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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old September 13th, 2006, 08:25 AM   #1
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XL2 for Weddings?

I currently own an older VX2000 and a new PD170, both Sony but I'm looking to move up to the shoulder mounted cameras. It just seems that I can get more flexibility by being able to capture a steadier shot while being able to move around.

Right now I use a Glide Cam 2000 and a monopod but I saw some footage for a XL1 camera yesterday and it looked great so I'm thinking about moving to the XL2. Does anyone use a XL2 to shoot weddings and other events? I always hear negative things about it poor light capabilities. Thanks for the time.
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Old September 13th, 2006, 11:51 AM   #2
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There's got to be more to this than ditching some perfectly good gear just because of stability. (There are ways to provide stabilty for these cams)

Please give us the rest of the story.
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Old September 13th, 2006, 12:51 PM   #3
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Of course folk use the Canon to film weddings, but why abandon all those Sony batteries, the unmatched low-light capabilities and proper side-screen?

If you really feel you must have interchangeable lenses then of course there's no argument, but changing lenses at a wedding means you're not paying attention. These are one-off, real-time affairs, and you shouldn't really be fiddling with the kit.

I use my VX with a sturdy L bracket, and there's a picture here:

http://www.fortvir.net/gallery/v/tom...X2000.jpg.html

I get very steady shots indeed, but of course whatever the camera there's no substitule for a proper tripod.

tom.
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Old September 13th, 2006, 01:57 PM   #4
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You're right there's more to it than just the shaking at times. I don't care to jump on the HD van wagon just yet but I do feel that I have to get on the 16:9 wagon instead. The sonys don't truly offer this capability and I have to say that after seeing this outside footage with the XL1 I was very impressed.

It just really seem that you can get so much more freedom with a shoulder mounted camera than just having it on the monopod. I was also considering the orbiter by TAG. Have you guys used it? Thanks

Here is the site http://www.pagusa.com
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Old September 13th, 2006, 02:50 PM   #5
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My advice would be, Don't do it! Don't confuse the XL1S with the XL2, they look very similar, but having changed over cameras' this year, I'm just getting to grips with the XL2, the picture isn't the same, as the XL1, and the juries still out, as far I'm concerned! Most of the time, I wished I'd kept the old cameras!
If you do have to change cameras, stick to Sony, for all the reasons given above.
Think very carefully.
Mike.
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Old September 13th, 2006, 03:04 PM   #6
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I switched from sony to Canon as soon as the XL1 came out. I'm sold on the canon XL image and ergonomics. A camera is more like a guitar than a computer - you have to go by feel more than spec sheets. I just bought an XLH1 but shot for years with the SD XL series 1,1s and 2 - the lowlight isn't as good but the IMHO overall image quality blows the Sony away.
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Old September 14th, 2006, 03:20 AM   #7
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You have good camera and why you should move to canon XL2 (very good camera too)? I own XL2&GL2 and works excellent for my needs but if you need more stabilized shoot I would suggest to buy camera support. have a look this site.

http://www.dvmultirig.com/

Chris
Tel-Aviv
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Old September 14th, 2006, 04:27 AM   #8
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Well, all I can say is that I use an XL2 to shoot weddings and I love it.
The lowlight isn't the best, but it can be tweaked a lot and saved as a lowlight preset. You can switch between 3 presets in a sec.
When I moved from a GL2 to an XL2 the stability of the picture, while shooting handheld, improved significally.
Camera is very front heavy and at first I thought I wouldn't hold it long enough, but with 2 batteries at the back it helped a lot.
Also bought DVRigXL which helps going long into the night.
The biggest fault is probably the viewfinder which lacks in resolution, but it's manageble.
XL2 has lots of options, which need time to learn. I have it for about 6 months and I'm still learning.
Reading on this forum and some video tours helps a lot.

