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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 October 11th, 2004, 02:47 PM   #46
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"I'm wondering why all the worrying about focus."

The reason that there is so much worry about focus is obvious to anyone who has to work in the field with the LCD display on the XL1s. The b & w display wasn't an option for me because of weight. I do shoot with a monitor when possible, but usually I have to use the LCD EVF and it is very difficult to be totally confident about the sharpness of my focus when I use it. I find that this is the weakest part of my camcorder. If the resolution has improved on the XL2 that would be one of the main reasons for me to upgrade. I like DV because it is an interactive medium, but the display on my XL1s limits that interaction.
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Old October 11th, 2004, 03:02 PM   #47
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<< If the resolution has improved on the XL2 that would be one of the main reasons for me to upgrade. I like DV because it is an interactive medium, but the display on my XL1s limits that interaction.>>

Well Phil having shot with the Xl1 and XL1s and using the FU-1000 B&W VF, I can tell ou that I have no problem so far pulling focus with the XL2. The previous color VF was horrible IMO. I had forgetten how bad it was until I was running a multicamera shoot this spring and was looking through that viewfinder to check some shots...I couldn't believe how small and not resolute it was, especially after shooting 2 years with the FU.

I had no such surprise when looking through the XL2 the first time. In fact I was surprised to my pleasure.
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Old October 11th, 2004, 04:56 PM   #48
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You don't " need " the CRT to focus, and though someone mentioned that you might be able to pick and choose which lens and/or viewfinder you want with the XL2 in the future, I'm certain that depending on what options you pick they will come at a cost. It's not much different than buying a car, you don't " need " an automatic, you don't " need " air conditioning, you don't " need " a cd player, and some people will be perfectly happy without the options. And the truth is that there are a whole lot of people out there that would want the color screen just because its color ! Keep in mind that this camera is in the " prosumer " range, not "professional ". Though a lot of us may be professionals, there are a whole lot more cameras out there that are tens of thousands more that the big kids use and they do use CRT's. I can understand that it's a big expense for most of us, but a little perspective would serve you well.

Personally I was just thrilled to death that they included a power source in the XL2 and that I could abandon the battery adapter. What a nice friggin touch.

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Old October 11th, 2004, 04:57 PM   #49
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I'll have to take a run to the city (Calgary) and have a boo at the XL2 if anyone has one yet. :)
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Old October 11th, 2004, 06:06 PM   #50
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Can the CRT viewfinder now be powered through the AC adapter or does it still need an attached lithium battery to power on? I know the battery adapter isn't needed anymore but does the powered CRT viewfinder connector provides correct voltage regardless of whether the XL2 is powered through battery or adapter?
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Old October 11th, 2004, 07:41 PM   #51
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If it helps, at the major U.S. trade shows Canon has displayed the B&W CRT on an AC-powered XL2 many times. Don't know if that means it's official, but it can be done.
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Old October 11th, 2004, 08:06 PM   #52
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Thanks Chris. Glad to hear it's doable. I wouldn't imagine it would be possible to mess the viewfinder up by doing this even if it was not an official solution (but then again, I'm not an engineer).
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Old October 12th, 2004, 07:54 AM   #53
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How would the Canon's native 16:9 image appear in the B&W viewfinder?
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Old October 12th, 2004, 08:09 AM   #54
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The image appear properlly letterboxed in the CRT B&W viewfinder.
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Old October 22nd, 2004, 05:30 AM   #55
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Right lets get this thread back to the top of the forum!

I have now had a PAL XL2 for around 3 weeks, and have the final verdict on how much of the image the LCD screen displays

I don't have much time, so it will be a quick summary.

It is much, much better than the XL1s, I mean much much better - and here i'm talking about the amount of image displayed, not the obvious quality of the viewfinder (which is also much much better - but it still does suffer slightly from that shifting contrast issue when you look at it from different angles like on the xl1s, but not as much as on the xl1s)

Ok I have simultaneously viewed the image on the viewfinder, and on a monitor/TV, and it shows pretty much the same as whats on the TV! Very good Canon! I would say there is a very slight slither that creeps into the edge of the frame on the TV that the viewfinder doesn't show. I would have guess that the viewfinder shows 98%-99% of what the TV shows, which is great news, and much much better than the 88% of the xl1s!

I really think this is a very important issue, basically with the xl1s you couldn't frame up accurately! Now you can perfectly with the XL2 - you can trust and judge the frame with the XL2 viewfinder!

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Old October 22nd, 2004, 08:27 AM   #56
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Are you talking about what your monitor shows in underscan or just normal TV crop?
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Old October 22nd, 2004, 09:42 AM   #57
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Just plain old normal tv crop

Which at the end of the day is what you should be looking at, as you will be watching the finished footage on a tv 99% of the time, unless you are going to film print
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Old October 22nd, 2004, 01:00 PM   #58
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The issue for me isn't what you watch on TV but being able to see the full frame while shooting. It's not a big huge thing in most cases, but numerous times over the years I've saved an interview shot by being able to see the mic creeping into the top of the frame and being able to tilt down before it got out of underscan.
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Old October 22nd, 2004, 01:36 PM   #59
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I agree with Bill. Being able to see what's coming before it comes is a big deal to me as well. I'm doing fictional stuff, so imagine getting at the end of a long complicated sequence with camera movement that you finally got right and oops... the tip of that freakin gobo has shown in the frame at the end position. Had you had underscan, you'd have been able to see it and stop just before ruining the shot. Same applies for mics on boom poles.

But more than that, not all of us are thinking only about what will be shown on TV. Even if you plan for digital projection and not film transfer (either on a big screen or on a computer), you want 100% of the image to show when you frame and nothing less. I'm used to having an underscan portion, frame delimitation and TV safe delimitation in a viewfinder, and anything less than that is a problem to me for framing. I can live with no frame and TV lines like with the FU-1000 (might be able to draw those lines yourself on a clear sheet and put it in front of the viewfinder's mirror) but not having 100% coverage is a serious limitation to me.

All that and I haven't mentioned the resolution issue yet, which I found to be problematic as well with the LCD viewfinder. Mind you I've never seen the XL1 viewfinder, so I cannot get impressed by the big leap forward. All I can do is realize it's not quite good enough for me and I will therefore need to shell the extra $1500 to get the CRT viewfinder.
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Old October 22nd, 2004, 02:48 PM   #60
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Quote:
Had you had underscan, you'd have been able to see it and stop just before ruining the shot. Same applies for mics on boom poles.
But, to be clear, underscan shows you what is in the frame, not what's outside it. It just shows the whole frame, inclusive of the overscan area.

So if you were to see the gobo or mic boom pole creeping into your shot, it's too late -- it's aready IN your shot, and will show up on a film transfer, on a full-screen computer display, during transitions in editing, etc.

Film cameras have larger-than-recorded-area viewfinders, and let you see more than what's actually in the frame. But with video cameras, if you can see it, it's in the frame. It may be outside the "TV Safe" portion, but it's in there.
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