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XL2 and DVX100a

Posted: Mon, 18th Oct 2004, 12:01am

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MovieGuy334

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If you weren't considering price. Which camera would be best to buy. Why?

EDIT: Quote from my second post (post #7)

MovieGuy334 wrote:

obviously i'm not a rich guy. (after all I am just a student filmmaker) I would mainly be saving up money to invest in a really good camera.

Last edited Thu, 28th Oct 2004, 6:18am; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Mon, 18th Oct 2004, 12:53am

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GeeksGoneBad

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I've been looking at cameras for a while and I wish I was looking in that price range smile

But I had a friend that said "if you have the money get a Panasonic 24p 3CCD DVX100AP, this camera will put the film camera companies out of business"

Those were his exact words and he's really nobody, but knows a lot about filming (alot more than me anyway!) so I guess he really likes the 24P and I guess it does the widescreen thing too...

I wish I was considering this camera! smile as it is I'm looking at the Panasonic PV-GS400, which looks like one of the better "Cheap" 3CCD cameras...

(oh and for all the naysayers that will say this camera sucks or whatever, save it and don't hijack MovieGuy's post :p) LOL
Posted: Mon, 18th Oct 2004, 12:57am

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Pooky

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JamieC7 wrote:

I wish I was considering this camera! smile as it is I'm looking at the Panasonic PV-GS400, which looks like one of the better "Cheap" 3CCD cameras...

(oh and for all the naysayers that will say this camera sucks or whatever, save it and don't hijack MovieGuy's post :p) LOL
Sorry can't resist: the cam sucks in the dark, get an Optura 20 instead smile
Posted: Mon, 18th Oct 2004, 12:59am

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Bryce007

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Agreed pooky
Posted: Mon, 18th Oct 2004, 1:44am

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Gibs

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Personally, I would get the XL2. It can shoot 24P too, and it is newer, so it's bound to be better overall.
Posted: Mon, 18th Oct 2004, 2:01am

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Serdar3500

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If money is no matter then you get the XL2 and get every lens out there for it. You'll be spending well over $10k.
Posted: Mon, 18th Oct 2004, 3:17am

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MovieGuy334

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obviously i'm not a rich guy. (after all I am just a student filmmaker) I would mainly be saving up money to invest in a really good camera.
Posted: Mon, 18th Oct 2004, 5:17am

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CX3

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I'm getting the DVX in about 2 weeks. Honestly, i need the LCD viewer on my cam. The XL2 doesnt have that. And i dont feel like buying a monitor. That and i like the feel of the DVX.

-Chris
Posted: Mon, 18th Oct 2004, 5:46am

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Redhawksrymmer

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But the XL2 do have a 2" monitor. Just flip up the viewfinder.
Posted: Mon, 18th Oct 2004, 7:59am

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sigerson

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MovieGuy334 wrote:

If you weren't considering price. Which camera would be best to buy. Why?
Out of those two; XL2, hands down. It has superceeded the DVX100a. Interchangable optics plus a truer 16:9 mode. The Pany doesn't have a truer 16:9 mode, so you'd be losing pixels with it if you choose to use the 16:9 mode on it.

An alternative to add; Sony HDR-FX1. Same price range as the DVX100a. The Sony has two things over the XL2; True 16:9 native CCD's (XL2 is still native 4:3 CCD's with a truer 16:9 mode) and switchable recording modes, HDV and DV. Don't like MPEG2? Fine. Just shoot with it as standard DV. You'd still take advantage of those true 16:9 CCD's to get a true 16:9 picture, without relying on an add-on like the Century Optic's 16:9 adapter (they're like close to a $1000 a piece).

So it is a bit of a question mark for indie filmmakers; go with the interchangable lense capability of the XL2 or the true 16:9 shooting and HDV capability of the FX1. Tough call. If you're on a budget then the Sony would be the better pick, IMO. The only reason to go with the Canon is if you intend to get additional lenses. Otherwise, if you don't plan to do that, then the investment in the Canon doesn't seem smart to me. I mean if you're not going to get different lenses, what's the point?

