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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old December 19th, 2004, 07:02 PM   #1
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XL2 Really Front Heavy?

Will be pulling the trigger on an XL2 next month and was just wondering if the XL2 is obnoxiously front heavy? I will using only standard Canon batteries because I don't want to add any more weight to it then it already is. I will be using it mainly handheld, run and gun stlye. I originally stayed clear of it because of it's size, but recently tried out an XL1 and it wasn't as big as I thought is would be. XL2 is only a pound more and a little longer, so I should be fine, but I wanted some users to chime in on it's handling.
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Old December 19th, 2004, 07:28 PM   #2
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Ok I'll try and be as detailed as possible about my handling experiences.

Firstly in a shoulder mount arrangement yes the camera is front heavy but not unbearably so. I find myself using my left hand to support the lens a lot because of this. Obvious problems are you have to make a conscious effort not to catch the focus or zoom rings ( I hold the lens between thumb and index finger at the base of the lens hood when using the standard 20x lens). When shoulder mounted the camera will also want to lean off to the left but provided you have your eye against the viewfinder cup and the strap tightened firmly this seems to correct.

When you move away from shoulder mount to holding by the handle the camera will again want to point to the floor and to level the camera you have to flex your wrist by pushing with the heel of your palm (hope that makes sense) which does tend to put a little strain on the wrist but then again i'm no Mr Universe.
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Old December 19th, 2004, 08:40 PM   #3
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It is still very front-heavy. To me, it's kind of obnoxious, but I hope I'll get used to it. The mounted batteries (or AB brick) helps balance it a lot. Part of it, to me, is also the shoulder mount. It is nearly flat, so it doesn't have a shoulder-like contour to it at all. So, it always feels like it might slide off my shoulder if I'm bumped or something.

I tend to have to keep the right hand strap very tight on my hand, so I can support the camera with one hand. Let's hope that never snaps...

I hope someone builds a nice clip on shoulder mount that is padded and more contoured. It'd be a great thing.

By the way, give credit to Canon for adding the ability to move your eyepiece forward or backward. This does help with getting the weight more on your shoulder, but it's not nearly enough for me.
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Old December 19th, 2004, 09:13 PM   #4
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Thanks for the info

Appreciate it guys.
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Old December 19th, 2004, 09:21 PM   #5
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By the way, Ed, these are things to know going in, but do know that it is one great camera. Balance problems aside, this camera is going to be great for live event shooting.
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Old December 20th, 2004, 11:13 PM   #6
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I've shot hand held with the DVX and the XL2. The XL2 is inherently front heavy and even more so with a Matte box. The DVX with a Matte Box is front heavy, without is fine.

Hand holding the XL2 is okay, but if you can get an Anton Bauer Hytron 50 battery, at only a pound, that will help even things out. It's not as heavy as a Betacam, but if I was going to hand hold all day, I'd rather shoot with a DVX, plus the 4.5- 45 zoom is really great for close in work.

If you are shooting events native 16x9 will probably not matter unless you can use it as a selling point.
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Old December 21st, 2004, 06:30 AM   #7
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Ditto everyone's comments with the 20x and a BP945 battery onboard. My take is: a bit front heavy, but actually works better for me than holding a GL2 out in front of my face. With the 3x lens, it is noticeably less front-heavy. Very nice.
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Old December 23rd, 2004, 02:21 PM   #8
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Thanks for the info guys. Maybe I will try out the 3x setup. Don't need the extreme zoom anyway.
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