Canon XL2

Canon XL2
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • 20X F1.6 flourite video lens, excellent video quality, a shoulder mount

Cons

  • A little heavy

Bottom Line

A suitable model for professionals

Would you buy this?

Once you're over the disappointment that it's not the high-definition model many were predicting, you'll find Canon's XL2 a worthy successor to the successful XL1 and XL1s MiniDV camcorders.

A quick scan of the exterior reveals several improvements: a new shoulder mount with XLR inputs for audio pickups, a rail-mounted viewfinder and new function preset buttons on the camera body.

The 20X F1.6 flourite video lens is simply outstanding, with features like programmable zoom speed, zoom/focus preset recall and two integrated neutral density filters. More importantly, the three-chip image sensor inside the XL2 now offers true widescreen recording in both progressive scan and interlaced modes, and the gamma curve controls go a long way towards achieving that cinematic feel that's notoriously hard to achieve with digital products.

It's by no means a consumer product in terms of price or design, but small studios or independent filmmakers will be well served by this new model. The XL2 is still the only camcorder in its class to offer a modular design that includes interchangeable lenses. It's a little front-heavy, especially when tripod-mounted, but attaching an additional battery pack to the rear mount would compensate for this. Video quality is excellent in both standard and widescreen formats, with a noticeable improvement over its predecessors in poorly lit conditions.

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