Jump to content
Tim Carroll

XL2 Finally Released!

Recommended Posts

Guest Pete Wright

Hey guys,

 

Let's look at it this way. The DVX has excellent image quality. Let's say Canon will make their image as good by the time the cameras hit the stores. Lets say the wide angle zoom is actually sharp enough.

 

You need to buy the wide angle because the other Canon lenses don't have wide angle range It is due to small effective pixel area of the chips. The lenses were made for 1/3" CCD's, not for less than 1/4".

 

If everything else is good, you have a camera that will cost, with the wide angle, some $6,500. DVX costs $3,500.

 

DVX has been around longer and is likely to be more reliable.

 

One more thing. The new Canon is not even available yet.

 

My advice. If you want to buy a camera, buy the DVX, don't wait for the Canon.

 

Pete

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Guest Daniel J. Ashley-Smith

I heard it will retail at about 5000 dollars.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Pete Wright

It's $5,000 with the 20x zoom that does not have wide angle range. The wide angle is about $1,500 extra, and it may not be sharp enough.

 

Pate

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pete, the <1/4" nature of the XL2's chips is only there in 4/3 mode because they use a smaller area inside the 4:3 chip (I think this is a shame BTW). Used in 16:9 mode the full width of the 1/3" CCD is used. Of course, the full height isn't, but that's the nature of 16:9.

 

Got to Here to see a lowdown of it.

 

 

Aaron

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Pete Wright

Hey guys,

 

I'm in a market to buy a camera, so I naturally need to form a strong opinion.

 

I checked the net and there is all kinds of information that the 3x wide angle is not performing well even on the XL1. Here are couple of many comments:

 

I still have Xl1 with the 3x, however it seemed to give the image a very slight blur look.

 

it can get a little edge fuzz at open aperture.

 

So if the lens had problems with the old camera, it will be a worse with the new camera. So you have a camera that does not even have a usable wide angle lens.

 

Pete

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Canon has discontinued the XL-1s. All sales are coming out of dealers' remaining stock so you'll get whatever deal they might offer.

 

 

Pete, if you are in the market to buy a camera then research on the Net just doesn't cut it. I know some people that simply love one item and others that think it absolute rubbish. Geoff Boyle is an esteemed DP who has a major issue with flaring on Panavision Primo lenses and finds the Cooke S4 lenses the perfect solution. Greg Irwin is a very established AC on major motion pictures and he has the exact opposite view. They are both far too qualified for me to tacitly accept one's opinion over the other. The only way for me to know is to try it out for myself. The good news is that when something like the XL2 becomes available I can go to a trade show or B&H Photo here in NYC and test it out myself. I could even wait until it is available from a rental facility and go there to test. I like to form my own opinions on such matters. Frank Miller posted here that he saw someof the same problems as did on the XL2 but then disagreed with me on others. Who's right? You have to see for yourself to decide. But I would never form a trong opinion without some hard facts, and beyond certain basic facts I don't trust anything on the Net outside my own experience unless have experience with the person giving me the info.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

 

> Geoff Boyle is an esteemed DP who has a major issue with flaring on Panavision

> Primo lenses

 

At first I thought this was Geoff being Geoff. Later discovered he's right (and that's not comparing Primos and Cooke S4s, that's comparing Primos and a Fuji video zoom!)

 

Phil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Pete Wright

Mitch,

 

Thank you for your advice and helping me along the way in getting my camera. My problem is that I would not be able to look at a monitor and figure out if a camera is good or bad, unless I could test both cameras side by side.

 

I don't trust that XL2 review. From the whole world Canon gives the camera, a PAL model, to one guy form some forum in England, he gives it to someone to review, and the review has references to that forum and the 100% pro-Canon US forum. You can read through the lines that the guy does everything he can to make the Canon look better. He can't focus with the low resolution viewfinder but then it is all miraculously sharp on his home TV set, and so on.

 

I got overexcited about this camera. I just don't want to spend bunch of money on a camera that will be bad or absolete in couple of months. Right now I'm thinking that I will probably buy the PAL DVX, PAL XL2, or the new HDV JVC, if there is one available within a few months and has a good picture. I would not consider the Sony HDV. The 720p HDV is less compressed.

 

Obin and Co. are making some progress with their homemade cameras. I'll skip those.

 

I will not worry about this anymore. I'll just wait until the cameras become available.

