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Old January 5th, 2006, 11:56 PM   #1
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XL2 vs XL1s physical visual difference?

hello the reason i signed up is because I am still debating between the XL1s and XL2. I just do not know if I can afford the used difference of about $1000. I know the differences on paper, but has anyone actually done a comparison video? Meaning, recorded the same thing with an XL1s and XL2 to show the difference in quality? This is what i am REALLY looking for before I make a final decision and the 2 hours I just finished searching on google brought up nothing.

Thanks,

Mark
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Old January 6th, 2006, 04:56 AM   #2
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The XL2 looks sharper and of course superiour in 16/9 24p.
The XL1s will show some more saturated colors out of the box.
Is it a PAL or NTSC camera?
I have the PAL version, so with the frame mode, with my XL1s I already have 25p in essence (with a bit of resolution drop).

I know many people who say the XL2 is clearly superiour, and it is of course on paper, but the XL1s give you very acceptable results too.
Maybe it's better to buy a used XL1s (if it's in good condition of course) and buy extra accesoires...?

I asked a while ago what the difference would be if you both blow them up, and most of them said they would pretty much look the same.
Maybe you should do a search on the topic.
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Old January 6th, 2006, 12:06 PM   #3
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The XL1S blowup won't look as sharp as the XL2 but it won't look too bad either. However, in this day and age, I'd go with the XL2 because the list of features over the XL1S easily warrants the upgrade.

But if you can't afford it, then there really is no other choice then is there?

What are you going to use these cameras for, Mark? If you're a student, save the money and use the XL1S, if you're doing anything else, go with the XL2 if possible. Have you given any thought to the GL1 or GL2? Both are good, neither give the same image as the XL2, which is the newer camera after all, but many argue that they're superior to the XL1 and XL1S in image quality.
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Old January 6th, 2006, 12:49 PM   #4
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The picture of a GL2 is maybe a bit sharper, but the 1/3 chips of an XL cam are going to give you a better picture then the 1/4 chips of the GL...
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Old January 6th, 2006, 02:44 PM   #5
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My website is www.floridaracing.org . I currently shoot stills, but I want to get into making videos, as I have another guy that goes with me to most events that shoots the stills already.

I am sort of set on the canon XL1s, but would like your professional opinons since I am new to professional video, in which I do not mind learning to do.

Basically I will be shooting all sorts of auto racing, from drifting to drag racing. The events will mainly be during the day, but some will run into the evening and night.

I plan to run the camera on my shoulder or tripod, but plan to buy a boom/jib (with only vertical movement, since getting both vertical and horizontal movement booms run into the $1000s) some what soon after my camera purchase. I also might buy a cheap steadicam for walking with it in the pits and such.

I want the quality of the video to look as movie like as possible, with my budget being about 2200-2300 MAX (new or used, doesnt matter).

When i started my website, i wasnt getting paid for my work, now virtually every race I shoot I either have people or companies buying my pictures.

So being that I will be starting out "non profit" on the filming, I will hope eventually it will spawn into something more, and then be able to upgrade. I also want to do the boom and steadicam because no other car websites has such a setup yet.
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Old January 6th, 2006, 03:48 PM   #6
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An XL cam can get heavy after dragging it a whole day... but it can be done of course.
A GL2 will be much lighter though... but because the GL2 is a handycam-format camera and the XL (kind of) shouldermount, you should be able to get more stable shots with the XL.
You'll love a tripod when you are dragging the XL ;-)

Do remember that in the area of low light performance, nothing can beat the Sony VX2100 or the Sony PD150...
Maybe it won't look as filmlike, but they are much better in low light...
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Old January 6th, 2006, 05:24 PM   #7
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i've been shooting drag racing and sand motorsports since 1993, and if there is one thing you can't get enuf of in those sports, it's zoom... the 20x of the xl2 is very interesting to me, i wish that i had that lens right now.

the xl1s does not have any provision for a backfocus adjustment, but i seem to vaguely remember something on the xl2 for it? maybe it was just on the manual lenses? that capability is also important.

