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Canon GL Series DV Camcorders
Canon GL2, GL1 and PAL versions XM2, XM1.


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Old October 13th, 2007, 04:37 PM   #1
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Filming live music with a GL2

I've been doing video work for local bands for a while and it's about time I get some accessories for my GL2. I'm planning on getting an XLR adapter for a shotgun mic, but I also need a better lens I think.

The problem I keep having is that I usually stand on stage with the band and, as a result, all my shots are way too close (even when I'm filming at the GL2's maximum wide angle). Pretty much every shot consists of a band member's face and that's it.

I'm looking for a wide angle lens that will remedy this problem. Ideally when I film a band, I'd like to see more than just their heads! That said, has anyone here used the Raynox MX-3000? My budget is extremely tight; I'd like to get a lens for under $200. I know that narrows down my options for quality lenses, but the Raynox lens seems like it'll do the trick for me.

Additionally, should I even bother with something like a Beachtek XLR adapter and a shotgun mic? Or would I be better off spending money on a device to record straight from the soundboard? Or should I buy condenser microphones and set them up at the back of the venue? What type of setup do YOU use?

Basically, I'm beginning to take my video work more seriously and I'd like to increase the quality of both my video and sound acquisition. I appreciate any and all help!
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Old October 14th, 2007, 11:40 AM   #2
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Live band work

Hi....I too have been doing live bands....trouble is, is that I also play in the band!....
Our group did a 3 camera shoot and I hired a guy to do the on stage shots with my gl2....I also had a 3 chip panasonic stationary on the main singer, and a whole group shot stationary at the soundboard....this camera also had the sound feed direct from the mixer and it was the sound that I used in the final edit. The GL2 stuff looked way better than either of the other two cameras and whenever I had anything useable from it, I used it's footage. I use a XLR box (forget the exact brand but it's not a beachtek but similar) Works great....
you can see some footage samples here:
http://DelSurAlNorte.info

The close stuff was without any wide angle lens....maybe your stages are smaller?
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Old October 15th, 2007, 12:59 AM   #3
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I have 2 of the Canon WD-50 wide angle lenses and they've been great. I thought I only paid $150 for each of them.
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Old October 15th, 2007, 06:52 PM   #4
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Thanks for the responses.

I'll try to get some screenshots displaying what my problem is. Most of the shows I film don't have stages, so I'm usually right next to or directly in front of the band (only a matter of a few feet away from them). I bet you can imagine how tight most of my shots are!

Travis, do you think you could post some stills with and without that wide angle lens?
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Old October 15th, 2007, 07:46 PM   #5
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Mic-ing an ensemble is an art, there is no pat answer. Shotgun mics are good for isolating a sound source from sound coming from the sides. They may not be what you want for recording a band. Spend some time reading the tech pubs/white papers at the Shure web site for some good information.

Some thing like an M-Audio MicroTrack recording the house mix, if you want the sound as in the final house mix, is a good bet. YOu can use the camcorder audio for ambient sound, to obtain sound sync, and mix in post.

Mics in the back of the room pickup a lot of audience noise - usually too much of it. A better location for the mics is between the band and the audience facing the band, especially with acoustic instruments. Cardioid mics actually give better rejection of sound coming from behind the mic than typical shotgun mics.

If you want to mic it, and have a limited budget, consider a mic like the AT-822 single point stereo mic.

Assuming you do not want the fish-eye effect, the 0.7x Canon WD-58 is a good wide angle adapter for the GL series camcorders. Century Precision Optics also offers 0.65x a model that may be a bit wider that works well. They show sample images with/without the adapter..





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Old October 15th, 2007, 08:18 PM   #6
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Good point; I forgot to mention that I don't want the fisheye effect. Here is a before and after picture with the Raynox MX-3000:

Before:
http://images.channeladvisor.com/Sel...00_sample1.jpg

After:
http://images.channeladvisor.com/Sel...00_sample2.jpg

However, I was under the assumption that the lower the magnification number, the greater the 'fisheye' effect. The Raynox MX-3000 is .3x, and the advertised pictures show very little indication of fisheye warping. Has anyone actually used this lens and can attest to its performance?
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Old October 16th, 2007, 03:54 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunny Singh View Post
Thanks for the responses.

I'll try to get some screenshots displaying what my problem is. Most of the shows I film don't have stages, so I'm usually right next to or directly in front of the band (only a matter of a few feet away from them). I bet you can imagine how tight most of my shots are!

Travis, do you think you could post some stills with and without that wide angle lens?
Honestly, with the end of the wedding season in full gear I don't have the time to capture and post screenshots. Sorry.

I'd also like to clarify that I'm using the WD-58 lens. I said WD-50 before. There's no such thing.

Finally, if you're basically right up next to the band then no wide angle lens is going to give you a full shot. The WD-58 will give you extra in your shot, but it's not huge.
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Old October 17th, 2007, 10:34 PM   #8
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I think you're right in that no wide angle lens will truly alleviate my problems. The majority of the shows I film either have no stage or the stage is tiny. Filming bands from the side is usually alright (angle-wise, provided I'm standing on a chair), but continuously filming from the side is rather stale. Here are two frames from a show I filmed last week:

http://oak.fig.haverford.edu/~ssingh/frame1.png
http://oak.fig.haverford.edu/~ssingh/frame2.png

You can see how tight the first one is. The second is probably the widest shot I was able to get from the front. As you can see, I can't even get the guitar player's entire body!

Unless anyone has some pro-tips for me, I guess I have no other choice than to lug my 8ft crane around whenever I want shots from the front?
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