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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 January 30th, 2007, 09:00 PM   #1
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XL H1 and cold weather conditions

This is my first (of many) threads, and first of all i would just like to say how much insight and knowledge these discussions have given me, so i want to say thank you, to all of you.

so...

-within the next month i have somewhat of a large music video shoot taking place overnight in the exterior and interior of an abandoned warehouse, and to be set in a snow storm (might be burdened with doing it artificially). With that said i will be in upstate new york, and it will be very cold, most likely somewhere around 10-20 degrees. i was wondering what precautions if any would need to be taken to protect the equipment. We will be shooting with a canon xl h1 and xh a1 and the canon hdv tapes. Will the cold have adverse effects on equipment and tape stock?
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Old January 31st, 2007, 12:37 AM   #2
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i think the batteries will just last a lot shorter than they normally would, other than that, i thinkyou will be fine.
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Old January 31st, 2007, 01:00 AM   #3
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Benjamin, I live in northern part of Europe experience lot of cold from time to time. Recently I upgraded from Canon XL-2 to XLH1 so my experience is made from both camcorders.
It's a very robust and sturdy camcorder which stand the cold very well. I have not experienced any issue with neither lens or tapemechanism even after several days out in the cold. I use the large 970G batteries which is very powerful.

The only thing I will point is the viewfinder which can be very difficult to work with as this thread shows:
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=84881
In the cold you will experience even more smear than normal. As mentioned in the thread above using small heaters around the viewfinder will help. Putting a camcorderjacket around the whole body with heaters will also keep it healthy, extending the battery life.

Also be careful when going from cold to warm environments due to condensations. In any case let the camcorder get proper acclimatization before use!
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 07:55 PM   #4
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thanks guys
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 11:42 PM   #5
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when dealing with with rapidly changing weather, (such as walking from a warm interior into a very cold exterior, or vice versa) it is important to keep an eye out for fogging in the lens... it will go away but it could cost you some time. the solution is to let the camera change temperatures gradually. at rock concerts for instance it is typically pretty warm and humid on stage so usually i'll bring the camera out from backstage a good 20 minutes before the band starts so that if the lens fogs it will have time to clear up.
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Old February 4th, 2007, 10:36 PM   #6
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I shoot with a portabrace polar case and heat packs in cold weather. It's not just the camera its also your hands, you can't operate a camera with gloves. When going from cold/dry to warm/humid condensation can form inside the camera rendering it inoperable.

Per - I watched your musk ox vid, great work and the beaver safari. What sort of tripod/head do you use? Do you use any brace for shooting shoulder mount?
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Old February 5th, 2007, 02:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Bennett
Per - I watched your musk ox vid, great work and the beaver safari. What sort of tripod/head do you use? Do you use any brace for shooting shoulder mount?
Doug, my tripod system is a Miller Arrow HD:
http://www.millertripods.com/product...&productID=224
This "beast" of a tripod-system gives me nice footage even when I use large ef-lenses and focal length.

I know it can seem a bit overkill to place a small Canon XL-series on this tripod, but when using ef-lenses, I also need to use a rail to support both lens and camcorder. I use the Ronsrail-system: http://ronsrail.com/ This gives a total weight of the camcorder + accessories up to 8 kg (16 lbs)

If you take a look at the muskox part V video:
http://video-film.no/snutter/muskox5.html or http://video-film.no/snutter/muskox5.mov (for downloading),
there is a severe wind blowing in the end of the film. In the scene where you can see the muskoxen laying and a small youngster struggle in the wind, I have used a Sigma 300mm f/2.8 lens. This give a focal length of 2340mm on the Canon XL2. I don't think I could have managed so steady footage without this rock steady tripod.

Best;
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Old February 9th, 2007, 02:19 PM   #8
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Per - using that rig you cannot be using a polar case, what temperatures are you shooting in? How do you keep hands/camera warm?
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Old December 5th, 2007, 11:52 AM   #9
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Hey I was hoping someone could give me some good advice. I'm currently working on a project and will be shooting with the Canon XL H1 in the North American Rockies. Temperatures will range from -20 to 30 degrees farhenheit, and it will be very snowy. I've already read this thread and gotten some good information, but is there anyone who can tell me what I need to make sure to have? I just want to make sure I don't screw up the camera, and this will really be my first "feature length" if you could call it that so I'm not sure of what to buy. I was also looking at a shotgun mic that hooks on to the camera so I wouldn't have to worry about holding one. Also, I know this may sound very novice, but what is the smear on the viewfinder that everyone keeps talking about? Sorry guys, I'm new! : ) Can anyone help me?

(A list would be excellent!)

Thanks,
Anthony
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Old December 5th, 2007, 12:54 PM   #10
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for the camera its very simple - you need a portabrace polar coat, handwarmers and plenty of extra batteries. Keep spare batteries and tapes inside your clothes.

Standing around shooting in those temps is no joke. I did a shoot for Porsche last winter outside Vail (9000 feet) - temperatures dipped to the lowest on record.
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Old December 5th, 2007, 12:58 PM   #11
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Slightly off topic but does anyone know if the FU-1000 suffers from the same "smearing" as the LCD when in colder temps? If not, then I'd highly recommend this or some other monitor as the default one becomes mush if it is too cold.

Peace
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Old December 6th, 2007, 11:52 AM   #12
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Yea I'm going to be shooting at Keystone, which is roughly an hour east of Vail and sits at 10,400 feet at the base. So it will definately be cold. Does it matter what kind of batteries I get? And how many would you recomend for maybe 5-10 hours at one time?
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Old December 6th, 2007, 12:28 PM   #13
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I shot for a few weeks up in the Yukon/North West Territory, and the village of Tuk. Outside temps -35 at times. 3 hrs on a dog sled, hanging outside on the vehicle. The XLH1 really performed well. After the dog sled adventure, the lens was quite slow and had a hard time focusing. I used and have the Porta Brace winter jacket along with the heat packs, this helped quite a bit. But mostly I shot without it while up in Tuk and the ride back home to AZ. MY hand were generally frozen ( hard to wear even the silk gloves.)

The Canon BP-970G Lithium-Ion Battery Packs (7.2v, 7200mAh) really surprised me at how well they held a charge. I didn't notice any drop in available use time. The tape and transport did not give any issues. We did keep the vehicle cold while driving to keep the lens condensation to a minimum.

The camera and lens are much more robust than I first thought it would be.

you can read about the trip and see some footage - http://desertdudefilms.com/
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Old December 7th, 2007, 01:12 AM   #14
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Can you tell me exactly which model of Portabrace winter jacket and which warming packs you used? I went to the B&H site and couldn't find a Portabrace specifically for the XLH1.

We'll be shooting in Big Bear California at night for 5 nights. That's not exactly polar . Is a Portabrace really necessary if we keep the batteries warm?

Many thanks,

Harry
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Old December 7th, 2007, 01:34 AM   #15
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Harry,
I think you'll be fine without any heat solutions for the batteries! Just find a jacket who will fit your H1, take a search at B&H for XL2 jackets too, their exactly the same camcorder in size!
My tips about batteries is to store them in a warm place when not in use. If you're out in the wild, keep them in pockets inside your sweather/jacket and you'll fine!
The BP-970G are very long lasting, even i though winter conditions,
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