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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old December 8th, 2001, 04:24 PM   #1
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Color LCD viewfinder

Dear all:

Since I do not yet have a dedicated DV recorder, I am using my XL-1s for log and capture with my NLE.

In order to maximize the lifespan of the lightsource in the viewfinder (I have the standard LCD-model), I thought about unplugging it during log and capture. I just don't want to do it without knowing that it's safe.

Has anyone been doing this for extended periods of time? Any problems, thouhts?

Any feedback would be highly appreciated!

Cheers,

Ron
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Old December 8th, 2001, 08:45 PM   #2
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No reason why you should not do this... although without the EVF plugged in, it may be difficult to monitor where you are on the tape. If you're capturing the entire tape, then no big deal I guess.

However the hours you're putting on the tape transport by using it as a deck are much more severe on it than the EVF. Your tape transport will wear out much sooner than the EVF will.
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Last edited by Chris Hurd; December 10th, 2001 at 09:21 AM.
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Old December 10th, 2001, 02:13 AM   #3
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Save wear and tear on your video head

I agree with Chris. I would be a lot more worried about the wear and tear on the video transport system on the XL1s. I bought one of those cheap Sharp Digital Camcorders - the VL-WD255U - for $449 from Costco online and I use it to rewind tapes and capture video to my DVStorm. The XL1s DV tapes don't seem to lose anything being transferred from the Sharp to the DVStorm. They look great - but - I recorded a little home vid on the Sharp on the end of one of my XL1s tapes and the video was apalling by comparison. So don't expect to use the Sharp as any kind of backup or second camera. ;-)

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Old December 27th, 2001, 03:34 PM   #4
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Can you get full image in viewfinder??

Is there any way to be able to see the "exact" whole image you are filming without using an exterior monitor?? I was shootiing outdoors and wasn't able to hook a monitor up to my camera. I tried to keep my boom operator and pole out of the frame but when I got back to start editing -- there was the pole and even the operator in a few of the wide shots.

I know this sounds amateurish and I think there probably isn't a solution other than to learn by trial/error. A final question: Why doesn't the viewfinder show the "whole image'"??
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Old December 27th, 2001, 04:55 PM   #5
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Hi there David.

From my experiance with the XL1, it's like most other DV cams in that when you look through the viewfinder, what you see is pretty much what you'll see on the TV screen in the finished product.
What you're talking about it the area outside what will be seen on the TV screen, I think it's called Overshoot? It only appears in the Editing software, when you play it back on a TV you'll find the bits you're talking about won't be there anymore.

It caused me the same anguish the first time I saw it.

Paul
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Old December 27th, 2001, 05:38 PM   #6
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Paul is correct. What you see in the viewfinder is pretty much the full frame that you'll see on your NLE's monitor. The feature that Paul referred to is called "underscan" which enables the tiny portions outside the normal image to be displayed. Most commonly you'll find this feature on professional monitors. I'm sure that there is a useful purpose for viewing the underscan image but I've not found it in my work. In reality most of your viewers won't be able to see your footage to the full extents shown on your NLE's regular monitor.
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Old December 27th, 2001, 09:27 PM   #7
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Ken, thats the word I was looking for! Cameras that use electornic image stabilisation use that area to compensate for shake, maybe that's why it was built into the standard originally?

Paul
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Old December 29th, 2001, 12:58 PM   #8
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I agree with the replies. However, use caution when using an external monitor. I use a 5" LCD on my hot shoe, and the overshoot displayed on the monitor does not appear in the finished product. I've been burned a couple of times by putting the talent too close to the edge of my LCD monitor. I've learned to get no closer than 1/4" to the edge. I also use the viewfinder as a cross-check, since it is accurate.

Cheers, Vic
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Old December 29th, 2001, 03:15 PM   #9
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Broadcast rule of thumb is allow 10% from the edge of the picture for overscan, this also includes titles, this is the reason for the safe title area pattern in most title software.
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Old December 29th, 2001, 08:34 PM   #10
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Vic,
I, too, have been surprised when using an LCD external monitor. ("Nuts, where did THAT pole come from?!") Both my Marshall and my Varizoom seem to clip even more severely than a consumer-grade TV.

I suppose that experience builds good judgement with such matters.
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Old December 30th, 2001, 12:24 AM   #11
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Ken,

How do you like the Marshall compared to the Varizoom? I know that Ozzie likes the Marshall. I have a brand other than the Varizoom (Everfocus), but I believe it's the same monitor under a different name. The cosmetics appear to be identical to the picture of the Varizoom.

Ozzie mentioned that the focus was more accurate on the Marshall than the LCD eyepiece--I haven't noticed that much difference on the one I have.

Your thoughts.....

Vic
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Old December 30th, 2001, 12:59 AM   #12
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Vic,

Honestly the Marshall and the Varizoom appear identical to me in terms of resolution, brightness and sharpness. The Marshall came basically with no accessories whatsoever. The Varizoom came with a soft custom case and that brick of a battery.

I have a very hard time using these monitors in bright outdoor situations and really rely on my b&w head for focus. But they really do come in handy for judging framing when I can't see the viewfinder. They're both certainly lighter and more compact than my Sony portable field monitor, a real factor when I have to do most of the schlepping! <g>
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Old December 30th, 2001, 08:48 AM   #13
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Looking into the viewfinder, without glasses?

I wear glasses to read only. How big is the display on the XL1s? I've seen some viewfinders that are so small glasses don't even help. My eye site is not to bad and I'am kind of hoping I can get buy most of the time without wearing my glasses.
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Old December 30th, 2001, 12:11 PM   #14
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I also wear glasses for reading only (getting old is a bear). The standard color VF on the XL1S is .7". The optional B/W unit is 1.5".

The standard VF has two settings (Near and Far) and also has a focus setting. When set to the Near setting, I can easily adjust the focus ring for a clear VF image without wearing glasses. When on the Far setting, I need the glasses but can easily read information displayed in the VF from a foot or two away.

The eyecup can also be switched for either right or left eye viewing and there is a VF brightness control although I have never messed with it.

If you haven't done so, I recommend that you download the XL1S Users Manual from the Canon website. I think Chris has a link to it somewhere. It was very helpful to me and will answer many of your questions.

Ed Frazier
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Old December 31st, 2001, 11:18 AM   #15
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Thanks for the feedback, Ken. I'd thought, if the Marshall was a lot better, I'd try it--sounds like I'll stay with the one I have.

Maybe I can spend the money on one of these spiffy new Firestore devices Chris has on the Watchdog pages!

Vic
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