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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old July 11th, 2002, 05:32 PM   #1
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New to video, seeking advice

Greetings, this site has been invaluable in helping me put together a video package which I'll be purchasing in the next month. It's great to see people share ideas and information so freely. As I'm new to video technology I'd like to doublecheck that I'm not forgetting something:

Canon XL 1s w. 16x lens (auto), 3x lens, 1.6x adaptor, MA 100, system isolator, mini mount, equalizer wind screen, Nebtek 50 XL monitor, hood, and battery for it, Bogen 3283B tripod with 3460 (503) fluid head and 75mm half ball, Tiffen filters: nd.3, nd.6, nd.9, uv, circular polarizer, ultra con, black pro mist 1/4, 1/2, 1, 1.5. Also looking at the Dolgin XL pouch shoulder mount (Alex Dolgin is a great guy to talk to - he recommended that one for my 5'3" frame), batteries and chargers - either Lenmar or juicepacks, and a couple of cases and a raincover. It will be a bit before I can get to sound and lighting needs.

Can anyone tell me about correcting for fluorescent lighting in video - is it done in camera or with filtration (hopefully not gelling the lights themselves.) Thanks for any input.

Best regards, Christine Noguere
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Old July 11th, 2002, 06:27 PM   #2
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Welcome, Christine!

Before offering remarks I'd like to ask what type of work you want to do with your outfit.
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Old July 11th, 2002, 06:35 PM   #3
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Hi Christine...

Generally you can just white-balance to the fluorescents and all is well; if you are using additional tungsten lighting you can add gel to those to match exactly, although it is not terrible to just go with it as video is pretty forgiving of the color difference. The tungsten will photograph a little bit warm which is nice for skin tones. To match the tungsten exactly you would have to add color correction blue gel and plus-green gel (depends on the type of fluorescent, but somewhere around the 1/4 strength of both types should do it).
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Old July 11th, 2002, 09:16 PM   #4
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Hi Charles,

Thanks for the fluorescent light information. I didn't plan to use additional lighting under them, so I'll have to do some experiments once I get the camera to see how it turns out.

Hi Ken,

I'm kind of wide open how I plan to use the camera outfit. I come from an independent/experimental 16mm background (MFA in cinematography a long time ago) and then got into the more commercial aspects of filmmaking including being a stringer shooting for PBS nature programs, working as a location scout, assistant camera, production assistant, and production coordinator on commercials and features in Florida. Then I was strictly a script supervisor on a couple of hundred commercials mostly shot in Miami. Now I live in the woods in Georgia and am coming full circle again, wanting to shoot - dv seems to be the way to go now, especially given the current computer editing technology. So, a long answer to your question, but I think I'll be shooting documentary footage and probably some wildlife for the time being (saw a young buck right outside my house today- I live in the middle of 66 acres of forest.) Thanks for your interest.

Christine
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Old July 11th, 2002, 10:09 PM   #5
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OK, well with your background you certainly should have a good handle on what you're up against.

The XL1s kit you listed is very extensive. My suggestions:
- I'm not sure you'll need such a full set of pro-mist filters. I suggest starting out with a 1/8 and 1/2 until you get a feeling for how these filters feel with dv. Many people hate them. I use a pro-mist very sparingly.

- Switch to the MA-200 XLR adapter. In addition to providing 2 more channels for audio it features a BNC connector for video out/in, very handy when using pro monitors.

- Surely you've observed how critical sound and lighting are to the end product. You -need- at least a good external directional mic. You should also consider a basic lighting kit for small scenes and interviews. Honestly, if budget was an issue, I'd scrap the plan for the XL1s, get a GL-2 or VX2000 and channel the difference into sound and light.

Lastly, I own an XL1, XL1s and a GL1 and really enjoy using them all. But if I was starting out fresh today with your eclectic interests I'd look -very seriously- at the soon-to-be-released GL-2 rather than the XL1s. Its specs look very impressive and versatile. Early reports indicate that its imaging system comes darn close to that of the XL1s. It's smaller form may be a real plus for such varied shooting, too. True, you wouldn't have the modularity of the XL1 system but it might not represent any shortcoming to your work.

