Aspect Ratio & Frame Rate dials' location and vulnerability at DVinfo.net

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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old July 15th, 2004, 09:27 AM   #1
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Aspect Ratio & Frame Rate dials' location and vulnerability

I wonder why Canon didn't at least recess the aspect and frame rate dials like the gain and white balance knobs are. I think both the aspect and frame rate should be menu settings because they aren't going to have to be changed that often, especially during a shoot, as are the other exterior controls. I wonder what happens if either of those are changed during a shot? An even worse situation would be that one of those dials gets rubbed by accident during a break when the camera is being moved, when your pushing buttons on the adjacent wall or whatever and you get back and some of your shoot is 4:3 / 16:9 and/or a 30p/24p/60i mix. If the dials at least clicked into place that would be better than a soft turn. In any case, I think those settings need to be internal. What were they thinking?!
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Old July 15th, 2004, 10:31 AM   #2
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I've probably read every post since this thing was announced and I can't believe no one else as commented on that. That WILL happen and it will ruin an entire shoot for someone. Why in the world would anyone change that setting on the fly? I sure hope the price drops below the 5k pricetag. I already have an XL1s with ma-200 and monitor in the shoe. That's an expensive upgrade.
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Old August 1st, 2004, 09:00 AM   #3
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Then you haven't read everything. See Simon's post above my own post.

The knobs are disabled when recording. But ofcourse you can
change them when not recording indeed. I'm a bit puzzled by
the fact they aren't sunken indeed. I guess there just wasn't
room inside the body to sink them or something.

Perhaps that will be fixed in the XL2S <g>
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Old August 1st, 2004, 12:01 PM   #4
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I guess I understand about the frame rate, but I think that could be solved with some grip tape, or gaffers tape or probably someone will come out with a nob cover that will cost a rediculous amount and many of us will buy it just in case, I don't however understand the aspect ratio thing. I mean if you even look at the monitor or the viewfinder you should be able to tell the difference between 4:3 and 16:9 anytime you look at the image right?
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Old August 18th, 2004, 03:35 PM   #5
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It's my impression that placing the frame-rate knob so prominently on the body was merely a marketing gimmick.

Look! 24p! 30p! 50i!

It has absolutely no use except within a menu when something more immediately useful might have been placed there.

my .02
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Old August 18th, 2004, 05:13 PM   #6
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wow, I couldn't imagine having to spend 5 grand on a camera, only to have to break out grip tape to use it lol. I'm not trying to rib on the XL2, I think it's a sweet camera, and I actually want one, but this dial thingy is making me think twice. But then again....what other choice do I have to get 16:9 @24p with Cine Gamma? A DVX100A with a hard to focus Anamorphic adapter and a squeezed image in the viewfinder????
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Old August 18th, 2004, 09:08 PM   #7
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I've seen knobs locked in place on a 100 grand cinealta I think the fact that as long as there are knobs that can change things there willl be people who tape them because they are worried that the knobs might get changed.
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Old August 19th, 2004, 09:30 AM   #8
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I can understand the fear of bumping or rubbing the dial knob to change its position. But just HOW HARD do you have to turn the knob before it actually moves. For some reason, it just "looks" like it has a decent resistance. And for the most part people are careful enough with their cameras (i would hope they are after spending ALOT of money on one) that they shouldn't bump the device for any reason unless they are doing it for a shot, in which case, it should be in your hand, and your hands do not rest on the knobs. Just my two cents, remember, it is ONLY a knob. : )
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Old August 19th, 2004, 04:06 PM   #9
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If you look real good at the wheel on the first and second pictures here, you can see what I think is a SAFETY button, which will keep you from moving the wheel accidently. I think...

http://www.dvinfo.net/canonxl2/images/images04.php
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Old August 19th, 2004, 04:11 PM   #10
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yes, but this wheel have nothing to do with the aspect ratio switch...
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Old August 19th, 2004, 05:12 PM   #11
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Guys,

The Frame Rate and Aspect Ratio switches on the XL2 DO indeed have click-stop positions and DO NOT simply move easily or by themselves as some are questioning or implying here in this thread.

You need to make a decisive turn of the wrist to change the positions of these knobs - just like you have to do with the Scene File Switch on the rear of the DVX100.

The FR and AR knobs on the XL2 do not need to be gaff taped to prevent them from switching modes as they simply do not change positions that easily and you cannot switch modes while recording.

Hope this serves to clear up the issue so that we can all move on. I dare say that you really do owe it to yourself to actually see, touch and try a camera with your own hands before coming to any premature conclusions.

How about some more tangible and relevant questions for you to think about:
1.) How many of you are have ever longed for the type of image control you would expect to find on a Camera Control Unit (CCU) from $13000+ DV cameras?
2.) How many of you are familiar with painting a camera using these type of controls?
3.) Have you ever seen a DV camera offer a software-based external CCU via FireWire?
4.) Have you ever wanted to easily transfer your own custom Scene Settings between cameras or easily download them to your camera from a computer or trade them with another user via the web?


- don
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Old August 19th, 2004, 05:21 PM   #12
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Glenn:

The large round main power / program mode dial is in fact "protected" by a locking button which must be pushed in order to rotate the dial. That's what you saw in those photos.

Chris, Kent and James:

The frame rate and aspect ratio knobs are hard switches. There are definite detented "stop" positions that they click into. It requires a deliberate physical motion to change either switch; they are not "soft." If you change the setting of the frame rate knob or aspect ratio knob during recording (intentionally or not), nothing happens. Only when recording is paused does the actual change in frame ratio or aspect ratio occur. At that point the XL2 reboots into the new setting. The screen goes blank for a sec as the old frame rate or aspect ratio is dumped and the new one is loaded, and then the display comes back up in the new frame rate or aspect ratio.

Kent:

If the knobs are accidentally adjusted and the reboot somehow goes unoticed, only the SHOT is ruined, not the entire SHOOT. The aspect ratio and frame rate are clearly displayed in the EVF along with all the other recording data, so you'll immediately see that you're suddenly in 30p when you were just using 24p a moment before.

My own contention is that if you've somehow managed to bump the camera hard enough to accidentally change these switch settings, then you've got a ruined shot anyway, regardless of whether any setting was unintentionally adjusted or not.

If there is a chance that some PA or crew member accidentally affected these switches in the course of moving the camera between set-ups, then in my opinion it's the camera operator's responsibility to always verify camera settings (all of them, including focus, exposure, focal length, shutter, white bal., etc. as well as frame rate and aspect ratio) before rolling the next shot. And all of this info is clearly visible with one look at the EVF display.
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