Jump to content


Photo

Best place to shop for an XL2?


  • Please log in to reply
20 replies to this topic

#1 Evan Mabry

Evan Mabry
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 18 posts
  • Student

Posted 19 May 2008 - 02:25 AM

I am so very close to purchasing my XL2. I was wondering if anyone can recommend a place to make this purchase. it's such a large investment, i don't care to trust it to Ebay. But then again, if i buy direct from Canon it will come with standard accessories only. I wouldn't mind getting some more (if cheaply made/backup quality) accessories for the same money off of Ebay or similar. as long as i'm still getting my year manufacturer warranty and a brand new camera, i don't care. I just don't want to risk $3,000+ and all kinds of hassle on a raw deal.

thanks for your ebay seller recommendation or valuable insight!

Evan
  • 0

#2 Josh Bass

Josh Bass
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 552 posts
  • Other

Posted 19 May 2008 - 05:08 AM

I believe prosumer cams are one of the big scam items on ebay. Granted, I sold my XL1s on ebay, and I didn't scam anyone, but still. . .yes, super risky!

I would just shop around. . .B&H, ZGC, those are both good places. Any place that's got the camera for way less than what either of those stores are asking is probably going to screw you/scam you somehow. I know it sucks, but would you rather send $2000 (or something) into the ether never to see it again, or spend $3500 and get the actual item you were trying to buy?
  • 0

#3 Jack Barker

Jack Barker
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 90 posts
  • Other
  • Ann Arbor, MI

Posted 19 May 2008 - 08:58 AM

Any place that's got the camera for way less than what either of those stores are asking is probably going to screw you/scam you somehow.

Well, yes and no. What I mean is that there are people who want to steal your money and send you nothing in return, and there are those who want to sell you lots of extras you don't want or need, to make up for what they lost by selling you the camera cheap in the first place - Abe's of Maine comes to mind. But if you can just tolerate the sales pitches and stick with the goal of getting the XL2, there are some good deals to be had.

That said, when you are Googling for the best price, you will get a lot of hits, so always remember to check the ratings of the seller at Reseller Ratings, and read the reviews:
http://www.resellerratings.com/

Also, I have found over and over again, that Amazon is a great place to buy almost anything at a good price, even the second hand stuff that gets sold there is worth pursuing, because Amazon actually care about their reputation.
http://www.amazon.co...m...3991&sr=1-1

I bought my XL2 from a guy via CraisgsList a few years back and got an amazing deal - XL2 in original warranty & with an additional 3-year MAC warranty, Portabrace case, extra batteries, Bogen/Manfrotto 525MVB sticks w/503 head and a padded case, a JVC deck, and some other bits and pieces - all for $3,000. The key for me was that I was prepared to be patient, and only pursue offers within driving distance (the seller came to me!), where I could examine the stuff first.

Good luck.
  • 0

#4 Josh Bass

Josh Bass
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 552 posts
  • Other

Posted 19 May 2008 - 05:44 PM

I suppose that's fair. I'm just super paranoid about stuff like that. Especially being that any camcorder, prosumer or no, is a fairly sophisticated electronic device, if you think about it. The range of things that could be wrong with it is staggering. What if there's some deeply buried problem that doesn't always manifest itself, and can't be discovered during a simple examination at a prospective seller's house/place of business? That's the kind of stuff that would keep me from buying a camcorder used (unless it was from a trusted friend/colleague). Lights, stands, even (maybe) audio gear, different story, but a camera, no sir. That's my opinion. Do you what you will, and good luck.
  • 0

#5 Jack Barker

Jack Barker
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 90 posts
  • Other
  • Ann Arbor, MI

Posted 19 May 2008 - 09:15 PM

I suppose that's fair. I'm just super paranoid about stuff like that.
The range of things that could be wrong with it is staggering.

Personally, I agree with you. In my case, the item was still under warranty, with another warranty to kick in later, and I did check both with Canon and with B&H, who sold the MAC warranty. Otherwise, I probably wouldn't have done it.

