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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 10:18 PM   #1
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XL2 Cheat Sheet?

Ahhhhh!!! There has GOT to be an XL2 cheat sheet somewhere on the market, right?? The Canon DSLR's have cheat sheets, so why don't the prosumer camcorders? There's a company called Photobert that specializes in making these quick guides for digital cameras...does anyone know of a similar product for the XL2?

I've searched Google but to no avail. I would kiss your dirty shoes and wash your dog if you could please suggest a cheat sheet.

Thanks!
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 11:38 PM   #2
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A cheat sheet... hmm, some way to like, cut corners and get up and running really fast? Is that what you mean?

Like the green AUTOMATIC setting on the mode dial?


Sorry, just having fun.


No, don't know of a 'quick start' guide, just the manual. And it's not that long really, it's just thick because it has all the different languages bound together.
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Old May 24th, 2007, 12:13 AM   #3
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What should be on it?
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Old May 24th, 2007, 02:44 AM   #4
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Like the different settings and how to navigate through the menus and how to operate the the different thingies on the doohicky. Take a look at the Photobert cheat sheets. You'll understand what I mean.
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Old May 24th, 2007, 06:57 AM   #5
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A cheat sheet would be really tough, The xl-2 is specifically designed to give you many options and settings as a camera op, to get the image just the way you want it. I know I had to really take some time and "test" different setttings to get the "look" I wanted. There are so many features and settings, I think you would have to be more specific on the look you wanted and in what mode you we're shooting. Ie, 60i, 24p, 30p and so on. I guess you could just shoot full auto out of the box, but to achieve a certain look you're going to have to be more specific, then maybe we can help you achieve the look you want.
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Old May 24th, 2007, 09:19 AM   #6
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I think it's an 'apples to oranges' comparison, asking for a cheat sheet for a video camera that is similar to ones for still cameras.

The 'output' of a still camera is a single static shot, whereas the output of a video camera is a recording of a time based linnear sequence... and as such the process of aquiring that output is by nature, a dynamic process.

In other words, read the manual.
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Old May 24th, 2007, 10:58 AM   #7
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I do agree with Richard, reading the manual is your best bet. The XL2 can seem a little intimidating at first. This is why you need to go out and play around with all the settings. It is going to take a while to get the camera down, but once you do become familiar with all the possibilities that this camera provides, you will be very pleased.

This is not a camera that is meant for point and shoot type applications. Canon primarily designed this camera for independant digital filmmakers, and they did a very good job at it. After working with this camera, you should be able to pick up just about any dv camera and be able to figure it out very quickly.

You may also want to check out the XL2 feature tour, if you haven't already. It has helped me tremendously!

"Patience is a virtue" and it pays off!
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Old May 24th, 2007, 12:10 PM   #8
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Yeah, you're right, everyone. I just HATE reading manuals. They're boring. Bah! Why can't manufacturers make interesting, colorful, humorous yet informative manuals, especially when you're paying many thousands of dollars for their product? It is draconian!
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Old May 24th, 2007, 03:28 PM   #9
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(**Soapbox/snobby alert**) As far as a "cheat sheet", if you're calling a feature on the camera a "doohickey", I don't think you deserve to:

A: Call yourself as a videographer
2: Own/use the XL2, or any camera for that matter

(Boy, I'm going to get some hate mail...oh well)

I think there's too many people out there with "cameras" who think they know what it takes to shoot video or film (which I understand is a whole other ballgame). This is an art...something, in a perfect world, only those who are serious about what they do should perform. I have no problem with people wanting to learn...I had to learn at some point and ask for help. I still do. I guess I'm just saying that if you really want to learn (and look professional), don't go around calling something a "doohickey". You're just not going to get any respect and you're going to look like an idiot. The manuals are they way they are becuase they're geared toward people who know what the hell they're doing. I'm not the best videographer in the world, nor do I claim to know everything there is about the camera and how to shoot. It's like getting a car and not knowing how to drive. Sure, ya gotta start somewhere, but that's what the manuals and research are for. Nothing is easy. Just my $.02 (**Getting of soapbox now**)

That said, if you don't want to READ a manual, why not WATCH a manual with dvcreators.net's XL2 demo video (and no, I don't work for dvcreators.net)

