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Old September 30th, 2004, 02:39 PM   #1
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microwave oven & xl1s

hello all,

I have to shoot an interior shot of food being heated in a microwave. Does anyone foresee the xl1s being jeopardized by being too close to the microwave?


thank you
--adam
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Old September 30th, 2004, 02:55 PM   #2
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No, not unless you put it in the oven with the food. <g>
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Old September 30th, 2004, 05:31 PM   #3
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If the oven is leaky, you might possibly see or hear some interference, but that should not dammage the camcorder.

As Ken says, do not put the camcorder in an operating oven. And the obscured windows on most oven can make getting a good shot difficult. - try some time lapse maybe.
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Old October 26th, 2004, 03:07 AM   #4
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Is is a Canon camera? Just stick your camera inside the microwave and it'll be fine.
Nah. Just kidding. Just a hint. Microwaves are quite large and are reflected even by chicken wire. That's why you can look inside a microwave though the mesh screen on the front glass and not cook your eyeballs. Perhaps you can devise some way to keep the microwave door open and place some screen around the area with your camera lens protruding through it. BTW chicken wire allowed about half the microwaves through.
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Old October 26th, 2004, 12:58 PM   #5
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I wouldn't worry about the camera at all, but you might want to wrap some tinfoil around it just to be sure it doesn't do anything to your tape. I think microwave radiation is too large to do anything to an electromagnetic tape, but if it were me I'd just do it as a precaution. It's simple and easy, and saves you from the remotest of remote possibilities of having to reshoot.

Most of the fears of being too close to the microwave are WAY overblown.
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Old October 26th, 2004, 02:10 PM   #6
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Don't modify the door/defeat the intelock/use chickenwire. That would be really dangerous for a number of reasons.
If you can shoot through the existing window, there should be no problems with the camera.
If you want a shot without the obstruction of the door screen, I agree with going the time-lapse route, where you capture frames periodically with the door open and microwave OFF.
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Old October 26th, 2004, 02:37 PM   #7
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How would it be dangerous? Do you speak from experience? The door is a screen, you're just extending it further by creating a microwave reflector with the wire. You would need something tighter than chicken wire though. I tested microwaves in physics classes. That's my experience.
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Old October 26th, 2004, 06:41 PM   #8
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The microwave oven has an outpout on the order of 700 wattts or more, and cooks stuff nicely. Boil a cup of water in under 2 minutes - as fast as an electric range top. Can cause arcing and sparking if certain configuration metal objects are placed in the oven. Imagine that arcing and sparking inside a camcorder!

Leakage will depend on the type/size/shape of opening and the wavelength of the oven output. The difference between being a reflector and an aperture or wave guide is not all that great.

Also, remember the warings - Leaky microwave ovens can mess-up near-by pacemakers (something folks can really take to heart!).

The typical undergrad college physics/EE lab class microwave transmitter power output was generally very low and designed to be relatively student-safe rather than for fast cooking of meat and potatoes. (I too played with them some years ago.)
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Old October 26th, 2004, 08:10 PM   #9
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Heed what Don said, plus this: A microwave oven is a high power transmitter whose energy is all directed into a cavity ( the oven chamber) instead of an antenna. Thinking that a metal screen of a particular mesh size will "reflect" the microwave energy is a foolhardy assumption. Depending on its size, placement and an if and how its grounded, it could just as easily act as a director instead of a reflector, and the amount of energy on "your" side of it could be substantial. Also, if you were to use a separate wire screen and didn't ground if properly (and with microwaves, that means more than just connecting a wire to ground), you could get a nasty combination high-voltage shock/burn if you touch the screen. Waveguide and antenna theory is a very complex area (way beyond my expertise), so unless you are a waveguide engineer, you should not attempt to modify an oven. Bad things WILL happen. Also, the radiation is insidious. You might think you've constructed a nice "reflector" and not realize how ineffective it was until you wake up the next morning screaming in pain from the radiation burns.
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Old October 26th, 2004, 08:49 PM   #10
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The trick here is not to shoot inside a microwave oven, Adam. The trick is to make it look like you've shot in the oven as the food was cooking. Viewers will have no idea, and will care less, how you actually produced the footage.
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Old October 26th, 2004, 11:51 PM   #11
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I agree with Ken (above post). Why does it have to be cooked in a microwave? Use a conventional oven or heat lamp and fake it.
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