View Full Version : The 3 way shoot out

Jarred Land
06-03-2005, 08:51 PM
Click Here to read the full article (http://dvxuser.com/articles/shoot3/)

Future user
06-06-2005, 07:54 AM
Great article, excellent informatio.

Jarred Land
06-06-2005, 09:42 AM
Thanx :)

06-13-2005, 02:21 PM
Thank you Jarred for this excellent and thorough article. I was was 80% certain of my choice and now I know.

06-16-2005, 05:04 AM
I searched the web for a comparison between camcorders in this class and found lots of airy discussions based on what people have heard... This however, is something quite different! A very good article!

My vote was with the HDR-FX1 (actually the HDR-Z1U). I was very close to buy the Z1U too. But you've pinpointed many problems and bad solutions about the camera, so I'm in doubt again. You've been very harsh on Sony, and this may be for a reason. HDV is an advantage, but it won't affect that many, yet.

My use for a new camera would be shooting snowboard and skateboard. Do you have a recommendation for me? I've not been into this for long, and this will be my first prosumer or proffesional camera. HELP! We'll be filming out in the streets in all kind of weather, good lux may be an issue.


Shawn Murphy
06-16-2005, 05:40 AM
Jarred, where did you guys have this article posted originally? I read it back in early March on another web site somewhere, it was what convinced me top buy the DVX, great article, thx!

Bill in WA.
06-18-2005, 04:04 PM
Great Article !!! If I understand correctly from your testing, the DVX100A is superior in some ways to the Canon FX2. However, if the great majority of the work to be done involved nature wildlife (whales, salmon fishing, bears, etc) and nature scenes (waterfalls, passages, ocean, docks) taken from a 60' boat (stabilized) you would you then probably suggest the Canon? The 20x zoom, shoulder mount, and some other traits lead me to think that is the way I should go... then again I read about low light capability and color quality and I lean toward the DVX. Because I am going to produce this on DVD's for distribution I have stayed away from HD and staying with SD. My project will, ultimately, take about three years and involve filming from WA to Alaska on the inland waterway. Thanks, in advance, for any assistance

06-18-2005, 06:45 PM
If the telephoto reach is a necessary part of your shooting, the XL2 will have a decided advantage over the DVX (not only because of the 20x zoom, but because you can also use still-camera lenses for incredible telephoto range). And if 16:9 origination is important to you (for making 16x9-native DVDs), the XL2 will have an advantage. The DVX is a great camera for many uses, but it is not the hands-down favorite for all uses, and it sounds like for your purposes the XL2 (or maybe the JVC HD100?) may be the more suitable choice.

Ultimately you should try to get your hands on each and see how you like them.

Shawn Murphy
06-18-2005, 06:51 PM
Hey Barry, where else have I seen this article posted, did you guys have it on a commercial site for a while prior to this?

06-18-2005, 07:42 PM
No, this is the only place it's been published, as far as I know...

Shawn Murphy
06-18-2005, 09:21 PM
ok, perhaps it was posted here a couple months back and I just didn't realize this is where I read it first, I think I got confused because the article has a posting date of June 3rd, did you guys write it a couple of months ago and just post it again? (I think I'm losing my mind because this article is definitely the one I used to make my decision to buy the DVX in mid-March)

06-19-2005, 12:09 AM
We did that shootout last November, I think the article was first posted in January.

Probably the switch to the new site software that's confusing you -- the articles are in a different section and have a different look to them now. But this is the same article, and it was posted on this site (just under the old board software).

06-20-2005, 05:06 AM
Hey there! great article, amazingly thorough. Upon going to B&H and looking at the VX1 and the DVX, I was going to get the FX1 hands down: I loved the fat that it has a PAL setting (I've had a PAL camera for the last 4 years, and need to continue shooting in PAL for some doc projects) and had a zoom iris with a quick racking nob. And hey- HD! BUT after reading your article, yikes! The sound situaton, for starters, seems really sad. IDo have one question-- my DP friend seemed to say that you CAN shoot the FX1 in standard def mode, and then it is fine... but that yes, in HDV mode it is going to fall appart (given that yes, we all mostly show on standard def monitors, etc).

Can you talk a bit about those features, PAL and what the FX1 is like shooting in standard def (or maybe it doesn't)? Also, when i went to BH it was $1500 more expensive than the DVX! Thanks!

06-20-2005, 09:22 AM
The FX1 is either NTSC or PAL, it cannot do both. And it is less expensive than the DVX.

So presumably you meant the Z1? The Z1 is more expensive and does both PAL and NTSC, and HD50i as well as HD60i.

In standard-def DV mode, the Z1's audio is, according to Oleg, quite competitive to the DVX. But, again according to Oleg, when you go into HD mode it most definitely isn't competitive.

You can definitely shoot the FX1/Z1 in standard-def or in high-def. In standard-def you get a native 16:9 image, but with lower-sensitivity (it's about 2 stops slower than a PD150) and with a contrastier image because of lower latitude. Some people like the look. In standard-def it shoots regular DV, so it has none of the motion artifacts/variable resolution of HDV, it's a regular DV camcorder when in standard def.

06-21-2005, 10:45 AM
Wow! This article really cleared up a lot of worries I was having about my dvx going out of date. It is easily the most informative article I've ever read on the subject of camcorders.
Ron Earley

Tim Scarpino
06-22-2005, 07:36 AM
Barry and Jared,

Tim Scarpino
06-22-2005, 07:48 AM
Oopps! A bit quick on the "enter" Button :embarasse

Barry and Jared,

First, excellent article. It has been very helpful to my consideration of a DV camera.

Let me ask you though, as a video professional for 20+ years, I've been through alot of formats/equipment. I'm working on a project for distribution to several PBS stations and I'm seriously looking at the DVX 100A as an aquisition camera for this 30-60 minute show. It's a "nature" show w/interviews and beauty shots. All tripod.

I plan to bring this into a Media 100 system via the component out of a DSR-1500 (I don't have firewire on my legacy M100 system). I'm planning on 3:1 compression. I would then output component to a Digibeta for distribution.

