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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
Canon XL2 / XL1S / XL1 and GL2 / XM2 / GL1 / XM1.


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Old July 17th, 2004, 05:36 PM   #31
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I agree with you David, I think more effort could have been made into making it a true shoulder mount. For most people that have to use the XL for extended periods handheld, it is a killer. I was actually hoping that they were considering going that direction (and they may be for the future) because Canon emailed me a survey months ago, and that was one of the items thay had on it. I still think highy of my XL because I think it was truly revolutionary in it's first release, but It needs a more functional design. Hey, maybe they're getting a kickback on all the stablizer devices:). I think weight at the front will be even worse than it was with the new lens. That said, the XL2 addressed a number of things that people were asking for, and it definitely puts them back in the mix.
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Old July 19th, 2004, 12:39 AM   #32
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I find the pointed discussions about the user's comfort and balance of the Canon XL models to be illustrative of the fact that everyone is very different, either in bodyshape or preferences. I've been making my own fairly elaborate shoulder-mount/stabilizing rigs for years. Rather than complain about having to do this, to make a camera more comfortable and to handle and function better, I'm thankful that I'm able to work on the problems and solve them.

I've only had an older Canon L-1 from this series, but it is proportioned about the same as the XL models. My shoulder mount allowed me to use it for two hours, non-stop, with no discomfort. Even without image-stabilization, I could hold it steady at full-zoom (2X extender
being used). There was no front-heavy or balance problem as there were 7 points of contact with my body. When I've used my 17-lb. Beta on my shoulder with this type of rig, it was also comfortable, but one hour was about my limit with it. The new XL2 wouldn't have to be awkward or difficult for anyone to handle, if the proper accessories are used.

Not to say that making such a mounting rig is simple or easy. I have custom-designed and fitted
a dozen of these for my friends. It's hard enough to please myself, when I make a modified version to match each of my new cameras. But getting one to suit someone else, in every small detail, is quite a challenge. I spend about a week on one for myself, but fitting one to someone else, seems to often be an unending job. If I did this for profit, I'd probably get about a dime an hour for my efforts.

So, how can anyone expect Canon or any
manufacturer to build a model that fits everyone, without modifications? It's amazing that this radical design they have developed, is as acceptable and workable for as many people as it is. I think that any professional or even a serious video hobbyist, must take some initiative and obtain or design modifying accessories for themselves.

If a camera has what you want, but doesn't physically fit you well, you have to assemble an interface system, that brings you and the hardware together as an ergonomically-matched pair. If you achieve a good mating of this type with yourself and a camera, the quality of your footage can rise to a much higher level.

If none of the commercially-available shoulder or chest mounts suit you, no one else is better suited than yourself to make one that does.

Consider all the time you might spend using a highgrade camcorder and how important good results from it are. Spending several days and a small amount of money working up a good mounting or balancing rig, is a worthwhile investment. If you have thought of yourself as not very handy with tools or innovation, remember the old saying about necessity being the mother of invention.
Some people might find the motivation to have such a useful accessory, that no one else could provide, may help them discover some hidden creative talents.

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Old July 19th, 2004, 01:33 AM   #33
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I always thought the xl1, xl1s design was not a good camera to shoulder hold as to it being a bit front heavy. That is untill today. I used a xl1s for two hours non stop. (only to change tapes) shooting a funeral. I stood at the front, shot speakers, swung to audience, and back. Then to items displayed at the service. After two hours continuous shooting I am completely convinced after this ordeal that this camera is brilliantly designed. Zooms and pans. Of course there is the odd wobbly shot, but what can you expect over two hours. A few cover shots will fix this. Lighting was changing as well and I thought all the 'buttons' were in just the right place. Was using standard 16x zoom lens and MA 100 shoulder pad. Well done Canon.

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Old July 19th, 2004, 02:42 AM   #34
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Hi Owen. Another Kiwi huh? We're slowly growing in numbers here. There must be a massive 4 or 5 of us now!

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Old July 19th, 2004, 03:00 AM   #35
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Hi Aaron,

Might be only 4 or 5 of us. But betcha we can run rings around those northern hemisphere blokes!!

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Old July 19th, 2004, 05:05 AM   #36
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Owen.

Are you Folks (sic), going to practice bottoms up, on us?
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Old July 20th, 2004, 01:59 AM   #37
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XL2 Shoulder Pad

As mentioned on this thread and on the FAQ section that Chris posted, it has been stated that the shoulder pad on the XL2 is not removable. In the photos, I see screws in the bottom of it. I wonder what purpose these screws serve and if there is absolutely no way to pull it off? How would a replacement be installed if the original was worn or damaged? Having seen the screws, I made the mistake of advising someone that it likely would be removable, as the pads on most pro camcorders are.

The pad appears that it would interfere with the attachment of the shoulder apparatus I make for my camcorders. There would probably be difficulty using some commercial shoulder-mounts with this pad in place. I'm hoping that someone will tell me that there's a way to get this thing off without using a hacksaw.

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Old July 20th, 2004, 02:50 AM   #38
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Guys. . .just a thought. I had this idea I thought I'd try, and it worked out pretty well. This could just be me, though.

I found a pro cam shoulder pad (from one of the big rigs. No idea what brand or model or anything) consisting of a the foam pad itself, and hard plastic that it was attached to, on eBay for $15. Drilled a few holes, bought a screw, and screwed it into the the "tripod hole" on the bottom. Bought the system isolator to move the viewfinder assembly forward, and now I had a rig that was balanced about as well as it could be without adding any additional weight, and it was pretty decent. Perfect? No. . .for one thing, the pad was only screwed on in one place, so it could loosen and pivot around, but a lot of you dudes are engineering geniuses, so I'm sure you'd find a way around that. Also, of course, that system isolator ain't too cheap.
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Old July 20th, 2004, 03:52 AM   #39
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Josh, a one-word solution to that rotating shoulder-pad: Velcro. If you use this along with the bolt into the tripod jack, it should stay in place.

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Old July 20th, 2004, 05:04 AM   #40
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Velcro. . . .BRILLIANT!

Although, now that I think of it, my solution won't really work for the XL2, will it? I remember reading that one of the things that was NOT compatible with the new camera was the system isolator. Does that mean they're making a new, XL2 specific system isolator, or that you just have to live with it?
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Old August 1st, 2004, 12:41 PM   #41
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Josh: if I remember correctly the problem with the extender is
the viewfinder cable. You would need to extend that cable I
believe (which should be doable). I could be wrong, ofcourse.
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Old August 1st, 2004, 06:57 PM   #42
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You're saying on the XL2, the viewfinder cable isn't long enough to reach where it needs to plug in, if the XL1s/XL1 system isolator is attached?
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Old August 2nd, 2004, 05:27 AM   #43
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I believe that was the case indeed if I'm correct. Hoping someone
else with knowledge on this tunes in.
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Old August 2nd, 2004, 08:28 AM   #44
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Actually it looks like the System Isolator is in fact compatible with the XL2. I'll have to go back and change those Watchdog pages. We tried it at DV Expo and it seems to work fine. I had been told it wouldn't work, well... never trust this stuff until you see it with your own eyes.
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Old August 2nd, 2004, 12:12 PM   #45
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And once again, the Bass has helped better the world around him.
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