Alternatively, you could hold off the FX1 and wait for the FX2 to see what changes/fixes/additional features that one would have. The FX1 is the first of its generation from Sony. An advantage that Canon has with its XL series is that it has a legacy (XL1, XL1s, and now XL2). Heck you can even throw in the EX1 which was the Canon 3-CCD Hi8 model that had interchangable lenses. I mean even Panansonic's DVX has gone through a second model (DVX100 and the DVX100a).
Posted: Mon, 18th Oct 2004, 1:31pm

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MrShmoe

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I'd buy the XL2.
Posted: Mon, 18th Oct 2004, 2:09pm

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Joshua Davies

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But I had a friend that said "if you have the money get a Panasonic 24p 3CCD DVX100AP, this camera will put the film camera companies out of business"
Erm, no, thats just insane. The quality of DV is dire compared to film hence its not even considered broadcast quality let alone film quality.

The Panasonic is an ok camera, but for the money i would get 2 Canon XM2/GL2s. A real progressive 16:9 CCD is the important part, but unless you intend to print to film for the most part 24 frames per second is just a gimmick.

The XL2 has the best CCD on the market at the moment and does everything the Panasonic can do and more. Sure it doesn't have a low quality little LCD screen which flips out but you're much better off using the fairly large LCD monitor display you can get for the XL2. Its the best DV camera at the moment with the most features. I wouldn't buy the Panasonic even if I had the money, but I would buy the XL2 given a chance.

We might be selling our XM2 to start saving for an XL2 over Christmas. As HDV is kinda getting sorted now (I hope some company takes the plunge and goes for some kinda storage with more bandwidth than MiniDV) I think the XL2 could well be the best MiniDV camera that will ever come out.
Posted: Mon, 18th Oct 2004, 5:31pm

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GeeksGoneBad

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I dunno... I might disagree Schwar... It's only a matter of time before the "pros" of DV far outweigh the "cons" compared to all of the "cons" of shooting on film... Directors are already starting to shoot DV for the ease of processing and then transferring to film for the release... Look at Blair Witch... cost $35K to make and grossed 140 Million... That alone proves to Hollywood that the average moviegoer doesn't care what you shot your film on... Soderbergh shot a majority of "Full Frontal" with an XL1S... Won't be long before the phrase is "What? You're shooting on film? How archaic" smile smile smile
Posted: Mon, 18th Oct 2004, 6:16pm

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sigerson

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JamieC7 wrote:

I dunno... I might disagree Schwar... It's only a matter of time before the "pros" of DV far outweigh the "cons" compared to all of the "cons" of shooting on film... Directors are already starting to shoot DV for the ease of processing and then transferring to film for the release... Look at Blair Witch... cost $35K to make and grossed 140 Million... That alone proves to Hollywood that the average moviegoer doesn't care what you shot your film on... Soderbergh shot a majority of "Full Frontal" with an XL1S... Won't be long before the phrase is "What? You're shooting on film? How archaic" smile smile smile
I guess it depends on the broadcast station. DV is technically not considered a broadcast format. That's not to say that some smaller broadcaster's haven't used them; ie. road news reports. DVD is not considered a broadcast format, either.

If you were to listen to Lucas and Rodriguez, they'd tell you film is dead. But keep in mind what they are using is not DV, but Hi-Def DV (don't confuse with HDV).

Blair Witch didn't cost that much to make, but it was the distributor that picked up the tab on the transferring fee. A 90 minute DV movie would cost roughly $36k.
Posted: Mon, 18th Oct 2004, 8:15pm

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xbreaka

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star wars episode 2 was shot using digital hd 24p video
Posted: Mon, 18th Oct 2004, 9:06pm

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ZukoVega

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star wars episode 2 was shot using digital hd 24p video
True... and if you have an extra $102,360.00 to spend, you could pick up an HDFW900 like George's. (and that's not including the modifications he had done on the camera!)

I'd go with the Canon, not only for all the reasons that have already been listed, but also because there is a lot of technical support, forums, software, accessories, etc... for the camera. The new Sony HDR-FX1 seems like a great camera but it hasn't been truly tested yet and you won't find the same kind of support you will for the Canon. Editing in HD can present a problem also. You'll either have to buy new software or wait until your current editing program comes out with an HD upgrade and then buy that. It may look good but if you can't edit it...?
Posted: Mon, 18th Oct 2004, 9:21pm

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Joshua Davies

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I dunno... I might disagree Schwar... It's only a matter of time before the "pros" of DV far outweigh the "cons" compared to all of the "cons" of shooting on film... Directors are already starting to shoot DV for the ease of processing and then transferring to film for the release... Look at Blair Witch... cost $35K to make and grossed 140 Million... That alone proves to Hollywood that the average moviegoer doesn't care what you shot your film on... Soderbergh shot a majority of "Full Frontal" with an XL1S... Won't be long before the phrase is "What? You're shooting on film? How archaic"
Come on, just because there have been a few MiniDV films doesn't mean its taking over - in most cases MiniDV was used to create a specific "low-quality" or grainy look and therefore wouldn't work for any normal film.

