La nuova Canon XL2
Qualità broadcast per la nuova Canon XL2
Con questa videocamera, Canon fissa un nuovo standard nella ripresa professionale su nastro MiniDV. Oltre ad aver ulteriormente perfezionato la risoluzione e le prestazioni generali, è stata posta particolare enfasi alle possibilità d’intervento manuale e alla natura “cinematografica” del prodotto
La nuova videocamera siglata XL2, di qualità broadcast e con ottiche intercambiabili, sostituisce il precedente modello XL1s, uno dei prodotti di maggiore successo nella storia recente di Canon, e vanta 3 CCD progressive scan da 800 k pixel cadauno e il formato di registrazione 16:9 reale. Questa nuova ammiraglia, al top della produzione mondiale, costituisce un rilevante passo avanti rispetto a prodotti analoghi e vanta una risoluzione, una qualità d’immagine generale e una versatilità tali da renderla indispensabile per il professionista che esige qualità e maneggevolezza, prestazioni e possibilità d’intervento manuale. In altre parole, uno strumento su cui poter contare in ogni situazione di ripresa, anche la più estrema, come ben testimoniato dagli entusiasti operatori che hanno utilizzato il modello precedente dall’Antartide al Sahara. Ma più delle parole contano i fatti e i numeri, ecco quelli che la caratterizzano:
– 3 CCD da 1/3 di pollice e 800.000 pixel con progressive scan
– 50 o 25 immagini al secondo per applicazioni televisive o cine-fotografiche
– Registrazione 16:9 o 4:3
– Totale controllo manuale su un’ampia gamma di variabili relative alla ripresa
– Sistema di obiettivi intercambiabili XL
– Obiettivo di serie zoom 20x alla fluorite con stabilizzatore ottico d’immagine Super Range
– 2 filtri a densità neutra indipendenti
– 4 canali audio con 2 connettori XLR incorporati con alimentazione phantom a 48 V
– Time code SMPTE con opzioni timer Rec Run e Free Run
– Controllo videocamera IEEE1394 per registrazione diretta su HDD
– Telaio in lega di magnesio, robusto e leggero
“Con una risoluzione più che raddoppiata rispetto alla XL1s, la XL2 è il nuovo punto di riferimento qualitativo nello standard di registrazione broadcast MiniDV,” afferma Mogens Jensen, vicepresidente esecutivo dell’area Consumer Imaging di Canon Europa. “Canon si attende che questa nuova videocamera diventi immediatamente popolare presso i videomaker e presso le stazioni televisive.”
Immagini migliorate non solo nella risoluzione
Il sistema a 3 CCD offre la possibilità di registrare in formato 16:9 (960x576 pixel) o 4:3 (720x576 pixel). Il circuito integrato a larga scala (LSI) di terza generazione per l’elaborazione del segnale migliora il rapporto segnale/rumore per ottenere maggiore risoluzione, maggiore sensibilità e un più basso “smear” rispetto alla XL1s.
Gli utenti possono selezionare la speciale modalità Cinema per texture e tonalità tipo film, ossia un video che sembri girato su pellicola. La regolazione dell’intervallo dinamico, selezionabile tra alta, media e bassa, può essere utilizzata per alterare la forma della curva gamma per evitare saturazioni di luminosità nella sovraesposizione. Il controllo del nero o delle luci basse è disponibile con tre modalità (Stretch, Middle e Press) che espandono o comprimono la parte bassa della curva gamma per mostrare o nascondere i dettagli in ombra. Per personalizzare ulteriormente il feeling cinematografico reso possibile dalla XL2, è anche previsto un controllo manuale per regolare Coring, Sharpness, Noise Reduction, Colour Gain e Hue.
Nella XL2 è stata inclusa un’intera gamma di caratteristiche per trasmettere ulteriormente la sensazione di usare una vera macchina da presa a pellicola per il cinema professionale. La matrice di colori è selezionabile tra Video e Cinema. V Detail regola la risoluzione verticale, mentre Skin Detail consente di controllare le variazioni della tinta e la saturazione delle aree con le nuance della carnagione per ammorbidire i dettagli, ridurre le imperfezioni cutanee e scaldarne i toni, mentre la funzione Film Grain aggiunge l’effetto dei filmati cinematografici. XL2, inoltre, offre controlli manuali su Master RGB, Setup Level, Master Pedestal e Gain Settings.
