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Is XL-2 Worth It?


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#1 Michael Hydzik

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 07:06 PM

Ok, I do a ton of short film work. I've wanted to upgrade my camera for a while but I never got around to it. I want something with good cinematic control, 24 frame and 16:9 recording. I have heard that the XL-2 should do this but now I want to know if its worth buying? (also if it is good for chroma key sets?)
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 07:34 PM

The limitations of chromakeying are more due to the nature of a 4:1:1 DV recording, not the particular DV camera.

Yes, the NTSC Canon XL2 does 24P-to-60i/480, just like the Panasonic DVX100B.

It does 16x9 anamorphic better than the DVX100B because of its CCD design -- not really 16x9 in shape, but it uses a wider portion of a 4x3 CCD for 16x9 and a less-wide but taller-than-16x9 portion of the 4x3 CCD for 4x3 -- imagine a cross-shape formed by the 16x9 and 4x3 frames when overlaid, both extracted from inside of a bigger 4x3 CCD area.

This means that the 4x3 and 16x9 recordings created are of equal quality because they used the same number of photosites on the CCD, rather than crop & stretch the 4x3 capture to create a 16x9 recording.
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#3 Jason Debus

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 08:47 PM

What software you use to key with really helps, I was able to make a bad chroma lighting setup work with After Effects (both bg and fg was shot with an XL2):

Posted Image

With better lighting you could definitely have XL2 keys that look better than this.
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#4 Michael Hydzik

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 04:59 PM

Well even with bad lighting you fleshed it out pretty good.
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#5 Walter Graff

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 07:25 PM

The XL2 is a great camera. It can do chroma key well too. Today it's more about the abilities in post that help make for better chromakeys than just the camera. FCP for instance has 4:1:1 color smoother. ANd you could resample video as 4:2:2 making even difficult keys easier to deal with. ANd beyond that After Effects has a great keying subroutine. ANd you can purchase other plug ins that will make keying the lesser formats much easier. The key to good chromakey is to know your post production better than anything else.
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#6 Michael Hydzik

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 08:29 PM

Im running after effects and premiere pro on my system. But I realy want to acheive a very cinematic look for my images, so if any one knows anything about the cameras features can you please tell me if there any good?
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#7 Jay Gladwell

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 08:16 AM

Mike, you've already been told that it's a great camera, as are most of them. Go to DV Creators and watch the XL2 Feature Video Tour. That will "show" you what the features are and what they do.

The real question is, and it applies to us all, are you any good?

http://www.dvcreators.net/canon-xl2/
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#8 Michael Hydzik

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 05:46 PM

Well, yes that does bring up an important subject. But I think that is the right camera for me now. Ive used XL-1s's and those are still pretty good. Thanks for all the help.
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#9 Dory Breaux DP

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Posted 15 February 2007 - 02:28 PM

If your worried about chroma keying, Boris Continuum has a keyer that's pretty nice. I use it all the time.
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