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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old September 28th, 2007, 03:56 AM   #1
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Focus Preset and Zoom Preset

Is there ANY way to use these? The spring-loaded button requires so much effort that it shakes the lens a bit when I push it.

I have a Miller DS-10 tripod ($1,300) and I lock it on both axis, so I don't think it's a matter of "you need a quality tripod".

They demonstrated using the presets on the XL2 tour video from dvcreators.net but I can't seem to make it work like the demonstration there (where it's ROCK solid zoomed way in and then activated to zoom out slowly).. With and without the stabilizer turned on, I get some shake.

The best I've been able to get with it is to cut to my zoom shot later when editing, after the zoom has started and the shaking has stopped (only takes a split second to stop shaking).

Is anyone else able to use these two preset options with any success?

Thanks!
Eric
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Old September 28th, 2007, 09:03 AM   #2
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Whenever I use this feature (zoom), I'm usually panning or tilting as well so I think whatever shake I get is mitigated by the movement of the camera.

Whenever I use the button for focus, I've found that having a good grip on the camera is key. I press the button with my left thumb while the rest of my hand is wrapped around the lens for stability.

I don't think that your tripod is going to make much of a difference here, unless possibly you invest in a rail system. I don't currently use a rail system and your tripod would put mine to shame, so I think the main thing is to work on how you manipulate the camera.

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Old September 28th, 2007, 10:34 AM   #3
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Thanks Kevin,

I haven't tried it while moving around. I just like the dramatic look of a perfectly still camera with a slow zoom in or or for example. Or it'd be nice to do a rack focus between 2 actors without shaking the camera. I've tried to hold the camera still but haven't had any luck. I guess I'll try grabbing it in different places though, thanks. :)

Eric
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Old September 28th, 2007, 03:23 PM   #4
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Eric, you point out what I have always felt was a flaw with the zoom/focus preset (the amount of shake). I have a Miller Arrow 30, and its the same deal, it shakes the camera too much to use it while shooting. I have on occasion used it to remember a focal lenght or focus point, but its really tough to get a usable shot with it when recording. Too bad, its a cool idea.
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Old September 28th, 2007, 07:54 PM   #5
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Yup, great idea, poorly implemented I think.

If there was a way to remotely control it, that would be great. Or a computer or handheld based LANC controller that would remember zoom and focus positions that you could program would work fine too. I don't know of such a thing though.

Even just a way to show some numbers in the viewfinder would be cool. Plenty of times I've set up a shot and I *know* where I want to zoom out to as I pan, but I can't tell from the zoom indicator in the viewfinder if I'm at the exact spot or not. I suppose I could use a stabilizer app/plugin after the shot to cover the button press shake, but that seems like a hack to get around a bad design. Just less of a spring on the button would fix the 'problem' completely. :)
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Old October 1st, 2007, 07:37 AM   #6
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Should have been a button on the remote control for this!

Terry
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Old October 1st, 2007, 07:39 AM   #7
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AMEN!

Is this controllable by LANC? Or is there some LANC software I could run on my laptop that could have focus points programmed? I would assume the lens sends LANC feedback back through the wire, like "i can't zoom anymore, I'm all the way in" or something?
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