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-   -   The gigantic "which camera should I buy" thread! (http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/open-dv-discussion/29995-gigantic-camera-should-i-buy-thread.html)

Mike Butler October 23rd, 2001 06:17 PM

The gigantic "which camera should I buy" thread!
I have an XL1 now, want to get a smaller/second camera. Have been tentatively planning on the GL1, keep it in the family, etc. but know that the Sony DV's are also highly regarded and plenty are in use by pros. Anyone have any experience with both and care to offer a comparison?


Chris Hurd October 23rd, 2001 08:17 PM

Mike, I strongly recommend sticking with Canon for your second camera. If you had a Sony as a primary camera, I would say go with a Sony again.

The reason is because there's a distinct difference between Canon and Sony in the flavor of the video. They will not intercut well with each other. On the other hand, a Canon XL1 and GL1 will cut together seamlessly. Likewise, a Sony PD150 is a good match for a DSR300.

I've seen the VX2000 and GL1 side by side, punching up video on a monitor, from one to the other. Big difference in the overall look -- not the quality -- the look. I like to describe it as flavors of ice cream. One is not "better" than the other; it's a personal subjective preference.

A GL1 will match your XL1 perfectly in all but the most extreme circumstances. Hope this helps,

Nathan Gifford October 24th, 2001 08:37 AM

Chris is right. Sony tends to shoot cooler than Canon. It would be tough to intermix video.

Nathan Gifford

Alexander Ibrahim October 30th, 2001 07:12 PM

Well, I disagree with the other advice you've seen here. The VX2000 is just a better camera than the GL-1, unless you need the reach of the 20x lens.

Also, while the camera defaults to a cool look, you can adjust its settings. I have intercut VX2000 footage with my XL-1 with decent results. I am not a big fan of the VX2000, but it is a great second camera.

All that said...if your production budget can manage my current aim is to acquire an XL-1S and demote the XL-1 to second unit. Needless to say, it will be a "match" for my XL-1. It also meets another of my philosophies, when adding equipment buy "up."

Mike Butler October 31st, 2001 02:42 PM

Normally I like to "buy up" too if my mode was to first go entry level and see if I wind up using it enough to justify a better one, whether it be a photo enlarger, bicycle, Scuba gear, whatever. If I upgrade that's also known as "buy cheap- buy twice" :-)

However, in this case there is a different agenda. Actually I'd like to eventually replace the XL1 with a 1s, but that's not a priority, especially with some of the stories I have seen floating around about the 1s, I'd like to see Canon get their teething pains out of the way. Might even go a JVC GY-DV500 (heresy!!) or even a Panasonic AG-DVC200 (more heresy!!)

I am looking for something smaller and lighter (and less conspicuous) than the decidedly unstealthy XL1, both in terms of not getting my @ss thrown out of "no media allowed" venues or spooking the talent; and in terms of human engineering, where I may be ergonomically more inclined to bring the cam if it were smaller (easier to carry) than the XL. I have seen one rig on this community board incorporating a Sears toolbox which houses both the XL and GL, thus your instant 2-camera shoot. Plus the smaller/lighter form factor of the GL might make me bring it along when the tendency would otherwise be to leave all video equipment at home. I have not looked at the Sony next to the GL to see if it would accomplish this as successfully.

Oh yes, one other thing, a 3.5 lb. camera would enable me to "buy cheap" on a Steadicam JR and get a feel for how much I 'm likely to use that type of device before taking the plunge on the more expensive Steadicam DV. Instictively the Sony seems like a better cam than the GL, but the GL just seems so right with the XL.

Lots to think about.

Alexander Ibrahim October 31st, 2001 03:24 PM

Given those specific goals I would say that you should look at the VX2000 or PD-150, leaning towards the VX.

Like I said I have intercut the VX2K with the XL-1 and been satisfied. I never considered it perfect, but it was impossible to tell after the VHS and SVHS dub the client wanted...you could see it on the DV tape though, just barely.

Modest color correction would have cured that.

The VX is, IMHO, a much better camera than the GL. Unless you simply can't make it match to your satisfaction with the XL I would try the VX.

Also...while it isn't buying up...it is at least buying laterally. The VX2000 is probably one of the best values in video at any price point. Right next to the Video Toaster and Lightwave IMO.

markwaldron November 1st, 2001 08:46 AM

second camera
I own both an XL1 and GL1 ( I'm presuming its the same camera thats called XM1 in Europe). I had a VX2000 and handed it back in favour of the Canon. There were several reasons...

The Sony is such a fidgetty annoying camera to use, all the controls are in the wrong place, it takes ages to change battery (also remember that your XL1 batteries are good for the XM1 too!), to hold the Sony to your eye you pretty much have to adopt an amateur camcorder user grip which is the lousiest way to hold a camera. Its too heavy for the steadicam junior, the look of the images is flat and uninteresting, it won't hold your menu preferences on a regular basis and at least here in Ireland its way overpriced compared to the Canon!