I only mentioned it my post above to underscore the value of patience. I waited 10 months for this deal to come along.
  • 0

#6 Joe Taylor

Joe Taylor
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 397 posts
  • Other

Posted 20 May 2008 - 05:42 PM

Hello

I have an XL2 that's in excellent shape that I am going to sell. Has the original 20X along with the optional 5x wide angle lens and extra battery. I also have a Cinebags Case that I might sell along with the package if the new RED doesn't fit.

I'm asking $3700.

IF you're interested, give me a shout.
  • 0

#7 Harry Christensen

Harry Christensen

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 6 posts
  • Student

Posted 21 May 2008 - 02:00 PM

I bought mine through amazon.com why take a chance on ebay.
  • 0

#8 Evan Mabry

Evan Mabry
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 18 posts
  • Student

Posted 05 June 2008 - 10:24 PM

A word of caution

Don't purchase through Preferredphoto.com.

I searched for cheap sellers of XL2's and was blown away at the price they listed ($2600.00) The description was very short and kind of ambiguous. Bring a skeptic, I decided to call and verify that it was not used, or factory recalled, etc. The man assured me that it was exactly as if comes from the manufacturer. I thanked him and he offered to take my order over the phone. I told him that I could do so on the website. he told me "it's faster to do over the phone..."

what ensued was a coercive, manipulative pitch to get me to buy more accessories, starting with a battery ("because the one that comes with the camera only has a 15 minute life") before you know it i was paying $200 for the charger, $200 for a 4-hour battery, $200 for a set of three filters... $3300.00. then he offered to throw in an 8 hour battery for $80 more. I stopped him and told him it was out of my budget. He told me that there was no way i would get these great prices anywhere else. When I told him I might have to wait and buy it with my next paycheck he told me if i canceled my order then I would have to wait 3 to 4 weeks to order again becuase "it puts a red flag on your name." at this point I wasn't even sure if this place was a legitimate opperation, if they even had cameras to sell. I told him I couldn't afford the package price. He told me they could just charge my card for $3300 today, and the rest tomorrow. I told him that i wouldn't have the money by tomorrow and he told me that they could just make the remaining balance C.O.D. I told him i wouldn't be paid by then. He got really irritated ("what? do you only get paid every few weeks?!") I told him that I had been saving up and that evidently i was going to have to wait another pay period before i purchased it. He put me on hold and came back and asked if i could do it for $3350 (knocked $50 off). I told him i didn't have that much in my account. THEN HE ASKED ME HOM MUCH MONEY I HAVE IN MY ACCOUNT! I told him my budget was $3323.00. He put me on hold and when he picked up again he offered that he could sell me the camera, a 4-hour battery and a charger for that price.

WHA?! that would have gotten me filters a minute ago, what happened to that? ..nope. no can do.

I told him that i wasn't looking to rush myself into such a big investment and he practically hung up on me.


no thank you.
  • 0

#9 George Ebersole

George Ebersole
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1570 posts
  • Industry Rep
  • San Francisco Bay Area

Posted 06 June 2008 - 12:21 AM

I am so very close to purchasing my XL2. I was wondering if anyone can recommend a place to make this purchase. it's such a large investment, i don't care to trust it to Ebay. But then again, if i buy direct from Canon it will come with standard accessories only. I wouldn't mind getting some more (if cheaply made/backup quality) accessories for the same money off of Ebay or similar. as long as i'm still getting my year manufacturer warranty and a brand new camera, i don't care. I just don't want to risk $3,000+ and all kinds of hassle on a raw deal.

thanks for your ebay seller recommendation or valuable insight!

Evan

I owned a Canon L1 for many years, and when I left media it fell into disuse. Then a couple years back I decided to fire it up again. I literally had not used it since my last shoot in 1997 or thereabouts. Next thing I know the CCD isn't gathering photon-one. Which is too bad, because I really liked the camera for what it did for me years back; excellent second unit stuff at a low cost.

I'm still in the market for a Canon, but I wouldn't buy a standard def camera now, Canon or not. Just as my L1 became a dinosaur format wise, it could, theoretically, still deliver a nice crisp image if Canon would service it (which they won't).

