Nathan, Having used an Xl1

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Nathan,

Having used an Xl1s and On-Location since its first incarnation as ‘DV Rack’, I can tell you with certainty both are wonderful tools. Now that said, On-Location is a great field capture tool as it digitally records your clips as you shoot them to your laptop or external harddrive. Thus, saving you the time doing manual capture with premiere and wearing out your recording heads if you don’t have a secondary mini-dv player.

Drawback with On-Location is it has to be connected via firewire from laptop to camera in order to function. Therefore it’s only good for highly controlled shoots like those shot in a studio setting or where there will be little or no camera movement.

On-Location is great because you can setup your video to be within broadcast standard (without whites that cause tv’s to ‘buzz’) and have good color and tone. There are also audio tools with wavescopes so you can make sure your in camera audio isn’t too low or too ‘hot’. It’s a wonderful toolset that emulates a lot of hardware you’d need to have with none of the weight and bulk.

However, it takes time to learn how all that stuff works plus when and why you should use any of it according to a particular situation. Bottom line; OL is best used with a laptop literally on-location when you don’t want to lug a big editing workstation with you on a shoot. As is you have all you need right now.

And currently, I’d hold off on FCP at the moment. For one thing, it doesn’t work with PC’s without some major overhauling of your hardware setup. Lastly, if you want it to work properly you have to get an Apple setup which means all new supporting software to do the same thing which you already have. I don’t know about you, but I would ‘regret’ laying out a buttload of cash for something I technically already paid for. Maybe later when you’ve built up your ‘editing chops’ and you’re looking to learn another system, then by all means go for it.

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