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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old February 16th, 2004, 07:58 PM   #1
John Hampton
 
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Shutter

Is there any way to turn the shutter off on the xl1s? I shoot for a tv news station in the bay area and on our pro-grade canon's there is a little switch in front that turns the shutter of completely we always shoot with that off for a better picture.
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Old February 16th, 2004, 08:50 PM   #2
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Hi John,

Not sure I'm understanding you properly, but there is an enormous world of difference between a professional Canon broadcast video lens, and a high-end consumer DV camcorder like the XL1S.

On a DV camcorder, the only way to turn the shutter "off" is to turn off the camcorder itself. Shutters are an electronic feature on DV camcorders, and basically the device (which is not really a rotating mechanical shutter as we know it from the film world) simply controls who long the CCD block is exposed to incoming light.

On the XL1S, the default shutter speed of 1/30th sec. is fine for most applications but can be easily adjusted to match nearly any shooting situation, including a "clear scan" feature for shooting computer display monitors.

If you can explain your particular situation in a little more detail, then one of us will guide you to the obtaining the correct shutter setting for that application. It is always on, however, otherwise it wouldn't be a working camcorder. Hope this helps,
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Old February 18th, 2004, 05:24 AM   #3
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Default shutter 1/60?
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Old February 18th, 2004, 08:09 PM   #4
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Off means something different in this context of Pro cameras.

Pro cameras have an Off switch that turns off the variable setups for the shutter and locks it to factory default.
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Old February 18th, 2004, 11:42 PM   #5
John Hampton
 
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well then, does that mean im stuck with ugly 60i dvish footage forever? I know achieving (close to) cinema quality footage is possible for the xl1s. But i have only come close to this once and that was when i shot with the academy of art SF in a studio with a pro light setup. If you guys had to set your cameras to a default for the rest of their lives, what would each setting be set to. I understand this is a stupid question but for everyday situations in average lighting how do you guys achieve the best picture. I know i must be doing something wrong.
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Old February 19th, 2004, 05:31 AM   #6
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You may have hit upon a major part of the issue - pro lighting. What camcorder settings did you use in the studio?

Some folks like to use frame mode to give more of a film look/feel to motion. Some like to use -3 dB gain setting as well for a bit less noise in the image. Use full manual settings to obtain precise control over exposure and focus.
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Old February 19th, 2004, 05:42 AM   #7
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No you are not stuck with 60i footage since you can get a
progressive like footage (Canon calls this frame mode) which
effectively is 30p (drop frame). Keep in mind that a DV camera
has no physical shutter and only an electronic one. The frame
rate does not influence the shutter or vice versa as it does on
a film camera!!

I'm wondering why you are looking at the DV technology when
you are obviously not liking it.

If you want to go cinema style with the XL1S you can get a
35mm adapter called the mini35 to attach 35mm lenses and
retain their DOF characteristics (expensive, though).

If you wanted a 24p mode perhaps you should've looked at the
Panasonic DVX100 24p camera?
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Old February 19th, 2004, 07:25 PM   #8
John Hampton
 
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i suppose i am just a frustrated student. It seems like everyone but me is able to shoot a good picture.
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Old February 19th, 2004, 07:44 PM   #9
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Don't blame the ugly picture on 60i DV then.
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Old February 19th, 2004, 10:56 PM   #10
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John,
After watching movies all of one's life it's very natural to assume that a good camera is all that you need to create great images that tell stories well.

It's just as normal to be viscerally frustrated when you discover that it just ain't so.

The particular camera you use is largely a matter of technicality in filmmaking. Building each frame beautifully requires, first and foremost, skill and talent with light and composition. I think you'll find that the best cinematographers/videographers are also good still photographers.

To see an excellent example of what that a modestly configured XL1s can do, although it's certainly not an isolated example, take a look at Episodes 21/22 from our Lady X Films series. Jami and Mike won the "Exxie" for Best Photography for that episode.
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Old February 20th, 2004, 11:27 AM   #11
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Try to shoot in bright/ample lighting, bring the gain down -3, and crank the shutter fairly high.. the higher the shutter, the more of a cinema feel you will get, i have found (since the 1/60th feel is very "video). Shoot in full manual mode, and manually focus (or use the autofocus button if you're uncomfortable pulling focus yourself)
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Old February 21st, 2004, 02:24 PM   #12
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another frame mode benefit

The other benefit of shooting in frame mode is when you want to lift stills out of your footage. Frame mode gives you those clear stills with no motion jitter. For outdoor shooting, we run our cameras in frame mode at 1/250 sec. This gives us good clear stills for things like cover art on the DVD case, etc.

My .02 worth.
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Old February 22nd, 2004, 01:00 AM   #13
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<<<-- Originally posted by Adam Burtle : and crank the shutter fairly high.. the higher the shutter, the more of a cinema feel you will get, i have found (since the 1/60th feel is very "video). -->>>

Sorry Adam, unless the only movies you've seen are Gladiator and the first few minutes of Saving Private Ryan, I can't see how you get the impression a higher shutter speed is more film like.

I would stick to 1/60th for a smoother, less stroby, more film like look.
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Old February 22nd, 2004, 03:46 AM   #14
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Dylan, i guess it's personal preference. I know some people like to mimic the 1/48th shutter to get more "filmic" motion blur. I personally prefer very sharp shots with little blur, and feel this effect tends to make footage look less "video." But a lot of what i shoot is motorsport stuff where we're shooting bikes doing wheelies at 110mph, and motion blur detracts. Everyone else's mileage may vary.
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