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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 26th, 2004, 10:29 PM   #1
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Unless they correct these problems....

...I wont be interested.

- will the stock lens allow focusing while zooming?
- will the stock lens hold rock-solid focus (no drift) and not have back focus issues?
- Can you use the supplied shotgun mic AND an external mic in 16 bit mode simultaneously, or does the shotgun take up two audio channels?
- will I be able to have ch.1 operate in manual audio mode while using ch.2 in auto mode (or vice versa)?

These were major sticking points for me with the XL1s and I won't be buying an XL2 if these problems persist.
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Old July 26th, 2004, 11:41 PM   #2
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<< - will the stock lens allow focusing while zooming? >>

The way that lens works and all other auto lenses in its class (VX2100, PD170 etc., most all DV camcorders), there is one motor that pulls double-duty for focus and zoom. You can do one or the other but not both at the same time.

You'll then need to use the right lens for this purpose: the black 16x manual lens, which will allow you to pull focus and zoom at the same time.

<< - will the stock lens hold rock-solid focus (no drift) and not have back focus issues? >>

I've looked at this carefully, as has Don Berube, and could see no problem whatsoever. But I'd like to hear from others who can confirm or deny my findings.

<< Can you use the supplied shotgun mic AND an external mic in 16 bit mode simultaneously, or does the shotgun take up two audio channels? >>

The supplied mic is a stereo mic. Therefore it requires two channels, by definition. In 16-bit mode you have only two channels to begin with. This is a limitation of the DV format, not the camera. The solution for you is as easy as it was for the lens: just like you'll use the right lens (black 16x manual) for your purposes, you'll also want to select the right mic. In your case, put a mono mic on the camera. That'll leave the other channel open for another mono audio source.

<< - will I be able to have ch.1 operate in manual audio mode while using ch.2 in auto mode (or vice versa)? >>

The audio channels are arranged as stereo pairs. You can select the levels of the first pair (ch. 1 & 2) to be auto or manual. Likewise with the second pair (ch. 3 & 4).

<< These were major sticking points for me with the XL1s and I won't be buying an XL2 if these problems persist. >>

Keep in mind that this is a modular camera with interchangeable components. If you need to pull zoom and focus at the same time, then it's crucial that you choose the correct lens for that purpose (in your case, the black 16x manual lens). Likewise, if you need an on-camera mic and an external mic in the 16-bit 2-channel audio mode, then simply replace the included stereo mic with a mono mic and you're all set.

This is a system camera. Ignore the stock configuration. The key concept with this camera is that you build it up with the appropriate lens, mics and other elements you need in order to properly fulfill your shooting requirements. Hope this helps,
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Old July 27th, 2004, 06:58 AM   #3
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Hi Chris,

Thanks for your responses. Regarding focusing while zooming, my PD170 and DSR250 can do this. If you plug in a mono shotgun mic into the mini jack on the XL2, will that use only one audio channel or is the jack itself stereo (if that makes any sense)? Two things I forgot to ask: does the XL2 have a sharper picture (like the GL2) or is it a softer image like the XL1s? Does the auto focus on the xl2 stock lens exhibit the focus hunting of the stock xl1s lens? Thanks!
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Old July 27th, 2004, 09:20 AM   #4
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As far as audio goes you could run a bunch of feeds to a mixer and then to your xl2 and still keep it stereo
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Old July 27th, 2004, 09:49 AM   #5
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<<<-- Originally posted by Chris Hurd : The audio channels are arranged as stereo pairs. You can select the levels of the first pair (ch. 1 & 2) to be auto or manual. Likewise with the second pair (ch. 3 & 4). -->>>

