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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old July 23rd, 2002, 10:56 PM   #1
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What accessories should I cut to stay on budget?

I am a soon to be grad 11 student in a high school media program, and I am have finally saved my pennies to get my new XL1S. I am getting a Educational price throe the schools distributor so the price is a lot lower then the MSRP. The quotation the dealer gave me is as follows (all Canadian Prices).

XL1S $5450
BP-945 $194 x2= $388
CH-910 Dual Charger $207
MA-100 230

Sub total $6275
GST $439 (exempt)
PST $470.63

Total $7184.88
Minus GST $6745.88


Now the problem is that I cant quit pay for that amount, and I still need a case, so what are the best once to cut from the list?

Also, how long do the BP-945 Batteries last on the XL1S?

Thanks for your input
Alex
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Old July 23rd, 2002, 11:22 PM   #2
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The XL1s will come with one battery and a charger. I would look at a non Canon battery like Lenmar http://www.lenmar.com/default.htm I have had very good performence from them and they are much less than the Canon. The CH-910 is another piece that you don't need right away. It can be added at a later date. That will free up almost $600 + the tax. Out of that you'll want at least one extra battery (Lenmar?), a case (Katta CCC-3333-see Chris' article) and something you don't have on your list a UV filter to protect your lens. That'll get you started and you can save your pennies and add to your system as you go.

The BP-945 or Lenmar equivlant should last at least 2 to 3 hours, depending on Image Stabilization, Auto Focus and other variables. It is great you are getting all that wonderfull equipment and your still in High School. Good luck.

Jeff
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Old July 23rd, 2002, 11:46 PM   #3
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If I talk of the CH910 the total comes to: 6507.25. that includes the tax (GST taken off). The reason I am still considering the BP-945 is because it is within $20 of the biggest Lenmar. My education discount really helps. Could I get away with just one big battery? Or is it a good idea to have 2 of the big once? Also how long would it talk to charge one of the big 945’s? the main point of the CH-910 was so I could cut down on charge times (I would get them all at once). As I think of it more I think that I might be able to get away with doing them one at a time.
Thanks allot for the info
Alex
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Old July 24th, 2002, 12:15 AM   #4
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Hello Alex,
You're a very lucky young man to dive into videography with such great gear so early.

I agree with Jeff that you can postpone the CH-910 dual charger. The standard charger will be just fine. Note that the 910's real advantage is that it can mount two batteries to run the XL1s. It's charge times are no shorter than the standard charger, since it charges the batteries serially anyway. A fully discharges 945-class battery (such as the Canon, Lenmar or Power 2000 (my favorite)) with take 2-3 hrs to recharge.

As Jeff noted, you really need to add a protective UV filter to your list as a must-have-first.

Good luck and keep us posted on your projects!
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Old July 24th, 2002, 05:40 AM   #5
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Why are you going with an XL1s? Canon just released their
GL2 which is a very very good camera for a lower price. It is
almost all of the same features as the XL1s (except for the
more modular design and more audio controls)... Make sure
you are not paying too much for something you might not
need.
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Old July 24th, 2002, 10:56 AM   #6
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BUY YOUR BATTERIES OFF EBAY!
I got a NEW 945 for about $50us/$75cdn, and another 930 for about $30us/$45cdn. Not Canon, but my XL1 doesn't seem to care. :)

If you want to save a few hundred $$$, build your own case from a good toolbox and foam for $40. http://www.virtualdylan.homestead.com/stuff.html

Skip the MA100 since it doesn't look like you are buying any XLR mics, and skip the dual battery charger. For now these items will make your camera look cooler, but do nothing for the quality of your productions.

You need a tripod and a UV filter for your lens. Forget everything else until you have these.

If you really want to save money, XL1's (not XL1s) usualy show up in the Buy And Sell for $4000. There is one right now with MA100, case, 3x lens, and a Satchler tripod for $5500. A super bargain!
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Old July 24th, 2002, 01:37 PM   #7
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Alex

When I was your age, I used to dream about gear like this. Now the technology makes it possible. I wish I was back in high school, it's a great time to be a teenager.

This my seem uncharacteristic comin from me, but I think you should reconsider the camera. If I were in your shoes I would look very hard at the GL2. With the money you save by giving up the XL1S, you can get a very nice Matthews-Libec tripod perfect for the GL2, along with the Canon ZR1000 remote zoom and focus controller, which I consider essential.

Definitely go with two BP945's no matter which camera. Hope this helps,
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Old July 24th, 2002, 04:00 PM   #8
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You probably thought this was going to be easy, didn't you Alex? Well, 5 different posts, 5 different answers. I'm 45 and I can just barely remember what it was like being 17. Just barely. If you've scrimpted and saved and worked hard to earn your XL1 money, and have your heart and mind set on it, it might be hard for you to consider the GL2. But Chris and Rob are giving you good advice. The GL2 has alot of advantages and it it a really good camera. However, if you get the GL2, are you always going to be saying to yourself, I wonder what that would have looked like with the XL1? If your that type of person, and I was when I was 17, get the XL1. You can't be shooting and always wondering what it would be like if you had gotten the camera of your dreams. But the camera of your dreams won't do you any good if you can't afford to buy tapes for it, or get a decent tripod. Not an easy decision. But I still envy you, to be 17 and have such cool gear.