Given my long history with 2/3" tube & chip cameras AND Beta/MII formats, do you think I might be satisfied with the image quality I'm gonna get using the
DVX-100a in this way?

I've got a demo 100A coming, but it won't be for several weeks and I'm a bit uneasy about this given my production schedule and relatively small production budget.

Thoughts on using the 100A as a principle aquisition tool?

Thanks much for your consideration!


06-22-2005, 03:56 PM
The only valid response I can give you is the one you don't want to hear: "you have to judge for yourself."

Obviously the SDX900 or SPX800 would exceed your expectations for quality. But that's $20,000 - $25,000, vs. $3,000. The DVX in 24p mode is unparalleled as to what it can do, vs. the older Beta/MII cameras. But there's no denying the big glass and big chips of the big cameras.

A DVX can do a superb job, I can confidently say that. But as to whether it'll meet your expectations, only you can answer that.

Tim Scarpino
06-23-2005, 07:41 AM
Barry, my expectation would be that, until my project(s) are funded to where I can afford a higher end unit, I'm going to walk hand-in-hand with DVX based on what I've seen and read. I'm more than willing to compromise some quality issues for cost.

My concern is that when I take a finished digibeta tape to an engineer at my local PBS station (based on the production process I outlined), is he/she going to have reason to say "we can't air this"? Will he/she have some OBJECTIVE technical reason to say material shot on a DVX is not suitable for broadcast?

You obviously have worked/studied with the DVX, and I look forward to reading your book when it comes with my new DVX, but while I may be the "only" person who can "judge" the quality issue. Are there any inherent technical deficiencies in the DVX that would cause some red flags in a technical evaluation of my project as described.

Is that a "better" question for you to consider?

Thanks (a bunch!)


06-23-2005, 04:17 PM
I can't answer as to whether a particular PBS tech may approve or disapprove -- there's no accounting for what a particular individual may decide. I can say that I've had DVX stuff broadcast on every local station and cable station here, and it's *never* caused as much as a raised eyebrow.

Keep in mind the DVX is designed and sold by Panasonic's professional division, not their consumer division. It's really quite good. I know PBS techs can be some of the most demanding, and I haven't had to run my footage past a PBS tech yet. But I would be surprised if it wouldn't pass muster. Many shows have been shot on PD150's in years past, and the DVX easily matches/surpasses the PD150 in quality, so I would say you're likely not going to have a problem. But as always, I must caveat that by saying "there's no guarantee".

Hope that helps!

Tim Scarpino
06-24-2005, 05:15 AM
Barry, it does.

Thanks for your time and consideration and have a great weekend.


Sean Sawyer
06-30-2005, 08:24 AM
This article is by far the best I have seen on the pros and cons of these cameras. It has really helped me as far as which of these three is the best for my purposes. My question is, how do you think the JVC GY-HD100U will compare when it is released? It seems as if it is intended to combine the best aspects of the three cameras reviewed here. Disregarding the price tag of course, which seems pretty strong...

06-30-2005, 11:19 AM
When the HD100 and HVX come out, we will be performing another 3-way test, comparing the HD100 against the Z1 against the HVX. The HD100 isn't really in direct competition with the FX1 or DVX, since it costs about twice as much as those cameras. Even the XL2 is substantially less expensive than the HD100.

A proper comparison would be HD100 vs. HVX vs. Z1, as all three carry retail prices within 5% of each other ($6295, $5995, and $5946). All have dual XLR's, high-def, etc.

07-04-2005, 10:11 PM
Really appreciated your article. I hope I can get just a little more advice. I am a still photographer, not by trade, but for the love of it. I have a Canon 1d mk2 and several lenses. I shoot mainly high school sports of my own kids. I purchased a Canon GL2 last year for the soul purpose of videoing my sons J.V. football games. I always shot in 30p. I figure he probably has one more year of organized sports left and I would like to film his varsity year in the highest possible resolution to keep for all time sakes. The GL2 did an adaquate job compared to most of the other parents filming, but I would like to upgrade to a prosumer model. Besides, the reds didnt come out right and our team colors are, yes, red. I have 2 home theaters set up in my home. A 110" (wide) projection DLP and a 50" plasma. Both HD. I do need a minumum 20x zoom and would like to know how these 3 cameras performed with add on lenses. Most games are at night under cheap stadium lights and that really scares me about the FX1. :lipsrseal I dont need to burn copies and would be glad just to watch them in one of my theaters. 16x9 is also a plus as I have to film from the top of the stadiums and could get the whole playing surface. I would probably sell it after the season. (I know, I'll take a big loss) Budget 3-5k. Your opinon is greatly appreciated. Alan

07-06-2005, 12:24 PM
Nice Article

07-06-2005, 12:49 PM
I must say, for a novice DVX owner, that article cleared up alot of issues for me. I must say the authors did great research and delivered great information. Thanks for clearing that up. :thumbup:

07-13-2005, 08:34 AM
Your excellent article on the three way shootout was VERY informative and helped me understand the differences between the DVX (we own three) and the new Sony HD cam.

One question....I know that this is a forum for filmmaking with the DVX, but your article did not touch too much on how 30fps video looks. We use our cameras for commercial production, shooting mostly in 24p, but our videographers have complained that the "video" look suffers vs. Betacam substantially in contrast, etc......so much so that they have taken to lugging our old warhorse Betacams around a lot lately.

I know the Betas have chips that are twice the size, but are we not understanding the tweaking of video in the DVX like the dumb guys we can be?

08-02-2005, 10:26 AM
Great article, guys. Very informative.

I have to admit that I'm a little bit frustrated by the lack of 24p combined with native 16x9 in any of the cameras. I don't care so much about 4:3 vs 16:9 televisions (although ultimately that’s where most people will see my project). I'm prepping for an indie feature and I want to frame it in 16x9 24p and would prefer not to go with the anamorphic adapter. The DVX seems to be almost perfect, except for that lack of 16x9. The goal for the project is to go the festival route with the (unlikely, but still hopeful) goal of distribution. So I want the filmic look as well as widescreen framing of the flick. The HVX may be the ideal solution, but that would push production back quite a bit. Hmmm, stuff to think about.

