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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old October 22nd, 2004, 04:47 PM   #61
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Really? My reference is with film viewfinders. But having read the FU-1000 review I was under the impression it showed a bit more than the actual frame. I must have misread.

I'm fairly new to video and sometimes my assumptions come from the fact I transpose film concepts and/or gear to video and assume it works in a similar manner.

Well it's pretty bad if I cannot see more than the actual frame even with the FU-1000. Is this the same for all video cameras? I mean, if there's a use in film for seeing more than the actual frame, there must be a use for it in the video world too no?

I'm guessing only cameras intended for screening might have that function (like HDTV maybe). What a bummer...
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Old October 22nd, 2004, 06:08 PM   #62
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An underscan monitor shows the entire video frame, with a standard TV crop area marked. Assuming your program is for TV, ie., released in video, then underscan helps in keeping mics out of your viewable area. But as noted above, if you are going to CD, DVD or film, you get the full frame in all its glory. However, if the DVD is played on a TV, then the crop takes care of the issue. It's only when it's played on a computer monitor would you see the entire thing. Lots of the stuff I shoot does end up that way, so I have to be extra careful these days.
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Old October 22nd, 2004, 07:33 PM   #63
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Looks like I will need to re-thing my shooting habits in order to be extra careful not to get anything too close to the frame (like rehearsing a few times with the sound guy, getting those flags and light stands out of the way, etc.).

I still need the FU-1000 though, since I'm planing to shoot for digital screening, DVDs and Web release, so the full frame is a must.
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Old October 23rd, 2004, 10:54 PM   #64
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Well to confirm the answer to my own stupid question, in the event somebody else would want to know, yes, it's possible to use the XL2 without a viewfinder attached, I just did.

BTW, I finally bought my crane on eBay for $300. It was a big risk, but I'm not disapointed. I didn't like some of those jib arms with a cable pulley system. Seemed too flimsy to me, with a risk of cable slippage. This crane has a solid aluminum tilt control handle.

Also, don't know if this is present on all cranes, but the one I got has an auto-tilt feature, meaning if you want your camera to remain level during the crane movement, the arm has a pin that, when attached, will automatically keep the camera level, without having to control the handle. All you then have to do is move the arm up and down and the camera will remain level throughout the movement.

Here's the link for people who might be shopping for one. I mounted the XL2 on it with the 20x lens and it works like a charm.

I did a slight modification on it (not that big, just made a bigger hole where the tripod attaches) to be able to use a heavy duty industrial handle with a 3/8" screw to lock it in place on my tripod. That way, I could hammer the thing to no avail, it will not move by one hair. Not that it was necessary mind you, but I'm the kind of guy that likes to customize and adapt all the gear I buy based on my very own requirements.
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Old October 24th, 2004, 10:40 AM   #65
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David

Looks like a pretty nice rig...the only point that looks a little suspect is the mount itself...the L- shaped brack seems a little wimpy for a camera like the xl2...did you have any problems with it (tilting, or wiggling)/

Barry
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Old October 24th, 2004, 01:02 PM   #66
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The L-shaped brack on which the camera mounts is 1/4" thick. I guess it could be better as it does tilt slightly to the right, but I did not have any problems mounting the XL2 on it. I used the nearest hole from the arm itself (there's 3) to minimize the weight put on and avoid being oddly balanced and it seems to work rather well. Maybe making an other hole even nearer the arm would be a good thing (there's still some room left). It might be a bit wobbly when you play with it by hand but it does not shake during movement.

The success you have with this crane will also greatly depend on the tripod you put underneat. For example, having a head that can do smooth pans and can lock the pan and tilt features independently, to compensate for the slight tilt the camera has when mounted, will go a long way in acheiving nice results.

I do however recommend a bit of adjustment on the rig itself.

I recommend changing all the plastic washers for big metal ones, something I did right away without even trying it once. They looked too flimsy for me.

I also put some tool grease between all the major washers used for rotation and the arm in order to be able to thighten everything a bit more without affecting smoothness of operation.

Like I said in a post above, an other thing I really did not feel comfortable with was that it used the standard 1/4" camera screw to mount on the tripod, which I felt was a bit too risky for my taste considering it needs to hold in place the weight of the camera, the weight of the rig and the weight of the counter-weight. So I made a bigger hole to fit a big 3/8" screw with a large industrial metal handle I bought in a work shop for about $5 and now I don't have any worries regarding operation. The screw fits in my quick release plate and the handle squeezes the whole thing thight from above.