Best of luck with the XL2, but for shooting second unit pro stuff, I'd hold off and buy either a Canon XH A1.
  • 0

#10 Josh Bass

Josh Bass
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 552 posts
  • Other

Posted 06 June 2008 - 05:15 AM

You used to be able to (and maybe still can) get a battery for the XL series on ebay, some kind of knock-off brand called "No Mem" or something, that runs around 40 dollars apiece, which is comparable to the BP-945 (the longest-running Canon battery--last I knew was selling for around $120 a piece, or something crazy like that). These No Mems last around 7 hours on a full charge. Had a friend who used 'em with his XL1. Save a little money that way.
  • 0

#11 will griffith

will griffith
  • Guests

Posted 06 June 2008 - 08:15 AM

Is there a particular reason you are buying a
XL2 instead of an A1??

Having had 2 XL2s I can say they are great
cameras... but not in the same ballpark as
an A1, even with a fixed lens.
  • 0

#12 Evan Mabry

Evan Mabry
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 18 posts
  • Student

Posted 11 June 2008 - 01:47 PM

I Guess I should do some research on the A1.

I have been wanting to buy my own camera for about 2 years now, and I've finally gotten to a place that I can spare the money. I guess I've just done a lot of research on the XL2 and not much on the HD cameras. I kinda wrote off the HD cameras because they seemed like a lot more money, although, now it seems the A1 is comparable in price to the XL2.

Here are my concerns about switching to HD.

Tape life - HD takes up so much more tape doesn't it?
Hard drive space - HD takes up so much more space on my computer, doesn't it?
Editing - operating a program to edit HD takes up so much more RAM, doesn't it?
Image quality - is the difference in quality really THAT much more?
Film look - According to my research, the XL2 easily achieves a film-like quality, doesn't HD spread the gap between film and Video?

I'm planning on getting a DTE (direct-to-edit) unit for my camera, so i guess the tape life isn't as much of an issue. but it only magnifies the HDD space issue. I can fit 7+ hours of standard def footage on a 100GB unit, how much HD footage does that hold?

I guess I owe it to myself to research the A1 more before purchasing an XL2, instead of going with the XL2 simply because it's the camera that I had in mind all the time i was saving up to buy.

can someone recommend me to some good reviews of the A1? I mean good as in comprehensive, i want to hear the bad too.
  • 0

#13 will griffith

will griffith
  • Guests

Posted 11 June 2008 - 01:58 PM

Tape life - HD takes up so much more tape doesn't it?
>>No. Not HDV. Same recording time, same tape.
(you don't need "HDV Tape" BTW)

Hard drive space - HD takes up so much more space on my computer, doesn't it?
>>No. Not HDV. Same or smaller than DV (yes, it's true)

Editing - operating a program to edit HD takes up so much more RAM, doesn't it?
>>Yes, and so much more processing power.... although I edited it on a 1ghz powerbook
without problem in Final Cut. Now when you get ready to render something
you will have to wait! Even a 8 core Mac Pro doesn't render HDV "fast".

Image quality - is the difference in quality really THAT much more?
>>Yes.

Film look - According to my research, the XL2 easily achieves a film-like quality, doesn't HD spread the gap between film and Video?
>>Well... that depends on who you ask... but the H1 or A1 do not look
LESS "film-like" than the XL2. Since film is so high resolution I would
say that it (A1) is actually more "film-like"... but it's all opinion I guess.

I'm planning on getting a DTE (direct-to-edit) unit for my camera, so i guess the tape life isn't as much of an issue. but it only magnifies the HDD space issue. I can fit 7+ hours of standard def footage on a 100GB unit, how much HD footage does that hold?
>>Same amount.
  • 0

#14 Adrian Sierkowski

Adrian Sierkowski
  • Sustaining Members
  • 7118 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, Ca

Posted 11 June 2008 - 02:02 PM

It also depends on how you define the "film look," but HDV will look good, especially if you shoot HD and downrex it to SD (don't forget SD is 720x480 and HDV is 1440x1080! (ish))
  • 0

#15 will griffith

will griffith
  • Guests

Posted 11 June 2008 - 02:04 PM

good resources and custom presets for the A1 can be found here...
DVINFO.net
  • 0

#16 Evan Mabry

Evan Mabry
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 18 posts
  • Student

Posted 12 June 2008 - 06:09 PM

It worries me that I will regret going with the XH A1 because it doesn't have interchangeable lenses. Are there adapters for this camera? wide angle/35MM adapters?
  • 0

#17 will griffith

will griffith
  • Guests

Posted 12 June 2008 - 09:18 PM

It worries me that I will regret going with the XH A1 because it doesn't have interchangeable lenses. Are there adapters for this camera? wide angle/35MM adapters?

