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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old August 12th, 2006, 12:24 AM   #1
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XLr - Alternatives to the MA-200

I bought a Canon XL1s and I am new to the camera. I would like to know if there is a cheaper alternative to buying the MA-200. Is there no way to transform The XLE To RCA Ends, such as converters of some sort? If so does this work and is there any loss of sound quality if I were to do this? I am sorry but nearly 400 dollars is a bit much in my opinion...

If it was nessecary I would purchase it but there nearly has to be a more economic way that works just as well or better. What way would this be?

Please Help me because I am clueless.

Any other sound help you can give me (in simplest terms) would also be of value.

Thanks.
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Old August 12th, 2006, 01:16 PM   #2
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http://www.beachtek.com/

I have one and it works great. Got it from B&H.
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Old August 12th, 2006, 03:42 PM   #3
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The simplest and cheapest way to do this--if you only need to connect one mic--is to buy an impedence-matching transformer. This is basically an XLR-to-stereo mini adapter that matches the impedence of an XLR connector to that of a 1/8" jack. Here's one at B&H for $20. On an XL1, you can plug this thing into the larger of the two jacks on the camera where the stock mic plugs in. Keep in mind that you will need a mic with battery power, as you will not have the option of phantom power with this setup. If you do need phantom power, the Beachtek is a good option, though much more expensive. The other benefit of the beachtek is that you'll have more than one input. But if you're only using one mic and don't need phantom power, the Beachtek is an unnnecessary expense.

I used one of these on my GL1 with an AT897 shotgun once, and it sounded great. Since the unbalanced portion of your signal chain is so short in length, extra noise shouldn't be an issue.
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Old August 12th, 2006, 08:47 PM   #4
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The very cheapest way to convert XLR to RCA is to visit an electronics parts house, and buy the simple, unbalanced XLR-to-RCA adapter. It nets to an unbalancd connection back to the mic so you lose the noise cancelling benefit, but it works ok if you have relatively short leads and your cables run in a relatively noise free environment. It amounts to an XLR female connctor with a female RCA at the end where you migh expect to see the cable. B&H catalog lists it as "XLRJPJ for $7. Use a simple RCA-to-RCA patch cord to conenct to the XL1. Not sure if Radio Shack stocks a similar item. I've used them with success.

Impedance match is not an issue because the input impedance ot the XL1s Audio 1 when in MIC or MC ATT mode is ~600 ohms.
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Old August 13th, 2006, 12:57 AM   #5
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Thanks

I know I will end up sounding stupid but the HOSA MIA-156 Transformer only has one prong and the mic that comes with the xl1s has 2... how does this work... and is there no sound quality loss with this product.

Also, the 7 dollar option below with the rca cables... is it the same only with rca cables?
It sounded like you were saying that there could be sound loss with this option. Is this true?

How much were those beachtek adapters? I couldn't fing a price.
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Old August 13th, 2006, 04:37 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Devon Powell
I know I will end up sounding stupid but the HOSA MIA-156 Transformer only has one prong and the mic that comes with the xl1s has 2...
No, you don't sound stupid.

The smaller of the two jacks provides the stock mic with power. The larger of the two is a regular 1.8" audio connector, just like the headphone. This is why your chosen xlr mic will need to be battery-powered--because it can't draw power from the smaller jack like the stock mic does.

The 1/8" jack is perfectly capable of accepting a mic other than the stock mic. There is no real quality loss, to speak of.
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Old August 13th, 2006, 06:44 AM   #7
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With the cheap $7 option, whether or not you have sound loss, or the introduciton of excessive, unwanted electrical noise, depends on where/how you are using it. Generally, not recommended for long cable runs (more than say, 20-30 feet) or use where there are a lot of stray electrical signals around.

You can connect to the mic jack rather than the Audio 1 input if you use a RCA-to-miniphone cord.

The mic jack input is a stereo jack. The tip is left channel and the ring is right channel. If you connect a mono signal, it will be recorded on the left channel and the right will be silent. You can pan the audio to both channels when editing, or use a mono-to-stereo adapter when shooting. Note that is fou simply connect a balanced source to the mic jack with adaptes that convert from XLr to stereo miniplug, you may get equal but out of phase sound on the left and right channel.

Not a good idea to hang a bunch os stuff on the built-in mic jack, it break internally from excessive strain/torque.
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Old August 13th, 2006, 03:32 PM   #8
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I've had very good results using an impedence-matching transformer, even using very long XLR cables. And might I point out that even the Beachtek is just an impedence-matching transformer that mounts to the camera and happens to have an extra input.

Don, you make a good point about not hanging weight from the stereo mini jack. But it's very easy to loop the cable around the camera's handle (not the viewfinder!) and secure it with a strip of velcro cable tie. If you leave a little slack between the loop and the jack, there shouldn't be any stress whatsoever on the jack.
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Old August 13th, 2006, 08:13 PM   #9
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Impedance matching, or isolation transformer, or switch selected to do both??
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Old October 19th, 2006, 11:39 AM   #10
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shotgun mic

Can somebody tell me a good (around 200 dollars) directional microphone that will directly replace the microphone on my canon xl2. Can I get one that will plug into the socket the original mic uses?
I do wildlife video.
Thanks,
Stan
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Old October 19th, 2006, 06:18 PM   #11
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There is no direct replacement, but the AT822 might be close. Remember that the standard mic is stereo.

Shotgun mics reject sound from the sides, and, depending on the specific mic's pattern, the rear. They usually are mono, but there are some shotgun stereo mics.

There are some threads here on recording wildlife. You might find some good tips there.
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Old October 20th, 2006, 05:31 PM   #12
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mic

Thanks Don
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