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Canon XL H Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XL H1S (with SDI), Canon XL H1A (without SDI). Also XL H1.


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Old December 18th, 2005, 01:37 AM   #16
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Thats good to know! When I think back to some of my earlier jobs on OB's I can remember having used equipment in the past and the gear was in portabrace bags, the cameras and tripods were well protected and had lots of pockets!

So I think its the way i'll go, maybe I'll get a large pelican later on if I need an extra bag with serious protection just for transport locally.
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Old December 18th, 2005, 08:06 AM   #17
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I used hard cases back in the days when I shipped cameras on airplanes, but anymore if I fly I carry it on. It's a lot easier to work out of a Portabrace bag. And, as you say, they have lots of pockets. Petrol bags look good too, but I've always used Portabrace. I probably have 8 or 10 for various pieces of gear now, and have had many others in the past that got sold with the old gear.
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Old January 9th, 2006, 02:56 PM   #18
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I am also looking for a good case. I think the PortaBrace HKP-3 will be outstanding. I am walking in the nature and don't like to carry it for a long time on one shoulder. Better to have the hands free and put the bag on the back for long walks. But for a short move I can carry it on one shoulder or in one hand if I like to be more prepared for anything quickly coming up.

I tried the HKP-3L today which is similar but has a computer pocket. This seems to put too much pressure on the viewfinder or microphone in my opinion. Will work if you separate the VF/mic from the camera.

The HKP-3 has a special external pocket around the viewfinder to protect it better. Think this will be much better. Plenty of space behind the camera for any mount with battery and/or microphone receiver. If you know anything better please write in here.
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Old January 29th, 2006, 02:52 AM   #19
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I just would like to say that the HKP-3 bag from PortaBrace is exceptionally great for the XL H1 camera. It is particularly well suited as it looks the measurements were done for this camera (and XL-2 series of course).

There is not much excessive space around the camera except for on the back of it where you will have space enough for larger battery pack or wireless equipment, (about 14 cm free space behind the shoulder pad).
If you don't use external packs you just put in a velcroed divider and you get a room for tapes and other stuff.

At the front lens there is about 9 cm space for hood (6 cm) or maybe matte-box (havn't tried the last yet).

You have four ways of carrying it, as a bag with wide comfortable leather handles, with the top up using another handle, as a backpacker with hidden straps or on your shoulder using an optional hook on strap.

The camera rests on a pillow and could be tied down with a strap.

The fabric is nice and tough with strong looking zippers which could be locked with a padlock.

I was afraid the bag should be too heavy because the manufacturer lists the weight to 12 lbs (!). However, the actual weight is much less, my package in a cardboard box and another small item weighed 9.8 totally.

The whole bag is padded and soft inside with a hidden protectice plastic box around, probably some kind of double wall air filled corrugated plates giving it shock absorbing, insulation and not much weight. When you compress the walls with you thingers the walls are still about 2 cm thick and soft so there is plenty of shock absorption. There is a great half hard extension made for the viewfinder to protrude into.

You could attach a tripod on the outside.

I do definitely recommend this bag if you carry your camera supervised or by yourself.
But it does not offer enough protection for checked in luggage. Never stand on the bag nor put any heavy load on top of it.

Be careful you don't get the HKP-3L bag. This is not wide enough and will put excessive force on the viewfinder if you dont remove it every time.

Nice feature is the packbacker straps. They are completely invisible when not used and nobody else even thinks its a backpacker so it looks quite professional.
But when you need to carry it a long distance together with other stuff, you turn it into a quite good backpacker in 5-10 seconds.

This is one of the very few things I have bought where I have not yet discovered how to improve the design.
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Old January 30th, 2006, 01:13 AM   #20
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Johan, First off thanks for your review of the HKP-3 Portabrace bag. Only question I have Is the HKP-3 bag small enough for airline carry on?

Cheers,
Ash
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Old January 30th, 2006, 02:24 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashley Hosking
Johan, First off thanks for your review of the HKP-3 Portabrace bag. Only question I have Is the HKP-3 bag small enough for airline carry on?

Cheers,
Ash
Thank you Ashley,
I have not checked the actual limits, I would appreciate if you could do?
My actual bag is: length 67 cm, height 32 cm and thickness 27 cm (at the viewfinder extension which could be compressed a bit. The thickness of the boxy part is only 17 cm and the rest of the extrenal pockets could of course be kept empty if required. (You will get this metric exercise for free. One inch is 2.54 cm.)

Good if you could find out. However, I think you have to tamper with the regulations anyway because of the weight limit for carry on luggage. The bag seems smaller than what I have seen other people carry onboard but still, you will never pass the 5, 6 or 8 kg limit when the bag is loaded with camera and other stuff.

I will try to carry it onboard next time. Good thing with the backpacker is you could keep it on your back when you check in your other luggage and they will not notice the bag very much nor tell you to take it down to the scale ...

Good luck /Johan

PS. Sorry Ash, Missed your location ... have you gone metric down there?
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Old January 30th, 2006, 07:15 AM   #22
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There's a airplane icon at the product page of the HKP3, so that means you can have it with you.

I just bought a XL H1 with mattebox and V-mount battery adapter. Everything fits in a Portabrace CTC 3:

http://portabrace.com/product_detail_C.php?id=2952
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Old January 31st, 2006, 12:45 PM   #23
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Kata Bags work well too...

