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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
Canon XL2 / XL1S / XL1 and GL2 / XM2 / GL1 / XM1.

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Old July 13th, 2004, 04:32 PM   #91
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Well I have to admit that I'm disappointed by the most exciting, and surprising piece of info in the lead statement of canon's press release

---new 680,000 pixel progressive scan CCDs--

appears to be not much more than a piece of bunk. When I read it, it really was a I was disappointed to find out that, well, it really isn't the truth...but lets imagine Canon didn't really feel the need to lie about what's in the fact what if they hadn't even told us about all the pixels that they "turned off". What if they had just said:

"The xl2 is an evolutionary design based on all the suggestions put to us by all the whiners over there at (except hdv). Native, or true 16:9. Higher native resolution. 24p, 30p. Progressive scan. Expanded picture adjustment. xlr inputs. better low light capability....blah, blah, blah. We'd have put 680k chips in the thing, but no-one asked. (actually we did....oh, don't ask)."

Anyway, we'll have to wait till the frame grabs start popping up on all those japanese websites that I can't see what the real improvements in image quality are. An I'll probably wait to sell my xl1s until I have my xl2 in hand...just so I can convince myself that it was worth it.

But I'm already convinced that this will put the canon flagship camera right back up there where it belongs, and it will relegate the dvx's of the world to the second camera, back up position. Why am I so convinced?

1. 16:9...functionally this may be very close to what you can do with a dvx and an anamorphic adapter, but in reality, anamorphics require more light, and introduce another layer of funk to the image. I think the xl2's solution will produce a higher quality result. Again we'll have to wait and see, but I think the math is on my side. From my experience the DVX looks great simply blown up (no anamorphic) on my HD set, so I have a feeling that this 'true' 16:9 should look significantly better.

2. the platform...the xl2 is still simply the best, most professional platform in this market segment. The mere fact that I can put a manual lens on this thing is the reason I'll buy the xl2 instead of another DVX. Also, I don't know of any other camera currently offering a 16 speed automatic zoom.

3. Ergonomics and the art of the button...I'm thrilled that you can switch from 60i to 30p to 24p right on the body, I love that you can switch from 4:3 to 16:9 without having to enter a menu. The DVX menu system bugs the crap out of me. The Xl2s myriad of buttons seem intelligently layed out. Easy to see and find.

In almost any way you want to look at it, the xl2 has the most advanced feature set of any camera in this market segment. So what if there is nothing hugely new about most of it. It still has all the right stuff, and more of that stuff than anyone else.

I wouldn't get too caught up in the DOF thing Aaron...I think the difference is going to be marginal, like it currently is between the gl2, and xl1s. If the new lens is truly an L, we all may be able to shoot wide open a little more often, giving us that lovely blurred background in every shot!!

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Old July 13th, 2004, 04:56 PM   #92
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<<<-- Originally posted by Tommy Haupfear : HDV...

I don't think Canon will lose too many legitimate buyers (excluding dreamers) by leaving off HDV. For getting the job done (like the DVX100A) the XL2 is highly qualified and I can't wait to see its real world performance.

btw - I love HDTV and I'm on my 8th HD set since 1998. -->>>

Well, you may love it, Tommy, and have a lot of money to dump on eight tv sets, but the rest of the buying public is not so enchanted. The word I get from friends in Europe is that HD is a non-issue; they are happy with their PAL pictures. It seems the only real market for HD is Japan and the USA. And there doesn't seem to be a big rush to watch Jay Leno in HD.

Sure, eventually we will all get in line with HD, but it isn't the slam dunk the manufacturers were hoping for, so don't expect that XL2 in HD anytime soon. The word from rental houses has been, that except for rentals for 24P shows, HD cameras were a tough sell, and no one wanted to pony up the extra rental dough because there were no paying markets for HD product.

Still, the news from Canon is great, if for no other reason than to turn down the volume from the DVX100 people.

If it was easy, they'd get a relative to do it.
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Old July 13th, 2004, 05:08 PM   #93
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Thanks Barry. That's the sort of commentary I'm after. Some experienced guys trying to clarify the conjecture from us that don't have as much experience. I don't deny the XL2 is probably the best camera out there, it's entirely possible, but cause of the timing and the fact that it might not be too far off before Sonys's or who knows, Panasonics next cam comes out. Yes I know that you'll never be able to have the best for ever ;)

I'm probably not too worried about the DoF, I just know some peple will be. But I have some questions about the lens. Assuming that we'd need a manual lens (And that is an assumption because the preset focus/zoom might be fine and the programmability might add great power for focus pulls/rack zooms etc) then would the old 16x manual lens be any comparison (Image quality wise) to the flourite one of the XL2 standard lens?

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Old July 13th, 2004, 05:38 PM   #94
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Another reason why HD may not be such a big deal:

This kind of thing does not make people want to run out and buy sets, I imagine.
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Old July 13th, 2004, 06:30 PM   #95
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Chris--tremendous job on getting all that info together and up for everybody so quickly.

