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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old June 24th, 2009, 07:45 AM   #1
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Good Focus With Standard Viewfinder

Is it possible to get good focus almost every time with the standard viewfinder on the XL2?

Is there a focus assist function?

I can't afford to get the FU-1000.

Thanks,

CJ
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Old June 24th, 2009, 09:33 PM   #2
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Let me put it this way...

..there is no good reason why you should not be able to get good focus with the standard viewfinder. Just be sure that you have the diopter set for your vision requirements.
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Old June 24th, 2009, 09:39 PM   #3
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The best way to be able to maintain solid focus is to practice. I know it's not everyone's favorite solution, but it is the best solution;) When I got my first XL2 I hated using the small finder on these cams. I am pretty confident now that I could go handheld in just about any situation and maintain focus. Sometimes when shooting run'n'gun it is useful to hit the autofocus switch, or if you have a lens that doesn't have a backfocus issue, scoff, zoom in and grab critical.
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Old June 24th, 2009, 10:16 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Ryan Mueller View Post
...or if you have a lens that doesn't have a backfocus issue, scoff, zoom in and grab critical.
Thanks a lot for the info on the viewfinder, I am glad it works OK and I definitely will PRACTICE!

Does the standard XL2 20x lens have a backfocus issue?

Thanks Again,

CJ
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Old June 24th, 2009, 10:31 PM   #5
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The XL2 only has a backfocus issue if something is wrong. They don't build them with focus issues.
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Old June 24th, 2009, 10:34 PM   #6
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My first cam that I bought had a severe backfocus issue with the 20X! I sent it in to Canon and they fixed it at no cost, just had to pay shipping. My second one had a moderate issue, definitely noticeable though, and I've sent it in to Canon 3 times now and they keep sending it back telling me that everything is functioning as it should even though it is apparent that there is a backfocus issue with the lens:( I finally gave up on it and decided to live with it since my second cam is usually used with the 3X on it for a master shot.

Both of my cams were bought brand new from B&H.

Last edited by Ryan Mueller; June 24th, 2009 at 10:38 PM. Reason: Addition
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Old June 24th, 2009, 10:37 PM   #7
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The XL2 only has a backfocus issue if something is wrong. They don't build them with focus issues.
This is definitely not the case! Both of my cams shipped with a backfocus issue on the 20X and I know a few other people that have had the same problem. Not dogging Canon by any means, all 4 of my cams are Canon. I actually just bought a 5DII. Just telling it how it is:)
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Old July 11th, 2009, 09:53 PM   #8
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Personally, I don't think I can focus accurately on the stock viewfinder. In any case, using one of those focus charts should get you pretty close.
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Old July 13th, 2009, 10:37 AM   #9
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Yes it is - in many situations the camera will keep the subject in focus for you.

But once you start working at the long end of the lens, in lowlight fast moving unpredictable situations it's a different story. In those circumstances only a skilled operator, experienced with the cam will be able to "get good focus almost every time".

Good focus is not critical focus. Good focus is "good enough" so that the softness doesn't draw attention to itself . If you are talking of focus charts and the like get a monitor.
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Old July 13th, 2009, 02:07 PM   #10
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What's wrong with a focus chart?
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Old July 13th, 2009, 08:42 PM   #11
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Nothing wrong with a focus chart - they work well for assessing critical focus of a 2 dimensional plane. But in a 3 dimensional world that isn't going to wait on you - they are of limited use.
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Old July 23rd, 2009, 11:40 AM   #12
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I don't have any issue with focusing using the view finder. Only have a problem when I'm rushed really.

Also the back focus issue is a known issue with Canon. I discovered this back in early 2005 and at first they sort of denied it but now they are more than willing to fix it if you send your camera in.
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