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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
Can't find it on the XL1 Watchdog site? Discuss it here.

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Old December 16th, 2005, 07:31 AM   #1
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Germantown, MD
Posts: 46
Just bought a New In Box XL1s

Believe it or not I managed to score a still new in the box, sealed Canon XL1s camera. Don't know how I did it, but I did. Only paid $1900

Now I recently had a GL1 I purchased used off ebay about 9 months ago. I paid $1400 for it, and sold it for $1250 and I still put 150 hours on the GL1. However, I wasn't too keen on the GL1 during certain shooting aspects. I was shooting a short horror film, and I wasn't impressed with the camera, but after reading the forums here it seemed that the XL1s was the way to go.

Now what I am curious about is those with experience with this camera that can maybe point me to some area's I should know about it. I have been reading some of the threads, but I guess I am looking for the best tips and tricks to do with the new XL1s.

Any suggestions?
Gary Franks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 16th, 2005, 08:06 PM   #2
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Location: Belgium
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Put it in completely manual mode, and play with the settings. The XL1s has bigger chips (1/3 vs 1/4) so that should give a better image then your GL1.
There are other differences too, but I think the GL1/GL2 and XL1/XL1s series have a pretty equal image, but an XL cam should give you the potential of better images then a GL.
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Old December 16th, 2005, 11:50 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jun 2005
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does the source you purchased it from have anymore, just curious?
The XL1s is a great camera. Like Mathieu said, play around with the manual mode, it gives you a lot freedom in terms of creativity and if you ever get a chance, the different lenses are a great way to expand your perspective.
Andrew Khalil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 17th, 2005, 03:44 PM   #4
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Location: Augusta Georgia
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I recommend that you make test shots with the camera to get very familar with it.

Specifically, since you will be shooting a movie, consider manual mode with 1/60th of a second shutter speed. Take some shots, while paning of some trees.

If you use 250th of a second, for example, you will see a strobing effect. This is generally eliminated if you use 1/60th of a second.

Be sure to read the section on "Film Look".

The XL1, if in autofocus, will lose focus if you zoom fast. Practice with the camera to see for yourself.

Experiment with Frame Mode and make a decision for yourself if you want to use it. We shot a feature length movie this year and used Frame Mode successfully. Others will disagree.

Practice to find the "Sweet Spot" on the lenses. The manual helps on this subject. In general, if you stop down the lens (using the highest F-Stops) you footage will not be as clear as using the middle F-Stops.

Be very careful of the automatic gain control. For film work, you should properly light the scenes. Do not use the "A" setting which is for automatic gain. Preferably use the 0 or -3 gain settings. If you leave the camera in automatic, and the light is low, the gain will adjust up to 30db of gain which will leave you with a very noisy picture.

I recommend that you get a matte box with a french flag to avoid flare. In any case, if you want to avoid flare, especially when using filters, do not let sunlight shine on your lens.

To protect your camera, always put the lens cap back on after shooting and point the viewfinder down so that sunlight does not destroy it.

Whenever possible, I recommend that you attach a monitor to your camers and check each scene you shoot in the monitor. The color viewfinder is not adequate to check for proper focus, the monitor will help immensely.

I hope this helps.
Dan Keaton
Augusta Georgia
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