Controlli creativi completi
Per la massima comodità d’uso, possono essere programmati pulsanti personalizzabili per richiamare una fra le tante regolazioni manuali presenti all’interno degli 8 menu principali. I pulsanti personalizzabili richiamano le funzioni indipendentemente dalle selezioni attive al momento, permettendo un’immediata correzione o l’impostazione di funzioni anche in modo autonomo rispetto alla voce di menu attiva. Sono inoltre disponibili tre configurazioni personalizzabili che permettono all’utilizzatore di memorizzare le proprie impostazioni preferite, in base ai gusti personali o al tipo di ripresa previsto.
Controllo del bilanciamento del bianco
Per consentire il massimo controllo sul bilanciamento del bianco, la XL2 permette di intervenire separatamente sul guadagno dei tre colori primari RGB, ideale per situazioni critiche. Il bilanciamento del bianco in ogni caso può anche essere impostato inquadrando una superficie bianca, oppure selezionando manualmente esterni (5600 K) o interni (3200 K). La regolazione della sensibilità dei CCD è stata estesa in 7 stadi, da –3 dB a +18 dB, per soddisfare ogni situazione di ripresa.
Obiettivo di precisione
Per offrire un obiettivo zoom con un’escursione focale pari a 20 ingrandimenti e con una notevole qualità, gli ingegneri Canon hanno incorporato un elemento alla fluorite, come negli obiettivi professionali broadcast TV e i prestigiosi obiettivi professionali EF della serie L. Ciò elimina l’insorgere dell’aberrazione cromatica che può condizionare gli obiettivi zoom alle lunghe focali. Inoltre, due elementi asferici contrastano l’aberrazione e assicurano immagini chiare e nitide da un angolo all’altro, passando per il centro. Il diaframma circolare di precisione dona allo sfondo sfocato una piacevole morbidezza e uniformità tonale, mentre i due filtri neutri ND incorporati consentono di aprire completamente il diaframma anche in presenza di forte illuminazione per ottenere particolari effetti. Il diaframma può essere controllato in 8 passi da f/1,6 a tutto chiuso. Infine, sia le posizioni di zoom che di messa a fuoco possono essere preselezionate e richiamate.
Riprese ultrastabili senza treppiede
Giroscopi rilevatori di movimento e sistema di lenti con prisma ad angolazione variabile costituiscono lo stabilizzatore ottico d’immagine incorporato nell’obiettivo 20x, che neutralizza le vibrazioni prima che raggiungano il sensore. Lo stabilizzatore è ulteriormente potenziato con Super Range, che esamina l’immagine anche dopo che è stata ricevuta dal sensore per compensare così i movimenti a bassa frequenza non corretti dal sistema ottico.
Oltre 60 obiettivi
XL2 utilizza lo stesso rinomato sistema di innesto XL della XL1s ed è compatibile con tutti gli obiettivi video XL sul mercato. Un adattatore opzionale EF consente di utilizzare la XL2 anche con gli oltre 60 obiettivi fotografici Canon EF, mantenendo molti automatismi.
Sincronizzazione e connettività
XL2 è dotata di sincronizzazione time code SMPTE per l’uso in abbinamento ad altri registratori o dispositivi video. Rec run aggiunge un codice temporale (time code) continuo al nastro, interrotto solo da Rec start/stop. Free run mantiene lo scorrere del contatore in real time indipendentemente dall’accensione/spegnimento dell’apparecchio o da Registrazione/Pausa: ideale negli scatti multicamera per l’ultima sincronizzazione di ripresa. L’unità include 2 jack XLR con alimentazione phantom a 48 V per microfoni e offre una registrazione audio a 4 canali con un adattatore microfonico opzionale. È supportata la registrazione digitale PCM, mentre un jack BNC consente di monitorare l’uscita. La connessione IEEE1394 permette di registrare direttamente su hard disk con il controllo dell’unità via PC.
Il mirino della XL2, 2 pollici ad alta risoluzione con 200 k pixel, può essere utilizzato sia come schermo LCD sia come mirino elettronico tradizionale a traguardo. Il formato 16:9 è visualizzato come letterbox. Oltre alla regolazione destra/sinistra, la XL2 introduce il movimento avanti/indietro per un eccellente comfort dell’operatore durante le lunghe riprese.
Modalità di scatto
Sono ben 7 le possibilità di scatto preselezionabili: Full Auto, Auto, Priorità dei tempi, Priorità dei diaframmi, Manuale, Spotlight e un nuovo Low Light mode. L’otturatore può essere regolato in 30 passi da 1/6 a 1/16.000 di secondo. Tempi di otturazione e diaframmi possono essere variati anche durante il blocco dell’esposizione (AE lock) mentre l’esposizione automatica può essere modificata in 13 passi da +2.0 a –2.0 stop.