Watch it and download it here.
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Old May 24th, 2007, 03:50 PM   #10
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Well said Jon. It took me 6 months of daily experimenting with this camera to get it to do what I want and find my desired looks in all the respective shooting modes. My advise is that you by a case of tapes and shoot the hell out of it. There are no training wheels for this camera or any other in its class. It will do what you want it to once you have invested hours of time in it. You'll cheat yourself if you try to find a work around for this camera.
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Old May 24th, 2007, 03:54 PM   #11
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Right, Mike. I agree that experimentation is a great way to learn. For someone like me who doesn't have a lot of money (I don't own my camera...it's my work's camera) I'd buy a cheaper, lower-end camera to practice with. Save some money. Get to know how things work, so that when you get a camera like the XL2 (or DVX-100, HVX-200, GL-1, etc.), you know how different features affect your final product.

Again, nothing comes easy.

Jonathan
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Old May 25th, 2007, 02:23 PM   #12
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Well I'm going to go against the grain here and say that I think the idea of a handy function reference card is a GOOD idea!

I don't think Vishad is asking for a 'how do I make good video' cheat sheet - just a concise 'which menu do I open to find x feature'.

I have owned (and used almost daily) an XL2 for about 9 months. I am certainly NOT snobby enough to claim that I am an expert or that I have learned every feature of this camera. But I AM a professional videographer with a substantial body of well received work under my belt and a client list that keeps me very busy. In fact I have more work than I can cope with at the moment and I don't have the luxury of being able to experiment at will!

A simple reference card would have saved me some embarrassment and ten minutes of my clients time this morning when I couldn't remember how to engage Clear Scan to cleanly shoot a computer screen (no I don't take the manual with me at all times).

More to the point, my memory is DIRE and unless I use a particular feature again and again I simply will not remember it. That doesn't make me a bad videographer I hope. That little card, tucked away in my portabrace, would be my friend.

Not wanting to pick a fight Jonathan, but I think you may have gone a bit overboard on Vishad's use of the word doohickey!
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Old May 25th, 2007, 03:18 PM   #13
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Ian...no offense taken by your post. I know that you know the ins and outs enough to make an intelligent response. I've taken advice from ya a couple of times.

After thinking it over, maybe I used some harsh words, and maybe I was more incensed by the term "doohickey" than a cheat sheet, but I still believe there is a difference between amatuer and professional. As I mentioned before, I don't claim to be Supervideographer either. I only mentioned the snobby part as a sarcastic warning. I am not snobby by any means. I think I am in the same boat as you experience-wise. And maybe Vishad used "doohickey" to make the post more light-hearted...I don't know, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.

But if he wasn't using it that way, it just illustrates the difference between amatuer and professional. Not experience-wise, but just how you present yourself. I guess e-mail/posts don't show emotion and I took the term out of context, maybe. I just don't believe that bagging on the manual and using words like "doohickey" don't get you anwhere. I'll admit I forget how to do some things, but think about it this way: You're on a shoot and you forget how to do something and your client says, "What's wrong?", and you say "Well, this doohickey is supposed to do something but I can't get into the menu to change this thingamajig so I can make the video look like whatever." Your client is going to say, "I hired this guy? Never again." It's about professionalism. You can know everything about anything, but if you don't present yourself that way, no one's going to take you seriously.

Whew...probably one of the longest, most (***shudder***) elitist posts I've ever written! I hate those. Sorry. Then again, maybe we need a bit of elitism to separate some of the trash we see circulating out there (and that's not directed at Vishad). It's the kind of competition that makes everyone strive to be better at what they do.

Jonathan
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Old May 25th, 2007, 03:29 PM   #14
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Cool Jonathan, thanks! Actually, I was being a bit lighthearted in mentioning it - I wasn't berating you for your post or suggesting you were being unreasonable! Honest guv (as we say over here, after the few beers I may or may not have already had).

Yeah, I think he meant it in a flippant, chatty way too. I do agree with you though - nothing gives us a bad name more than a man who buys a camera and is instantly a 'professional'. Don't think Vishad is one of those guys though.

And you think yours was a long post? Take a look at some of my major efforts! You want verbose? I do verbose.

Cheers!

Ian . . .
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Old May 25th, 2007, 03:46 PM   #15
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Ian...

Cheers back at ya!

Jonathan
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