I know this is a Canon group, but I was hoping someone can give me an honest opinion. My company is going to purchase for me a camera for a show we shoot here in our IT department. They approved up to a Canon XL2 price...but I really don't want to have them spend more money then they have to if I don't need it. If you could choose between the DVX-100a and the XL2. Which would you choose and why?
If you're going to use this new camera to shoot a show in a controlled lighting environment then perhaps the DVX100A would suit your needs. The Panny in smaller, lighter and is less expensive by quite a bit. It has a nice wide angle lens but it's only a 10X zoom, so you need to be closer to the subject than you would with the XL2. The Canon is better in low light, has a stock 20X zoom lens and native widescreen, but you'd need a wide angle adapter to get the same field of view that the DVX100A has. Or you can get the Canon 3x wide angle lens, since you can change lenses on the Canon but not the Panasonic. Cameras these days have become very specialized, so you need to base your decision on the type of shooting you plan to do.
As far as picture quality goes: in the March issue of Camcorder & Computer Video magazine they did an extensive test of these two cameras. They conducted a blind test with several people looking at a monitor. The opinions were given without knowing which camera image they were looking at. They found that "The majority (5 out of 6) preferred the image generated by the XL2. None expressed exactly why, but they were definite in their preference."
Hope this helps in your decision making.
"I never knew the true meaning of happiness until I started shooting DV. But by then it was too late."