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Which to Choose Canon XM2 or Sony VX2100

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Editing Forum' started by ItsMeHere, May 16, 2004.

  1. ItsMeHere

    ItsMeHere
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    Hi,

    Need some advise, I'm looking to purchase possibly either the Sony VX2100 or the Canon XM2.

    Overall quality of image and sound is paramount.
    But so is 16:9 recording

    I've read various reviews some indicate that both these cameras can do "genuine 16:9 recording" or "true 16:9 recording" others that they can't!!

    Whose right?

    I don't want a low quality cop out such as the camera recording in 4:3 and slapping black bars on the recording - necessitating the widescreen tv to enlarge the image with all that entails for loss of quality.

    The more reviews I read the less clear it all becomes, as to exactly what either of these models can do.

    So any help vastly appreciated.

    Regards
    mark :lease:
     
  2. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    ItsMeHere

    Go the Pro route - have a look at what the folk who use these Semi Pro camcorders say about them; if you search carefully you'll learn everything you need to know about them technically and 'in the field' from videographers using them on a daily basis.

    Here's one place to start your search from - http://www.uemedia.com/CPC/editorsnet/

    Be assured there's much to learn about when selecting this type of camcorder - I'd also suggest if you cant find a local dealer who can loan you one for a weekend to see how you get on handling each model your considering its worth Hiring them for a day or two; you may find you simply cant live with one or other machine no matter what the tech specs say.

    Optex may have the units your looking for - see http://www.optexint.com

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  3. Duncan Craig

    Duncan Craig
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    Neither of these two are true anamorphic, the 2100 is very very similar to a VX2000. The XM2 is very similar to an XM1.

    The Sony will be much sharper than the Canon, which use line doubling to up it's resolution, but the digital 16:9 mode looks better on the Canon.

    My favourite would be the Sony, much better built, Canons are a bit dodgy from personal experience of many XL1s
     
  4. Roy Mallard

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    XM2 is better, it only uses line doubling (well pixel shift which isn't exactly the same) in the frame record mode (i.e. deinterlaced), which although less than the Sony resolution wise does offer full 25fps recording (the sony only offers 15fps).

    Lens quality on the canon is well above the sony in terms of material (flourite, much reduced chromatic abberation) and 20x zoom factor (vs 12 on Sony).

    Sony gains on manual zoom ring & 2 stage ND filter, but is nearly a grand more, buy a screw in ND and a lanc contoller for £50 and take a holiday witht the change.

    Audio is better on XM2, external controls for left and right, not a silly menu function.

    Both good cams, XM2 has an optical advantage and massive price advantage.
     
  5. Roy Mallard

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    Also XM2 offers 16:9 guide frames on a 4:3 record area, allowing either full res 4:3, future proofed 4:3 (safe for 16:9 conversion later) or a psuedo 16:9 mode. If you need anamorphic 16:9 look at a Sony PDX10 (no, in fact dont, they are pants), buy a optex 16:9 convertor.
     
  6. whatdoiknow

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    I hope the XM2 is better than XM1, I used the XM1 to film a professional soccer match under floodlights and the resulting picture was poorer than all the other cams I have used (Sony D8, Pana MiniDV, Pana SVHS.)

    Also the connectivity was hopeless. I couldn't get a signal to or from the XM1 via firewire to a Sony D8 or Pana DA1 yet I have never had problems between the latter 2.

    I also used to use a Canon Hi8 model which was top of the range at the time and we were always having problems with the tape door mechanism and I believe in several reports on the XM1 the tape door was supposed to be a bit iffy.

    Martin
     
  7. whatdoiknow

    whatdoiknow
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    PS

    The Sony VX2100 is only about £500 more than the XM1 currently at many stockists
     
  8. Duncan Craig

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    My 2000 wipes the floor with an XM2 a vx2100 will be even better, I hate Canons and I've used lots of XL1s and XM1/2s.
     
  9. Roy Mallard

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    Both are good cams, first reply compares to XM1, I'm talking about the newer XM2.

    Connectivity problems?, could be a fault with that specific camera, older versions of pinnacle and premiere had bother with some canons, patches were available and anything from thelast 3 years should be fine.

    As for a vx2k wiping the floor with an XM2, I compared both extensively before hand (I had access to pool of PD150's, the same optically as the VX2k) and although the VX2k worked marginally better in low light (bigger ccds at 1/3rd of an inch vs 1/4) the difference was slight, the picture from the XM2 under any other condition was sharper and the XM2 offers chroma shift (between Red & Green phase) as well as saturation and sharpness control. The audio on the PD150's was absolutely terrible, it was better on the vx2k, but there was no easy way to change left & right levels independantly.

