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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old April 22nd, 2005, 04:53 AM   #1591
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dual mics, and filming from a plane/chopper/microlight

Waldemar - thank you for your comments. How many members do you have in your film/sound crew by the way? I would think that shooting a sled race would need a lot of gun & run stuff to provide a flowing 'beside the sled' atmosphere, combined with some static set-up or prepared shoots. How did you manage to cope with all the extra sound equipment and mixers etc when you needed to film the sleds and dog teams during the actual race, and more importantly, did you cut down to just a single mic for some of the more hectic stuff. Did you film from your own sled or snow mobile alongside the teams? - And did you try any footage from a plane or chopper to give a 'birds eye view'?

My next shoot will need to combine some long static tripod filming at the same location (where it should be easy to set up a couple of mics on static booms) combined with a lot of on-shoulder filming.
I will be doing almost all the filming solo with one camera (even though it will be a two-man film team, that second member will be in-shot for a lot of the sequences, so cannot always be there to hold up booms etc). In the static shoots the only real problem will be making sure that long XLR cables will not be tripped over, because long periods of waiting will be interspersed with short bouts of mad action.
If important action occurs, I'll be able to get some footage from the static tripod set-up (framing, zooming, panning etc), but there will be times when I need to quickly unclip the camera from the tripod and follow the action with the handheld XL1s. If the static tripod set-up has the two narrow acceptance shotgun mics connected to the long XLR cables from the back of the MA-200 and set to Audio 1 (with Canon mic fixed to the camera, but switched off), I could then quickly pull out both XLR cables, switch the Audio 1 lever to Mic, and then be able to follow the action with the handheld XL1s and lightweight on-board mic.

The only problem in following the action with a handheld cam using the normal small Canon shotgun mic, is that I would often prefer to use the tighter sound cone of the AT mic, and because the action would often be unpredictable I wouldn't have time to run around swapping onboard mics.

Another option I've been experimenting with is to only use the two AT mics (and not use the XL1s Canon mic at all). By fitting one AT mic mounted on a small anti-shock microphone holder (plus hotshoe adapter) to the XL1s, and a second AT mic clamped inside the LWS Mini-Mount, with both connected to short 0.5m XLR leads to the MA-200, I could simply unplug the mics back and forth between the longer 6m XLR cables when needed.

The biggest problem I've found when using the much longer shotgun mics on-camera, is keeping the very tip of the mic out of the edges of the frame when a wide-angle optic is fitted to the 16X manual, especially when the long shotgun mics are enclosed in large and bulky fur wind socks. I've compensated slightly for this by moving the mics further back on the microphone holders, and also adding a twist of wire tag to clamp the XLR leads to the Canon dual-battery holder mount (this prevents the mic from 'tipping' into the viewing frame if Iím doing a lot of walking or running around with the camera and fail to notice that the mic has slighty tilted in itís holder).

Iíll also be doing some filming from a plane, chopper, or microlight during this next expedition, so would like to know how you cope with sound recording from the air. Do you use a mic at all? I would be inclined, due to the constant drone and wind noise factors, to either switch the mic off completely (and add ambient noise in post), or just have the mic set on a very low setting. What are your views? Iíve never filmed from the air, so seek advice from someone who has. Iíve done a lot of still photography from the air, especially from a microlight, and even used a small plane to take me low over the Botswana swamps. That time I had the pilot remove the main door from its hinges prior to take-off, and then was strapped to my seat next to the exit door opening. The wind blast was incredible, especially when I needed to almost hang out of the plane for some shots, but the end results were worth it.
Trying to do the same holding on to an XL1s instead of an F5 is a whole different ball game, especially when sound needs to be included. I suppose I might be able to somehow plug in the XL1s audio into the planeís intercom system to keep out some of the engine drone. However, I canít see a US pilot agreeing to fly without a door (Iíd rather not film through the triple-layer window glass), so the only other option is to maybe hire someone with a motorized micro-light.
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Old April 23rd, 2005, 10:23 AM   #1592
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Using an HD wide angle lens adapter w/an XL1

There is a new inexpensive Raynox wide angle lens adapter out which is made for HD cameras (HD-7000).

