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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 September 7th, 2004, 01:25 PM   #16
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Posts: 145
Initial impression:

NOTE: This is my first XL camera, so some of my comments may be obvious to you veteran XL users. I primarily shoot with a Sony DVW-790WS Digital Betacam. I also own a PD-150 so most of my comparisons will be to this model.

The camera has a solid feel, very professional looking (unlike the Sony) it is also very heavy. The Canon L lens included is awesome. Overall the camera has decent balance, although the shoulder pad is not located in an ideal spot and cant be adjusted. When you fist grip the camera and pick it up, there is no doubt you are holding a professional camera, very nice feel.

I love all the external buttons to turn on/off the most common features- color bars, 16X9, Frame Rate, Gain, white Balance, etc. Most of this is buried in menus on the PD150 and a pain to access.

The body has a very nice soft matte black finish and the handle grip is a very nice touch. The grip has a rounded insert for your index finger which places your thumb right above the secondary zoom control and start/stop button.

The viefinder looks very nice, but is is sometimes difficult to focus. The vf mount is very sturdy and adjusts both left/right and in/out. It is very beefy looking which adds to the professional look of the camera.

Overall the camera looks very similar to the Arricam Lite.

I have only shot a few minutes of footage so far. I am shooting with the following settings:

-3db gain
CP1 w/ Cine Colors selected.
Manual control (M)

I have not adjusted any of the other parameters yet, I'll report those later, although the menu settings seem to have a very limited range. I am used to an extreme range of Gamma settings on the DBeta.

Initial observations:

WOW ! This thing looks great for an under $5,000 camera. Compared to my PD150 the difference is night and day. The footage will even cut together with footage shot on the Digital Betacam. With the PD150 when we edited in footage it was obvious it was DVCAM material, there was no hidding that fact.

Overall the image is a bit soft though, almost looks like a pro mist filter is being used. I also noticed a bit of banding in some situations.
The dynamic range is much better than the PD150, but not even close to the DBeta.
I have only used a XL1 on a few occasions, and the XL2 is more like an XL5 in comparison....huge improvement!!!

I'll add more later as I start experimenting with the Gamma settings.
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Old September 7th, 2004, 01:49 PM   #17
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 587
What situations caused the banding problems? Was it a consistent problem or an occasional thing?
Aaron Shaw is offline   Reply

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