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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old July 2nd, 2006, 06:12 AM   #1
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Fu 1000 and battery drain

I've been shooting weddings lately, and my Canon batteries have been draining WAY too quickly. I've only been getting 1 1/2 hours out of bp 945's.
I know that the fu 1000 crt viewfinder burns batteries...but THAT quickly?
I use my Anton Bauer for my Frezzi light and Firestore FS4, so the 945 is powering only the XL2.
I did notice that I had forgotten to turn off my Phantom power switches after shooting a previous concert. Would leaving the phantom on use up much power?
Bruce Yarock
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Old July 2nd, 2006, 07:16 AM   #2
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Bruce,

The life cycles for the BP 945's are listed in the canon manual, and are conditioned on the FU-1000 and the lens in use. I don't have the manual with me, but that should give you a ballpark figure.

Of course, batts DO age, and their life cycle will shorten after a while. (Yes, even LiIon batts.) So it might be time to buy some new ones. I shoot with dual batts on the backpack, so I almost never run out of juice, and have five batts in my pack, so I'm pretty much good for a day of doc shooting.

And yes, the FU-1000 sucks power.
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Old July 2nd, 2006, 03:04 PM   #3
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As I just received my XL2 two days ago , I've got the manual handy. Here's what it says with the FU-1000 connected:

With 20x
"Maximum Recording Time" = 185 min.
"Typical Recording Time" = 100 min.

With 16x
"Maximum Recording Time" = 205 min.
"Typical Recording Time" = 115 min.

For "Typical Recording Time" it notes: "Approximate times for recording with repeated operations such as start/stop, zooming, power on/off. Actual time may be shorter."

No mention of the 3x in this portion of the manual.
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Old July 2nd, 2006, 05:20 PM   #4
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Sean,
I wonder if leaving the phantom switch on made the time even shorter...
Bruce S. yarock
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Old July 3rd, 2006, 01:47 AM   #5
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Since no one else is throwing out a solid conclusion, here's some thoughts:

The reason you use phantom power is that a condenser mic interprets sound through vibrations in a capacitor plate, which requires electricity. There is a transfer of energy in the process, which is why phantom power will drain a battery. But if there isn't a condenser mic hooked up to the XLR input, then this transfer of energy isn't taking place, so I don't see where the energy would go. Maybe if the input was hot to the touch, then the transfer would be to heat energy. I've never noticed a XLR input get hot before though.

The reason for the On/Off switch would be that you wouldn't want to be running phantom power if you are using a dynamic microphone. I understand that this can damage a dynamic microphone as it is not equipped to handle the phantom power signal.

Maybe someone can support or correct me on this. I'm pretty curious now.

-Sean G-
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Old July 3rd, 2006, 07:56 AM   #6
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Nah, the phantom power switch wouldn't account for much drawn down.

Looking at the posted stats, and your comment Bruce, that you've been getting 1 1/2 hours (Ninety minutes) out of your BP945's... means you are getting ten minutes less than 'typical' power usage. But you don't list what lens you are using, or really, if your use is 'typical'. That's about within the normal loss range of older batts. Are these brand new Batts you're getting shorted on Bruce? What lens are you using?
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Old July 3rd, 2006, 08:32 AM   #7
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See also http://www.dvinfo.net/canonxl2/articles/article09.php -- stated a little differently than the operator's manual. One other available option, other than switching to a high-end professional battery solution such as Anton/Bauer, IDX etc., is to pick up a couple of the newer "graphite" series Canon batts that were introduced with the XL H1. These are the BP-950G and BP-970G, and each should give you substantially more endurance than the BP-930 or BP-945.
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Old July 3rd, 2006, 06:34 PM   #8
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Bruce,

You may want to just power everything with the AB bricks. I just got my Anton Bauer set up and I seem to be getting about 7 hours, using the FU-1000, but no light with Hytron 50's. You should be able to cover an entire day with two batteries and a Titan Twin charger. If you're using the light the whole time, it's possible that you might need a third battery, or use the larger bricks. Charging times will be even shorter with the 2722 Charger and you'll get the benefit of the DDM diagnostic module. I think this helps condition the battery.

Get the AB P-Tap Multi. Plug that into the Power Tap and you now have four Power Tap outlets. I have one on order, so I can power a light, monitor and whatever else I might need.
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Old July 3rd, 2006, 08:16 PM   #9
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Mark,
Right now I have one dionic 90, with which I tried to power the xl2, frezzi (during wedding dinner and cocktails), and my Firestore Fs 4. It conked out DEAD in the middle of dancing with no warning. Since the Dionic 90's are so expensive($390), I figured I'd power the XL2 with the canon batts and use the AB for the light and FS4.But I only got a little over an hour with each. To keep doing this, I'd need at least two more Canon batts, or another ab.
Also, have you heard anything about the new batts for the H1? They're supposed to be longer lasting. I guess I'll just have to weigh ease of use against cost. I'm scrounging for work right now, so I don't have the luxury to spend a lot...
Btw, I bought the plug for my FS4 to the AB and also an addl cable that allows me to plug 4 things into the AB (I guess that's what you mentioned).
Thanks for the info. Maybe we'll get together up there one of these days.
Bruce S. Yarock
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