Oltre alle barre colori, può essere registrato su nastro un tono test di riferimento a 1 kHz (-12 dB o –20 dB) come ausilio per la sincronizzazione nei montaggi. Il look professionale e la sensazione di solidità che esprime la XL2, nonostante la sua particolare leggerezza, sono comprovate dalla robusta e rigida struttura in lega di magnesio che ne costituisce il telaio.
XL2 rappresenta il modello professionale Canon in formato MiniDV, ma dato il prezzo competitivo, interesserà anche molti appassionati videomaker che potranno così utilizzare una videocamera che non ha niente da invidiare a modelli ben più costosi e pesanti.
With an increasing consumer shift towards widescreen TVs that deliver the full width of film-based theatrical movies, plus the resulting need for productions in the 16:9 aspect ratio, Canon's XL2 offers both the standard 4:3 aspect ratio and the 16:9 widescreen TV aspect ratio. Representing the ratio of the screen width to its height, the 4:3 aspect ratio is that of the common TV screen, and is the most commonly used aspect ratio in broadcasting today.
The 16:9 aspect ratio is the more common aspect ratio for film-based movies, and produces full screen playback on widescreen TVs. 16:9 also is the world standard aspect ratio for HDTV.
By offering a camcorder that is able to be switched between the two aspect ratios, Canon opens the door for multiple production options with the same camera -- the XL2.
Variable frame rates: 60i / 30p / 24p (2:3 and 2:3:3:2 both with 1/48th second shutter speed) frame rates are available in the XL2.
The demands being made on the video production community to be able to provide solutions under a multitude of different scenarios have been met with the Canon XL2. It delivers 60i, 30p, 24p (2:3 and 2:3:3:2) frame rates. 60i (interlaced) is the standard video frame rate that has been in use for decades; it's what you see on your home TV, and is captured by handheld consumer camcorders. Progressive (non-interlaced) scanning mimics a film camera's frame-by-frame image capture. 30p, or 30-frame progressive, a non-interlaced format, produces video at the rate of 30 frames per second, delivering spectacular clarity for high speed subjects. Shooting in 30P mode offers video with no interlace artifacts.
The 24p frame rate, for example, is now widely adopted by those planning on transferring the video signal to film. But film/videomakers turn to 24p for the "cine" look even if their productions are not going to be transferred to film, simply because of the "look" of the frame rate. Also just as important as 24p, is the shutter speed of 1/48th per second. This is the standard shutter speed that movie cameras use. The combination of 24p frame rate and 1/48th perfectly mimic a motion film camera.
24p with 2:3 pulldown produces video with the look and motion of film. (24p, used in conjunction with a cine gamma curve on the XL2, produces images that have similar tonal characteristics as film. This mode is used when the finished video will be shown on television. 24p with 2:3:3:2 pulldown, is used when the video is going to be transferred to film. The 2:3:3:2 pulldown allows to editing software to extract true 24 frames a second.
Customizable Cine Look
With "big name" and not so well known producers turning to digital video for their "films," increasing emphasis has been placed on delivering the cine look to video. The Canon XL2 offers its users the ability to customize their video recordings using a number of variables: color matrix, gamma, knee, black stretch, vertical detail, coring, sharpness, noise reduction, color gain, hue, and film grain. Each one of these can be adjusted independently, thereby giving you precise control over the "film-like" appearance of your video.
Total Image Control
Professional videographers need to have control over the set-up of their camcorder. From complete automatic setting to fine adjustments of Master RGB, Setup Level, Master Pedestal, Skin Tone Detail, Program AE, Gain, AE Shift and Lock, White Balance, Shutter Speeds, Aperture Control, Zebra Patterns Clear Scan and Interval Timer the XL2 has the total image control that professionals need.
XL Mount Interchangeable Lens System
A key feature of the Canon XL-series camcorders (and the only MiniDV format camcorders with this feature), is the XL mount interchangeable lens system. Unlike other systems, the XL2 offers users the ability to change lenses, whether from within the XL series of video lenses, third-party cine lenses, or Canon's extensive range of photo lenses. This not only makes the XL2 a far more versatile camera, it also opens up incredible opportunities for the XL2 user.
Within the Canon XL system alone there are four lenses: the new 20x OIS, 16x OIS, 16x Manual, and 3x Wide. Then, using an XL system adapter, the entire range of Canon photo lenses is available -- a tremendous boon to those producing wildlife and nature documentaries, for example. Other companies also offer a variety of specialty cine lenses that can be used on the XL2.
Flourite Zoom Lens with Optical Image Stabilization
Canon is known worldwide for its optics -- its broadcast and photo lenses, for example. The new 20x Professional L-Series Fluorite optical zoom lens for the XL2 is an outstanding lens, using fluorite to deliver outstanding resolution, contrast and color reproduction. In addition, the lens features Canon's superb optical stabilization system. This corrects camera shake instantly and, with its SuperRange feedback system, even catches low-frequency vibrations, refining the movement of the vari-angle prism, delivering the most advanced optical image stabilization available today.
