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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 September 8th, 2004, 11:55 AM   #16
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I've not used an XL2 yet. But my review of the FU-1000 monochrome viewfinder provides an accurate portrayal of the 1000's and 500's (XL1 color lcd) relative areas of frame coverage. I would expect the XL2's coverage to be somewhere in-between.
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Old September 8th, 2004, 01:49 PM   #17
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I agree that the XL1 color viewfinder overscanned terribly. That, combined with the shifting contrast it presented depending on the exact angle of your head/eyeball (not to mention limited resolution) prompted me to buy the FU-1000 early on and I never used the color finder again.

I can see using the XL2 color finder in more situations, but I like having the FU-1000 as well (and being able to plug it directly into the camera body is a neat trick!)

Steve, I'm surprised to hear about your framing issues with the XTR. Are you supplying framing leader to the transfer house with your footage?
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Old September 8th, 2004, 02:05 PM   #18
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Charles,

I honestly think it's operator error rather than a camera/lens issue, which is sort of the point of bringing it up in a discussion of viewfinders.

The Aaton viewfinder is brighter and better than most, but I've found film cameras viewfinders to be, on the whole, darker and a little easier to misjudge than electronic viewfinders. But that's probably just me. My best vision is also in my left eye, so I've often found myself pressing my head practically into the camera body in order to try to get square with the viewfinder.

Anyhow, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the XL2 viewfinder and I think Canon's done a great job on it.

Steve
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Old September 8th, 2004, 02:23 PM   #19
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Gotcha.

I grew up on video cameras and then moved into film, so having a color (optical) viewfinder was a big change, let alone having to pay attention to the framelines. Now I'm used to seeing more than the image itself, which is nice to be able to judge when the boom is about to dip in or when a pan has to stop just before a c-stand would enter the frame. Having that tiny bit of underscan in a B&W viewfinder is nice, although I wish that the "broadcast safe" lines were superimposed (I have often imagined that those unused to the FU-1000 have made precise compositions, only to find tops of heads chopped off etc. when they watch the footage on a monitor later).

I'm looking forward to evaluating the XL2 viewfinder. I think it's a nifty design.
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Old September 8th, 2004, 03:28 PM   #20
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<<I'm looking forward to evaluating the XL2 viewfinder. I think it's a nifty design.>>

I'm interseted on your thoughts on it Charles. I've been looking through the
FU-100 for so long that I was afraid I'd be bummed, but I've been pretty impressed so far in less than optimum conditions.

We did a 3 camera (XL1s) shoot a while ago getting action footage for this documentary, and two of the cameras had the stock XL1 VF. I forgot how horrible it was, and wondered how I ever used it (in the very brief time I did). This VF is certainly in a different league from that.
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Old September 8th, 2004, 09:50 PM   #21
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A bit off topic, but I'd be interested to hear what happens when you use 16:9 aspect ratio on the XL2 with the FU-1000. Does the image appear compressed horizontally? Or is it properly cropped and displayed in widescreen format like with the new EVF?
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Old September 8th, 2004, 09:55 PM   #22
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It is properly letterboxed.
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Old September 9th, 2004, 02:12 PM   #23
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Thanks for the info Jean-Philippe.
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Old September 9th, 2004, 03:45 PM   #24
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To me, not having underscan on the "prosumer" camera viewfinders is a serious limitation, especially when so much of our stuff ends up being shown on computers via CD or DVD where the full frame is shown with no monitor crop. Also, I've saved lots of shots over the years by tilting down just a fraction as the soundman let the mic sag into the underscan portion of the frame a little. Without underscan, you can't see it coming.
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Old September 9th, 2004, 05:43 PM   #25
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I agree Bill, it sucks having to worry about it all the time during a shoot. Would have been a nice addition..

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Old September 9th, 2004, 07:38 PM   #26
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Yeah, it's one of those things that is almost a deal-killer but not quite if all else is wonderful. But then I found out that the XLRs are only mic in, no line level. So that's two big strikes. I can understand Sony dumbing down their "prosumer" cameras so people like me who sorta want one won't rush out and abandon their $20,000 models...but you'd think Canon would want to suck people like us out from under the Sony/Panasonic canopy. I think the line level thing must be a mistake
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Old September 9th, 2004, 07:47 PM   #27
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Yes I've been following that thread, re the mic/line level too. I really hope it's not true, or that there will be some upgrade made.

I also agree that there are a few little things that Canon could have done to, as you said, "suck people like us out from under the Sony/Panasonic canopy" that they seemed to have not been concerned about. This possible mic/line issue is just another one of those.

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Old September 9th, 2004, 07:56 PM   #28
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Yep--they come out with the first 1/3" chip camera that shoots real 16:9, and then they don't finish out the little details that make it something to lust after rather than simply sort of want until something better comes along.
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Old October 2nd, 2004, 05:15 PM   #29
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Stupid question, but I need to ask...

Well I finally ordered the body only XL2, but now I still need to buy a couple of extra accessories, one of which is a crane/jib arm to mount on a tripod.

My rather simple but important question is: will the XL2 still record without a viewfinder attached to it?

The reason I'm asking is the Crane arm I'm planing to buy has a max load capacity of 8lbs. Since the weight of the camera fully loaded (battery + 20x lens) is listed at 7.8lbs on Canon's Web Site, and since I'll be using the 16x manual lens, which I believe is a tad heavier than the 20x (correct me if I'm wrong), if I could take off some weight by removing the viewfinder, which is useless on a crane shot, I would gladly do so. I would assume it would still record, but want to be 100% sure before buying the crane arm.

Also, while we're at it, if anybody has used a particular crane rig with the XL2 or XL1 in the past and has had good results with it, let me know which one it was.

Thanks
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Old October 2nd, 2004, 06:18 PM   #30
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Re: Stupid question, but I need to ask...

<<<-- Originally posted by David Lach : Well I finally ordered the body only XL2, but now I still need to buy a couple of extra accessories, one of which is a crane/jib arm to mount on a tripod.


I wouldn't worry about the weight of the viewfinder. The jib arms are able to carry a little more(in some cases alot more) than you think.

Jib arms can cost next to nothing($300) to thousands. I use the Promax jib, which is fine.

DBK
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