Pros Pro Design & Expandability; Audio XLR ports; Telephoto standard Lens with stabilization
Cons LCD/Eyepeice, IRIS control, Weight (in some cases)! Low light grain, Price for Expansion!
Summary There's no doubt that this is a great camera, I had the pleasure of using it for 2 weeks before giving it up. There were some issues that I had with this camera, first of all and my main concern is that the LCD viewfinder is not the best for finding you focus point, this can be frustrating at times knowing that this camera has the best lense for focusing ability. There is also no separate "pop-out" LCD, so inorder to correct this problem, you will need to add a monitor somewhere on the camera (on top mount or on sled/stabilizer) this increases weight and cost. Another great option for the viewfinder is to purchase the optional evf monochrome viewfinder; this would be ideal to use with an additional 4"+ mounted LCD (as this viewfinder eliminates the standard evf's flip-up LCD screen) but this comes at a heavy price tag of $1500. The Iris control is a step system, which is noticable when using and not fluid.
This camera has great options if you want to pay for them, no doubt a great choice for any pro or amature film maker, great for event shooting, but would take some getting used to for artistic shooting.
Pros Interchangeable lens system is fabulous
Cons Lower quality imagery than can be had for less money
Summary Well, I've been using DV since its inception, and have an educational background in broadcasting and comp-sci. The Canon offerings have always offered unique and useful features, including this XL2, but simply can NOT compare to Sony's offerings in the same category. The Sony VX2100 (consumer) / PD170 (pro), offers a substantially superior image. The image isn't oversharpened like it is on the XL series, and offers cleaner results with better color reproduction. To top it off...the XL2 is only 5.5 lux min rated, which is very poor, and not suitable for professional use. It's "okay" for home use, but the lux rating (for those of you that don't know) is the measurement used to define how sensitive the imager is. The lower the rating, the less light required to generate a decent picture. In most indoor venues (homes, restaurants, bars, churches, etc.) the lighting is not enough to generate a decent picture on a greater-than-4 lux camera without lots of gain, which introduces substantial noise to the image. The Sony VX2100, in contrast, is priced about $1000 less, and is rated at a far superior 1 lux (natively, not with digital enhancement) which means that indoor shooting is very natural with no additional lighting to lug around, and without the introduction of noise due to higher gain requirements. Overall, the Sony prosumer line (VX2100/PD170) is a substantially better offering. The ONLY advantage to the XL2 is the interchangeable lens system, which is really not that useful unless you have a very specific need. For most uses, a standard lens with telephoto, wide, and anamorphic adapters are more than enough if you need to add lens capability. For widescreen shooters, the Sony offerings can utilize a manual focus pulling anamorphic adapter by Century Optics... which really makes the interchangeable lens system of the XL2 a nicety rather than a necessity.
Pros Sure, the 5k entry price is a little steep. But when you're filming in TRUE 16:9 ratio, 2 XLR outputs, 24p frame rate, it's worth it. The ability to expand is mind boggling. This is the new standard for all independent film. Lack of HD is a bit of a bothe
Cons Finicky switches, alot to learn, high entry price, no HD, some lenses cost more than the camera!
Pros Great upgrades to XL1.
Cons Going to be blown away by revolutionary CMOS cameras coming from Concept HD, Summix, and Silicon Technologies. True HD, not fake HDV, is on the way.
Pros Amazing picture with several upgrades like xlr inputs added and a great new lens.
Cons A bit pricey but if used by the right person can be very much worth it. Take it from a 5 year televison and film veteran.