SMPTE time code
The Canon XL2 offers many on-camera enhancements to help capture high-quality footage, including features commonly found on broadcast camcorders. Among these is the placement of a SMPTE time code on the tape. SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers) time code is a digital signal that assigns a number to every frame of video, representing hours, minutes, seconds, frames, plus some additional information. The SMPTE time code is used to identify a precise location on a video tape, a mainstay of professional editing allowing all tape and equipment to work together for precise editing.
You can choose Drop, Non-Drop, Rec Run and Free Run modes. Also provided is User bit settings, allowing the inclusion of reel number or other user data.
The XL2 also generates SMPTE color bars with 1 KHz tone (-12dB and -20dB). SMPTE color bars with tone are the standard method of setting up video and audio monitors and edit suites. By using industry standard color bars and tone, the XL2 fits in with all production equipment.
Three custom presets are provided on the XL2, and each can be assigned any one of a number of functions, accessible at the touch of a button, for faster and easier camera operation. Among the functions are: color gain, color phase, sharpness, setup level, V detail, color matrix, gamma, knee, black stretch, skin detail (hue, gain, area, Y level).
These custom presets can be transferred to another XL2, or to a computer (3rd party software required), using the IEEE1394 connection.
Professional Audio Connections
The Canon XL2 offers in-camera features commonly found on more expensive production and broadcast camcorders. Among them are professional audio and video connections. The XL2 offers 4-channel audio through two built-in XLR connectors with phantom power. These inputs are designed for use with professional microphones. This balanced connection allows for the use of very long cables without the introduction of outside noise.
Condenser microphones need "phantom power," with +48V power going to the microphone along the same wires that carry the audio signals. The XL2 supplies this through the XLR connectors.
BNC connectors are used in professional and broadcast video applications. These connect a two-wire coaxial cable using a bayonet mount.
Open Architecture Design
You can customize the XL2 to fit your specific application and preferences through a full range of accessories. They include optional lenses, viewfinders, mounts and microphone adapters.
3CCD Progressive Scan
The XL2 features a 3 CCD system with a separate progressive scan CCD (chargecoupled device) for each primary color (red, green and blue). Each CCD contains 680,000 pixels.
Multi-functional Color EVF with 2" LCD Monitor
Having a fully adjustable Viewfinder is critical for getting that perfect shot. The XL2 has an EVF that is convertible between a standard eyepiece and a 2” high resolution LCD. The image is shown in shown in 4:3 or 16:9 letterbox, depending on the shooting aspect ratio. The overlay information that normally disrupts clear viewing of the subject can be completely turned off, and a center crosshair can be turned on to mark the center of the image to help with framing. Unlike other EVF systems, viewfinder brightness, color, sharpness and contrast can be adjusted to suit individual shooting taste.
For total shooting comfort, the EVF can be mechanically adjusted left to right and forwards and backwards.
Two Custom Keys
Two custom keys are available on the XL2, in both camera mode and VCR mode. These custom keys allow you to save your own custom settings so your common shooting modes can be readily duplicated.
You select options from either the Camera Menu (Index Write, Zebra pattern, VCR stop, TV screen, Audio 1 in, Audio 2 in, Zoom grip speed, Zoom handle speed) or the VCR Menu (TV screen, Data code, Audio 1 in, Audio 2 in) and create up to two customized settings for each.
Advanced Accessory Shoe
When specific accessories compatible with the Advanced Accessory Shoe are attached, the XL2 can exchange data with them and supply power directly to them. These accessories include the VL-3 video light and DM-50 directional microphone. Also working with the Advanced Accessory Show is the MA-300 microphone adapter that lets you connect an additional two professional XLR connector microphones to the XL2. Simply slide the optional device into the accessory shoe; no external power or cables are required.
New Standard Lens
The XL2 introduces a new lens to the XL series, a 20x Professional L-Series Fluorite f/1.6 - 3.5 optical zoom lens. Canon is known worldwide for its high quality optics, and the new 20x lens is no exception. The lens uses fluorite to deliver outstanding resolution, contrast and color reproduction.
* Complete Feature List
20x Optical zoom
Canon's 20x Professional L-Series Fluorite lens for the XL2 is the equivalent, in 35mm format, of a 42.3 - 846mm lens when the camera is recording in 16:9 widescreen format. When the 20x Professional L-Series Fluorite lens for the XL2 is recording video in the TV-standard 4:3 aspect ratio, it is the equivalent, in 35mm format, of a 51.8 - 1036mm lens.
