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“Iworked with the XL-1s andthe GL1, I hated the picture quality of the Canons, the XL-1s was expensive and to me very flimsy.”
Hmm, I worked with some folks who hated the XL1s imagery (but they were comparing it to a $20k DVCPRO rig which was a different level of camera.) You’re the first I ever heard say it was expensive and ‘flimsy’. Yeah, I guess compared to the $70k Betacams and DigiBetas I used to work with it would seem flimsy. However, I field tested an XL1 during some military operations and that thing got wet, dirty, banged up and still kept rollin’. However, you have to shoot a military camera operator before they’ll ‘drop a rig’ and they might not do it then! We still have the first XL1s I purchased back in ’02 and that thing has been used from the freezing temps of a blizzard to the hellish heat of a steel mill. Now I might have felt the way you did if we hadn’t outfitted it with a pro rig of a shoulder mount and monochrome viewfinder. We got all the lenses except for the 14x and even have an Night Vision setup for it. Despite it being ‘old tech’ it will be ‘on active duty’ until it falls apart. The inital body and 16x Stabilized lens purchase was less expensive than cameras of comparable configuration today. All those extras did add up.Had we went with a much higher-end camera we would have gotten only the body and maybe a lens for what we paid for all the add-ons.
I’m really happy with the JVC’s. Norman said to ‘avoid 720p’, but Ihappen to like it. 720p is perfect for making films that go straight to DVD. Obviously, 1080p is a higher res image, but not that many people have migrated to Blu-Ray (I still say HDD was better) and the tech moving to Blu-Ray is moving slowly forward. That and as I’ve mentioned, Sony is notorious for abandoning a format. If the move to Blu-Ray as a standard takes much longer, watch out. Also, I like the choice of resolutions. 720p projects don’t take up as much harddrive space as a 1080p one will. Then too, who are you making the project for? Unless your client is capable of broadcasting or otherwise distributing such high format projects (and can pay for their production) what are you going to do with it? JVC’s latest rig give the option of doing 720p or 1080p (something Panasonic has offered since ’07) so I’m giving it a serious look.
As far as getting shot at, been there, done that, here’s your ballcap and t-shirt. Welcome to the club. When the aircraft your shooting from gets targeted for missile fire, give me a call and you’ll get the ‘secret handshake’.