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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 July 24th, 2006, 08:24 PM   #16
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Mays Landing, NJ
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Well I don't know anything about the XL series, but the image stabilization definitely helps on my Sony's when shooting performances at full zoom from about 100' away. On my little PDX-10 I use a 2x teleconverter giving me the equivalent of a 1000mm lens on a 35mm still camera. Without Steadyshot turned on, tripod mounted shots (on a Miller DS-5, more than adequate for that little camera) are very shaky in our 150 year old wooden theatre.

I use a 1.6x teleconverter on my Z1 which gives me the equivalent of a 500mm lens and I have the same issues unless I use steadyshot. It really helps a LOT in fact. There is sometimes the little stutter you mention during a pan, but it's pretty rare. But the range of movement is pretty limited when shooting a performance, so maybe there are more issues if you're filming wildlife outdoors?

But Brendon is specifically asking about the XL2, so I think he's taking the right approach by experimenting to draw his own conclusions.
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Old July 24th, 2006, 10:30 PM   #17
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Boyd, are you able to do any kind of CUs on moving performers at 100' distance and keep the motion smooth and steady? That must be quite the challenge I assume.

Back on topic, I find it is possible with a bit of practice to compensate for the jumpy pan starts and ends with the IS turned on. You have to start and end your pans extremely slowly, that way the OIS will start slowly moving in the opposite direction of where the camera is actually moving until it reaches the limit of its movement range, then start moving along in the proper direction along with the camera.

That will only work if you're not in a "hurry" to pan accross, so it wouldn't work if for example you were following somebody. I use a silky smooth Vinten Vision 3 head and I've been able to start and end pans with the IS on in a relatively smooth manner this way. The end of your pan is rarely a problem. All it will do is continue slowly moving a bit once you come to a halt (OIS re-centering). That's rarely too distracting.

This is not a one size fits all solution however because depending on the speed of your pan, it might give you a "jumpy" effect (IS always trying to re-center while you're trying to move the camera at a constant speed).
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Old July 25th, 2006, 12:15 AM   #18
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David is right about the speed of the pans affecting performance. I've been so used to using the 16X Manual Servo lens that I sometimes forget to switch off the IS on the 20X lens, and there is no doubt that extreme slow pans are generally OK with IS switched on, but anything between medium slow to fast pans tends induce a kind of 'dragging' affect as the IS combats to adjust for the movement.
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Old July 25th, 2006, 09:37 AM   #19
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I'm going to run some tests later today. Would anybody like me to post some "Pan Test" footage?
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Old July 26th, 2006, 08:58 AM   #20
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yes please. along with approximate # of degress panned and times so we can get a sense of how fast if possible.
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