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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old March 7th, 2002, 08:12 PM   #1
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Bright lights

The first question was posted by someone else a few days ago that didnt get answered so I will ask it again and add another one.

Can you shoot directly into the sun without harming the XL1s chips?

How about taping arc welding, as I have had to do with my "old" JVC X2?

Thanks for the input.

Mike
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Old March 7th, 2002, 10:21 PM   #2
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I would definitely not shoot either of those subjects directly without protection of the cam and of my eye. I'm pretty sure that you can damage the ccd and I'm absolutely certain that you'll damage your retina.

I would experiment with first turning on your lens' ND filter and add a couple more dark ND's to the front of the lens. Don't be a hero for the shot.
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Old March 8th, 2002, 02:32 PM   #3
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I have taped both arc welding and plasma cutting with an XL-1. The results were great. The camera was on full automatic and the brightness changed quickly depending on wheter or not the welding or cutting was happening. I have seen no ill results related to this filming.
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Old March 9th, 2002, 07:09 AM   #4
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What kind of protection did you use? Multiple ND filters?

Thanks!
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Old March 9th, 2002, 11:27 AM   #5
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You wont damage your retina (or any other eye part) because you're viewing via an lcd eyepiece- not the actual sun rays.........

..not that I'd do it- but i'm sure a dark filter would allow for safe shooting into the sun directly...

...talk to a local videoshop or the folks at ZGC and see what they have to say.
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Old March 9th, 2002, 06:23 PM   #6
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Certainly, Steve is correct that the camera's eyepiece represents a safeguard of sorts; it cannot possibly display true brightnesses. But sooner or later you're going to look directly at the subject and that's where the danger exists.

Just be careful. Cameras can be replaced. But injured retinas and optic nerves are another matter.
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Old March 9th, 2002, 09:32 PM   #7
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I saw a show just the other day that showed a long CU shot of the actual arc focal point. The background was dark which made the intensity of the light even more bright.

After just a second, I looked away due to the intensity, and I saw a ghost image for a few seconds before it faded away. I'm sure I didn't damage my retina, but having to divert my eyes and allow the bright image to fade kind of irritated me.

So, my thinking is if it's bright enough to damage your eyes or the camera, then it's going to be uncomfortable for some viewers to see. Showing the light dancing off the mask of the welder, or the light and silhouette of the welder being cast on a nearby wall, or a view from behind of the welder in silhouette is just as effective, more creative anyway, and won't blind your viewers.

Notice the shooting techniques used in films like "Lawrence of Arabia" where they do emphasize the intensity of the sun and do shoot it directly, but it's never too intense for the viewer. Also, check out the welding scenes in "Flashdance." These are all examples of ways to show extreme lighting in a creative way without blinding your viewers.

Seems everyone today is into extremes. Movies and TV today are simply noisy, and the lighting is unreal, frantic, and over the top. Wouldn't hurt for the industry to bring things down a notch or two.
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