I'm really paranoid about seeing my $5000 camera going up and down without touching it so I might be overdoing it, but only good can come out of that.

I did not use other inexpensive cranes like this so I cannot really compare, but I find this one to be adequate for the XL2, and the auto-tilt function I must say will quickly become a must for me. Very handy, especially when you need to pan and tilt at the same time.

That being said, bare in mind it is a $290 crane, so I'm also being realistic in regards to my expectations. The bigger mounting screw and changing the plastic washers for metal ones is something I felt I needed to do to feel more comfortable with the rig, but without any kind of practice with it, I acheived some nice results. I will also try it in combinaison with a dolly to see if it's useable in those situations too. I might post a small video some other time to show it in operation, although that might not be the forum to do so.
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Old October 24th, 2004, 09:14 PM   #67
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so THAT'S what a jib is! thx for clearing that up guys!
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Old October 25th, 2004, 10:08 PM   #68
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How are you supposed to fix a chamois eyepiece to the XL2's viewfinder?

This might sound like a dumb question, and maybe it is, wouldn't be the first time that happened to me, but how in the world are you supposed to get a standard foam & chamois eyepiece (got mine from B&H) to stick to the viewfinder's eyepiece?

I swear I've tried every man-made tape available out there, including some very sticky duct and gaffer tape, and some double sided tape. It will just not hold. Same goes for velcro. The glue used under the velcro pieces is just not strong enough.

It seems the material used to make the LCD viewfinder's rubber eyepiece has some sort of anti-adhesive treatment. I've tried washing it clean with alcohol, but that's not solving anything.

I'm that close to make a permanent kind of surgery, but if I can avoid it, I'd prefer.

Any input will be appreciated.
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Old October 25th, 2004, 11:18 PM   #69
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David:

The chamois is meant to wrap around the rubber part of the eyepiece, sort of like a shower cap. No adhesive is needed.
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Old October 25th, 2004, 11:31 PM   #70
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Thanks Charles, didn't even notice the opening inside the foam part of the eyepiece. I had never used that before.

I knew it was a dumb question. Well maybe this will help out the other dumb souls out there looking for the same answer ;)
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Old November 10th, 2004, 07:28 AM   #71
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Does the XL2 have safety zone markers in viewfinder?

Hi there,

I want to know if the XL2 has safety zone marker outlines displayed in the colour viewfinder for 16:9 and 4:3 areas.

I will need to shoot in 16:9 but need to be able to frame the shot so 4:3 viewers can see talent in the 16:9 shot.

Bit hard to do in 16:9 mode without a 4:3 outline showing on the vf.

David
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Old November 10th, 2004, 08:16 AM   #72
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To the best of my knowledge it does not have this feature. The
previous XL1S model had optional 16:9 guidelines in 4:3 mode,
I wouldn't be surprised to find those on the XL2 as well. I couldn't
find anything in the manual though (the previous model didn't
have 4:3 guides in 16:9 mode!)
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Old November 10th, 2004, 02:43 PM   #73
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That's a pretty bad omission when you think about it, but I guess that is where the camera shows that it is truly a "prosumer" and not a "professional" camcorder.

I am yet to shoot in 16:9 and get paid for it but one of the tv stations I wil be working for requires 16:9 and now I will just have to continuously make sure I leave enough space (how much exactly, I wonder) to each side of the action so it doesn't get lost when viewers are watching in 4:3.

Is there a way around this omission?

Thanks

David
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Old November 10th, 2004, 03:25 PM   #74
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David, if you plan on shooting 16:9 with the EVF and want a 4:3 safety zone, just flip open the eyepiece and put a clear piece of acetate on the LCD screen with the 4:3 frame marked. Nothing fancy, but it will work just like a regular on-camera safety zone, and you will be able to remove it when shooting 4:3.
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Old November 10th, 2004, 03:54 PM   #75
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Thanks David, pardon my ignorance, how do you know exactly what the 4:3 framing is to begin with? I guess you just switch between 4:3 and 16:9 and mark the difference?

When you say acetate - what is that exactly - obviously it can be removed easily enough. Is that "sticky tape"?

I guess you could also put a small pencil line top and bottom above and below the TFT screen on the plastic of the viewfinder that shows a guide.

...starting to answer my own questions in a forum now....uh oh! :-)

David
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