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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 April 26th, 2006, 09:52 AM   #1
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FU-1000 question(s)

At the suggestion of several contributors to this site I am considering buying the FU-1000 viewfinder, but I have some questions. I could try to get the info from a retailer, but the people here seem to know more what they're talking about.

NOTE: I generally shoot handheld, often for hours at a time in situations that are non-repeatable (I make documentaries)...

First concern, I realize that this finder is over 4 times heavier than the stock one... Is the weight significantly noticeable when handling the camera? (for instance I use a light weight matte box to save weight)...

Second, because of the increased power consumption (12w) I would be forced to use the rear mounted Anton Bauer batteries - this adds weight, but does tend to balance the camera better fore-aft... Has anyone used this type of external battery with this finder? - and should I anticipate any problems? (I use the Anton Bauer plate that slides into the battery compartment)...

Third, I understand that the battery level metter doesn't work, but are there any other finder-info issues (such as aspect ratio)? Are there warning LEDs for "shutter" and "gain"? Does the "record" LED work correctly?

Fourth, because the fore-aft adjustment of the eyepiece is integral with the eyepiece tube, it seems that the FU-1000's position may be back farther than the stock unit slid all the way forward on it's rods (which is where I set it).. Is it possible to adjust the FU-1000 so the camera isn't too far forward on the shoulder?

Thax in advance, Steve Rosen
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Old April 26th, 2006, 11:06 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Rosen

Fourth, because the fore-aft adjustment of the eyepiece is integral with the eyepiece tube, it seems that the FU-1000's position may be back farther than the stock unit slid all the way forward on it's rods (which is where I set it).. Is it possible to adjust the FU-1000 so the camera isn't too far forward on the shoulder?

Thax in advance, Steve Rosen
The Light Waves System S1-XL1 would help to move the complete viewfinder forward so that the camera sits further back on your shoulder. I use it together with the MM-XL1 on my XL2 and find it very useful to provide a better central balance.

I've read quite a few contact-blow problems with people owning the FU-1000 - Try to do a search for past posts on this subject.

The main reason that I have not bought the B/W finder (other than the high price) is the mentioned battery consumption/battery surge problems, and the most important of all is that I find colour to be a vital aspect of how I frame key subjects during the shoot, and find it much more difficult in plain black & white.
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Old April 26th, 2006, 11:24 AM   #3
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I run one of myXL-2 cameras with an 'eng' configuration. FU-1000, 16x manual lens (which helps subtract weight from the front of the camera), and AB brick on the rear plate. It's a pretty balanced rig overall. I can always put a larger battery on the back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Rosen
Third, I understand that the battery level metter doesn't work, but are there any other finder-info issues (such as aspect ratio)? Are there warning LEDs for "shutter" and "gain"? Does the "record" LED work correctly?
You may be thinking of the XL1/1s cameras that had to use the adapter in the battery tray to power the FU-1000. The XL2 added built in support so the battery life meter works. There are no record, shutter, and gain indicators in the FU1000. It does however, correctly switch aspect ratios like the stock v/f.

I could also put the isolator on but with the 16x manual lens, the front of the v/f would almost overhang the lens at that point and it kind of bothers me aesthetically.

-gb-
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Old April 26th, 2006, 11:59 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Boston

I could also put the isolator on but with the 16x manual lens, the front of the v/f would almost overhang the lens at that point and it kind of bothers me aesthetically.

-gb-
I found that the isolater works well and balances nicely with the 16X MF lens (at least until someone stole the lens - and a mountain of other equipment - last week in Spain).

I agree that the manual lens is a lot lighter than the 20X AF lenses and that more counter-weight is needed on the back of the XL2 (or H1) when the AF lens is used.

Maybe when the 6X lens arrives, the H1 (and XL2) will balance better.

I leave a huge quick-release tripod plate permanantly on the bottom of my camcorders, and this together with the Sony radio mics helps to provide balance for shoulder work. I'd like to say that my Canon dual battery holder also helps...but that was stolen as well...
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Old April 26th, 2006, 12:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Davies-Patrick
I leave a huge quick-release tripod plate permanantly on the bottom of my camcorders, and this together with the Sony radio mics helps to provide balance for shoulder work.
Sorry to hear about the loss of equipment. I absolutely hate thieves. I too have the TA-100 adapters but I don't leave the entire plate assembly when I remove the cam from the sticks. Interesting idea though. Thanks, Tony.

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Old April 26th, 2006, 01:02 PM   #6
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I also depend on color for composition.. but I can keep my left eye open, and that does help (I shot for years with a B&W finder - DSR300, which I admittedly hated after 20 years of shooting with film cameras)..

Problem is, as everyone knows by now, fast critical manual focus is a pain with this lens - and, as I posted before, the barrel difference between 50ft and inf. is so slight that it's very difficult to dial in - kinda like using a mouse with the acceleration set too high...