HD 24P is another matter, but there are people who still think its too low quality compared to film (film is about twice the resolution of the highest quality HD footage but has more grain).

We will see HD being used a lot more in film to great effect like in Collateral. You must remember that professional HD cameras have almost nothing in common current DV and HDV consumer cameras - they are a at a totally different level in both price and quality.
Posted: Mon, 18th Oct 2004, 9:41pm

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GeeksGoneBad

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OK, you win... smile But I think once they make a few advances in the DV format that we'll see more and more movies being made with it. Once they can store a little higher resolution...
Posted: Mon, 18th Oct 2004, 10:07pm

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tmaynard

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28 days later was shot on DV. It looked beautiful on the DVD, but everyone that saw the movie in theatres said the quality was disgusting because of stretching the "pixels" to fit the huge theatre screen. Pixels can only go so far without looking bad, film on the other hand loses hardly any picture quality. It seems that way anyway.
Posted: Mon, 18th Oct 2004, 10:14pm

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Crawford

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[quote="sigerson"]

JamieC7 wrote:

I guess it depends on the broadcast station. DV is technically not considered a broadcast format. That's not to say that some smaller broadcaster's haven't used them; ie. road news reports. DVD is not considered a broadcast format, either.
I beg to differ -- DV is quite common for broadcast. At least, it's common enough to generate questions on the Vegas support boards. There are even some stations accepting tapes in miniDV format.

Remember, as recently as five years ago, everything was still analog. Oh, sure, editing was done digital -- but the original footage was BetaSP (analog) and when you were done everything went back out to BetaSP.

This guy rates DV (including miniDV -- same encoding, different tape format) a hair better than BetaSP:

http://videouniversity.com/dvformat.htm#DV%20formats

Also, a couple of friends of mine run a small ad agency and shoot commercials for ski slopes. Last I heard, they shoot on miniDV.
Posted: Mon, 18th Oct 2004, 10:17pm

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Crawford

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feelthapain wrote:

28 days later was shot on DV. It looked beautiful on the DVD, but everyone that saw the movie in theatres said the quality was disgusting because of stretching the "pixels" to fit the huge theatre screen. Pixels can only go so far without looking bad, film on the other hand loses hardly any picture quality. It seems that way anyway.
With film, the pixels are the size of silver crystals. So long as the developing is done correctly, that's pretty darned small.

(In HS photography class I always screwed up during developing, using water that's too cold. As a result, everything came out REALLY GRAINY. Not a bad look, but not what I wanted.)
Posted: Tue, 19th Oct 2004, 3:52pm

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sigerson

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[quote="Crawford"]

sigerson wrote:

JamieC7 wrote:

I guess it depends on the broadcast station. DV is technically not considered a broadcast format. That's not to say that some smaller broadcaster's haven't used them; ie. road news reports. DVD is not considered a broadcast format, either.
I beg to differ -- DV is quite common for broadcast. At least, it's common enough to generate questions on the Vegas support boards. There are even some stations accepting tapes in miniDV format.

Remember, as recently as five years ago, everything was still analog. Oh, sure, editing was done digital -- but the original footage was BetaSP (analog) and when you were done everything went back out to BetaSP.

This guy rates DV (including miniDV -- same encoding, different tape format) a hair better than BetaSP:

http://videouniversity.com/dvformat.htm#DV%20formats

Also, a couple of friends of mine run a small ad agency and shoot commercials for ski slopes. Last I heard, they shoot on miniDV.
Like I said, it all depends on the broadcastor. Just cause it's analog doesn't make it a bad thing. It's all up to peoples eyes, but once it leaves the hands of a production company and into the hands of a broadcastor, it's quality gets downgraded further due to the actual broadcast. I've never seen a broadcastor rely solely on DV or DVCAM unless it's a really small one llike a local station; even then it's normally BetaSP. But I guess it depends on the local area as I can speak only for where I am.

CBC doesn't shoot DV (BetaSP), however sometimes they accept material shot on DV. A production company I'm with shoots using a XL1 camcorder, but they always try and take along a BetaSP deck to dump the video feed out onto whenever possible. You can actually see the color crunching that happens when you sit and watch DV and BetaSP recording side-by-side of the exact same thing, shot with the exact same camera.
Posted: Wed, 20th Oct 2004, 12:04am

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Solidus

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Even DVC-Pro isn't considered broadcast quality... though you might just get a bit of leeway from a smaller channel if you shot on DVCam or DVC-Pro.

