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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old January 27th, 2005, 12:56 PM   #1
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Helicopter Shooting and Underwater Housings

We are about to head to Nicaragua for a 5 day shoot. I have a few questions.

Regarding the XL-2.. what is a good, reliable, underwater housing to use? Does any one know a good rental house from around LA that would have them?

Has anyone shot underwater with the XL-2 yet? Any pointers, issues, or stories?

We're also renting a few helicopters. Kevin Maistros will be DPing the arial and underwater photography for this. We're running a steadicam from the side of the helicopter (safely) for a few crucial shots that are planned.
Any experience, stories, issues?
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Old January 27th, 2005, 03:18 PM   #2
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Holly, I just finished shooting from the open window of a single engine plane. Three things, 1- take off the mic. 2-take off the lens hood. 3-use a clear filter to protect the lens. Oh, and hold on!!! Bob
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Old January 27th, 2005, 03:25 PM   #3
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Bob, what sort of stabilization did you employ? This might be useful to the original poster and I also have a shot like this coming up soon. The first one I did was using the manual lens. Difficult. Do you use the Image stabilizer on the lens?
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Old January 28th, 2005, 05:45 AM   #4
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Jim, it was hand held and yes, the IS was on. It was 11 degrees on the ground and NO heat in the cabin so it was probably around 0 degrees. I found it is more stable if you shoot behind you instead of trying to shoot into the wind. I used to shoot 35 mm slides from a huey and it was nothing compaired to a small plane. Much easier in the chopper because you are not going as fast. Bob
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Old January 28th, 2005, 06:43 AM   #5
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Gotcha. The last one I did was in a very tight 2 seater above the wing cockpit. Much tilt needed to get horizon shot.

Thanks for the tip. Appologies to the OP. Thread is now yours.
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Old January 28th, 2005, 11:13 AM   #6
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Steadi in a HELO?

I don't think I've ever hear of a "safe" way to use a SteadiCam in a helicopter.

We shoot out of helicopters all the time.

First, I would recommend a manual lens as opposed to the automatic for all of the obvious reasons but; if you have to use the auto, turn off the image stabilization if you have to zoom in tight. My experience is that the dampening system tends to "chatter" at the long end of the lens from the vibration, rendering the picture unusable.

I like to tie the camera off to a "hardpoint" on the bird. I measure it so that I can fully support the weight of the camera with the sling or take weight and manipulate the camera position on my shoulder without having to go through any major resets.

This is a good idea for a couple of reasons.

1. You CANNOT drop the camera out of the ship!

2. It affords you some rest if you are shooting for a long time or have a lot of "in-between" time between takes. It is easier to let the camera hang than to have to hold it or support it on your lap.

As far as underwater, we do a lot of U/W shooting but I opted to go with a TRV-950 because of its smaller size. Check out http://www.gateshousings.com/XL1-XL1s.html . I'm not sure if they make one for the XL2 yet or if the XL1 housing will work...very pricey!

Another underwater alternative is the EWA bag. http://www.ewa-marine.de/english/index.htm Go to the video section and navigate to the Canon section.

It is waterproof to 30 feet, so it is a good, less expensive atlternative to the deepwater housing if you just need a splash housing or shallow water capabilities.

Check out these pictures.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...elo/rbhelo.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...lo/xlhelo1.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2.../jasonhelo.jpg

Hope this helps.

RB
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