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Old July 22nd, 2006, 11:55 AM   #1
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Opinion on a camera...

This coming year I have an amazing opportunity on a video crew working with some missionaries that are going all over the world. Places like Tibet to Cairo to India and lots of other places. My question, well the first of many to come probably, is this: When looking at getting a new camera for this trip, and keeping in mind that I am quite limited in funding so I can't go buying the super high end stuff, should I go with an HDV camera like the FX1 or should I go with something like the XL2? I know most people would say, "It's just a matter of opinion" and all that but I'd like to hear from some others on what they would think. Thanks!
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Old July 22nd, 2006, 01:33 PM   #2
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The FX1 (or Z1) and XL2 are both superb. It depends if you prefer to shoot from the shoulder or not, and if you'll need to add other lenses in the future.

Both provide top picture quality, with the XL2 slightly better in SD mode and the FX1 obviously better if you are ONLY going to film in HD mode (and edit + show the end footage in HD).

I've recently been on a shoot where we used both cameras and the footage from both blended together no problem - with a little tweaking in-camera and post.

I MUCH prefer the XL2 (and decided to buy it over the Z1), but it all depends on your way of filming and requirements. The best idea is to spend some time handling both cameras before you make your final choice.
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Old July 22nd, 2006, 03:44 PM   #3
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i have the FX-1 and the XL2. i believe that the FX-1 is a superior travel camera because of its compact design and the ability to use it with a lighter tripod, which means it is easier to transport. the question is, do you prefer a progressive image in-camera? then the XL2 is preferable. XL2 has better built-in audio, but that's easily fixed with a mixer add-on. both are great cameras, but if i'm standing in front of both cameras considering which to take on a trip, i usually grab the FX-1.

if wildlife shooting is involved, take the XL2, by all means. my only frustration with the FX-1 is its skimpy 12x zoom cannot even begin to compare to the 20x of the XL2.

so those are some things to consider....
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Old July 22nd, 2006, 05:12 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meryem Ersoz
i have the FX-1 and the XL2. i believe that the FX-1 is a superior travel camera because of its compact design and the ability to use it with a lighter tripod, which means it is easier to transport. the question is, do you prefer a progressive image in-camera? then the XL2 is preferable. XL2 has better built-in audio, but that's easily fixed with a mixer add-on. both are great cameras, but if i'm standing in front of both cameras considering which to take on a trip, i usually grab the FX-1.

if wildlife shooting is involved, take the XL2, by all means. my only frustration with the FX-1 is its skimpy 12x zoom cannot even begin to compare to the 20x of the XL2.

so those are some things to consider....
I have the FX-1, and have had some experience with XL1, which is similar in form factor to the XL2. I echol Meryem's impressions. Both have their good sides.

When I first read your post, given the travel factors, etc, my thought was take the FX1. One issue not mentioned is the LCD screen. The Sony has a great LCD screen, my understanding is that XL2 is not that great.. So if you are thinking of trying travel without an external monitor, I think the FX1 should be considered.
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Old July 24th, 2006, 07:16 AM   #5
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A big advantage with the Canon XL series of video cameras are that they can be broken down into smaller pieces for travelling - removing lens and viewfinder from the main body allows everything to fit nicely into a Lowepro bag or seperate smaller bags.
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Old July 24th, 2006, 08:20 AM   #6
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You all have been very helpful and insightful. Thank you very much.
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Old July 25th, 2006, 10:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Youell
My question, well the first of many to come probably, is this: When looking at getting a new camera for this trip, and keeping in mind that I am quite limited in funding so I can't go buying the super high end stuff, should I go with an HDV camera like the FX1 or should I go with something like the XL2? I know most people would say, "It's just a matter of opinion" and all that but I'd like to hear from some others on what they would think. Thanks!
Hi Chris. I recently bought the Sony HVR-A1U. This may be a camera you should look at too. It shoots in HDV and SD, is very small (thus very portable while traveling) and is very high quality for a "prosumer" HDV camera. And the price is much less than the XL2 or FX1--there's currently a $500 rebate that will make it around $2000.

Just wanted to throw my 2 cents in. Good luck.
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Old July 26th, 2006, 11:24 PM   #8
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Chris,

I asked the same question six months back or so and with the information from meryem and others (I film 90% wildlife) I purchased the xl2. All I can say is that they were all helpful and I totally love my xl2 (and my gl2) and I also like being able to change lenses!!!! the control over your footage is a good as it gets but the learning curve can be kind of steep, but that is no big deal with dv info net available!!!
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Old July 27th, 2006, 10:15 AM   #9
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in my opinion, the freshly-announced Canon XH G1/A1 lays the whole "what is the best travel camera" question to rest. 20x zoom. smaller form factor and compact size. 30F and 24F in-camera. i can't wait!

the Z1 and FX-1, for price, are still hard to beat, they are awesome (and i mean awesome! i love my FX-1 in so many ways) landscape cameras. but if there's wildlife involved, for a 12x + another $800 for a 1.6x telephoto adapter, you simply might as well go with the canon. if you can wait, that is.
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