The only time that they tend to use DV is that here in the UK they often use DVC-Pro for in the field news reports. They only tend to use the smaller DV or DVCam cameras when they need the small size, say they are doing a documentary in the jungle and can't be lugging stuff about.

Infact I even saw a BBC documentary recently where they were in a rain forest and there main camera got to much water vapour inside it due to the humidity and stopped working. The remainder was shot on DV, and it looked so bad compared to the quality of the main camera.


HDDV is certainly going to have a huge effect on the film industry though, as it makes it a lot cheaper to make a film, it is essentially deskilling Hollywood. As at the momment Hollywood makes a lot of money from employing all kinds of people for specific tasks and equipment. The need is being lessened and its going to have a big effect.
Posted: Wed, 20th Oct 2004, 2:44am

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sigerson

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Solidus wrote:

Even DVC-Pro isn't considered broadcast quality... though you might just get a bit of leeway from a smaller channel if you shot on DVCam or DVC-Pro.

The only time that they tend to use DV is that here in the UK they often use DVC-Pro for in the field news reports. They only tend to use the smaller DV or DVCam cameras when they need the small size, say they are doing a documentary in the jungle and can't be lugging stuff about.

Infact I even saw a BBC documentary recently where they were in a rain forest and there main camera got to much water vapour inside it due to the humidity and stopped working. The remainder was shot on DV, and it looked so bad compared to the quality of the main camera.

HDDV is certainly going to have a huge effect on the film industry though, as it makes it a lot cheaper to make a film, it is essentially deskilling Hollywood. As at the momment Hollywood makes a lot of money from employing all kinds of people for specific tasks and equipment. The need is being lessened and its going to have a big effect.
DVC-Pro...that's DV50, right? Wow. I would've figured that would have a better chance at broadcast since it being 4:2:2. Then again, broadcastors are usually the slowest to adopt new technology. Not because they wouldn't want to, but for some the price just isn't a good thing. Only lately have CBC started getting DigiBeta decks...though they still shoot BetaSP. Tape cost is just lower.

Heh, yeah, I agree, HDDV is going to have a huge impact. I remember on Rodriguez's Once Upon A Time In Mexico DVD, his DP was asking him what f-stop the lighting was set at... Rodriguez didn't know, he just looked at the monitor and thought the lighting was good and just shot away. So I don't think so many light meters will be manufactored anymore in the future. wink
Posted: Wed, 20th Oct 2004, 5:23am

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Aculag

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If it were me, I'd wait for 6 months or so to see what happens. Canon may release an update to the XL2, as they did with the XL1, and it could fix a lot of the problems that the current camera may have.

Remember, the DVX-100 isn't as good as the 100a. At least, that's from what I hear.
Posted: Tue, 26th Oct 2004, 2:43am

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dirtygeeza

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sigerson wrote:

The only reason to go with the Canon is if you intend to get additional lenses. Otherwise, if you don't plan to do that, then the investment in the Canon doesn't seem smart to me. I mean if you're not going to get different lenses, what's the point?
I totally agree with the above statement. To me the canon Xl series seems to be more of a status thing. Its like this: giving a choice of owning a plasma tv as opposed to a conventional box standard CRT screen, anyone in their right minds would go plasma regardless of the fact that plasma technology is inferior. How many XL owners have purchased a higher end interchangeable lens since purchasing their beloved camera huh? You guys crack me up.

..indirectly relating to this subject matter is this. i saw a random on the fly doc on itv a few months back about this rich guy who purchased Michael Schumacher’s 2001 racing spec f1 car for £10 million. i remember shouting at the tv "you stupid sonofa"... why would anyone want to purchase a racing spec f1 car especially when they not a pro racing driver? Wouldn’t he have been better spending a quarter of that kinda money on a race horse instead?
Posted: Tue, 26th Oct 2004, 3:41am

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ssfoxhound

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I've always liked the Canon XL1s and the GL2. If I was going to spend the money though, I personally would go with the Sony HDR-FX1 (High-Definition) camcorder. eek

But those are all dream cameras for me, I'm still using my cheap ass Sony DCR-HC20 (1 CCD) camcorder, when I finally go to do some real shoots I'll have to go and get a real camera. redface
Posted: Tue, 26th Oct 2004, 10:49am

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NoClue

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If money is no object, why not go for something like a DSR-570?

http://www.globalmediapro.com/av/index.cgi?rq=e&topic=sonydvccamcord&action=readmore&item=67

Professional camera and the CCD's are 16:9 aspect, i.e. not square. So you get full quality 16:9 footage.