Does the fact that it's made for a 16x9 format mean that it will distort the 4x3 image of an XL1 if used with an XL1?
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Old April 28th, 2005, 12:17 PM   #1593
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off the subject

I inquired a few days ago if there was anyone out there that could direct me to a source for a solar unit to field charge batteries for my sweet xl1? I didn't see my inquiry posted. I spend days in the field, in the mountains and on the water, (not usually at the same time, but you never know.) I am sure that I am not alone in this one. Thanks, Chuck Towne
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Old April 29th, 2005, 02:11 AM   #1594
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Check out West Marine:


They might have something made by Siemens Solar. You can connect Canon's version of the XL1 battery charger that will plug into a cigarette lighter (runs off 12 VDC source).
Dean Sensui
Exec Producer, Hawaii Goes Fishing
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Old May 2nd, 2005, 04:25 PM   #1595
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picture split need advice on XL-1

I have a XL-1
Need advice... 2 questions.

question 1, The picture seems to jump and split every once in a while..
Maybe every few min or so... and then goes back to normal..
This happens on playback.. on XL-1 and when I have downloaded it to VHS tape...

question 2, Tape footage Time or DV tape on screen doesn't seem to move with tape during playback... or should I say it jumps from one time to another.. as in stops and then jumps to catch up to the real time..

Or course this might be part of question #1 problem too.

Any advice?

r. severe
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Old May 2nd, 2005, 11:12 PM   #1596
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Was the footage shot with continual time code?( no break in recording from one scene to another).Sounds like your losing timecode, either a tape defect, dirty or misaligned heads, or a break in the timecode track from pausing then watching some of what you record then pausing to record again
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 11:53 PM   #1597
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I ran a tape cleaner through the camera.. all fixed.. no problems now...

I was given the camera..
I didn't know much about wroking it.. wow what a beautiful picture and great sound..

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Old May 5th, 2005, 12:34 PM   #1598
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Replacement for shoulder mount?

Obviously the shoulder mount that came with the xls1 is a joke.

Anyone have a good suggestion for a replacement?

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Old May 5th, 2005, 04:05 PM   #1599
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How much can I sell it for?

I am about to sell my XL1s. It is about a year old and in absolutely perfect condition. How much do you reckon I can sell it for in London? It has no accessories - it's just the camera.
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Old May 5th, 2005, 04:08 PM   #1600
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Do a quick search on EBAY under 'completed sales' for xl1s and see what they went for, that'll give you an idea.
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Old May 6th, 2005, 04:06 PM   #1601
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Hi Chris,

Search through our "Support Your Local Camera" forum -- this topic has been discussed fairly heavily in the past.

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Old May 7th, 2005, 10:35 PM   #1602
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NTSC XL-1/shooting in China

Hi folks,
I am going to Hangzhou in June with my XL-1. My only issue would be to recharge batteries. What adaptor would I buy?


Eric Gompper
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Old May 7th, 2005, 10:42 PM   #1603
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Buying equipment for XL-1/Shanghai/US e. rate

I am going to Hangzhou in June by way of Shanghai. Are camera related accesories way cheaper there? Should I be trying to buy wish-list items? I was thinking of the wide-angle lens, a Sennheiser mike etc...I could go on and on of course! : )


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Old May 8th, 2005, 06:02 AM   #1604
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Newbie Q: 16x Manual Servo vs 16x IS II?


I'm fairly new to this camera (and lenses in general), and have a couple of questions.

I have been reading up a lot on the lenses supplied with the canon xl1s. Since I'm renting the XL1s soon I wonder if the broadcast lens is worth the extra price. What I want to create is a lot of very photographic-like shots where the object is focused, but the background (very) blurry. Now, on a reflex camera I can do this perfectly, but since video lenses seem to be quite different, I was wondering if:

1. it can be done with the standaard IS II lens?
2. what can be done more with the 16x manual servo?
3. I'm gonna use a pushcam dolly - do I need an extra person to control the focus while driving with the 16x manual servo or is it better to use the standard lens, which seems to have autofocus?

I have read the dvinfo article on the lens, but I'm still missing the info above. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks a lot!

-- Frank
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Old May 8th, 2005, 06:31 AM   #1605
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Both lenses will give you a nice dof at low f numbers and long zoom shots. Forget the autofocus on the white servo lens. The only useful purpose it has is when you hit the push af button to temporarily have the camera find focus in run and gun situations.

The manual lens has precise control and will accept a follow focus device.

You will need a nice monitor for this and preferably, the high contrast black and white viewfinder.
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