Thanks for the insightful article.



08-02-2005, 10:48 AM
Take another look at the XL2. It's 24p and native-res 16x9.

08-02-2005, 11:59 AM
Thanks, Barry. I'll definitely do that. I keep reading taht the 24p in the XL2 doesn't quite live up to the results of the DVX. However, I need to test this for myself. I like the lens better on the DVX, but of course I can switch lenses on the XL2. That means more money, but I could shoot sooner rather than wait for the HVX. As you can tell, I'm full of indecision at the moment!



08-02-2005, 08:55 PM

Forgive me for my ignorance of 16:9 framing, but I have some questions I could never seem to clear up on my own.

Assume I want to shoot a short film in 16:9 mode on the DVX. When I output the footage to a 4:3 display, how will it turn out? I would imagine the image looking squashed (i.e. people looking skinny). So if that is the case, if I output the same footage on a 16:9 television, will I see a full undistorted image?

If my thesis is correct, then how would I go about making the footage acceptable for both displays (ideally, letterbox on 4:3 with black bars on top & bottom with no stretching; and a perfectly filled image on 16:9)?

I'm very lost as to how the DVX frames the picture. Would the DVX need a special anamorphic lens to execute this? But you don't have the option of changing the lens? Are all the ratio formats dealt with on additional hardware/software? Do DVD recording programs resolve anything? I need schooled.



08-02-2005, 11:46 PM
I've been reading for a few hours online and have come to understand that the DVX basically does the work of an anamorphic adapter, but doesn't preserve as much quality as one would.

A source: Panasonic Adapter (http://www.mediumblend.com/abelstore/customer/product.php?productid=342&cat=5)

Where I'm stuck at now is the process I'd need to take in order to make the "squeezed" footage look good on both 16:9 and 4:3 displays, as I've stated before. Could you fill me in with any info on how to make this a success to DVD?



08-03-2005, 03:54 AM
The DVX's "squeeze mode", and anamorphic adapter, both result in an image that would look squished on a 4:3 TV, and "right" (i.e., undistorted) on a widescreen TV.

You cannot make one image that looks right on both. It is impossible. No camera can do it.

So, what you do is, you burn your project to DVD. DVD players have built-in circuitry that will automatically stretch or squeeze the image, including adding letterbox or "pillarbox" bars, so that it looks right on either type of television.

So, shoot squeeze or anamorphic, and render that out to a 16:9 MPEG-2 file on a DVD. The DVD player will know whether it's hooked up to a 16:9 TV (in which case it plays the image full widescreen) or a 4:3 TV (in which case it'll unsqueeze and letterbox the image).

In other words, you don't have to worry about it. Just shoot and author your DVD properly, and the DVD player will take care of the rest.

08-03-2005, 12:57 PM
Relief. Thank you.

08-11-2005, 07:28 AM
Guys...thanks so much for your well-written and thoughtful comparison of these 3 cameras. I've been comparing various cam's for the last month or so and have been overwhelmed by the various marketing sale-pitches, advertising statements and even over-statements from the various competitive camps.

You guys managed to put it into real terms that I could understand. Thanks.

btw...I was leaning towards the XL-2 prior to reading your comparison, but now I'm sold that the DVX-100A is the best choice for my needs and aspirations at this time.

Prof. D.
West Monroe, La.

Jarred Land
08-11-2005, 07:32 PM
cool, no problem Prof.

08-12-2005, 12:16 AM
The way the colors are brought out in the XL2, they seem a little more vibrant. The pictures make me think more of film quality looking at them. Anyone else feel this way? The green in the grass and trees is really nice.

08-12-2005, 08:44 AM
The XL2 definitely accentuates green more than the other cameras did, in its stock configuration. But, judging colors based on the default setting is unnecessarily limiting -- all three cameras provide very extensive adjustments to color and image. You can basically configure them to look like just about anything you want.

08-12-2005, 05:43 PM
Thanks Barry, thats what I figured but figured I'd ask and see what could be said about it.


08-13-2005, 01:32 PM
I have a direct-to-DVD project I am producing. It's a vegetarian cooking video. A "film look" isn't important for this project. But picture quality is, and so is low cost.

I'm intending to purchase two cameras for the production. Initially, I was sold on the Sony Z1U. I wanted to purchase a Z1U and an FX1. I've been searching message boards and websites for information and comparisons with other cameras. This article is one of the best I've read.

All of what I've read aside, I need to see actual footage from these cameras (DVX100A included) that SHOWS a comparison. I found a website (http://filmguideseattle.com/hdr-fx1.htm) that shows comparison footage (including the DVX100A & HDR-FX1). In that comparison the FX1 looks sharper with better color both in HDV & DV modes. Can you recommend any other sites with comparison footage?


08-15-2005, 01:17 AM
So from your guys answers, the XL2 is noticeable nicer in proper wideangle, 16x9? Thats what I will be shooting in, and I think the quality increase is probably worth it.

08-17-2005, 07:54 PM
Very informative article. I am looking to purchase a DVX100A and record in 24P mode. We ultimately want to convert it to the Sony HDCAM format for a short film submission to Sundance. Was not sure what is the best way to do this. We cannot afford to go to film, so we are going to the only format that has the potential to be projected. I spoke with a transfer house that has the Alchemist. Unfortunately it only can take an SDI component input. I do not believe the DVX-24P can be played back on anything other than the DVX into the Alchemist. Since the Alchemist does not have firewire am not sure if we will be able to get the footage properly transferred to the final format required. The person at the company suggested perhaps we could go through the DSR1500, which will force it to be ntsc and then into the Alchemist which kinda defeats the purpose of recording in 24p in the first place. There is another device called the Ukon which can convert to all formats up or down, but the person at the transfer house indicated that the resulting footage through the Alchemist is always better than the Ukon. Has anyone tried this and what have you found is the best way to get to the Sony HDcam format?

