Looking At Buying 3CCD Camera - Suggestions?

beatnik wrote on 3/12/2003, 1:39 AM

I really love this video stuff SOOOO much that I am thinking of doing it full time.
I am looking at buying a prosumer video camera. I have a budget of about
$10,000 (CAN) which should be about $6,000 (US).

I am very interested in the Canon XL1s. The ONLY thing I don't like about it is
that it does NOT come with an LCD display such as the Panasonic AG-DVX 100 which
is also on my short list. Can anybody who has any of these cameras please post
or email me at amorias@rogers.com with their input OR a suggestion on other cameras.




MrEd wrote on 3/12/2003, 2:35 AM
Hey Alex, I noticed a LCD display that you can add on the top of an XL1s. I saw it in videomaker mag. It was about $250.00 I think.

I myself am thinking about getting a xl1s... I have been thinking about it for about a year and a half. I have really looked around at different cams and I think this is the one I am going to get.

You can find it for much cheaper in the internet but you get what you pay for. I am thinking about getting mine at Best Buy. I bought a $1100.00 Nikon from them and got the warenty plan with it. 7 months later it was not working and they replaced the cam for me and I even got to upgrade to the next model for 100 bucks. It was worth it!

I think the xl is going for about 4,500.00 at Best Buy and then you pay about 200 bucks for the warenty plan. This is good for 5 years... if something breaks they fix it or replace the Cam. Not bad huh? Well I think I am going to go this route.

Good luck my friend!

kkolbo wrote on 3/12/2003, 8:16 AM
Well, my favorite of the bunch, because I was on a smaller budget was the Sony PD-150. I found it more capable in real world situations than the XL series. That was not meant to start a war. Everyone has things that make their style work best. For me it was a right fit. Having the XLR audio ready and things like that just worked better for me. I also prefer DVCAM over DV tapes.

With your budget you could consider moving a step up from either of those to a Sony DSR250ENGN1 or even JVC has a great DV camera in that range. The diffeence between a $3K and a $6 camera is considerable. 1.5 inch B&W viewfinder for example. Things like that a settable time code all become more common at that price. I would say keep look and if you are in the $6K range, get out of the consumer market and get a camera that will help you in a professional way.

BTW, the XL's are good cameras. Many pro use them, just like the PD-150's. I woudl suggest that before you buy, borrow and try shooting with them and see what fits you. I was surprized how that changed my choice.

rextilleon wrote on 3/12/2003, 8:38 AM
I would agree with the above--Your price point is tough---if you really want to step up from the XL1S or the PD-150 to a 1/2 Chip camera---
MyST wrote on 3/12/2003, 8:50 AM

Above is the link to PC Photo review. Didn't notice any prosumer stuff, but maybe it'll help you anyways.

vernman wrote on 3/12/2003, 9:19 AM
I have an XL1 and have used it for the last couple of years.
I agree with the other posts in that you have a number of choices
available, but the XL1s would be a great selection. A number of external
LCD monitors are available for the camera, but the real question
is which camera/lens/electronics/etc. is right for YOU. Which
camera will let you craft your images with the least intrusion.

let us know what you decide

beatnik wrote on 3/12/2003, 9:34 AM

Does the LCD need a separate power source or does it hook up the camera source?
Bear wrote on 3/12/2003, 9:44 AM
I have been in the video business for a number of years and I would recommend buying a Sony product. The quality is very good and very consistant. For me a major factor is the support. Sony supports products for years after they are replaced by newer models, how many years since the betamax system went out of the picture yet rught up until this years sony offered full support for the products. I am not complaing about any other manufacturer but The is a certian comfort level buying from Sony as I know they will be there to support thier customers down the line.
tailgait wrote on 3/12/2003, 9:48 AM
I sell cameras (ATV Video Center, Sacramento, CA) and I prefer the 150 to the XL1s, but if you're going to spend that kind of money, get a Sony 250. You will absolutely love it, especialy it's low-light capability. My advice also, is to get the extended warranty if you are buying from someone like Best Buy. In any event, if you buy from the internet, you receive a camera in a box and that's it. Don't expect any support. If possible, buy it from a dealer in your hometown, someone you can take it to when something goes wrong. You will have to pay tax, yes, but I know from experience that you will have peace of mind.

(Burt Wilson)
wcoxe1 wrote on 3/12/2003, 10:24 AM
Take a look at the Panasonic MX-5000 on:

bakerja wrote on 3/12/2003, 10:34 AM
I have been researching this issue in preparation for purchase. I have found that several PD-150 owners are complaining about the enormous amount of hiss when recording audio in manual mode. It is evidently a big problem. Most of my needs would require manual level control so I am really hesitant to purchase the Sony.
rextilleon wrote on 3/12/2003, 10:47 AM
Okay--tailgait, there is absolutely no difference in low light performance between the PD-150 and the 250--same chips----As far as the hiss problem goes---thats another red herring---On the early versions of the PD-150 there was a hiss issue---this has been remedied---
vitalforce2 wrote on 3/12/2003, 11:50 AM
I bought a Panasonic AG-DVX100 last November and have used it to make a short film which we just finished the last scene of, this week. I recommend it highly. I used a PD-150PAL on a film last year and there's no comparison. Excellent color, 17-element wide-angle adjustable lens, numerous numerous manualized settings, and it shoots in 24P (which I used) as well as 60i regular video. Also, has XLR mike inputs built in, and I have actually used the camera to convert the soundtrack from a minidisc recorder to DV audio, with no signal loss, no hiss, etc. People are reluctant to say so, but I think this camera blows everything in its class completely out of the water. My DP, who has only worked in Super 16 up to now, loves it. P.S.: We shot one day outdoors in freezing rain, and the camera had zero condensation when we took it inside. Viva la revolucion.
SEVideo wrote on 3/12/2003, 12:17 PM
We have (1) Sony PD150 and (6) Sony VX2000s. We had an XL1 for a month and it couldn't hold a candle (sorry for the pun). We shoot a wide variety of events from weddings to theatre to dance to industrial to sports. The PD150/VX2000 technology is absolutely the best for what we do.

