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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).


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Old October 23rd, 2007, 05:21 PM   #1
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GearDear Large Or Medium?

I'm looking at into getting a Matte Box from geardear and im just curious on which "ready to use package" i should get? I'm just going to use for the typical lense flare reduction and ext. I'm just not sure what the actual "extra things" are.

http://www.geardear.com/ready4x5.html

Thanks everyone in advance for your time =)
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Loren Simons
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Old October 24th, 2007, 07:47 PM   #2
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The "larger" models add more filer stages, I think. For your purposes the basic package probably is best.
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Old December 12th, 2007, 12:31 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loren Simons View Post
I'm looking at into getting a Matte Box from geardear and im just curious on which "ready to use package" i should get? I'm just going to use for the typical lense flare reduction and ext. I'm just not sure what the actual "extra things" are.

http://www.geardear.com/ready4x5.html

Thanks everyone in advance for your time =)

I too have been looking into the geardear stuff. I have been in regular contact with one of their customer service reps and he has given me the whole pricing breakdown on what would be suitable for the XH A1. He suggests the medium package.

Bill could be right though. The large package may just be to add another filter stage.

Does anyone have experience with the geardear? What are they made of? I think I had read they are made of foam of some sort? I'm kind of worried about that if that's the case...

They offer so much for a great deal (About $870 for full 2 stage matte box, french flap, sidewings, rail system, base plate, FS cage and backpack with rear rails) and their customer service has been excellent, so I'd like to get one, but I'm really concerned about the quality of craftsmanship.
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Old December 12th, 2007, 01:06 PM   #4
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The material is something that is between foam core (soft) and gator foam (hard). Probably more toward the hard.

Unless he has added a proper metal screw attachment, I'd stay away from the rail mount. It has hardware store nuts inside the foam box, and when I tried to tighten it to the camera, it just smashed the foam and still wasn't tight, with a very little edge holding the camera to the mount. To worth risking a camera with.

The rails are regular aluminum and are fine. For a rail mount, get one of the metal ones.

The matte box itself is sheets of the hard foam stuff screwed together. It works, but it is a little unwieldly. It is what it looks like in the package. The filter mounts are just frames cut out of the foam stuff. The stages are held together by pressure from bolts on the corners. You basically have a stack of these separate pieces that held together with the bolts.

For an inexpensive matte box solution I like the Cokin. They have some glass filters as well as a circular polarizer that fits in.

The "Canvas" matte box also looks okay. I don't know the name.

And there is the IndiSnap:
http://www.indiesnap.com/hd.html

The other matte box options are well discussed on the forum.

If you are doing some behind the scenes photos, the GearDear matte box, with French Flag and Side flags, looks impressive in the pictures. It will also make the talent feel like they are looking into a big camera.
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Old December 12th, 2007, 02:37 PM   #5
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Thanks Jack. This is just what I was thinking it was. They don't specify on their site as to the construction or differentiate between metal/foam for mounting rail system. It seemed like way too good of a deal.

Are you at least happy with it? Or whoever you knew who had it are they?

I am now looking into the Cokin stuff, but I'm still waiting to find out more about the Redrock microMatteBox...
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Old December 12th, 2007, 05:26 PM   #6
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I have the GearDear matte box, flags, rails and rail mounting unit.

The rail mounting unit holds the rails fine, but not the camera. I was going to beef it up with some hardware, but I bought Chrozsiel rail mount used instead (this is for a JVC HD110). The rail mount from GearDear goes unused.

The GearDear matte box was bought as much as a prop than anything. It does hold a couple of filters and one state rotates, but it's a hassle to set up. It works well as a lens shade.

And if you are going inexpensive, the first thought should be about the cost of 4x4" filters. My feeling is that if you can afford a box of filters, you can afford a proper matte box.

On the other hand, if your filter use is limited and you are only looking for a lens shade, I think there are reasonable options.

I like the Cokin because you can put on a world class circular polarizer or ND, then for all the special effects you can use the Cokin grads, and you can afford to buy them.

In any case, I think the first step is to decide exactly what filters you need, how your going to use them and how you're going to pay for them.

Then, take your shooting situation and look at the possible ways to get the filtration you need. You have circular screw on filters, 4x4 glass, Cokin special glass, Cokin plastic squares, for example.

For grad color or grad ND, I think for HDV the Cokin filters will do fine. If you are going to be blowing up to film, though, you are in another ball game, and a legit matte box and class glass may be in order. But for special shots, these can be rented.

Anyway, that's the idea: First, need; then, options (with cost); then, fit it into a budget that will give you the best value out of your dollar based on how much each dollar will add to the final video.
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