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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 May 31st, 2007, 08:54 AM   #1
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Location: Carlsbad, CA
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Travel Pack Solution!

I know there have been many threads regarding travel packs and the XL2. I just got back from filming another surf adventure in El Salvador and thought I would throw in my experience--as I have gleaned so much good advice through this site.

First let me say that I carry all my film equipment with the exception of my tripod on board.

My last trip I used the Lowepro Photo Trekker II AW --a great pack--but pretty much killed my back carrying through airports. I also had to carry my tripod bag and surfboard bag.

I was determined on the next trip to find a bit more comfort and after much research went with the the Lowepro Road Runner AW (which I lucked out and purchased on Ebay for 150.00).

I was able to carry in the Road Runner pack--
my XL2
2 Sennheiser systems with wireless mikes
1 shotgun mike and shock mount
cables for sound equip.
100-400 Canon lens
EF Adapter
miriad of filters
10 tapes
Bogen zoom control
4 batteries
battery charger
Charger for my Canon 20D
Charger for my video ipod
charger for cell phone
Misc. cleaning cloths and tools
Repair kit for UW housing

I also carried on board my canon 20D and a GL2 in an underwater housing(custom built by DelMar housings)

and on this trip I travelled solo--so no one else helped with any of these items.

With the Road Runner I was able to strap my tripod bag over the handle of the RR as well as the bag I used for the GL2 which was in the UW housing
and the 20D in case also over the handle.

I was able to wheel all of the above with my left hand and carry my board bag with my right hand......fairly comfortably!!

I was worried that they wouldn't let me carry so much on board--but I had no problems.

On location I would have liked to have used the Photo Trekker--just more comfortable when you do have to carry it on your back...but gladly sacrificed that for the ease of movement with the RR wheels.

Bottom line if your carrying a lot of extra equipment and the Xl2 I would highly recommend the Road Runner!

Thanks for all who input info on this site--it has been the most valuable resource for the "tricks and tips" that make filming easier and better!!

Ron
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Old May 31st, 2007, 09:31 AM   #2
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Thanks for the report, Ron. I'd be interested in seeing how all that fit...could you re-pack it an post a picture? Being a visual person, I think that might give me a better idea how it helped you out.

Jonathan
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Old June 5th, 2007, 08:38 AM   #3
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Repack

Sorry Jonathan--already unpacked---but I could send some pics of the next trip's packing---

The key for me going through airports is the wheels on the Road Runner--going though customs in LA can take up to an hour or more--the wheels are a backsaver!!

and then breaking the cam down--and packing in layers--using foam and the inserts in between so no piece of equipment touches another--


Ron
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Old June 5th, 2007, 09:36 AM   #4
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Thanks, Ron. I look forward to seeing how you packed the camera. I can understand how the wheels help, seeing as how I cram everything into a PortaBrace and carry it on the plane...my shoulder kills me every time. I have a Pelican case that I use sometimes as well. But the only problem I see with it (and with the Road Runner) is that you have to break the camera down. When you get to your destination, what do you carry your camera in? Or do you break it down every day? That, to me, seems a waste of time.

Jonathan
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Old June 6th, 2007, 07:39 PM   #5
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Cam breakdown

First of all breaking the cam down is simply taking off the viewfinder--I even leave the lens shade on figuring it gives the lens a little more protection.

Once I am there I am not carrying the cam around all day on my back--I have found that I can set the cam up put it in the pack--with what I need for the shoot--carry it out to my shooting destination set up so that all I have to do is pull it out of the bag--mount it on my tripod and shoot. Not really that much different than your port a brace.

I suppose that if I were carrying it around a lot where it needed to be on my back--I would use the backpack straps that come with the bag.

For me candidly where I am shooting most of the time--we pull up to a location in a vehicle--tripod comes out--cam comes out of bag--I mount it on the tripod--put the strap (that I leave on the cam) around my neck(just in case)--and carry the tripod and cam setup to the ideal shooting spot.

I would probably have gone with the Port a Brace--except that I don't think all the equipment mentioned would fit--and even if it did--walking through the airport with a shoulder strap--would be a back killer--

like I said I did that on my first trip--woke up with a stiff neck and couldn't surf the next day.

I can't tell you how much easier the last trip was with the RR with the wheels!!
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Old June 6th, 2007, 10:17 PM   #6
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I have no way near the equipment that Ron has, but I have made 2 trips each to Guatemala and Ecuador with the XL H1 packed in to a standard carry on bag. I have the camera, batteries, charger, and a Tokina 80-200mm lens tucked away under the batteries. The outside pockets hold cables, tapes, and misc hardware that I use to secure the H1 and Tokina together. One piece of 2" foam, not shown, covers the top of the equipment. In all the airports I went through, I was never require to open the bag. My travel bag, along with the tripod bag I check. Not pretty, but it does the job, considering it has been banged around and dropped with never any damaged to the contents. In no way am I saying what I have done is a final solution, but just another option.
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Old June 7th, 2007, 08:51 AM   #7
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Travel Bag

Hey Don--you kind of helped me get into the video world--good to see ya here!!

I actually thought about your idea as well---being that the cam is with you the whole time --if I were carrying a lesser amount of equipment--I'd be inclined to go in that direction.

The other reasons that prompted me to go with the RR was the fact that I got it on Ebay for half the price--and it is a sturdy well padded pack---and it looks like I'll be making a number of trips.

For me I even thought that if I did need a smaller backpack on the other end--I could pack it empty in my boardbag--so I'd have it when I got to my destination....could be a Portabrace.

I also carry on board my Gl2 in an underwater housing--that goes in a simple cloth bag with no padding with just a shoulder strap

and my Canon 20d with 10-22 in a tamrac.

Going though the airport--I loop the straps of the Gl2 bag and the tamrac around the handle of the pullout handle for the RR bag so that I have nothing around my neck at all.

AGain whether it's Don's solution or a the pricier one--the point is that using a bag with wheels when traveling through airports makes life a lot easier!!!
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Old June 7th, 2007, 12:18 PM   #8
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Ron, thanks for the clarification. I also meant that breaking down the camera meant taking off the viewfinder only. I keep the lens on when I use the Pelican case...it's just a hassle for me to break it down all the time. My situation is I go to 4 or 5 locations a day on some of my trips, usually about 10 minutes apart from each other, so I would need to keep the camera attached all the time in a safe place. That's why I'm thinking that I will pack the camera, broken down, into the pelican case as carry-on, and then check my empty PortaBrace as baggage. Then, when I get to the hotel, put the camera together, and use the PortaBrace in the car. Haven't tried it yet, but that's just what I was thinking. Next time I pack it, I'll post pics.

And true, the wheels do help!

Jonathan
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