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Shooting documentary with XL2

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Marc Brak
Shooting documentary with XL2
on Apr 10, 2008 at 10:33:29 am

Hi all,

just bought a second hand XL, really looking forward to start using it! It will be used for web video mainly, BUT to give myself some proper camera training AND have fun while doing it, i'm planning to shoot a small (+/- 50 min.) documentary with it, about our local music scene.

Will the XL2 give me SD broadcast quality? Also, should i shoot 25p and go for that 'film look' or go 50i? (This is PAL land).

I'm planning to do a lot of low light scenes such as rock concerts etc.


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Craig Alan
Re: Shooting documentary with XL2
on Apr 20, 2008 at 4:48:59 pm

I think the xl2 was (is) a great choice if you need 16x9 SD footage. Nice optics, better audio, and more knobs and buttons rather than menu items than Sony's pd170. But I have also found that it requires a decent amount of light, much more than the pd170 for acceptable image. And if you want a film look you really need to light it correctly. Also I find that it was prone to head clogging/head alignment issues so I would have it tuned up by a Canon repair place. If the band is well lit you should get great shots of the performance, but if you pan over the audience, not lit, it will be too dark. Try to do some test footage before the show under the same lights.

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.


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