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Under Water, Over Land
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Old February 22nd, 2005, 10:21 AM   #1
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camera for wildlife

I am looking for a camera for wildlife filming to make my own program for TV (UK) and for stock. I have contacted a stock library who mainly have Digibeta but would except minidv. I gather that the Canon XL2 is a good choice because it already comes with a 20x zoom and can take independent lenses such as Nikon via an adapter made by a company in the UK called Optek.

Have also looked at the Sony HR-Z1U but the telephoto isn't long enough even with a 1.6 teleconverter. Have read thread on butchering the front of this camera to fit an independent lens but this is a bit drastic to say the least.

So, what camera is the best for wildlife at the moment? Am I stuck with the XL2 or is the HDV option a possibility or even needed as I will be selling through the UK market?
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Old February 22nd, 2005, 11:04 AM   #2
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I wouldn't say being struck with the XL2 is a bad thing. Being a nature photographer myself the 20x lens is a godsend in this price range. Also, you can get the adaptor that will allow you to utilize the full magnification of 35mm Nikon mount lenses. Pick up a used 300mm lens, strap in on to the XL2 and the magnification factor will be about 2100mm. Nothing will be outside your reach. Of course camera stabilization is another matter.

I doubt if you get this capability in HD unless you spend many..many times the cost of the XL2.

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Mark Williams
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Old February 22nd, 2005, 01:40 PM   #3
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I already have a Nikon lens system including a 300mm AFS which is a fantastic optic. Will the adaptor allow autofocus and aperture information etc. to be communicated to the XL2?

Is SD good enough quality for wildlife stock when compared to Digibeta?
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Old February 23rd, 2005, 01:13 PM   #4
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The GL2 has a 20x zoom to, and it's cheaper.
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Old February 23rd, 2005, 04:33 PM   #5
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Alas, no. The Optek adapter is passive (not that the Canon electronics would interface to the Nikon lens anyway). Thus you are stuck with manual operation except for Tv mode which will pick whatever shutter is appropriate for the aperture you manually dial in on the lens. The other "problem" is the "Check Lens" display which will be present in the viewfinder. I think you can turn that off in the menus but I don't bother - you'll get used to it.

Being able to use Nikon primes (and zooms) with the XL2 is, IMO, one of the best features of the XL2.
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Old February 23rd, 2005, 09:18 PM   #6
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The company is Optex
http://www.optexint.com/

The adapters are indeed passive
http://www.xl1s.com/products.php?cat...42897d7e59db1b

The Canon EF Adapter XL will take Canon EOS lenses. I don't know how much "talking" occurs, I assume power for focus and zoom, iris. Not sure what else. I haven't used it.

For wildlife, The XL2 is great and it's a great camera in it's own right. The 20x lens is very sharp and gives you a very long lens, the equivalent of a 1036mm lens on a 35mm still camera. The built in optical image stabilization may also be useful as well. Using an Canon EOS lens with the afore mentioned adapter gives a 7.8 magnification factor. So any lens becomes a long lens.

Go to the XL@ watchdog site and read more
http://www.dvinfo.net/canonxl2/articles/article04.php

I don't think that the HDV is a good format option for what you're doing. You are in no way "stuck" with the XL2.

Do your research and good shooting.
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Old February 24th, 2005, 07:07 AM   #7
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Got that backwards, didn't I? It's Av mode that picks the proper shutter speed for the aperture you have selected. Never use either Tv or Av so I guess that's why I got them reversed.
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