"must have" camcorder accessories for chasing

im pretty sure im picking up a really good video camera soon, and i wanna know what i will need for it.

im probably getting a canon xl2. hopefully. if you wouldn't mind, help me out.
 
Hopefully, you will be using it for more than just chasing. It's a fair sized camera. (Same as the XL1 and XL1s). Here's a short list in the order in which I would get them.

1. UV Filter
2. Circular Polarizing Filter
3. Extra Batteries
4. A different Mic. The Canon Mic is not a true "Shotgun" Mic. I use an Audio Technica 835b. You will also need an XLR to Mini Jack adapter for this.

5. Canon MA-200 Shoulder rest and Audio Adapter - Very versatile piece to have.
6. Battery Powered Camera Light - The XL2 is somewhat better in lowlight than it's predecessors, but full dark you will need a light.
7. Good Tripod - This camera WILL get heavy
8. Canon C910 Dual Battery Charger and Adapter - allows you to use two batteries on the camera and increases your shooting time.
9. Rain Cover - This should be self explanatory. Trash bags, though will keep you from ruining your camera, don't work very well and are noisy.
10. The Canon 3X Wide Angle Lens - provided you can afford it. If not that, then the Century Optics WA Adapter Lens. This is a MUST for close in shooting.

I could go on and on, but those are the top 10 items I would start looking at.

Of course it would help to know what the primary use for the camera will be. Just off the cuff shooting of birthdays and around the house kind of stuff doesn't sound right as the XL2 is a semi-pro camera and has some very nice potential to it. If the primary use is going to be chasing, I would seriously reconsider the camera choice. There are other 3 CCD cameras that will serve you better in the confined space of a car and are way more portable than the XL2.
 
Dang, John beat me to it :D .. LOL. I am with John on accessories....

You will definately want to invest in a good tripod. I worked in video production/news photography for 4 years so I'm big on using tripods for steady shots. That's just a personal preference. Plus a tripod is nice to have for when you want to speed up your video by a couple hundred %.

You might want to invest in a better mic for your camera, it'll do better on sound. I picked up a Audio-Technia shotgun mic and it works great and the sound is nice.

Invest in some good filters for the lens. I recommend a a polarizer/circular polarizer. These are great for shooting outdoors, it deepens the intensity of blue skies and reduces glares.


Lens cleaner, obviously :D
 
Oh yeah, I almost forgot, Portabrace makes two versions of their Rain Slicker for the XL series of cameras. One that fits the basic camera and lens combo and another that fits the camera, lens and MA-200 combo.

Joey, I would never think of beating you out ona post. I had to go back and edit mine anyway. :lol:
 
thanks guys. keep em coming. i will be using it for chasing, and making some rollerblading videos. nothing really professional, but high quality. most of the guys i skate with are good enough to put out a top-quality full length video. cool. well thank you very much for the suggestions.
 
You may want to look at the smaller 3 CCD Cameras then. They have the capability of pushing very good video and are in a smaller package. Many times they are cheaper than the XL2.

Since you will be shooting some skaters, you will also want to look at some type of camera stabilization rig. You will find that hand held is really shaky. Trying to walk and shoot at the same time is tough. It's even worse if your trying to make it look good.

I invested in a Glidecam V-8 (about $2000 to $2500 on the used market). This is a rig that is similar (but in now way equal) to the Steadicam Rigs used in the movies. It makes all the difference in the world! Even the less expensive hand held models will help on things like this.

You also may want to look at a Matte Box to replace the flare ring thats on there now. Again, these ain't cheap. The least expensive I've seen are in the $200 range. However, they allow the use of the square gel filters and really allow you to have more control over both glare and some lighting effects with the addition of a "french flag".

Here's another thought. Since the XL2 combined with the MA-200 will allow you 4 channels of audio (Let's face it, audio is every bit as important as the visual and can make or break a movie), consider a hand held boom and mic combo for some audio.

I digress though.

There's a whole host of things that you can do, I would suggest getiing the items listed above and then start working with the camera. Find out what it can do. Pick a video clip that you really like and try to figure out how it was shot and then try to duplicate the shot.
 
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