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Thread: XL-2 Upgrade

  1. #1

    Default XL-2 Upgrade

    Looking at the possibility of upgrading our Canon XL-2 to a H1 or H1S.
    Has anyone experience of both cameras? Any heads up/opinions they would like to share?

    Many thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Newberg Oregon


    I recently bought a Canon XL2 and have spent some time with it in the field.
    I like what it can produce but the ergonomics suck. TOOOOOOOOO heavy on hand and arm when using off the tripod.

    The H1/H1s is going to suffer from the same issue.
    The quality of the video is bound to be great. The giant Canon lens is a real piece of work for sure.

    I was seriously considering an XL H1 but decided to hold off for a year and see what shakes out in the HD format.

    You could definately do far worse that the H1.

    Good luck


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Bristol uk
    Blog Entries


    The h1 is just like using the xl.

    I have the same expiriences as Mr. Rivers - nice lens - for breaking your arm. Personally I find that issue a deal breaker, but maybe i am spoilt as my JVC balances perfectly on my shoulder.

    Maybe the sony ex4 at the same price is betterer?? Truthfully it looks like a better camera too, well to me.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Newberg Oregon


    The Canons lens system is going to be hard to beat but the Sony machines are definately in the ball game as far as quality.

    OBTW Mark
    I'm Ms Rivers

    Sorry about that.

    Guess my writings were not fem enough. Haaaaaaaaaaaaa

    As far as what cam to buy the best way is, If you can, to get your hands on the model you want to buy and mess with it some.

    I also recommend reading every review you can find online and sort through the rubbish and glean what pertinent information there is about the unit in question.

    So many folks write a review about a cam and whine incessantly about some little issue.
    The only downer I can mention about the Canon XL series is the excessive weight on the front.

    Im quite capable of handling the issue and just use my left hand under the lens base to help hold the weight as well as keep the unit steady.

    My feeling is that a goodly amount of time is going to see the cam on the tripod and not on my shoulder so its a moot point.

    When Im going to plunk down the sort of Money that the XL H1 costs I want results that I can see readily in the quality of the vid that I can produce with the thing.

    I have been using mid 90's vintage Sony CCD-V5000 Hi8 cams to produce some fairly good videos over the last few years.

    I am careful to get my lighting right and I use as many tricks as I can in POST to make things look good too.

    After getting the XL2, OMG the difference in color saturation and overall quality of the vid is enormous with the XL series

    Now the Old V5000 has a 2/3" CCD but still the quality is just not the same.

    A point to consider that my father always stressed when buying a cam of any type.

    "Its all about glass" If the unit has a well made lens system, there is a good percentage of the battle.

    3 CCD is a great starting point although there are some Pro cams that are coming with a single CMOS sensor and these are turning out some lovely pix.

    3 tiny ccd's (1/6") is not nearly as good as 3 larger ones BUTTTTTTTTT as the size of sensors and the quality of the glass goes up so goes the price.

    I would say to ballance things like what you want the cam to do, how much you want or can spend and what the reviews are saying.

    Another issue is how well your editing suite will handle the footage produced by the cam you buy.

    Recently I was considering an AVCHD format cam for my company as a second new cam this year but withdrew that idea after researching the amount of hastle it was to edit that format.

    If your computer is up to the task and can handle the HD format you are looking at then the choice may certainly be a good one.

    I use Vegas 5.0 and have for a few years. I like the Vegas layout and it feels comfortable to use.

    So far all my equipment interfaces with it well and I can just sit down and go to work.

    I dont think you can go too far wrong if you stay within a given price range and format of any of the major manufactures such as Canon, Panasonic, Sony or JVC

    I am not sold on the HDD or disc cams as yet. I really like the idea of the tapeless cams such as the ones that use the SDHC cards but I want to wait another year or so and see how it shakes out.

    Mini DV format has been around a long time and is a well proven platform.
    Not without its downside but still very reliable.

    Have fun


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Bristol uk
    Blog Entries


    MS Rivers is it now - I am clearly confused. No change there then.

    My friend has an h1 and it produces cracking results.

    I agree with you on the sat of new cams - a year ago I got the Alans together to spend my od faciltiy on a nearly new jvc dv5000, up from 2 very old ( first gen dv i think) sony vx9000e.

    No smear, none nada. Noise - not an issue any more. Saturation - now I usually find myself knocking it down in post, befor I was always pushing it up. And suprisingly, colour res is much betterer so that when you pull curves colour blocks are rare and screening works better.

    I presume this is cos of the 12 bit chips in the camera, or maybe it's just magic, but I was suprised given it is still 4:2:0 DV.

    Chroma subsampling - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Newberg Oregon


    Sorry about the confusion, guess I shouldtype in a more fem format.

    Forum text format is so impersonal, chats are not any better.

    Here is a Piccy of Li'll Ole me just to dispell the confusion.

    I would certainly have to give the Canon H1 a two thumbs up.

    I am not a picky person at all.

    My only demand of a piece of equipment is that it works when I need it to.
    If I realize early on that it has a little downfall I will work around the issue when setting up shots or plan things so I can do it in post.

    Again my only issue with the XL family is the egonomics.

    When Canon designed this family of cams I just dont understand why they came up with things the way they did.

    Im a fairly large girl at 6 foot and husky to boot but after lugging the XL around for a recent little shoot of about 30 minutes on my shoulder, my wrist and forearm were bloody well sore.

    Ah well, water under the bridge as they say.

    The XL's are what the XL's were, a very good cam for someone interested in producing quailty footage.

    The next step up the price staircase is a big one.

    The H1'a are about $7,000 and from there the prices head north at Warp Speed depending on what one wants in the way of equipment.

    With all the different makes and models on the market these days its really tough to recommend any particular item as "THE BEST"

    If it fits the budgit and you like the features and the price, Hmmmm may be just what the DR ordered.

    Best to all

    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Snowy Rivers; 09-14-2008 at 02:02 PM. Reason: addition
    Shoot tons of footage and always be critical of your own work.
    Its tacky to be critical of others no matter how bad the work.

  7. #7

    Default cost

    Only $7000? I think I should over the pond, buy one, then smuggle it back as hand luggage!!

    We have a lot of the XL family accessories, batteries and so on, as well as a Genus matt box for the lenses, and it is a camera we’re familiar with working with, controls etc. It really is just about moving into the HD quality footage. I was just looking for – and finding – people that could tell me how good the quality actually is from their experience.

    Magazine reviews are not necessarily impartial, so thanks to you all for responding.

    Now for the plane ticket…

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