However, judging from these responses, it looks like I'll have to live with turning auto-focus on and off... oh well, it'll save me 1600 bucks...
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Old April 28th, 2006, 02:26 AM   #7
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You might want to read this, Steve:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=66139
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Old April 28th, 2006, 08:22 AM   #8
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Steve,
The main negative for me is that it drains the battery much faster. there is a battery level meter, though.
It is heavier, but I've gotten used to it. I use the Anton Bauer gold mount and a dionic 90 battery. If you're just powering the camera, it will last for hours. Also, that extra weight on the back does help to balance it out.I've heard about that light wave adaptor, but haven't needed it.
I also sometimes use an on camera Frezzi 50 watt mini fill, which i power from the AB battery. At times I'ved used the canon batteries for the camera (and viewfinder), and the Anton Baur for the light.
To complicate matters even more, I have a firestore FS 4 which attaches on a bracket behind the AB battery. I have a 4 way plug adaptor fro the AB which would allow me to power (if I wanted) evrything off of the big battery.
I bought the fu 1000 to help me focus. I'm 58, and my eyes aren't what they used to be, so I wanted any help I could get. It would be nice to hve color,though. The worst no color problem I had was when I onced used the wrong wb preset, and couldn't tell till I watched the blue footage on my monitor latter(one of the three custom presets).
All things considered, I'm pretty happy with it.
Bruce Yarock
P.S.- With all that gear on my xl2, a friend joked that it looks like a rocket launcher.
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Old April 28th, 2006, 11:54 AM   #9
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Tony: I searched around and found some reported problems with the finder too.. something I can't afford to have happen since I'm constantly in need of my camera and don't currently have a backup...

Bruce: Yeah, I know what you mean - with the Anton Bauer battery and wireless receiver on back and the large Chroziel matte box and my custom mini-rod mounted grips on front I think I would have serious problems getting thru airport security..

I too am fighting the curses of age - at 62 I'm still handholding, shooting verite style documentaries, something I've been doing for over 40 years...

Shot last night in a dark bar.. the auto focus wouldn't work because of the low lite and general lack of contrast and I really had to strain these old eyes to find focus with this damned finder.. The pictures are fine, though, but it's just more work than it needs to be... I'm going to experiment more with the Varizoom LCD.. It's actually lighter than the FU-1000, draws less power, and should work well in low lite situations... although mounted to my left grip it will add to the intimidating look of the camera...Steve Rosen
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Old April 28th, 2006, 11:59 AM   #10
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Steve,
Can you send me a link to varizoom lcd you mentioned?
Thanks
Bruce Yarock
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Old April 28th, 2006, 12:00 PM   #11
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Steve,
I forgot to ask...Do you use an on cam light for any of the night time stuff you do?
Bruce yarock
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Old April 28th, 2006, 03:31 PM   #12
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Bruce - go to the Varizoom site, it's explained there (the 7" 16x9).. B&H has it for about 50 bucks less... I got the kit because it includes the hood and battery, which I can use when the monitor's off the camera - on the camera I would power it from the 12v tap on the Anton Bauer Gold Mount... I've never actually used it though.. still working it out... just keep it from collecting dust in my kit.

No, I never use a lite on the camera.. for 2 reasons, well 3 actually..

first, I don't like the look with a front mounted lite, even for fill - never looks natural unless there's time to make it work - so I always try to position myself in a place where the subject is lit nicely from the side, like from a window (if it's day) or a room light at night - I used to be a DP and it's just a personal thing.. In fact when I do lite I try to have my fixtures shoot thru a window or a door so they aren't in the room... inside, a white card or a Variflector is better if you've got the time and a clamp...

second, I work so long sometimes that having anything more on my camera, especially something hot, doesn't appeal to me..

and third, I don't like to have people any more aware of the camera than necessary - a lite is like a beacon - well, a beacon is a lite I guess... Steve Rosen
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Old April 28th, 2006, 03:58 PM   #13
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I am very interested in an on Camera Display.
Specifically because I use a 35mm adapter, I need to see the DOF with more detail than I can see with the viewfinder.
I treid the Vatizoom and it wasn't even as good as the Canon Stock viewfinder in terms of focus. I was very disappointed.
I considered keeping it for steadicam work, but then returned it.
I wish there was an option for less than 1500$
Though I have yet to try the Panasonic 7"

J
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Old April 28th, 2006, 07:13 PM   #14
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I tried a friend's Panasonic and had the same impression you've had of the Varizoom.. it isn't a great sollution.. it is better in SOME cases, I think, because it is larger and gives more of the impression of sharpness, although you are correct, it's really not technically as sharp as the finder - and I do prefer a finder anyway, being a film person..

But, similar to flip out screen, you can wear glasses and it seems you're able to snap areas of focus more accurately.. but, as I said, I haven't really tried it in the real world yet (other than to play back footage in the hotel room)...

A good finder would be awfully nice though... help Canon, we're begging...
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Old April 28th, 2006, 07:42 PM   #15
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The Xenarc monitors have very good resolution and aren't too pricey. They had a modified one attached to the Silicon Imaging camera at NAB. It was nice and crisp. Our sponsor, Ikan, also has some newer monitors with higher vertical resolution which is what's lacking on many smaller LCD screens. It's not a good thing when my boat sonar lcd has better pixel resolution than an on camera monitor. ;-)

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