08-17-2005, 07:58 PM
Your article talked about 16:9, but did not talk about the 16:9 anamorphic lens that adapts to the DVX camera. Has anyone tried this and does it work and how does it work? Also does it provide an output that rivals the XL2?

08-19-2005, 07:21 PM
Your article talked about 16:9, but did not talk about the 16:9 anamorphic lens that adapts to the DVX camera. Has anyone tried this and does it work and how does it work? Also does it provide an output that rivals the XL2?

Very good question! I am about to buy a DVX and i'm very interested for this. If someone could be answer, it would be great.

Great article, thanks a lot!

08-24-2005, 10:55 AM
Are you sure you cannot distribute material taped on hdv on dvd? after all is mpeg.

08-25-2005, 11:43 PM
Dear Jared,

I was wondering about your results... I ran the same tests and while some of my conclusions are the same, I had a few issues here...

On your color charts, it appears as if you enhanced the contrast on the images for the DVX footage... On my tests, the saturation levels were not nearly as high. Was this done in camera or in post?? Either way, this is misleading.

I got a strong DVX bias from the article. I've been using both the DVX and the XL2 on a feature movie western, and all I can say is that the DVX has a very difficult time matching the 16x9 resolution of the XL2 (pseudo-anamorphic and all... it's still higher res).

Also, we tested the eyepieces of both cameras against an NTSC-calibrated monitor for accuracy and found that despite the 'bad joke' of an eyepiece, the XL2's LCD is nearly 95% accurate when matching colors. The DVX seems to skew everything off somehow.

Finally, have you looked closely at the red/green/blue response of the CCD's on your Macbeth color charts? LOOK CLOSER. You'll notice that the DVX has a problem with it's response to the primary colors. The Blue response is a bit dark.. the Green is hue-shifted. The Red as well. But the yellow response is very very poor and far too light. Have you considered what effect this has on footage? Look at the XL2 response (if you can see beyond the contrasted photos that I really have a problem with). The Red/Green/Blue response are the most accurate of all cameras. VERY IMPORTANT.

Also, if any of you are wondering... The DVX has an average ASA rating of 800 while the XL2 is about 200. This accounts for the amount of 'noise' that the DVX records in its images. The XL2 tends to be much smoother.

While the XL2 is a bulky camera, I have to say that after running my own tests against yours, this article, while very informative, is also misleading and biased. Again, I take issue with your photos of the Macbeth color charts. I did NOT get the same results and wonder if you enhanced the contrast of the DVX pictures. The DVX doesn't reproduce that type of saturation without a lot of help. It should look almost identical to the FX1 and XL2 pics, except for the actual color response.

This is just my two cents. My results and conclusions are quite different.


08-25-2005, 11:56 PM
Your article talked about 16:9, but did not talk about the 16:9 anamorphic lens that adapts to the DVX camera. Has anyone tried this and does it work and how does it work? Also does it provide an output that rivals the XL2?

I have used the anamorphic adapter with the DVX. I used it in conjunction with an XL2 for dual composition on a feature we're making.

Basically, so long as you are keeping your shots wide, the adapter is fine. BUT you'll have major issues once you start zooming in. The resolution gets lost/fuzzy in a hurry. It's a big problem for comping close ups from far away.

The adapter we used cost about $600 on B&H, so it's not a total piece of junk.

My advice is that if you want the best widescreen resolution, use the adapter, but beware the zooms. It WILL distort. Or just spring for an adapter that costs a small fortune with zero distortion.

Personally, if shooting widescreen, I'd say use an XL2 until Panasonic introduces its own native 16x9 (pseudo 16x9 or otherwise...). The results are MUCH sharper, especially with the Canon lenses (Canon still makes some of the finest optics in the industry). Adding any extra glass to the front of a lens is generally never a good idea.

Hope this helps.


08-26-2005, 09:13 PM
Your article talked about 16:9, but did not talk about the 16:9 anamorphic lens that adapts to the DVX camera. Has anyone tried this and does it work and how does it work? Also does it provide an output that rivals the XL2?

The XL2 is true 16:9. No gimmicks. The DVX uses a "squeeze" mode in order to achieve this effect which results in image degradation.
In short, yes, the XL2 has significantly higher resolution than the DVX in this mode.
In 4:3 they are near equal with the DVX having a slightly higher but not noticeable resolution advantage.
If you want more info check out the thread "XL2 nicer image than DVX?" thread posted in the XL2 forum section... I think.

09-16-2005, 01:22 AM
Thanks for all the info on the FX1.

I just bought one about 5 weeks ago. Love the pictures but not to crazy about the audio
I used a XL1S for about 3yrs. and audio was great, the picture was just ok.

I just bought a Rode videomic from B&H i hope it helps with the audio

My main source of my living is audio recording and i use RODE pro studio mics
in the studio. I'll let you know how the mic works out.
DVXUSER is a great site, love it.

09-21-2005, 12:20 AM
Well i got the Rode Videomic. It works very good.
I did a test to see at how far away i could be from the subject and still pick up their voice having them wisper, it was over 50 ft worked like a charm.
Then tested recording music worked very good.
Did not like the sound with the camera on auto audio (IT OVER LOADS)
but when i went to manual setting volume at 4.5 the music was very clean and clear.
what i would do is eq. at post

Thank You

09-25-2005, 04:41 PM
I've used the DVXa for a couple of years now--renting at first and now I finally own one! I can't tell you how many times I've looked at my footage and thought "WOW!" It's not just that the camera comes as close as I can imagine getting to actual film, but the colors are so luscious and rich. I've been amazed at the shadowing and color details that this camera can interpret. It's a little rough on delineating full color-space, the way beta is, but the overall look and feel is stunning for the price and convenience. I expect 3-5 years from now, every DVX owner will be drooling over the first HDV camera to incorporate both the beauty of film with the sharpness of video.

