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Old June 16th, 2002, 07:59 PM   #1
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hoverflies in mid-flight (video online!!)

Hello everyone,

I'm very impressed with the versatility of the XL 1S when used with the EF adapter and the various EOS type lenses...even with the less expensive USM lenses (and 3rd party lenses) very impressive results can be achieved.

Today I shot footage of hoverflies hovering roughly 8 feet from me with an inexpensive 75-300mm USM Canon lens and I was thoroughly impressed with the results. The raw DV footage is very sharp and well saturated. These insects are smaller than a housefly yet I was able to catch them in mid-flight hovering about- and this was done from about an 8 foot distance (7.2 multiplier in effect)- I doubt this can be achieved with any of the other DV cams- the XL 1S has been surprising me in more ways than one- it's an excellent nature documentary cam....

...I put a small clip up online (only 720k) in case anyone would like to see what sort of footage can be captured....hope you guys are as impressed as I was (the raw video is fantastic!!)

Here's the url....

http://homepage.mac.com/stevenyc1/iMovieTheater1.html

Let me know what you guys think.
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Old June 16th, 2002, 08:28 PM   #2
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Hi Steve

Very nice. Image looks sharp and properly exposed. How long a clip were you able to capture? The Canon 75-300 USM is a decent lens. It fits in nicely where the standard 16x leaves off.

Again, very cool shots.

Jeff
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Old June 16th, 2002, 08:41 PM   #3
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(this was shot today)

Thanks Jeff,

I have about 8 minutes of these hoverflies flying about...they hover for about 4 seconds in any given spot then hover off to a new spot (usually within a few feet of the 1st location)....I actually have a better clip where the fly fills more of the frame- but it moves around the frame more so I opted not to use it (but looks sharp and fills the frame much better)...I came about videotaping them as a test- I was looking for a hawk I normally see at my local park and spotted these tiny flies hovering about 2 feet from the ground-and gave it a try- the XL impressed me- I thought I was not going to be able to capture anything- these creatures are about 1/8th inch long- I just positioned myself where the background had dark green leaves and tried focusing on the orange hovering specs- sorta opens up alot of macro possibilities using an XL 1S.....my next test will be a macro lens and small insect life...



...the possibilities are numerous (and fun)
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Old June 17th, 2002, 03:18 AM   #4
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re: security settings for viewing

I am getting a message that my "security setting" will not allow meto look at your firefly footage. Its says "
the footage may supply unsafe information to an active X control" Any suggenstions? Have tried all settings Internet Explorer 5.
I am filming wildlife with 100-400 L series on xl1s.
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Old June 17th, 2002, 07:44 AM   #5
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If the option still allows for you to play the footage- I'd just go ahead and click- my guess is that your browser isn't recognizing the .mov file as a standard video codec- if all else fails try getting the latest QT plugin that allows you to view mov files within your browser.

It also sounds as if your security settings are set to prompt you should certain unknown files attempt to load within the browser...try lowering your security setting (at least just to play the video)- you can always put the settings back to where they were originally-

- if anyone else knows what he can do to view .mov files within his browser- chime in.
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Old July 10th, 2002, 10:55 PM   #6
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Please post the results of your macro lens test when available. Which lens are you going to use. The reason I ask is I am considering a macro lens as well. For me it is starting from scratch since I don't own any EOS lenses.
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Old July 11th, 2002, 11:31 AM   #7
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My neighborhood camera shop (really small shop- nothing exotic) has a selection of very cheap (under $100) 4th party (I told u they were cheap) lenses (Goldline, Vivitar, Samyang- all low grade stuff)....I will try to find a manual macro lens there- something in the range of 28mm to 105mm- maybe a zoom if available- I'll shoot some video and see if the XL can still get good results.......stay tuned

(Fact: One of the reasons XL's can achieve good results with inexpensive glass is because all manufacturers strive to achieve premium optical performance throughout the entire lens area- yet only the very best manufacturers are able to achieve such performance uniformly throughout the entire lens area- but even low grade lenses can achieve good results in the center region of the lens.-Because of the multiplier the XL has (7.2X) the CCD's are recording information collected from the very center portion of any lens mounted via EF adapter- the very area where it's easiest for manufacturers to obtain optical performance- when you buy expensive glass you're actually paying for increased performance throught the entire lens surface- I'm willing to bet that 1st rate pro lenses wont give a noticeable improvement in a video histogram when compared to decent quality 3rd party lenses (Sigma, Tamron & Tokina)..the biggest difference would be with the really cheap lenses where optical quality is sub-par- like some of the plastic barreled cheapo lenses- then of course seriuos degradation would be expected)

Off to the cam shop and scrounge up a macro lens- be right back.....
(any requests for test subjects??)
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Old July 11th, 2002, 03:01 PM   #8
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I also just got an EOS and 100-400 IS.
The image results/improvements are SO much better than the
standard video lens that I am almost rolling
on the floor laughing I'm so happy.

I am currently shooting a doc. on the reintroduction of Osprey
(fishing eagle) to southern Michigan.

After DDT nearly wiped out these impressive birds in the 60's(!),
it's taken five years of effort by Kensington Metro Park,
The Michigan Dept. of Nat. Resources, and
The Detroit Zoo to FINALLY hatch *one* chick.
Just today he was banded. The first live birth in southern
MI. in over 30 years. (some claim its been 43!!!).

I am able to fill the screen with this chick's wonderfully happy
images. The clarity and saturation are GREAT. As others
have testified, I feel as if I've reached a level of professionalism
that I've always wanted. I plan on buying more 35mm lens.
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Old July 11th, 2002, 04:09 PM   #9
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Re: hoverflies in mid-flight (video online!!)

<<<-- Originally posted by stevenyc1@aol.com : Hello everyone,

Here's the url....

http://homepage.mac.com/stevenyc1/iMovieTheater1.html

Let me know what you guys think. -->>>

I tried to view the link, but nothing is appearing when I go to the page. Maybe I am doing something wrong.

Paul
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Old July 11th, 2002, 09:41 PM   #10
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This may have changed in the last few months, but, only Macs can access the homepage.mac.com address. Sorry, no PCs allowed.

Jeff
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Old July 11th, 2002, 11:37 PM   #11
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I have no trouble accessing your web site (nice work by the way) on my PC at the link you provided:

http://homepage.mac.com/stevenyc1/iMovieTheater1.html
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Old July 21st, 2002, 09:37 PM   #12
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I love hover flies, they stay in one place for minutes at a time, and have none of the disgusting hair of a housefly. Nice shots.
If you're looking for an inexpensive way to do macro, don't forget using an EOS 50mm lens (which you may already have on a still camera) and close-up lenses that screw on like filters. Hoya sells a set of three for about $25.00. With the 4 diopter lens on my XL-1s, the distance from the CCD plane to the subject is 9 inches, and half an inch fills the frame.

Steve Siegel
Miami, FL

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Old July 26th, 2002, 09:36 AM   #13
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* * EXCELLENT * *

Steve,

Excellent shot of the hover fly. I haven't launched out and about with my XL1S for awhile. Its nice to see the images...

Cheers!

Derrick
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