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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 January 8th, 2006, 02:44 PM   #1
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XL2 case?

Hi,

Being a sort of Porta-Brace kind of guy, I'm looking at their CO-PC and CC-210 cases.

Any one have any preferences for them or other cases.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old January 8th, 2006, 08:30 PM   #2
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XL2 Case

I have the Kata CCC-10 and I love it... much better than the Tamrac cases IMHO. I can fit the cam in the case no problem with the center break opening.
though the only thing I don't like is the tightness near the mic. It so snug I feel I have to take the mic out of the holder, but then that really isn't a problem since I only use the on camera mic rarely.

I never got to see the porta brace up close with an XL2 in hand so...

I am curious about real person (not corp propaganda) reviews of the case on a day to day basis.
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Old January 9th, 2006, 01:22 PM   #3
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Ty,

I got the Porta-Brace CTC-3 for my XL2. It is what B&H recommended. I am not familiar with what the differences might be from the two you mention. Just looking at the website, the CO-PC and the CTC-3 look pretty similar, with the padding maybe being the main difference. The CTC-3 fits the camera and has a couple of side pockets for AC adapter, batteries, etc. I like it very well, but it could use a little more storage. That would add to its weight, though, so I guess you choose your poison!

I, too, am a Porta-Brace kinda guy. Their products are outstanding. I've seen some of the Kata cases, and they are also very good. But on a shoot, nothing says "pro" like a Porta-Brace case.

Have fun!

Rob
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Old January 9th, 2006, 04:14 PM   #4
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I had a Porta-Brace CO-PB when I had an EVW-300. I liked how you could quickly zip it open and it would sort-of fall away from the camera, allowing it to be removed and replaced easily. I liked the smooth, snag-free interior, and simple Velcro-secured flaps on the exterior pockets. Vaery practical.

When I got a larger cam, a DXC-327A+DSR-1 plus much longer glass, it was a few inches too short. So I got a Petrol PCUB-3 off eBay. It fit, but Petrol is a little nutty about zippers. The main compartment was zipped symetrically straight up each end, though to the side of the compartment, then curved vertically to the other side, then curved horizontally to meet in the middle. Man, you had to fuss that zipper! And if you've ever had to fuss with a jammed zipper, it'll really frost your shorts, if you know what I mean. Also, the way the top curved over the camera made it awkward to get the cam in and out.

I've just about saved up for an XL-2 outfit, and naturally have been perusing the cases, on a case-by-case basis. Last December's adventures made me aware that a backpack-like case would be desireable. I looked at the Porta-Brace Hiker HKP-3. But conflicting details on B&H and Porta-Brace's sites made me more confused than informed. I looked at the Kata BP-502, but it was just a little too odd for my taste. I don't particularly like the idea of transporting the camera lens-down, especially with a matte box attached.

Although I had sworn them off, due to the zipper issue and odd design of their PCUB cases, Petrol seems to actually have the right idea in the PCCB-2N. Just a padded box with wide, interference-free opening. Add a trolley and make it wheelable. Add straps and convert it to a backpack. Plus the price is remarkable low, and B&H kits it with Petrol's rain cover included at no extra charge. I won't be carrying around a lot of "stuff" with it. Just a few tapes, an extra V-mount battery (each should be good for up to 13 hours), lens cleaning kit, whitecard and such.

My only concern is whether it would fit an XL-2 with matte box and IDX battery adapter. So I may have to wait until I have the camera completely set up before deciding on a case or bag. Some others I'm considering:

Porta-Brace CS-DV4U
Kata BP-502
Porta-Brace CC-210
Porta-Brace HKP-3
Porta-Brace CTC-3
Petrol PDB-1N
Porta-Brace CO-PC
Kata CCC-10
Kata CCC-1
Kata CCC-3

Of these, apart from my earlier comments, the Porta-Brace CTC-3 and CO-PC certainly look an awful lot alike, but since I'm familiar with the basic design, I'd feel comfortable ordering either. The Kata CCC-series look good, too.
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Last edited by Doug Boze; January 9th, 2006 at 06:58 PM.
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Old January 9th, 2006, 11:32 PM   #5
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Does anyone know about the official canon hard case? Anyone used it or suggest it? It is the cutout foam inside? I can't find any pictures of it besides the outside and because of my location can't go in and check one out in person.
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Old January 12th, 2006, 01:06 AM   #6
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Cam Case

