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About to buy an XL2....


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#1 mushyosh

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Posted 20 May 2005 - 08:37 AM

Hi there,

Im a film student about to graduate in a couple of months. Going to buy a camera, and after alot of internet researching, I've narrowed it down to the Canon XL2 and the Panasonic AG-DVX100A.


The main reason I favour the XL2 at the moment is the fact that it has true 16:9.

But to be honest I dont know what any of the tech stuff means because in College I specialise in editing and never use the cameras.

These are the things I want to know:


1. I hear the XL2 has better 16:9 resolution that the DVX, but the DVX is better in 4:3. But why would I ever want to shoot in 4:3 ?? I will be making short films on the camera, and I prefer the look of 16:9 so cant see why i would use 4:3. But is there some sort of problem when playing it back on a normal TV? Or will it automatically be letterboxed?


2. What is the XL2 actually like to handle? It looks big and I havent got my hands on one before, so any info would be appreciated. I am particularly wary of the viewfinder. I would like to film holding the camera in front of me alot, so is that 2" screen troublesome or what?


3. Are there any other selling points that make the XL2 better? Are the ergonomics tricky to master?

Thanks for any help you can give this newbie.

All the best
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#2 drew_town

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Posted 20 May 2005 - 09:00 AM

In my opinion the XL2 is a better camera than the 100A. The Canon footage has a very distinct look, which I find very appealing and prefer to Panasonic's and Sony's. I would always suggest shooting with an external monitor no matter how good a viewfinder is. The viewfinder is an improvement over the XL1s model. The camera is much heavier than a 100A. In some cases that's good because it's more controllable, but it can make handholding fatiguing. Better get in shape.
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#3 mushyosh

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Posted 20 May 2005 - 10:22 AM

I'll never be using an external monitor because my style of filming would be much more free i.e just me and the camera running around the pace with a couple of actors.


Is there anywhere on the web where I can view actuall screen grabs of the XL2 compared to other cameras?
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#4 Landon D. Parks

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Posted 20 May 2005 - 10:35 AM

Is there anywhere on the web where I can view actuall screen grabs of the XL2 compared to other cameras?

I cant help you on the screen grab comparison.... I CAN however point you to a previouse post of mine on the this forum where I requested downloadable sample clips from the XL2.

CLICK HERE!, And go a few posts down. You will see a whole lot of links. Right click and download them.

1. I hear the XL2 has better 16:9 resolution that the DVX, but the DVX is better in 4:3. But why would I ever want to shoot in 4:3 ?? I will be making short films on the camera, and I prefer the look of 16:9 so cant see why i would use 4:3. But is there some sort of problem when playing it back on a normal TV? Or will it automatically be letterboxed?

Yes, the XL2 does have better resolution in the 16:9 mode, because the chip is NATVE 16:9. The Reason the DVX has better resolution in the 4:3 mode is that the chip is 4:3 native. For the DVX to get a 16:9 image, it has to cut the top and bottom off of the 4:3 image, effectivly reducing resolution.

Same with the XL2. If you want 4:3 from it, is cuts off the sides of the 16:9 image to get a 4:3 aspect, also reducing resolution.

There is no 16:9 playback problems on a 4:3 TV.

3. Are there any other selling points that make the XL2 better? Are the ergonomics tricky to master?

In my opinion, the XL2 is more of a professional camera than the DVX. It is also more expensive.

It has a lot going for it over the DVX, in my opinion the clips from the XL2 look more "Cinematic" than the ones from the DVX. And the xl2 has interchangable lenses, the DVX dont.

MY PERSONAL ADVICE: IF you have the extra money, get the XL2.
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#5 mushyosh

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Posted 20 May 2005 - 11:42 AM

Ok thanks. and just to clarify:

When I shoot on 16:9 and then playback on a 4:3 TV, will it somehow automatically be letterboxed? :P
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#6 Landon D. Parks

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Posted 20 May 2005 - 12:15 PM

What you would have to do, is this: IN your editing software youll have the option to letterbox it. Other wise it will appear stretched on a 4:3 set.

You can letter box it both before and after you edit it.
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#7 Tomas Koolhaas

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Posted 20 May 2005 - 01:38 PM

Hello,
another advanage of the XL2, other than better 16:9 resolution and interchangable lenses, is the fact that it has way more extensive image control menus. The DVX has some options but I have found that with the XL2's menu's (and white balance) I can create almost any look I want, and with the DVX the controls are quite limited. If you have the money get the XL2, having used both cameras I would say that with the XL2 the limits to what you can achieve are far greater. Also I would add that unless you are of the weakest physical caliber the Xl2 should not be too heavy to use hand held at all.
Cheers.
Tomas.
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#8 Jay Gladwell

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Posted 21 May 2005 - 04:28 PM

Visit this site for loads of information on the XL2. It should help.

www.dvinfo.net/canonxl2/index.php

Jay
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