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Thread: Advice on using Canon XL1 to film some actors

  1. #1

    Default Advice on using Canon XL1 to film some actors

    Hi folks, my 1st time post here.

    I'd like a bit of advice please. I need to film some actors on digital video, just reading from a script and so on (all interior filming) and I have access to a Canon XL1 so I really want to use that. However, I am thinking about purchasing a new camcorder (from a range of five), on a budget, but I am not sure if will be able to use the footage shot on both of them, when it comes to editing it all together. Hence me turning up here for some advice

    I realise that some of you people have got access to some pretty impressive cameras, but I lack those resources and just want to get some straight-forward filming done with what's at my disposal. Nothing fancy or too complicated, just straight forward filming of actors reading lines; drama, not action.

    I am considering purchasing one of the following; a JVC Everio (GZ-MG50), one of those new ones with a hard drive, or a Panasonic NVGS35B digital camcorder, or a Sony DVD203 digital camcorder, or a Sony DVD202E digital camcorder, or finally a Sony DVD403 digital camcorder.

    Why ? Well, these are the ones available to me cheaper than any others, and because it's going to be more efficient working with two cameras at the same time. That said, when it comes to editing, am I being foolish to presume that the footage (from two different cameras) will blend seemlessly together ? I really need the advice of somebody with some knowledge and experience !

    Finally, I would really appreciate if somebody could also advice me on some basic editing software for my home PC with which to edit the stuff together; again, no special effects required, nothing complicated at all. I just want to edit this stuff together competently.

    Thanks for reading this, and if you have any advice, I'd be really grateful if you would share it !

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Bristol uk
    Blog Entries


    If you are going to use 2 cameras I suggest it is best to have 2 the same. All cameras produce different results. It can all be tweaked in post if you are expirienced.

  3. #3


    Hi there

    Thanks for the advice, it really is appreciated. There's a possibility that, following doing the internal stuff with the actors, I may then be filming some exterior (daylight) scenes. To hire the XL1 is going to cost more money for this, whereas I might have bought a more modern camcorder by then, so what are your thoughts on the idea of shooting the interior stuff with the XL1, and the exterior stuff with a more modern digital camcorder - I mean, from an "editing it together" point of view ? It's going to look different, for a start, because it's internal/external, which presumably may lessen the impact of shooting with two different cameras. What would you think about that comment ?

    Also, what practical tips would you (or anyone else) have for making the two filming sessions more compatable in the editing stage ?

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