10-06-2005, 02:12 PM
I think you did a great review on these camcorders, but I think you are not up to date on your research about HD-DVD. It's coming fast and in 2006 even Laptops will have HD-DVD players. In about 2-3 years it will be the standard.
Check out this link to read up on the Toshiba mobile(laptop) HD-DVD drive.

10-08-2005, 04:45 PM
The anamorphic lens for the DVX sounds quite problematic. Are postbox and squeeze solutions for 16:9 really not a credible alternative? Does any one know if the reduction in resolution using these alternatives would mean that broadcasters in the UK would not accept footage? That's what it comes down to for me.

10-08-2005, 09:28 PM
but I think you are not up to date on your research about HD-DVD.
That article was originally written and posted almost a year ago. I think it was first posted in November or December 2004. Jarred did a redesign of the site in June and re-posted the articles, but yes, that article is quite old.

10-13-2005, 03:46 AM
I want to make a short film that will have a lot of bluescreen / greenscreen work. IS the DVX up to the challange or would the XL2 win hands down?

I have heard that the new HD cameras under $8000 ( thats in AUD by the way, Australian here ) do a better job for chroamkeying. My bet is the JVC GY-HD100u Would be best.....

My film will be a mixture of live action and star wars ( new prequals ) style effects.

Can anyone tell me what camera would best suit me....

Thanks, Mike

10-13-2005, 08:09 AM
HVX200 would be the best solution. You have 4:2:2 color compression. DV is 4:1:1 and personally HDV is not all that great compared to DVCPROHD + you get variable frame rates. So...just be patient....and wait....it will all be worth it. I just wish I had the money to afford the camera :-(

10-18-2005, 07:06 PM

10-19-2005, 06:00 AM
The anamorphic lens for the DVX sounds quite problematic. Are postbox and squeeze solutions for 16:9 really not a credible alternative? Does any one know if the reduction in resolution using these alternatives would mean that broadcasters in the UK would not accept footage? That's what it comes down to for me.
in short unless its a scoop theyd think you were naive, 16:9 is a requirement now, though theyll always encourage someone who shows talent you can only put up so many hurdles for yourself, best to give yourself a break, another tip is to make personel contact and show your keeness, have somthing to show though!

10-20-2005, 09:01 PM
I wonder about what the article mentioned applying color correction and gamma after shooting with the hdvfx1. Im a big fan of the dvx, but even though hidef lacks the film look. Its still hires so if you do mess around with it your sure to have an all around better picture. Afterall the hires on the sony looks like it can sure look great if appyled all those gamma settings afterward. Looking way betta than what the dvx and xl2 can look like.

10-21-2005, 04:19 PM
No offense ( I found the article very good & detialed) but i felt a strong bias towards the dvx and against the xl2. The article mention how the fx1 was not in the same league as the other two. I just fell that some of the xl2 shots and color test where not probably set up with the right manual controls. I like the dvx for many reasons, but i just fell that canon has a advantage of image control and j produce a "little" better image over all; but not as well in lower light conditions when compared to the dvx. And the fact that canon has interchangable lenses is assume; but the writer seem to point out lots and lots of negetives. Even though the fx1 and dvx stock lenses dont even match the stock lens on the canon.

J.R. Hudson
10-21-2005, 04:23 PM
Well of course it seemed biased. The DVX blows the XL2 out of the water.

The simple fact is that Canon layed up for par when they needed to hit the birdie. I suppose the XL2 has certain values and advantages but if I'm shooting an indiependent film then the XL2 isn't even an option.

If negatives are pointed out; it's because they exist.

10-21-2005, 08:25 PM
Always eager to slam the XL2... eh, John? I am sitting here with a short that I am editing cut between a DVX100 and XL2. The Dvx is darn nice and can get better film like gamma from the camera directly. But the 16x9 blows!! In this day and age 16x9 is king. The XL2 walks all over it. I am saddend by this because I really needed a smaller form factor camera that is 24P and good 16x9. The Dvx meets the 24P but not the "good" 16x9. Once again I am forced to dumb down the XL2 clips to keep a constant look. Otherwise the 16x9 of the DVX stands out like a sore thumb.

I wish Panasonic had fixed this with the B. And don't say the HVX is the 16x9 dvx cause it's not. It may share similar features but it's price point is too high to be used as a SD 16x9 DV camera only. IMHO

J.R. Hudson
10-21-2005, 08:36 PM
I was just chiming in as homeboy was. Sides...

Just calling it like I see it. The 16:9 isn;t making or breaking anything for me. It's all about the image. And the XL2 jus't aint' got it.

But we already know that so there's no use in going in circles over it

Bruce Morgan
10-21-2005, 08:56 PM
very nice artical
it confirms my investment in the dvz100a .
With dvx100a and the uprez solutions suggested on your sticky via photo zoom,,
do you think I have one more year of use of the dvx100a with clients ?
Or is it all over ,due to the hdv craze and time to move up ? .
For my own projects I am very happy with the dvx100a .
Thanks for any reply or refrence to a thread .

10-21-2005, 10:23 PM
I was just chiming in as homeboy was. Sides...

Just calling it like I see it. The 16:9 isn;t making or breaking anything for me. It's all about the image. And the XL2 jus't aint' got it.

But we already know that so there's no use in going in circles over it

Your right. The XL2 hasn't got "it". It has a lot of great stuff the DVX doesn't have. So by that standard the DVX hasn;t got "it". It is all relative. YOu can argue til you are blue in the face but the shortcomings of the XL2 can be worked out in post. Mainly the lack of a really good gamma curve like the DVX. But I can make the XL2 look like the DVX but with higher resolution 16x9. However I cannot make the DVX look like a DVX with higher resolution 16x9. Kinda ironic.......

I like both cams equally as they have their own unique strengths.

The DVX has a great gamma curve and look and convenient package.

The XL2 has great 16x9, a nice long lens and great OIS.

You say all you care about is the image. Well the last I checked, having a nice clean crisp 16x9 look is part of the image.

