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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old December 27th, 2004, 09:39 PM   #1
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I have 7k to spend! need professional assistance...

Okay have $7,000 to spend on a XL2 and accessory. I need experience people and professional to help me out with this. Okay I new at this so bare with.

All the work I will be doing is Movies and maybe some music videos etc. What I need is for accessory to make it look good.

1. What filter
2. What lenses
3. What tripod
4. Other accessory, that you prefer to make everything look good in every shot.

Thanks.
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Old December 28th, 2004, 03:10 AM   #2
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Stuff you might want:

UV Filter
Polariser
Battery system or just more batteries
Quality case - Portabrace, Kata, Petrol, etc.
LCD Monitor (not essential)
Softie for the stock microphone
Rain cover (if you shoot outdoors a lot)
Lightwave accessories - system isolator, mini-mount
Viewfinder cup (e.g. I-Cuff), chamois eyepieces

As for tripod - you can either go all the way and get a really good one (which will eat up a lot of your budget, BUT will last you a long time), or you can do what I did (which was really stupid) and get a so-so tripod. Now I find I am shooting everything shoulder-mounted more than on tripod. I should have just not gotten the tripod at all and saved the money, and bought a better tripod in the future when I needed it.

If you are already getting the 20x with the camera, don't buy another lens yet - wait till you've played around with the lens, then if you feel you need something more/different, you can get adapters, the 3x wide lens or the manual lens, etc. But it's always best to buy only when you need than to buy more and waste money.

Good luck,
Dennis
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Old December 28th, 2004, 07:27 AM   #3
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I think Dennis' advice to use the camera a little first before deciding on the the rest of your accessories is excellent. I'd just add that if you're going to make movies with the XL2 + 20x kit, in the end you'll probably decide to get a 3x (that took me about two days to decide, despite the cost of the 3x!). So save enough of your budget for that.

Also, lighting and sound are so important. You'll need at least a basic lighting kit -- couple hundred dollars, minimum, for a three light setup. I ended up buying a couple of XLR mics: a $270 AT897 and a Senn 815s...which to my amateur ear sounds amazingly good on voices for a $40 microphone (thanks to Brian at Zotz Digital for that recommendation), as well as a lav system (Senn G2 ENG -- love the XLR transmitter that makes any XLR mic a wireless). Some of the real audio pros around here are more partial to AT lavs, though.

Sure is easy to spend lots of money in this pursuit!
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Old December 28th, 2004, 05:10 PM   #4
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Yeah, this community is really great - there's a wealth of knowledge and everyone's really helpful.

I'd just like to say though, if you are just starting out Pete, it'd be a great idea to do a very simple, indoor short film that has no dialogue first. On this, you can have just narration to tell the story, and it'll teach you a lot. That's what I did with my first short film, and I learned loads from the experience. Now for my second short film I am upgrading my audio gear, but it's still set indoors and has a conversation between two people. Then in my next short I'll move outdoors. Then when I've already done a few shorts using only available light (i.e. the sun), I'll start getting lights and so on. What I think is, as long as you let your equipment grow with your own knowledge/experience, you'll be fine.

If you're shooting indoors a LOT in small rooms (e.g. if you're a no-budget indie person who shoots in available locations), then the 3x will be a very useful lens. But again, I stand by the original comment: get what you need - you'll find that having the barebones equipment makes you a better film/video-maker. Of course, if there really is a practical advantage (e.g. better microphones/different patterns), then obviously buy the equipment, but it's good to take some time and 'train' yourself to work around problems without always resorting to 'better gear', as you'll find, as the quality of the gear improves, you'll need more knowledge/experience, a bigger crew, lengthier process to deal with it. Which is good of course, because you'll learn heaps from using pro-gear, but it's always good to start small.

Dennis
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Old December 28th, 2004, 06:34 PM   #5
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Oh, you may well have already seen this already....but just in case, here's the XL2 Watchdog section packed full of great articles from people with a lot of knowledge and experience:

http://www.dvinfo.net/canonxl2/index.php
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Old December 29th, 2004, 11:20 PM   #6
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Thank you guys for all of your help and information. Im buying everything from Brian at Zotz Digital, they are very helpful and they have very good service.

Anyways, Im also buying lighting kit and good microphones later, when I sell my car :)....

Again thank you for your help guys......
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