Have fun Christine!
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Old July 11th, 2002, 10:18 PM   #6
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With perhaps one exception, I agree with Ken. The XL1s with the 3x is going to be alot more versitile than the GL2. I also do nature work and find the 3x indespensable for some shots. At the other extreme the EF adapter with the 100 to 400 EOS lens will give you a reach the 20x GL2 can't touch. Not to mention the EOS lenses are noticably sharper than the standard lenses.

Jeff
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Old July 11th, 2002, 10:33 PM   #7
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I agree with Jeff re: the 3x lens. It's perhaps the crown jewel of the XL system in my opinion. I find the 3x is most handy for tight interior shots. You can get a decent wide-angle on the GL-1 using Canon's WD58 adapter. (I expect the same adapter to be available for the GL-2.)
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Old July 11th, 2002, 10:57 PM   #8
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Thanks, Ken. I just took a look at some GL-2 information to see what it was all about. It seems as if the XL 1s may be more versatile for me since I haven't settled into what I'm shooting yet. I'll definitely rethink my filters though, probably cut back on the pro mists now. You've got a lot of cameras - I have to defer to your experience!

Hey Jeff, Clearwater's my hometown, right next to you. I don't have any Canon lenses, but OpTex makes a Nikon adaptor I'm looking into (I have a still 35mm Nikon outfit), so that may provide further versatility. What kind of nature work do you do? I could tell you some good alligator stories.

Christine
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Old July 12th, 2002, 06:54 AM   #9
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Hi Christine,

The nature work I do is usually bird related, showing birds of a particular area or National Park. I also do work for the Nature Conservency and occassionaly a local conservation organization or two. The OpTex adapter has received good reviews. I don't know if they make a Nikon to XL adapter but you might want to check out Century http://www.centuryoptics.com/ They make adapters for Nikon to 2/3" that are excellent. I've used them with Betacam on my older footage and they produced stunning images.

Jeff
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Old July 12th, 2002, 07:07 AM   #10
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As to wide angle, Century Optics also offers some excellent (but not cheap) converters and adapters for the GL1, GL2, and XL1 series.
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Old July 12th, 2002, 08:12 AM   #11
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Thanks for the Century Optics lead Jeff and Don, I'll check that out.

Christine
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Old July 13th, 2002, 12:49 PM   #12
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Hi Christine....since you asked, I can reccomend the Tiffen Enhancing Filter..It does a great job of making trees , grass etc look "richer", without affecting other colors(sky etc)...also, get the Canon dual battery charger/holder, not so much for the charging aspect, but it fits on a belt and with two of the biggest batteries attached, you will be able to shoot for a long time outdoors...

As to fluorescent lights, you might try the Sylvania/Osram Studioline tubes. They are available
in 5600 K ..or 3200K Pproduct no 2068 and 2067..you can also get a standard ballast for two lamps, or a dimming ballast for more control...If you don`t want to build your own lighting ...Lowel sells the Caselight system that comes in kit form, ready to use.(These are Fluroscent Lamps )

In optics , you might also like to get the 1.6 canon extender....on the 16 X lens you can capture animals etc at a great distance, for a small price.
Lots of Luck.....Sheps.
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Old July 14th, 2002, 10:44 AM   #13
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On Fluorescent Lighting

Try this link to learn a little more about fluorescent lighting. Its pretty good especially if you want to roll your own lighting.

http://www.studio1productions.com/Articles/FL-Lights.htm

Nathan Gifford
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Old July 14th, 2002, 11:50 AM   #14
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Hi Sheps,

Thanks for all the great suggestions. I've just added the enhancing filter to the package I'll be ordering this week. I am planning to get the 1.6 extender for nature work. I'm sure you're getting some fantastic footage in the West Indies - I'm envious! T

Hey Nathan,

I went to the studio1procuctions link and couldn't find the fluorescent lighting article, so I emailed them and maybe they can help me locate it - hope they haven't removed it yet. However, I did look at a bunch of other articles which really helped. Thanks so much for mentioning it - I sure have a lot to learn - it's somewhat overwhelming!

Best regards,

Christine
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