First, I should warn you n


First, I should warn you not to be immediately fooled by LUX ratings. There’s basically no control on the industry how each company rates their products. For example, the XL-1S was advertised as 2 lux brand new, but that was at a grossly reduced shutter speed. The XL-2 is more realistically rated at 5 lux at a more average shutter speed, and in all reality, the XL-1S would actually be more reasonably rated at 5-6 lux at the same shuter speeds that the GL-2 and XL-2 were rated at.

Consumer cameras hype up their lux counts. With the "night vision" garbage most cameras carry, they often advertise 0 lux up to 2 lux, when in all reality, most consumer cameras, if you measure the point at which colors start to fade, are probably around 15-20 lux.

In addition, even lux itself isn’t as solid a number as you might be led to believe. Technically, all cameras are 0 lux, bucause lux is actually the amount of light being produced, not the amount being picked up by the CCD, as some clever marketing agent in a camcorder company one day dreamt up. Here’s an experiment: if you have a 2 car garage, go close the doors and block the windows so it’s pitch black in there. Now, in the middle of the room, light up one 40 watt bulb. That’s about 10 lux in scientific measure, maybe a little more even. Take ANY camera on the market, even the super low light friendly VX-2100, and try shooting the stuff on the walls of your garage. It’s not going to look very good.

Honestly, I’ve never given much respect to lux raitings, since every manufacturer can do it however they want, and in the case of the XL-1S and the XL-2, we can see that even the same manufacturer can do it differently for each camera. Lux is a marketing tactic, not much more.

The best way to learn if a camera is good for you is to ask others who have used them how they rate. I’ve used the VX-2100, the GL-2, and all the XL series cameras except for the new Hi def XL. They’re all fairly comparable in light, with the VX doing better in lower lighting than all of the others. Yes, the GL-2 rates at "6 lux" on Canon’s information, but by the same standards, both the XL-1s and the XL-2 only rate at about 5. And those numbers are going to be more honest, whereas consumer camcorders basically lie through their teeth about lux. 0 lux may as well be 20 lux.

On the classes, you’re right, there’s not a lot. You can pay the big bucks to attend an intensive workshop at the New York Film Academy, or for $30,000 and two years of post grad work, they can issue you a Masters of Fine Arts in Fimmaking. But the best way is to maybe pay someone for a crash course if you’re really uncomfortable, but then/otherwise pick everything you need up by doing it.

I hope you find what you need, and keep us posted on how the business is going.

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