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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old July 21st, 2002, 09:59 AM   #1
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Buying new XL1S - what all should I get?

Hi all:
Very basic question, but I'm planning on getting a new XL1S next month, and what I need to know is - what's the config I should be getting?
1. I'm used to manual lenses with servo motor zoom control (I've shot mostly with Sony 537/637/D-30/D-35s on Bet SP, carrying Fujinon and Canon lenses). I'm interested in the 16x manual with servo zoom lens Canon is offering with the XL1S - NOT the IS-II lens - but I'm informed the lens has no aperture ring - iris control is still electronic, from the camera? Can someone please clarify?
2. How good/bad is the MA-200 shoulder mount/XLR mic connector?
3. What other accessories should I be considering along with the Canon XL1S stndard kit? Does the BP-945 offer a good battery time-to-weight trade off?
Any comments and tips would be really helpful!!
Thanks and best,
Ideosync
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Old July 21st, 2002, 10:57 AM   #2
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Check the XL-1 Watchdog Pages

Crhis has a number of options he recommends. That is a good place to start. I would also add a really good tripod with a ball leveler helps too.

The rest will depend on what you kind of shoot do you plan to do.

Nathan Gifford
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Old July 21st, 2002, 11:56 AM   #3
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Hi,

I wished that I had bought the XL-1, then used it for two or three months before buying some of the things I did. Then again I would have been OK as I don't use it for work so the lack of something would not have been critical.

Lets your needs determine what you require, not what you think your needs will be. I, in short, did not do my homework as well as I should. I only found this forum through the Canopus site which I got onto only after getting my XL-1. Should have been the reverse.

By way of example let me take you into my world of folly;

Should not have bought the MA-100 with dual holder. Have used the charger a bit but never the MA-100. I will be using it soon but have had it financed for 3 years when I could have had something else. Bought the Canon flight case...would not again...ran out of space by the time I got home. Bought a cheap Citizen LCD monitor...should have spent the money on a good monitor....which I still need to get by the way. Bought a tripod before I knew what I really wanted.....it's great, the sticks are solid but you can't carry them. The "fluid" head is one model down from a really acceptable standard. Probably would not get the 16x standard but a manual. IT ALL DEPENDS ON YOUR REQUIREMENTS. Mine are probably uniquely different.
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Old July 21st, 2002, 12:29 PM   #4
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Nathan's talking about my article... my opinions on your question are so strong I wrote a whole article about it several months ago. Go to the Watchdog at www.dvinfo.net/xl1.htm -- choose Articles Menu > Top Five XL1 & XL1S Accessories.

Andrew is providing some very good advice... *do not* buy the Canon aluminum hardshell cases. There are so many other third-party cases that are so much better. If you need an LCD monitor, make sure it's TFT (active matrix). A proper tripod purchase requires careful research and study. Not everyone needs the MA100 or 200. If you need a shoulder support there are so many third-party ones that are much better than the Canon units. Hope this helps,
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Old July 21st, 2002, 02:02 PM   #5
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As far as batteries go, a number of people recommend the Lenmar which is considerably cheaper than the Canon.

For cases, I do not like the Canon either. Too pricey and not functional enough. If you *ARE NOT* planning lots of travel, I would get a Sear's Truck Tote. At $39 its hard to beat. No way would I put this on an airplane!

For a wireless mic, I recommend the Sennheiser Evolution 100 system. The 100 are not true diversity system, but I have never missed it. It is built rock solid (lots of metal) and performs to spec. Around $450.

One of the items I wish I had is Chris's number 1. Varizoom. There have been a number of times I wish I had one of those creatures, but next expense is getting the system to produce DVDs. May be I will smuggle one in under the XMAS tree.

Nathan Gifford
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Old July 21st, 2002, 10:20 PM   #6
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Nathan, Chris, Andrew, thank you all for some very useful comments!
My central problem is that I'm in India - New Delhi, to be precise - and getting accessories with some kind of service back-up is a serious issue here: If you want back-up, you'd better buy the branded Sony/Canon stuff, 'cause the rest are available only as un-warranted grey market goods.
Also: The local Canon rep offers the XL1S 'standard' package to all buyers - and he's the sole rep in the area, which means he's sitting pretty. (If there's one thing I take with a pinch of salt, it's the 'standard' packages, because I've never hd good experiences with any of them.) I'm not hoping for too much by way of guidance from these guys, and many of the packages they're offerign are put together only on order - which means I can't test half the items I want beforehand to get a good idea of how they look/work.
Chris, I've been through your article already - great info!
But back to my original question: The lens is the most serious issue for me. Can anyone tell me what issues I'll be facing if I opt for the manual 16x with servo zoom? What I'd like (ideally) is a lens with a manual iris ring, with auto iris facility, servo zoom, manual focus, and graduations.
Best,
Ideos
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Old July 21st, 2002, 11:45 PM   #7
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Ideos

Let's take up the subject of the lens in a separate thread, in the Lens forum. I know you originally posted there, but I moved it here because the discussion was mostly not lens-related. Now let's go back to the lens forum. Check through those threads, there are several of them which go way back in time, discussing and comparing the different lenses and talking about the 16x manual zoom lens in particular.

As far as availability for this other gear, my impression was that B&H in New York could ship anywhere in the world. I think in your situation it would be worth it to pay for shipping, provided they send everything to you at one time. You can't go wrong with B&H, they are a world leader in this business.
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Old July 22nd, 2002, 12:43 AM   #8
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Chris, oops, that was supposed to be 'Ideosync' not 'Ideos'! :-) (But 'Ram' would be best)
Yeah, I'll cary this back to the lens forum and comb through it a bit...
There are issues with Indian companies like mine importing equipment as well - huge customs duties! It'll, like, double my costs, not to mention huge expenditures of time in getting hold of the shipment safely. [We're liberalizing, but slowly! :-) ]
Best,
Ram
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