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Canon XL-2 Users

Posted: Thu, 11th Oct 2007, 10:43pm

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BLACKACID

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Hello, Everyone

I was wondering from those who actually have or have used the XL-2 what have been your experiences with it good & bad? My partner has been working with the Xh-a1, and I find it to be a good tool, but I really like the nice picture, and griter look the Xl-2 provides. I'm really banking on this to be my next camera. What do you guys think about it?Also how do you up your fxperience?

Thanks
Brandon
Posted: Thu, 11th Oct 2007, 11:43pm

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Atom

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Someone couldn't make up their mind how they wanted to end their post. smile

I'm not entirely sure what you're asking, but I'd definitely, absolutely recommend the XH-A1 over the XL2. While both are great cameras, the XH-A1 is stats-wise a better camera for the same/less cost and is smaller and more versatile. Plus, it's full 1080 HD.

Also, the "look" is really determined by how you set the camera and what post work you do. Raw footage from both, I'd actually go as far as saying I think the A1 looks grittier. (albeit, cleaner on the edges/higher resolution) But stylistically, it's really up to how you grade it.

And if you're looking at those two expensive, good prosumer cameras, you better know something about grading too. smile
Posted: Thu, 11th Oct 2007, 11:46pm

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ben3308

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The XL2 certainly has a really great look to it, and is by far a really quality-image camera, unfortunately it suffers from one HUGE fatal design flaw that kills the camera, bar none.

Apparently, it has a fuse that lasts a short while before giving out. Losing said fuse gives way to the motherboard, which can short circuit as a result, rendering the camera useless without intensive, expensive repair.

User FCRabbath, who has made some great films with the XL2 told me himself: "don't buy one, they break too easily" and it was something I didn't really believe until my friend Brian, or SNI BRI on this site, broke his. In fact, Brian's was so fried beyond repair that actually trying to pay for repairs with nobody actually being able to fix the fuse has already cost him somewhere in the thousands.

It's a great camera to shoot with, I can attest to that, but this issue isn't just a tape head problem like with the GL2 or a framerate issue like with some Sony cameras: it's bigger than that.

A flaw that can kill the camera completely is something you want to avoid.

Get the XH-A1. It's quality is AMAZING. You can literally crop to a closeup with just filming a wide. The resolution, color, and clarity are that good.

Oh yeah, and the XH-A1 does FULL 1920 HD, not just 1080.
Posted: Fri, 12th Oct 2007, 12:27am

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er-no

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Full 1920?

Not accordingly to Canon...

wink
Posted: Fri, 12th Oct 2007, 2:27am

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BLACKACID

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Hey guys thanks for the help. Both pieces of advice I haven't heard yet. Thanks again!
Posted: Fri, 12th Oct 2007, 2:51am

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Balketh

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Full 1920? Where in good lord's name are you going to STORE that let alone SCREEN it?

Imax?

Plus, I was under the assumption that the world was just catching up to 1080p, let alone 1920, and that only cameras like the Red One can film above said 1080p, and only to something like 4k.

So yeah, the whole 1920 does seem a bit pointless if you ask me.

Just my opinion on that.

PLUS: http://www.usa.canon.com/app/html/HDV/XHA1/frame_rates.shtml

According to Canon, as mentioned by er-no, it doesn't even support 1920. It might be able to be upscaled to 1920, just like 720p can be upscaled to 1080p, like in the Documentary 'Iraq In Fragments', but it doesn't say it can shoot in 1920.

SO... Yeah... Kinda sandbagged that... But just wanted to make sure BLACKACID wasn't going to be 'OHMIGOSH! I just bought a 1920 camera! Let's film! Hey... This doesn't have 1920!!! SUE! SUE!' (Exaggerated for fun)

=D

Hope I helped somewhat.

(PS: You can really get a good close up from any well-lit shot, just as long as you only go as far as you can without quality loss, and that can be pretty close on a wide shot with good cinematography. =P)
Posted: Fri, 12th Oct 2007, 3:23am

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BLACKACID

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Haha the new red is a beauty I wish I could get my paws on that baby! $17,000(LONG WHISTLE) I originally opted on the XH-A1, but then I would switch to the XL2 it was just one of those things. As far as color correcting not a problem. My thing was the whole HD deal, and hearing about peoples problems. I hear there are still kinks to be worked out. I guess when I really look at it w/ the XH-A1 I can shoot HD or SD and for a cheaper price. I wonder why the XL-2 in many cases is more expensive that the XH-A1? Weird!
Posted: Fri, 12th Oct 2007, 7:01am

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Adman

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If I am correct, this whole HD business is wrong.
When it comes to HD for the low budget filmmaker, there are two options.

1440 X 1080 (HDV)
or
1920 X 1080 (HDD or Pro)

Both of these are 1080p/i. The second one is not known as 1920, you go by the last figure in the resolution measurment, not the first.

As for the the XL-A1, it is only capable of HDV res, as it is a Pro HDV camera and I belive that the MPEG format that is used for HD on Mini DV does not support anything above HDV res, so it is impossible for it to shoot any higher than that.

