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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 December 13th, 2006, 04:36 PM   #1
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Some More Questions

Been having lots of fun with my new XL2, but I have a couple of questions for the seasoned users.

1) I noticed on one short shoot while using it handheld and after panning up or down the lens jerks back slightly. Is this normal. Ill try to get a shot in a day or two.

2) I picked up a quantaray professional series circular polarizer at Ritz for $80. Anyone have any experience with this? Can I get better for the money?

3) Any ideas for sound equipment? I will be shooting a documentary in Nepal for a month. I was leaning towards a shotgun and boom over a lav. I see the audio technica atr55 with boom on eBay. I'm looking for a setup at most $300 for now, preferably less.

4) Finally, I am thinking of getting the canon dual battery holder, primarily for better weight distribution. Does it fit on the metal plate that came with the camera? Does anyone have any photos of it on the camera. For those that have used it, would you recommend it?

Thanks for your help,
Brandon
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Old December 13th, 2006, 05:19 PM   #2
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Brandon...

Don't know about the other questions, but as for the first one, check to see if the image stabilizer is on. Turn it off and you might not get that jerkiness anymore.

Oh, and if you have a boom, make sure you have someone who is willing to hold it for you...for long periods of time...without shaking.

And by the way, only a man whose heart is pure may weild the knife. NEPAL! N-E-P-A-L! VIVA NEPAL! VIVA NEPAL! (Sorry, had throw in some Eddie Murphy/Golden Child)

Jonathan
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Old December 14th, 2006, 04:27 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon Katcher
1) I noticed on one short shoot while using it handheld and after panning up or down the lens jerks back slightly. Is this normal. Ill try to get a shot in a day or two.
Jonathan is right, turn the stabilizer off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon Katcher
Does it fit on the metal plate that came with the camera? ... For those that have used it, would you recommend it?
Yes and yes. It's certainly worthwile, especially since the Dual Battery Holder is a Dual Charger as well. The only slight drawback when you use the camera handheld might be that your head bangs against the left-hand battery. It sticks out quite a bit.
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Old December 14th, 2006, 12:44 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replys. Yeah, I did have the stabilizer on. Is it normal for the stabilizer to jerk like that sometimes?

Brandon
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Old December 14th, 2006, 01:10 PM   #5
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The stabilizer is not jerky, it is trying to hold your image still while you are trying to move it. You're probably trying to move it too fast and it is trying to correct. You really should be using it while hand held, just ease your pan at the end. On a tripod it is generally not used at all.

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Old December 14th, 2006, 03:32 PM   #6
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Stabilizer and Sound questions

Hi Brandon,

If you have an extra $40, I recommend purchasing "The Ultimate Guide to the Canon XL2" - it's a very worthwhile DVD that covers issues such as the stabilizer hunting problem you've encountered.

http://www.canondvguide.com/buyxl1s.html

Regarding sound, glad to hear you'll be using a lavalier or shotgun/boom. It's going to be a challenge to find a boom pole, microphone, zepplin, and windjammer within your price range (you really need the zepp and windjammer for outside work with any wind). You'll also need a tripod boom pole holder unless you have a crew to help. If you don't have a knowledgeable sound guy/gal on the crew, you probably would be better off going "Do It Yourself" tripod route or, better yet, stick with a lavalier. For your budget, you could get a nice Countryman B6 and direct wire it to your XLR input (you won't be able to get transceivers for your budget). If it's windy outside, try to have the talent's back to the wind and fashion some tape around the mic so it's in a nice little air pocket (with the foam cover applied, of course).

Warm Regards, Michael
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Old December 14th, 2006, 04:33 PM   #7
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Brandon...

If you're doing this by yourself, I'd go for the lav...less equipment to carry around. You can get the Sennheiser G2Evolution 100 series for about $450. I know it's a bit higher than what you wanted to spend, but if you get the shotgun, zepp, boom pole, etc. I'm afraid you're going to sacrifice quality for price. The G2 is a top-notch wireless lav mic and works wonders. I have 2 of them and use them on all my videos...and they travel well.

