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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old June 11th, 2002, 06:23 AM   #1
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Straight out of the box

How does the XL1s perform straight out of the box? I've read the articles here about accessories etc but they all add up to being quite expensive.

What attracts me to the XL1s is what I've read about the quality of the image. Does the XL1 only function to its best with all these extras or are they just a bit of a luxury? I want to use the camera to make a variety of short films - so the my requirements are for good all round general performance.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts on this.
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Old June 11th, 2002, 07:16 AM   #2
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I think that skill will make the results, more so than the accessories. All the extras do, is help you to achieve an effect, or make the job easier. The only extras I really have, are a couple of filters and some lights. My video comes out good, not great.

But I will also be the first to say I'm no videographer, just an editor that doesn't have a cameraman.
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Old June 11th, 2002, 07:27 AM   #3
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Most accessories discussed here would be applicable to any camer that you purchase. The only exception that comes to mind would be the XLR adaptor that may be built-in on some cameras. The XL1S picture quality is very good "out of the box" and can be tweaked with in-camera adjustments more than most other cameras. You are still going to need a good tripod and most likely external mic as a bare minimum and that would be true for any camera you choose.
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Old June 11th, 2002, 08:06 AM   #4
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Justin,

I'm sure others will disagree with this but the XL1 is a great camera out of the box. It produces great images, good audio and it's quite easy to use even for a beginner.

I've used it with minimal accessories since 98 and shot good and bad video. I think that skill with the camera and creative vision will, in most cases make up for a lack of accessories. I'm like Keith, I've got a couple of filters, a light, a background in photography and a creative imagination.

That being said, a UV filter and a circular polarizer are two 'accessories' you shouldn't be without.
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Old June 11th, 2002, 10:00 AM   #5
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I agree... out of the box it is great. The thing I really needed was
a tripod (but that is with any camera) to get some decent non
shaky footage and a filter set (to reduce sun light, protect the
lens etc.).... other then that I was pretty much ready to do
some stuff... I'm now looking into lighting gear to add to my
"truck"
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Old June 11th, 2002, 11:45 AM   #6
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Rob- While looking for lights, Lowell in particular, be sure to check the stands BEFORE the purchase. I purchased the VIP kit, which has a decent selection for a decent price.

However, after I recieved the kit, I noticed that the stands included are rather flimsy, and the knobs used to lock the light in position are very weak, barely able to hold an umbrella.

Whatever way you go, be sure to get umbrellas and other reflectors.

And be sure to do a little more research than I did :)
Keith
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Old June 12th, 2002, 03:42 AM   #7
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So I guess the absolute minimum requirements are a UV filter and a (fluid head) tripod. Good news (for my finances).
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Old June 12th, 2002, 06:05 AM   #8
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Keith. Where this flimsy stands a mistake or are they always
dilivered with that package? Sounds weird that lowel would
include stands that can barely hold their on lights. I was
planning on getting some reflectors, not sure about umbrellas
though. Why would I need these (read want)?
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Old June 12th, 2002, 06:59 AM   #9
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Justin, don't start jumping for joy yet! I spent $300 on my tripod- and it is a cheapy Bogen that isn't exactly fluid. The best run thousands. Filters alone- if you can find them in your area- are $30 or $40 ea and up. I have to special order because they are an oddity here. Hell, nobody has even heard of the XL1 in my neck of the woods!

But, don't dispair. You will have the camera, and that is the most important thing. Over time, you can have a real nice setup.

Rob, These stands are just built cheap. I have heard Lowell makes great stuff, but apparently not at this price range. The whole kit ran about $800. It works, and works good, but nothing more.

As far as umbrellas, they take the light and reflect it over a wider area, and at the same time make it softer. Next time you're in Walmart, look at the photographer and his lighting setup. And they're great for keeping you dry in case of rain :)
Keith
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Old June 12th, 2002, 07:09 AM   #10
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Thanks for all the help.

Hmmm... yes - tripods that's a whole other issue. So is a $300 tripod not all that good - is the motion not very smooth at that price?
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Old June 12th, 2002, 08:02 AM   #11
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Justin, do a search on "tripod" on this board and you'll find several detailed discussions on models and merits. I think we've pretty much beat that one to death.
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Old June 12th, 2002, 08:13 AM   #12
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Hi Ed - I have tried that - I've even posted one myself. But, I was under the impression that $300 would have got a fairly adequate one...
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Old June 12th, 2002, 08:43 AM   #13
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I think it depends a lot on what you are doing with the camera. I bought the Bogen 3051 legs with 503 head ($500 from B&H) and am happy with the choice. I can see though that there is room for improvement in the head if *ultra* smooth pans are a requirement. The 3051 legs have worked out very well, but you wouldn't want to lug them around if you're backpacking (13.5 lbs w/o head). So there are several factors that need to be considered, other than price, when selecting the best tripod for your particular use.
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Old June 12th, 2002, 09:25 AM   #14
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Try our site sponsor, Zotz Digital. Several excellent Matthews-Libec tripods that are near that price range. www.dvinfo.net > Sponsors.
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Old June 12th, 2002, 12:44 PM   #15
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Justin-
The tripod I bought for $300 is almost manageable... almost. With the XL1s on it, it can and will start to slowly dip down, due to the cam being overly nose heavy. It also is less than fluid in a pan, but not too awful. At times, I think I would have been better off with a $40 Walmart tripod.

The Manfrotto legs are nice, as they have a snap lock, and have no problem supporting the gear, 3001 Pro. It's the head I don't like, model 200.
Keith
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