Super Range OIS (VAP type)
Canon's superb optical stabilization system corrects camera shake instantly so even hand held shots, at full telephoto, and shots taken from a moving car, are smooth and steady. And since it is optical, there is no loss of image quality inevitable with electronic image stabilizers. It perfectly complements the high picture quality of the DV format.
Previously, optical image stabilizers have used a gyro sensor to detect camcorder vibration (the data from which controls a vari-angle prism that continuously corrects the path of the incoming light). SuperRange goes one step further by examining the image after it is received by the CCD, and detecting any low-frequency vibrations missed by the gyro. This data is fed back to accelerate and refine the movement of the vari-angle prism. This greatly improves performance for low frequency vibration, resulting in the most advanced optical image stabilization available today.
f/1.6 - f/3.5
Canon's 20x Professional L-Series Fluorite lens features a fast aperture of f/1.6, variable to f/3.5 at full telephoto. This maximum aperture of f/1.6 aids in capturing quality video in low light conditions.
72mm filter thread
With a standard 72mm filter thread, the 20x Professional L-Series Fluorite lens offers the availability of a wide variety of filters from Canon and other suppliers.
Fluorite 'L' series lens
Canon has satisfied the demands of experienced image makers for years through the power, design and quality of 35mm and broadcast TV lenses. Canon's Professional L-Series lenses utilize fluorite, a material that provides outstanding resolution, contrast, and color reproduction - especially in lightweight, high-magnification lenses. Incorporated into the XL2's 20x lens, fluorite delivers the ultimate in clarity and image quality. The fluorite element inside the lens defeats color aberration (an effect that causes a reduction in sharpness, contrast and color). The fluorite lens precisely controls components of light providing an excellent balance of these three critical ingredients of picture quality. This is unobtainable with conventional optical glass.
6 blade iris diaphragm
A six-blade circular iris is used in the XL2 for professional exposure control. This helps to deliver stunning video and still photos.
2 independent ND filters
The 20x Professional L-Series Fluorite optical zoom lens includes two neutral density filters to help control light -- for example under bright, sunlit conditions, or when less depth of field is desired. The two built-in filters, 1/6 ND and 1/32 ND, can be used independently.
Electronic focus and zoom ring
The focus ring and the zoom ring are independent controls on the 20x lens. They are servo controlled and the speed can be changed by the speed of the rotation of the ring. There is also a zoom control on the handgrip and one on the top handle.
Zoom preset position
This function allows memorization of a zoom point, so that the lens can return to that framing by a push of the button. The speed of the zoom can easily be controlled.
Focus preset position
This function allows memorization of a focus point, so that the lens can return to that focus by a push of the button. A 'pull focus' can easily be accomplished. The speed of the focus can easily be controlled.
Focal Lengths using the XL2
4:3 aspect ratio
16:9 aspect ratio
New 20x Lens
51.8 ~ 1036
42.3 ~ 846
52.8 ~ 844.8
43.1 ~ 689.6
52.8 ~ 844.8
43.1 ~ 689.6
32.6 ~ 97.8
26.6 ~ 79.8
CCD's Aspect Ratios and Shooting Modes
3 CCDs, 1/3 inch, gross 680K (each) progressive scan, horizontal pixel shift
16:9: 960x480 effective pixels (460,800 pixels per CCD, total 1,382,400)
4:3: 720x480 effective pixels (345,600 pixels per CCD, total 1,036,800)
Building on the superior image quality associated with its industry-leading XL1 and XL1S camcorders, Canon has made a major step forward with the XL2. The XL2 continues to feature a three CCD (charge-coupled device) system with a separate CCD for each primary color (red, green, blue). But the system now features even higher resolution, delivering outstanding picture quality, highly accurate color reproduction and a wide dynamic range with virtually no color noise. The three CCD image sensors are specifically designed to capture as much image detail as possible and for shooting under extremely low light conditions. In super low light, the XL2 captures crisp and clear digital data. Under extremely bright conditions, the XL2 greatly reduces vertical white streaks and smears, making it a consummate field recording device for all conditions.
With the XL2, a beam-splitting prism separates light passing through the lens into individual color components and each is sent to its own CCD. Compared to a single CCD, the three CCD system achieves outstanding detail with highly accurate color reproduction suitable for the demands of high-end video production: wide dynamic range, low color noise, high-contrast detail, natural color resolution and low-aliasing.
16:9 and 4:3 shooting formats
In the XL2, Canon offers both the standard 4:3 aspect ratio and the 16:9 widescreen TV aspect ratio (the ratio of the screen width to its height). The 4:3 aspect ratio is that of the common TV screen, and is the most frequently used aspect ratio in broadcasting today. The 16:9 aspect ratio is the more common aspect ratio for film-based movies, and produces full screen playback on widescreen TVs. This aspect ratio is menu selectable on the XL2.