Sorry for ranting but I was expecting so much from the VX2000 and yet its really not a lot better that the VX1000 that I can tell. As the commercial says - If you're gonna shoot it, shoot it with a Canon!

Wayde Gardner November 1st, 2001 10:36 AM

Let's not get in to a personal preferences debate. I really like the GL1 and always have this "thing" about dancing with the one that brung ya. (ie brand loyalty) The GL1 is smaller, very discreet and will match your XL1 without any worries.

I prefer the VX2000 for other reasons over the GL1 but given the opportunity (and cash on hand) I would have bought the XL1 to begin with. I bought the best available camera for my budget.

That being said, go with the GL1. It's a great little camera and a bargin for camera #2.

(BTW... I've gotten away from 2-pop primarily because it seemed like the Canon vs Sony debate never ended and often got rather nasty)

Chris Hurd November 1st, 2001 12:08 PM

Howdy from Texas,

<< BTW... I've gotten away from 2-pop primarily because it seemed like the Canon vs Sony debate never ended and often got rather nasty >>

I know exactly what you mean, and that problem will *not* happen here, as I intend to actively moderate the posts. There's nothing wrong with debating the merits of Canon vs. Sony; however on this board such discussion *will* remain polite and civil, because nastiness will be deleted post haste and without apology or exception.

Hope this helps,

Wayde Gardner November 1st, 2001 04:13 PM

Thanks, Chris.

dvinfo.net is a great site...

I still get some valuable info and stay in touch w/ friends at 2-pop but got tired of the know it alls who forgot that they wern't born with their video knowledge and neither are the folks simply looking for some help. San Marcos isn't that far away and I'd love to get a first hand look at your set up.

Although my degree was in TV production, that was 20 years and 3 sales jobs ago. I'm having to relearn most of this stuff. My only saving grace (I think) is that I spent most of those years working in the graphics industry and regulary played with the best systems and software the Mac had to offer.

(oh no! Did I just start the Mac vs. PC debate? Ahhhh! I'm outta here!)

Mike Butler November 1st, 2001 05:02 PM

<< BTW... I've gotten away from 2-pop primarily because it seemed like the Canon vs Sony debate never ended and often got rather nasty >>

Actually, i kind of got away from 2-pop 'cuz it's heavily Final Cut Pro oriented, and I am surrounded by Adobe Premiere users and looking to migrate toward that from FCP.

I like the idea of keeping Canon with Canon and knew that the batteries are the same which is nice, although that might be out the window if I switch my XL into a JVC GYDV500 which uses the NP sticks. Life is never simple! :-)

LiveShot November 14th, 2001 09:52 AM

Canon v. Sony
Hello to the group...nice to find this area of discussion.

My question: do you have any thoughts about the benefits of a Canon XL1S vs. a Sony DSR 250?

I'm launching a corporate video production company and I want to make sure I'm using the best tools.

The price is about $1200 higher for the Sony, equipped with battery, charger and tripod plate.
Other than that, any strengths/weaknesses I should consider?

I've heard the Canon has a "beautiful, film-like picture," while the Sony offers "razor-like sharpness."

Does that mean the Sony will be sharp, but harsh...while the Canon is beautiful but soft?

I already have a Sony VX-2000. Should I stay with Sony?

I know these are basic, new-to-the-biz questions, but if you can help, I'd appreciate it.

Thanks in advance.

Last edited by LiveShot on November 14th, 2001 at 03:26 PM

Don Donatello November 14th, 2001 01:17 PM

sony canon
i was under the impression that the sony 250 uses same chip and most of the electronics of a vx 2000/pd150 ? with a bit more electronic conrol ... so HOW do you like the vx 2000 image ?

i use the canons BUT i have to admit that the sony 2000/pd150 holds contrast much better - can see more into shadow areas ... IMO the sony is sharper BUT sharper doesn't mean better ... i prefer the softer canon look !

i wouldn't say the canon have a "film look " but the frame mode does give you a more " film shutter look" ....

for a CORPORATE Video production company ...i would suggest you take a look at the JVC 500 or panasonic 200 ??

IMO you already have a vx 2000 so you basically have the sony 250 ... take the next step UP to a 1/2 ccd !!! the Xl's does have a very good image and for the basic setup is a good deal BUT if you are going to add in the hi res view finder and other accessories you are now in the price range of the JVC/panasonic 1/2 ccd's camera's and IMO the 1/2 ccd's out perform the 1/3 ccds in ALL shooting situations ...

Wayde Gardner November 14th, 2001 04:15 PM

I'd stay with the Sony as you already have the VX2k and cross cutting from the Canon to the Sony in a multi camera shoot would be obvious in regards to picture consistancy.

My humble .02


BTW... I preferred the sharper image on the Sony and liked the feel in my hands vs. the GL1. That was my buying motivation... personal taste. I probably would have gone with the XL1 had budget not been a concern.

LiveShot November 14th, 2001 09:53 PM

Thanks for your replies....I think I'll stay on the Sony wagon....I really appreciate this group. Be back later.


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