Narrowing down the target for me. (PLEASE!) XL1s, PD-150, AG-DVX100 at DVinfo.net

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Old October 19th, 2002, 10:46 AM   #1
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Narrowing down the target for me. (PLEASE!) XL1s, PD-150, AG-DVX100

Ok, here's the deal. as you probably already know, I can't decide between these 3 cameras, so im hoping you can help me narrow it down...

all I wanna do is open up the box, film a short, upload it, edit, badabing badaboom, its good quality, i show my friends and family, i show you guys, and I even plan on entering film festivals. then we all smile and have a good time!

im not doing any documenteries or anything like that. I just wanna open the box and make a short. But I want good quality.

I'm sort of not really interested in the XL1s anymore... (Yet i was almost positive i wanted it a few weeks ago) because Im 90% sure i wont take advantage of the interchangable lenses...

Also, i know someone who directs a TV show, and he has a PD-150 over the XL1s, and i respect him very much, and He knows what he is doing...

so its sort of PD-150 vs. AGDVX100... because 24p would rock my socks...especially on my 65 inch wide screen HDTV!!! So DAMN!!! What do i do?!
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Old October 19th, 2002, 11:12 AM   #2
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***all I wanna do is open up the box, film a short, upload it, edit, badabing badaboom, its good quality, i show my friends and family, i show you guys, we all smile and have a good time!

im not doing any documenteries or anything like that. I just wanna open the box and make a short. But I want good quality.***

Ok from what i can see here, i think you should be better off with maybe even a trv-950 or a single chip camera and save your money. A lot of people get carried away with what they read and think i must get the best, ohh i need it, but realistically it is not true at all. Don't let the tech heads lead your way.

Seriously though, if you want to open the box, shoot/edit and show to your family, they most likely would never be able to tell the difference between a $3000 camera and a $1000 camera, infact i am positive 99% would never know.

Dont do something to impress others, do something to impress yourself, you can get fantastic results with evry little, there have been people who have won awards with a hi-8 digital camera.

But if you must get one of these cameras, for what you need i think they would all exceed your needs. Have you looked at a gl2 maybe if you must go with the latest and greatest, it is smaller than an xl1s and easy to get into tight spots and far cheaper to equip (tripods and so on), remember the smaller the camera the easier it is to stablise.

anyways, my 2 cents

kermie
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Old October 19th, 2002, 11:31 AM   #3
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ack, i think you might have misunderstood. Im not just making movies to show my family. (if i did, i would just keep my crappy camera) ofcourse I'll show them, but I actually do movies for school, and shorts on my own time, and i plan to enter film festivals.

i plan to make movies! but ofcourse I dont have all the money to get like, additional lenses, or a glidecam, etc.

And im getting the camera isntead of a car, so i want to take advantage of the money (around 3 grand) that i can get with that.
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Old October 19th, 2002, 12:07 PM   #4
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Ohh ok,

Totally mis-understood, it all depends on the look you are after, the 24p would have an effect, but a lot can be done in post to equate that look.

Since all are great cameras i would suggest just using them all and deciding which one you feel most confortable with.

My choice was slightly easier, the panasonic is not available here, and the canons are25p here since i live in PAL land. The panasonic comming out will most likely be 25p too, so then i am not looking at a huge degree of difference, the panasonic may be a little sharper, i do loose some rez in the frame mode i think.

I have used the pd150 on many occasions, nice camera, but not too nice to hold, very hard to keep steady.

The xl1s had more bulk and i found it easier to stablise. I also needed a more pro looking camera to simply get the attention of the people i wanted to fund/work on my projects. (sounds stupid but sometimes true, you wouldn;t believe what a $100 USED matte box can do for business, ohh and a big wideshield on an unused mic on the top of a cam heh heh)

I asked in here and everyone gave me great advice so i got the camera.

But again this was for my needs, i find the output from the xl1s no better than the cheaper gl2/xm2, and the pd150 produced fantastic results, but i just preferred that frame mode look.

