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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old February 12th, 2005, 12:37 AM   #1
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XL2 trainig

Well, my XL2 came in today. I was paranoid about the place I purchased it from maybe not going to deliver as promised but it did come in new and unused. It appeared to be as stated.
So, I unpacked it and took a day to read and attach lens etc carefully. So far so good. I am confused on somethings, such as which frame rate to normally use, but I need to know if there is somekind of training tape on the XL2 that is worth buying?
Any thoughts on this would be helpful.
I need to film a concert and I have to be about 100 feet away from the stage. I would really like to have a wireless mike near the stage but do not know which one to get.

I have read several posts here that seem to indicate that I need to be careful about using the "standby" button. It may blow the main fuse, so I will just try and not use it. So, this begs a question???? Does the XL2 have an auto off timer on it? That is to say, if you do not record and leave it on the tripod, does it go into stanby mode after 5 minutes of non use?

Also, Canon seems to make a hard case for the XL2. Is this case custome fitted inside the case to hold the XL2 without cutting foam???

Thanks
Ed
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Old February 12th, 2005, 02:21 AM   #2
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If you are officially taping the concert, they can probably give you a feed in straight from the mixer no ?

If it's not going to film, stay in 30p or 60i. Unless you like the 24p to 60i pulldown look.

Also there is a specific spotlight mode that I never tried out . You should look into that in the manual.

Good luck !

Frank
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Old February 12th, 2005, 06:05 AM   #3
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Hi Ed congrats on the new purchase.

First off, is this a recital for the school and unpaid work? If so, just use the onboard mic.

If this is a paid job, you might want to consider consulting with a few people who have worked with dv and audio. I assume you are a relative newcomer since you mentioned you are a little foggy with respect to frame rates.

For the cam, this will be the quickest part of your learning curve and placed upon a sturdy pair of sticks with a remote controller (the Canon one has a "standby" button that is used always by me ... wive's tale/urban myth on the fuse thing) you will have little troubles with the shoot. Forget using spotlight mode, you need to expose and light like a pro for every situation.

Basic audio for a concert: Strings? Amplified band? Choir? There are many permutations here ranging from a pair of hypercardoids to multiple omnis coupled with a board feed. Once you indicate, Ty will likely chime in. Best way is to have a sound engineer monitor the feed(s) and send your xl2 the output and simultaneously record to minidisk from your field mixer.

As for the case, it's nice, but expensive. And it has that "steal me" look to it. There are more innocuous and less expensive products out there.

Spend the time experimenting ... it sounds like you are serious though... most people don't read the manual prior to clamping on the lens...

Best of luck to you...
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Old February 12th, 2005, 09:27 AM   #4
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WOW, Jimmy, thanks a lot on good thoughts for me to consider. Yes, I am a nubie. But I have to start somewhere. I am a fast learner and I read constanly about technical subjects. First, I am trying to get the contract to video tape the School concert so this is important to me. I have many years of experience with film still shoot cameras, Hasselblad, nikon, etc....so I understand manual mode on film cameras but expermentation on the XL2 places me at a little disadvantage because I am moving and shooting and panning and this does NOT lend itself to do creative photogrpahy using manual mode very eaisly. Yes, I am sure a pro can do this, but I am not ready so I am in auto mode, right now. So, the only way I could get mike cables in the back is to run a snake to the back. They have no rear XLR connections.

SO, I think you are suggesting using 30p or 60i. I am not going to take this to film, but does filming in 24p make a better presentation for the school. I am not sure what mode of transfer to use or what medium to use to give to the school for their viewing. I need to show them or present to them the end product on some type of medium(ie. tape) so they can make a decision. I am sure they do not have a DV playback deck. So, what medium of transfer do you guys or gals use to sell to schools?

Next, I am going to have to place the XL2 on tripod for most of the shoot because they want to see most of the Choral concert students on the film. However, I am free to remove from tripod and move about a little to get some of the "action" as I move to the front and try some more creative panning but this will be limited.

Also, when you say "taking to film" what do people really do with 24p frame mode. I thought this presented a more "pleasing" experience in viewing and that it does not need to be transfered to any other medium, such as film. What am I not understanding here?
Thanks
/Ed
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Old February 12th, 2005, 10:47 AM   #5
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Jimmy McKenzie

I am one of the XL2 owners that had his camera die while putting it in standby. This is no urban myth or wives tale. There is another user on the board who had the same experience. Though this is only two users out of countless owners, it is a fact that it took place.

As to whether or not there is a cause/effect connection to standby and fuse blowing, Canon declined to state to me. In fact, they couldn't figure out why the fuse blew (twice) and ultimately replaced the camera.

Just setting the record straight.
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Old February 12th, 2005, 10:53 AM   #6
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60i is the best place to begin. I didn't even get into the editing which is a key part of this whole DV adventure.

