Anyone used a SI-XL SYSTEM ISOLATOR at DVinfo.net

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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old July 16th, 2004, 03:17 PM   #1
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Anyone used a SI-XL SYSTEM ISOLATOR

I have finally given in to the wifes request and have sold my trusted XM2 (GL2) as I have recently bought a XL1s, and she wont let me have the 2 :-(

Anyway, I have been looking around for various ways to help me out with long sessions of shooting with free movement of the camera, such as weddings. The XM2 was light so there wasn`t a problem, but the XL1 is a bit heavier and I needed some help with maybe a shoulder mount. All the shoulder mounts I`ve looked at look like I`m about to climb a mountain with harnesses and bits of metal etc. I then came across a website that had a contraption to hold the mike that would take away the motor noise. A link from this page took me to a thing called an SI-XL SYSTEM ISOLATOR. It basically is a little adaptor that moves the mike and viewfinder a few inches forward. Because the finder is further forward, the main part of the camera is then able to sit on your shoulder. The unit can be found here. http://www.lightwavesystems.com/products/canon/isolator.htm

My question is, has anyone bought one of these and do they work. My other option could be to get an MA200 which apart from the main benefits is also supposed to give some extra shoulder support. Is the extra support substantial fromthe MA200 ?

Any ideas on what might be best for me or what works for you guys.

Many Thanks to you for being part of the most informative DV site, it`s helped me out to no end !!!!

Andy
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Old July 16th, 2004, 04:55 PM   #2
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See my overview of the System Isolator on this page.
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Old July 16th, 2004, 05:37 PM   #3
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Thanks for the link, but that is just what the manufacturers say. I`m after a users opinion, not the makers.

Many Thanks

Andy
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Old July 16th, 2004, 06:15 PM   #4
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I've had one on my XL1 and have one on my XL1s. they work just like the manufacture claims. It's a pretty simple device, nothing to go wrong or break and easy to install.
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Old July 17th, 2004, 03:59 AM   #5
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I purchased both System Isolators.
The device that allows you to extend the viewfinder further out was not particularly useful to me. That is not to say that others do find it very useful. I ended up selling mine.
Now the device that prevents zoom noise is great!
I purchased a used one from one of the fellas on this forum and I must say that i'm very impressed with the amount of zoom noise that is eliminated by using this device.
When I 1st tested it, I made the mistake of tightening the little knob that is on top of the device a bit too hard. The tighter this knob is tightenned, the more zoom noise is transferred to the mic.
Therefore, you must adjust it tight enought to secure the mic, but loose enough to prevent the the zoom noise from transerring.
This device does not eliminate the zoom noise 100%, but you will very pleased with the results.
I was.
Good luck.
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Old July 17th, 2004, 07:15 AM   #6
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The System Isolator extends the VF about 2 1/2 inches and dampens shock going to the mic, but not zoom noise. The Universal Mini Mount that Bernard refers to, is designed to reduce zoom noise pick up by the mic. The System Isolator also helps shift the weight of the camera back more on the shoulder, making for a less front heavy design.
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Old July 17th, 2004, 07:42 AM   #7
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I use the isolator mainly for the reason Andrew is seeking, ie for better ergonomic balance and I find it does this well. It also cures the problem I had of the blasted viewfinder knob loosening all the time.

I have a MA100 which I leave attached all the time, but strangely enough I don't use the XLR inputs on it. One of the leads broke mid-cable, meaning I would need to buy a genuine part, if one exists: the whole three cables coming out of the unit are one piece because there is a moulded grommet preventing me from just replacing the broken lead. I made up XLR-RCA adapters and find the signal is much cleaner. The noise from the MA100 was terrible. The reason I still have it attached is the metal plate for attaching stuff. I have my radio mic receiver velcroed to it permanently. This helps to balance the camera up. The shoulder pad part of it is not ideal but maybe its my puny old shoulders that are the problem. I certainly don't think I could shoot 12 hours of a wedding - most of it off the shoulder - with any other setup.

I never really had much of a problem with zoom noise except on full speed and I'm not gonna use that part of the shot anyway. I can still hear some slight noise with the isolator but its not a problem.

The biggest issue is when combined with a Rycote windjammer, the mike, or the fur at least, is in shot on full wide because the mike is much further forward. This wouldn't be so bad if you could see it but the finder overscans so much, it's not visible in the viewfinder!
I find this really annoying, especially as a viewfinder should show considerably more than a typical TV set, not less.

I just spent a week shooting news using a TV station's old BVP50 instead of my xl1s and the first interview I did had no headroom 'cause I've adapted to the xl1 viewfinder. It was nice using a crisp clear BW finder again but I wouldn't trade my Canon in for anything.

O.K. - maybe for an XDCAM!
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