I was very worried about new cams with progressive scan features comming out, but i realised all cams here will do will be 25p which i already have, and i wouldn't go ntsc for the world anyways.

I will most likely buy a mini35 when i can afford it, but i have found creative ways to get a look i like anyways.

if you have any questions about the pd150 don't be shy.

By the way if your budget just fits the price of the camera than that camera is too expensive, u need a lot more than that.

kermie
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Old October 19th, 2002, 12:10 PM   #5
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The cost of the camera is probably the least of your expenses if you plan to do professional looking work.

Never underestimate the cost of good lighting, good sound, makeup, cinematorgraphy books, and maybe some pro actors!

These will make more of a difference to your end result than the latest and greatest 24p, HD 16x9 camera. Seriously.

I've seen terrible stuff with suped up equipment put into the wrong hands... make my eyes bleed stuff.

Get a camera you won't be too worried about bruising, you'll be more inclined to do outrageous and cool work with it. But learn lighting and camera moves. If you get a small camera, get a big hunk of wood or metal to mount it too, give it some weight. Only one thing bugs people more than flimsy camera work, and that is bad sound.

Adrian
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Old October 19th, 2002, 12:18 PM   #6
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kermie klien, ack, you made me want an XL1s again :(

but you have a PAL version right? whats the difference?

you know, since im just gonna be starting out on shorts, it might be best to start with an XL1s or PD-150, then in a year or whenever there are new cameras out to compete with the AG-DVX100 i can invest in that. because i mean, seriously. look at me, im complaining whether i should get the XL1s or AG-DVX100! LMAO!

Crap...I want an XL1s now :(

and i totally know what you are talking about with the respect you get with having a cool lookin camera. But that shouldnt help me decide which camera to get. LOL, i showed my friend the PD-150, DVX100 and XL1s, and he was like "get the XL1s man!!!"

but Can i get good footage with an XL1s default? or would I need to buy accessories? I know the XL1s is sorta like a paintball gun...comes ready, but you gotta upgrade it to get the full effect. (New gun barrel, Nitro, etc.)

how would you compare the XL1s to the PD-150?
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Old October 19th, 2002, 12:19 PM   #7
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Adian how true!!!!

I shoot only voice now and post everything else i can....good sound makes or breaks.

Lighting is a fun debate, it is more about creativity and forward thought than arri 5000's and 3 trucks of different stuff. Lighting is 1 great thing that can be completly faked and look great if you are extremely careful.

I actually advice against cinematography books to my friends, i sit them down and go through simple rules, such as rule of 3rds, and then continue of from there. Only piece of advice i give always, is that if it can be portrayed visually by an actor or set(so on) there is never a need for excessive movement of the camera, infact that looks horrible.

I don't like these books as they teach you to think 1 way, and that 'can' hinder some truely fresh new ideas. (dosn't mean i am not guilty of flicking through some)

Of course nothing i say here applies to other's thoughts, just a lonely ol' bush tucker man's opinion. (grins)

kermie
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Old October 19th, 2002, 12:22 PM   #8
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mmm...i love rule of thirds.

I made a post above yours, you might have missed it.
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Old October 19th, 2002, 12:39 PM   #9
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**but you have a PAL version right? whats the difference?**

It has a higher resolution (720x576 vs 720x480 NTSC), and in frame mode it shoots at a faux progressive scan of 25p, (25 fps).

**you know, since im just gonna be starting out on shorts, it might be best to start with an XL1s or PD-150, then in a year or whenever there are new cameras out to compete with the AG-DVX100 i can invest in that.**

first thing, don't expect to make a cent from short movies while starting out (unless you are the next speilberg i dunno or are very lucky)

so new cams will only come from hard work.

**because i mean, seriously. look at me, im complaining whether i should get the XL1s or AG-DVX100! LMAO!**

I have 2 differing opinions that i will give on this, you can take one more over the other.

