Age 17...New XL2...Help! at
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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old June 19th, 2005, 03:17 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2005
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Age 17...New XL2...Help!

Hi there,

I am 17 years old and have just recieved my XL2 (very excited).

I am use to using a GL1, and am having some trouble operating my new camera. I went out on a shoot yesterday, and the sun was incredibley subject looked like he was glowing. I turned the brightness down to the best of my knowledge and it still wasn't dark enough.

Also, while filming my subject walking down the street, I tried using auto focus first but the camera would keep focusing on the background...then I tried using MF and found out it must be an artform to do that with a walking subject!

I am shooting a short film for college, and any help is apreciated. My passion is filming, but all the technical buttons and devices are pulling me down. I have tried to read through the manuel, but it is so easy to get bogged down in the text. Is there a site I can go to that will help me out with all the features...?


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Old June 19th, 2005, 03:46 PM   #2
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Congratulations on your purchas Grant, I too am a GL1 user but I haven't upgraded to anything new yet (waiting for the HD stuff to come out). Even so, I've studied up on the XL2 extensively. Here are my questions:

1) Are you SURE the autofocus is off?

2) Is the lens on properly? Try reseating it (be sure the camera is off when you do it).

3) Have you practiced with holding and using the camera? If not, then you may want to use your GL1 until you've straightened everything out with the XL2.

4) Have you fiddled with every option to see what they do?

5) Are you accidentally pressing buttons while you're shooting? It can happen, especially with all those buttons on the XL2 =P.

6) Are you using the 20x lens or are you using different lenses? The 3x wide has been said to have issues, though the Canon reps denied any problems with the 3x and the XL2 at NAB*rolls eyes*.

Other than that, I can't think of any other problems. Just use the camera a bit more. Also, you probably already know this, but when using manual focus just set it to what you want to focus on and don't touch the ring anymore. I don't think you need to go to any site that will help you understand the features, just look around here =). That's how I've learned everything I know.
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Old June 19th, 2005, 03:49 PM   #3
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Location: Enterprise, AL
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Originally Posted by Grant Carden
Is there a site I can go to that will help me out with all the features...?
Grant, Start with the XL2 Watchdog.

For camera basics, go to Urban Fox and look through the AnyCam Workbook.

Then a couple of good primers, go to CyberCollege and VideoExpert.
Fear No Weevil!
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Old June 19th, 2005, 07:00 PM   #4
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Tulsa, OK
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When you are outside, turn on the ND filter, there are 2 stages on the XL2. Manual focus is the way to go, PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE! The 3X lens works perfect with the XL2 FYI

ash =o)
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Old June 21st, 2005, 05:47 AM   #5
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Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
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it is a steep slope! but the view at the top is great

If it is very bright use the ND filter, it is found on the lense, the grey button at the camera end of the lense, three setings, off, 1/16, 1/32. The use is determined by how bright the conditions are.

The main thing is practice. Try changing just one setting at a time too see what effect it has and try making a note of it. There is a load of good stuff on this site, so rather than repeating what is already here, go have a good look around, and be prepared to spend some time doing this. Take a small step at a time, and you will soon be heading up that learning curve. I got my XL2/s ( I have 2) at the begiining of the year, and I have just reached the stage where I am now experimentin with using different presets, there is so much to learn, then there is the software side, FCP, Motion, never ends...
good luck with your projects

Last edited by Eric A Robinson; June 21st, 2005 at 05:49 AM. Reason: spelling mistake
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Old June 25th, 2005, 02:35 PM   #6
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My suggestion to setting your shot is to first start with some basic fixed functions and work your way around them. I like to keep the same shutter speed no matter what condition it is; mostly because i like to make my videos look just a little more like film (1/48 on 24p & 1/60 on 30p ior 60i). Next, i personally keep the gain on -3db or 0db to limit to amount of noise comming into the picture. When i have those two settings fixed, ill use the zebra stripes on 95% and get the hole picture over exposed, then bring it down with the ND filters and use the F-stop to control the amout of light entering the iris; but with the f-stop (arpeture) be aware how it changes your focal distance; the lower the f-stop (more open iris=more light into lens) the lower the focal distance is; which is good if your wanting to blur the background more; and the higher the f-stop the more focal distants you have but the less light passing through the iris. I only change a few settings on the presets; and thier not drastic settings either, mostly because its a lot easier for me to do the color correction in post production.
These are just some of my personal tips/settings; I hope you enjoy your new Xl2 and develope some of your own personal settings that reflect off of you.
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