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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old August 17th, 2006, 10:20 PM   #1
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XL1s Low Budget / No Budget Movie

I have been asked to par take in a movie opportunity. This will be a low budget / no budget film and participants will have varying degrees of experience. I am excited for the experience and want to provide my best foot forward.

We will be using a Canon XL1s, this camera in its own right is good. I would like the available budget to go toward additional lighting and audio equipment, but I want your guys feedback.

Would you replace the camera, wait til Oct. and get an A1? HD is not important, but 24p can be beneficial.

Does the means of taping 24f out weigh, better lighting and audio opportunities?

I watched full frontal and understood that a lot of that taping was run and gun, frankly I was not impressed with the quality. Did they do something in post?

Watching 28 Days Later gave an entirely different experience. I know that they did a lot of lighting and used a prime lense. (I may not be exact on my facts).

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Chad
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Old August 17th, 2006, 10:30 PM   #2
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If you're replacing the camera, and HD is not important, why not go for the XL2? I'm selling my XL1s just to get the XL2: more control over color, 24p, better picture (more effective pixles than XL1s), true 16:9, etc.

Sorry, haven't seen full frontal, or enough of 28 days later (caught the last few minutes of it)

Of course, the XL1s is a great camera, and lighting can make or break a movie.... soooo, it really depends on how much the new features of the XL2 mean to you. For making a movie, I would think the 24p and true 16:9 would be great selling points, but you also need good lighting.
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Old August 18th, 2006, 02:08 AM   #3
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What do you have for lighting now... if it's minimal or none or DIY I would think about spending the money on lights... same goes for sound... get a good sound package as that matters more than the picture.
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Old August 18th, 2006, 07:55 AM   #4
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I appreciate the comments. For lighting I currently have a Lowel Rifa Lite 88 (up to 1000w) Lowel Pro Light (250w) and a couple reflectors. Good, bad or indifferent I am brand loyal and will be adding a Lowel DP light to the mix. Any additional lighting suggestions are appreciated as well.

For audio, we will have an AT-897 worked by a boom pole operator. The feed will go to a mixer and then into the XL1s. If budget was not an issue I would feed it into a CF recorder.

Canon announced the "2" series of cameras just months after I invested in my GL1s and Xl1s inventory. This was unfortunate and I could not justify the expense of upgrading to next gen of cameras. Finally the A1 has been announced and I am very interested in the camera.

Thanks,
Chad
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Old August 18th, 2006, 12:16 PM   #5
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That's not a bad setup... we have a Arri 4 light kit (2x 300's and 2x 650's both set fresnels) and they served us well... on bigger scenes where we just needed some ambiant light we were using some shop lights and some small cheap open faced lights.. but we had some big/trick shots (jibs over crowds in clubs... shooting from one room through a shower window into a bathroom).

We also have the Marrantz PMD-660 CF recorder with the Advance Mod from www.Oade.com ... The mod makes worlds of difference Doug did a great job, they replace the entire preamp section and it sounds wonderful and I would recommend it to anyone.

Make sure your boom op has a clue about pick up patters and proximity... I still can't let go of the boom... I don't trust anyone else to get the sound (most are too lazy to really get the mic in there and watch the top of the frame and such)...
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