you will need to be using manual focus a lot, the xl1s has a button on the lense that works perfectly for that, but the xl2 setup is not quite the same... check it out.

i would forget the boom idea if i were you... what you need more than that is other cameras along the track, a camera at the finish line, or a camera going thru the pits doing interviews... the problem is that when you leave the track, even between rounds, somebody is gonna come up and make a pass that you should have been there to tape... so plan on a guy full-time trackside, depending on how many classes you are shooting.
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Old January 6th, 2006, 10:05 PM   #8
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I use both on a regular basis and personally, I love the XL2 much more even though it's a LOT heavier and larger.
It doesn't have a backfocus adjustment like previously mentioned, but the reach on the lens is excellent and there are buttons to program focus/zoom points and recall them. Also, if you use it, the autofocus on the XL2 is much better (I still prefer manual however).
The optical stabilizer on the XL series cameras is something anyone who uses one can agree is amazing - very steady. I have shot with the XL1 for extended periods of time - all day long for 7 days and it performed very well and handles rugged conditions well. I haven't used the XL2 for this amount of time, but I'm thinking it won't be as pleasant because of the extra weight.
Hope this helps
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Old January 7th, 2006, 06:58 PM   #9
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thanks for all the info people, keep it coming!
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Old January 8th, 2006, 12:22 PM   #10
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my bad, i guess that the backfocus adjustment is on the new canon hdv camera? i know that they finally got it right somewhere along the line, lol!

mark, what i ended up doing was getting a steady stick to support the weight of the camera when trackside... it takes some getting used to, but i've gotten to the point where it sweeps 200 mph cars nearly as well as if i hand-hold the camera... i abandoned the tripod for shooting drag racing years ago.

the xl1s works well when you are down the track a ways, on the guard rail... not all tracks will give you that kind of access, because it's dangerous.

the other thing to get is an fm walkman radio, to record the announcers audio in the dv mode that uses 4 track audio... it can make a huge difference in your final edited piece.
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Old January 8th, 2006, 12:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Euritt

the other thing to get is an fm walkman radio, to record the announcers audio in the dv mode that uses 4 track audio... it can make a huge difference in your final edited piece.

thats a good idea! The access part isnt a problem. I can get pretty much full access press passes to anything from NHRA to IRL.
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Old January 8th, 2006, 12:27 PM   #12
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also dan, do you have any sample videos from your xl1(s) ?
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Old January 9th, 2006, 09:34 AM   #13
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I would definatly say go for the XL2.

First off, once you beocme familiar with the custom presets, or you download the bluebarn presets manager and presets, you can greatly customize your look. The cine curves and 24p are fantastic additions.

the cam is a bit heavier than the XL1s, but I never noticed cause I am used to Betacams, etc.

The 20x lens is fantastic in it's reach, and the focusing isnt as bad as everyone makes out. Just takes a certain touch.

If money is really an issue and you are looking for the XL2's features at a lwoer price, why not conisder the DVX100A, I think it is a bout $1000 cheaper than the XL2, has 24p, comparable image quality (have used it as B Roll), and altough it is slightly lower res (not native 16:9), in someways it is a superior cam (manual lens, low light).

Just a thought.

Matt
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Old January 10th, 2006, 01:27 AM   #14
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"full access" will vary from track to track... for instance, the last couple of times that i shot firebird, they suddenly wouldn't let anyone down past the tree.

be sure and clear all rights to the footage with the promoter... nhra does not like videographers at all, but photo guys can pretty much do whatever they want.

check your pm's.
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Old January 11th, 2006, 02:21 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Euritt
"full access" will vary from track to track... for instance, the last couple of times that i shot firebird, they suddenly wouldn't let anyone down past the tree.

be sure and clear all rights to the footage with the promoter... nhra does not like videographers at all, but photo guys can pretty much do whatever they want.

check your pm's.

checking...

yea, ive been shooting pictures at events since about 1998 and have delt with everyone from NHRA to IRL to Formula D and have delt with all their requirements. Most of them allow it for online use, but not production/profit use. I also havent been turned down for full access passes..... yet.
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