which is more cinematic: XL1s PAL (with Nikon lens) or DVX100a at DVinfo.net

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Old March 1st, 2004, 01:13 AM   #1
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which is more cinematic: XL1s PAL (with Nikon lens) or DVX100a

Hello, I was wondering which camera would have more of a cinematic feel: Canon XL1SE (PAL) with a Nikon lens (via mechanical mount) or a DVX100A. Here are the 2 setups I have questions about:

Canon XL1SE with Nikon Lens
The PAL XL1s shoots at 25fps which is very close to 24fps. I was wondering if this footage has a similar look as a 24p camera or film. And to achieve a shallower depth of field, use a Nikon lens via the Nikon mechanical mount. Now I know there is a 7.2x magnification factor, but I read an article about the PappasSystem and already have a .25x fisheye wide angle adapter, and if I put that on, it would make the lenses back within useable range (say a 24mm lens turns into a 173mm equivalent lens, and then with the .25x adapter its back to a 43mm equivalent lens) Also, I was wondering how this setup would compare with using a Nikon lens on the P+S Tecnik 35 Mini adapter. Or is the spining glass necessary to achieve the "film look" (and shallower depth of field and contrast)?

Panasonic DVX100a
This is a new camera and has a 410,000 pixel count and has a nice gamma system which resembles film (but that could be done in post canft it?). It also shoots at 24p, and I've heard it looks great! But the lens is not changeable. How shallow of a DOF can be achieved with this lens? (comparable to the above setup on the XL1S?)

--So I was wondering which setup would pull off a more cinematic look (24fps feel and a shallow DOF) Any help or advice would be great!!
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Old March 1st, 2004, 01:31 AM   #2
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Quote:
which is more cinematic...which camera would have more of a cinematic feel...which setup would pull off a more cinematic look
How about an HD camera?
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Old March 1st, 2004, 01:59 AM   #3
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PAL 25i and Panasonic's 24P are the differences between interlaced video and progressive scan video. Theres too much to write to explain exactly what the differences are here but I think you'll come to the same conclusion as I did. Progressive scan feels more "film-like"

Depth of Field doesnt magically come out of a lens. Just because you have a 35mm lens in front of a video camera doesnt mean your going to get 35mm DOF. The aperature aside, theres a relationship between the focal length of a given lens and the size of the target area it projects its image on. No amount of screw on adapter lenses are going to change this relationship. 35mm DOF is only possible with a 35mm target area. For DV the answer is the Mini35.

The purpose of rotating the ground glass is because you DONT WANT TO SEE THE GRAIN in the ground glass so the answer to your question is no. The film look from the mini35 is due to the DOF.
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Old March 1st, 2004, 03:47 AM   #4
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If you're asking which is the better camera, I would say that the DVX100A is. It's resolution is also sharper. Not that the XL1s isn't a good cam, it's a great cam, which has been around and proven itself for a long time. As far as getting a shallow depth of field, a 1/2 inch'd CCD cam would be better.
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Old March 1st, 2004, 05:34 AM   #5
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i worked with both cameras, canon and panasonic.

canon has his advanteges, but the filmic style is not as good as in panasonic progressive mode.

in my opinion dvx is better for progressive scan. (i worked in f5 mode*) but i worked with pal version of dvx. which is 25p. looks really good, but has problems with overexposed parts of the pictures. and sometimes you must very preciselly adjust the colors. flip monitor is not good for that. despite it looks really nice, the color reproduction on that flip monitor is not proper. do not adjust anyhing looking on it. use normal monitor you can trust. treat flip monitor as reference only.

filip


==============
* dial button on the back side of the camera where you can choose your modes - positions of that button from f1 to f4 are for interlace modes, f5 and f6 are progressive.
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Old March 1st, 2004, 05:54 AM   #6
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Thanks for the replies. But an HD Camera is out of the question, because the XL1S and the DVX100a are about the same price and are in my price range (and an HD camera isn't) I'm trying to compare those 2. And also because I own some Nikon equipment already and heard about this setup I was wondering how it would work. I'm not talking about picture resolution or pixel resolution due to the CCD chip, I'm just talking about the overall feel and how it matches to film or 24p (I've done 16mm shorts in the past, but now want to move over to DV simply because of cost).

About the XL1s PAL, what if it was shot in frame mode (which would be like 25p) would it have a similar feel as the 24p (resolution aside).

And about the DOF, I was wondering which camera would give a shallower DOF and nicer results from the lens. Would using a 35mm Nikon lens on an XL1s (with a wide adapter) achieve anything positive? Or would the DVX100a give just as good an image (lens-wise) with a shallower DOF? As I understand the concept of using a 35mm lens on a DV camera is: the image produced by the lens is bigger than the CCD chip, so actually only the image at the center of the lens is being captured, and the rest of the image produced by the lens is projected onto nothing (in so doing being lost) resulting in the appearance of a 7.2x magnification. But wouldn't using a fish eye or wide angle adapter squeeze more of the picture back into the frame (just as it does when you attach it to a normal SRL lens and take a photo)? I'm still learning about lenses and the technical aspects. But I've used the adapter in my photography on a 110mm lens(say almost the same length a 20mm lens would be equivalent to with the 7.2x factor if on a XL1s) with my SRL and it makes the framing of the lens equivalent to what a 30mm lens would capture (and it still had a shallow DOF). Would this look different if I tried this on the XL1s? (not the same DOF as I see through my SLR)

Thanks for your help guys!
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Old March 1st, 2004, 05:31 PM   #7
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<<<-- Originally posted by Darryl Knickrehm :

About the XL1s PAL, what if it was shot in frame mode (which would be like 25p) would it have a similar feel as the 24p (resolution aside).
>>>--

Yes, frame mode at 25p would deliver the same filmlike feel as 25P. However, it will be much lower resolution: frame mode delivers around 320 lines of rez max, whereas DVX100 progressive will deliver 480 lines of rez (both numbers for NTSC versions). So the feel will be the same, but the DVX footage can be much sharper.