 

Pete

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At this point, the I remain unmoved. My contact at Canon is quite pessimistic about technological matters being fully resolved with regard to projected street dates. I have directed him to this website so that he may review the "erection of criticism." :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To respond to both David Mullen and Phil Rhodes' questions/thoughts about the Mini35:

 

I've shot a number of jobs with the Mini35 and the XL1s (generally with Cooke S4's), including the Jerry Seinfeld webmovies for American Express (as DV consultant and operator). I came to really love the Mini35 system, enough so to have purchased one for my own projects as well as rentals. The latter requires me to have the DVX100 relay because of high demand, so I decided to swap out my XL1s for a DVX100a and have been shooting a short this week with that configuration, and a set of borrowed Zeiss speeds. I do not find it "horribly soft" in the least, I'm actually impressed at how much resolution is maintained considering that the image has to go through so many layers of optics. I haven't done side by side tests, but I believe that the DVX/Mini35 configuration is actually sharper than the XL1s version, since the DVX is a sharper camera to begin with. I use the XL1s in Frame mode, which knocks down the resolution to begin with. Many scoff at that idea, but as David Mullen pointed out a few posts back, it's all about what looks good, not what the specs say, and I think Frame mode looks great.

 

I will potentially agree with the "flarey" assessment, guardedly. The Mini35 appears to lower contrast a bit, but that's not a bad thing as it may just increase the practical latitude of the camera in an Ultracon-esque fashion, and this could likely be dialed out via the DVX's menus. I don't mind delivering a somewhat "flat" image to allow for stretching in post anyway (by flat I don't mean flat-lit, rather I'm not playing tones too deeply into the toe since they can be crunched down later, to taste). Highlights do indeed flare a bit, as if one were using a variance on a regular Promist, but considering how unpleasant overexposed highlights can be on video, especially DV, I'm not sure that's a minus. My taste does not run to super-crisp video imaging in the first place, I find it more "filmic" if the edges do not pop off the screen.

 

To bring this back to the topic--I am definitely piqued by the critiques of the XL2 as contained in this thread, and look forward to hearing more and testing the new camera myself, especially in the Mini35 configuration. Personally, my allegiance is to cameras, not manufacturers. I'm liking a lot of things about the DVX100a, but I loved my XL1s in other ways. When I know more about the XL2, it either will or won't become my favorite tool for shooting 1/3" DV. And the world will continue to revolve either way.

 

Final three unrelated thoughts:

 

David, I sat next to you briefly at the ASC/SOC dinner last week, but didn't get a chance to say hello with a mouth full of BBQ.

 

To be pre-emptive on this troubling and frankly baffling anti-Chris Hurd issue, I will disclose that I am a regular poster and moderator on the DVInfo.net, and the reason for that is that after looking at a few other DV boards, I found his to have the least noise and flaming, so I settled in there. Chris is a true mensch and it pains me to see him attacked.

 

Finally, re: the mini35 and DVX100a, as I mentioned I am renting this setup if anyone needs it. I am working on a viewfinder mod that allows for ergonomic handheld shooting, which is a nightmare with the stock configuration.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

 

Well, if there was ever a case to prove the maxim that owning expensive kit isn't necessary to get the flash jobs...

 

One thing I am particularly interested in, probably via the Pro35, is the possibility of using anamorphic lenses. Have you ever had cause to try this? Of course it would require postprocessing, but nothing too arduous and it might even breathe a new lease of life into my increasingly worthless 4:3 camera. Not sure if the test would be directly relevant since I would be using a Pro35 (and probably via another adaptor, at that). It would cost me hundreds in rental to try it.

 

As for sharpness, well, I am pretty used to looking at 800-line broadcast cameras, so perhaps I'd better moderate my reaction, especially since I only saw it from DVD. However I remember being on set trying to set up this Genio follow focus and thinking "But it's NEVER sharp."

 

Phil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Charles for the info! How exactly DOES the DVX100A and the P&S Mini-35 work together? Does the on-camera zoom simply point into the groundglass of the Mini-35?

 

I mentioned this before, but at DV Expo a year or so ago, I saw a great clip from a French short film shot in PAL frame mode on the XL1S using scope lenses on the Mini-35 -- with the anamorphic lens flares and low depth of field, it looked really interesting, like a "real" movie.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As a cinematographer, I've never had much use for a lot of this sort of data, like MTF, RMS granularity, etc.  I put a lens on a camera and look at the results and see if I like it.  If it has to go to 35mm, I transfer it to 35mm and look at it projected and see if I like it.  These numbers games can only take you so far unless you want to become an engineer, not a filmmaker.

 

Cinematographers make choices all the time that technically "lower" quality, like use a diffusion filter, use an older lens, shoot wide-open, shoot through smoke and dust, play with extreme exposures, use softer, grainier film stocks, use smaller negatives, etc.  Sometimes we start with the best possible tools and degrade to taste and other times we deliberately (or have no choice) work with inferior tools and work to make them seem better than they are, or use their lower qualities for artistic effect.

 

All this to say that I don't really know the numbers for any lens because all I care about is how it looks when I put it on a camera and start shooting with it and I can't tell that by studying a chart.  If you want to know if the lens on the Canon XL2 is better than the one on the DVX100, then shoot a comparison test. Shoot some real world examples too.

Wow, a voice of reason in a wilderness of useless prattle. Thank you Mr. Mullen!