I'm currently in two minds whether to stick with buying a DSR-250p for the business, or get one of these.

EDIT * but the 250 has an LCD screen, so that might swing it for me biggrin
Posted: Tue, 26th Oct 2004, 11:02am

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Joshua Davies

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The XL2 has a true 16:9 CCD as well. The difference between the Panasonic and the XL2 isn't just the lens. Take a look at the spec list, the XL2 is a better camera in just about every way and has a better CCD.

DV might be broadcast by some TV stations in the states but they must be pretty low end local stations. Even if it is broadcast by some lesser TV stations it doesn't mean its broadcast quality. Even local TV stations in the UK/Europe use DVCPRO cameras.

When it comes to advertising its all film/HD or high end DVCPRO, unless you're talking tiny local adverts with tiny budgets.
Posted: Tue, 26th Oct 2004, 2:34pm

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NoClue

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ZukoVega wrote:


True... and if you have an extra $102,360.00 to spend, you could pick up an HDFW900 like George's.
This wouldn't be any use to me with a recording time of only 50 minutes. Most weddings last at least an hour. biggrin biggrin It just wouldn't do to have to change the tape half way through the service!
Posted: Wed, 27th Oct 2004, 3:57am

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sigerson

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schwar wrote:

The XL2 has a true 16:9 CCD as well. The difference between the Panasonic and the XL2 isn't just the lens. Take a look at the spec list, the XL2 is a better camera in just about every way and has a better CCD.

DV might be broadcast by some TV stations in the states but they must be pretty low end local stations. Even if it is broadcast by some lesser TV stations it doesn't mean its broadcast quality. Even local TV stations in the UK/Europe use DVCPRO cameras.

When it comes to advertising its all film/HD or high end DVCPRO, unless you're talking tiny local adverts with tiny budgets.
True enough. The company I'm with, depending on the client...if a high-end client, they shoot on film and transfer it over to BetaSP for editing.

A minor correction; the XL2 has 4:3 CCD's. It just has a very very good 16:9 mode, if not the best 16:9 mode on any native 4:3 CCD camera. To quote Camcorderinfo...

The XL2 has a true 16:9 mode, which is achieved in a creative fashion. The camcorder effectively uses an oversized normal 4:3 CCD. The 16:9 mode uses the entire width of the chip, excluding a portion on the top and the bottom. The 4:3 mode takes the frame that the 16:9 mode uses and chops off some of the left and right information. The product acquires the 16:9 video at 962 x 480 pixels and squeezes it to tape at a resolution of 720 x 480. Initial reaction to the XL2 16:9 mode is positive. DV Magazine contributor and widely respected video engineer Adam Wilt stated, "Very nice upgrade on the XL1. What appears to be true 16 by 9. Finally has enough resolution in the chips to make it a sensible camera."

http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content/Canon-Announces-XL2-with-24-Fames-Progessive-and-True-169.htm
Posted: Thu, 28th Oct 2004, 2:23am

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dirtygeeza

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rcamuk wrote:

If money is no object, why not go for something like a DSR-570?
http://www.globalmediapro.com/av/index.cgi?rq=e&topic=sonydvccamcord&action=readmore&item=67
is this website reputable? I take it you frequently buy from there right? Just that I'm planning on buying a pd170 in 2 months.
Posted: Thu, 28th Oct 2004, 11:28am

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NoClue

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dirtygeeza wrote:

is this website reputable?
I have no idea, I just found them in a search engine while I was looking for specs on the DSR-570. I normally by my pro cameras from someone like Creative Video ( http://www.creativevideo.co.uk ) or H. Preston( http://www.hpreston.co.uk ), but neither of them list all the specs. So I find the specs on line, then go back to them to buy the cameras.
Posted: Thu, 28th Oct 2004, 10:54pm

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dirtygeeza

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rcamuk wrote:

I have no idea, I just found them in a search engine while I was looking for specs on the DSR-570. I normally by my pro cameras from someone like Creative Video (http://www.creativevideo.co.uk ) or H. Preston(http://www.hpreston.co.uk ), but neither of them list all the specs. So I find the specs on line, then go back to them to buy the cameras.


Thats absoultely fantastic! biggrin
Cheers for the hpreston link.
Would appreciate feedback on your online buying experiences with creativevideo.