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Video Action! Canon XL2?

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Old Mar-03-2012, 07:12 AM
#1
rexbobcat is offline rexbobcat OP
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Canon XL2?
Ok, so I have recently been asked to take video and create a highlights reel of a local football league, but I don't trust my DSLRs enough to use it as the sole camera (because it's obviously not a dedicated video camera).

So instead I've been looking at older (see: outdated) video cameras that give decent quality in a cheap package.

And since the league doesn't care about HD, I have decided to buy an SD video camera.

So, my question is, is the XL2 a decent video camera with 3 CCD sensors and whatnot? And I can use my EOS lenses with it...I mean, it's miniDV and it's SD but it's still of higher-than-consumer quality right?
Old Mar-03-2012, 08:36 AM
#2
DavidTO is offline DavidTO
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I don't know about the XL2, but I have to say, regardless of what your league thinks about SD vs. HD, I can't imagine buying an SD camera these days. Plus, it's tape.

What's your budget?
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Old Mar-03-2012, 08:51 AM
#3
rexbobcat is offline rexbobcat OP
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The budget is around $1000 lol. I might be able to go as high as $2000. What I've found to be the case is that HD is useful nowadays, and nobody really wants to downgrade, but to take full advantage of HD I would have to buy a Blu-Ray burner in order to create a physical product to be played in HD, I would have to make sure that the client has a Blu-Ray player and an HD TV, and I would have to deal with frustrating render times.

Plus, the DV format has less lossy compression than MPEG compression on an HDD or a flash card. Yes it's a hassle to firewire it to the computer, but it's not any worse than having to wait for my HD material to load.

The reason why I was considering this camera is because it has three CCDs dedicated to each color of red, blue, and green, so it's more accurate in the representation. Its CCDs are also 1/3 size chips, so it gets better low light performance, and its luminance is rated to a pretty low -3 lux (I think?).

So, in theory, wouldn't this camera do better than a prosumer HD camera with an HDD and only 1 CCD?

I recently owned a Canon Vixia HFS10 and it was pretty great, but it didn't give the best audio or low light performance even though it was HD, and it also had a rather small sensor so it could not achieve very shallow DoF.

I can buy this camera for approx. $1000 as opposed to the modern equivalent which is about $3000?

Am I correct with this information? Does anyone have any real-world experience with these types of cameras?
Old Mar-03-2012, 08:55 AM
#4
DavidTO is offline DavidTO
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Have you read the thread about the Panasonic GH2?
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Old Mar-03-2012, 11:14 AM
#5
rexbobcat is offline rexbobcat OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidTO View Post
Have you read the thread about the Panasonic GH2?
I was just looking at it lol.

I'm just not sure. The autofocus seems iffy. From what I've read, it only works with the kit lens (or maybe other 4/3 lenses?), and I've already invested so much into my Canon system. :(
Old Mar-03-2012, 11:44 AM
#6
ziggy53 is offline ziggy53
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I have a Canon HF-S11, which does well in low light "if" you shoot 1080-30P, instead of the default 1080-60i. Also, use the lowest compression (MXP, 24 Mbps) to preserve the greatest amount of detail vs noise.

For audio, use a short shotgun microphone, like the Rode VideoMic or Sennheiser MKE 400. They are much more competent for what you likely need.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search...282+4291226455
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...a_Mounted.html
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Old Mar-03-2012, 04:49 PM
#7
rexbobcat is offline rexbobcat OP
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I actually used to own the HF S11 until 3 months ago when it was stolen by my ex-roommate (hence the "ex"), and I liked it because it was compact and HD, but the low light was kind of disappointing. Maybe it was because it was 60i. I also didn't like that I couldn't get a shallow DoF very easily with it.
Old Mar-04-2012, 09:23 AM
#8
angevin1 is offline angevin1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rexbobcat View Post
The budget is around $1000 lol. I might be able to go as high as $2000. What I've found to be the case is that HD is useful nowadays, and nobody really wants to downgrade, but to take full advantage of HD I would have to buy a Blu-Ray burner in order to create a physical product to be played in HD, I would have to make sure that the client has a Blu-Ray player and an HD TV, and I would have to deal with frustrating render times.


Am I correct with this information? Does anyone have any real-world experience with these types of cameras?

Yes. You're correct in all those things mentioned. I actually asked my client about that very thing the other day because I'd captured some HD along with the required SD, and no, She didn't own a Blu-Ray Player. So no, no need to supply HD if no one is going to be able to enjoy it or watch it. Now someone might argue that you can always downsize the HD to SD, and of course you will as soon as you author a Dvd. But I don't find my HD stuff looking all that much better than the SD stuff. In fact, I cringe because I know it actually looks better than when authored.

I presently have a gig using the Canon GL2. It's still for sale for about 2.5k (NEW) and uses mini-DV tape. Firewire to computer, Premier-Pro captures the tape. You can then use your Noise reduction software and other Adobe software to do all those magical things, etc.

The hat trick as far as I am concerned is to not Zoom as much as Locate. In other words Zoom if need be, but it's gonna be better to simply move closer to the action. The GL2 is a Sweet SD camera for it's built in IS, ND filters and a host of Manual Controls. Zooms from 30-300mm. Headphone out, A/V out, Mic in and On-board Stereo mic's.

Mini-DV tapes: panasonic is my choice.
Old Mar-04-2012, 10:31 AM
#9
ziggy53 is offline ziggy53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rexbobcat View Post
I actually used to own the HF S11 until 3 months ago when it was stolen by my ex-roommate (hence the "ex"), and I liked it because it was compact and HD, but the low light was kind of disappointing. Maybe it was because it was 60i. I also didn't like that I couldn't get a shallow DoF very easily with it.
The Canon XL2 has a sensor size of 1/3". The Canon HF-S11 has a sensor size of 1/2.6", a little larger (but a different aspect ratio). If you didn't like the DOF qualities of the HF-S11, you probably would feel the same about the XL2.

A neutral density filter is required to keep the aperture open in good light, and to give the best separation of the subject from the surroundings.
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Old Apr-16-2012, 08:32 PM
#10
TylerW is offline TylerW
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If you have aims on using your EF lenses on the XL2, you're gonna need to have some expectations in mind. The EF-XL adapter is a decent piece of kit (f you can still get your hands on one) but the real issue is the 7.8x magnification factor that it imparts. Its great if you wanted to turn even your most modest zooms into tele-macro lenses, but it makes nearly everything else impractical for most applications.

The XL2 was a great platform for its time, but there's really no getting around the fact that its ten years old. If you're trying to keep your purchase budget to under $1000, I can't help but think that you'd be better off looking for something a bit more modern and a bit lower on the professional ladder.
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