 

Jay

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi David,

 

The relay for the DVX screws directly on to the DVX's built-in zoom (in the picture here, you can see it as an oversized "shroud" that surrounds the zoom), which keeps the optics all locked together. You zoom the camera in fully and simply focus the lens on the groundglass, then tape both down so they don't get nudged. My method is to stop the taking (cine) lens down as much as possible while pointed at a hot window or card so that the groundglass grain is sharply defined, then perform the on-camera focus, which essentially back-focuses the system.

 

We finished shooting last night after a grueling 9 days straight, and I am loving what I'm seeing. I do have some gripes with the level of noise that the DVX presents but otherwise it has impressed me. What I've found is that with this setup, there is a certain comfiness in working with a film front end and knowing exactly what focal length you are using and what the resulting depth of field and compression will result, as opposed to the ambiguity of a video zoom. Meanwhile, you don't have to deal with the practical hassles of shooting film (rollouts, reloads, gate checks, waiting for dailies etc) nor the completely other hassles of shooting HD (backfocus issues, massive monitors, cables etc). The package feels like an SR3 + zoom in footprint and weight, so it's quick and easy to maneuver; the flip-out viewfinder makes operating in tight spaces easier. It's actually a lot of fun to work with.

 

Of course it's not film, but as an alternative (especially for broadcast or web delivery) it can fool a lot of people, with a substantial cost savings. But as always, the images only look as good as the care that is taken in creating them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pete, the <1/4" nature of the XL2's chips is only there in 4/3 mode because they use a smaller area inside the 4:3 chip (I think this is a shame BTW). Used in 16:9 mode the full width of the 1/3" CCD is used. Of course, the full height isn't, but that's the nature of 16:9.

The nature of _real_ 16:9 chips has not been that they don't use the full height of the chip.

Eg. 2/3" 16:9 chips do use the whole diagonal space which is 11 mm.

XL2 do not use the full diagonal size in any mode, so I think it's a bit misleading to advertize it as being 1/3" camera when it newer uses that space.

I bought vx1000 -95 and have been waiting for _real_ 1/3" 16:9 chip since then.

Now I'm not anymore sure will that ever happen...

And why there is not even 1/2 16:9 chips?

Why there is A-minima, that has bigger gate than hdcam's ccd, but nothing near that size in digital?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi all, Im new to the forum and Im currently considering either an XL2 or a DVX100a. I noticed one of the arguments was about the 8 bit DSP. Below is from the Canon Specs on the XL2.

 

DSP (Digital Signal Processor)

The Canon XL2 utilizes a 12 bit DSP.  By using this DSP, which has been customized by Canon exclusively for use in the XL2, maximum image quality is preserved.

 

 

Just wondering if anyone knows if they did this in response to the critics or if anyone has tried the camera with the 12bit DSP as opposed to the 8bit DSP?

 

Also curious if anyone knows just when they plan on releasing it to the public and where I might go to try both of the cameras around the Milwaukee, WI neck o' the woods.

 

Thanks,

 

stevehawkins

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally I've been using the XL1S for 2 1/2 years and I love it. Sure it's front heavy but the MA200 sholder pack balances it out nicely. Those PD150 are dirt in my opinion. Was using one the other day and they're just too light and too small.

 

I've always liked the XL1 design. It looks like a fun camera, rather than the dull grey or black normally associated with prosumer cameras.

 

Yes, I'm the first to admit I'm biased.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest jarod_2003
can you shoot 24p Progressive with the XL2?

yeh, I think u can

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since when aren't still camera lenses as good as cine lenses?

 

The areas where the Canon XL series lenses let the DP down are in the internal focus areas, not the resolving power! Its because you're using lenses designed for auto focus 35mm stills camera work. If you went with a non autofocus design I bet you'd see immense improvements in how you operated with the XL series.

 

As far as the XL-2 goes, I told (and like they really listened too, LOL) the Canon guys at NAB a couple of years ago that they needed 16:9 as a bare minimum upgrade, as I'm sure everyone else did. But then again that was the year that JVC showed their (then) new HDV camera! Imagine the XL-2 with the higher quality recording capabilities of say Sony's new HDV camera.

 

That would really be something to talk about!

 

FWIW, IMHO of course! :rolleyes:

 

Luke

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Daniel J. Ashley-Smith

I know this has probably already been said but I missed it.

Any example footage from the XL2 yet?? I've found a few sites with a link, but the link doesn't work!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



  • Metropolis Post



    Broadcast Solutions Inc



    Serious Gear



    Glidecam



    Gamma Ray Digital Inc



    CineLab



    Abel Cine



    New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment



    Tai Audio



    Paralinx LLC



    Wooden Camera



    Rig Wheels Passport



    Visual Products



    FJS International



    Just Cinema Gear



    Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS



    G-Force Grips



    Ritter Battery


    Cinematography Books and Gear
×
×
  • Create New...