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Old April 30th, 2002, 10:07 AM   #1
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XL1s onboard shotgun mic

Hi. This may sound stupid. . .REALLY stupid. On the other hand, maybe it's correct; I don't know. Anyway, the director for a movie I'm currently shooting has told me with absolute certainty that the Canon XL1s's onboard mic (the one it comes with) has a capability (try to follow me here) where it points ITS focus whereever the camera is critically focused (i.e. whereever you critically focus, the mic knows that is where the subject is, and somehow orients itself to pick up from that particular area of space, regardless of how far the camera is from the subject, room acoustics, etc.). Is this true? She claims it's one of the 27 new features on the XL1s, but I have found nothing about this on any site or in any literature on the camera. Help!
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Old April 30th, 2002, 05:38 PM   #2
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sounds like bs to me...
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Old April 30th, 2002, 06:30 PM   #3
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Your movie director may be taking non-prescription medication. The XL1/XL1s standard mic is a stereo unit with a fairly wide field. It's pretty good at what it does, but it is most certainly not capable of doing what she suggested.
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Old April 30th, 2002, 07:18 PM   #4
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Same as above

Thank God. . .I wondered where she got that. I guess it doesn't matter, since the camera and mic are aimed in the same direction, except that she's had me use it as a dialogue mic for quite a few scenes!
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Old April 30th, 2002, 09:21 PM   #5
 
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Considering that the Canon mike has a field of coverage over 2 Pi(remember Pi from geometry? 4 Pi is a full sphere...all 360 degrees of it) of course it picks up sound from wherever the camera is pointing...and everywhere its NOT pointing too....;o)
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Old April 30th, 2002, 10:12 PM   #6
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Ouch. . .math. . .where do you (anyone out there) suppose she got that notion? I asked her if she was sure about it, and she said, "I own two of the cameras; I know how they work." If the mic is too far away from the subject, won't you get a nasty echo at some point, especially with an omnidirectional shotgun mic?
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Old April 30th, 2002, 11:36 PM   #7
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"...where do you (anyone out there) suppose she got that notion?"

"Non-prescription medication." ;->

Actually, if she thinks that the mic is producing such an effect and it enhances her enjoyment of the camera, why try to destroy her delusion? She's having a good time and not hurting anyone ;-).
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Old May 1st, 2002, 12:04 AM   #8
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Ouch. . .that's awfully demeaning.
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Old May 1st, 2002, 12:23 AM   #9
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All in light jest; certainly not intended to be demeaning to anyone.

But, as you may be experiencing, it sure can sometimes be exasperating to encounter someone who is enthusiastically dead wrong. I was, however, in earnest in suggesting that you not go tooth-to-tong with her on this topic; she is, after all, the director of your project. If the time comes where the matter becomes critical to your project it will be simple enough to demonstrate the mic's performance in comparison to, say, a very narrow shotgun.
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Old May 1st, 2002, 12:28 AM   #10
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Actually, good sir, she is the director of HER project, and all mistakes thereof will be blamed on her.
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Old May 1st, 2002, 06:39 AM   #11
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True,

but as the camera operator it's up to you to be professional and put your best into the project. If you think that the audio quality is being compromised by the mic then you must speak your mind.

Reputations are one the line, hers and yours.
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Old May 1st, 2002, 10:52 AM   #12
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Good point my friend.
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Old May 1st, 2002, 11:23 AM   #13
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If your director is one of worth she will listen to your ideas and take them on board.

The job of a director is like the manager of a company. They need to have an idea about all aspects of the job at hand but also need to be able to take advice from the specialists they employ. The days of the anal retentive director spitting the dummy and sprouting lines like 'It's my way or the hi-way' are long gone. I'm sure it still happens, but the best director is the one who makes the most of the people and resourses he has on hand.
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Old May 1st, 2002, 01:53 PM   #14
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Once again, you make a good point. However, I am just starting out in the "biz." This is the first real gig I've had (of course, nonpaid, as I'm sure many of them will be) and I'd rather not argue with her, as she's giving me an opportunity, as well as resume material.

I am definitely not a specialist, either. I know my camera, but definitely not everything it's capable of.
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Old May 1st, 2002, 05:15 PM   #15
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Did your Director drop this little pearl of wisdom on, say the 1st of April?
These folks have pretty much debunked that rumor, but forgot to mention that the standard mic will sometimes pick up the little odd noises coming from the camera. I rarely use the audio on the camera, except for synching reference. However, if you were to mount a different mic on the accessory shoe, you can avoid those noises.
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