I wanted to write this because I saw a lot of nonsense about it posted on another review. These are great cameras occasionally let down by their weakest feature, the tape mechanism. But then again, I imagine all tape based camcorders suffer the same misery. Bent mechanisms, clogged heads. Tape is great when it works and it's evil when it fails. If you get one ALWAYS take great care with the mechanics when loading and unloading tapes. There's a little message on the tape loading compartment that says "Do not press on this part". They really mean it. It should read "If you ever press this too hard your camera will be useless ever after and cost you a fortune to repair."
Show anyone who'll be using it exactly how to load a tape. One dopey hamfisted nerk will trash it for good. Beware.
The optics, electronics and image quality are excellent, and its low-light pictures are genuinely surprisingly good. I've used this kind of camera to shoot stuff for 16/9 broadcast shows and the pictures were intercut with broadcast cameras to good effect, although we had to put a severe grade on both to get them to match up. The best thing about it is it's light and small, and the worst thing about it when it's working properly is what appears to be a heavily centre-weighted autofocusing system. I don't know if it actually is heavily centre weighted, but it certainly seems that way based on the results I get.
The viewfinder is too small to find focus on manually. Don't even bother to try. Use the autofocus on/off switch. You'll really have to try hard to get a decent pull focus, and to be frank, I wouldn't waste my time trying. If you want camerawork that sophisticated, maybe another camera will suit you better.
But if you want a small, light, inconspicuous, amateur-looking camera that gets great professional-looking pictures with a surprising zoom range, this one rocks.
15 of 15 people found this review helpful.
The xm2 is a superb quality camera, I've had mine for almost two years and found it very reliable. If you are a student or amateur film maker with some experience then you will probably take to this like a duck to water.
There is an automatic setting for both film and audio but don't be scared off by it's ability to become fully manual,
for example: focus, f. left and right audio control for the mic, white balance, apature settings etc etc etc.
The camera also boasts an sd slot so you can take photos as well as film (image size upto about 3024 I think).
PROS AND CONS
Might as well start with the cons of this camera I guess, firstly these are expensive a £1000 is a large investment so make sure you know this is the camera for you. If you are a novice then get something cheaper first and see how you get on, you can always get one later.
Get in insured, it might cost you a couple of quid but it'll be worth it if the zoom decides to pack in or if the deck stops working it gets damaged or wet etc (doesn't happen often but it's worth being protected)
The standard battery only lasts about an hour so if you buy this invest in a larger battery at about £50/60 a go.
Finally the quality that this camera records at is industry standard, in other words it can be as good as a basic tv camera, The basic Mic on board is great quality the camera also has ability for interchangeable lenses.
If your looking to buy for a student studying film or media then this will be ideal and take them into the beginning of there career, These are great cameras and will last years, good hunting!.
p.s KEEP THE TAPE HEADS CLEAN, YOU CAN BUY A HEAD CLEANING TAPE FOR ABOUT £8 THEY LAST A WHILE AND IT'LL STOP FILM FROM BEING DAMAGED!
29 of 30 people found this review helpful.
Canon XM2 not all that
I have been using several XM2 cameras for about six months.
I'll start my review by confessing that I am no fan of Canon. For years, this company has ridden on the back of consumer assumptions about the "reassuringly expensive" without delivering anything to consumers that really stands out.
The XM2 is (or was) an expensive "prosumer" camera, which means its sold to consumers who want to pretend they are professional but don't really know what the buttons do... which is why, on this camera, they don't do much. With the XM2 price you get stung twice, once for being gullible enough to buy Canon, and then again for being gullible enough to buy something marked as prosumer.
I have hopefully made it clear that it's not good value for money, but is it good?
Well, not really. It is OK.
The manual modes are not what I call manual because, when in manual mode, XM2 settings are often limited by camera electronics and it feels more like programming an automatic camera.
For instance, the manual white balance is auto-sensing and it doesn't work very well in low light conditions. You control when it sets the white balance, however, you do not control how it sets that white balance. It's not much good having a manual mode that depends on electronic-behaviour rather than real human-controlled settings.
What is really rubbish about this camera is it's manual focusing. For example, the focussing ring doesn't stop turning when the lens reaches its limit. In other words, the human user does not receive physical feedback from the focusing ring and this limits my performance. Manual focussing on the XM2 feels rather like guesswork and, again, using the manual feature is a kind of negotiation between human and machine.
The built in microphone is kind of rubbish, which Canon almost admit in the instruction manual by recommending you use external add-on microphones. However, the external microphones aren't all that good because the connections are rather constrained to pointing in one direction - most cameras have this problem, but surely, if it's "prosumer" then shouldn't it be at least slightly innovative?
So if you want high quality sound, you will probably want a soundman working with you... and he is going to hate it's single stereo 3mm input jack!
Also, don't manually shut the DV door before it has auto-loaded the tape. This can apparently break the device, although I haven't personally tested it.
I can say one good thing about the XM2 though! It is very plastic and so it doesn't weigh much. This means you can carry it in oppressively warm conditions where you wouldn't want a proper camera.
5 of 14 people found this review helpful.
Canon DM-XM2 Mini DV Camcorder
This camera produces broadcast quality video. It has a fantastic range of features and is a joy to use. The sound quality is excellent as is the zoom capability. We use it to film videos for church use and public broadcast and it has improved our ability hugely. Admitedly we bought on price as it was really good value for money but it does not perform like a budget camera. It is a really professional bit of kit and we are delighted with the results. The quality is not impaired no matter the lighting conditions and even used outdoors in a wind the sound quality is good and very clear. So far we have not discovered anything we dislike about using this camera or the results produced by it.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
excellent professional camera
exellent product fast service, I bought this camera because I already have an identical model and wanted to be able to shoot films from different angles with the same picture quality and am very happy with my purchase, the charger system was incomplete but soon remeded with a further purchase from ebay
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.