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


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Old November 8th, 2004, 03:45 PM   #1
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Very enthusiastic but not sure where to start!

Hello Forum,

I am incredibly glad to have found this site as I am possibly in need of some direction...

I live in Devon (UK) and bought an XM1 camera about a year ago. It is currently having a service and I am really looking forward to getting it back so I can do something. This is where the problem really starts - I am not sure what to do...

So far I have started a training course (bought off ebay on DVD) for premier pro 1.5, I have filmed my daughter growing up (well up to the age of 1 and a half!) and that's about it.

I am really keen to learn how to use my camera and even do something useful with it. Does anyone have any guidance on what I should do to make sure I learn properly as I do not want to run before I can walk (unlike my daughter)?

I have been reading up on lighting techniques and feel maybe I should invest in a cheap 3 point set-up - any suggestions on what is a good start without being silly?

Sorry to crash in here and ask loads of questions but I am sure someone will take pity on me.

Alex

XM1, Premiere Pro 1.5, Centrino Laptop, Encore DVD but nothing to do........
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Old November 8th, 2004, 04:09 PM   #2
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Welcome Alex! Glad to have you aboard.

Like most folks you have a potpourri of questions, some regarding camera handling, some regarding photography, and some regarding editing. There is simply no substitute on any of these fronts for plain ol' practice.

But sometimes a good general book or two can at least help point the way towards what to practice. In my opinion there is no better such book for those who just want to shoot good family and vacation material than "The Little Digital Video Book". You'll find a brief write-up in our Read About It (books) section.

Fellow member Linda Shadkowsky recommended a "Teach Yourself..." book, also in our Read About It section.

I hope this is helpful.
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Old November 9th, 2004, 10:22 AM   #3
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Hi Alex - I'm over in Billericay, Essex and I run one-day camcorder training classes for those that want to rid themselves of the 'auto-everything' habit. Have you had a camcorder before you bought the XM1 - and why is it off having a service when it's so young? I show folk the ins and outs of shutter speeds, apertures, ND filters, white balance, manual focus, depth of field, framing, wide-angles and microphones. That's just for starters. I'm a wedding videographer primarily so use my camcorders to put food on the table.

Cheap lighting can be had at your local B & Q, where 1000w halogens are sold on stands for workmen etc. Excellent - loads of light to bounce, reflect, diffuse and colour, and pretty cheap too.

There's a DVD I'm reviewing for Computer Video magazine - called DV for broadcast and although mainly centred around the PD170/VX2100, would teach you lots in easily accessible chapters. email them at info@toyfactoryfilms.co.uk

tom.
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Old November 9th, 2004, 12:09 PM   #4
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Devon<>Billericay<>Devon . .. hmm . Long Zoom there! ;0

G
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Old November 9th, 2004, 01:16 PM   #5
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It's only the English who would see that as a long way, which is why I put up the post. Some of the USA writers on this forum live that far from their nearest Camcorder store.
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Old November 10th, 2004, 04:29 AM   #6
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Hello again,

Many thanks for all your replies.

Thanks Ken - I was really hoping to do a little more dedicated learning rather than take 'family movies' - I am recording my daughter growing up so that she has some record of her childhood when she is older, something I would have loved to have seen had the technology been affordable.

Tom - I really like the idea of a training class or similar - does anyone know if there is anything like this a little closer to me as Essex is a 4 hour drive for me... Thanks for the offer anyway!

Can I really use Halogens for lighting? what about colour (color) balance etc?

Cheers for now

Alex
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Old November 10th, 2004, 04:43 AM   #7
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Corse you can use halogens for lighting Alex. You can use anything from candles to sunlight, and anything in between. Your camera has an auto white balance as well as various pictograms and a complete manual override - which can be fooled into colouring the whole scene quite vividly.

tom.
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