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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old January 2nd, 2002, 05:50 PM   #1
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Standard lens / mic question

I am interested in possibly purchasing a Canon XL1s later this year. However, first I have a couple of questions which I hope someone will be able to answer:

1. Can the standard lens achieve broadcast quality images? I don't really have the funds to buy another one. Are there any problems with the standard lens?

2. Is the standard microphone removable, so for example it can be placed elsewhere on the camera or used handheld by the operator for example?

3. When the microphone is in its default position, does the lens produce an audible noise when zooming/focusing?

Thanks in advance for all responses.
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Old January 2nd, 2002, 06:24 PM   #2
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Howdy from Texas,

<< 1. Can the standard lens achieve broadcast quality images? >>

Steven Soderbergh shot most of his upcoming feature film, "Full Frontal," with the standard lens. Julia Roberts, David Duchovney, Brad Pitt all worked in front of this lens. This 35mm motion picture film will be in movie theaters world wide in March. The standard lens is used for broadcast all the time.

<< 2. Is the standard microphone removable, so for example it can be placed elsewhere on the camera or used handheld by the operator for example? >>

Removeable -- yes. Placed elsewhere -- no. Cable isn't long enough. But you can use other mics if desired.

<< 3. When the microphone is in its default position, does the lens produce an audible noise when zooming/focusing? >>

Yes. For more info, see my Watchdog FAQ at www.dvinfo.net/xl1faq.htm under "What can I do to make my audio sound better?" -- the FAQ page will answer this and many other common questions.

Hope this helps,
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Old January 3rd, 2002, 08:15 AM   #3
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Thanks

Thanks for your reply Chris and thanks for changing my forum name as requested.
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Old January 3rd, 2002, 01:48 PM   #4
 
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altho', r.t. the standard canon mike, I imagine it would be fairly easy to make an extension cord for the cable? note: no mono splitter needed if this can be done. are these plugs "standard" radio shack available?
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Old January 3rd, 2002, 09:03 PM   #5
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It is possible to make an extension cable for the standard mic. But keep in mind that it is an unbalanced mic, so long cables would tend to pickup noise. Also, the standard mic is stereo and may pickup more handling noise than a mic designed for handheld use.

The standard mic may pickup audable motor or zoom noise in quiet locations. Some camcorders appear to be noisier than others. Whether or not it will be a problem depends on what you are shooting.
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Old January 3rd, 2002, 11:30 PM   #6
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I've made an extension cable.

Yes it is quite possible to make an extension cable for the on-board mic. Mine is a whopping 30' long.

Its pretty straight foward construction using most Radio Shack parts (except for the cable -- use premo audio cable!!!). The hardest part is stress relieving the cable and maintaining proper spacing on the connector. If I did it again I would use a Dremel tool (on the connectors not the XL-1) and some metal stock to fix this spacing. You can use velcro straps for stress relief/tie down.

Does it work? Shoot yes! I know its unbalanced, but the little critter does work, though I haven't tried it around very noisy sources.

BTW, if you are looking for a quick and dirty IFB I use a pair of FRS walkie-talkies. You can even plug the FRS into the headphone jack for a remote "sanity check" of you audio. Be sure to get the ones with privacy tones. Nothing is worse than having some contractor blow out the eardrums on the talent!

Happy Mardi Gras,
Nathan Gifford
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Old January 4th, 2002, 09:10 AM   #7
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extension cable

Nathan,

What's a premo audio cable and where can I find it?

Thanks!
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Old January 7th, 2002, 05:42 AM   #8
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I think he just means a nice high quality cable, not the cheap 20cents per metre stuff.... Of course also make sure it's a shielded cable.
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Old January 7th, 2002, 09:36 AM   #9
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Yep, Yep! That's what I meant!!!

Do not scrimp on the cable IT ABSOLUTELY DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE. That means do not buy cheap Radio Shack stuff.

Go to a music store that caters to bands. They have spools and spools of excellent quality audio cable. The rest of the components you can get from Radio Shack, assorted hardware stores, and other component stores.

How long can you make one? I do not know, but mine is 25 feet. I keep it all 'colled' (my Texan Grandmother's word for coiled) up in my Sears camera case.

Nathan Gifford
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