Ben is right in saying it shoots in full HDV as it does when compared to 720p.

I hope my info is correct, if not can somebody correct me who knows more about this.
Posted: Fri, 12th Oct 2007, 8:17am

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BLACKACID

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Helpful! I wonder why some people are having trouble in the HD department? My guess is they have a crap load of programs along with the HD footage running all off of one hard drive, not enough space. Hey does anyone know if you can convert videos to the animorphic format using video wrap? just wondering.
Posted: Fri, 12th Oct 2007, 6:05pm

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ben3308

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Sorry, I was confusedly mistaken. Canon touts 'full HD' as 1920x1080, meaning 1080, not 1920. I mixed my numbers up, sorry.

But the XL2 still has that flaw which makes it not worth getting at all. A camera is no good if it dies shortly after purchase.
Posted: Fri, 12th Oct 2007, 8:31pm

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BLACKACID

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True indeed my friend smile hey thanks for your help I appreciate it!
Posted: Fri, 12th Oct 2007, 10:01pm

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Aculag

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ben3308 wrote:

But the XL2 still has that flaw which makes it not worth getting at all. A camera is no good if it dies shortly after purchase.
So we're to assume that EVERY XL2 breaks shortly after you start using it, and Canon hasn't found a way to fix the problem? It's been like three years. Why are they still selling?

Get a warranty. Jeez.
Posted: Fri, 12th Oct 2007, 10:34pm

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BLACKACID

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So what do you know about the XL-2 any experiences you could share with a fellow filmmaker?

Thanks
Posted: Sat, 13th Oct 2007, 1:26am

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Aculag

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I don't know much about it, but I know that it's not possible for a successful product to have a crippling flaw like the one Ben mentioned and not be recalled, or fixed in any way. It's possible that some of the cameras have this flaw, and I have no doubt that some of them do, but certainly not all of them.

Like I said, if you're really worried about it, there's no reason to not get the camera you want, just get a warranty on it so in case something happens, you can get it fixed.
Posted: Sat, 13th Oct 2007, 2:45am

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ben3308

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In the same regard the FXHome staff warns against the XM2's for their tape deck issues, I'm warning against the XL2's fuse issue. Unlike the XM2, however, which had several following 'generations' of manufacturing that eradicated the issue, the XL2's still produced have this flaw, and it's huge.

It first alarmed me when FCRabbath strongly warned against the camera, seeing as he's been the one to use it for the most good I've seen from an XL2 owner. Moreover, then a friend broke it firsthand, causing him a loss in some income and therein several finances, and so I really know how the issue affects people. It cost him thousands in repairs, the first two of which couldn't solve the problem.

It's a big deal, and it happens all over the place. Hit up DVInfo, DVXUser, or just the Watchdog pages, and you'll see. It seems to be an issue with viewfinder compatibility that Canon claims doesn't exist. The XL2 body itself suffers from no flaws, but when a viewfinder is connected and put on standby, it's literally a time bomb ticking. Using XL1/XL1s viewfinders shortens the timespan for collapse even more.

You don't have to believe me, but keep in mind I'm just trying to save you trouble.
Posted: Sat, 13th Oct 2007, 6:18am

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BLACKACID

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No dude I'm listening I mean this is why I started this post, to get some good feedback. I am doing some heavy research. We've discuss some problems with the XL-2, how about the XH-A1? Are there any major flaws going on with that camera? A lot of the other post I got to speak highly of the two, but I would like to know the negative aspects of it. Lol and you know on the Canon web site they are promoting it so everything is going to be positive. Sorry guys, but I can't just spend a large amount of cash on just anything thing I like to know what I'm getting myself into. The stats are nice and all, but I want info from people who have used them in the field. Thank you guys again for your help it's much appreciated! smile
Posted: Sat, 13th Oct 2007, 7:24am

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Zirk

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Hello, as a long time XL-2 owner I thought perhaps my input is perhaps a bit better than a few others.

First, I have never heard of the fuse problem. I have never experienced it, or heard it mentioned before now. I would ask canon or a reseller about that.

So, th 'VS' any other camera is always a bit tricky. Me myself, I wait til 1080p is the 'standard' before I transit to HD. Where I live it is quite a while away until people have HD-DVD, Blue-ray, full supported screens etc. I am perhaps a bit slow, but I dont understand 1080i smile 720p methink is better to shoot and work in, but that is, as far as I remember not supported by the A1.

But there are other considerations, I'll try to give my ups and downs:

Its 'big'. It doesnt look like anything you can buy at wall-mart, everyone sees that, and everyone understands they are dealing with a 'pro'. you WILL get more atention. Peoplde DO treat you with more respect. its a fact of life.

Also makes it quite acceptable as a shoulder cam, witch I like.

That is also a 'con'. It is 'big'. It is more clumsy to carry, bring along, especialy on airplanes with the new baggage-size rules. Its not 'very' heavy, but heavy enough to render usage of say glidecam 4000 quite hard without further, expencive addons (flyer).

