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XL1: Still Good Enough?


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#1 MikeRyu

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 05:44 AM

Hi guys.

First time poster. Sorry if make an idiot out of myself.

I'm a writer/director but unfortunately for me I am very camera stupid. I'm gearing up to shoot a guerilla style film, so it's not going to be the prettiest. Think the kind of cinematography of the film 'The Wrestler', so fairly rough and ready. Will an XL1 be suficient for this kind of look or will it just look too scrappy? I've got access to one for now but I need to know whether to go with that or whether I would need to get a HD camera of a similar type.

Thanks guys!
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#2 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 07:27 AM

No, you don't need to get an HD camera. It wouldn't hurt, but frankly these things devalue like a firework on the fourth of July, so even then I'd consider renting something.

But the thing really is that good camera work will shine through subpar equipment, and good equipment will not disguise bad camerawork. Consider that 28 Days Later was shot on XL1s and looked at least interesting if not good; if you are not confident of your ability to do that (and it sounds to me like you aren't), then you are probably much better off spending your money on someone who can before considering better equipment.

P
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#3 MikeRyu

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 09:30 AM

Yes I see.

Thanks Phil. Food for thought. Still got quite a while to go on this one so early days yet.
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#4 Mike Washlesky

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 09:34 AM

Hi guys.

First time poster. Sorry if make an idiot out of myself.

I'm a writer/director but unfortunately for me I am very camera stupid. I'm gearing up to shoot a guerilla style film, so it's not going to be the prettiest. Think the kind of cinematography of the film 'The Wrestler', so fairly rough and ready. Will an XL1 be suficient for this kind of look or will it just look too scrappy? I've got access to one for now but I need to know whether to go with that or whether I would need to get a HD camera of a similar type.

Thanks guys!



I echo what Phil said above, and one thing to consider The Wrestler was not thrown together, it was made to look like it was thrown together. Its a very naturalistic film, but it was not shot guerilla style in the truest sense. The lighting is very meticulous and deliberate, save for perhaps the butcher/grocery store scenes which maybe used the existing practical light sources, but the point is that it is a big film made to look naturalistic and documentary-esque which creates a sense of realism.

The XL1 by todays standards is very sub-par. If you are looking for a camera similar in size, go with with either the Sony EX3, or the HVX200 and get some lens adapters such as the P+S Teknik and some primes. They will be smaller and portable like the XL1 but the image quality is far superior. You can shoot a film with only available light, but generally what will make those conditions really terrible in the final product is the depth of field. Practical lights and shallow DOF looks way better than crappy lighting and a crappy camera. even if you are trying to make it look crappy.
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#5 MikeRyu

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 11:49 AM

Great points.

Thanks Mike.
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#6 Andy Joyce

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Posted 30 March 2011 - 08:04 PM

Great points.

Thanks Mike.


Since there are few interchangeable lense cameras without having to use the expensive adapters it should be worth using the XL-1s if the cinematography is good. There are some amazing "up-res" software apps to convert SD footage to HD.

I'm still enjoying my XL-2.
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