Hello Ty,
I use the Vanguard USA Hard-Side Camera Case VGP300XXL
Hard-sided customizable case. Reinforced aluminum frame. ABS Sheet construction. Key Lock. Customizable diced foam and dividers. Egg foam for additional protection. Padded shoulder strap. Wheeled trolley. Inside Dimensions: 20 7/8" x 13 3/8" x 7 1/4".
MODEL - VGP300W VENDOR - Vanguard USA

FEATURES - Hard-Side Camera Case VGP XXLarge
Vanguard's #1 selling Universal case offers advanced protection in
six different sizes. From our famous 3200 all the way up to the
310W, the VGP Universal Series provides superior protection using
advanced reinforced aluminum construction combined with
customizable diced foam and dividers.
* Outside: 21 1/2 x 14 x 8
* Inside: 20 7/8 x 13 3/8 x 7 1/4
* Weight: 14.33 lbs
* Removable Dividers
My XL2, Lens, MA-300 and the CH-910 with 3 batteries all fits inside.
I think I paid around $85-$100.00 for the case and it's carry-on size for the airlines.

Carl
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Old January 12th, 2006, 03:20 AM   #7
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That looks like a good solution for people like myself who want a hard case that you could carry on a plane. Is there any pictures out there of the inside or any suggested places to purchase it?
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Old January 12th, 2006, 01:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Camren Cheline
Does anyone know about the official canon hard case? Anyone used it or suggest it? It is the cutout foam inside? I can't find any pictures of it besides the outside and because of my location can't go in and check one out in person.

Hi Camren.
I have the Canon Hard Case for the XL2, and I would offer some points for strong consideration before making such a purchase. Some of the notable features of the case present both PRO’s and CON’s, in my opinion. Here are a few of them:

PRO’s

Functionality
Size
Appearance


CON’s

Size
Durability
Appearance
Cost

Some of the features, as you can see, apply to both Pro and Con. The Functionality and Size are related in context of what you can store in the case, as well as the ability to transport the camera fully assembled. The case innards don’t use the typical ‘foam cut-out’ design of other case systems. The case is separated into upper and lower tiers, separated by a ‘hard-foam’ platform. The camera sits in the upper section Velcro strapped to the platform. When the camera is removed and the platform lifted, the lower section reveals storage compartments into which can be stored numerous accessories. There is plentiful room there to store a lot of stuff. I can easily fit several spare Canon batteries, lens filters, a lens cleaning kit, extra cables, manuals, camera light, dv tapes, my AT shotgun mic, headphones, and there is still room for a spare Canon lens if I had one. All this stuff makes the case pretty heavy, so I have mine strapped to a little luggage dolly for wheeling around. For my work, nothing beats the ability to arrive on location, open the case and remove the camera fully assembled and ready to go in mere seconds.

The case presents a very ‘professional appearance’ for some people, in some situations. It has a somewhat ‘upscale’ look to it that indicates that whatever is inside must be really expensive. I know that some XL2 owners have chosen their cameras in part because it ‘looks’ more professional than smaller hand-held cameras. For my own part, I have gotten a few jobs just because the camera I was holding ‘looked more impressive’ than what the competition used. Some of my clients basically wouldn’t know their own a** from a hot rock, and it is sad that they judge the competency of a videographer in such a manner, but hey, that’s life…I can ‘wow’ them after the fact with great footage and clever technique, but sometimes the first impression determines what comes next and sometimes that is what will get the job in the first place. The case can function in the same manner. It ‘looks’ really snazzy. One of my first shoots was a commercial for a high-end luggage retail boutique. They sell luggage at ridiculously exhorbitant prices in the center of a tourism hot-spot. I wheeled my Canon case into the shop and they ooohhhed and ahhhhed at it. It’s utilitarian and shiny exterior stood out among the frilly flowery wares they sold, but they were very impressed with it…go figure. This isn’t the reason I bought mine. I was just really new to the field and decided I would spring for a case that was ‘designed for the camera’. I have been happy with it…..but there are some limitations.


In terms of Cons….This case is pretty sizable….naturally, to store so much stuff in it, I guess it would have to be…but it is also pretty bulky, and sometimes difficult to maneuver in tight spaces. I am relatively certain that this case is far too large to be considered ‘carry-on luggage’ for air travel. As such, it would need to be checked in and flown as standard luggage. I WOULD NEVER EVEN CONSIDER THIS. Partly because I would strongly doubt that it would reach its destination without being stolen, and also because I think this particular case is just not durable enough to be transported like that while keeping its contents secure. It is also advisable by Canon that the camera NOT be shipped fully assembled… hence the design of the case for an assembled camera is no longer relevant.

