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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old January 29th, 2003, 12:33 AM   #1
Marty Edwards
 
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complete neophyte...needing advice

I've been trying to learn a little at a time about the xl1s. I have never owned a pro-sumer camera before, so beginner may be a strong understatement. I do feel, however, that I may (my wife would disagree) possess slightly above average intelligence, and I can be damn persistent. My application will be primarily shooting wildlife outdoors. Strong potential for shooting much footage off the shoulder at moving critters. Low light conditions are always peak animal movement periods. Cold temperatures, sometimes below 32f, will be quite common in my intended application. So, based on that description, do you guys think the xl1s is the appropriate piece of equipment for a beginner with that specific application in mind? If so, what package would be the one to get, say from a zgc type outlet...I know I'll want wireless mic's capability also.

Go easy on me, remember, I'm just a beginner. Thanks for any & all help.

Marty Edwards
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Old January 29th, 2003, 04:40 AM   #2
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Well, I don't have much experience with critter filming, but why
don't you take a look at the GL2 instead? It sounds like the XL1s
might be overkill for you and your knowledge (no offense). The
XL1s is quite a heavy camera with balance difficulty (which you
will not hold up for long).

The GL2 is a lot smaller and more lightweight but produces the
same quality images and has more optical zoom as well! It,
however, does not allow you to swap lenses that might be off
interest if you need extra long distance recording. I think the
GL2 will also do a bit better in low-lighting (not sure on this,
someone correct me if I'm wrong).

I don't know what would be good (or better than the GL2/XL1s)
cameras for low lighting situations.

Good luck!
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Old January 29th, 2003, 06:55 AM   #3
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Even under ideal conditions shooting good wildlife footage from the shoulder is a almost impossible. I use a tripod all the time, almost without exception. Even in deep snow I use a tripod. If you have to shoot from the shoulder, a camera such as the GL2, Sony PD150 or Panasonic DVX100 would be better choices. They combine smaller physical size, with lighter weight, for a more manageable outfit. Nor do they look as sexy, but will perform very well. However, the XL1 is the only model in this range that has interchangeable lenses. This feature is very attractive to the wildlife photographer, allowing longer telephotos (Canon EOS lenses via the XL EF adapter) to be attached.
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Old January 29th, 2003, 10:53 AM   #4
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That's what I was trying to say :) You do it with more charm then
me, Jeff....
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Old January 30th, 2003, 12:00 AM   #5
Marty Edwards
 
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Well, I've been doing some homework on the GL2, and it seems as though it may, in fact, be a better choice. At least to get started with. Looks like I will lose the capability of lens interchangability (although am I wrong that there may be wide angle lenses, or doublers or something?) I have read much about the "omni directional" mic that is stock on the GL2, sounds like most, if not everyone says it's a little to be desired. I will primarily be filming hunters in the woods, duck hunting etc. I may be as many as 60ft, or more away from them. Won't I want to put wireless mics on them? Is that a pricey proposition?

Thanks again for all your help, and patience.

Marty Edwards
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Old January 30th, 2003, 12:19 AM   #6
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Yes there are Wide-angle and telephoto “adapters” for the GL2. They degrade the picture quality a bit compared to a physical lens. Jus buy good glass (in the adapters) and you will be fine with them.

There are two types of wireless Mics. VHF, and UHF. You can pick-up a VHF system for about $400. Although if you are serious about your sound I would advise UHF (UHF=more$).

Alex
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Old January 30th, 2003, 06:27 AM   #7
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The AKG 81 series is UHF Diversity for under $500. The most bang for the buck in my opinion. Diversity is a good choice for field work. It helps insure good reception even when line of sight is temporarily blocked (big trees that deflect signals).
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Old January 30th, 2003, 02:30 PM   #8
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to add to this......

Even if you go with the GL2 I would still encourage you to use a tripod, or at least a monopod.

It will give you a higher quality footage to work with versus hand/shoulder held footage when it counts.

I learned this the hard way.......and generally wildlife footage can't be re-shot (unless you hang out at the local zoo =)

All it takes is a sneeze, a cough, or sniffing your nose while zoom'd......and it's on the cutting room floor per sey.
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