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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 9th, 2005, 05:12 PM   #1
New Boot
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Atlanta area
Posts: 11
New guy on a mission

I have enjoyed small-time video production for several years and managed to pay for the consumer equipment I used. My wife and I have been kicking around a concept for a video series so I started climbing the “independent video maker” learning curve three years ago. A few classes and thousands of hours of reading later, I felt ready to commit some resources to this project and took the plunge. Here’s the spec sheet:

• Canon XL2 (20X lens)
• Anton Bauer Hytrons
• Audio Technica 4073a shotgun
• Sennheiser G2 wireless setup
• Manfrotto 515 tripod/516 head
• Manfrotto remote controller
• The standard bags, windscreens, filters, cabling, etc.

The project involves shooting outdoor footage of equestrian events and instruction. I have been learning the camera mainly through experience but I also purchased the “Using the XL2” DVD that is on the market. I intend to continue using smaller events to learn the camera but would like to start shooting footage for the project this fall. Here are some of the conditions that are unchangeable:

• Shooting outdoors but also in covered/enclosed indoor arenas lit with sodium lights.
• Everything from early morning to 12:00 noon lighting.
• Descent ability to reposition around arenas during shooting.
• Fast moving action (horses at canter/gallop) with a need to use slow motion footage in post.
• Working mostly off a tripod.
• Limited ability for retakes.
• Arena size usually 200 x 70 so that’s the farthest my subject would be from the camera but I also need close-up detail in parts.

Obviously, this is a broad overview. My questions to this esteemed group….

1. Did I overlook any equipment? I have a lens protector/UV and polarizer filter but nothing else for the lens.
2. Tips for shooting the action this project requires with an XL2?

After reading the Watchdog for a few months and dreaming of the equipment, I am now armed and dangerous. I look forward to the advice from experienced XL shooters.

Last edited by Scott Nutter; September 9th, 2005 at 08:06 PM.
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Old September 9th, 2005, 06:18 PM   #2
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: DFW area, TX
Posts: 6,100
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Congratulations Scott, and welcome to the forum. One thing I saw in your scenario was about being able to change location quickly during shooting. For that, you should get the TA-100 quick release tripod adapter. This will allow you to move a lever and quickly release the camera to go handheld at a moment's notice. Putting the camera back on the tripod is just as easy, slide it from back to front on the grooves and she locks securely into place. Other than that, it seems you have your bases covered. Maybe an on camera light such as the AB Ulralight2 since you went with the AB system.

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Old September 9th, 2005, 06:57 PM   #3
Inner Circle
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: San Mateo, CA
Posts: 3,840

I can attest to the camera's suitability in 'equestrian' situations. I shot my documentary "American Jouster" with my xl2 and an xl1. The quick connect plate is necessary on the tripod. I shot with a 16x manual lens, but you'll probalby be better off with the 20x and its OIS. The slow mo stuff is really dependant on your NLE app. I cut on Avid, and it has an excellent slo mo application. The stuff I slowed down in the doc looks great.

Enjoy your purchase... go forth and shoot!
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Old September 9th, 2005, 08:04 PM   #4
New Boot
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Atlanta area
Posts: 11
The Manfrotto package came with a plate for the camera and the head has a quick release button. I'm not sure if you are talking about a different device. This is a one-button push and slide out arrangement.

As for the slow motion work. The XL2 seems to have a pretty wide range of shutter speed choices. I shot some training rides at 1/500, 1/1000 and 1/2000 and let the camera take care of the iris. I could see a difference from 1/500 to 1/1000 but not much change stepping up to 1/2000. I was viewing the footage on a pc with Adobe Premier LE (The big workstation/NLE decision comes soon).

Any suggestions regarding shutter speed settings for this type of work?

Last edited by Scott Nutter; September 10th, 2005 at 04:11 AM.
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