In all fairness you may not know what you are missing. I'm not being a jerk when I say that. I was pretty happy with the DVX 16x9 until I worked with a real 16x9 and now I can really see the limitations of "stretch" mode or letterbox mode. I wish sometimes I hadn't been exposed to better because things were a lot simpler then. Maybe you have worked with it too.....I don't know. But for me, the 16x9 of the DVX is starting to border unnacceptable.


J.R. Hudson
10-23-2005, 02:14 PM
Your right. The XL2 hasn't got "it". It has a lot of great stuff the DVX doesn't have. So by that standard the DVX hasn;t got "it". It is all relative. YOu can argue til you are blue in the face but the shortcomings of the XL2 can be worked out in post. Mainly the lack of a really good gamma curve like the DVX. But I can make the XL2 look like the DVX but with higher resolution 16x9. However I cannot make the DVX look like a DVX with higher resolution 16x9. Kinda ironic.......

No, not atall. The DVX does have it. You don't make 3 models of the same thing if it ain't got it. Sides; putting a telphoto lens on a pile of dog crap does'nt make the crap suddenly of value.

The real irony is the XL2 users that try and make it look like the DVX. You don't find the DVX owners saying "How do I make this look like an XL2?". I suppose one can apply uprezzing techniques if rez is your bag; but really now ice? The higher rez is negligble at best isn't it?

As usual; someone show me this magical XL2 footage. (Never seen it in a year.)

In all fairness you may not know what you are missing. I'm not being a jerk when I say that. I was pretty happy with the DVX 16x9 until I worked with a real 16x9 and now I can really see the limitations of "stretch" mode or letterbox mode. I wish sometimes I hadn't been exposed to better because things were a lot simpler then. Maybe you have worked with it too.....I don't know. But for me, the 16x9 of the DVX is starting to border unnacceptable.

No no no. I know what I'm missing. Really. You could'nt pay me to use an XL2. They dropped that ball a long time ago. And if the DVX is becoming unaacceptable then I imagine that's where the HVX is going to step in, hmmmmm?

And don't worry about sounding like a a jerk; it's typical when the XL2 users get defensive

Are you a MAC user by any chance?

10-23-2005, 03:23 PM

I'm not talking about "have you seen XL2", I was just talking about real 16x9 footage vs. Squeeze mode or any other 16x9. That's all. ONce you work with it the "manipulated stuff" pales. I thought I was being realistic and easy going about it. But if you must get your underwear in a bunch go ahead.

I guess no one is talking about making a DVX look like an XL2 is because the few features the XL2 really has over the DVX can't be overcome. No longer zoom and no really good 16x9. Those are 2 tangible features that no one can deny. The supposed "mojo" of the DVX is at best an opinion or someones preference. I like it but the footage I shoot with the XL2 can be made to look just like the DVX IMHO. I wish it just did it in camera but it doesn't.

Man oh man! Can't we be civilized. It reminds me of the person who can only feel good about himself if he is putting another down. I admit the DVX has a cool look that the XL2 can't achieve in camera. Hell...I actually love the crap out of my old DVX100. But I don;t have to dog all other good cameras to make myself feel better about it. WTF???

Can't we all get along?

And for the record I use a MAC and a PC. I don't have to be whipped by one brand or the other.

J.R. Hudson
10-23-2005, 03:40 PM
I admit the DVX has a cool look that the XL2 can't achieve in camera.

This has been my contention all along.


Civilized? You're the one crying about it. Jesus Christ; we can't say one thing about the XL2 without some lamo coming out and saying 'Stoooooopppp! Quit bagging on my camera. It has good features too. It's not all about the gamma! We can do it in post!"

Are we not allowed to say "I wouldnt use an XL2 if my life depended on it" without the emotional responses? Calm down tiger.

As far underwear in a bunch and 'reminds me of the person who can only feel good about himself if he is putting another down' Who are you talking to? You think I'm putting you down? I'm talking about the XL2 you psychopath. You wanna get along then you can check that response.

As soon as you people accept that I think the XL2 is crap without getting manic about it the better off we'll be. You're not going to talk me into it. It's just an opinion of mine about a camera.

I'll say it again:

It is my .02 about a camera.

It's comical (and predictable) to see the tangents develop. We're talking about cameras and you start going into meltdown and making it personal; why?

10-23-2005, 06:54 PM
So if I were to make a blanket statement that the DVX sucks and I hate it and I need to keep coming on this board to reiterate it......that's totally cool? I do believe that I am being civilized as I can see what both cameras have to offer. There are some things that each camera does that the other cannot. I can see that and I call out the strengths of each camera and give them props. Then I point out what shortcomings each has also. I am actually very neutral and I still prefer the DVX for many reasons.

But it does not "blow the XL2 out of the water" as you stated. It may be your camera of choice but that does not make that statement fact. And I don't feel I've made it personal at all. I just like both cameras and would defend the DVX against biased slams in the same method.

In hindsight the statement about the 16x9 of the DVX I made earlier was a bit harsh. But the truth is that I am shooting 16x9 for widescreen plasma monitors and the squeeze mode of the DVX really knocks the DVX picture back down a peg. The DVX rocks but the 16x9 mode makes it slip down a notch. Add to that the XL2 16x9 is superior and the eyes start to see a big gap between the cameras in that mode. So I actually long for the DVX to have better 16x9 but it ain't gonna happen.

And just like I have seen you mention on this board John, I can't afford an HVX right now either.

I find it a bit odd that you must always get your digs in whenever you can on the XL2. You don't like it. We know that. Still that dead horse get's beaten over and over again. I am just sorry that I spoke up and defended what is a great camera for many. I guess that qualifies as a tangent to you. I have offered many facts on each and backed up my statements. I use both cameras on weekly basis. But that doesn't have any merit because your mind is made up that the XL2 sucks and you are waiting for someone to post some web footage to prove you wrong. Guess actually using the camera doesn't count for anything anymore.