Jim Mickol
General Manager
Rochester, NY
MrEd wrote on 3/12/2003, 1:00 PM
Great! :) I was just about to buy an XL1 this week on next. I have looked into it for about a year and a half. Now I hear all this talk of sony and panasonic. Now what do I do? Hummmmm Any defenders of an XL1 out there? Of course we are not trying to start a fight but I just would like their feedback too.

Are there any good video shots of these other products? I know on www.canondv.com they have a great video of an XL1 and what it can do. Like time function where it records shots every 30 sec or so to get the sun to rise in a shot.

I did print of some facts about these two cams. I plan on reading them
Are there any videos about them or better reading?

Hey thanks for your comments adn thanks beatnik for asking the question. When you spend this much money you want to really look. Then again, if you get too much advice from others you head may spin. But you have to do what you have to do I guess.


David_Kuznicki wrote on 3/12/2003, 1:23 PM
Another good one to look at is the PDX-10. I played with one the other day-- it's a VERY nice camera for the price (less than $2500)...

MrEd wrote on 3/12/2003, 1:31 PM
I am thinking about changing my mind and not getting one. I am looking at the Panasonic Ag-DVX100 because of its boasted "Film Look" at 24fps. Yet, the XL1, I have heard can get great depth of feild with the interchangable lens. It has tons of other great funcitons. But I am liking the sound of this "Broadcast" and "Film look" quality of the DVX-100. Plus I think it is newer so my guess it might be better because of that. Any thoughts?

Here is an interesting link I found with comparing info:

Still looking...
beatnik wrote on 3/12/2003, 1:43 PM

YES MrEd, my head is spinning! I like the "professional" look of the Canon which
would "impress" clients, yet the Panasonic has some great features for about $1,000
less. Plus I already own a panasonic 1CCD camera and I like it very much. Plus I
have a couple of good panasonic batteries. Hmmmm? What do I do? The only good
thing I like about sony is the support in terms of add-ons etc.
MrEd wrote on 3/12/2003, 1:50 PM
That's funny! I was thinking the same thing as you "I like the "professional" look of the Canon which would "impress" clients, yet the Panasonic has some great features for about $1,000 less."

If you go in to shoot it will look like someone amature. Oh well, I guess as long as we produce the quality product.

I found an interesting post on a fourm called "XL1 or DVX100". You can check it out here...

I will keep looking and let you know what I find out. When are you planing on making the big purchase
MyST wrote on 3/12/2003, 2:03 PM
Beatnik, is the Canon GL2 anywhere near the quality you're looking for? I mention the GL2 because Futureshop has it for $4000, it's 3CCD and the customer rating is 5 out of 5 (61 votes!).
With your budget, you could get 2. If your looking at getting deep into this, isn't 2 better than 1?
Futureshop also has the extended warranties available.
If however your looking at something more upscale...disregard this post and continue reading posts from more knowledgeable people. :)

TorS wrote on 3/12/2003, 2:14 PM
beatnik used a vital expression: "professional look".
My brother has a PD 150 which I've borrowed from time to time. And I do not want people to think I am a professional. It stiffens them. That's why I prefer my own Sony TRV 950, because it makes me look like a tourist or a proud father which, often enough, I am. (It is a 3CCD cam, though.)

It's interesting however, to see how much the PD 150 gets mentioned, and often in connection with the word workhorse. I have a feeling one day people will be glad they bought one when it was available.

tailgait wrote on 3/12/2003, 3:22 PM
The "professional look" is self evident in the Sony 250. It looks like a balls-out video camera and while it might have the same low-light capability of the PD-150, (same chips, as was pointed out) you get more attention when you walk into a place and pull out the 250. Check it out on the Sony site. You'll love it.
Jay Gladwell wrote on 3/12/2003, 5:45 PM
For whatever reason, this my "camera is better than your camera" goes back, I think, to male insecurity as it pertains to male body parts. The truth is any one of the above mentioned cameras will server anyone well. It's not what's in your hands, but what's in your head that counts.

Having said that, I use the Canon XL1s. Why? Because coming into video from film, I was used to cameras that had interchangable lenses. The XL1 and the XL1s have that feature. The others don't. I have shot in nearly every condition imaginable. I have never been disappointed in the quality of the image the camera has given me. The few times there were problems, it was always user error.

As has already been said many times, you have to decide what you need/want in a video camera, not what other people think you need.
Jay Gladwell wrote on 3/12/2003, 5:49 PM
Mr. Ed, do not think that any camera will make your video look like film. It won't. It can't. Anyone who says it can is being less than honest (or else he doesn't know what he's talking about).

I would strongly suggest that you and everyone else read the article at: http://digitalfilmmaker.net/Vinson24P.html. It certainly won't hurt.

JJKizak wrote on 3/12/2003, 6:50 PM
While I have not used the Sony or JVC most of what I do is "hand held" and
the optical stabilization of the Canon XL1-S is superior to any electronic
stabilization. The electronic stabilization has a tendency to "stacato" the
MPEG2 codec (teeny weeny microscopic jumps like worn pull down holes in the
film). Of course its not all the time and depends on the camera involved.
Don't get me wrong, I like the Sony stuff but Canon has been making
incredable lenses since the 1960's. What it comes down to is what you like
and what you can afford. Actually I kind of prefer the Sony digital 24P
that Hollywood uses---I think its about $120,000.00.