Then you have interchangable lenses. This was a big selling point for me, but I found that I mostly use the 20x stock lens, and once in a blue moon change it to a wide. Others change lenses everytime they shoot.

Manual settings. XL-2 is a killer on settings. This is not a point and shoot camera. This is also a good and/or a bad thing. You WILL learn manual controlls using this camera, or end up complaining how bad images the xl-2 gives smile

No LCD flipscreen forces you to use the tiny viewfinder or external monitor. External is the way to go on planned shots.

But to conclude. Would I buy this camera again ?

I am a bit unsure. If Im realy 'feeling it out' Im leaning towards a 'no', at least for full retail price. But its not an 'absolute' no. In my opinnion, this is one of the best (if not the best) SD cameras out there.

If you have any spesific questions, ask and I will try to answer.
Posted: Sat, 13th Oct 2007, 8:28am

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BLACKACID

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If you could do it all over again which cameras would you consider? Along side the XH-A1, and the XL-2 I was also looking at the Panasonic HVX-200, but stopped soon after I found out that w/o the P2 card you can only get 8min of HD, and the card itself is pretty expensive. Is there some kind of small flip out LCD sceen in the eye cup of the XL-2?
Posted: Sat, 13th Oct 2007, 9:42am

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Atom

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BLACKACID wrote:

If you could do it all over again which cameras would you consider? Along side the XH-A1, and the XL-2 I was also looking at the Panasonic HVX-200, but stopped soon after I found out that w/o the P2 card you can only get 8min of HD, and the card itself is pretty expensive. Is there some kind of small flip out LCD sceen in the eye cup of the XL-2?
P2 Cards are efficient in data transfer (there's no middleman format), but also ridiculously costly. And if you don't expect to have a few $1,000 laying around for them, etc. you're not going to want the HVX as, yes, you'll get a miniscule amount shot without the cards.

The XL2 has a pull for the eye-cover on the 1-inch LCD. You can open this to see a plain and movable LCD, but don't underestimate how small it becomes. smile

As far as I know, there haven't been any major errors or flaws in the XH-A1 thus far. More time really has to pan out to see how it does, though.
Posted: Sat, 13th Oct 2007, 10:06am

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Zirk

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The hvx 200 looks like a very nice camera, and if it is within your budget, I'd certainly look into it. The p2 cards can add a hefty sum, though.

As for viewfinder, I use it a lot for 'lcd'. It can be a bit tough to use on the fly, though, and I often use zebra to guestimate the propper exposure when 'on location'. This is often 'ok', but I mess it up somtimes when it is getting hectic. If you look at

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkGsfhztEy0

(a small sample I had to put up a month ago), you can see near the end with the police action, I really messed up the settings. Things happened very fast, and when the shit realy started, I had just adjusted the settings for another angle/lightcondition.


Mind you, this is unprocessed images, a lot can be fixed in post.

So, even if it is fully usable for ENG, I would say this is not the prime usage.
Posted: Sat, 13th Oct 2007, 7:09pm

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BLACKACID

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I'm almost certain I am going to run w/ the XH-A1. It shoots both SD & HD. As far as interchable lenses it doesn't matter b/c I am putting a little cash away for the red rock micro. The stats and user reviews are positive, good ratings across the board. And no matter which camera you have wehter it's an XL-2, XH-A1 or just a consumer mini dv you can pull the look off you want in post. It seems to be a sweet deal. You guys have been super helpful!

Thanks,
Brandon
Posted: Sat, 13th Oct 2007, 9:01pm

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Zirk

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I think you will be pleased with your choice. All cameras in a certain price-range are usually very good smile

As I said, I almost never change lenses anyway.
Posted: Sun, 14th Oct 2007, 12:43am

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Atom

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Zirk wrote:

I think you will be pleased with your choice. All cameras in a certain price-range are usually very good smile
Really, totally true. The are just varying degrees of that extra factor of 'want' in each camera.
Posted: Sun, 14th Oct 2007, 1:00am

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Bryce007

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I can personally attest to the fact that, unless you've got an extra $2000 to spend, the HVX200 isn't a smart idea.


Now, The DVX100B on the other hand....


(Spanks the XL2)
Posted: Sun, 14th Oct 2007, 1:12am

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Atom

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Bryce007 wrote:

I can personally attest to the fact that, unless you've got an extra $2000 to spend, the HVX200 isn't a smart idea.


Now, The DVX100B on the other hand....


(Spanks the XL2)
Agreed. On both parts. And it spanks the FX1, too. (Using one on MSB smile) I will also say I think that the XH-A1 double-spanks even the DVX.
Posted: Mon, 15th Oct 2007, 12:50pm

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FCRabbath

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Bryce007 wrote:

I can personally attest to the fact that, unless you've got an extra $2000 to spend, the HVX200 isn't a smart idea.


Now, The DVX100B on the other hand....


(Spanks the XL2)
I disagree. Highly.
HVX = amazing.
XL2 > DVX100B but hey IMO.
That being said, the XL2 would be the best minidv (SD) camera out there if it wasn't for the fuse problem.