1: get the xl1s over a ag-dvx100 because the xl1s is a proven camera, has a lot of support and has future upgrade availability.

2: which i think would prob more apply, look harder at the the sony or panasonic because, they are lighter, the sony for instance has XLR built right into it, that is a save on expense there. lighter camera = cheaper tripod. Cheaper over all means you can buy better lights/sound/food on set ..whatever you want.

One more thing, the hit the canon takes in rez (frame mode, which is the big reason for people buying this camera)on an ntsc camera is noticable and it does get softer (people like that, but i would prefer to soften in post and have more lines to play with)

**how would you compare the XL1s to the PD-150?**

simple A,

Pd-150 = better low light per., very sharp chrisp picture, extremely well built camera, has good b&w viewfinder (much better than the canon colour) very portable, easy to through into tight spaces, good zoom and follow focus, audio is nice, extremely low volume of headphones, buttons are situated for smaller hands. NO progressive scan mode over 15fps (which is unusable for motion). HAS lcd display.

Canon= slightly softer, noticably more red in hue ( can always be adjusted) bigger and bulkier, audio is fine as long as extra shoulder mount is purchased with xlr inputs. Has frame mode. Can put a broadcast style manual lens on it. Stock lens has great stabiliser. Looks the business. NO lcd display.

Seriously both cameras are on par with each other, the canon is a more expensive camera to own, but offers slightly more once much bigger investments are made. I prefer to use the canon as i can shoulder mount and also like panning on a bigger tripod with more weight stablising my shots, but this can be done with a rock strapped to a camera if u want. But i wanted frame mode too.

If you want a frame mode like look, i would suggest the panasonic over the canon any day in ntsc land, because of extra rez..BUT (see above)..

kermie

ps. everything is subject to the law of diminishing results, once you spend a certain amount, the more you spend the smaller the improvement.

pps. the out of box performance of all these cams is good but not that flash, sit down do a lot of test footage and always run in manual mode, unless you absolutly can not. Results will be FAR better once you the know the camera fully.
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Old October 19th, 2002, 12:46 PM   #10
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i wish i could see what the frame mode looks like ;[

also, would it be wise to import a PAL XL1s? or just stick to a regular one?
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Old October 19th, 2002, 12:51 PM   #11
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I wouldn't both with a pal camera in ntsc land. Only if u r thinking of going to film.


Get down to some stores, hook up a monitor and test for yourself.
Try everything out, even stuff you didnt look at, even JVC have some nice cameras floating around.
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Old October 19th, 2002, 12:57 PM   #12
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now i gotta find some stores ;[
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Old October 19th, 2002, 01:44 PM   #13
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Hey Kermie,

I agree that simple rules should be established when it comes to cinematography, but I only threw in the line about books in my original post 'cause it's a valuable resource that can be tapped for cheap at a used art book store. And it's always good to start with the basics rather than a blank slate, as digicams are misleading in many of their conventions. Film cam's don't have gains, gamma's and such. However, these only become truely valuable after you make a few mistakes. ;)

As for camera's, can't really make a mistake with the XL1 or PD-150 as they are proven camera's and if you get one used, won't take too much of a hit if you decide to resell it. If our friend buys new, then he'll take a big hit as soon as he plops down the plastic to pay for it. PD-150's are a bit harder to come by used as people tend to hoard these like pretentious robber barons. However, the XL1s allows you to slap some superior glass on it. When shot in 60i, is imo sharper than PD150 without the chromatic abberations (also found in XL-1s stock lens and many others camcorders with mass produced lenses). You can always deinterlace your clips in aftereffects sharper than internal camera frame mode. But again, for starting out, I would recommend to our friend a GL-1or 2 or a cheaper sony. Then have money left over to get top microphone and field mixer. The GL-1 last I looked didn't have audio monitoring capability, thus limiting it as a primary camera. The PD-150 is an excellent camera though and requires the least amount of cash to get it a fantastic image. If there is extra money left over, get an optex anamorphic lens to shoot in true widescreen. Also check ebay for older anamorphic lenses, some can be had for cheap and can mount directly onto smaller lenses (like sony's) with a few step rings.