<<<--
And about the DOF, I was wondering which camera would give a shallower DOF and nicer results from the lens.
-->>>

Two different questions, two different answers. Which can deliver the shallower DOF? The Canon, absolutely. With a maximum telephoto of 88mm, the Canon can get much shallower than the DVX's maximum 45mm.

Which delivers "nicer results"? The Panasonic, hands down. Sharper, clearer, easier to focus, better color response, higher resolution, everything about it is quite advanced over the Canon. The Canon uses Panasonic CCD's from 1997... Panasonic has had five years to improve on them. The Leica lens on the Panasonic is quite superior to the Canon's. The Canon can deliver a much shallower DOF, but that's really about the only advantage it retains.

<<<-- Would using a 35mm Nikon lens on an XL1s (with a wide adapter) achieve anything positive?
-->>>
No. By the time you use that wide-angle adapter, you bring the effective focal length (and the DOF) right back where you started. The PappasSystem had nothing to do with DOF, it was an attempt to get a manually-controllable lens mounted to the camera. Now that you can do that with Canon's own manual lenses, there's no reason to fiddle with the PappasSystem.

If you crave the shallow-DOF look, and you already have a set of Nikon lenses, look into the mini35 adapter, which is available for both cameras. You could rent it for maybe $150 or $200 per day and get a Nikon mount for it so you could use all your existing glass with no additional expense. Or, read the other forums here for ideas on building your own homemade mini35 for under $300 or so.
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Old March 1st, 2004, 06:21 PM   #8
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> The Canon uses Panasonic CCD's from 1997...
> Panasonic has had five years to improve on them.

Don't both cams actually use Sony sensors? At least that is what my Sony rep claims... not that I usually believe all of what they say though...

The XL1S is actually more versatile in terms of being able to change lenses and making better use of the Mini35, however to have a shallow DOF you have to go as tele as possible and this means the balance of the camera is critical for steadier shots, and you will get less shaky images from the Panasonic with it's image stabilization. Besides being known as a hard to handle camera, the Canon loses it's stabilization when you use photo lenses... I would go for the Panasonic. If only it had real 16:9. Now if you can spend more money (big time lenses and/or a Mini35 would put you in that camp anyway) consider the new JVC, reviewed at DV.com, 24p, 16:9, interchangeable lens...
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Old March 1st, 2004, 09:40 PM   #9
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No, both cameras use Panasonic chips. The chips were first introduced in the Panasonic AG-EZ1 back in 1996 to compete against the Sony VX1000, which is also the first camera to offer "frame mode". Canon licensed the chips for the XL-1 in 1997.

As far as the big-bucks JVC/24P/16:9 camera, I'm assuming you mean the new Panasonic SDX900, right? There's no JVC/24P/16:9 camera that I know of...
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Old March 1st, 2004, 09:54 PM   #10
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...and frame mode first appeared on a Panasonic; and progressive scan on a JVC. :-))
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Old March 2nd, 2004, 09:44 AM   #11
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Sorry yes I meant the Panasonic. Yes, that's the Panasonic AJ-SDX900 Multiformat Widescreen Camcorder. '50 Mbps DVCPRO50 support, 2/3-inch CCDs, 16:9, and 24p all converge in a reasonably priced pro package.' $25,000 ($47,760 as tested). I think 'as tested' includes a DVCPRO50 deck and who know what else...

By the way, sorry for the off-topic but when somebody says 2/3-inch CCDs, is that vertical, horizontal or diagonal? If it were vertical, that would almost be like a 35mm frame!
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Old March 2nd, 2004, 12:26 PM   #12
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It means diagonal, and it's usually quite an optimistic measurement as well.

A 2/3" video frame is not too far different in size from a 16mm film frame.
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Old March 4th, 2004, 11:44 PM   #13
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Barry... am I misreading this?
---------------------
"Yes, frame mode at 25p would deliver the same filmlike feel as 25P. However, it will be much lower resolution: frame mode delivers around 320 lines of rez max, whereas DVX100 progressive will deliver 480 lines of rez (both numbers for NTSC "
--------------------
wouldn't frame mode record non interlaced 720x486? I've been told conflicting things about the 16:9 setting on the xl1 but am under the impression that it is a software stretch that does make use of the entire rez of the frame...
thanks,
Josh
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Old March 5th, 2004, 01:20 PM   #14
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All DV is interlaced, so it gets recorded as interlaced 720x480.

However, in frame mode, as in progressive scan, both fields that get recorded are recorded at the same instant in time. So your motion gets updated 25 times per second, as opposed to 50 times per second in normal interlaced video.

The XL1 has no capability for disabling line-pair summation, so it maxxes out at about 360 lines of vertical resolution no matter what. Then, when you go to "frame mode", there's a further loss of resolution, meaning that while the camera is recording a frame of 720 x 480, the maximum vertical detail that can be distinctly discerned is down around 320 lines.
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Old March 6th, 2004, 12:36 PM   #15
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any way to adjust a capture mode to compensate for this?
((that kind of sucks))
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