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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old December 13th, 2003, 03:04 PM   #1
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XL1s - any good at TIMELAPSE ?

I am waiting to buy the DVX100AE or possibly a XL1s - but I can't find any info here on "timelapse" you know the type of shots always done with traffic - streaking lights trails at night .
It seems by reading on some other forums , that this is hard to do with DV , but It is one of the main reasons I want to buy this cam - so does it do it ? or not ? & if it does - is it any good ?
_
The DVX100 A seems to have an upgrade in the slow shutter speed section of the cam & has some more options - so has anyone got any info ?
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Old December 13th, 2003, 04:01 PM   #2
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Actually I think that it's slow motion which can become problematic with DV, not time lapse. For the sort of thing you describe (streaking lights in traffic) it will work best to just film as usual, then speed it up in post.

Not familiar with these two cameras, but many DV cameras have an "interval" setting where you can shoot a few frames every minute. At least on the Sony cameras this is limited to a max of 1/2 second tape roll every 30 seconds. Unless you're trying to turn a number of hours into a few seconds this will give very jerky results.

I have done lots of time lapse with things like sunsets, moving clouds, the moon, etc. I always film normally, then speed up afterwards. For a relatively static sky (for example) I shot a full hour normally, then turned it into a 30 second finished sequence. Give it a try, you can do this with any camera.
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Old December 13th, 2003, 04:48 PM   #3
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Hi Boyd,

Thanks for the info.

I am a newbie so excuse my lack of knowledge.
Im thinking here that - if you go & film for hours on tape & try to log & capture into fcp - will that not be a huge amount of HD being eaten up ? not to metion a few tapes maybe ?

Surely these cam's can mimic some of the real film cams out there in features & do this with a setting of some kind ie : shutter speed or fps or something ?
I have speeded up traffic already with 1 hours footage with a cam taped to the dashboard getting a clean view of the road & although speeded up in post - it looks nothing like the desired effect I have seen on ad's or timelapse footage -the trailing etc etc.

I would've thought something like the XL1s or DVX100 could acheive this easily - well hopefully anyway.
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Old December 13th, 2003, 05:16 PM   #4
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Yes, it takes ~13 GB per hour of captured footage, but I think that comes with the territory. After you find a new speed that you like, export the rendered sequence as an FCP movie and delete the original capture, that's what I do.

The trailing lights is a separate effect and is not created with time lapse. You could try shooting at a slow shutter speed. This doesn't create time lapse, it just holds the shutter open longer, possibly writing the same data to multiple frames. Actually I suspect the best way to get this effect is also in post (although I've never tried it). Take a look at Joe's Filters, I think his motion blur will do what you want.

Like I said, I don't know the XL-1s or DVX-100, but sort of suspect you'll be limited to shooting in multi-frame bursts every minute. This will work best if you're REALLY slowing things down, like compressing 8 hours into 10 seconds.

Another solution (I assume you're on the Mac) is to use a laptop running a program like BTV Pro which can do timelapse captures via firewire. Of course you will be limited to your powerbook's battery life. This is a very nice program, and I use it as a field monitor sometimes, but have never tried the timelapse features.
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Old December 14th, 2003, 06:34 AM   #5
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Can anyone give me any information of a product very similar to BTV but for windows?

Thanks,

Matthew
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Old December 17th, 2003, 06:24 AM   #6
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sl1s interval recording

Cane,

Your answer about the XL1S is much closer than you think. Simply select the XL!S Info link from the main DVInfo.Net page. Scroll down to 'Exploration of New Features' and you will find the specs for interval recording on the 1S. It is meant for things like what you mentioned or for people doing stop motion such as claymation, animation, etc.

I don't work for Canon but, if you wanted to buy an XL1S, now is a good time with the $500 rebate offer which is good until the end of the year.

Note, the original XL1 does not have this feature.

regards,
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Old December 19th, 2003, 10:01 PM   #7
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Cane,
I don't know if you have a digital still camera (or access to one) but I've been shooting with an XL1 and have done short sequences (3 to 5 min.) and sped them up in post. However, if you want a long sequence and don't want to fill up your hard drive, I'd suggest looking at this guy's site:

http://www.digitalsecrets.net/secrets/Accessory.html

I liked what he did and bought the Harbortronics trigger to go with my Nikon Coolpix 990 and I've been very happy with the results.

Dave
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