree with needing to know what you're planning to do with the camera in order to make the best suggestion.
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