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to start with i must say I love this camera! i have used a lot of differant caameras over the years and this one is my favourite.
It offers a wealth of features such as interchangable lenses and total control over all 4 channels of audio available on the mini Dv format which many camera's in this class don't! It is very comfterble to work with incredably solid and robust and produces beautiful results! i have used this camera on many differant productions ranging from corperate work to music video's to short movies for festivals to personal projects and it hasn't failed me once! the controls are well thought out and laid out in a user freindly manner making it an absolut pleasure to work with. and the whole thing is modular the mic, viewfinder and lens are all interchangable and also means you can dismantle it to a great pack size for transporting it around!
anyone after a solid reliable pro-sumer camera should look no further this is the dogs preverbials...
The Canon XL2 is the pro-sumer miniDV camcorder that is most often spotted on the sets of low budget and independent films. Not because it is a cheap option, but because for a fraction of the cost of a professional rig, you can deliver the same results.
SOME OF THE MORE IMPORTANT SPECS:
1/3" Progressive Scan 3CCD image sensor
PAL & NTSC versions available
TTL Autofocus and Manual focus ring
20x optical zoom
Min focus distance 20mm on wide macro
Min illumination 60i, 1/60 shutter speed = 5.5lux
Filter Diameter 72mm
Viewfinder 2.0 inch TFT colour LCD (200,000 pixels)
Microphone stereo electric condenser plus 2xXLR ports
Total Pixels 16:9 460,000 (962x480), 4:3 350,000 (720x480)
DV out is IEEE1394/mini Firewire connection
Video out is 4pin mini-DIN
weight 7.8lbs with lens and battery
If you're looking to get high quality picture definition from your camcorder then nothing short of 3CCD will do, but once you get onto the 3CCD rung, you will realize the ladder goes much higher than you needed to climb.
Working as a semi-professional cameraman I have used everything from hidden pincams right up to Broadcast Digibeta rigs as well as underwater cameras and the relevant housings they require, and I would confidently say that if you are a non/semi professional looking for a high quality DV format camcorder for recording family/events then you will not be disappointed by the clarity, image sharpness and excellent colour reproduction of the XL2.
Loaded with the usual features found on other high end cameras: Optical image stabilization, dual aspect ratios, gamma adjust, frame rate adjust, all manual mode - BUT where it leaves ALL its competitors standing is the fantastic inclusion of the XL Mount Interchangeable lens system.
This has to be THE selling point for this camera, which is a shame as all the other features are strong enough to make this a market contender anyway. By changing the lens you achieve a flexibility that is unprecedented in consumer video electronics. There are four main lenses: the 20x OIS, 16xOIS, 16xManual and wide, but with the XL system adapter you suddenly have the entire range of Canon photographic lenses at your fingertips, a necessity for specialist shooting like nature documentary and astrological study. However, it is important to remember that the lens is probably the most expensive part of a modern camera, so this coupled with the high quality of Canon lenses in general, could lead to an expensive sink for the gadget hungry director.
If like most end users you plan to keep this on full auto and 'hose' it around you could probably get the same results with a cheaper option (the Canon XM2 springs to mind). But if you're a budding film maker or a photographic perfectionist then this model really allows you to take control of every aspect of the camera. From shutter speed to aperture you can create your look actually inside the camera.
Through your eyepiece you have easy line of sight to the 2.0 inch colour LCD viewfinder, accompanied by record, shutter and gain indicator lights, with optional on-screen metering for audio and light (very handy!). Flipping up the viewfinder exposes the 2inch LCD screen for use away from the eye, and the whole viewfinder unit can be moved back and forth to accommodate your size exactly while shoulder mounting the camera (lets hope you're right handed!). In fact the built in shoulder cushion makes the camera actually feel nice to use.
The button placement seemed intuitive, although possibly a little fiddly when trying to make adjustments in a hurry. The external XLR sockets with phantom power make for very easy use of professional close mics that will plug directly in to left or right channel which have their own individual level switches.
Watching the footage back you would be forgiven for thinking that you're watching HD, but you're not. In fact even though Canon actually helped to define the HDV standard, this is still SD (standard definition) which has a severly limited shelf life in the fast moving world of technologies, but was an essential choice for the manufacturers who wanted to make all of Canons SD lenses useable.
Also, it is important to remember that you will only get high quality playback if you shoot high quality footage. As with all professional rigs it can be very unforgiving in the areas of exposure, focus and colour replication if you don't white balance it as well as focus and light properly for your shots. Remember 5.5 lux is not as dark as you'd think, and many other cameras can outperform the XL2 in low light situations (the Sony PD170 for example).
Outstanding colour reproduction, clarity and customizable options.
Very versatile if used with additional lenses.
Comfortable to use (though at 7.8 lbs you might want to invest in a tripod for extended use)
Pro styling makes you look the part
Built in XLR
REALLY THE BEST IN ITS CLASS - but not for the amateur who wants to 'point-and-press', save yourself some money and try the XM2 instead.
The Canon XL2 allows you to capture images closer to the finished product than ever before. Work that previously was limited to post-production can be simply and effectively accomplished in the field, in the camcorder.
An Open Architecture philosophy, performance found only in much more expensive video cameras, Total Image Control and the solid foundation of Genuine Canon Optics, interchangeable lens capability and superb Canon image processing quality are united in the XL2.
The XL2 brings a host of performance and convenience features to this class of video camcorder- benefits that can't be found in this combination on other high-end video cameras. They include: Canon Super Range Optical Image Stabilization in the standard lens; dual aspect ratios; various frame rate capabilities; image gamma and detail controls; skin detail control and convertible LCD display and among others.
Unprecedented image control coordination between two XL2 cameras, remote computer camera control and direct video recording to computer are just a part of the capabilities of the XL2. Never before has so much creative power been put in the hands of the film maker, video artist, and corporate and event videographer.
|Product Description:||Canon XL2 - camcorder - Mini DV|
|Media Type:||Mini DV|
|Sensor Resolution:||800 Kpix|
|Lens System:||Canon 20 x zoom lens - 5.4 - 108 mm - f/1.6-3.5|
|Focus Adjustment:||Automatic, manual|
|Min Focus Distance:||2 cm|
|Viewfinder:||LCD monitor - colour|
|Display:||LCD display - 2"|
|Supported Battery:||1 x Li-ion rechargeable battery ( included )|
|AV Interfaces:||Composite video, S-Video|
|Dimensions (WxDxH):||22.5 cm x 49.6 cm x 22 cm|