It does appear that the camera has true 16:9, which makes a non-Canon person like me want one.
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Old July 13th, 2004, 07:00 PM   #96
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In looking at the high res photos there does appear to be some sort of lens markings on the 20x lens. These are on the inner ring (the zoom?).
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Old July 13th, 2004, 07:03 PM   #97
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Jeff, these marks are for the two steps ND filter built in the lens. You engage it through the use of this ring like on the 16X manual instead of a switch.
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Old July 13th, 2004, 07:13 PM   #98
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This kind of thing does not make people want to run out and buy sets, I imagine.
Of course if you're in the market for a 40" or larger TV you're pretty much getting a HDTV.

I bet the XL2 is going to look great on a widescreen HD set or projector.
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Old July 13th, 2004, 07:17 PM   #99
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I can't find the pictures right now, but I think I remember seeing those markings and I think they are ND filter markings.

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Old July 13th, 2004, 09:02 PM   #100
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Ahh... Huh! That's good news. Can't wait to see real thing. Hopefully it would come with LCD. If that's so, we can buy 1 for the office. I like the XL1-s design. I guess this one will be better. I'm sure the Canon people know how to design good cameras.
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Old July 13th, 2004, 09:31 PM   #101
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If you read the specs it does have an LCD, but a paultry 2" one that's actually hidden under the viewfinder.

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Old July 13th, 2004, 10:47 PM   #102
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<<<-- Originally posted by Rob Lohman :

The increase is not in the horizontal resolution (that is still scaled
down to 720), but in the VERTICAL!!

This vertical resolution TRULY increases. It is not downsampled.
You capture 480 lines and you will get 480 lines. With electronic
stretching or letterboxing you would get something around 350

So that is the resolution that increased. The horizontal resolution
is always 720 pixels (although sampled from a higher source in
this case).

Real resolution increases vertically, spatial resolution increases

s. -->>>


Can you clarify something for me. When you say "electronic stretching" are you referring to how the DVX100a now records a digital squeeze or something else?

It would seem to me that a digital squeeze or anamorphic adapter would utilize the full 720x480 as opposed to the 350 lines you mention. Maybe you are referring to yet another method of getting a 16:9 look other than with an anamorphic lens or digital squeeze.


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Old July 14th, 2004, 01:18 AM   #103
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XL2 Still-picture Capture Options?

With 30p and the extra-powerful lens possibilities, the XL2 should be more effective for generating footage that is good for still-picture captures, than any other camcorder. In addition to grabbing these from progressive-shot tape, it would be nice if you could capture them as J-PEGs on a memory-card, from a camera-direct signal. However, I've seen nothing anywhere, about a memory-card slot. Have I missed something or is a card slot too much of a consumer-type feature to have included on the XL2?

I've snapped hundreds of 640 X 480 J-PEGs
onto my VX2100's Memory-Stick and they've been very useful for sending on E-Mail and to newsgroups. I also frequently show them to people out in the field, using the viewscreen. During times when there's no action footage to shoot, I've amused myself a lot by taking them. They look very sharp for pictures of that pixel size.

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Old July 14th, 2004, 04:53 AM   #104
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Greg: sure. I don't know much about the DVX so I'm not sure
whether it has 16:9 chips or not.

An anamorphic adapter has an optical "stretch" so does NOT
have this issue! Neither will any camera with a true/native
16:9 resolution (like the XL2).

Every other camera (including the XL1 range, GLx range and
probably the DVX) do an electronic stretch to get 16:9 since
they do not have the higher resolution chips or the anamorphic
adapter in the lens or something.

What they do is this. They have a 720x480 pixel array whic is
of a 4:3 aspect ratio. They "somehow" need to change this to
a 960 x 480 image (x 1.33). That is the first stage.

Now you can't just resample the 720 pixels to 960 because all
the dimensions would look wrong (try this in a paint program
with maintain aspect ratio turned off). So for this to work they
will need to crop (yes CROP) your vertical resolution by 1.33 to
get a 16:9 aspect ratio image.

So 480 pixels become 360 pixels. Now you have a 720 x 360
pixel image which is 16:9. To prove see the following formula:

16/9 = (720 * 0.9) / 360

You need to the * 0.9 part because that is the PIXEL aspect ratio.

Now you can test this as well. Do a crop in your image program
and you will see it looks nice widescreen.

The DV standard only allows for 720x480 format so it then
stretches this back to 720x480 creating the famous stretched
look. Your NLE then displays this image as 960x480 (which is
easier to do and more compatible with true 16:9). However,
you have LOST 120 lines of information in that earlier crop.

The stretching adds some softening as well, but you'll see we
also have that with true 16:9 resolution, only horizontally instead
of vertically (which should be less noticable).

On a camera like the XL2 you have 960x480 pixel array to work
with. This simply gets sampled back to 720x480. Your NLE
stretches it back to 960x480 for display.

See how there is no cropping in there? So you loose no resolution.

The only "bad" (depends highly on algorithms and such) thing
still remaining is the resampling. You can remove this with an
anamorphic attachment, but it will probably introduce other
issues like vignetting, zoom through problems and light loss.

Now you want to know what the best would be? Capture that
960x480 pixel image and store it as is. Only problem is that you
can't do this in the DV format.... too bad.

I hope this explained things a bit better.

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Old July 14th, 2004, 06:15 AM   #105
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Well come on guys . . .

They haven't even mentioned color space or bit rates or MHz . . . this thing could be the biggest piece of crap we've ever seen. If someone knows of an XL-2 spec sheet with these things on it, please let me know.
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