    Other quirks whihc put me off the vx2k, firstly the camera only told you when the optical stbiliser was switched off, which seems to suggest that Sony presumed every user would want to use it all the time (the older vx1k only told you when it was switched on), so if you were using a tripod you could get the sea-sick inducing frame drift as the stabiliser worked away.

    Secondly on the VX2k you had to lock the video gain off at zero, or it would kick in regardless of your aperture setting. On the canon XM2 you actually have to consioulsy tell the camera that you want gain. A bit better.

    Both cams have their fans, I think its up to the buyer to have a look at both, handle them and decide from there. Both are good, my money is on the Canon (spending the extra on the VX2k wasn't a problem, but I felt it was going on the sony brand factor more than it being a better camera.)

    I'll assert again that both the 16:9 and frame record modes are superior on the canons.

    There are three shortcomings with the XM2 which I'll detail in the interests of ballance:

    Only one stage ND and minimum aperture of f8.
    Problem caused: Overexposure at 1/50th on bright days, f11 or f16 wouldn't make the picture significantly sharper (given the small ccds) but it would have been nice to have those extra stops without having to adjust the shutter from 1/50th.
    Solution: Pack an extra ND4 or Polariser in your kit bag and use when required.

    AutoFocus resets between use.
    A bit of a pain, just needs to be switched back to manual, on the Sony it is a mechanical switch so it stays as you leave it.

    Exposure control is one switch, one toggle swtich/dial controls aperture, shutter & gain, on the sony there is a shutter button, gain button and exposure dial.

    I've not spent anytime with the current Vx21k or PD170, but I gather the differences are very minor.

    You might want to hold off and see what sony offer as a counter to the imminent XL2 (for what its worth I sort of agree about the XL1/s, they are a bit quirky, and theres no doubt that the ccds on the VX2k were better in terms of resolution, but once you adapt they are pretty nice to use, the manual zoom and focus rings are far smoother in use than the rings on either the XM or Vx's & the multiple manual WB memory on the XL1s is a really handy feature stolen from full size cams.

    One thing all these cams lack (exept the PD's) is a black & white viewfinder.
     
  10. Martins

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    Abaut Canon XM2

    I want to know if I have 2 microfones can I change the volume of each?

    Can I switch two or three cameras to one mixer to make film?
     
  11. Roy Mallard

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    XM2 has one stereo minijack input, you can either get a two female mono to one stereo male minijack adaptor to connect two mics (you can do this with most cams) but the xm2 will elt you contol the audio level for each independantly.

    The second option is to buy canons MA-300 adaptor which is pricey but gives you two XLR inputs (for professional ballanced condenser mics) with independant level control for each channel.

    A more expensive option is a beachtek breakout box, which will give you two xlr sockets, mic or line switching (for line in say from an audio mixer or mic in) but this has the advantage of being able to work with any camera you may buy in the future. The Beachtek also gives the ability to add phantom power (opening up access to a wider range of mics).

    You can take a composite out from all domestic camcorders (which can be adapted to a bnc connector, or take an S-Video/YC out if your video micer supports a Y/C input, either way its analogue. You will have some problems as most domestic cams will not allow a genlock facility (the new canon XL2 does apparantly) whereby the refresh rate of all cameras fed off the same genlock will be exactly in synch, meaning cuts between cameras are flawless.

    Without genlock there can be dropped frames and skipped fields, which looks terrible. Best budget way is to have two or three cameras recording live (with one locked off on a safe wide shot) and basically do yourmix in the edit stage.
     
  12. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Martins

    What sort of production are you planning? - It would be odd to Record sound via the camera's whilst doing a live vision mix; I take it that's what your planning using a live mixer such as a WJ-MX50.

    If your planning a multi camera shoot and recording the live video mix down to a VTR wouldn't it be simpler/more flexible and better quality to do the audio 'off camera' straight to the Vision Mixer using decent mics.

    You can still 'Record' the Audio in each Camera I guess (assuming your running Tape in the Camera's) - but for what purpose if your 'mastering' straight to VTR through your live desk.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  13. zoo

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    I have a VX2100 for sale with lots of bits and bobs, only 4 months old, email me if u r interested!
     

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