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Xl2 - A couple questions for owners


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#1 Brandon Katcher

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Posted 26 November 2006 - 07:49 PM

I am in the looking to get a new camera, and I am in the XL2 vs. DVX100b boat at the moment. I am leaning towards the XL2, mostly because of the 16x9 chips. I am primarily buying the camera for a documentary I am filming in Nepal and India in a few months. I am going to want to shoot in 24p. I have a couple questions for owners. Unfortunately, I am having trouble finding one to play around with.

1) I have heard that the servo-controlled 20x lens is hard to focus, especially without any form of peaking or numerical distance meter. This is by far my biggest concern. What are your thoughts on it, is it something that just needs time to get used to. I don't want to get back after a shoot to find that half my work is out of focus. How is the viewfinder quality? (I know there is the 16x manual lens, but even just getting body only and that lens adds another $1000 to the price of the camera that is already $500 above the dvx100, plus it loses stabilization)

2) Is there macro on the camera with the 20x? I know there is no switch or anything on the lens. Some sources are saying 20mm, others are saying there is no macro.

3) Is the automatic rack focus usable at all, or is it pretty jerky?

4) How long does the included battery usually last?

5) Is the camera pretty sturdy. I will be backpacking around Nepal with It (with a specialized camera backpack). And dust problems?

6) And for those that have used the DVX100, does the 16x9 on that camera compare to the XL2?

Thanks,
Brandon
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#2 Jack Barker

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Posted 26 November 2006 - 11:54 PM

Hey Brandon,

Before I bought my XL2, I couldn't find one to play around with either, but I asked a lot of questions, and for hard information, I started with the User's Manual (PDF download - first item on the list), available here:
http://www.usa.canon...p;modelid=10350

I also watched the long, but very, very useful "Canon XL2 Features Tour" vid, created in H.264 by and available at dvcreators.net:
http://www.dvcreators.net/canon-xl2/

And finally, when I was sure I was about to write a check, I spent a little money and bought the 2-hour, "The Untimate Guide to the Canon XL2," and I was never sorry about the time spent researching, nor the XL2 purchase. The output is first class.
http://www.canondvgu...om/buyxl1s.html

Edited by Jack Barker, 26 November 2006 - 11:56 PM.

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#3 Jay Gladwell

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Posted 27 November 2006 - 09:44 AM

1.) The focus issues are a myth. The stock 20X lens is a joy to work with and is capable of capturing images that are razor sharp. That said, you MUST put in the time to LEARN how to use this lens. I've owned and used every camera in the XL series since 1999, all with the stock lenses and the stock viewfinders and NEVER had a problem with focus.

Just remember, it's a poor artist that blames his tools.

2.) The stock 20X lens allows you to get extremely close on any object when zoomed in to its longest focal length. When zoomed in on a penny, the coin, from top to bottom, nearly fills the screen.

3.) No, it's not jerky. Smoother (more consistent) than you can do manually.

4.) Battery life depends on your work habits. See the XL2 website for details.

5.) The XL2 is a sturdy camera. But like any camera, it must be treated with a certain amount of care. The better care you take of the camera the better it will treat you!

ALL video cameras have issues with dusty environments. When in doubt, use a slicker.

6.) The XL2 uses a native 16:9 chip that is far superior to the DVX100.

Simply put, the XL2 is an excellent, versatile camera. It's not a take-it-out-of-the-box-point-and-shoot-camera like the DVX 100. It requires some talent, knowledge and expertise to use the XL2. It is NOT a camera for beginners. However, beginners can grow into the XL2, whereas beginners can outgrow the DVX 100. That's my opinion, based on what I've heard from some DVX 100 users.

The bottm line is: No matter which camera you use, the quality of the end result will rest entirely upon your talents and your abilities.
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