J.R. Hudson
10-23-2005, 07:37 PM
Are we really gonna continue to go in circles on this? Yes; the DVX blows the XL2 out of the water.

To me. This is my .02. You could'nt give me an XL2 (I'd sell it). It is not a biased slam. As soon as I see something better; I'll call it.

Better? To me. Better for me. Subjective.

No one's getting digs in (Even though you pre-empted the first reply with "Always eager to slam the XL2... eh, John"

See; you were itching to debate from the get-go. And if you wan't to debate, we can. It's nothing personal so I don't know why you must get all crusade style on me; let's face it, you're getting kind of peeved here. :undecided

You know what the DVX had? Without using it; I started seeing footage. Not from Professionals; but hack's. And the footage kicked major ass. I knew it; the DVX was the one for me.

I honestly thought when I heard the XL2 coming that it would be a slamdunk. I was like "No way! An XL series camera with 24p?" Awesome.

And then we started seeing footage and it was like "Oh." And then we started hearing "Well, it's merely a post thing. We can fix that gamma in post..."

Now I've seen some nice work with the camera. Music Videos, conceptuals and even a few shorts... But something is still amiss in my eyes. It's not the 24p cadence although I swear something is off (Others say no way; so I have to take their words for it) but something is definately off. It is a kind of VIDEOY VIBE.

The DVX has a very filmic vibe; the Xl2 leans on the VIDEOY spectrum.

The camera does nothing for me. I am sorry you have this response when the subject comes up. I'm sorry MAC users go into meltdown when their debate comes up. I'm sure there's a FORD or CHEVY or HUMMER owner that mocks my Nissan XTERRA and FRONTIER; okay?

Anyway; I couldnt even imagine shooting with an XL2. Sorry. I am very stoked that it works for your needs. Rock on dude! It's not for me; don't have a cow about it.

10-23-2005, 09:37 PM
I use both a DVX and XL2 on almost a daily basis and this is my 10th year to shoot DV so I have been around the block. It comes down to personal preference or the job at hand. The DVX is great at some things, the XL2 is great at some things. BOTH are sufficient for everything. I am a fanboy of no camera or manufacturer, in fact, the cams I prefer to use when I have budget to rent them are exclusively Panny cameras (Varicam and SDX900). Both those cams have a great film look, much better than ANY 1/3" CCD camera.

With a skilled operator, the XL2 will provide cleaner images with less noise. The DVX will provide more saturated color with more film like colors. The thing the DVX fanboys dont acknowledge is that you can color correct in post, you CANT add resolution or information lost in highlights and shadows. For some projects, that wont matter... the anamorphic lens is a nice workaround but can add some aberration.

The XL2 is a harder camera to operate and it does not come with the training wheels that a DVX comes with (default scene files). The DVX is a professional camera that is accessible to amateurs...the better they get, the more they can do with the camera. The XL2 requires skilled operation out of the box. White balance, gain, exposure, color controls, etc. on the XL2 are all very average at the factory settings, they are all very safe settings. The XL2 is a professional camera that will EXPOSE amateurs. The "hacks" using XL2s will NOT get great looking footage.

I just get tired of all the Spielberg wanna-be DVX fanboys making blanket statements slamming the XL2...when you do that you do nothing more than expose your ignorance.

ash =o)

J.R. Hudson
10-23-2005, 10:05 PM
I was really starting to enjoy what appeared to be a solid take on the subject matter but predictably you had to get that 'Last Stab' in there, right Ash? You start with a 'I use both cameras......" and "Of course I prefer the Varicam when given the opportunity..." and then the post starts deteriorating with 'Fanboys!' and accusations of wannbe Speilbergs and remarks about 1/3 CCD's...

and my favorite: you do nothing more than expose your ignorance.

Come on man. Stop. Have'nt you even been reading the last few posts? One man's .02 on a Camera is not a personal attack against you. Why the need to personally attack someone else?

So what is it exactly about the XL2 that makes it a 'professionals camera'? What makes it 'harder to operate' Ash?

I don't recall my DVX coming with training wheels and if you're suggesting the DVX does not require skilled operation then I know your post is moot and holds no weight; now that would be just silly.

And if you are going to make personal attacks and references at least have the huevos to say who it is you are talking about. :beer:

10-24-2005, 04:12 AM
i think to sum up the dvx has had its day and that was yesterday, xl2 is good for another day but the new canon and panasonic models, are just better, value is a subjective thing, time changes that! no point having value if it cant deliver.............

10-24-2005, 12:34 PM
Well, John, I do think you are a fanboy but not a wanna-be Spielberg =o) You can be very talented and be a fanboy. First off, the DVX is a camera that looks good, as you noted above, even when a "hack" is using it, that is why I refer to it as having training wheels. It is a camera with almost limitless growth as the available manipulations are plentiful. The Auto modes on the DVX are very good as well.

As I said, both the DVX and the XL2 are professional cameras, the DVX is just more approachable to an amateur for the reasons I have noted. The XL2 is more difficult to operate because the Auto controls are not very good and there are no custom looks from the factory. The camera comes out of the box with a very very clean but somewhat flat image. This is what most the DVX-lovers are basing comparisons on, the base XL2 image, not the optimum XL2 image.

ash =o)

J.R. Hudson
10-24-2005, 01:23 PM
A DVX Fanboy? Yes I am. But I will call it like I see it even if it is my own .02 and subjectove opinion.

A Spielberg wannabe? Eh. Maybe when I was 15.

It seems a heated debate flares up every few months between Me and the DVD/XL2. It's just my .02. It's not my thing.

Theres a new short inthe XL2 section (Some Military short film) that is actually a fun short and not too bad; but just screams Video to me.

Does it have it's applications and bene's and are there supporters and users that make it work for them? Hell yeah!

Anyway; it's fun to debate this everyonece in awhile but alas; even I'm tired of the circle.

Jeremy Ordan
10-24-2005, 03:44 PM
Wouldn't the best solution to this whole DVX / XL2 debate be to have experienced operators submit footage and see which is most film like?

