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General HD (720 / 1080) Acquisition
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Old October 16th, 2007, 03:12 AM   #1
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HDV Camcorder for wildlife

Hi everyone.

Since I'm new to this forum, and to the video acquisition as well, wanted to introduce myself.
I live in Poland and have been for quite a long time devoted to the still wildlife & nature imaginary, mostly for stock and printing press editorial target.

Having observed the market for the visual media for some time I have concluded that going forward, for the environmental visualization, the turn to the motion picture arena seems inevitable, to maintain above the surface and to be able to make a meaningful statement on the subjects in the age of such quickly changing media standards, thus also meeting the standards of professional production.

The main purpose of the production will be TV broadcasting and DVD production

I have been watching this forum for some time, and I am positive that you might throw valuable light on my query.

Basically my question is, based on your experience and knowledge of the professional acquisition, what equipment investment should I consider for a reasonable capabilities and cost efficiency.

From the capabilities perspective, what is important for me is obviously HDV recording and as good as possible lens reach for wildlife captures.
For the still photography – the effective 35mm relative reach which I have been using mostly is between 600 and 1100 mm of focal length.

In a nutshell – but pls verify my assumption – I would need 2 camcorders – one with interchangeable lenses, to the stronger close-ups and most of use and one more compact for scenic and more portable purposes.
As for lenses, what are the options for long ones warranting respective reach – what providers, and what camcorders to match. (As I see it, the canon xl-h1 might be an option, however, there is basically no long lens options for it…. ?)

As I have researched the net, the possible other options would be JVC interchangeable lens camcorders, but I am not sure what long lens option will I have.

Would appreciate any of your thoughts experiences to share.

Best regards,
Bernard Bialorucki
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Old October 16th, 2007, 03:47 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Bernard Bialorucki View Post
(As I see it, the canon xl-h1 might be an option, however, there is basically no long lens options for it…. ?)
Bernard, the Canon XL-H1 will be a very good option for you regarding wildlifefilming. By using an ef-adapter, you are able to use ef-lenses. This is a great way to get those long focal length you need for wildlife stuff.
By using ef-lenses you got a crop factor of 7.2x, in other words a 300mm lens will give you 2160 mm focal length connected to the XL-H1!

I'm using this concept myself for wildlifefilms. My basic equipment for this kind of work is the 20x HD lens, the 70-200mm f/2.8 and the 300mm f/4.0 or f/2.8. I also use the 500mm f/4.0 for extreme close-ups, which give me 3600 mm!!! We are talking telescope here ;-)

I have some samples at my website: http://www.video-film.no/galleri_eng.html which you may want to look at.
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Old October 16th, 2007, 08:53 AM   #3
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Sounds like the best option to me.

If you use Canon for your still work, this would be an excellent fit.

I use the 70-200 2.8 and it is quite a lens.


BTW, you need a good tripod for 3600mm!

Hand holding might be out of the question.
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Old October 16th, 2007, 09:47 AM   #4
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Thanks for the tips.

Indeed, the HL-H! setup would be ideal while enabling to use the EF lenses I have anyway.
I have researched the Canon websites for the technical aspects, and it does not provide real assurance for usage of the ef-adapter.
Instead it stated that any other lens that the specially designed HD lens can be used for the HDV recording (although I have it difficult to figure out what impact the lens might have on the recording standard).

So if you could confirm the following items
- application of the FE lens maintains the HL-H1 to acquire in HDV standard
- if attached through the ef-adapter, does the setup maintains the AF and proper light/w_b metering
- does attaching of a big lens like EF 300/2.8 will impact the battery life significantly?

Thanks for your support,
Bernard, from sunny-but-freezing Warsaw

Last edited by Bernard Bialorucki; October 17th, 2007 at 03:20 AM.
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Old October 16th, 2007, 10:17 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Bernard Bialorucki View Post
So if you could confirm the following items
- application of the FE lens maintains the HL-H1 to acquire in HDV standard
- if attached through the ef-adapter, does the setup maintains the AF and proper light/w_b metering
- does attaching of a big lens like EF 300/2 will impact the battery life significantly?
Bernard,
Q1: yes, you will maintain fully HDV recording when using ef-lenses. Note that you will get a note in the viewfinder which tells you "non compatible hd-lens is attached", just ignore this message which will disappear after a couple of seconds. The quality of the upper class of ef-lenses will NOT degrade your footage IMHO.
Q2: You WILL NOT maintain AF through the ef-adapter, light/w.b metering is like using ordinary lenses.
Q3: I don't think using big ef-lenses will impact the battery life, at least I haven't notice anything myself. But you need a proper tripod support when using those big lenses for proper picture quality without too much jittering!
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Old October 18th, 2007, 03:45 AM   #6
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I have some samples at my website: http://www.video-film.no/galleri_eng.html which you may want to look at.
Thanks for the link. I have gone through all of your clips and well, they are great. I especially liked the Bears one. But all are wonderful.
From the technical standpoint - I presume that some compromise on sharpness and grain/noise comes from the down-rez and downsampling. Is this correct?

As for the cranes clip I also presume that the headshots you have there are done with the EF 500 combo - excellent captures!
Thanks for sharing.

Definitely, the XLH1 + EF long glass is a great option.
The only thing I would also like to consider is the newl announced Sony small camcorder with interchanable glass.
Just wondering when more spects will be known, and when the actual shipping starts. Also, what long lenses options will be there.

Thanks for sharing,
Bernard
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