It surprises me that you can't separately configure each channel of a stereo pair for either auto or manual level. The Sony PD-150, PD-170 and PDX-10 have this feature and I find it handy when using the camera-mounted mono mike on one channel and a feed from the house board on the other...
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Old July 27th, 2004, 10:05 AM   #6
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In fact, from what I understand from the Watchdog's images gallery, when you put the audio 1 in manual, you can adjust the level of both channels separatly, but you cant put channel 1 in auto and channel 2 in manual. I am correct Chris?
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Old July 27th, 2004, 10:16 AM   #7
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My DSR250 allows focusing while zooming, and you can do it manually or use the auto focus button, which sometimes works well for a focus shift, like when you pan and zoom from a foreground subject and want to bring the background subject into focus. Are you sure the Canon lens won't? Of course, the lens on the DSR250 has some differences from the lens on the PD150, so maybe you're right about that for the "handycam" style cameras...but I would think any lens would have to allow you to do that.
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Old July 27th, 2004, 09:39 PM   #8
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FWIW: The A1 Digital, GL1, and standard VL (for the L1/L2 series) lenses all have separate motors for focus and for zoom as verified by the respective service manuals.

Although the XL1 body service manual does not go into detail about the XL series lenses, it does show separate motors in the block diagram of the XL1's standard IS lens system. Thus it is very likely that the XL series IS lenses (not the manual lenses) do have separate motors for focus and zoom.

It is worth noting that the control of the lens is via a bi-directional serial data link between the body and the lens (the contacts in the lens mount). Thus commands to the focus and zoom motors (as well as aperture and OIS) travel over the same serial data link.
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Old July 27th, 2004, 11:06 PM   #9
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Thanks for the clarification Don -- unfortunately it is not possible to perform a simultaneous zoom & focus with the white auto lenses.
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Old July 28th, 2004, 07:45 AM   #10
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<<<-- Originally posted by Chris Hurd : Thanks for the clarification Don -- unfortunately it is not possible to perform a simultaneous zoom & focus with the white auto lenses. -->>>

Wha!? That's a travesty! In this day n' age!?
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Old July 28th, 2004, 10:28 AM   #11
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How about image sharpness? The same as the Xl1s or sharp like a Sony? Does the auto focus hunt like the xl1s or is it rock solid...like a Sony?
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Old July 28th, 2004, 07:23 PM   #12
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---> If you plug in a mono shotgun mic into the mini jack on the XL2, will that use only one audio channel or is the jack itself stereo (if that makes any sense)?

Hi Bill,

Regarding the mic jack. Yes, it's a stereo jack. It has to be, in order to carry two audio channels. You would need to purchase a splitter (available at places like Radio Shack) which will plug into the stereo jack and split it into two mono jacks so you can have two separate mono mics running on AUDIO pair #1. The smaller plug on the XL1 and 1s supplies power to the mic. All electret condenser mics require a power source. Sometimes it's supplied on the same leads as the audio and is called phantom power. Sometimes the mic can be run from an internal battery, negating the need for an external source. Some can use either or.

You CAN plug a mono mic directly into the stereo jack but you'll have audio on one channel only.

Hope this helps with your audio concerns.

regards,
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Old July 28th, 2004, 09:01 PM   #13
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Or worse, you can plug a balanced mono mic with typical low cost stereo adapters and end up with out of phase mono sound on left and right channels.

The term phantom power mainly applies to balanced audio mics and systems, and typically is 48 volts DC in common, but may be as low as 12 volts for some mic implementations. The nominal 48 volts is equally applid to the + and - audio leads and measure to the shield/ground.

The low voltage DC bias (~ 5 volts typically) found on some on some consumer camcorder mic inputs and sound card mic inputs is very different from phantom power, and more properly referred to as a polarizing supply.
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Old July 29th, 2004, 12:46 AM   #14
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the Splitter

I split a mono for a stereo connection on my XM2's its pretty simple or as usual you can adjust while editing. I don't think the XLR mike input system is any different then on the DVX100 I had.
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Old July 29th, 2004, 05:11 PM   #15
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<<<-- Originally posted by Bill Edmunds : If you plug in a mono shotgun mic into the mini jack on the XL2, will that use only one audio channel or is the jack itself stereo -->>>

Doesn't the XL-2 have twin mono XLR jacks? Is there a reason you want to use a miniplug instead?
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