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Old April 19th, 2005, 10:41 AM   #1
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How will canon react?

OK, this might not be the right place for this....but here it comes…

I'm an avid XL series user, and swear by canon's reputation for service and reliability, but I’ve got 2 xl1-s cameras that are getting up there in age and usage and I’m now thinking about upgrading.

A couple of months ago the XL2 seemed like the logical choice to replace the XL1s’s, however with JVC's HD100 out and now the AG-HVX200 on its way out, it feels like the XL2 is a too little too late product. The HD100’s seems like a direct competitor to the XL2 given the interchangeable lens system, however the only progressive frame format does stifle it a little. But the AG-HVX200 seems to even blow away the HD100 from all first looks and subsequently the XL2.

Granted Canon has traditionally taken its time in watching the other manufacturers duke it out with new tech; but why should I invest in the XL2 system if I can spend a little more and have a camera that will be much more cost effective investment since it can shoot in both SD and HDV?
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Old April 19th, 2005, 10:42 AM   #2
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How do you think canon will respond to this, a new XL2s or XL3?

I’m looking to upgrade within the next 6 –12 mths, so unless canon can pull out a production miracle, especially considering the length of the XL2 development cycle – 18mths +, it looks like they might be losing at least this loyal canon user… I know I can't be the only one considering this thought, what do you guys/gals think?
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Old April 19th, 2005, 10:49 AM   #3
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I'll respond before chris does, Canon is not nown for being an early adpoter of any standard, they like to take their time and put out the best cam on the market, that being said I can't even begin to imagine that they'll upgrade the xl series to HDVfor AT LEAST 18 more months, probably closer to 2 years. If you have anything to shoot in the next two years and the camera has to be some form of HD then you shouldn't wait for a new canon.

I personally was lost to canon after the xl2 came out and the price kept me off of buying one then the z1u came out and suddenly the xl2 didn't look like sucha great deal. But it's up to you.
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Old April 19th, 2005, 10:56 AM   #4
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Nick, that's those are my thoughts exactly....i know canon's reputation for being one of the last companys to play the technology card, but after just spending so much time developing the XL2, it seems like wasted energy. In my mind, with the AG-HVX200, xl2 sales are going to plumet in dec. Why would a video person invest 5K in an xl2 when you can do so much more for 6K? it just seems like someone in missed the boat on this one....

but then again, i am just a small business, what do i know? If i was that smart i'd be rich by now! :-P
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Old April 19th, 2005, 10:57 AM   #5
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I purchased an XL2 in November and love it. Of course, I watched the various announcements for HDV flood out, and couldn't help but feel I might have been 'too early' on my purchase.

Bottom line. I needed the camera for a project at the time. I love the images it gave me. I intend to make more projects and money with it this year. I don't NEED hdv at the moment.

IF and WHEN I NEED HDV, then I will look at what's available at that time. As with any high tech purchase, the longer you can wait, the better your deal will be. Either new technology will be available, or the technology you are interested in will be cheaper. Either way, waiting is good.

UNLESS

You can make money with the purchase NOW. If you need it to make money, than buy it. Sell the product later when the newer technology arrives, and your resale price and money made, will make up for the cost of the new technology.

All of this, of course doesn't address the very real possibility of simply renting new technology on a case by case trial basis, untill the price and market reaches your comfort level.


So ask yourself, are you making money with your Xl1s now? Would a new purchase justify itself with new/greater income streams? Or perhaps the cameras are just worn out, and you could rent on a project basis, untill what you want comes round.

Only you know the answers to that.
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Old April 19th, 2005, 10:57 AM   #6
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Personally, I'm not in much of a hurry to move to HD. I am much more inclined to shoot in SD 4:3 or 16:9 and get better acquainted with the many features of my HD capable NLE. In the meantime I have several collegues who will undoubtedly allow me to do a little playing their their respective HD camera choices. My HD camera purchase is some time away. If I really need a HD camera, there is always rental.
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Old April 19th, 2005, 01:46 PM   #7
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I know the whole HD thing is exciting, but do you guys all have HD sets? I don't. If so, how are you playing HD on them? You can't right now. DV will be around a good while still. The XL2 is hardly a dead product. Once all of this excitement dies down, everyone will realize that most clients (other than broadcast) are still not ready for HD. A year, 2? Maybe, but not now. We have to wait AT THE VERY LEAST until HD DVD players come out so we can play this stuff somehow.

For filmmaking, these new cameras will rock. But how many of us are really making a living doing films?

I don't want to rain on your parade, but you are just fine getting an XL2. Canon will wait until the real need for this equipment appears before debuting the XL3. I agree it will be at least a year, or 18 months.

KW
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Old April 19th, 2005, 02:20 PM   #8
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Well, there's a couple of different ways you can look at it...

