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Old October 20th, 2006, 12:04 AM   #1
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XL1 Accessories Comments

I just ordered a bunch of gear for my newly acquired XL1 and I thought I would provide some insight for other XL1 users considering similar purchases.

Kata Rain Bag – I decided on the Kata because somewhere I read it would fit over the camera with the MA-100 installed. I have not yet shot in the rain so I can not comment on the weather worthiness, but it seems to fit the camera. With the MA100 installed with the mounting plate attached the fit is very tight. I doubt you could get any accessories on and still fit the bag, but I the two inches off the mounting plate so I should have room to install the bag with the wireless receivers installed.

Lenmar 6000mah batteries – This may be the best deal and product I bought. I was a little worried because I got a used Lenmar 4500mah with my camera that only runs for about five minutes, but I tested the new batteries and got just over four hours record time. At about $50.00 the price was right too.

Britek 9040 Florescent light kit – The build quality on the Britek stuff is pretty low, but it works. I would not expect it to hold up to heavy use, but it I am really careful I might get it to last a couple of years. The soft boxes are pretty tough to install and even harder to get back off, If I had to travel with them a lot it would be a pain in the ass. The lights are all 6500k so it feels very bluish, but with proper white balance the images look good. With the fixtures running in close proximity interview position I get about 1300lux on my subject.

Nady 351 VR Wireless System – I was deciding between the cheap Azden, Audio Techncia, and Nady systems and I picked the Nady mainly on form factor. I wanted to run two wireless systems on separate channels and Nady looked like it would sit nicely on the back of my MA100 mounting plate. Unfortunately looking good is about all theses things do. I tested them outside and experienced dropouts well within the advertised 250’ range. I guess that’s the problem with non dual diversity stuff. Inside I had dropouts when moving around in about a 15 – 20 area. I am not pleased. Unless I can work this out, it seems useless to try and use these with any moving subjects. I think for my interview work I will keep using the $20 audio technica lav mike that was worked well for me in the past.

Hopefully someone gets some useful info from this post. I could talk more about any of this stuff but I am too tired to volunteer it at the moment. If you want to know something specific just ask.
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Old October 20th, 2006, 04:18 AM   #2
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Interesting. Thanks for the post.
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Old October 22nd, 2006, 11:28 AM   #3
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Amended Information

Although I still consider the Nady wireless a pretty low line product, which its low price obviously reflects I have done some further research and want to amend my previous comments.

I seems that on one of the receivers (channel A) the noise is being pickup up from the camera itself. When I switch the XL1 on noise is there switch it off and noise is gone. I tested the same receiver plugged into my stereo amplifier and it performed much better. I think the receiver technology might not be built as well as it could have been because I can place an amateur radio receiver next to the camera and it will not receive the same noise. The other receiver seems to work better but I still experience some form of dropout that would not be acceptable in a professional production.

Another problem that I may be experiencing is some form of ground looping that occurs when I have two receives plugged into the same camera at the same time. This happens regardless if one receiver is off or on. Since the channel A receiver seems to be the more problematic I am going to do some testing with the other and see how it works alone.

Like I mentioned in my previous post this receivers look quite cool sitting on the back of my XL1 (for whatever that might be worth). Option two if I cant get the receiver on channel A to work is to use my amateur receiver as to pick up the second channel. I will post some additional feedback after today’s additional testing.

For those interested the better performing receiver is running on channel Nady E which is 215.200 Mhz. I bought a handheld transmitter to go with the set in case I want to do news interview type audio work and fortunately I bought it to work with the channel E set. Channel A is 171.905 in case you are interested.
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Old November 1st, 2006, 11:09 AM   #4
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Regarding the wireless mics: I am wondering: does anyone use Lectrosonic wireless mics? I don't ever really see people talking about them. Just curious...

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Old November 1st, 2006, 12:45 PM   #5
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Jon, I use them all the time, very reliable, I highly recommend them.
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Old November 1st, 2006, 12:54 PM   #6
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You and I seem to be from the same school of thought. Yes, I too, love my Lectrosonic mics. I am using older set that needs to be sent off to the Factory every once in a while to be recalibrated, but other than that, they are very trustworthy!

Cheers, Jon
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Old November 1st, 2006, 01:22 PM   #7
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I never heard of Britek Florescent lights. Could you please tell me more about theses? do you have some links?
Jean-Philippe Archibald
http://www.jparchibald.com - http://www.vimeo.com/jparchib
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Old November 1st, 2006, 11:12 PM   #8
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Britek makes some very low priced video lights. They have several halogen and a few florescent fixtures. The lights I have are about 10” square with four sockets for compact florescent bulbs (the spiral kind that you see at the home improvement store). The kit also comes with a 24” x 24” soft box reflector that puts out very soft even light.

The fixture has four switches so you can turn on each of the four lamps individually. This allows you to dim this output 24% with each switch. The color temp of the lamps is about 6500K which is close to cloudy daylight. Obviously using them alone you just white balance for those lights.

When I am set up in my standard interview position with 2:1 key fill ratio I can about 1500 lux on my subject with the stands about 6 foot from the subject. This is adequate to run must modern camcorders without using any electronic gain.

As I am mentioned in this and other posts, the build quality of this stuff is not extremely high. I would not expect it to stand up to heavy use. The stands are really the flimsiest part of the kit.

You can check them out at Briteklight.com. When I check today everything was priced quite a bit less then I paid a couple of weeks ago. The two light kit I spent about $370 for is $225 making these cheaper than fooling with many of the do it yourself options. When you set this stuff up to do an interview people will not know you didn’t spend a whole lot more (unless of course the stand breaks dropping the light on them).

If I can answer anything else specifically let me know. They call their florescent stuff PRO Continuous Cool Light on the website.
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