Never worked with Sony so can't comment on the difference or should/shouldn't you make the move.
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Old September 14th, 2006, 08:01 AM   #9
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I too also use the XL2 for weddings and love it. With a little bit of experementing and tweeking, you can set the picture to match almost anything (see the preset posts in the XL2 Watchdog forum). I must disagree with Mike's post and say that with some experementation - I can get the XL2to look exactlly like the XL1. It's just a camera that takes a lot of time to figgure out every little option.

While it doesn't have "great" low light capibilities, it does (if you get the setting right) do the job fine, especially if you have an on-camera light to use when needed.

I bought the XL2 because of it's virsitility of going to 16X9, 24p, and interchangable lenses.

With all that stuff said though - if I had equipment like you have, I would probibly not upgrade until I was ready to go to HD format. Then I would go for the Canon XL H1.

Roach
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Old September 14th, 2006, 11:03 AM   #10
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We must speak as we find, right now I'm going to get a quote for sending my 3x wide angle lens for repair, the "back focus problem" has cropped up. Interchangable lenses have their disadvantages! Never mind.
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Old September 14th, 2006, 12:00 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Cassidy
We must speak as we find, right now I'm going to get a quote for sending my 3x wide angle lens for repair, the "back focus problem" has cropped up. Interchangable lenses have their disadvantages! Never mind.
I know Canon did have a major problem with there 3X lenses for their Back Focus problem, but I thought that they fixed that with a new version of the 3X lens? Have you talked to Canon directly about this? Maybe you can get a refund or exchange it for a "fixed" version. (I don't own the 3X lens, but I have heard a lot about the issues with them on the XL2 Watchdog forum) .

I'm not going to say the XL2 is god's gift to cameras, but for the price range, I really like it when compared to similar models in that price range (such as the Panasonic AGX 100A).

If you end up hating the XL2 camera, I would be more than happy to take it off your hands - I'm looking for another one. . . :-)

Ryan
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Old September 14th, 2006, 01:20 PM   #12
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Hi Ryan, I've got two! I swapped my 2 XL1S cameras' a few months ago! The 3x lens, I've had from those days. It was fine on the XL1S cams. but after reading that thread you sent me, I'm a lot better informed.May send it in, it's not that much.
It's just that the XL1's were such a joy to use, these seem to be difficult to hold a white balance, I'm forever having to set it, and for events like weddings, you miss shots that you'd have got with the XL1. I'm developing a white balance phobia! and I'm not joking!
Sometimes, I'll look at the footage and think, WOW, that's great, other times, i'm not happy with peoples skin colours I'm using the "Weddings" preset at the moment, i've been going through them like mad.
Funny thing is,my little XM2(PAL version of the GL2 I think) gives a much better picture, in my opinion, if only it was a bit bigger, you have to look the part!
Now if my XL2 could be that good..... I'll keep on trying. Thanks for that link. I should have held on to the XL1S cams. as well.

Last edited by Mike Cassidy; September 14th, 2006 at 04:31 PM.
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Old September 14th, 2006, 04:24 PM   #13
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>>>>the lowlight isn't as good but the IMHO overall image quality blows the >>>>>Sony away.

I've had the XL1 for many years and will say that , given good light, it gets incredible images. I've worked in pro video (including teaching video production) for 20 years and the XL has been my "play" camera. I'm going full time with a new production biz that will do mostly weddings and have been stumped on what to buy for a cam. While I've surely gotten my $$$ worth out of the XL, I've never been happy with the low-light/black level issue. I've done many weddings and done fine but, as others have said, you really have to know the camera. I want something better in low light for weddngs. Perhaps Jose and I should just trade (ha ha). I've been really leaning toward a PD170... but most recently have changed my mind to getting the FX1 (and keeping the XL1 as the second cam (for mostly just a few close up during ceremony... should be interesting to see if I can get them to match at all:). I think I would either keep the VX/PDs or go HDV.

Can anyone tell me if the XL1-S and XL2 improved the low-light issue comapred to the XL1?
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Old September 15th, 2006, 01:59 PM   #14
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you need the XLH1. In my experience the unless you need the native 16:9 the XL2 isnt a huge jump.
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