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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old November 12th, 2006, 09:06 PM   #196
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Viewfinder: display 16x9 as 4x3?

Hi guys,

Like everyone I guess I sometimes struggle with focus control in the XL2, largely due to its underwhelming viewfinder.

I have two questions I've been scratching my head over:-

1. Is there a way to force the viewfinder to display at "fullscreeen" 4x3 when shooting 16x9 footage (like the XL1 did)? I think I'd rather live with vertically stretched images in the viewfinder than sacrifice 1/4 of the viewfinder pixels, which are at such a premium, to get letterboxing in the field.

2. Have others tried tweaking their viewfinder settings to assist with focus and exposure control? I'm currently toying with a high contrast, low brightness, high sharpness combination, both to accentuate edges for seeing focus, and to reduce the risk of over-estimating the amount of shadow detail I'm getting (a trap I've fallen into a couple of times).

Cheers all,

Tony
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Old November 12th, 2006, 11:46 PM   #197
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Tony, I've mentioned it before, but one trick I used with the lower res color viewfinder on the XL1 and XL2 was to have zebras on and focus by making the zebras appear on highlights. De-focusing the lens scatters the light sufficiently to make the zebras dis-appear (ie: softens up the hot spots).

Give it a try. You've got it better with the XL2 cause the zebras are adjustable, whereas on the XL1 they were fixed at 100.

-gb-
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Old November 14th, 2006, 10:41 PM   #198
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focus

Tony,

Ash has posted a black and white preset that I keep as preset 3 and it is in fact useful for what you mention. If I have time, I set 3 and do the focus, then flip back to my 2 preset.
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Old November 15th, 2006, 09:34 AM   #199
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Dale,

I tried a search for the B&W preset you mentioned that Ash posted. I couldn't find it. Is it in one of the stickies? I have a mac, so I can't open those files.

Jonathan
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Old November 16th, 2006, 10:25 AM   #200
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Kirsch
I tried a search for the B&W preset you mentioned that Ash posted. I couldn't find it. Is it in one of the stickies?
Yes it is. It's called focus assist.

Another thing you can do to help you with focusing, as I was saying in another thread just the other day, is to turn the EVF's sharpness all the way up. The EVF settings are adjustable via the DISPLAY menu.

This will help to an almost surprising degree.
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Old November 16th, 2006, 11:17 AM   #201
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Or, you can raid your piggy bank and buy the FU-1000 monochrome viewfinder. Hand's down one of the best purchases you can make.
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Old November 16th, 2006, 01:34 PM   #202
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Thanks, Jarrod.

I was able to open it with TextEdit.

Jonathan
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Old November 23rd, 2006, 01:52 PM   #203
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Viewfinder crapping out- what gives?

I was filming a play the other night and all of the sudden my Viewfinder went black. I freaked out- I could not talk to the director and I had the shot. He was very angry, as was I. Now I tapped on the eyepiece and it would come back on, then turn off 5 seconds later and i kept repeating. Im not sure if it is the connection of an internal problem in the wiring. Has anyone had this happen? Any advice? Does Canon cover internal defects? Im pretty worried, and although I have a warranty from Mack... Im apprehensive about shipping the camera.
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Old November 23rd, 2006, 03:34 PM   #204
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So the image captured to tape didn't 'black out' did it? It's just a viewfinder problem then?

Can you borrow/rent another viewfinder to confirm the problem lies in the viewfinder and not the camera? Can you get it to duplicate? IE: Wiggle the cord at the camera/viewfinder.

If you can isolate it to the viewfinder, then just send that in, and borrow/rent another while its getting repaired. IF you can't isolate, then send in both the cam and VF.

That's what warranties are for.
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Old November 26th, 2006, 04:51 PM   #205
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Improve the EVF??

Everyone knows what a lousy viewfinder the XL camcorders have, but aside from the cheap LCD, the lenses are plastic, accumulate spots and pits (just from being out in dusty or salty, or wet conditions), and are impossible to clean. It would be so easy for Canon to retrofit these with glass lenses. This wouldn't make a good EVF out of a bad one, but at least with clean glass, focus would be a little easier. Has anyone tried this approach, either with Canon, or on your own? It sure would be cheaper than buying that expensive, heavy, electron-guzzling FU 1000. (Don't you love that name!)

Steve Siegel,
Seiurus Video, Miami FL
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Old November 27th, 2006, 03:56 AM   #206
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XL2 Viewfinder problems

I have an XL2 and I am experiencing slight colour shifts and flickers on my viewfinder, more so when I an adjusting the position of the viewfinder. Its almost like my colour balance is shifting on me. Doesnt happen all the time. Its obviously a loose connection of some sort. Canon Service said theres nothing wrong with it. Now Im worried that it my go black one of these days!!

Regards....
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Old December 11th, 2006, 09:00 PM   #207
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Ok great, Ill try that. At the moment I am in another country for school and my camera is back in the states. Ill try to find a viewfinder. Does the XL1s fit the XL2 viewfinder? On the question about the tape capture- Im not sure. I have been filming live plays and had no tape in there. Ill try it out though. Thx.
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Old February 1st, 2007, 10:55 AM   #208
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XL2 viewfinder socket signal? or how to frame a shot from in front of an xl2

I'm making a movie that i'm in and I'm always in front of the xl2 which as every owner knows doesn't have a viewfinder or lcd screen you can see from the front of the camera. (which has caused me to curse canon several times and made me in moments of weakness wish I'd bought a dvx100 despite that camera's setbacks (not native 16x9, less detailed image, and a white balance that seemed to have a mind of it's own even in manual mode.) but atleast you could stand in front of the camera and frame a shot! So my immediate solution has been to unscrew the viewfinder, slide it off its mount, twist it around and precariously balance it on the top of the lens, which i can't imagine is good for my lens mount. (Canon could have so easily just put a hot shoe foot on the bottom of the viewfinder and folks like me could have mounted the viewfinder in the hot shoe whenever we needed to be in front of the camera to frame a shot.) Does anyone know of a less precarious way to place the viewfinder when it's off its mount? Or a more elegant solution to my problem of not being able to frame a shot from in front of the xl2?

Currently, I'm planning on getting a vga interface (a little box that converts s-video/rca in to vga out) so I can use my computer screen to monitor the xl2's image. But wanted to know which signal out on the xl2 was the highest quality. It seems to be the s-video out but I can't find any info on the signal that comes out of the two viewfinder sockets. Does anyone know what signal comes out of the xl2's viewfinder sockets and if either one is higher quality than s-video. And if so how would I get that signal into a vga monitor?

I've already tried a 7" lcd monitor using a portable dvd player's screen through the rca cable. But the screen resolution and viewing angle were so bad that it was almost useless for framing or focusing, besides it's clumsy. Not that my computer monitor solution won't be clumsy but at least it will make for easier focusing and framing.

any suggestions would be much appreciated. (note i'm not rich and am unemployed while making my movie so I can only really act on suggestions that fall under the $100 mark, like the $50 vga interface or maybe some kind of mirror solution.)

thanks,
jayson
www.oldchildprojects.com
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Old February 1st, 2007, 12:25 PM   #209
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Your best bet for under $100 dollars is to just get a Television that takes S-video and set it up as a monitor. Although it's prolly not possible to find one for under a hundred. Failing that, just use the Composite out. Really, it will serve you just fine. Try it.
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 12:36 AM   #210
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thanks Richard

I hadn't thought of that, that's a good idea. I could probably get a little kitchen tv from goodwill for 20$ that would do the trick. Then I wouldn't have to drag my monitor back and forth.

jayson
www.oldchildprojects.com
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