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Old February 10th, 2003, 03:38 AM   #1
New Boot
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Preesall, Lancashire, England, FY6 0HH
Posts: 7
XL1s New User

I am due to visit eastern Europe to film breeding white-tailed eagles and it would be my prefered option to have a more in depth understanding of the XL1s and it's features before I make the trip. I would hate to get back only to have found that my recordings were poor due to my lack of knowledge and understanding of the XL1s.

I have read the instruction manual but still find that I do not fully understand the information given. Is there an "idiots quide to using the XL1s" that perhaps provides more in depth details of the many features that I might find more helpfull and easier to understand?

If there is anyone out there who has the time and is willing to share their knowledge relating to applying the features of the XL1s, perhaps a Netmeeting conversation could be arranged? Terry Pickford. conservation@raptor.uk.com
Terry R. Pickford
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Old February 11th, 2003, 02:39 PM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 6,943
Welcome Terry!

Perhaps the best non-manual general resource is this forum's parent site, DVInfo. Take special time to walk through the Articles, and Resources pages.

But on the whole, the best way to tackle this beast is to take it a bite at a time. Just start shooting anything to get a feeling for the camera's controls. Avoid using the "Green Box" auto-everything mode for all but the most urgent shots. Instead use one of the cam's program modes, aperture-priority (Av) or shutter speed-priority (Tv) for most of your initial exploration. Then move into Manual mode.

When you have a specific question, just come back here and use the Search function. You can be sure that every possible aspect of the XL1 and XL1s has been discussed at least once. If you don't find your answer please just post a question. Folks here are always happy to help.

Welcome again, Terry, and have a great time with your XL1s.
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Old February 11th, 2003, 06:48 PM   #3
RED Code Chef
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Holland
Posts: 12,514
I've not done such filming, but the following things come to mind:

1. leave the camera in TV mode. In this way you can lock the
shutter speed (which you will want at least at 1/50 but probably
higher so you can see the action crystal clear instead of blurry.
I would go with at least 1/100 I think) and let the camera worry
about the Iris etc.

2. Leave auto-focus off (this also save a lot of battery time) and
focus manualy on infinite (you will be shooting primarely at the
sky I presume) and keep it there.

3. White balance can be left on auto but perhaps an outdoor
setting might yield better results against the sky (try this out)

4. Try to shoot at 0 or -3 db gain to get the cleanest picture

5. decide on whether you want to shoot interlaced or in frame

6. Bring a good tripod/monopod. The XL1 is a very heavy machine
and the birds are usually far away (requires extra zoom!)

7. Bring plenty of power (I suggest a couple of BP-941/945
batteries -> Canon's own are the most expensive ones. There
are other brands). The XL1 loves to eat batteries

8. I'm wondering whether your 16x zoom will be sufficient. You
might consider buying/bringing extenders

9. Don't forget plenty of tape

10. If you are going to be in the elements a lot think about
your cameras protection from them!


That's it for now... did I forget something?

Rob Lohman, visuar@iname.com
DV Info Wrangler & RED Code Chef

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