If you're in the market for a camera already, you can get a camera for the same price range (HDV offerings start at what? $3,000?) that shoots great DV plus some HD format, thus future proofing your equipment somewhat, or simply get a DV cam for the same price. Do you have to shoot in HD now? No, but if it's the same price, wouldn't it be nice to have and at least offer it as an option?

For my company, that has, as of yet, had no clients ASK for HD, we're still planning on the next cam being HD, because it doesn't make sense to buy an SD cam, when you can get an HD/SD cam for roughly the same price. The NLEs support the footage, in the case of the panny, we wanted a DTE-able camera for our next one anyways--so even if I had to get a Firestore-type device instead of an off the shelf HDD to tide us over until P2 is cheap enough, we'd be okay with that too.

You say people won't really be clamoring for HD content for a couple of years, but wouldn't it be nice to shoot in such a way now that your footage is future proofed for that transition? So that when everyone makes the switch, you're clients can come back and get that HD copy if they want? For a nominal fee of course... ah! A money making possibility...

Now, I must say, that if the XL2 was to drop to $2,000 I'd consider it. But honestly, $5,000 for a cam that's SD only, when for $6,000 I can get a cam that shoots a whole lot more varieties of video... the choice is simple for me. Not that I think Canon would drop the price like that... but I might consider it then...
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Old April 19th, 2005, 02:27 PM   #9
 
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Street price for an XL2, these days is $3300.00
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Old April 19th, 2005, 02:34 PM   #10
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Wow, that dropped a lot faster than I expected. I admittedly didn't keep up with it once it came out. Still, that's the price of an FX-1... If it would drop a little bit more I might consider it, if I needed another cam before the Panny or JVC HD cam's shipped.
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Old April 19th, 2005, 02:43 PM   #11
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hum... XL2 is closer to 4300$ right now with the lens. You can find it for about 3500$ if you only want the body.
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Old April 19th, 2005, 02:52 PM   #12
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I think there were some short-term deals that brought the XL2 w lens under $4K from Dell, but street price is closer to $4k still.

You are correct about future proofing and getting a camera that does both, but I was mainly stating the fact that the XL2 is still a fine purchase for the next couple years. If you are a working videographer, you should get MUCH more than your investment in 2 years. If you're buying for filmmaking, I would lean towards these new cameras.

For now, I'm loving my XL2 and get incredible pictures from it.

Thanks.

KW
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Old April 19th, 2005, 02:56 PM   #13
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Oh I'm definately a fan of the XL series and have owned an XL1s since it was announced practically. I think Canon really makes top notch cameras for their target market. I'm sure they'll do the same with HDV when they make the XL3 (or whatever).
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Old April 19th, 2005, 03:49 PM   #14
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At one point I thought maybe the XL2 is HD ready. I mean the native CCD's on the thing is 960 x 720 which just so happens to be the pixel format for dvcproHD 720p. With a little pixel shift the XL2 could be an HDV camera. The camera already has 24p, 30p, 16x9 and pixel shift built in. One problem however. Those 960 pixels are not square. If you were to take the square version of 960 it would be 960x540 instead of 960x480. Now the difference between 540 and 720 is 1.333.

960 x 1.333 = 1280

You now have square pixel 1280 x 720. I tried this with an image in Photoshop. Even with the XL2 starting with non square pixels by the time you get to the 1280 x 720 you are at a perfect 16x9 with square pixels. Of course Canon would need to turn on the parts of the CCD that are turned off right now. That shouldn't be very hard for them.

So here we have a 16x9 SD camera that just so happens to have CCD's the perfect size to get 720p 30p video with at least equal horizontal pixel quality to the SONY Z1 or the recorded format of dvcproHD 720p.

All that would really need to happen with the camera is to turn on the extra pixels, setup the pixel shift to work with the new resolution, and add encoding to mpeg2 and recording as HDV on the mini dv tape. Who knows it may even be in there already.

Now all of a sudden everybody who has an XL2 will not need to upgrade to a new camera.

If this isn't the case well then Canon really missed the boat. They have most of everything there to at least have a decent HDV camera. New users may not buy it with all of the other options but all of the current users would be happy.

If this isn't the plan with the XL2 the only other thing I can think of is that they used those chips so they could use the same ones in their HDV camera in the future. This in my opinion would be dumb since by the time they made a new HDV camera everybody would laugh at those old tiny chips. They would be fine if you had been using them for over a year already but to be treated as a brand new camera. The XL3 would never compete even with the HD cameras coming out now.

If there is something else there though you kind of have to ask yourself then why wouldn't Canon just make it HDV right away? Even if the market wasn't ready for HD at the time it would still be a killer SD camera just as it is now.
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Old April 19th, 2005, 03:58 PM   #15
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Well the HVX200 isn't coming out till later this year- we've only seen a mockup. So even if Canon doesn't display something until NAB '06 - they will only display a product that is currently available so that really wouldn't be too far behind at all.
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