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Old May 25th, 2007, 02:46 PM   #16
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Oh and I meant to add a comment about manuals.

I believe they are the way they are (dreadful, imho) because they are originally written by people for whom english is not their first language, typically Japanese or Korean etc, then they are translated by people who could care less about content, readability or style.

Personally, I loathe the manuals that are written in a flippant, childish way - if we are agreed that an amateur videographer pretending to be a pro is bad then don't get me started on amateur comedy writers trying to make me laugh!! They don't. I want to harm them. Pick up a copy of '303 Digital Filmmaking Solutions' to see what I mean. Great tips and ideas but written in such a way that I need a stiff drink before I can open the cover.

I think there is a happy medium between 'technically dry' and 'downright silly' and that's the third party reference book, like those from Focal or DV. These books are typically (although not always) written in a warm, readable style by someone who a) knows their subject, b) is passionate about it and c) has writing or journalistic experience.

Sadly, though, while the software world has waaaaaay more books than it needs (a whole aisle for Photoshop? C'mon!) there is a distinct shortage of hardware specific material.

Why is that, do you think?

Just take a look at the wealth of knowledge contained in this forum that is NOT found in the manual - now that MUST be enough to fill a book! And I bet the great majority of XL2 owners - especially those pro-am types - would rush to buy a copy.

Oh, if I had the time.


Ian . . .
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Old May 25th, 2007, 07:06 PM   #17
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It's terribly unfortunate some of you get all worked up about videography. And for those who presume I'm some sort of "amateur" because I asked about a quick start guide for the XL2 are gravely mistaken. Let me make that point very clear to all of you.

By the way, who are any of you to decide who "gets" to become a videographer and who doesn't? An art form is an art form. Just because you may not agree with someone else's methods doesn't mean they should be rejected or ridiculed.

I really did expect far more from this forum.

Next time just answer the question and stay away from labeling people you don't know.
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Old May 25th, 2007, 09:31 PM   #18
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For what it's worth. I like the idea of a XL2 cheat sheet. I think it's a good suggestion.
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Old May 25th, 2007, 09:37 PM   #19
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Thanks, Tim. I appreciate that.

Not to step on anyone's toes or anything, but all this "protectiveness" about hobbies and professions is complete nonsense. I really like this forum because almost everyone here is friendly and helpful. But I think some people get carried away by their skills in videography. Just because they happen to know every single setting on their camera doesn't mean they have the right to ridicule those who haven't explored everything on their own camera.

So what if some people have three or four settings they like to stick to and never actually venture into the unknown? Hell, just by asking about a cheat sheet should be enough to show my interest in going beyond what I know, and others (actually, ALL users here on this forum) should embrace that as an achievement--not for themselves, but an achievement for videography itself.

Just a little something for all your thoughts, everyone.
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Old May 26th, 2007, 12:50 AM   #20
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Hi Vishad,

I really don't think anyone has suggested you are an amateur. A quick look at your website makes it clear that you aren't.

I think people may have perhaps assumed that you were asking about a 'make great pictures right out of the box without having to take time to learn this great new tool' kind of, er, doohickey. ;-)

I am pretty sure that isn't what you were asking for! If it WAS then I would agree with the other posters in this thread in that there is no quick way to learn this camera and certainly no quick way to develop the skills for making great video (regardless of camera model or functions - I built my client base, including many of the UK's leading high street retailers, using a modest Canon XM2).

But I stress again, I don't think that's what you were asking for!

Misunderstanding your question aside, I also don't think anyone here is ridiculing you or anyone else that hasn't mastered every feature of the XL2 (including me). In fact, I think protectiveness of ones hobby shows a great passion.

Protectiveness of ones profession is, on the other hand, essential for our survival, so I am all for it.

It really is the case that with the advent of this great technology (broadcast quality cameras, powerful editing systems on a laptop etc) the video industry is now swamped with people who spend a few grand on equipment and fifty bucks on business cards bearing the title 'Videographer', without investing the time needed to learn and master even basic skills. Those people turn in a mediocre product at best, charge too low, and change our customers perception of the value of hiring an experienced professional.

And that, I believe, is why some people who read your original question may be forgiven for thinking that you are one of those bandwagon jumpers who isn't prepared to put the effort in but is happy to take a slice of 'our' pie.

But like I said, we know that isn't the case!

So occasionally you might get a bit of a pompous answer to a question from someone who has learnt every trick and feature and workaround and wants to make sure you know it. Hey ho. As long as those people are here we get our questions answered. Let's not upset them and drive them away!

Nice weekend y'all.


Ian . . .
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Old May 26th, 2007, 08:17 AM   #21
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As I said in my previous post, I do apologize for using such harsh words. As Ian mentioned, there are a number of people who make a purchase, slap a title on a business card and lower the standard for those of us trying to make a living. That's why I disagreed with your methods and approach to solving a problem. Not necessarily because you needed a cheat sheet...but how you worded your request. I apologize that your post came into the crosshairs at the time. I am not assuming you are an amatuer who knows nothing and that you produce trash...I made that boldly clear two posts ago. Again, I apologize for my wording. And in my OP I stated I knew I was going to get some hate mail...which I did deserve.

That said, you replied that instead of labeling people, just answer the question. Well, I did answer your question in my OP, by giving you the link to the XL2 demo movie. Hopefully it helped.

Though while I feel a cheat sheet might come in handy, I still believe that nothing replaces research and studying and experimentation. Because nothing of quality comes easy.
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Old May 26th, 2007, 08:33 AM   #22
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Cheat Sheet

Originally Posted by Vishad Dewan View Post
Ahhhhh!!! There has GOT to be an XL2 cheat sheet somewhere on the market, right?? The Canon DSLR's have cheat sheets, so why don't the prosumer camcorders? There's a company called Photobert that specializes in making these quick guides for digital cameras...does anyone know of a similar product for the XL2?

I've searched Google but to no avail. I would kiss your dirty shoes and wash your dog if you could please suggest a cheat sheet.



Hi, I am new to all this I mean I have been shooting video for 5yrs, But I am a new owner of the XL2. They are right go out and work with the camera but try this take notes write down every setting you try write down how the video looks with that setting. keep a log every time you use it, make your own cheat sheet. Also the canon preset manager is a great tool it is very useful.The XL2 is a amazing camera it can do everything you want it to do.

Oh here is a website buy this video it is great.

The Ultimate Guide To The Canon XL2 By Greg Salman

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Old May 26th, 2007, 04:08 PM   #23
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I'm sorry, everyone. I know I kinda blew my own gasket...and I know "gasket" is spelled incorrectly. But humor me.

I think we all just are very passionate about videography and photography and kind of like to keep it a club.

Again, I apologize for coming on too strong.

And I do agree with you, Jonathan, about experience. Nothing--no about of cheat sheets or manuals--will ever make up for hands-on experience on the field. And, yes, I DID consider Adam's suggestion about that DVD, and purchased it. I'm waiting impatiently to finally watch it and discover all the obvious tricks I missed.
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Old May 28th, 2007, 10:23 PM   #24
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Check List

Instead of a cheat sheet, I need a check off sheet...
Manual settings...ON
Auto/Manual Focus ... CHECK
Gain ... CHECK
Shutter Speed ... CHECK
White Balance ... Off Auto and Balanced, CHECK
Custom Preset ... Selected and CHECK
Tire Pressure ... CHECK
OIS On/Off ... CHECK
Fresh Batteries ... CHECK
(Just kidding about the tires...)

Last edited by Bill Zens; May 29th, 2007 at 06:42 PM.
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Old May 29th, 2007, 10:10 AM   #25
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I think Bill has it pegged!
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