ease of use of xl2
I'm planning on renting either a pd 170 or xl2 for a wedding next week. I used a pd170 and thought it was ok, but a bit akward, since it wouldn't fit near shoulder and heavy to hold in hand, also not as much zoom as the xl2.
If i'm a bit new at camera work, on manual mode, can the xl2 be fine for an amatuer shooting a wedding without messing everything up on auto mode?
I don't want to cheapskate my friends, but I've wanted to try the xl2 for a long time!
I use both. If you were comfortable on the Sony with manual focus, push focus, aperture, a little gain maybe, and audio levels, then I’d say the xl2 controls are more intuitive not less (most of the common controls have their own button or knob and labeled clearly) -- but I would read through the manual before the shoot and try them all out. With the Canon you can choose an aspect ratio. Once you learn the Sony, it’s easy to remember; but as you know, it’s a sequence of button and dial and push-in dial as button. The Canon has a more analog feel to it. I would not try to shoot a wedding hand held with either. Get a good tripod with a quick release plate. The Sony will be better balanced on low-end tripods. Get a spider brace shoulder support for $80 or so. Works great on the canon, pretty good on the Sony. Or try out the rental ones. The optics are better on the xl2 with a more powerful zoom. However, the Sony is a champ at available/low light—often the case when doing events. The canon will shoot 16x9 native and you can choose a cinema look if the bride is into that romantic feel, though you can also play with this in post. But do you have enough light? The down side to the canon is it can have head alignment/head clogging problems and not play well with VCRs in post. Try the rental out before the big day. And you might have to use the canon itself as the capture deck, extra day rental? Also the LCD on the Sony is way better than the mini TV you get when you flip up the viewfinder on the canon. That said the LCD blocks your view of the aperture wheel and push focus control on the Sony. Through the viewfinder, both are ok at focusing though I would not judge aperture that way. Shoot some test footage using the zebras or auto adjust and play it back on a decent monitor. Record using different settings, which you note by reading them out loud and then you’ll have a good starting place. By far, the biggest challenge to shooting an event, particularly solo, is sound. How will you mike the event?
OSX 10.4.11; Quicksilver Dual 1 gig; G5 dual 2.5 gig; FCP 4.5, 3.0.4; Sony camcorder vx2000/pd170;Canon xl2; Pana consumer cams; write professionally for a variety of media;teach video production in L.A.