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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old July 7th, 2003, 12:00 AM   #1
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How do you guys shoot with out an LCD screen?

I'm in the process of getting either a Sony PD-150 or a DVX100. One of the only reasons I'm not going with the XL1S is because there is no LCD screen pop out.

What if you are moving the XL1s up and down, how do you see what you are doing through the view finder? I've always wanted to ask this question. Do you just guess at it? (i.e. Muisc videos, weddings etc.).

What makes you "keep" your XL1s and not getting a DVX100 or other cam?

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Old July 7th, 2003, 04:26 AM   #2
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The viewfinder has two settings, NEAR for the eye up against the eye cup, FAR for viewing at a distance, about arms length. And the viewfinder rotates through about 270 degrees for use from various positions.

I keep the XL1 because it works for me. Even with a camcorder with LCD panel, I rarely use it. If I need a large screen, as when shooting from a tripod, I use an external monitor.
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Old July 7th, 2003, 05:14 AM   #3
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I generally shoot with the XL1s on my shoulder or cradled at my hip. It's a lot more stable that way.

If I need to elevate the camera I can always adjust the viewfinder to compensate for the distance. But that's something that doesn't happen very often.

I've shot for years w/o an LCD so it's not something that I find too essential. It's nice to have, tho.

Dean Sensui
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Old July 7th, 2003, 06:08 AM   #4
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Wow... two people that use the viewfinder. When I had my XL1s, I used the viewfinder too, but I also see most people using an external monitor.
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Old July 7th, 2003, 10:41 AM   #5
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Keith...

If I have the opportunity I'll try to set up a reference monitor. But for the most part I'm working handheld and moving around a lot.

The only other time I'm using a monitor is off a Glidecam. That's with a 7" B/W tv so it doesn't provide any color info. It's just to help frame the shot.

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Old July 7th, 2003, 07:02 PM   #6
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IMHO, we can forget what 'most people' use, use what works best for you in the type of shooting you do... And especially ignore what Joe and Jane Sixpack buy and do.
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Old July 7th, 2003, 11:04 PM   #7
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Buying an external LCD monitor for my XL1 was one of the best purchases yet. Good for framing on a studio style shoot. I always set my LCD up if I'm in studio on a tripod. I love it. However, its mostly useless when shoulder mounting the XL1. Useless outside in the sun too.

Why do I keep the XL1? Because I know what I need, and what I don't. I'm certainly not going to ditch an ultra-reliable camera just because there is something new and slightly better. That's a poor financial game to play.
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Old July 8th, 2003, 12:00 AM   #8
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i concur - tft lcd monitor is cool for xl1

Marshall Electronics and others have great options - I have 5.6" model and it's breathed new life into my XL1 - because you can even have it unattached except for connection cable, you can do things like put camera in tight spots or be in the next room and still know how the shot will come out - the other cams with built-in lcds mean you always have to be "right there" with the camera.
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Old July 8th, 2003, 12:54 AM   #9
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Varizoom external monitors

I was thinking of getting the Varizoom package with hood and battery etc (or rather asking for it for my birthday from the wife...).

I shoot sport mainly (speedway and football) whats the package like? I'm particularly interested in the battery pack for the screen, is it bulky?
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Old July 8th, 2003, 02:48 AM   #10
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I often use the Tiffen TELE-2X with my B&W viewfinder, really gives you the feel of a high rez flip-out B&W panel.
http://www.tiffen.com/tele2x.htm

I also carry a Nebtek-modified Panasonic NEB70XL
http://www.nebtek.com/7inch/neb70.html
in a KATA LCD shoulder case
http://www.kata-bags.com/Item.asp?pi...d=1&ProdLine=1

I will also bring along my SONY PVM-8045Q color field monitor too.

- don
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Old July 8th, 2003, 05:08 PM   #11
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The type of screen is really dependent on the location you shoot and the type of things you shoot.

LCD screens are about useless on a sunny beach. I can put a hood on it, shade it etc. but it rarely is bright enough to do any good. However, under more controlled situations or indoors they can prove invaluable. It's always nice to check focus on a larger screen. One thing to keep in mind is color accuracy. Many small LCD screens only display about 65,000 colors. NTSC video is 16.7 million colors. A big difference when your trying to setup your color.
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Old July 9th, 2003, 02:15 PM   #12
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LCD and EVF

The EVF on my XL1s is tough to use because it's always darker than the actual image. That's why I like to use the LCD monitor or a regular monitor. Of course, that's not always possible so one gets used to compensating for the darker image in the EVF.

Part two of your question is easy: The XL1s is an awesome, very versatile camera. I've got my presets set up to do the softer Canon look I admire, and also to do really sharp stuff for news gathering and such. Custom presets... great stuff.

The best thing about the EVF on it, however, is it makes a great place to hang your headset.
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Old July 9th, 2003, 06:52 PM   #13
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XL-1s EVF

Well, since I posted the above, I took my EVF apart to clean all the little boogers off the glass (both sides -- somehow that stuff gets into it on the back side, too).

I noticed at the back of the assembly there's a small, thin section of what looks like a dark plastic filter... much like a sunglass lens. It's very thin. When I put the EVF back together I left it out, intentionally, to see what it did to the image. Now it's much closer to what I get on a monitor... not nearly as dark as the EVF was before, and the focus seems to be crisper.

There must be a reason it's in there. Anybody know what that reason is, and if I screwed up taking it out?
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Old July 10th, 2003, 05:40 AM   #14
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That sounds like the "evf sunburn fix" When the XL1 first came out, some people were burning dead spots in the EVF LCD panel if the EVF happened to be pointed at the full sun for more thatn a very brief amount of time. The lens in the EVF acted like a magnifying glass to burn hot spots. The solutions included adding a head adsorbing filter and making the warning more noticeable on the EVF.

If you carry or use your camcorder outdoors you should put the filter back, or be prepared to accept perminant "sun spots" in the EVF
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