The A1 stock lens is wider than all but two of the XL series
lenses. they are the 3x wide (old sd lens) and the 6x Wide
(amazing lens for the H1 that costs $2000). The only option
worth considering is the 6x since the 3x is notoriously soft
in most cases.

You can get adapters that screw into the end of the A1
and also use 35mm DOF adapters.

The XL series does absolutely nothing more to help you achieve
35mm DOF than the A1. Just because it is interchangeable
doesn't mean it's actually more useful in this case!

Edited by will griffith, 12 June 2008 - 09:19 PM.

  • 0

#18 Evan Mabry

Evan Mabry
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 18 posts
  • Student

Posted 13 June 2008 - 01:34 AM

Thanks Will,

I'm getting a little antsy, but it looks like It would be wise to go with HD. I guess having that higher resolution means that I have more to work with when trying to get that cinematic look. I'm glad to hear that it works well in dim light.

One thing that worries me is that the XH A1 is almost the exact same price as an XL2(on Amazon.com it's actually something like 21 cents CHEAPER for the A1). It makes me wonder if HD really is the next big thing, or really worth the change over. It seems like if it were the state of the art format it claims to be, it would come at a higher price....

I'm not saying HD could really be a bad thing, I'm just skeptical that it is the best thing right now, when there appears to be so little application of it. Aside from HD channels on TV, most people never really see HD and if they do, they don't realize it because they have SD TVs.

or is that just my own experience, and I'm way wrong here?
  • 0

#19 will griffith

will griffith
  • Guests

Posted 13 June 2008 - 07:03 AM

and I'm way wrong here?

To put it bluntly... yes. You will have HD when you need it.
If you really want to shoot SD the A1 can do that, but when you
want HD the XL-2...well...can't.

The A1 will give you better SD than the XL2 when you shoot HD and
down convert to SD, it is probably even better than DigiBeta minus the
DOF difference in 2/3 and 1/3 inch chips.

But don't take my word for it. Go somewhere and test
shoot with both cameras and compare it for yourself, that's
the only way you know for sure.
  • 0

#20 Harry Christensen

Harry Christensen

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 6 posts
  • Student

Posted 13 June 2008 - 03:23 PM

HD or SD? In some ways its an easy choice to go with HD... newest, best, very pretty shots. Since I am in film school yet, I have access to lots of cameras HD and SD so I have seen the good and bad of both. It still comes down to shooting the frames and you can get bad footage either way. Right now there is no easy way to deliver HD footage to a dvd world. Properly shot SD can look very nice, especially when it is delivered to a DVD format. I have seen many a project shot on an HD format and when it comes time to deliver it for viewing the project crew realized that all their work went to a down rezed SD format and that really good SD looks just as good when projected. Look to your real needs and what you will be doing with it. My XL has shot footage that has been broadcast on stories that have been seen on national news and nobody has complained that it was SD, but maybe that will all change by next FEB. In the real world most video is so compressed that none of it looks as good as the original tape. And I don't even want to go into all of the horror stories about the P2 cards losing data and complete scenes from movies.

Edited by Harry Christensen, 13 June 2008 - 03:26 PM.

  • 0


Wooden Camera

CineLab

CineTape

rebotnix Technologies

Tai Audio

Metropolis Post

Aerial Filmworks

Ritter Battery

Technodolly

FJS International, LLC

Glidecam

Paralinx LLC

The Slider

Visual Products

Willys Widgets

Opal

Abel Cine

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Rig Wheels Passport

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Opal

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Willys Widgets

Tai Audio

rebotnix Technologies

Technodolly

Abel Cine

Aerial Filmworks

Wooden Camera

FJS International, LLC

CineTape

CineLab

Paralinx LLC

The Slider

Visual Products

Ritter Battery

Rig Wheels Passport

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Metropolis Post

Glidecam