Adrian

<<<-- Originally posted by kermie klien : Adian how true!!!!

I shoot only voice now and post everything else i can....good sound makes or breaks.

Lighting is a fun debate, it is more about creativity and forward thought than arri 5000's and 3 trucks of different stuff. Lighting is 1 great thing that can be completly faked and look great if you are extremely careful.

I actually advice against cinematography books to my friends, i sit them down and go through simple rules, such as rule of 3rds, and then continue of from there. Only piece of advice i give always, is that if it can be portrayed visually by an actor or set(so on) there is never a need for excessive movement of the camera, infact that looks horrible.

I don't like these books as they teach you to think 1 way, and that 'can' hinder some truely fresh new ideas. (dosn't mean i am not guilty of flicking through some)

Of course nothing i say here applies to other's thoughts, just a lonely ol' bush tucker man's opinion. (grins)

kermie -->>>
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Old October 19th, 2002, 04:12 PM   #14
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David, I'll give you my experience. I went through the exact same thing as you. PD150? XL1s? XM2 (GL2)? I'll reiterate what Kermie and others have said/asked. Is your budget of $3000 the limit of what you'll have for your movie making kit? If so, are you able to get EVERYTHING else for free in some way? If you want to do stuff yourself, and not rent or can't borrow you'll need to invest some more money in your gear.

I've been looking into audio stuff now and just a shotgun mike and xlr adaper is going to cost me about $1600 (Note NZ$ is about 2x US$, so half prices for US). That's nearly a third of my camera's cost! Also, what if I end up needing some lav mikes and MD recorder for plant mics? More $$, many hundreds more. Then I'll need some lights and even home made ones will cost at least something once you get some gels, scrims, diffusion, make barn doors and all that. Then you might need a good tripod - $700. Then a case for your camera, maybe a hard one and a soft one. (you can make something passable for cheap, cause if you want to buy one you're looking at hundreds of $$). You'll need to get a long life battery or two - $200 each. Then tapes, and filters, maybe a shoulder brace and it goes on and on and on. For my basic kit I'm looking at about 1/2 again over the camera and when I say basic I mean BASIC! Home made lighting, cheap toolbox lined with foam for case. And I'm going to be using an old Velbon tripod for now before I upgrade.

I basically had/have a limit of $8000 for my setup, and I've spent $5000 on the camera already. If I wanted an Xl1s that alone would have cost me $8000 and I didn't want to spend $10-11k on a setup when I feel for what I wanted the xl1s offered little else than a few more tweakable options to the image and the look of the actual cam. Although that look is DAMNED sexy :), I don't need to impress clients as this isn't for money, so I couldn't really justify $3000 for basically a cool look.

As far as the PD150 goes, I can't offer much on that. It has better low light and is a more "pro" broadcast style camera, but here in New Zealand Sony almost dictate prices so it was about $1500-$2000 more expensive than the xl1s even, so that was pretty much out quite quickly. You can of course look at the VX2000 which has the same image quality as the PD150 but no DVCAM, colour VF and you need an xlr adapter for it. For me, the vx2000 was still $900 more than the XM2. See what I'm getting at? Budget is a very important thing to think about. If you have another couple of grand over your $3000 and are willing to spend it, maybe the xl1s is the way to go for you. Check out Barry's comparison of the GL2 in this site. Shows some footage and stills with PD150, GL2 and xl1s. That might help. Others here have posted their footage too from various cameras and lately a lot of GL2 stuff has been popping up to look at.

Good luck
Aaron
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Old October 19th, 2002, 08:23 PM   #15
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hey, nice post.

but my bugdet isnt STRICTLY 3 grand. but it sorta is indeed only the cost of the camera...

but what else would i need? you seem to be really hard core, getting mics, adapters, etc.
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