Jeff
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Old July 24th, 2002, 05:43 PM   #9
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The XL1(s) has a huge advantage over the GL2, and that is that it looks like a professional camera. People WILL take you more seriously with an XL1 than a GL1 (or GL2) and that is a HUGE advantage when you are 17. You will go from being a kid with a camcorder to a young filmaker in most peoples eyes, and that is more valuable than anything a GL2 offers over an XL1 if it means getting videography work, permission to use locations, or auditioning hot chicks to be in your movie.

On the other hand, if you are doing run & gun style guerilla moviemaking, the GL1/2 is a way better choice than the XL1, which screams "LOOK AT MEEEEE!!!!"

And then the money you save if you bought a GL2 instead of the XL1s, could go into lighting and sound equiptment, which is more important than a slightly higher quality picture.

Decisions decisions...

Hey, you are 17, shouldn't you be spending all this money on a crappy muscle car and cheap beer? :)
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Old July 24th, 2002, 10:22 PM   #10
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Hey every one. Thanks for giving me so mane opinions. It really helps. As for the GL2, I am not into being a guinea-pig for companies with there new products, and the few times I have used a XL1S I really liked the feel, and layout of the controls. So right now I would like to stick with the XL1S. As for the accessories, I think I will ditch the dual charger, and I am still thinking about the MA100 because my school has a ME66 that I use a lot (along with there Lowel light kit, and Manffroto tri-pod with a 510 fluid head).
Now as for me not spending my money on cars, chicks, and cheap bear. Well id talk a good camera before a car any day. Chicks, well they are good, but I am soo busy doing video stuff, and working to pay to pay for video stuff that they just never work out. Sometimes I will take time away from the lens to go party, and drink some “cheap beer”.
Thanks for all the help you guys have given me on this, it has really contributed to my perches.

Alex

PS: I work for Top Quality Music as a DJ so I really don’t get away from the A/V stuff I guess.
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Old July 24th, 2002, 11:01 PM   #11
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Price on XL1s

I bought my XL1s through Adorama in New York, the complete kit
for around $3600.00. I don't know but you might do good by checking their prices.

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Old July 24th, 2002, 11:03 PM   #12
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I am in CANADA, so i have to pay more. how it is, i am geting a few K off the kit.
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Old July 24th, 2002, 11:23 PM   #13
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I was 16 when I bought my vx-2000. I only had $1600 at the time, and was lucky enough to find a local person selling their VX-2000 for $1500, an absolutely wonderful deal. Its awesome that you have the money for a new XL1s....Were it me, I think I would go with the Gl2 at this point, but both have their advantages....What I've found, especially when shooting around school, or other teenagers..is that they are attracted to any camera bigger than a Handycam....and can really interupt 'production'...its a shame I cant make my camera look like a peice of puffed plastic or something...Anyway....I would get the camer first...get acquainted with it..then get a UV/Skylight filter, then get a bag..it may not seem important to you...but I now realize what a wise decision it was to get a nice bag (a large Tenba backpack..highly recomended) Instead of buying an XLR-Box (a-la BEachtek) I found schematics online and had an experienced electronics repair man I know build one in exchange for some pictures I have to take for him (schematics are here http://www.take2video.com/tek.html) I the purchased a microphone...and next I think I will get a lens or something...I dont see the battery chargers as being necessary right asway...just get two really large batterys and charge them both before you go out and shoot....this has worked very well for me....ive never run out......yet.....Keep in mind I already had many many tripods to choose from......and I acquired a wheelchair from a medical equipment distributor that was throwing away some wheelchairs..I cleaned it up and it works like a charm....Anyway...sorry for rambling.......there are a lot of ways you can save money, and still get good quality stuff........please excuse my poor grammer and spelling..its late, and ive been washing dishes for the last 8 hours....Any questions feel free to ask....
Chris Reinhardt
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Old July 24th, 2002, 11:28 PM   #14
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its cool to see that i am not the only young punk in this community. Thanks for the tips, i like the backpack case that you were talking about.

alex
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Old July 25th, 2002, 07:44 AM   #15
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the backpack has worked well for me, and is built like a tank. Go here to check some out; http://www.tenba.com/camera/backpack3.htm
I bought the P264 Pbl-mf You can get it at B&H or Adorama for around $189 I beleive. IN this pack I can fit my vx-2000, an extra battery, about 10 filters, 20 minidvtapes, xlr box, light/flash,remote,cables etc with plenty of room to spare, and the tripod can be strapped on the front of it......excellent peice of equipment......anyway..good luck...
Chris
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