Making the "Final" decision on a DVX or Xl2.. could use input. at

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Old June 26th, 2006, 06:16 PM   #1
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Making the "Final" decision on a DVX or Xl2.. could use input.

Hey guys, I'm a professional news videographer, and I really, really know nothing about MiniDV or anything like that. I finally scrounged up enough cash to get a decent DV camera to start doing some freelance work, the work that I want to do, to make a little money in the outside world.

Right now, it's down to a DVX100 or a XL2. If I went HDV I cannot afford the kind of lights, tripods, and mics to get the job done, and all I would have is a HDV camera and would really, really need to watch what I did without lights.

My last news station went to Z1Us and laptop editing (from BetaSX to Z1Us in DV? Yeah, it's a long story, trust me) and I just couldn't handle all of the 'Auto' functions on it to get a decent image, and it would literally drive me nuts that I didn't have an iris ring, zoom ring, and that the focus ring was slow. So the Z1U is out, and besides, I'd rather spend the money on a decent lighting kit. Besides, it doesn't matter if it is HDV if the lens can't get enough light to crisp up the image. The Z1U is light poor with that lens.

I have settled down to MiniDV specifically because the cost, and I have seen some good stuff with it. However, I just don't know about either the XL2 or the DVX100. I've monkeyed with the Z1U, the JVC HDV cam, the HVX 200, and the XL H1. Right now just because of the shape the XL2 is what I am leaning towards.

The thing is, I like the look of the DVX, but the lens bothers me. Should it?
Also, after years of shooting two minute stories in twenty minutes, is it going to just scream insanity when I touch it? Is the same thing going to happen iwth a XL2?

The reason I ask this is because right now, I only say XL2 in my mind because of the form factor is closer to a larger standard professional camera. It might be easier for me to pick up. However, if you look down the lens of these cameras, the DVX has a larger and fatter throat, and that means it probably runs about a stop hotter. Better light intake means better image, but longer lens means (usually) better DOF. In other words, can you even get DOF effects with a DVX100? Can you pull focus at all with it?

So what is going to be? What do you think I should do? Is the DVX image that much better that I should not worry about the shape? Or should I just literally go with what I know?
Alex Lucas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 26th, 2006, 10:28 PM   #2
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I would advise going with the XL-2. It is a very customizable camera in terms of picture controls and the fact that it is a much newer design than the DVX100 means better noise processing. You can dial in 6db of gain without much noise (but there are noise reduction and coring controls to remove any
that you do see).

You mentioned looking down the lens throat. Here is where the XL2 shines because you can buy a 16x manual lens that will maintain f1.6 at full telephoto. It is manual focus only with a marked barrel and end stops for true repeatable focusing. It lacks an iris ring because it's electronically controlled through the body.

If you can find one, there is also a 14x full manual lens (including iris ring).

Since you are used to looking through a high res b/w vf, you'll be happy to know the Canon markets an Ikegami made hi res v/f. Around 700 horizontal lines of resolution. Between this and a manual lens, it's going to feel like focusing the big camera you are used to. The b/w vf has peaking also.

You can also buy an Anton Bauer adapter plate for the camera and run it off those batteries. The upside is that the camera is a bit nose heavy in stock config and the rear mounted AB helps a lot with balance.

Since Canon has no line of professional broadcast cameras, they tend to include more in their top of the line prosumer camera with lots of image adjustment (matrix, skin detail, adjustable zebras, etc.) for you to tweak the camera.

Unlike the DVX, the XL2 is also a NATIVE wide screen camera. And, like the DVX it can do both flavors of 24P as well as 30P.

Until recently, I owned two of these and had one in a full ENG configuration with everything I mentioned above and then some.

(shameless plug)

I have my remaining camera for sale in the classifieds as I just bought the Sony F-350 XDCAM HD camera. I also have the A/B plate and a couple other accessories left. Would help you save some cash for better light and sticks.

best regards,

Greg Boston is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 27th, 2006, 01:52 AM   #3
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For you I would go XL2 with the manual lens as Greg recommends...

ash =o)
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