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Old September 11th, 2001, 12:04 AM   #1
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XL1S Camera Mic Motor Sound/Problem

When I shoot with the XL1S and use the mic that comes with the camera
it records the motor from the camera when I use the zoom button. Of course
if I use the manual zoom ring on the lens I do not have this issue and it is
not an issue when I use the Zenn. boom mic but for a camera this price I
think this should be something they would have fixed on the new XL1S. When
I called Canon they said. "That has been an issue and we have a fix. Please order
the MM-XL1 0002V408 mini mount that extends the mic from the camera and
will solve your problem." I feel ripped off paying an extra $150.00 for something
that should not happen to begin with. Has anyone else had this problem? If
you have had this problem and bought the mini mount did it fix the problem?

Thanks! :-)
John Szabo
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Old September 11th, 2001, 12:19 AM   #2
Obstreperous Rex
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: San Marcos, TX
Posts: 26,736
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Howdy from Texas,

I have no direct experience yet with the XL1S (I'm just a lowly XL1 owner), but I have heard from others that the zoom motor noise is a little louder than it should be.

Canon was right to suggest the MM-XL1 Mini Mount. It will indeed solve the problem. It's not a rip-off. The short story is that up until 1998 or so, *all* DV camcorders had excessive zoom motor noise. A professional audio engineer by the name of Leslie Drever took it upon himself to devise a fix. This solution became the LightWave Systems Mini-Mount. Les thought highly of the XL1 and made a version of his mount tailored specifically to that camera. Canon USA was so impressed with it, they signed it on as a licensed Canon accessory. And yes, it does work, and very well. I have one and it stays permanently attached to my XL1.

I've heard from more than one person who believes this is some kind of conspiracy theory, that Canon made it this way to force you to buy more stuff. It's not true. Leslie Drever saw a problem after the fact and did something to fix it. Sadly, he passed away last year (see my notes on Page Two of DVInfo.Net). However, his awesome product line lives on.

The System Isolator, also from LightWave, helps to kill camera noise as well. In an article I have planned for the next update, I'm naming the three XL1 accessories from LightWave (the Mini-Mount, System Isolator and Equalizer Windscreen) in a package under $400 as one of the most useful XL1 accessories. Full details in the Watchdog, Articles section, under Audio. These LightWave items are worth their weight in gold.

Hope this helps,

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Old October 9th, 2001, 12:39 AM   #3
Quantum Productions
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Port Coquitlam, BC, Canada
Posts: 161
I agree with Chris too!
I have both isolators and the equalizer attached to my camera as well. Sometimes during editing I have to turn my volume up because I can't hear anything because it's so quited during certain parts of the tape. But there is sound, just no other camera noise I use to hear!
One modification I did was re-wire the XL1's microphone in reverse (left to right) so I could flip the microphone upside down as the isolator made the cable stretch a bit to far! (becareful as there's very smaller wires in there).

Note: about the equalizer wind screen and the wide angle lens!
The little fuzzy hairs may show up on tape so watch it's position especially when you use the light on top as well! I learned the hard way as I had to edit my footage in "letter box" look to hide the little black hairs at the top of my screen!
Adam Wakely,
Quantum Productions
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Old October 9th, 2001, 11:07 AM   #4
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Tickfaw, LA
Posts: 1,217
I agree that the mini-mount and windscreen from lightwave are great. However, if you get the mini-mount be sure to get the system isolator because it is difficult to route the mic cable correctly without it. It would be great id Canon made the mic cable about 2 inches longer!

Does the windscreen work as advertised? You betcha! I had a bunch of outdoor shooting to do around buildings and in the wild: nary a rumble.

Nathan Gifford
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Old October 9th, 2001, 04:29 PM   #5
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 4,208
Some folks have found that if they tightened the standard XL1 mic mounting screw too tight it will couple vibration to the mic. This may or may not help your situation.
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Old November 20th, 2005, 11:15 PM   #6
2nd Unit TV
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 509
I and every other cameraman fix the problem the same way. First we pck up a copy of Jay Rose's Producing Great Sound for Digital Video. We then pick up the camera in the other hand and with one well-placed blow, we lop the mic off the camera with the hard edge of the book. Simply stated, all camera mics are crap and the idea of using that mic to pick up anything but in-your-face video sound is destroying whatever talent that might show up on the production they're working on. Camera mics are sub-par and their placement less than perfect. The study of sound is an atrt in itself but, surprisingly, progusing great sound is relatively easy if you know the basics. All too many times,m people overlok the importance of sound and we simply can't afford to.

The book I mentuioned is a great starting point; easy to rtad and understand. And the right equipment doesn't have to be expensive either. Check out the audio areas of this site for some great recommendations. The one thing you'll find constant, though, is get rid of the camera mic. It'll only hold you back.
Good luck
Jonathan Ames is offline   Reply

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