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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 April 2nd, 2009, 11:48 AM   #1
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Keeping the camera level

Hello all...

This may sound like another silly question from me, but when I go handheld I often have a hard time keeping the camera level. My natural most comfortable position is on a slight angle and as the day gets longer and the more I hold the camera, the harder is gets making sure it's straight.

I know you have to make sure the lines in the picture are straight when looking on the viewscreen, but is there some sort of leveler available that can be attached to the camera somehow to help keep the image straight?
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Old April 2nd, 2009, 12:00 PM   #2
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I'm not aware of an accessory that can be used for this (I can't even imagine how one would work) but you can go into the camera's menu and activate an on-screen horizontal line to use as a guide: Go into 'DISPLAY SETUP', select 'MARKERS' and set to 'LEVEL MARK'.

Have you considered using a monopod to help support the camera? They're cheap and almost as fast as going handheld.
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Old April 2nd, 2009, 12:16 PM   #3
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You can stick a circular bubble level on top of the camera somewhere:
CIRCULAR BUBBLE LEVEL- PACKAGE - RVWholesalers.com RV Parts
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Old April 2nd, 2009, 12:37 PM   #4
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This is exactly what I was looking for! I searched B&H and Lowes, but they did not have anything like that, so I wasn't sure if anyone made attachable ones like that.
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Old April 2nd, 2009, 01:59 PM   #5
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I had the same problem. I found out that the camera is slightly off level if you hold it by the tophandle. Canon should have placed the tophandle a little to the side to fix this problem.
I bought a bubble level from ebay wich fits in the shoe-mount. It's low priced an can save you a lot of time in the edit bay. Even tripod mounted it's a lot of times easier to check this 2-way level instead of the tiny bubble under the tripod head. Manfrotto&Bogen 2 Axis HotShoe Bubble Level BulkPackage - eBay, Other, Digital Camera Accessories, Camera Accessories, Cameras Photo. (Eindtijd 03-apr-09 19:52:04 CEST)
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Old April 2nd, 2009, 02:37 PM   #6
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Based on Hubert's post, here are some more bubble levels for cameras:
bubble level, Cameras Photo, Collectibles items on eBay.com
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Old April 2nd, 2009, 03:38 PM   #7
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Daniel,

I had the same problem.
Got myself a Spiderbrace: problem solved
(the contraption automatically makes
you keep the camera level, thanks to the way you hold it)

Best

Vasco
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Old April 2nd, 2009, 04:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasco Dones View Post
Daniel,

I had the same problem.
Got myself a Spiderbrace: problem solved
(the contraption automatically makes
you keep the camera level, thanks to the way you hold it)

Best

Vasco
That is good... I have one on the way to me.

XH A1 uses the Spiderbrace 2
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Old April 2nd, 2009, 07:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Lakusta View Post
That is good... I have one on the way to me.

XH A1 uses the Spiderbrace 2
Brian, you'll love it: that little piece of cheap plastic
literally changed my life.
One more suggestion? Add a LANC remote (I got the Libec,
the cheapest I could find, and it does what it's supposed to do
@ a reasonable cost)
Enjoy!

Vasco
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Old April 2nd, 2009, 08:10 PM   #10
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I got my Spiderbrace 2 in the mail today!

yes, I got a Libec from B&H a few weeks ago.


Both of these from learning more and more on these forums! :)

I plan to video some "hobby" auto racing and think these 2 above items will help!
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Old April 2nd, 2009, 08:25 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Lakusta View Post
I plan to video some "hobby" auto racing and think these 2 above items will help!
They most certainly will. If your "hobby" racing uses real cars, and you're not riding in one of them, you'll want a tripod if you get serious. I've shot racing footage handheld, on a monopod and a US$400 tripod. It wasn't until I spent over 1.5 grand on a Cartoni Focus did I start getting the shots I really wanted.

Shooting races is my business so the spend made sense. It may not make sense for you to go that deep.
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Old April 2nd, 2009, 08:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tripp Woelfel View Post
They most certainly will. If your "hobby" racing uses real cars, and you're not riding in one of them, you'll want a tripod if you get serious. I've shot racing footage handheld, on a monopod and a US$400 tripod. It wasn't until I spent over 1.5 grand on a Cartoni Focus did I start getting the shots I really wanted.

Shooting races is my business so the spend made sense. It may not make sense for you to go that deep.

Yes, real cars. I just meant club racing then official events. This is just a hobby videoing ( I race too ) so not sure how much racing I will film.


I have a decent monopod and tripod for my still camera ( 30D ) but they might not be enough for the XH A1. ya, 1.5G's is a bit much for a tripod... that is the cost of a camera!

Next is to update my computer to capture and post process video and then will maybe see about other stuff down the road. I sold my 70-200 F2.8 IS lens to buy my XH A1 ..... will have to plan more items down the road.
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Old April 2nd, 2009, 09:15 PM   #13
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Yep, once you get some tilted shots, it becomes a bugaboo.

I went through using the spirit level thing, but running/gunning/handheld out on airfields using the viewfinder, the A1 level marker works best for me and I want the cams shoe for other things.

For tracking aircraft smoothly on take-off, once the Manfrotto 503 is levelled I'll swap to the + in the EVF to track the a/c. Also found changing the A1 zoom readout to display numbers is better, to prezoom to the correct size framing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tripp Woelfel View Post
It wasn't until I spent over 1.5 grand on a Cartoni Focus did I start getting the shots I really wanted.
Why the Cartoni Focus Tripp, did you try any other sticks first?

Cheers.
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Old April 3rd, 2009, 02:25 PM   #14
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Camera Lvel

How will you watch the level (hand held) and the view finder at the same time? That doesn't make sense to me.
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Old April 3rd, 2009, 06:20 PM   #15
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I couldn't manage a spirit level and the viewfinder handheld, don't know how you could.

In the A1s menu, as Nic says, you can select 'Level Mark'. This is a thin horizontal line ------ midway on the EVF and LCD. You use that to level the cam with for example, the horizon. You can also change it to display a Centre Mark +, or a Grid #.

Cheers.
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