60i, 30p and 24p (NTSC format)
The XL2 delivers 60i, 30p and 24p frame rates. 60i is the standard video frame rate used in television today, as viewed on your home TV, whether from a broadcast signal, rented DVD or home camcorder. 30p, or 30-frame progressive, is a non interlaced format, the same as Canon's Frame Movie Mode, producing video at 30 frames per second, delivering spectacular clarity and a cinematic-like appearance. 24p, also non-interlaced, produces video with the look and motion of film; its capture rate is the same as that of movie film for theatrical viewing.
24p - both 2:3 and 2:3:3:2 with 1/48th second shutter speed
Both variations of the 24p frame rate -- 24p, 2:3 and 24p, 2:3:3:2 -- are supported by the XL2. The 2:3 pulldown is the conversion method to convert 24p to 60i so that video shot in either 24p frame rates can be viewed on a television. The 2:3:3:2 pull down is used when the footage is to be transferred to movie film.
Customizable Cine Look
Gamma controls the general brightness (luminance) of the picture and the contrast of the picture. Adjusting gamma allows you to control the way the camera reproduces various tones. Video shot on the XL2 can be gamma corrected to allow for the final usage of the video -- where it will be shown. The display medium can distort the brightness, therefore if the gamma is corrected for the display medium when the video is shot, the display will show the correct brightness level. By switching to the Cine curve, the tonal qualities of the images produced have shading and coloration similar to that of film.
Color Matrix (Video/Cine)
The XL2's Color Matrix function manages the hue and saturation of the video to reproduce the most accurate color. The color matrix defines the camera's color output; the matrix lets you define the amount of primary and secondary colors that are produced. The primary colors are red, green and blue, with the secondary colors (cyan, magenta, yellow) made from the combinations of two primary colors. With the XL2's Color Matrix, you can change from a video to a cine "look" for the end product.
Among the XL2's picture-enhancing circuits is the knee circuit. Setting the control to high, medium or low manages the highlight compression of the video signal.
The XL2 gives the user control of the depth of black in dark areas of an image. To emphasize contrast in the video's dark areas, "Stretch" is selected. To deepen or enhance the dark area, "Press" (compress) is selected.
Vertical Detail (Normal/Low)
There are 2 settings: "Normal" for vertical detail optimized for playback on an interlaced monitor, "Low" for vertical detail optimized for a progressive scan monitor like a PC.
Coring (-6 to +6)
The Coring function on the XL2 is useful in helping to remove image "noise." Coring removes fine detail information that is not a major contributor to the picture detail but which adds noise to the image. You can adjust just how much detail information is removed - just enough coring to reduce picture noise, but not enough to hurt the detail in the image.
Sharpness (-6 to +6)
The XL2 is capable of changing the degree of sharpness in the picture. By using this feature, pictures that do not require a lot of detail can be softened. This feature also can be used to hide imperfections during close-ups, for example. Increasing video sharpness can increase the video noise slightly.
Noise Reduction (OFF/H/N/L)
Noise Reduction removes video noise -- non-picture artifacts such as those commonly found in low-light images -- without hurting image detail or creating motion artifacts. This is important for two reasons. The first is that we have become used to viewing high quality video. The second is that video noise makes compression -- to DVD, for example -- less efficient.
Color Gain (-6 to +6)
The XL2 can deliver 13 steps of color gain, from off to oversaturated. This adjustment allows you to shoot in black and white.
Color Phase (-6 to +6)
Adjust the Color Phase towards red or green for exact control.
Film Grain (one setting)
The XL2 has one setting to add 'film grain' to the image. This simulates the effect of shooting on film.
Total Image Control
Master RGB (R: -6 to +6, G: -6 to +6, B: -6 to +6)
The Master RGB control offers 13 steps of adjustment each to the red, green and blue components of the video signal.
Setup Level (-6 to +6)
Setup level adjusts the standard point of the black level of video signal. In USA (NTSC) the black level is set for 7.5 IRE, in Japan (NTSC) the black level is set at 0 IRE, for PAL and SECAM systems the black level is set for 0 IRE. Professional cameras use 3 IRE for the black level. The XL2 has a 13 step adjustment, with the default mid level being 3 IRE.
Master Pedestal (-6 to +6)
The Master Pedal controls the starting point of the gamma curve. This will change the dark areas of the picture.