This case is fine for driving the camera around in a car and wheeling it around on location, but it is absolutely not suitable for air travel. (IMHO) If I was to travel by air with this camera, I would use a more durable and much smaller case with a foam cut-out interior and room enough to pack only the necessities - keeping it with me at all times as carry-on.

The ‘wow’ factor of the case appearance I mentioned earlier also has what I call ‘steal appeal’. This case screams “STEAL ME!” It is easily noticed and pretty much indicates right away the nature of its contents. No one is going to see this case and assume it is full of ropes and wrenches. When out and about, it is advisable to keep a very close eye on where your stuff is at all times.

Finally..the cost. In retrospect, I think that maybe the price is a little high for a case of this quality. It looks great, but IMHO, I think that for $400, the case should have been built a little more sturdily. I haven’t had any problems with it in terms of bashing it around or getting dents or fractures. I tend to baby the case and camera when transporting it, but it still feels to me like it just wasn’t built to take too much damage. In my band days, I transported my gear in heavy anvil cases. This case is no anvil by any means. At this price I just get the sense that Canon commands a really high profit margin on it. The convenience offered by the storage capacity of this case is a great plus…but for many people, it comes at too high a price.

BTW: When I first bought my XL2, I snapped some photos of unpacking and assembly. I never did anything with them, but this post has prompted me to put them online. They include a few simple shots of the case also (but not the lower compartments- unfortunately). The photos can be seen at
http://homepage.mac.com/lunarparcel/my_xl2

Good luck in shopping for your case.

-Jon
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Old January 12th, 2006, 08:08 PM   #9
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Thanks for the info! Those are definitely the answers I've been looking for. Yeah, my two big negatives is that you can't carry it on a plane and the steal appeal. Those are the two things that at this time have kept me from getting it.

I'm a big oranizer and love cases (am currently looking for one for DV tapes!) and I also like something pretty slick and clever. So its hard to find something suited to what I prefer. I just hate seeing all these cases that are just soft and simple and close with zippers. I want to see something that will protect my camera and give me a good way to store my accessories. You would think you would see more of the customized cases for at least your basic accesories (batteries, mics, extra lenses). If I was more of a builder, I'm certain I would have something amazing. But, I find myself at the mercy of something out there suited as closely as possible for the XL2. I think its hard for people to make cases like that, because universal means more sales. Too bad.
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Old January 12th, 2006, 09:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Camren Cheline
(am currently looking for one for DV tapes!) and I also like something pretty slick and clever.

Please post info if you ever find something that works and meets the criteria of being slick and clever. I would likely be in the market as well.
-Jon
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Old January 12th, 2006, 10:00 PM   #11
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I just found a place, www.camcase.com that looks like its in the right direction, but I have my reservations. First, that I'm not sure how recently its been updated, since it shows Xl1s models and GL1, so that makes me weary. But, it looks like they have the right idea. A hard case that you can travel with, though I'd like to see it more compartmentalized (is that a word?)
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Old January 12th, 2006, 10:01 PM   #12
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Oh, and I'll definitely let you know what I end up going with.
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Old January 12th, 2006, 11:15 PM   #13
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Big Fattie

I use a Pelican 1620. It holds my XL2 w/20x lens, Sennheiser me66, the 3x, the 14x, 2 batteries, charger, a box of tapes, and a macbeth chart. Granted it weighs 50 pounds but it has wheels and I can use my other hand to hold my coffee. If someone tries to steal it they're easy to catch because Jesse Owens couldn't outrun me dragging that monstrousity. It also doubles as an apple box. IMHO it's the only way to fly.
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Old January 13th, 2006, 10:19 AM   #14
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FWIW, I used to ship and receive very expensive equipment in wooden crates. If you know you are going to fly and want to check the camera, this is a low profile method. Wooden crates don't scream 'steal me' and almost every city has a company that will build custom sized crates. You'll get several uses out of a well built crate.

Just food for thought...

-gb-

p.s. also a nice item to have if your camera has to be shipped back to Canon for servicing.
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Old January 13th, 2006, 08:28 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Camren Cheline
I just found a place, www.camcase.com that looks like its in the right direction, but I have my reservations. First, that I'm not sure how recently its been updated, since it shows Xl1s models and GL1, so that makes me weary. But, it looks like they have the right idea. A hard case that you can travel with, though I'd like to see it more compartmentalized (is that a word?)

Actually, I like the idea, but none of their links work nor does their email address.

Ty Ford
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