When you mentioned that you would like to rov., this has to be a second cam. Since the performance is just that and not a documentary, you require a safety cam (the one on the tripod) to capture the entire event. Your second rov cam is used for cutaways: close ups, interesting angles, audience reaction etc. I'm really glad you mentioned that you will be moving, panning and not zooming! A pull back once in a while at ultra slow speed is acceptable.

As for mass distribution and non film, the current universal method for small run projects is the 4.7 gig DVD. This is the authored finished product that occurs post edit.

Sorry if I just spent 1500 bucks for you on an edit/authoring suite. Adobe's video collection is a worthy investment if you are in a pc environment. And if you like reading tech books as a knowledge source, you'll love the Adobe products. I read 'em cover to cover and do the tutorials ... works great!
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Old February 12th, 2005, 10:55 AM   #7
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Yeeks!

Golly Richard, that's the first I've heard about that one. Curious ... did this occur with battery power or with the connected power supply?

I stand corrected.
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Old February 12th, 2005, 11:10 AM   #8
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This occured with battery power. As it happens the other owner on this board had a similar setup as I was using. Manual 16x lens, and the FU-1000 Monochrome Viewfinder. Do a search to see the thread, I think it was 'eeek my baby won't wake up' or some such title.
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Old February 12th, 2005, 11:39 AM   #9
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Gotcha.

I have not worked with that combination of lens/viewfinder. So noted.

As you stated, it would be nice if Canon were to advise on the usage of standby when the extra connected load is in place via the fu1000.
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Old February 13th, 2005, 07:23 AM   #10
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<<<-- Originally posted by Richard Alvarez : This occured with battery power. As it happens the other owner on this board had a similar setup as I was using. Manual 16x lens, and the FU-1000 Monochrome Viewfinder. Do a search to see the thread, I think it was 'eeek my baby won't wake up' or some such title. -->>>

Richard,

I would be willing to bet that Canon didn't account for the current inrush that happens when powering up a CRT and spec'd a fuse that's not a slo-blo type. If that's true, this combo might be suceptible to fuse blowing at power on as well. I suspect you didn't blow the fuse going into standby, but coming out of it. The color vf won't have this issue.

regards,

=gb=
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Old February 13th, 2005, 08:03 AM   #11
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Greg,
Interesting supposition... except the Xl1 series has been running the FU-1000 viewwfinder for years. The thought would be they have somehow increased the drain with the xl2 without increasing the fuse???

I do know that when I sent the camera back the second time, they replaced the entire motherboard, and cycled it through power cycles for several hours... (As explained to me by the service rep) without getting it to blow. They told me "We don't know why it blew, but we're pretty sure it's fixed now." I told them I wasn't comfortable shooting with a camera that they were "Pretty sure was fixed" and ultimately, they replaced the cam. (Huge KUDOS to Zotz here.)

As a side note, I spend four hours yesterday, shooting hang gliders at Fort Funston. Cycling on and off, through standby etc. No problems. (And fantastic footage I might add!)

Is the problem isolated to a 'bad batch'? An odd lot, a single cam or the two mentioned on this board??? Too little data to draw a conclusion.
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Old February 13th, 2005, 01:53 PM   #12
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Thanks Guys for the reply.
I will add one point to this discussion that may confirm some highlights. First, my principal occupation is an Electrical Engineer. In theory, when a switch is turned "off", the collapsing magnetic field releases energy. This is why you will sometime see a spark occur when you turn off your light switch in your house. Now, house current is huge and therefore capable of delivering large energy spikes when ending a cycle abruptly. As far as the XL2 is concerned, we are running on DC power and the dynamics change. It depends on how the circuit is designed as to where the energy is stored and safely released.
I have a request out to retrieve the schematics for the XL2 but it has been difficult retrieving them. As soon as I do, I will analyze their circuits and give you some feedback on this "internal fuse" speculation. Its probably some other circuit related failure, if it is indeed a failure. I realize, Richard, that Canon is telling you that the main bus fuse had to be replaced but I will bet the fuse issue is a sidebar to the actual problem.

Now, I have a question that relates to my filming the Choral concert. So, the question is this. What are the copyright laws regarding me taping this concert and the School district selling copies of the DVD that I will provide?
Second, Does the school need permission from the copmpanies that supply the Choral music that the school is using for their program?

Thanks
Ed
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Old February 13th, 2005, 02:26 PM   #13
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Ed,
I'd be interested in your thoughts on the schematic and fuse issues.

As to the copyright issues regarding the choral performance.. yes there are issues and liabilities. A search will dig up an old thread that pretty well covered it. And you might want to repost/move the question to the "business' forum, where Paul Tauger might more readily see it and respond.
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