I just purchased the Kata ccc-10 (medium) for my Xl H1 and I really like it. It's not too bulky, but it still it's still rigid and holds everything nicely.

*it is really great for travel too! I had no problems getting it on the plane..which is more than I can say for other camera bags I've tried...

BH lists it at $250 or so, but they can email you a price that is less than $200, so I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a decent, inexpensive bag.
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Old February 26th, 2006, 06:41 PM   #24
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Trick of the trade

"...my last trip from Tokyo to Australia the airline said my carry on case was over the allowance and made me put it in with the regular baggage."

I have been going a lot with flights shooting stills. Here is a trick, bulletproof (nearly) to get you and your beloved and heavy camera on board. I would never, never, never send my H1 in the regular cargo. Have you seen the guys unloading luggage in Capetown for example?

1. Don't bring your camerabag to check in. But bring a small bag or something - if they want to see what you want to carry on.
2. Retriew your avfull heavy H1 bag, go to gate. If there is a argue at the gate, just tell the personal, that you wont fly today, if you not allowed to carry onboard. If you don't go, they have to unload the cargo of the whole plane, and pull your bags out. It won't happen!
3. You can also put some of the gear in tax-free plastic bags. They never weight plastic bags! I know a photographer who always brought his whole gear in plastics! And they never asked once.

So which one is best for flying, Kata CCC-10 or the Tamrac 2249? Does XL H1 fit into the nice looking Tamrac bag? But again, maybe I will never be on a plane again after this message!
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Last edited by Jonas Nystrom; February 27th, 2006 at 01:49 PM.
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Old February 26th, 2006, 07:36 PM   #25
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I had one flight where the box over the X-ray conveyer had a smaller than normal opening, and my Portabrace bag wouldn't go through. I took the camera out, shoved the bag through, then let the camera go through. Then I put it back in the bag and all was well.
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Old October 27th, 2006, 11:38 PM   #26
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So, what is up with the bags everyone? I am orientating myself on a good bag for my soon to be purchased XL-H1. I think I will be using a bag and not a case as I am planning to do a lot of wildlife shooting with it. Another important thing (but not the most important thing) is that it can be carried on-board on an airplane as carry-on luggage.

The bags I am considering are Kata, Porta Brace and Camrade.
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Old October 28th, 2006, 03:16 AM   #27
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I have the Kata and I would definitely recommend it. It holds my cam (H1)fully rigged even with the dual 970 battery holder on (as well as the mic). It's great because you can access it quick and be shooting literally in seconds. It also has a metal cross-brace in the top that lines up well to protect the EVF.

I have carried it on a plane (Boeing 737) with no problems, it was slightly over the legal length but under the weight limit. I did take my batteries off to be sure it was underweight.

I also have a metal dinosaur case, which i rarely use.
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Old October 28th, 2006, 03:43 AM   #28
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Hi Floris,
I think I have about the same considerations as you.
After evaluating most of the bags I finally selected the PortaBrace Hiker Pro (HKP-2).
It is just the right size for this camera! It holds the camera fully assembled with viewfinder, mic with better wind protection, rear bracket with Anton Bauer Dionic 90 battery. Then there is spare room in front of the lens, about the length for some 5-packs of tapes. Here also a LED light (Zylight) fits.
Inside pocket for white balance card and some small stuff.
Outside pockets carry rain protection, Titan 70 charger, tripod ties, large plastic bag in case of rain, cleaning tape and more. Also a sandwich box and 1 liter of water and a spare T-shirt or so.

Best of all: It fits like a backpacker and it is quite comfortable to walk long distances loaded with about 12 kg of stuff. One day I walked about 16 km in the mountains of Crete. Took up the camera 100 times. Your hands are free for steep climbs. For short distances you can carry it in your hands or on your shoulder too with soft real leather grips.

This bag have very good quality. Good protection for the viewfinder and camera. Camera rests with the rear part down putting no stress on the lens.
There is not much else I could wish in this case!
However, I would not check-in this bag with the camera. Bag is not enough protective for that kind of transportation. There are composite panels making the sides of the box rigid but still soft. Protection is enough for safe transport in cars etc.

I have had it on planes a couple of times without problems but I know they are now restricting the hand luggage at least in Europe so I don't know what will happen next time. A loaded bag will be over weight and over size but reasonable.
These restrictions will make my kind of travel difficult if we don't get excemptions like the musicians who are allowed to take their instruments onboard because instruments can be too expensive to check-in! (I think camcorders also are too expensive for check-in.)

The drawback could be I prefer to put the bag on the ground when I like to take up the camera and it takes a few seconds to get ready for shooting. (Bag opens similar to a suitcase.) So, if you work from the shoulder another type of bag could be faster/better. (A bag where you lift the camera up while the bag is hanging on your shoulder.) However, these kind of bags are not funny to walk a whole day with.
BTW Floris, where in Europe are you located? Holland?

Good luck with your choice and footage! /Johan
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Old October 28th, 2006, 05:14 AM   #29
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Hey, thanks for the feedback. I am located in Holland, in the southern part of it. You live in Sweden I see? I am planning to go there next summer.
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Old October 28th, 2006, 05:37 AM   #30
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Have you ever considered getting a tailor made case? It's not that expensive, and the good thing is that aluminium cases are strudy enough to let them go in cargo when you travel by airplane. I did not want to test my chances with the airlines, and thus, got cases made for all my equipments. Here's an image of my XL H1 case and one of the accessories case.

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