Skin Tone Detail
Hue, gain, area, Y level (+/- 6 steps). During setup EVF shows a zebra pattern over masking area flashes between picture and white-mask. During setup EE and IEE1394 out flashes between picture and zebra pattern, enabling you to easily smooth out skin blemishes and wrinkles with total control.
Program AE (Auto, TV, AV, Manual, Spotlight, Low Light, Green)
Gain (-3 / A / 0 / +3 / +6 / +12 / +18 dB)
Control the amount of gain to balance between quality and getting the shot.
With the XL2, you may want to make slight adjustments to the image brightness to compensate for backlighting or for scenes that are being rendered slightly overexposed. When in Auto, Tv or Av Modes, you can engage AE Shift in the camera menu, then turn the menu dial to add or subtract a bit of exposure. There are 13 steps available for creative control.
You can hold the exposure at a particular setting by engaging AE Lock on the XL2. This prevents unplanned exposure changes with a moving subject, for instance.
White Balance (Indoor, Outdoor presets and 3 user settings) The XL2 uses an electronic white balance process to calibrate the picture for accurate color display in different lighting conditions (i.e. sunlight versus indoor incandescent). Automated white balance settings include a fully automated mode, an indoor mode and an outdoor mode. (When the XL2 is set to Green Mode, white balance is fully automated and cannot be adjusted.) In addition to these set standards, the XL2 lets you set the white balance manually by selecting manual select, then pointing the camera at a white object (such as a sheet of paper) that fills the field of view. The XL2 gives you the option of setting and saving as many as three white balance presets that can be reused for non-sequential shooting. Manual white balance works best for dominant color or monochromatic scenes and close-ups, in rapidly changing lighting conditions and in places lit by certain fluorescent or mercury vapor lights. White balancing should be performed prior to any recording.
In 60i and 30p modes there are 30 shutter speeds as well as clear scan shutter speeds. In 24p there are 29 shutter speeds including 1/48th second and clear scan shutter speeds.
There are 23 aperture settings available with the 20x lens. This setting can be adjusted in 1/4 steps.
Zebra Patterns (100%, 95%, 90%, 85%, 80%)
Zebra stripes, displayed in the viewfinder but not recorded, can be made to appear over any area that is overexposed. This black and white zebra stripe feature is activated via the camera's menu. Use this feature to guide the adjustment of the aperture and shutter speed. The zebra pattern settings that are available in the XL2 are: 80 IRE, 85 IRE, 90 IRE, 95 IRE, and 100 IRE.
The Clear Scan feature allows you to record a computer CRT screen or similar equipment without displaying a black band or flicker on the screen. The XL2 can adjust shutter speeds from 61.9 Hz to 201.5 Hz in 117 steps, allowing you to perfectly match the CRT's scan rate.
By selecting the Interval Timer on the XL2, the camera can be programmed to record at various intervals for varying amounts of time. This provides time lapse motion videography.
Set intervals include: 30 seconds; 1 minute; 5 minutes; 10 minutes. Set recording times include: 0.5 second; 1.0 second; 1.5 seconds; 2.0 seconds.
4 channel independent controls
Canon knows that audio is crucial to professional productions, and the XL2 provides the highest standards in audio capture available on a digital video system with a 16-bit, 2-channel recording option. The XL2 also has two additional 12-bit recording channels allowing simultaneous recording on four channels. Audio levels can be controlled manually to further extend sound quality as it is recorded.
Controlling audio levels is essential for real-time event capture and the XL2 permits both automatic and manual audio recording. Manual control allows for setting balance and level
2 XLRs on body
The XL2 has two built-in XLR connectors on the camera body. XLR connections are used in professional and high-end audio equipment. This balanced connection allows for the use of very long cables without the introduction of outside noise.
Phantom power on body XLRs
Condenser microphones need "phantom power," with the voltage going to the mic along the same wires that carry the audio signals. The XLR connectors on the XL2 provide phantom power.
2 other channels through MA-300
For more creative control, Canon offers the optional MA-300 microphone adapter, which easily connects to the XL2's Advanced Accessory Shoe and powers without wires. The MA-300 lets you connect two professional XLR connector microphones in addition to the two connections on the camera body.
The XL2 uses a high quality stereo electric condenser microphone.
All audio setup by switches under audio door
Input selection and attenuation
XLR gain up adjustment
This feature is available through the menu system
VU meters: side body and EVF
Metal construction with level control.
1kHz tone (with color bars) -12dB and -20dB levels
The XL2 internally generates a 1kHz tone along with the color bars. This provides a stable, unvarying audio signal that can be placed on the video, aiding setup of audio equipment. Two levels are available for setting the master audio level on the camera.
Zoom rocker (23 degrees/ one side, manual control - 16 speeds)
Zoom speed control behind rocker handle.