Oh wait, that is what this article was about. I agree with John completely.

J.R. Hudson
10-24-2005, 03:49 PM
Wouldn't the best solution to this whole DVX / XL2 debate be to have experienced operators submit footage and see which is most film like?

Oh wait, that is what this article was about. I agree with John completely.


(Even though it was blatantly biased - Insert Rolling Eyes Emoticon)

10-25-2005, 09:27 AM
Wouldn't the best solution to this whole DVX / XL2 debate be to have experienced operators submit footage and see which is most film like?

Oh wait, that is what this article was about. I agree with John completely.

Where was the footage that you said looked more filmlike? I didn;t see any footage myself. I saw screen grabs.

While this article was very impressive and I know Jarred and Barry have great skills and good eyes for this stuff, the XL2 was brand new at the time. If I recall they even talked after this article on the board about getting a skilled shooter for the XL2 and a skilled DVX shooter to do a more "polished" comparison. I don't think that ever happened but it was mentioned. 2 years of shooting with a DVX and then trying the XL2 for a short time for this article defintely puts it behind the eight ball.

Either way that doesn't change the facts we do know from real world usage outside of this article. But the statement that this article showed proof that the DVX was more filmlike wasn't entirely clear IMHO.

10-26-2005, 08:21 PM
The "it looks like video" is such an old an lame argument. Since when did the crushed black saturated color become THE film look? 90% of films dont have that look, it is what many indie film makers go for, but that does not define film look.

The problem is that most people look thru their biased glasses when evaluating footage. If film look to you is the movie Domino, then great footage that looks like a NORMAL movie that is not highly stylized will be video-like to you. When I see DVX, I think DVX, not film... same with XL2 and every other 1/3" CCD camera.

I think it is just odd that film look to most DVX users means nothing more than highly stylized video shot at 24P. When I shoot with a DVX I usually set it up to be cleaner, less saturated and have more dynamic range than 90% of the stuff I see posted here.

ash =o)

J.R. Hudson
10-26-2005, 09:45 PM

There was spilt screen footage accompanying the Article orginally. Fairly lengthy and detailed; Interior/Exterior shots, Day/Night etc etc. (Just an FYI) Jarred? Is that movie still around (Linkable)?


Please let's refrain from accusations of biasses; it does nothing but belittle a persons opinion I think. And yes...

"It looks like Video" is an interesting jab. But it does >>> Relative to the DVX100. I am NOT saying the DVX100 looks like Super35; but comparing the 2 cameras - in equal stasis- the XL2 looks more Videoy IMO

In the thick of it; a DVX100 is a 3 CCD Camcorder. Yes, we know. But again; we're talking about our options 'at this level and price point'. That being said; and all things being equal...

I prefer a DVX100 over the others. Until I see another option I stand there. I am a Fanboy because there isn't any other option for me currently; when there is you can accuse me of being a biased fanboy of the 'Stokedia 4k2400 HVY Camera'. Know what I mean?

Ironically; I find Domino to be a Magic Bullet Bad Dream more than anything. It's as if MTV ran into a Red Giant (Get it?). I'm not fond of this look. Man on Fire? Yes. Domino? Whoa; waaay overboard.

But anyway; The DVX100 has some gnarly Mojo. Makes me happy.

10-27-2005, 08:33 AM
I do remember the XL2 vs. DVX spiltscreen. Even then I came away feeling the DVX was a better lowlight camera but not necessarily a more filmlook. But that is neither here nor there. The DVX rocks for what it is is. But when you really start to work on 16x9 exclusive projects it does lose it's footing a little. I just wish a real 16x9 SD DVX100 would have been released. Then I could have it all. The HVX looks great but it is a little too steep of a price for one who is only going to use SD features.

J.R. Hudson
10-27-2005, 01:54 PM
Too true Ice

I'm just a hack wannabe short filmmaker anyway; so what do I know. The DVX is like the Golden Monkey for me. I'm not doing it for profit or a living; just for my spare time and the love of making movies.

11-26-2005, 01:51 PM
Wow, tremendous article. While I detect a DVX-biased viewpoint, it didn't diminish my admiration for the thoroughness presented. I would have liked to see more low light images, however. I own the Sony Z1U and am sorely disappointed by the low light issues and am considering an XL2 (I would have bought the DVX100b if they had made it native 16x9... sigh). But I would love to see a more complete series of low light tests at varying levels of gain, exposure, etc. Anyone know of any such test images beyond this article? I would like to see if the XL2 would offer a noticable improvement over the Z1U in low light performance.

11-26-2005, 02:13 PM
The XL2 is a little more sensitive than an FX1/Z1, but not much. I'd guess about 1/2 stop.

12-18-2005, 10:11 AM
So after reading the 3 way Shoot Out Article, I was convinced that the DVX was the way to go. But if Im a filmmaker hoping to make it to theaters someday, does that mean that the xl2 natie 16x9 will pay off in the end?

12-24-2005, 06:49 AM
I found the article very helpful in making my choice to order a DVX100B. Thanks for a great article.

02-15-2006, 06:13 PM

02-17-2006, 02:13 PM
Don't rule out the HVX. Its a hell of a camera. I sold my dvx and did some overtime to pay for the HVX. You can get the camera by itself and record DVCPro50 for greater resolution. But I think recording to DVCPro50 has to be done with the P2 cards.

03-28-2006, 06:09 AM
Muchas gracias por el artículo tan interesante. Tengo intención de comprar una videocamara de las tres. Es la primera vez que voy ha comprar una de estas camaras, ya que hasta ahora he trabajado con una SONY PC9. Al parecer la DVX es fantastica, pero yo la quiero todo terreno (ALL TERRAIN) y para hacer reportajes, cortos,...
Cual sería mi mejor elección??

Thanks for your article very interestant. I would like to buy one of these cameras, but I have a problem, because is the first time what i buy these camera, and I'll a camera "all terrain" for make a shorts, documentals,...
What are the best election if is the first time??

Carlos, Tarragona. SPAIN.