Jonathan
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Old December 14th, 2006, 06:41 PM   #8
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I actually will have an assistant with me. His main job would be the boom mic if I choose that route.
So then my question is: Will I get much of an advantage with the boom mic route over a lav? Besides the fact that I wouldn't have a mic in the shot.
I am considering doing the DIY painter's pole for the boom.

Thanks for the help,
Brandon
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Old December 15th, 2006, 02:02 AM   #9
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Lavalier Solution

Regarding Johnathan's feedback on the Sennheiser G2, I recently ran some tests using various transceiver/microphone combinations. See:

http://www.bridgehands.com/audio

A few of the tests illustrate the wind challenges with an unprotected microphone.

Regards,

Michael
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Old December 15th, 2006, 11:19 AM   #10
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Brandon,

Sorry I can't help with the boom vs. lav audio info...I don't have much experiene using booms. But as to your thoughts on getting a boom because the lav would be in the shot, that's not always the case. it all depends on how you compose your shot and you can always hide the lav on the backside of a lapel or under a shirt (close to the neck) or (in certain cases) I've had a females attach the mic to the middle part of their bras. Hiding the mic can also reduce wind noise if it's a windy day.

Jonathan
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Old December 15th, 2006, 11:49 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon Katcher
I actually will have an assistant with me. His main job would be the boom mic if I choose that route.
So then my question is: Will I get much of an advantage with the boom mic route over a lav? Besides the fact that I wouldn't have a mic in the shot.
I am considering doing the DIY painter's pole for the boom.

Thanks for the help,
Brandon

If you are using a lav on each person, and can hide them and keep them from rubbing noises etc, and can mix them properly into your audio, then they will probably give the nicest audio.

But, if you have more than one person and only one is wired with the lav, then you will loose volumn on all the others. Works acceptably in a wedding, miking just the groom for instance, but for other productions it won't work as well.

As far as the painters pole, go to Home Depot and look in the light bulb area for an extendable bulb changing arm. Mine cost $19.00 and extends from 40 inches to 11 feet. I actually got complemented on it last night, during a shoot, by an instructor from a film school. Extremely light weight and easy to use.

JMHO-----Mike
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Old December 15th, 2006, 04:14 PM   #12
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This is a tough one.

I feel that if I could only bring one mic for a month, including single person interviews, Group shots, a variety of indoor and outdoor locations, I would probably want a shotgun/boom, right. I haven't really been able to play around too much with the onboard mic, but by what I heard, it doesn't sound great.

I am looking at the Rode NTG-2. There are kits on eBay with pole, cables, screens, shockmount for around $450. I am thinking either that or build a pole (Mike, what did you do for the shockmount on yours).

And then maybe a Countryman B6 as a backup. I could always make that wireless down the road, right?

Thanks,
Brandon
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Old December 15th, 2006, 06:35 PM   #13
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I have begun to realize that I need to spend a lot more on sound equipment. I'm probably looking at closer to 800 now, for both a boom and lav.
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Old December 15th, 2006, 10:31 PM   #14
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$800 - now we're talking turnkey!

Hi Brandon,

Ah, so you too are appreciating (getting sucked into?) the good stuff - welcome to the club! As far as boom mics go, you'll hear the names like Schoeps, Sennheiser, Audio Technica, Rode NTG, etc. However, some audio engineers have found the new market entry by Octava (a superb Russian mic) offers great performance for the price. I bought my Octava MK012A hypercardiod from Sound-room.com and the associated gear from B&H Video. In addition to the $173 Octava, boom and shock mount, here's a nice setup: $139 Rycote BBG (Baby Ball Gag) and $70 Windjammer. Here's the URL for the Octava MK012A "Bella Nero" model with hypercardiod that I'm using:

http://www.sound-room.com/inc/sdetail/474

When I get all the presents wrapped, I'll add a demo of the Octava to the test results at my website.

Good luck, Michael
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Old December 16th, 2006, 04:11 AM   #15
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Oktava MK012A - audio test MP3

Rehi,

Okay, I've added another baseline test (#0.25 without transceivers in home office) using the Octava MK012A w/hypercardoid head:

http://www.bridgehands.com/audio

Some day when it's windy, I'll pop on the windjammer and run a test in the real world.


Regards, Michael
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