3 memories In addition to creating custom settings for camera and VCR mode using the custom keys, you also can establish three presets for several camera adjustments, including gamma, sharpness and skin detail. Once you have established a look to your video, you can save the information. On top of that, you can transfer this information to another XL2 or to your computer via the IEEE1394 connection. - Store: color gain, color phase, sharpness, setup level, V detail, color matrix, gamma, knee, black stretch, skin detail (hue, gain, area, Y level) Each of the three memory presets on the XL2 allows you to store several camera adjustments: color gain, color phase, sharpness, setup level, V detail, color matrix, gamma, knee, black stretch, skin detail (hue, gain, area, Y level).
Internal and External Store / Recall
The three memory presets can be saved in-camera or externally -- in a PC or another XL2 -- and recalled.
Copy Custom Preset from another XL2 through IEEE1394
A custom preset saved on another XL2 can be transferred via the IEEE1394 connector.
Store / Copy from a PC through IEEE1394 (3rd party software needed)
A custom preset saved on the XL2 can be stored in a PC, sent there via IEEE1394 connection. The same connection allows a preset stored on the computer to be copied to the XL2.
SMPTE color bars with 1 kHz tone (-20dB and -12dB)
Color Bars are an electronically generated video pattern consisting of eight equal-width colors, used to establish a proper color reference before recording and playback and for adjustment purposes. Using a lead-in of color bars for 10-60 seconds has become a de facto standard in professional film and video circles. The color bars also can be used during shooting to allow the adjustment of reference monitors. The XL2 can generate color bars on tape prior to shooting; this allows for fast hand-off to the professional broadcast and/or film post-production environment.
The XL2 internally generates a 1kHz tone along with the color bars. This provides a stable, unvarying audio signal that can be placed on the video, aiding in the set-up of audio equipment.
(5 levels: 100%, 95%, 90%, 85%, 80%)
Zebra stripes, displayed in the viewfinder but not recorded, can be made to appear over any area that is overexposed. The black and white zebra stripe feature is activated via the camera's menu.
Use this feature to guide the adjustment of the aperture and shutter speed. The zebra pattern settings that are available in the XL2 are: 80 IRE, 85 IRE, 90 IRE, 95 IRE, and 100 IRE.
With the XL2, Canon has added a BNC connector to the RCA connections and the S-video connection found on the XL1 and XL1S. The bayonet mount BNC connector is used in professional and broadcast video applications.
AAS (advanced accessory shoe)
VL3, MA300, VFL-1 (light only), DM-50. When accessories such as the VL-3 video light, DM-50 directional microphone, or the optional MA-300 microphone adapter -- devices that are compatible with the Advanced Accessory Shoe -- are attached, the XL2 can exchange data with them and supply power directly to them.
The LANC (Local Application Control Bus System) is a remote terminal that allows you to connect the camera to LANC-compatible editing equipment.
Not only can you capture high quality video with the XL2, you can stream it over the Internet. With streaming video, the content is compressed and encoded to make the file size smaller and more quickly transmitted. This lets the video be played as it is being received.
Built-in shoulder pad
To make use of the XL2 easier, there's a built-in shoulder pad. This makes extended use of the camera less physically demanding.
Dust gasket on tape door
To offer further protection to the tape, tape handling mechanism, and other internal components, the XL2 has a dust gasket on the tape door.
Wireless remote controller
The wireless controller supplied with the XL2 can operate the camera from a distance of up to 16 feet (5 m). Point it at either of the camera's remote sensors while you press the buttons. (Remote sensors are located at both the front and the back of the camera.) The tally lamps light up to indicate the camera is in range and responding to remote control commands. Other than the standard on-camera functions, there are four functions that only can be operated using the wireless controller: Special playback, Data Code on/off, Self-timer. The remote sensor on the XL2 can be turned off to prevent interference from other Canon wireless controllers being used nearby.
-Color EVF / 2 LCD convertible
-Right / left adjustment
-Before / aft adjustment
-Brightness, color, sharpness and contrast adjustments
-EVF LCD indicators: rec/shutter/gain
-Center cross hair (on/off)
-16:9 shown as letter box
-EVF display (all, some, OFF - same as XL1S)
-Body compatible with FU-100 B/W EVF (not with current color EVF)
Software - DVPC Recorder - only available to XL Owner's Club members
Record directly to PC (XP only) -single file or individual scenes in different files
Compatible with any major editing programs -AVI-Type1 / AVI-Type2 file formatPower
Standby modes (VCR Power Same)
The XL2 has been designed to consume as little power as possible and comes with power saving features such as auto off features (activated after about 5 minutes of inactivity) to further extend battery power for field and remote work.