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Eric Steelberg ASC

Hands on an XL2 today

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I got to play with a just arrived XL2 today while prepping an HD job. The rental house got it yesterday and had it out to take photos for the website. I had them get an HR monitor to check the image. It was already on and all I had a chance to do was flip it to 24p mode.


My impression of the image?

Very impressed. I really liked to shoulder of the image (transition of highlights to pure white)...very smooth. Contrast and lattitude, which I am assuming was still set to defaults, was pleasing. I shot a woman inside a loading dock with a bright sunlit alley behind her and just couldn't believe what this thing was producing.


I've been shooting with and SDX 900 off and on for the better part of the last year. I have concluded it's the best SD camera out there. The XL2 makes me question the need for the SDX 900.


Note: I'm going off of image on the monitor only. I'm not taking into account anything other than image quality...not price, not format, not size, not features. I'm only giving an impression if the image comapred to that of the SDX 900. Compared to the DXV 100? Seems to be slightly sharper with better latitude.


What wasn't to like? The color viewfinder BLOWS. The pixels are SO big it is hard to see if the image is in focus or not. It's no better than the cheapest consumer DV camera. In fact it's worse than the color finder on the first DV camera ever, the VX1000 (1997 technology). First thing I would do is buy the optional pro BW viewfinder.

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Some footage I took 2 weeks ago with a preproduction XL2 pal model:



Night time:



All night shots 3200k preset

1/50 o db

From 2:11 1/25 +3 db

Last shot Just for fun,18 db




All 16x9 mostly default, 25p,cine matrix not functioning on this preproduction camera.






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Wow, that's some absolutely beautiful footage. Where was that shot? I saw the German on the signs, and some of areas looked a lot like the KuDamm in Berlin, am I way off? Anyhow, any experience with how these images look in say a 35mm transfer? Just wondering.

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Pretty nice. The hilight handling isn't fantastic, about what one would expect for a camera at the price point. I think even a PD-150 probably produces smoother-looking rolloff. That's kind of a shame, since otherwise I would have no problem with using this for 16:9 production in the UK in place of a PD-150 - and I imagine they'd look sharper, although it's hard to tell on the compressed video.



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Hi Jesse,

The town is Vienna,and sorry,I have no experience with how these images look in a 35mm transfer.


Phil,for my eyes the images the XL2 (preproduction version) produces are way nicer,sharper,cleaner then the PD-150 produces.


The 16x9 out of the box is amazing on any monitor I was watching (studio,plasma and normal Sony 34 inch).



More details you can find here:




For watching the day time footage pls copy/past the link and drop the "x" before the "wmv".



Since I didn't know that I will have the camera for the all weekend when first getting it,I rushed out without a tripod just to gather some footage,so pls excuse the somewhat shaking pictures.The same goes for the full tele hand held shots (no place in real life production,just for showing the image stabiliser function).

The 4 minutes are assembled together and not edited.

The music is just for making it easier to watch.

The content is mixed,all was shot with the camera out of the box 25P 16x9.



Thanks for Jarred from DVXUSER for hosting the clips.



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