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Old March 9th, 2003, 02:04 PM   #1
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FU-1000 B&W Viewfinder Review

As Chris noted in another thread, I've recently prepared a review of Canon's FU-1000 B&W viewfinder accessory for the XL1/XL1S camera for the Watchdog section of this site.

If you're considering purchasing or renting this viewfinder I think you'll be interested in this article. Please feel free to post your questions here. I will try to answer all received.
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Old March 9th, 2003, 10:14 PM   #2
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Very nice review Ken! I also use the FU-1000 with the XL1S. I find cranking up the peaking control to be very effective in being able to gauge focus, especially when setting up the back focus control on the 16X Manual Servo lens.

One accessory for the FU-1000 which I highly recommend is the Tiffen Tele-2x magnifier.
http://www.tiffen.com/tele2x.htm
It installs veery easily in place of the standard tube on the FU-1000. Using the Tele-2x is like having a flip-out B&W LCD panel on the XL1S. This makes handheld operation a breeze, as it significantly maginfies the viewfinder image. Also, since there is no diopter involved, it is always in focus.

The Tele-2x also excels in tripod setups and performs very much like having a studio B&W monitor attached to the camera.

Just thought I would mention this accessory, well worth the investment and worth keeping in your camera bag for those shots which require a larger "LCD panel-like" viewfinder image.

- don
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Old March 10th, 2003, 12:05 AM   #3
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Your article was excellent! Kudos, for a job well done in explainging everyting.


I knew that it drains the battery faster and that the battery meter doesn't work, but I didnt know you couldn't use the AC adapter. I have used the AC adapter with the FU-1000 several times, while downloading footage to my computer directly. The playback on the B&W CRT was fine. When I record I use batteries, so I can't vouch for that from memory of it working for recording. It seems to work fine for the vcr mode however. Maybe we have two different Fu-1000 units or xl1s units?

When i have peaking all the way up, i see white cracks in the color bars screen down near the botton by the pluge bars. I also see a bright white line on the right side.

Do you see this in your as well? Any clues as to why it does't that?
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Old March 10th, 2003, 12:34 AM   #4
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Hey John, thanks for your comments. Glad you enjoyed it.

Th a/c thing was a surprise to me, too. The manual clearly states that the FU-1000 cannot be operated from a/c power. When I tested this assertion the first time (somewhat nervously) the viewfinder winked on for a few seconds then off. (No apparent harm done.) I tried it one more time (record mode) it seemed to work fine. So I debated whether or not to include the warning in the article and decided to opt for the safest route in the event that Canon knows something I don't (naw) and some hazard lurks with a/c operation.

Re: the peaking display, indeed if you crank it all the way up you'll see all edges of your bars light up. There is a 3.5 unit and a 7.5 unit bar just to the left of the 11.5 pluge bar and those boundaries are probably what you're seeing. The bright line at the right of the display is just the outermost edge of the CRT's scan.
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Old March 10th, 2003, 05:03 AM   #5
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The power rating of the CA-900A A/C adapter is about 10 watts. This is a bit low for the FU-1000 which was rated at 12 watts with the standard lens, somewhat over 10 watts with the manual lens. Thus it may work with the manual lens, and is a good bit over with the standard lens.

If it works, you are relying on the overdesign margin.
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Old March 10th, 2003, 06:57 AM   #6
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so maybe because I used it in VCR mode where the manual lens isn't on, it works on the adapter. I think I will avoid it's usage in the future.
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Old March 10th, 2003, 01:19 PM   #7
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FU-1000 PAL vs NTSC

Hello Todd,
Thank you so much for your note. No, I?ve no experience with, or knowledge of, the PAL version. Very interesting! For the benefit of all community members please post your note to the DVInfo thread. We really need to add this to the body of knowledge on the FU-1000.

Thank you very much again!

Best Regards,

-Ken Tanaka-

on 3/10/03 1:08 PM, Everett, Todd (Consultant) at Todd.Everett@pfizer.com wrote:


Hi Ken,

Really enjoyed your new article on the FU-1000. It's more informative than anything else I've read. Odd, though. I've been using the FU-1000 pal for a couple of years, and apparently at least one of the two following statements is true: 1) the PAL versions is engineered differently, 2) the FU-1000 has been redesigned slightly since I bought mine a couple years ago. The reason I say this is that I've never encountered either of the limitations you describe:
Quote:
Two Caveats
The FU-1000 has two design limitations noted only briefly in its small manual.

First, if you ever power your XL1S by using a direct a/c connection through your battery charger you'll have to change your habits. The FU-1000 can only be powered by battery due, apparently, to limitations of its voltage adapter.

The second caveat is more noteworthy. After using the FU-1000 for a while you may suddenly notice that something's missing from the EVF indicators: the battery level indicator. Apparently the FU-1000's voltage adapter also confounds the battery level indicator until the battery is nearly depleted, at which point a flashing battery indicator will appear in the viewfinder. This can lend a new level of excitement to your shooting since the FU-1000's 12w load will drain your battery quicker than the FU-500's LCD viewfinder. So be sure to stock-up on charged batteries before a shoot and change them before shooting a long sequence. Even better, use the CH-910 dual battery holder.
In any case, your article doesn't mention the PAL version of this viewfinder so perhaps you're already aware of this. Again, thanks for doing the piece.

Todd Everett
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Old March 10th, 2003, 02:01 PM   #8
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As you can see, Todd kindly wrote me with some additional information on the PAL version of the FU-1000, something I've no experience with.

If someone could confirm his remarks concerning the PAL version of the FU-1000 I'd be glad to modify the article (and certainly credit the additional contributors). After all, collecting the best knowledge base is what DVInfo is all about!
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Old March 10th, 2003, 02:44 PM   #9
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I should mention that my FU-1000 is attached to an XL1 PAL with Canon's old manual lens. That's the only configuration I've ever tried with the FU-1000. I don't remember anything in the user manual urging me to avoid using the viewfinder on AC power, but I'll dig it up, give it another read and report back.

Todd
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Old March 10th, 2003, 05:35 PM   #10
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My camera works fine with the AC adapter, 16x manual lens and FU-1000. maybe its a difference in the manufacturing runs?
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Old March 10th, 2003, 09:20 PM   #11
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Okay. I checked the manual. It does say the FU-1000 can not be used with AC power and that the power indicator doesn't appear until just prior to dead battery. I also want to correct an error in my report: that bit about the power indicator is true. Sorry for the inaccuracy. I guess my mind is so packed full of technical digital movie-making factoids that this point of fact escaped me. Temporary memory loss, like Ronald Regan. I am happy, though, to report that I'm not a total flake. I've always used the AC adapter and never had any difficulties or malfunctions.

Todd
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Old March 10th, 2003, 09:26 PM   #12
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Todd,
Thanks so much for reporting back. I was beginning to feel like an early-adopter victim.
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